RPG Now: Player’s Guide to Skybourne

“I have become the destroyer of worlds.”

So begins a player’s adventures in Skybourne. A wizard’s arrogance left a world broken, ravaged by a sentient forest, and surrounded by the planar wound called the maelstrom. Yet in this aftermath lies a world of adventure, where airship pilots delve a world’s worth of ruins looking for ancient treasure, where Aasimar kings and barbarian lords battle for control of a dozen new cultures, and where anyone with a ship and a will can make their fortune, if they have luck on their side.

Built for both the traditional and Spheres of Power magic systems, Skybourne is a campaign setting for the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game built around the adventures of an airship and its crew, and borrows as much in tone from Firefly, Star Wars, and other shows as it does from classic sword and sorcery adventures. In this, the Player’s Guide to Skybourne, you’ll find:

  • A host of new races, including the plant-born Alraun, the octopus-like Cacaelia, the dinosaur-blooded Cherufe, the magically-constructed Created, the draconic Cuazaj, the pheonix-like Fenghaung, the plant-like Leshy, the fey-blooded Sidhier, and the insectoid alien Tatulani.
  • Over a dozen new archetypes, including the Halfling dragonrider, the tranquil barbarian, the Alraune bodysnatcher, the gun chemist, and more!
  • New traditions, a ‘tradition trait’ system, and the Fallen Fey racial sphere for the Spheres of Power magic system.
  • Religions and magic rituals.
  • Rules for using crews- swarm-like groups of hired hands that aid the PCs in sailing ships and attacking their enemies!
  • Airship rules, including sailing, customization, and combat!
  • New feats, new skills, new equipment, new magic items, and more!

Watermarked PDF $9.99 by Drop Dead Studios.

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Book Review: Brothers of Earth by C.J. Cherryh

Brothers of Earth (Hanan Rebellion #1)Brothers of Earth by C.J. Cherryh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book because I’ve been meaning to read C.J. Cherryh for some time, and also because I was doing a challenge to read 15 space opera books by the end of the year. However, this book is not space opera. It’s a planetary romance. That being said, it’s a really good planetary romance, centered on a fascinating alien culture with about 17th century technology that reminded me very much of an Indus Valley sort of culture, with lots of formalities and strange social customs and caste systems and interconnecting (and internally clashing) racial divides. The plot? Picture Avatar if things had gone poorly.

Admittedly it uses some time-honoured sci-fi tropes that the artsy sorts would tell you immediately mean that it must not be taken seriously, but keep in mind it was written in 1976, first of all; and secondly, I say so what? I think people are far too hung up on being original, and they try so hard that they often lose the elements that make a good *story*. Cherryh is much more interested in character and story than in making sure that her universe obeys hard science, which is downright refreshing in the midst of the modern obsession.

Above all the strongest part of this book were the incredibly well-realized characters. I loved each and every one of them, despite and maybe because of their flaws, and even the villains are empathetic. Cherryh remembers that old saying that a story is something happening to someone you care about, and she has made me care about these characters. Enough that the ending annoys me somewhat, since it is clear that there will be more books to follow this one. I understand there are sequels; and therefore, quite a lot remained unresolved.

It’s a chewy read; the kind of thing you have read in pieces to fully grasp the nuances. You can’t just sit down and devour it. To be honest, with time running out in my late-begun reading challenge I selected it in part because it seemed a thinner book than many others I have and I thought it would be a quick read. Don’t you believe it. But it was worth it.

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Legendary Planet: A Fantasy Space Kickstarter!

Legendary Games brings you an epic sword & planet adventure saga for Pathfinder and 5th Edition that takes you across the multiverse!

Check out the Kickstarter here!

Crew of the Reverie (Remembrance)

Elven StingerGriim (ogre male): AL N; W5; hp 15; AC 10; #AT 1; DMG 2-9; SZ L; STR 17, INT 17
Notable Possessions: Bo staff, Lens of Speed Reading, Periapt of Wound Closure

Not long ago, Griim was a simple ogre sage and scribe of minor note in Steelspace. He was part of a minor order of scribes based out of a derelict mammoth near Corrukai. Griim was training in the fields of history (Steelspace) and Known Sphere cultures. He was part of a group of about two dozen scribes, serving under one Gistor the Gray, an elderly ogre magi. He was dislodged from his relatively comfortable life about four years ago.

The group was visited by Makamo the Glutton, an ogre bushi who came looking for answers to a burning question of his. Much research would be required, so Makamo was allowed to stay in the guest quarters while Gistor researched his books for the answers Makamo sought. Over the course of the next week, many of Gistor’s scribes and servants disappeared. Griim feared the worse, and his suspicions were realized when spied Makamo hunched over Gistor’s corpse, devouring it greedily. Griim and the remaining scribes fled to the cargo hold, where the Remembrance was being stored (Gistor had purchased it a few years ago as a curiosity). Fearful of Makamo’s wrath should he learn that Griim had escaped his grisly feast, Griim fled Steelspace and made his way to the Known Spheres.

Griim uses Change Self spells to disguise his true nature. He usually uses the disguise of a half-orc courier wizard to earn enough coin to survive. Despite his self-banishment from his homesphere of Steelspace, Griim is actually having a good time. He sees it all as a grand adventure, a chance to study up close all of the cultures, kingdoms, and races he’s read about in his master’s scrolls and books. He rather enjoys his freedom from his master’s harsh gaze.

Krosh (hobgoblin male): AL N; Scribe 2; hp 7; AC 10; #AT 1; DMG 1-8; SZ M; STR 10, DEX 14, INT 15
Notable Possessions: Bo staff, signet ring, writing equipment, potion of healing

As a young hobgoblin, Krosh was the runt of the family. Considered good for nothing, his clan sold him to Gistor, and Krosh became a simple scribe under his tutelage. Even as an adult, Krosh is very small for a hobgoblin, both shorter than normal at only 5’11” tall, and weaker than typical. He is quite the pacifist, preferring to sit and chat over herbal tea rather than resorting to violence. Much like Griim, he finds the Known Spheres fascinating, despite the inhabitants being uncouth, uncivilized barbarians. Krosh knows how to handle the wing-sails and his duties are to manage them.

Krosh appears much like a peasant in his mid-twenties from Wa, save that his skin color is a shade of light orange, fairly close to the color of a ripe apricot. Krosh wears sandals, a simple peasant tunic and breeches, and a broad straw hat that helps obscure his unusual skin coloration.

Sakka (hobgoblin female): AL N(C); Scribe 3; hp 8; AC 10; #AT 1; DMG 1-4; SZ M; INT 16, WIS 14, CHA 13
Notable Possessions: Dagger, writing equipment, Quill of Neverending Ink, Spectacles of Comprehending Languages

Bookish, quiet, shy, and “wall flower” all described Sakka, one of Gistor’s underling scribes. Getting away from Steelspace’s structured society has liberated Sakka. When the crew pulled into Bral for supplies and work, she walked the streets like a wide-eyed child, taking in the sights. It is perhaps a small miracle she did not get mugged, but it is likely her meager possessions did not attract any attention.

Sakka is short, 5’6” tall, and has dark orange skin and long, black hair. She is not unattractive, all things considered, but certainly no exotic beauty. She has traded in her drab peasant clothes for attire more commonly worn by the aperusa. Her favorite is a colorful dress, but she has more practical clothes as well. Sakka is near-sighted, which she corrects by wearing spectacles.

Sakka is much more aggressive than Krosh, and knows how to load and fire the catapult. It is actually something she takes pride in, since Krosh does not, and often teases him about it.

Brakkdor (bugbear male): AL LN; Bushi 3; hp 31; AC 5; #AT 3/2; DMG 6-11; SZ L; STR 18/22, CON 16
Notable Possessions: Shikomi-zue (double-bladed) +1, leather lamellar, Ring of Protection +1

Brakkdor is the crew’s ‘heavy’, the only one who is actually trained in combat. A bugbear from Korryl, he was hired on as part of Gistor’s security. When Makamo murdered Gistor, he first knocked Brakkdor unconscious in a swift, dishonorable blow from behind. As Griim and the others fled, they discovered the unconscious Brakkdor, and carried him to safety. When he awoke, Brakkdor was enraged, but even he realized how badly outmatched he was against the likes of Makamo, and sullenly accepted the self-imposed banishment the rest of the group agreed upon. Although he would dearly love to extract revenge on Makamo, he knows that ogre is far beyond his skills and does not allow thoughts of revenge to consume his every waking moment.

Since leaving Steelspace, Brakkdor is probably the most uncomfortable of the Remembrance’s crew to their new life in the Known Spheres. Everywhere he sees enemies, people that would do him and the people he protects harm. Of course, being a seven foot tall very hairy humanoid does not help matters, for most people treat him as a scary monster. Ironically, Brakkdor is surprisingly gentle for a bugbear, and Sakka has noted that he has a soft spot in his heart for children, regardless of race.

Brakkdor’s Shikomi-zue appears as an iron staff with a length of about six feet. With a simple twist of the handle, it can produce foot-long blades from either end of the shaft. This special weapon normally causes 1d6+1 points of damage, either bludgeoning (as a staff) or piercing (the spear tips). Brakkdor is specialized in its use. He also knows martial arts, so he is never completely disarmed.

Tarn Rabbittoe (kender male): AL NG; Handler 6; hp 28; AC 8; #AT 1; DMG 1-6; SZ S; DEX 16; CHA 12
Notable Possessions: Hoopak, lock picks

Tarn stands out with the rest of the crew, as he is neither a native of Steelspace, nor is he a humanoid. He is a kender, which in some peoples’ minds, make him by far the most dangerous member of the crew. This, in some ways, is a very true statement.

Tarn met up with the crew while they were docked at the Rock of Bral. He encountered Sakka while she was wandering the streets, and after some small talk, the two became fast friends. Both share a fascination with wildspace and the myriad of cultures of the Known Spheres. Tarn, of course, hails from Kendermore, and managed to stow away on an odd ship while it was docked in Balifor. He had been wandering the docks of wildspace for almost a decade before he met the crew of the Remembrance, and has become a guide of sorts to them. His knowledge of wildspace and its dangers has kept the crew out of the worst danger, although he still loves a little mischief every now and again to keep things interesting. He genuinely cares for the crew, and would never knowingly endanger them, although he is a bit scatter-brained and often oblivious to danger.


By Adam “Night Druid” Miller

NPCs of Bral: Mordant the Lifter

Mordant is a near nine foot tall golem of burnished blued steel and bright phosphor bronze.  His helm has shimmering, reflective blue “eyes” and he weighs over 800 lbs. When he wishes, the helm can magically fold apart to reveal his human head inside, that of a huge, scarred, busted up looking warrior with a bald head. The truth is, he’s some strange blend of golem and man with no memory of how he came to be like this. He can do without air, food or water for up to two weeks, though he likes to eat and drink as much as any large man might, and he doesn’t produce any wastes.

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Crew of the Huntsman

Xinnix (dizantar): AL LE, HD 8, hp 65, AC -3, #AT 1, DMG 9-18, SA Spiked armor, SD Dimension door, MR 30%, SZ L
Possessions: Halberd +2, Rope of Entanglement, Beads of Force (3), Crown of the Stars
Xinnix appears as a typical dizantar. That is, a very tall humanoid completely encased in elaborate full plate armor. The only part where one can look into his armor is the eyeholes in his helmet, which only reveal a cold, empty void. Xinnix has only one goal: to slay Arcane. He rarely speaks to his crew; they are familiar enough with his orders that they can act without direction. He can communicate with them through silent telepathy, but when speaking to others, he speaks in a whispery voice. Unlike standard dizantar, Xinnix realized the value of a ship and crew, and entered into a bargain with a Pit Fiend to supply him with both. In exchange for treasure and magic items Xinnix would otherwise discard, the Pit Fiend provided a crew for Xinnix’s newly acquired ship, and keeps a squad of baatezu ready for Xinnix to call upon whenever necessary.

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The Lady Red

Lady RedLamprey Ship
Built By: Humans
Used Primarily By: Humans
Tonnage: 25 tons
Hull Points: 25
Crew: 18
Maneuver Class: B
Landing-Land: No
Landing-Water: Yes
Armor Rating: 4
Saves As: Thick Wood
Power Type: Type I Minor Helm
Ship’s Rating: 2
Standard Armament:
4 medium ballista (Crew 2 each)
Cargo: 13 ton
Keel Length: 105’
Beam Length: 25′

The Lady Red is an ancient Lamprey vessel, with the front grapple ram replaced by an upswept bow. The ship has passed through many hands over its thousand-year existence. The current owner is Lady Vyxanna, a beautiful elven woman, and crewed by her admirers and suitors. They are fanatically loyal to her and would gladly give their lives to her. She is, of course, not what she appears.

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