Daily Archives: July 1, 2014


SUMMER PREVIEW #8: Aces High! I see ULTIMATE WAR IN THE AIR!!!

You asked for it and you got it. The question on so many of your lips is this: WHEN IS ULTIMATE WAR COMING? Your answer:  GENCON 2014!!! The PDF definitely will be available for a GenCon release. I am hopeful we will also have print copies available there, but that’s dependent on shipping and layout times and not a lead-pipe cinch guarantee.

So what’s the big deal about Ultimate War anyway? What does it deliver that the excellent Ultimate Battledoes not already handle? One of those things is integrating standard mass combat with a world that exists in three dimensions and is not tied to a map. Look up! There’s a whole world up there that fantasy campaigns can deal with that fundamentally changes how the battlefield operates and how tactics evolve to compensate. Tactics like dogfighting, bombing, strafing, and flak are all covered in detail, but how it really integrates with forces on the ground is key to making it all work. Check out the excerpt below to take a look at how it works.

 

WAR IN THE AIR

In a fantasy campaign, war takes on an entirely new dimension that breaks far away from the traditional tropes of ancient and medieval Earth. The introduction of magic itself lends a much more modern tactical feel to mass combat in a fantasy campaign, with magic substituting for command, control, artillery, and unconventional weapons, but even in a low-magic campaign the existence of flying foes introduces an entirely different set of circumstances that the Greek phalanx, the Roman legion, the Turkish janissaries, and the knights of the Crusades never had to worry about.

AERIAL OPERATIONS

Strictly speaking, combat in the air is not terribly different from combat on the ground, as it uses the same concept of battlefield zones introduced in Ultimate Battle from Legendary Games. However, instead of the Melee, Ranged, Camp, and Command Zones used in that product, aerial armies use zones based on their altitude.

            Altitude Levels: Aerial combat involves movement in three dimensions in a way that is hard to model in the same kind of spatial concepts that operate on a conventional land battlefield. Flying enemies just a few paces overhead are outside the effective reach of land-bound melee weapons, and even ranged attacks are at somewhat of a disadvantage being launched against the force of gravity. At the same time, creatures in the air not only have mobility on their side but also have a commanding vantage point over the battle, using raining deadly missiles (whether launched or merely dropped) from above on units below. Much like the Battle Zone rules in Ultimate Battle, these altitude levels are abstract and do not represent specific physical distance. Instead, they provide a convenient shorthand for determining the relative position of flying creatures in and around a battlefield.

            Ground Level: Many if not most flying creatures use their flight to move swiftly from place to place and to obtain an advantageous view of the surround, but to actually engage in combat they must descend near enough to ground level to make use of their natural or manufactured weapon attacks. An aerial unit must move at ground level in order to attack or be attacked in melee.

            Low Altitude: Units in this altitude zone are well out of range of melee attacks but can attack with (and be attacked by) ordinary ranged attacks. Aerial units can attack at this range with dropped items with reasonable accuracy.

            Medium Altitude: Units in this altitude zone fly on the fringes of the battle zone, able to attack with (and be attacked by) siege weapons and other effects with very long range but otherwise out of reach of standard ranged attacks. Aerial units at this altitude can attack with dropped items but with little accuracy.

            High Altitude: Units in this altitude zone are too far away to effectively attack units on the ground or be attacked by them.

            Aerial Reconnaissance: In Earth’s history, the first military application of airborne units was in the form of observation balloons, allowing commanders to get a good look at enemy troop dispositions from high above. If one army has aerial units and the other does not, all armies on its side gain a +1 bonus to their OM and DV.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at another theater of operations that takes the “field” out of the battlefield, but meanwhile take a look at Tim Kings-Lynne’s delightful artwork illustrating the glorious mayhem of a war in the sky!

LG_UltimateWar_Airship_paint_002

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Whither the Frumious Bandersnatch?

The funny thing about mythic monsters is that they are always elusive. These are not your common, run-of-the-mill monsters. They are epic legends that are impossible to track, requiring an epic quest to discover their lair and to attempt to beard the beast in its den.

Which is great if you’re the GM, but when you’re the publisher it can be a little frustrating when a monster proves SO elusive that it slips away entirely! Faithful friend of Legendary Games Alex Smith 908 from the Paizo messageboards pointed out that just such an escape was effected by no less a creature than the fearful frumious bandersnatch from Mythic Monsters: Fairy Tale Creatures. He somehow managed to avoid the watchful eyes of the editorial crew entirely. How can a creature this big and this ferocious just GET AWAY with nobody noticing? Hey, it is a MYTHIC frumious bandersnatch, after all. With our apologies duly noted for this oversight, a remedy is already in motion. Once layout man Richard Kunz returns from his vacation I’ll have him add the creature into the document and update the downloadable files. In the meanwhile, here is our missing monster, brought to you with mythic flair by the inimitable Tom Phillips. BAD BANDERSNATCH! NO TREAT FOR YOU!!!

 

Mythic Frumious Bandersnatch                    CR 23/MR 9
XP 819,200

Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3

N Gargantuan magical beast (mythic)

Init +21/+1, dual initiative; Senses blindsense 120 ft., darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision, scentPerception +26

DEFENSE

AC 43, touch 14, flat-footed 356 (+8 Dex, +29 natural, –4 size)

hp 423 (23d10+297); fast healing 10, vicious tenacityMA

Fort +22, Ref +21, Will +11

Defensive Abilities quick recovery, quill defenseMA; DR 10/epic; Immune fear, paralysis, poison, sleep; Resist fire 30

OFFENSE

Speed 60 ft., climb 20 ft.

Melee bite +34 (2d8+15 plus grab), 2 claws +34 (2d6+15/19–20/x3), tail slap +29 (2d8+30/×4 plus painMA)

Ranged 4 quills +27 (1d10+15/19–20)

Space 20 ft.; Reach 15 ft. (20 ft. with tail slap)

Special Attacks bounding charge, brutal tailMA, feral savagery (full attack)MA, gazeMA, lash out, mythic power (9/day, surge +1d102), pouncerake (4 claws, +34, 2d6+15/19–20), rend (2 claws, 2d6+21), savage opportunistMA

STATISTICS

Str 40, Dex 27, Con 29, Int 2, Wis 15, Cha 18

Base Atk +25; CMB +44 (+48 grapple); CMD 62 (70 vs. trip)

Feats Bleeding CriticalMFCombat Reflexes MFCritical Focus MFCritical MasteryExhausting CriticalImproved Critical (claws) MFImproved Critical (quills), Improved InitiativeMFImproved Iron WillIron WillSkill Focus (Stealth), Tiring Critical

Skills Acrobatics +20 (+32 when jumping), Climb +23, Perception +26, Stealth +19 (+27 forests), Survival +3 (+23 tracking); Racial Modifiers +8 Acrobatics, +10 Perception, +4 Stealth (+12 forests), +20 Survival when tracking

SQ hard to killMA, planar acclimation, relentless tracker

ECOLOGY

Environment any forests

Organization solitary

Treasure incidental

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Bounding Charge (Ex) A mythic frumious bandersnatch can move through difficult terrain when it charges.

Brutal Tail (Ex) The quills and barbs on a mythic frumious bandersnatch’s tail cause quadruple damage on a critical hit from its tail slap. A mythic frumious bandersnatch adds two times its strength bonus on damage rolls when using its tail slap. Additionally, a mythic frumious bandersnatch can expend one use of mythic power as a swift action when making a tail slap attack to make an awesome blow combat maneuver (as the Awesome Blow feat) against the same target as part of the attack.

Frumious (Ex, Su) A mythic frumious bandersnatch seethes with barely repressed rage and anger. If it misses with its bite attack or falls below half of its hit points, it succumbs to such uncontrollable fury that it bursts into flame. While engulfed in these flames, a mythic frumious bandersnatch is affected as by a haste spell (this effect cannot be dispelled) and causes an additional 2d6 points of fire damage with each of its melee attacks and its quill defense ability. The fury lasts for 5 rounds, after which the mythic frumious bandersnatch cannot enter a fury again for another 5 rounds. A mythic frumious bandersnatch has fire resistance 30.

Gaze (Su) Confused, range 30 feet, Fortitude DC 30 negates. A mythic frumious bandersnatch can direct its gaze attack against a single foe as a swift action. A mythic frumious bandersnatch can expend one use of mythic power as a free action to force the target of its directed gaze attack to roll two Fortitude saves and keep the lower result. This is a mind-affecting compulsion effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Hard to Kill (Ex) Through sheer force of will, a mythic frumious bandersnatch can revive itself from a violent death. Once per day, as long as the mythic frumious bandersnatch has at least one use of mythic power available, one round after a mythic frumious bandersnatch is killed during combat the creature gains the effects of a breath of life spell. This automatically expends one use of mythic power. A mythic frumious bandersnatch does not gain a negative level when it returns to life in this manner. Additionally, for five rounds following its revival, a mythic frumious bandersnatch’s fast healing is doubled to fast healing 20.

Lash Out (Ex) As a swift action, a mythic frumious bandersnatch can make a single attack with a bite, claw, or tail slap. A mythic frumious bandersnatch cannot lash out on the same round it charges.

Pain (Ex) Whenever a creature takes damage from a mythic frumious bandersnatch’s tail slap attack, quills, or quill defense, that creature must make a DC 29 Reflex save or a quill lodges in its flesh, causing the creature to become sickened and staggered until the quill is removed. Removing one quill requires a DC 20 Heal check made as a full-round action. For every 5 by which the check exceeds the DC, one additional quill can be removed. On a failed check, a quill is still removed, but the process deals 1d10+6 points of damage to the victim. Once a quill is successfully removed, the victim takes 1d6 points of bleed damage each round. The save DC is Dexterity-based.

Planar Acclimation (Ex) A mythic frumious bandersnatch is always considered to be on its home plane, regardless of what plane it finds itself upon. It never gains the extraplanar subtype.

Quill Defense (Ex) Any creature that strikes a mythic frumious bandersnatch with a non-reach melee weapon, unarmed strike, or natural weapon takes 1d10 points of piercing damage from the creature’s quills and suffers from the creature’s pain attack. A mythic frumious bandersnatch can use a free action to expend mythic power to implant additional quills in the body of the attacking creature (one use of mythic power per additional quill).

Quick Recovery (Su) A debilitated mythic frumious bandersnatch recovers with frightening speed. If a mythic frumious bandersnatch starts its turn affected by any or all of the following conditions, these conditions end at the end of its turn: confused, dazed, dazzled, exhausted, fatigued, nauseated, sickened, and stunned. Furthermore, a mythic frumious bandersnatch affected by ability damage, ability drain, or a mind-affecting effect that allows a save receives a single additional save against the effect of its choice at the original DC at the end of its turn in order to shake off the effect.

Quills (Ex) With a snap of its tail, a mythic frumious bandersnatch can loose a volley of four quills as a standard action (make an attack roll for each spike). This attack has a range of 300 feet with no range increment. All targets must be within 30 feet of each other. Launched quills regrow in a single round, during which the mythic frumious bandersnatch’s defensive abilities are unaffected. A mythic frumious bandersnatch can expend one use of mythic power to launch a volley of four quills as a swift action, though not in the same round in which the creature has already launched a volley of quills.

Relentless Tracker (Ex) A mythic frumious bandersnatch can move at up to double its speed and still track without penalty. It gains a +10 competence bonus on Survival checks made to track creatures it has wounded.

Savage Opportunist (Ex) Whenever a mythic frumious bandersnatch makes an attack of opportunity, it gains a bonus on the attack and damage rolls equal to its mythic rank.

Vicious Tenacity (Ex) A mythic frumious bandersnatch remains conscious and can continue fighting even if its hit point total is below 0. The mythic frumious bandersnatch loses 1 hit point each round it performs a standard action and does not die until its hit point total reaches a negative amount equal to its Constitution score. A mythic frumious bandersnatch with negative hit points fights furiously, and gains a bonus on all attack and damage rolls equal to its mythic rank.

 

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The SUMMER SPECTACULAR has begun! NEW PRODUCTS for PAIZOCON week!

In celebration of our anniversary today and looking forward to PaizoCon this coming weekend, Legendary Games is overjoyed to bring you THREE brand-new products exclusively right here at the Legendary Games webstore. If you want to get them to read on the plane or the drive coming to the con, or just to show off to your friends once you get here, the only place to get them is right here!

 

Whether you want to pick up the glorious Treasury of the Fleet for a pile of awesome nautical and piratical magic items, or the latest pirate adventure Islands of Plunder: Scourge of the Steaming Isle, or perhaps you just want to unleash some Mythic Monsters: Magical Beasts on your unsuspecting heroes, click on the links above or at the side of the page and come and get them! If you don’t, this guy might get angry; you don’t want to see him when he’s angry. This is his happy face! JUST GET THE BOOKS!  While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our massive 50% PDF sale and discounts on print books, bundles, and compendiums! Everything except these three PaizoCon week exclusives is on sale!

skufin

 

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