Four Horsemen at Gen Con

Going to Gen Con? Join us and our friends for the second annual Four Horsemen Open! Advance your team to the final round co-GMed by one of the Four Horsemen AND another celebrity designer or publisher!

Prize support is incredible. Participants will receive pdfs, autographed hardcovers, and more. And this year EVERY PLAYER gets a hardback copy of Pathfinder Unchained from Paizo Publishing! Spend $12 on your ticket and start out with a $40 hardback! Get your tickets today!

4HO

Talented Bestiary is Funded!

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The Talented Bestiary is live, and already FUNDED! We are onto our first, of hopefully many, stretch goals!

You can find the Kickstarter page HERE!

And check out an interview on the Tome Show with Pestilence and Death!

UPDATE: And we’ve blasted through the first Stretch Goal: PC Options! The Talented Bestiary will now include rules for summoning talented creatures, animating talented undead and objects, and monstrous cohorts! We are now onto Stretch Goal 2: Talented Templates! Create any template you can imagine with the versatile Talented Bestiary system!

Talented Bestiary Kickstarter!

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Coming very soon the Four Horsemen are extremely proud to be working with Rogue Genius Games to present the Talented Bestiary Kickstarter for the Pathfinder game system! The Talented line has been a brilliant series with the goal of freeing up character creation, letting you make any variant class you can dream of. The Talented Bestiary takes that same ideal, and applies it to monster creation. We give you all the tools you need to make any creature, from Fine-sized NPC-style monsters to CR 34 Colossal gods!

Monster design is tough, even for experienced designers. The base statistics involve a lot of guess and check values, rules of thumb, and details that take years to learn. That doesn’t even touch on all the abilities that creatures can potentially have, or gauging how powerful they should be. The Talented Bestiary streamlines the monster creation process, making it more of a science. Every monster you make fits its challenge rating with minimal effort, and each one is incredibly customizable.

We introduce the concept of Monster Focus. Instead of tying a monster’s statistics to creature type, we make them more like player characters, with the focus corresponding to the creature’s role. Each focus has a single table for you to quickly reference every single base statistic for a Medium-sized monster of that challenge rating. No crazy math. No guess work. One referenced line gives ability scores, saves, natural armor, and even the recommended number of attacks. You can then alter the monster’s size if you like, with a second quick and easy reference on how that affects its statistics.

We’ve also gone through all the universal monster rules and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game: Bestiary to break out every monster’s ability into an intuitive point system. Each creature gets a number of ability points based on its challenge rating and focus. Abilities can be modified with a wide-variety of enhancements and flaws, with higher powerful monsters capable of purchasing more dangerous abilities.

We’ve been working on this system for years, and have playtested it extensively. In the process, we’ve built hundreds of new monster variants based on the classic Bestiary creatures. The Talented Bestiary is not only going to include the rules to create your own monsters, but also all of our unique creations!

Available for pay what you want and to all backers will be a downloadable PDF featuring the first chapter of the book. Within you’ll find the basic monster creation rules with examples on how to use them. We also present five sample monsters of varying CRs so that you can see what the system can produce. Every backer, at even the lowest level, gets additional access to sneak peeks of the ability point system, a summary of all the creatures included in the final book, and a downloadable spreadsheet tool to make monster creation even faster!

Don’t Use These Feats!

Happy April! No pranks from the Horsemen, but we do have some Tricks and Tools planned for you this month!

This week on the Four Horsemen Blog, Stephen Rowe re-introduces the concept of Flaw Feats for Pathfinder! Take a flaw, and get a bonus feat. How bad could they be!

Also this week by Stephen Rowe is Even More Horribly Overpowered Feats! Continuing the Rogue Genius Games line of horribly overpowered feats, Pestilence has a whole bunch of new insanely unbalanced and completely ridiculously powerful feats for you to never, ever, use! Even More OP Feats

Face thousands without fear, retain control when raging, gain an additional bloodline’s power, make your familiar an animal companion (or vice versa), rapidly adopt any style feat, gain superheroic powers (like speed, strength and invulnerability), maintain two bardic performances in perfect harmony, always have the equipment you need on hand, and much much more!

We also introduce the “paragon” overpowered feats—are elves not Legolas enough for you? Half-orcs a bit too wussy for their rep?  Humans not quite as versatile as they should be?

Well, paragon overpowered feats are AN answer, although not a fair or balanced one!

Next week Stephen Rowe also introduces Minmaxed Monsters, because it is about darn time GMs get in on the fun of optimization!

Venerable Options and Experienced Players

This week the Four Horsemen conclude Fun for All Ages Month! On the Four Horsemen Blog, Stephen Rowe gives advice on running games for experienced players. Tim Hitchcock introduces Venerable Character Options, for when old just isn’t old enough!Venerable

Ever notice that there aren’t a lot of really old adventurers? One might be tempted to excuse the lack of elderly warriors by citing the mortality rates of those dedicating their lives to descending into dark holes to fight abominable beasts, walking corpses, and things that breathe fire. Others might simply balk or blanch at seeing a withered aged barbarian with sagging flesh drooping lower than his breechcloth. Moreover, RPG characters (especially warriors) suffer from ageism for more insipid reasons. It’s not so much fear of death, but rather the gamer’s fear of creating an ineffectual character. Face it, venerable characters take physical ability penalties, and lots of them. Of course, they gain an equal amount of bonuses on the mental end of things, but really how long can any adventuring wizard survive with a 3 Constitution?

Still, aging is inevitable and all must deal with it—a fact that becomes more even more relevant to many of us older gamers as we slip quietly into our retirement years. Of course, we can attempt to avoid or at least compensate for this fact by continually playing strapping young men and women. So why then would anyone choose to role-play a venerable character in an RPG? Venerable Character Options attempts to answer these questions.

Many of the iconic heroes of fantasy literature are extremely elderly, from the long-bearded wizard to the aging vampire-hunter and the wizened wise-woman. Being at the extremes of age brings many physical limitations, but it’s also worth remembering an elderly adventurer has already survived things the young can’t even imagine.

Four Horsemen Present: Venerable Character Options discusses both the challenges and opportunities that adding an elderly character to a campaign bring about. Issues such as ageism, frailty, and motivations are examined, and venerable characters for nonhuman races are discussed. Age-related traits can affect how an older character thinks, sleeps, and prioritizes problems. Venerable character feats represent the breadth of experience than only the truly old can claim. And a new prestige class, the ancient sensei, allows the oldest characters to master tricks that will amaze the youngest heroes for decades to come.

Join us next week where we celebrate April Fools with a month of fun and comedy!

Mature Characters and New Players!

We continue Fun for All Ages Month on the Four Horsemen Blog with Dan Dillon giving absolutely great advice on bringing new people into the hobby!

Our product this week is Mature Character Options by Steven Helt, because sometimes older is better!Mature Options

For many, roleplaying games are a type of theater—a novel or television show where the players act the parts they choose over the course of a campaign. As such, roleplaying games make one of the best vehicles for learning teamwork and diversity. Since a party of characters in a Pathfinder Roleplaying Game campaign showcases disparate classes and builds, it makes sense to explore this diversity through characters of a different alignment, background, faith, or gender than a player’s normal taste for her starring role.
A character’s age is an important a consideration when preparing to tell a story. Any mortal character experiences significant changes in abilities, beliefs, and responsibilities over time, providing inspiration for textured stories.

Mature Character Options examines some of the roleplaying opportunities afforded when a game takes advancing years into account. Also available are optional rules and mechanics that expand options for characters pursuing these themes. The traits, archetypes, feats, and spells within are all created specifically to compliment adventurers with the experiences of more mature adults.

Young Character Options

We continue Fun for All Ages Month with Steven Helt discussing on the Four Horsemen Blog how to run games for teenagers!

We are also proud to present Young Character Options– our first product by a guest author and our good friend BJ Hensley! The Pathfinder Roleplaying Game assumes that most characters are adults or older, and the rules presented in the Ultimate Campaign supplement are pretty restrictive. Young Character Options throws those assumptions out the window, opening up the idea of playing children or teens for your Pathfinder game! Young Character Options

Roleplaying children can be a surprisingly difficult task for adults as it frequently requires an unexpected level of maturity to play the immature. Difficulties can stem from the idea that children are chaotic little complications to the game. In reality, there are many benefits to playing a younger self, outside of the fact that it may be necessary for the plot. For example, children are often far swifter than their adult counter parts and able to reach places inaccessible to grownups. They regularly go unnoticed in a crowd and are more likely to receive aid than those who should be old enough to care for themselves.

Young Character Options provides a plethora of possibilities for playing younglings in your current campaign while detailing the various reasons why a child would not only be out adventuring, but how they could obtain the necessary abilities to do so. Whether you’re an adult entertaining the idea of playing a youth or a child making your first character, Young Character Options is a must have!

Young Character Options includes discussion of how various races treat and regard their children, as well as recommendations on backgrounds for young adventurers. In addition, the book presents traits (such as innocence or precocious), feats to play child-prodigies, and a variety of new archetypes!

Ageless (Oracle): A rare and peculiar curse to affect some oracles is eternal youth. Agelessness might seem a blessing, but it always strikes before the oracle grows to adulthood. Forever trapped in the body of a child, she might wander the world for centuries before an accident or enemy finally brings her life to an end.

Destined Blade (Magus): The tides of fate pay no heed to age. The destined blade magus is swept up in grand events beginning with the uncovering of an ancient relic in his youth. This weapon might be drawn from a stone, a cursed dagger used against him by a fell creature, or an ancestral sword bequeathed with a loved one’s passing.

Reincarnated Master (Monk): The soul is immortal, and sometimes an enlightened being can choose to live many lives. They might do so for a variety of reasons, from hoping to achieve a higher state of existence, to a desire to pass crucial lessons on to future generations. For the reincarnated master, gaining power is not a matter of learning, but reclaiming what he has discovered innumerable times.

Street Rat (Rogue): Countless orphans find themselves abandoned on the streets each year, forced to survive in spite of grossly unfortunate circumstances. Often becoming thieves and beggars, it is rare for one to get an opportunity for something better, but most find the skills they gained well-suited to a cruel world.

Wunderkind (Wizard): The wunderkind is a veritable magical virtuoso, accomplishing intellectual and arcane achievements that would challenge wizards decades or centuries older. However, more than most young characters, a wizard likely must deal with excessive ageism from peers.

Monsters Under the Bed!

The Four Horsemen are kicking off Fun for All Ages Month! We are going to be covering how to run games for all sorts of ages and experience levels, plus providing products to help run those sorts of games, or play characters of any age!

Our first product is Monsters Under the Bed by Stephen Rowe! The Four Horsemen believe RPGs should be enjoyed by gamers of all ages. So we’ve put together templates to make all existing monsters more child-friendly and specific creatures crafted with younger players in mind. We also provide plot hooks for each template and monster, to help spark ideas for family-friendly adventures!Under the Bed

Running games for children is often more difficult than it sounds, but can be an incredibly rewarding experience. Roleplaying games in general and the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game specifically, are amazing tools for teaching children valuable teamwork, arithmetic, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, few games are created with children in mind. The vast majority of monsters available for the Pathfinder RPG are terrifying foes for adults and few parents would set a mohrg or succubus against players under the age of eight. Beyond that, the base game assumes a foe is generally defeated through battle, which isn’t always the best lesson for impressionable young minds.

Turn your monsters into babies, toys, or give them interesting weaknesses that promote non-violent conflict resolution. Show that appearances can be deceiving with the lonely closet creeper. Create a delicious (but sticky) confectionery construct!  Have trap-filled fun with boogrel gremlins, or a spooky time with the haunted house! Finally, learn that good intentions must go hand in hand with wisdom with the white hag!

Talented Witch

Rogue Genius Games presents The Genius Guide to the Talented Witch by Stephen Rowe (Pestilence)! So far the reception has been amazing, with the book quickly climbing to the top of the Pathfinder downloads at DriveThruRPG! GGT Witch

Witches are a longstanding part of fantasy stories, dating back to well before the first roleplaying games. The trick for players and GM alike is to figure out how to use the witch class to make everything from hags that lure children with candy houses to the good and bad witches of the cardinal directions. Archetypes can help, but each only allows a witch to fit into one narrow niche.

But now with The Genius Guide to the Talented Witch, it’s possible to build any kind of witch. Maintaining the core concept of a mysterious and potentially sinister figure drawing on powers from unknown sources, the Talented Witch can fill a wide range of roles within a campaign.

Shifu (monk/kineticist)

This week on the Four Horsemen Blog hosted by d20pfsrd.com, Tim Hitchcock discusses party roles with hybrid classes! We are also proud to present the Shifu, a new hybrid class built from (unchained) monk and kineticist by Tim!Shifu

The Shifu draws upon the mystic powers of ki and then infuses her spirit with elemental energies of the planes. She needs no weapons, instead relying on her intense discipline and focused meditation to transcend the weaknesses of flesh. By channeling elemental ki through her body she empowers her martial skills. Depending on her chosen focus, her fists become void or wind as she merges with her element, reconnecting with the mystic origins of her own existence.

A shifu’s martial skills focus on elemental-energy based melee attacks. They rely on mobility and skill to maneuver around the battlefield, while their unique powers allow them to quickly adapt to overcome the defenses of opponents. Outside of combat, these same powers provide them with the flexibility to deal with a wide variety of challenges.

Next week the Horsemen start Fun for All Ages Month, with Monsters Under the Bed, a book of creatures for a younger audience!