Cave of the Goblin King Release

Cave of the Goblin King is a multiplayer game based on Apprentice, a d20 RPG system.
This module is meant as a beginners guide to Apprentice.
One player is the Narrator who controls all of the monsters and NPCs(non-player characters). The other players choose one of the prebuilt characters. These characters use simplified sheets to make it easier to pick up and play. Players familiar with the game can create their own from scratch.
So dive into the story investigating the raiding by nearby goblin tribes united under the so called “Goblin King.” There are five prebuilt characters to choose from, and enough story to get you from level 1 to level 2.

Cave of the Goblin King can be found on

The full rules for Apprentice can always be found free here.

DevLog #34 : Skills And You

Yesterday’s discussion on pronouns actually had me looking at the fact that I use 2nd person for feats and items, but 3rd person for classes. After a lot of discussion, I decided to make all of the rules consistent and go with 2nd person.

About 30 Find & Replaces and a lot of proofreading later, we have an Updated Classes Document.

This update not only includes the grammatical and layout changes, but also include a new Wizard class, a few “bug fix” style changes. And perhaps most importantly a change to the Skill system.

One of our goals with the redesign was to reduce the huge cap between high skilled classes and low skilled classes. We were having a class flat bonus plus your Intelligence modifier each level with a much smaller scale of skills(they max at 10 ranks). This way worked, except that Intelligence based classes like Wizard were getting enormous amount of skills. A 10 Intelligence versus a 24 Intelligence was the difference of 70 skill points at level 10.

The new system is on average 2 more skill points from your class, but you only gain your Intelligence modifier once. This will help increase skill points for low Int classes, especially at low levels, while still granting Intelligence based characters more skill points. Intelligence is still an incredibly important stat, since it is important to many of the important skill checks, and can improve your Reflex if you have low Dexterity.

DevLog #33 : Representations

As I was editing the classes document for Apprentice, I was noticing a lot of female pronouns. I choose random pronouns for each class as I wrote it. A friend commented on it so I decided to tally it up, and I was really surprised!

Male Pronouns: 9
Female Pronouns: 7
Neutral Pronouns: 3
Second Person: 2 (Oops. Trying to avoid 2nd person)

So even someone like me who is actively seeking representation can have hidden biases skew their vision. I will be editing the two 2nd person classes into female pronouns and attempt to keep representation numbers to keep myself accountable in the future.

Fieron’s Journal : The Forsaken Lands

Ryrin World Map

Entry Date: 2245. AD.

I have referenced the land south of Joren called “The Forsaken Lands”, “The Dead Lands,” or a many other names. To those like myself who grew up in Joren, they were a horrible land of death. It was almost 150 years ago that these horrible lands invaded Joren and Nenatai, who lost over 2 million souls to the Harvest.

Many theories swirled around these lands. Many believed that dragon experimentation of undeath was centered in this area due to extensive onyx mines that litter the landscape. Once the dragons fell, these experiments were let loose to ravage the countryside.

Only problem with this theory is simple. The Forsaken Lands have never really taken many lives in their attacks. Certainly never enough to provide corpses for the numbers of skeletons and zombies that attack every few months. Even during the Harvest, their most successful attack to date, many of the bodies were recovered and burned.

Recently, Trinity College sent out an expedition into the Forsaken Lands. I wish I had been there. They uncovered a vast series of underground machines that transmuted stone, earth, and moss into skeletons, zombies, and other creatures. From their information, it seems that the Forsaken Lands were not where the dragons were studying undeath, but life. What we call zombies and skeletons are imperfect machines that create rotting corpses rather than a complete person.

Accounts of the capital of Necrallow are where it becomes shaky. These researchers managed to do what no living creature had done for thousands of years and actually entered the city. Accounts say that the vampires, necromancers, liches, and even ghosts live there, being served by artificially created humans. The tale of ghosts is quite intriguing to me, since I did not think any ghosts were able to fully manifest outside of the Veil.

The reason the accounts of Necrallow are shaky from these seasoned researchers is because of what happened while they were in the city. Apparently a demon broke down the wards of the city, destroying all of the ghosts living inside and allowing inter-realm travel. Calling her army, she attempted to capture the forges that were creating the artificial humans.

Demons versus the most powerful undead in the world. I honestly don’t know which side I would have wanted to win. But the undead prevailed, but all but two of the researchers were killed in the attack.

Personally, be they animated corpses, or failed experiments at creating life, I will defend my homeland in the future the same way I have in the past. With judicious application of fireball.


Fieron’s Journal : Angels

So earlier I said that angels were air elementals created by the gods. Because they served the gods and appeared around the same time, most assume this connection. However, while I was looking up accounts of the Dragon Wars, I found a references to newly formed angelic beings dated BEFORE the gods were granted their godly powers.

I was curious, so I left the dusty tomes behind and sought out an orcish shaman I had just recently come into contact with. She told me that angels are indeed air elementals, but it was the mirror spirit Echo who created them.

Echo is said to be the leader of the Mirror Realm, the enigmatic realm that connects all times and all places. Echo was the spirit that lead Arragar and the other gods to find the godstone that granted them their power.

So it seems there is a connection between the gods and the angels, but perhaps it is more like siblings than servants?

DevLog #32

I have been busy getting Apprentice 0.7.1 PDF and the Quicksheets system ready for release.

In addition, I’ve began writing Fieron’s Journals  entries again. The first of the new set is about Teghar, and includes a map of Ryrin.

Ryrin World MapI will be writing more of these entries as writing exercises.

I’ve also been working on the layouts for Ryrin Tactics. Once we get some more of the art finished, we’ll be previewing the game on Tabletop Simulator, as well as building up towards a new Kickstarter.






Fieron’s Journal: Teghar: Land of the Honorable Dead

Ryrin World Map

Teghar is a country nestled in the northwest corner of the continent. It’s main leader is simply called “The Prophet.” But what is more interesting about the Prophet is that she serves as leader even after death. When a Prophet were to die, a new one is elected, and the old one is raised as a specialized undead known as a Seghis.

Seghis are undead raised with their personalities intact. They are typically wrapped in black cloth and are always seen wearing ornate masks. A seghis is not allowed to interact with their previous life, and they exist only to serve the living. This is not a compulsion. At least not a magical one. Teghar culture is rigid in terms of honor and family.

Becoming a seghis is a great honor, since they are nearly immortal. They can be destroyed, but it is said that the first Prophet, who united the country over 1,500 years ago, still survives to advise the current Prophet.

I have fought the undead for much of my life. I have met a Seghis by the name of Arish as she passed through Deregal on her way to Sentia to discuss teleportation rings. She was like nothing I have encountered. She wasn’t rotting, nor did she have the kind of hunger in her eyes that most vampires I’ve met have. She was simply a human, albeit a really old one, wearing an ornate mask. She was perky and lively, for a 500 year old dead woman.

Teghar is a country of tradition, honor, and spirituality. There is a strict caste system in place with peasants on the bottom, and lords on the top. They are a highly spiritual, emphasizing balance with the natural world and honoring their ancestors.

Every life is sacred. It is a phrase tossed about by many countries, but none of them take it as seriously as the Teghar. Every citizen of Teghar is honor-bound to have their bodies prepared in a special way to serve their country in time of war as simple minded raghis. Raghis are not shambling corpses, nor withered skeletal remains. They are soldiers just like you’d find in many other countries.

Teghar has few allies. They do not follow the religious tenants of the nearby Kirklyn, nor do they have a village-based culture like many of the surrounding ninja countries like Hellgate.

I have no desire to learn necromancy, but the necromancy present in Teghar culture doesn’t seem so bad to me.



Apprentice Update: 0.7.1 PDFs on 3/14/15

Happy Pi Day!

Today we are releasing the PDF for Apprentice v0.7.1:
Player’s Handbook
Narrator’s Guide
Spell Tome
Advanced Player’s Handbook

Quick rundown of today’s updates: Read more »

Quick Sheets 2.0

Quick Sheets was designed as a quick and easy way to create characters for any setting. Earlier versions had a few problems, but today we’re showing off Quick Sheets 2.0. The overall design in similar, but we moved Combat Scores out of the Talents/Skills section, so we can avoid characters with unbelievably huge attacks or defenses.

We’ve also implemented a special ability section to help your character build their cool stuff. There is an energy system in place too that will prevent players from being able to use their ultimate attack every turn.

We also moved from a d10 to a d6. This is simply because d6s are much easier to find cheaply, and we want Quick Sheets to be as accessible as possible.

So if you want to try out a quick game tonight, the full rules(3 pages!) can be found here.

DevLog #31 Barriers

We are almost finished with our redesign of the ninja abilities for Apprentice. One thing that came up was the idea of player created walls. We’ve had multiple spells that created walls, but they really came to the forefront of ninja when two of our 10 elements(Ice and Earth) focus on walls pretty heavily.

I should probably first note that our monsters stats are based on equations. A base monster’s attack is (Level*0.125 +7)level. (Side note, the Level*0.125 is to make up for player’s getting more DR as they level up). So roughly speaking, a base creature deals 7 per level damage. By 10 this is actually 8.3/level.

Roughly speaking, monsters with more than 8 damage per level are the Striker, the Brute, and the Mage’s cool down abilities, while the groups below that threshold are the Defender, the Base creature(before level 8) and the Mage’s at-will attacks.

This made 8 HP/level the perfect wall HP. High damage monsters will be able to break through in a single hit(but still waste their action and limit their movement), while lower damage monsters will take two hits to break through.

If we want “improved walls” to take 2-hits for even high damage monsters while not requiring tons of hits from lower damage monsters.

We used to have walls that gave DR, but unless we are in a ratio of 3/5 for HP to DR, there is very little difference in the scheme of things.