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Battlezoo PDF Release Notes

  • Battlezoo Ancestries: Dragons 5E History
    • v2, released June 16, 2022
      •  Dream and nightmare dragons, change “Observing a sleeping creature’s dreams in this way grants you advantage on Wisdom (Sense Motive) checks.” to “Wisdom (Insight) checks”.
      • In the dragon race, under Dragon traits change “Ability Score Increase. One of your ability scores increases by 2; choose either Strength or the ability score listed in your draconic ancestry. One other ability score of your choice increases by 1.” to “Ability Score Increase. One ability score of your choice increases by 1.”
      • In Proficiencies, in saving throws, change Strength to Constitution.
      • On the class table, in features, at 1st level, change to add Breath Weapon and Draconic Surge. It should read “Breath Weapon, Draconic Surge, Dragon Archetype”.
      • In Unconquerable, change the lesser evolution to read “You gain proficiency in your choice of Strength saving throws or Intelligence saving throws.”
      • In Dragon Scales lesser evolution, at the end, add “If you are proficient in heavy armor, you can instead choose to have your AC equal 16.”
      • On the class table evolutions column, starting at level 8, decrease the value by 1. That should mean it is 3 at 8th and 9th level, 4 at 10th through 13th, and so on, capping at 7 at 20th.
      • Added Breath Weapon before Evolutions.
      • Added Draconic Surge before Evolutions.
      • In the fighting styles, change Cataclysm to read “The damage dice dealt by dealt by your Breath Weapon increase from d6 to d8, and the number of damage dice dealt by your Breath Weapon evolution increase by 1 die (4d8 damage at 3rd level, 5d8 at 5th level, and so on).”
      • In fighting styles, change Tooth and Claw to read “You gain the Improved Natural Weapons lesser evolution, or a different lesser evolution of your choice if you already have the Improved Natural Weapons lesser evolution. When you use Draconic Surge, you add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack.”
      • Remove the breath weapon evolution from the list of evolutions.
      • Removed the level 1 gift Dragon Breath.
      • In the Moonsilver gift, added at the end. “Additionally, your natural weapons deal 2d6 additional damage to creatures that are resistant to weapons that aren’t silvered.”
      • Obliterating Breath gift says Fortitude saving throw, but should be Constitution.
      • Ground Slam gift says Reflex saving throw but should be Dexterity.
  • Battlezoo Ancestries: Dragons 5E History
    • v1, released June 14, 2022
      • Original public version.

  • Battlezoo Ancestries: Dragons Pathfinder Second Edition History
    • v2, released May 4, 2022
      • Black, Brine, and Crystal dragon heritage, remove the word “potential” before unarmed attacks.
      • Page 18: Red dragon heritage, change Strike “wings” to “wing”.
      • Page 28: In Psychic Resilience description, change the text “You gain the Resilient Mind reaction” to “You gain the Resilient Mind free action”.
      • Page 29: Snow Vision, added a horizontal line under the Prerequisities.
      • Page 30: In Dive and Exhale! make it clear it doesn’t work with Deep Breath. Add the sentence to the end of the description “Since you aren’t using the Dragon Breath action, you can’t use Deep Breath.”.
      • Page 38: In Nauseating Presence, the -2 circumstance penalty should last while within the aura. Change success entry final sentence to read “The creature takes a –2 circumstance penalty to saving throws against diseases and saving throws to reduce the sickened condition while within the aura.”.
      • Page 39: In Shape Ice, clarify the Reflex save. Change the description text from “Reflex save against your class DC.” to read “Reflex save against the higher of your class DC and your spell DC.”
      • Page 46: In Impenetrable Scales, add the sentence to the end of the description “If you make your scales into heavy armor and you have armor specialization from another source, they gain the bulwark trait.”.
      • Page 48: In Adapt Resistance, change the text after trigger (changes from 1 to 2 rounds). Change the description to read “You adapt your resistance to protect against further damage of the same type for a brief time. For the next 2 rounds, your Draconic Resistance from the tumult dragon heritage changes from its original type to the type of damage you took. If you took more than one qualifying damage type at the same time, choose one. This resistance doesn’t apply to the triggering damage, only against future damage taken for the next 2 rounds.”
      • Page 49: In Draining Bite, change the description from “If your next action is a Devastating Bite against a living target, and you hit with the jaws Strike, all of the additional damage dice deal negative damage instead of the normal piercing damage” to “If your next action is a Devastating Bite against a living target, and you hit with the jaws Strike, if this deals the target any negative damage, you gain temporary Hit Points equal to your level, which last for up to 1 minute”
      • Page 50: In Spore Breath table 1 add page numbers, change Bewildering Breath to Delirium Breath, change Weakening Breath to Weakening Gas Breath, and alphabetize the table.
      • Page 53: In Obliteration Bite: Remove the text allowing the additional damage to be negative. Remove the text, “You can choose for the additional damage from Devastating Bite to be negative damage, rather than the usual damage type. If you choose to do so, ” and replace with “When you use Devastating Bite”.
      • Page 73: Draconic Diehard after the text “You gain the Draconic Ravager Dedication feat at 1st level as a bonus feat, even though you don’t meet the level prerequisite.” add the text “Because of this, you don’t need to spend your 2nd level feat on a dedication for this class archetype.”
      • Page 73: Draconic Diehard clarifies the way it works when you would gain weapon proficiencies later. In the prerequisites add “, as long as you have the dragon ancestry.”.
      • Page 129: Updated the Dragon Index to include Alternate Boost and Unarmed Attacks.

  • Battlezoo Bestiary 5E Version History
    • v2, released March 30, 2022
      • Table 6: Imbuement Costs updated to display correct costs of Imbeument 5.
      • Imbuements with only a single path had their listed path removed as it was unnecessary.
      • Shale Charger was incorrectly labeled a Platinum prize winner in the Creatures by Challenge table, changed to Grand.
      • Layout adjustments throughout the entire book to make stat blocks easier to read.
    • v1, released February 14, 2022
      • Original public version.

  • Battlezoo Bestiary Pathfinder Second Edition History
    • v4, released February 14, 2022 
      • Othruni immunity to mental attacks was removed.
      • Salt Stalker stat block reworked to fit onto a single page.
      • Semuvig, the Paw’s Money, Paralyzing Touch ability added into stat block.
      • Table 4A: Refinement Benefits by Level (Weapon), Item Level 20 was removed from the table to refine the layout since it was blank.
      • Table 4D: Refinement Benefits by Level (Perception Item), Item Levels 18-20 was removed from the table to allow the table to fit onto a single page.
      • Table 4E: Refinement Benefits by Level (SkillItem), Item Levels 18-20 was removed from the table to allow since they were blank.
      • Open Game License updated to add differentiation between the Battlezoo Bestiary Pathfinder and 5E versions.
    • v3a – NOTE: This version is the exact same as version v3, except that a page numbering issue was fixed. v3 had the numbering within the PDF incorrectly labeled and wasn’t setup correctly. This version fixes that and should be used instead of v3.
    • v3 – Updated the myzoform throughout. Small updates and corrections throughout the various monster stat blocks.
    • v2 – Updated the fonts for increased readability, small updates, and corrections throughout the various monster stat blocks.
    • v1 – Original public version.

The Sideshow S3|31: Bored With the Board

Jason recaps the events from Three Ring Adventure S3|31: 69, Dudes!.

This is one of those weeks where I’ll probably dwell on the show notes as much as the episode because I think there’s a lot of good stuff there.

First, I was there when Steve and Chris got in the argument he mentions. It was a bit of a “perfect storm” situation. You had the ghost of a wizard, which was supposed to have the intelligence it had when it was alive, so Steve decided to use a humanoid understanding of tactics. We were low-level characters, so there wasn’t a lot of spare coin floating around yet to buy a solution. To be fair, I think the writers of the adventure included a ghost touch magic item (scroll, elixir, don’t remember what exactly) in a different room but we hadn’t found it. So you had the magic user popping out of the floor, casting a spell or attacking, and dropping back into the ground. And while we were able to prepare SOME ready actions to attack, it was just slow going we kept having to retreat over and over. And we couldn’t really go do something else because that was the critical path through the adventure. It’s all stuff you can justify, but it absolutely WASN’T fun gaming.

With that as backdrop, I actually agree with Steve that environmental dynamics can be a really interesting way to spice up a game when done right. If you think about it, a lot of these scenarios involve fighting multiple instances of the same (or close to the same) enemy. If we need proof, let’s have a drinking game where we take a sip every time someone says xulgath. Similarly, your characters only get new abilities when they level, so they stay pretty much the same and fight most battles the same way. So… same bad guys, same characters… even the best campaigns can get a little “lather, rinse, repeat” after a while. So that’s when changing the battlefield can be so effective, because it’s the thing you expect to change least of all.

(Let’s also acknowledge that it’s a concept that’s been borrowed from or influenced by MMORPG raid mechanics. Here’s your fight… now, 30 percent of the way through, we’re going to turn the floor to bees, and you have to execute this movement pattern we came up with to avoid getting stung to death.)

HOWEVER. I think it works best when it’s a mixed bag that has good or bad possibilities, or that both the party AND the enemies can make use of the change. If you create an environmental change and then give the bad guy the tools to bypass it entirely (for example: chunks of the floor drop out, but all the enemies have flying), than it’s ONLY a nuisance to the party and that’s just difficulty for the sake of difficulty. If it’s an environmental change that can also be used to the party’s benefit – even if they have to do some brainwork to make it happen – I think that’s where things get interesting.

Skipping ahead a little, that sort of applies here. Yes, the wall Thessekka lays down cuts Ateran off from the rest of the fight, and since they’re the main healer, that’s certainly not nothing. On the other hand, the wall also creates a potential defensive formation for the party as well, as we see when Ateran gets knocked down to their last hit points and can duck down behind it to stay alive. Mixed bag… interesting. One-sided… not interesting (unless it’s to beef up an encounter with a group of weaker foes.)

Now that we’re talking about the fight itself, we start this week with a lucky blow, as Hap’s chain lightning basically wipes the rest of the adds off the board and reduces the fight to Thessekka against the party. I’m not sure how manageable this fight would’ve been if the adds had lingered another round or two. But one good zap and a bunch of crappy saving throws (including the boss herself), and this is back in the realm of possibility.

In the unlucky blow category, we had Darius ALMOST getting knocked over the edge halfway through the fight. I don’t think the fall would’ve killed Darius outright, but if it took him multiple rounds to climb back up, having him not there to take blows and create flanking would’ve made the fight a LOT more hairy. And actually this dovetails nicely with Steve’s earlier point: if Steve was really a “killer GM” and treated the players in an adversarial fashion, he could’ve easily attacked Darius and tried to knock him off; without a second reaction, Darius wouldn’t be able to grab an edge again and would just fall. When Steve talks about not trying to “win D&D”, it’s stuff like that. Yeah you could… but is it something you’d feel good about if it becomes the reason a player leaves the group?

Luckily Darius stays in the fight, gets back up on the platform, and the battle continues. As it does, we see some smart tactics start to emerge, as the party (except for Darius) switches away from raw physical damage and moves to forms of damage that would stand a better chance of bypassing Thessekka’s defenses. In some cases (Hap) it was a 50-50 between a coherent plan and “that’s what spells were left”, but you did also see Alhara try to focus her attacks on generating bleed damage, and you saw Ateran move away from telekinetic projectile and toward to his less physically-oriented spells. Granted, those other spells came with save DCs and Thessekka made most of her saves, but the tactical thought was sound.

And eventually, it all comes together and Thessekka is downed. Once it’s the entire party beating on one bad guy, it’s a short journey to victory lane. So that’s it, right? The Big Bad is vanquished, the towers are clear… oh wait a second. Thessekka left some notes behind. And those notes suggest that she experimented on her troops and created some mutant xulgaths that don’t sound like anything we’ve seen yet. You’d like to believe she wouldn’t create minions more powerful than herself – that’s not accepted best practices in the Evil HR Handbook — but even something close to her power could make for a nasty fight yet to come. (And lest we forget, we haven’t even gotten to some of the other side issues like the dead people with nosebleeds.) So despite the party running a little low on resources, we may not be QUITE done with this book of the AP just yet. Onward!

As always, we’ll pick it up next week with more smelly xulgaths (definitely), more good news and bad news that really just turns out to be bad news (probably), more gratuitous references to Darius’ buttocks (50-50 chance), and the usual hijinks you expect from the Circus of Wayward Wonders. As always, feel free to stop by our Discord channel or other social media and let us know what you think of the show. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.

Three Ring Adventure S3|29: Disco Inferno

After trying to (unsuccessfully) sneak into the tower, the RFC Crew find themselves literally out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Roll For Combat, Three Ring Adventure Podcast is a playthrough of the Pathfinder Adventure Path, Extinction Curse, and the third book, Life’s Long Shadows.

Don’t forget to join our Discord channel, where you can play games, talk with the cast, and hang out with other fans of the show!

Become a supporter of the podcast on our Patreon page where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast. We would also love it if you would leave us a review on iTunes!

The Sideshow S3|28: The Clan With the Plan

Jason recaps the events from Three Ring Adventure S3|28: Be Vewy Vewy Quiet, I’m Hunting Xulgaths!!.

As I sit down to write about this week’s episode, it dawns on me that “they know we’re coming” is  a much more common trope in movies and TV than in the TTRPG world. There’s like… a whole John Wick movie about it. But in the TTRPG world, the normal mode of operation is that NPCs exist in suspended animation until the party stumbles into the room they’re in, at which point they spring to life and it’s time to fight. Even when the story positions them as guards, their “guard duty” tends to be physically occupying space the players need to move through, waiting for an initiative roll to kick them into gear.

For comparison’s sake, we just recently dealt with a similar situation in our Edgewatch game, where we were infiltrating a alchemical lab. There were guards around the exterior, but not patrolling: just enough of an inconvenience to require a Stealth roll, but no more than that. Once we got into the building, there were two NPCs who were playing chess in the room next to where we entered, but they didn’t notice our entry because they were playing chess.

So this week creates an interesting bit of strategy because our xulgath foes really do “know they’re coming”, in that they’re actively aware of the party’s efforts and have gone from passive protectors of the MacGuffin to an active security force.

But we’ll get there in a second. First up… Level 11 characters, though it’ll be brief because Level 11 tends to be one of those boring ones, at least for melees (casters at least get their level 6 spells). Well, maybe not boring, but 11’s biggest changes tend to be baked-in class abilities, so it’s a bit of a down level for player choice. That’s not meant as a criticism: there’s 20 levels, they can’t all be gems, and your character does get more powerful at the end of the day. But it is true that the part of the leveling where you get to pick out cool new stuff is… a skill feat, and a skill increase at a time where some classes don’t have a lot of skills to invest it in.

I do like the skill feat Loren took for Hap where she’s now a minor celebrity and can tap into that in any city the circus visits. It’s a neat little way to jump start information gathering in a new location, so it should fit the traveling circus theme well. I’m not sure how word of mouth gets around in a pre-technological world, but I’m sure magic will provide a way. I seem to recall that Starfinder has something similar, because I had a rolled a kasatha assassin/celebrity chef for Society play who either took or was thinking about taking the same feat. But it’s also been a while since I played him, so I might be remembering things wrong.

(As an aside, it’s kind of a shame I haven’t gone back to that character. Imagine Guy Fieri as a six-limbed contract killer who uses his equivalent of “Diners, Dives, and Drive-Ins” as his cover story for traveling the galaxy murdering people, and you’ve got the gist. Really wanted to do more with him.)

We also had an interesting interlude about death, sparked by the realization that Ateran is close to being able to bring players back from the dead. That is interesting on its own merits, but doubly so when learning about Loren’s firm rule about, essentially, permadeath. That’s right: it turns out Hap has a DNR in place.

We’ve discussed this elsewhere, particularly back when Darius should’ve died, but when characters die, Steve tends to leave options unless you did something REALLY foolish to end up that way. And he tends to make the final choice of whether to come back or re-roll the player’s. So Loren’s saying she won’t take that off-ramp if it ever happens to Hap. Interesting.

I’m not sure I could ever be that absolute about things. I will admit I have some general sympathy for the position that if you die, you die, and pulling some rabbit out of the hat to stay alive feels a little too consequence-light. But I can’t QUITE bring myself to be as absolutist as Loren about it. If the worst should happen to one of my characters, it would honestly depend on how I felt about the character at the time. Part of it would be tactical, just because after playing a character for a year or two, sometimes it starts to get a little stale, and maybe trying something else would be liberating. But it’s also important how I’m feeling about my character’s journey at that point. We don’t roleplay AS heavily as the circus group does, but I do care about where my character’s overall journey ends up. There have been places in our story where I’ve felt “if we died here, I could live with it” and other places where I’d take ANY escape hatch because it didn’t feel like the right way to finish Basil’s story.

Anyhow, back to our story at hand. The group journeys forth to the last tower, and Ateran does a little Kirkland-brand Eye of Kilrogg scouting, and… this is going to be a challenge because the xulgaths really are prepared this time. They have a good defensive position with basically ONE point of entry, and the guards are actively patrolling. Specifically, they have to get up to a pair of raised platforms and then cross a bridge with no hand-rail, all of which is actively guarded. They probably can’t even do the bag of holding trick because the xulgaths will see it land and just… pick it up and toss it in a fire or something. (At that point, do they just wink out of existence immediately, or does their EXIT disappear, and they suffocate to death? ENQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW.)

Fortunately, the party has another tool up their sleeve: invisibility sphere. Basil’s had this spell for a little while now, so I’m familiar with it. The various rules for what happens when people leave the sphere or attack from within it get a little crunchy, but the short answer is, if you stay close together and party-move as one, you can stay invisible for 10 minutes.

Doesn’t help with sounds or the possibility that the xulgaths will see the ladder reacting to the party’s weight on it, and Steve could get nitpicky about situations where they have to switch to single-file movement… but it’s a plan for now. So the party begins to ascend, until the point where the xulgaths seem like they might have noticed the party’s presence.

OK, so… change of plans. The new plan will be that Darius will go up first and establish a beachhead, and hold the first platform while everyone else gets up to the platform. And the first part of the plan goes like clockwork. Not only does Darius get up to the platform, but Hap gives him a wall of fire to throw people through, and Darius chucks one xulgath over the side. So far, so good… right?

Except that’s when the alarm goes up and all hell breaks loose. Specifically, two things happen. First, the xulgaths drop a torch on the lower grounds, creating a nice little bonfire down below the platforms. And then, the party learns the hard way that the ladder isn’t as secure as they thought, as the remaining xulgath pulls a pin that releases the whole thing into freefall!

And that’s where we’ll leave things for next time. As always, feel free to drop by our Discord channel or other social media and let us know what you think of the show. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.

Three Ring Adventure S3|27: Flower Power

Forget about dragons or demons or titans, this week the RFC Crew faces the most terrifying monster found in Pathfinder — plants!

Roll For Combat, Three Ring Adventure Podcast is a playthrough of the Pathfinder Adventure Path, Extinction Curse, and the third book, Life’s Long Shadows.

Don’t forget to join our Discord channel, where you can play games, talk with the cast, and hang out with other fans of the show!

Become a supporter of the podcast on our Patreon page where you can help us while unlocking fun exclusive rewards for yourself!

If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast. We would also love it if you would leave us a review on iTunes!

The Bird’s Eye View S3|17: They Put the Fear of Dog Into Us

Jason recaps the events from Agents of Edgewatch S3|17: The Wayward Warriors.

It may surprise some of you to know this, but I have a soft spot in my heart for wrestling. I wouldn’t call it a “guilty pleasure” – I don’t go out of my way to hide it — but I’ll admit it kinda plateaued at a certain level. I never went to a show or ordered a PPV, but when I was travelling for my job it was always guaranteed to be on TV in whatever hotel I was in. I’d say I admired it in the same way one would admire stunt-work in movies: I never took the storylines all that seriously, but some of the athleticism required was (and still is, I suppose) pretty remarkable.

So we’re going to take a detour into wrestling terminology this week. Don’t worry… it’ll all come full circle and be relevant eventually.

First, there’s the concept of the “jobber”. The jobber is the wrestler you barely recognize who loses to the more famous wrestlers because they can’t have ALL the best wrestlers go head-to-head in a given show. The term came about from the days when wrestling was a smaller, more regional business: jobbers were LITERALLY local talent hired to augment the roster and lose to the stars brought in from out-of-town.

Related is the concept of the “squash match”. A squash match is a one-sided mismatch that ends really quickly, usually to establish the winner as a force to be reckoned with in future matches. These concepts are related because you usually want the loser of a squash match to be a jobber, or you’re wasting one performer’s credibility to enhance another’s.

So in this week’s episode, we’re entered into the Blood Games. And it turns out that we were ABSOLUTELY positioned as jobbers, and though it didn’t start out that way, we also got booked into what ended up being a squash match.

The central question of this episode is: were we always supposed to lose this fight, or was it just a case where some things went badly? I feel like it’s the former, and I’m not just trying to protect my own ego here.

On a pure math level, I’ll concede that there MAY have been a path to win. As I pointed out during the show, if you go by pure math, we were probably facing 1100 or so hit points, and the circus folk had just done an episode where they faced over 1400 hit points worth of baddies (though spread out over more, weaker creatures) and survived. And when I see Lo Mang putting up almost 100 points in a single round, it’s impossible for me to rule out that MAYBE there was a path to victory there.

And OK, it was a little point of personal joy to stymie the eberarks’ concealment by rolling out blind fight. I’ve had it for a few sessions now, but it’s never been relevant until now. As I said, I picked it up when we added free archetypes at Level 10; that opened up a few feats, and that was always one of my favorites in First Edition.

On the other hand, it did seem like things were stacked against us, like maybe we were supposed to lose just to get the games behind us and get on with the investigation.

The first guiding principle is the overall scope of our mission. We’ve been told we have one day to find Franca and the bomb. So that means no long rest, no going shopping mid-session… we’ve gotta make it through entirely on what resources we have, and I there’s an expectation that there’s PROBABLY going to be some sort of boss fight at the end when we find Franca. Meaning that if this OPENING fight consumes too many resources, you’re playing the whole scenario with one hand tied behind your back. At a meta level, it doesn’t seem like Paizo would do that to you.

The second reason I say that is the tactical analysis. One bruiser beast as part of a more well-rounded creature “party” could have been manageable. An entire group of bruisers feels like it’s meant to be overwhelming by design. Especially when one considers the battlefield: the fact that we’re fighting in an open arena means there’s no terrain we can use to manage movement, create choke points, etc. If anything, it’s even worse because the eberarks can use their fire trails to create defensive features (they’re immune to fire, we’d take 6d6 fire damage if we walk through it), but we don’t have anything like that unless we brought it with us.

And then there’s that fear effect. That basically steered the whole fight into a ditch we were never truly able to get back out of. Paralysis is one of the worst status effects in the game – you pretty much lose your whole turn except for mental skills like Recall Knowledge — and ALL FOUR of them conceivably had the ability to inflict it. The one saving grace (going back and reading the stat block later) is that once you get hit with this particular ability (Arrogant Taunts) once, you’re immune for 10 minutes. So it’s not like Steve could keep chain-paralyzing us; he basically got one shot at it. But for those of us who failed the save, that was really all he needed. Especially since Gomez – you know… the healer – was one of the ones who got it worst.

As a matter of technicality, I think Gomez could’ve sustained the mephit if he’d wanted. Yes, sustaining a spell takes an action, but it appears to be a mental-only action (no use of the manipulate trait), which would’ve been allowed even while paralyzed. Of course the mephit also failed its save would also have been paralyzed anyway, so sustaining a mephit that just lies there doing nothing would’ve been a pyrrhic victory at best. But it feels worth mentioning in case it’s relevant in some future fight down the road…

So it pretty much takes two rounds for the fight to completely go over a cliff, the party is half-dead, and our contact invokes the mercy rule and stops the fight. I could be petty and say Basil was mostly fine, but let’s be honest that once all four beasties turned their attention to me, that wasn’t going to last. If there’s a bit of silver lining to this cloud, it’s that we got our clocks cleaned SO thoroughly we really didn’t have time to waste any of our big guns. Better resource management through pummeling! So although the whole experience was a little humiliating, we ended up in a decent place tactically. At least it gives us credibility to hang out backstage and look for Franca and the bomb.

One idle thought I was thinking: it would have been interesting to see the Extinction Curse party play through this encounter. Heck, maybe that’s why “Wayward Warriors” popped into my head as a potential group name. When the game master talked about winning the crowd, I’d have been interested in seeing what that gang came up with, since they’ve been working performance into their characters from Day One. Also, more “rubber meets the road”, Hap’s inspire courage skill would’ve given them a slightly better shot of blowing through the paralysis and hanging in the fight a little longer. As it is, our big play to the crowd was Lo Mang somehow dodging an attack while basically out on his feet. Not the stuff of legend, exactly.

So next week, after we heal up and absorb the needling of our fellow gladiators, we get on with the reason we’re here, finding Franca and the bomb. Hope the rest of the fights won’t be as tough as this one was. As always, feel free to drop by our Discord channel or other social media and let us know what you think of the show. Thanks for listening, and we’ll see you next week.

The Sideshow S3|25: Only You Can Prevent Friendly Fire

Jason recaps the events from Three Ring Adventure S3|25: No, Sir…they’re Saying Boo-Urns.

I’m going to start this week by either providing a graphic demonstration of Steve’s point about forgetting session details, or by pointing out a bit of a continuity error. I don’t know if those “computer problems” Steve alluded to caused some lost data, but I can’t remember ANY conversation about the distillery crew not coming into town for the Stump Festival. Or Hap running into some weird guy, for that matter. I even went back and listened to last week’s episode to be sure, and it just wasn’t there. Last week’s episode ends with Darius experiencing all manner of stump-related cuisine.

OK, so either some of the session got lost amidst the “computer problems” Steve mentioned and didn’t get recorded, or perhaps it just ended up on the cutting-room floor because Steve was trying to knock out 364 episodes before going on vacation. The other possibility is maybe they were referencing rumors they heard all the way back at Kerrick and I’m just losing my mind. (Though that explanation doesn’t make sense because that was 2 or 3 weeks ago in game time, so presumably the distillery folk wouldn’t have been “missing” back then.)

It’s not the end of the world… it was still easy enough to fill in the gap and realize the distillery needed to be added to the itinerary. And in fact, it’s become the priority item — even above visiting the tower — since people are missing. But I will admit to being briefly throw for a loop. I mean… I listen to these shows largely while driving my morning and evening commute… I can’t POSSIBLY have fallen asleep while listening or I’d be writing this from an ICU bed.

Speaking of being thrown for a loop, both Alhara and Hap are a little bit distracted after their first exposure to the logging festival.

In Alhara’s case, it’s a case of competitive spirit with no outlet. Imagine: the devotee of Kurgess and general show-off, not being allowed to compete in an athletic competition! The TV sitcom solution would be for Alhara to disguise herself as a lumberjack to compete… except that Kurgess also has rules about competing fairly and respecting the rules. So… she’s just gotta sit and stew about the unfairness of it all. I do hope Alhara gets to compete at some point; the games sound like they could make for fun skills challenges.

In Hap’s case, she’s distracted, smitten… dare I say, in LURRRRRV… with Dingo (is that really his name?) the Lumberjack, a corn-fed mule of a man. While Hap desperately tries to get the adults to make themselves scarce, Ateran launches right into the sales pitch for the circus. This does prove to be an interesting encounter, because for arguably the first time, it’s not really clear if the circus is the right fit. You can kind of see a case for him joining the circus because he does have skills that would be unique anywhere OTHER than a town full of lumberjacks. (And OK, no one’s saying it, but having a master woodsman on staff will help with some of the grunt work associated with setting up the circus.) On the other hand, Dingo seems genuinely good where he is, and doesn’t seem like the showbiz life is really calling him the way it is with the other acts. Dude is too wholesome for this crew. And if Hap thinks her party-mates are getting in the way now, wait until Dingo starts bringing his DAD on dates.

Though I have to admit, I was sort of cracking up when Ateran was pitching Dingo on the idea that Hap would help introduce him to other women. Is Ateran that clueless, or is it a well-meaning (if awkwardly framed) double-cross to get Hap and Dingo to spend time together? All I know is that if this ends in Dingo joining the circus but ending up with the snake lady, I wouldn’t want to be in Ateran’s shoes. Watch their back, Csillagos.

Either way, my proposed title for the spin-off series: Hap and the Thirst Trap. T-shirts, anyone?

So, our crew decides to start with the distillery instead of going directly to the tower, and on arrival there are definitely signs SOMETHING is amiss. Javelin-riddled horse, signs of struggle… and lo and behold. XULGATH BUDDIES emerge from the trees! Hap gets the jump on initiative, then the xulgaths, and then everyone else. As an aside, I loved Rob P’s out-of-character deadpan: “Oh, I beat one person on initiative. The dead horse”. And… in the words of Dr. Sam Beckett, “oh boy”.

Hap fires a fireball at the xulgaths. As one does. Unfortunately, guess who else is in that fog of war? Hostages. The surviving xulgaths now have their choice of original (in the distillery) or extra-crispy (tied to trees).

First, I hope the Lumberjack Himbo doesn’t have any friends amongst the distillery workers. That’s gonna make for a really awkward date. “So, what do you do for fun?” “Oh, just light your friends on fire.”

Second, speaking on behalf of my Edgewatch brethren, any and all applications to join the force are hereby revoked. I’ll grant we’ve lightly dented a few bystanders in our travels, but we’ve never lit any on fire.

Though OK… amidst all the soul-searching, I did literally (not figuratively) laugh out loud when Loren said: “And after that, another fireball.” Gallows humor is great, people.

Could things get worse after that? Well… morally… no, of course not. But in terms of game mechanics, HELL YEAH, as now all the xulgaths go, and Steve gets the insane luck of three 20s in a row against Hap. (Remember math nerds: it’s not impossible, 1-in-8000 is just really improbable.)

So a huge wrench has been thrown into combat right from the start, but our team actually does a pretty good job pulling themselves together. Alhara in particular gets off some nice shots (complete with “Vanessa and the Chipmunks” sound effects), and things are starting to stabilize after the messy start.

But then as the session ends, the battlefield is thrown into upheaval once again, as the remaining distillery workers come out of hiding, armed. Now, I have to admit, when they first said “stop killing our friends”, I thought they meant the xulgaths. I thought this was going to be some peaceful coexistence twist. But no, they’re just mad at the party for lighting up their friends. Even so, they’re going to try and help defeat the xulgaths, but they’re also not really trained fighters and their first couple shots go wide.

And that’s where we’ll pick things up. How will the rest of the combat go? What will be the fallout of Hap’s “nuke the site from orbit” strategy? To borrow from Harry Shearer in This Is Spinal Tap, “will we still be doing a circus performance?”. And for extra credit: should we be worried that the supposedly dead horse is listed on the initiative? Come back next week and find out. As always, feel free to drop by our Discord channel or other social media and let know what you think of the show. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.

The Sideshow S3|17: Where You From, You Rexy Thing?

Jason recaps the events from Three Ring Adventure S3|17: They Have a Cave Troll.

Welcome back to Roll For Combat, Serious People’s Edition. The fart jokes and cabbage-related humor get put back on the shelf for another day, as our heroes head off to the second of the three aeon towers, the Liferoot Stone. The world – or this corner of it – isn’t going to save itself.

One thing I was thinking about, more in relation to last week, but it kinda spilled over into this week, is how our two shows handle humor. It’s certainly not as binary as one show being “the funny show” and the one show being “the serious show”; both shows have their moments, and all the individual people in both shows are clever and can crack a joke when called on to do so. I think if there’s something that sets the shows apart, it’s that the Circus crew will really COMMIT to a bit and run with it for a good chunk of an episode. Over in Edgewatch, we’ll drop a few bon mots, a movie reference or two, and then get back to our business. We don’t get in the weeds as often because we want to kick in the next door and fight the next bad guy. Here… you want 20 minutes of cabbages, you got 20 minutes of cabbages.

I was also thinking about the overall story pacing this week, and in particular, how the towers have sped up a little bit. The first aeon tower was an ordeal that lasted 3 or 4 episodes and had multiple rooms and levels to it. So I’d been thinking the other towers would be similarly drawn out and we’d be dealing with one tower per chapter of the adventure path. But the last tower only took parts of two sessions, and at least at initial external examination, it looks like this tower may also be a shorter affair – since some of the tower crumbled, there’s just not that much to explore. So I guess I’ve found the shorter tower segments to be a LITTLE surprising, though not really… once three towers were packed together on the same island mere miles apart, I guess I did expect the pace to pick up somewhat. I guess that just means we have more content on the back end after all the towers have been sorted out.

On the approach, the team did some scouting and noticed that among other things, there were a lot of broken statues in the area. So the first question is whether that’s just ambiance or whether that’s meant to imply there’s something worse than golems out there. There’s a little back-and-forth on whether to start with the golems, the xulgaths, or bypass both and just drop right into the tower avoiding both, but the team decides – in what will later become a prescient and ironic decision — to minimize the risk of bleeding encounters by taking on the golem first since they specifically brought tools for that purpose.

The combat appears to be unfolding in a fairly straightforward fashion. And then there’s one huge… gargantuan if you want to get technical… twist. Our team went into battle expecting golems, brought all the tools to deal with those, and then somehow the xulgaths managed to hide a T-Rex somewhere on the battlefield. So halfway through a fairly by-the-book fight, things pretty much went sideways for our heroes.

On the bright side, the decanter of endless water did turn out to be just as good as advertised against the golem, as it’s a once-per-round cast of hydraulic push. Granted, that’s only a first level spell, but when one uses the damage type the golem is weak to, that ends up not mattering because it generates an additional spike of damage – 5d10 in this case. At that point, the base damage from the spell is almost gravy. As a secondary consideration, it’s also nice because it’s only a single-action attack, whereas casting the spell would be a two-action move. The only downside is it requires both hands to operate, so a GM who really wanted to micro-manage somatic components could argue that Hap can’t cast any other spells while operating it.

The less-bright side… that’s the T-Rex (and the other accompanying xulgaths, I suppose – they’re not that strong, but they still have to be dealt with at the end of the day). If you want to get technical, our scaly friend is 50 feet LONG, not 50 feet tall, but that’s not really the point: the point is it’s a nasty customer. The 20-foot reach, in particular, is something that could make for a miserable encounter, though you’ll be happy to hear that at least they don’t also get attacks of opportunity. Also, at the risk of MAYBE spoilering future content, the T-Rex also has an ability where it can swallow a person whole. So it’s possible we’ve got that to look forward to.

So even before Vanessa said it, the moment Alhara charged, I assumed she was going to try and trip it, and sure enough I was right. Except… impromptu rulebook refresher… she can’t actually do that as there is a size limit to tripping – the creature has to be no bigger than two size classes higher. So for Alhara, that means Huge is OK, Gargantuan (which the T-Rex is) is not. So OK… no trip. (Also, it’s a good argument against building a trip build based on a Small ancestry, because then you’d top out at Large.)

The real question is where did the T-Rex even come from? The team did do a recon of the area and didn’t see anything like that. The quick answer would be that it was inside the tower, but are the doors big enough to fit a creature that big? Steve joked/hinted that maybe they had a pet cache too, but that seems a little game-breaking if that’s the case.

So as we come to the end of the episode, there’s both good and bad news. The good is that the golem is hurting; the bad news is that so is Darius (in particular), having been the recipient of multiple crits as the fight unfolded. I still think it’s a winnable fight, but it’s certainly not going to be the divide-and-conquer cakewalk they were hoping for, and there’s still the interior of the tower yet to come.

Buuuut we’ll get into all of that next week. As always, feel free to drop by our Discord channel or other social media and let us know what you think of the show. Thanks for listening and we’ll see you next week.

Battlezoo Foundry VTT Release Notes

  • Battlezoo Ancestries: Dragons DnD 5E Edition History
    • 1.0.1 – July 2, 2022
      • Made minimum Foundry version v9
      • Added the authors to the file
    • 1.0 – June 27, 2022
      • Original public version

  • Battlezoo Ancestries: Dragons Pathfinder Second Edition History
    • 1.0.1 – July 2, 2022
      • Added the authors to the file
    • 1.0 – May 2, 2022
      • Original public version

  • Battlezoo Bestiary DnD 5E History
    • 1.0.2 – July 2, 2022
      • Version update only
    • 1.0.1 – July 2, 2022
      • Added “Dungeons & Dragons 5e” to the filename
    • 1.0 – May 3, 2022
      • Original public version

  • Battlezoo Bestiary Pathfinder Second Edition History
    • 1.0.4 – April 25, 2022
      • Added to the Fling Spines on the Salt Glider the text “The salt glider makes three spines Strikes, each against a different target”.
      • Updated module name to “Battlezoo Bestiary for Pathfinder 2e by Roll For Combat”.
    • 1.0.3 – March 5, 2022
      • Added a new Macro to allow users to change the default style of the monster icons. Under the “Macro Compendium” select the “Change Token Style” macro and then execute the macro. A pop-up will appear that will allow you to change the default icon when adding a monster to the game map from the monster pog to the original artwork. This will only affect new monsters added to the game and not prior icons.
      • Updated the text on the Sturdy Imbeument Effect.
      • Updated the image name for “mechanical_maitre-d’.webp” to remove the “‘” because of a conflict in Linux.
    • 1.0.2 – January 6, 2022
      • Updated 10 compendium definitions that still used the deprecated ‘entity’ field instead of ‘type’.
      • Updated those 10 definitions to now use ‘type’.
    • 1.0.1 – December 14, 2021
      • Original public version