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Snakes and Scorpions: Four Menacing Pulp Monsters

Weird_Tales_August_1934“… and now from an opening on one side came a silent writhing horror that reared up and glared on the intruder with awful luminous eyes; a serpent twenty feet long, with shimmering, iridescent scales.” —Robert E. Howard, “Black Colossus”

The days of high adventure are full of high-risk, high-reward situations. And nothing says “risky” quite like the business end of a serpent’s fang or a scorpion’s tail. Indeed, snakes and scorpions have appeared in literature throughout history as malevolent protectors—ill-willed living traps put to insidious use by keen and cruel minds. The legendary Book of Thoth was said to be guarded by snakes and scorpions. To wit, the ancient Egyptian tale of Setne Khamwas and Naneferkaptah details six miles of “serpents, scorpions, and all kinds of reptiles” surrounding the gold box housing the book. (Of course, Naneferkaptah’s curse is more deadly to Khamwas than the legion of venomous vermin, but I digress). More famously, pulp yarns like the weird fiction of Robert E. Howard and the stop-motion worlds of Ray Harryhausen have served as terrific inspiration for realizing these creatures in our own RPG campaigns.

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Harryhausen’s Giant Scorpions come to life in Clash of the Titans. And it’s no secret I’m a sucker for Howard’s Hyborian Age and the serpent-slaying exploits of Conan the Barbarian. Quite often, the dangers of the natural world (albeit a primeval one) can prove as deadly to would-be heroes as those of the supernatural. You don’t necessarily need “high fantasy” to capture that sense of high adventure Howard so effortlessly engendered with his stories. But when it came to populating my Pathfinder game with a menagerie of these Stygian menaces, I found a snake-sized hole in my heart that needed filling.

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Grand Duchy: Traits From an Elfen Kingdom

Saint George and the Dragon - RaphaelWho knew that grandmother’s stories told beside the evening fire were entertaining and contained elements of elf history? Did you ever wonder why warriors from Reywald and Donnermark often favored the warhammer, traditionally a dwarven weapon? And who doesn’t trust a resident of Salzbach to taste-test the contents of an unmarked potion?

Players who create PCs native to the Grand Duchy of Dornig might find that including these traits adds some of the region’s character in their Pathfinder Roleplaying Game.

But if you use another system, these traits can still be useful without the mechanical aspects. The traits can inspire D&D 5E-style boons or serve as background material for systems like FATE or Savage Worlds.

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Demon Cults: The Hand of Nakresh Now Available for Pathfinder Roleplaying Game

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No Treasure is Safe!

Forty-Fingered Nakresh is the simian demon-god of wizards and thieves, whose eight hands grasp all there is to take. The five infamous crime lords who lead the cult of the Lowest Left Hand of Nakresh plot the most audacious and spectacular thefts imaginable to appease their god—and to outdo each other!

Demon Cults: The Hand of Nakresh includes:

  • 5 cult leader NPCs with stats: Lord Vermin (CR 10), Master Kiprak (CR 11), Mognyr Dunestalker (CR 10) and his hyenadon mount, Sister Starkfeather (CR 13) and Zheita the Magicmonger (CR 15)
  • Plots and adventure hooks for party levels 1 to 12
  • New magic items: monkey’s paw of fortune, shrieking aklys and ley line absorber
  • New scattered images spell, and a gargantuan new vehicle: the clockwork siege crab!
  • Using the Hand of Nakresh in the Midgard Campaign Setting

The Five Exalted would relish the opportunity to match wits with your PCs. Show your players a new challenge with Demon Cults 5: The Hand of Nakresh today, available now at DriveThruRPG and soon at the Paizo Store!

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Advanced Races: Lizardfolk Available Now for Pathfinder RPG

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Strength of Scale and Spear!

The lizardfolk are an ancient people with a storied past and traditions untroubled by the passage of time. Their strength is hidden, their teeth and claws sheathed until the moment is right.

Advanced Races: Lizardfolk is your essential guide to this ancient race of brutal warriors and cunning witches. Their mastery of blood and bone is deep and unforgiving; their wrath is slow but sure.

This 13-page PDF by designers Steven T. Helt, Stephen Rowe, and Dan Dillon includes:

  • Racial stats for lizardfolk PCs, plus 11 alternate racial traits from climber to purple-blooded, and from giant-sized to water-runner
  • 9 new racial feats, including Brutal Strike, Burst of Speed, and Tail Wielder
  • 6 new archetypes including Ambush Predator (Rogue), Primitive Weapon Master (Fighter), Saurian Champion (Cavalier), Sanguine Scale (Witch), Story Keeper (Skald), and Pestilent Savage (Barbarian)
  • New Saurian Champion mounts including pterandodon, stegosaurus, and tyrannosaurus
  • 6 new lizardfolk spells and 3 new magic items, 
  • Plus the sample Bloodscale tribe and more!

It’s all at the tip of your claws in Advanced Races: Lizardfolk  available now from DriveThruRPG and RPGNow, and from Paizo. Get in touch with primal power!

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Adorable Creatures: Garden Gnomes

Garden Gnome
From the first time I sat down to play Dungeons & Dragons, I knew my love of the game would always stem from the roleplaying aspect, from the quirky dialogues to the less-than-stellar Stealth checks through an unsuspecting NPC’s home. For some, D&D is less about combat and more about what ridiculous fun or laughter a player’s character brings to the table.

So whether you’re an avid fan of playing demented old men, doe-eyed halflings, or brutal half orcs with a soft spot for pet squirrels, you know that half the fun of character building is creating memorable characters that veer from typical archetypes. Adorable Creatures aims to offer new and unique races that are not only cute, but that are playable and offer a range of play styles for gamers looking to bring something fresh to the table. It also offers new and balanced options for players who may not want to abandon their favorite class but are just so darn bored of playing an elf wizard and a halfling rogue.

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