PAX Unplugged & Operation: Nazi Smasher

Like any convention’s first run PAX Unplugged had some issues. After being out of the office for nearly two weeks I’ve got a backlog I’m going to tackle, but I wanted to share my thoughts before doing that–so here we are.

Image result for pax unplugged

There were a few problems with the convention but the staff were excellent–one of them straight up bought me a soda when I asked for one. That guy set where the bar for staff excellence is at now.

Simultaneous events (a law enforcement convention and the Philadelphia marathon) didn’t help out off-site and the lack of any game scheduling ahead of time was just a terrible oversight. Fortunately being an exhibitor let me sit down for a Starfinder game (in Paizo’s booth) before that hall opened, but otherwise there was no reasonable way for me to play a tabletop RPG–I had to be in the booth at certain times to work, and in order to get into a game you get into a line at the beginning of the day and after a couple hours maybe you lucked out. This is a drag for any con-goer but straight up impossible if you’re on a work schedule.

There’s this crap habit of conventions going on in Pittsburgh every 3-4 months where you get a dealer’s hall, maybe some magic card tournaments, and then a bunch of autographs. Real RPG conventions just aren’t allowed here or something? I dunno–mad that I missed SibCon because it sounds like that might’ve broken the curse, but I was really hoping PAX Unplugged would do it. :/ There were a half-dozen seminars that maybe were of some interest to me as a game designer, but really this first year PAX Unplugged was a place for celebrity fandom and board gaming.

I’m sincerely glad that folks had a good time (there were a lot of people walking around super pleased with their experience) but this one was kind of a wash for me. Managed to get some important things done, had a great time as far as booth-work goes (Syrinscape is great and useful for everybody and all I had to do was give away free stuff so it was a breeze), ate at a spot in Philly Chinatown that has eluded me several times before (BEST DIM SUM – OCEAN HARBOR), and had no personal issues with the hotel (although I believe the people putting me up did). My actual convention experience though was limited to a Starfinder game I got into by privilege (early access to the exhibitor’s hall) and one seminar–if I go to work a booth here again, it’s probably going to require some more compensation because as it was this year there was no other way for me to enjoy the convention.

Nazi Smasher BANNERThis adventure is finally available! All of its proceeds go to the SPLC and Black Lives Matter so check out and grab its PDF, a print copy, or the Roll20 module! If you’re into high-level Pathfinder adventures and want to help us fight nazis, please check it out!

Here’s the full rundown:

Hypercorps 2099 adventure set in WW2 for PCs of 16th level, 8th level [Hyper Score 6], or 8th level (Mythic Rank 5-6) using the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game and Hyper Score rules.

After the despicable display of bigotry and hatred in Charlottesville VA in August 2017 a group of artists, designers, and writers joined me to do something about it. This thrilling adventure is the result of our work and the proceeds of every single purchase go directly to charitable efforts focusing on anti-hatred causes (specifically but not limited to the Southern Poverty Law Center and Black Lives Matter).

Everything you need to play the game is included and you have our gratitude for taking part in the fight against injustice. Go pick your favorite patriotic superhero from Task Force V (or make your own) and smash some nazis!

What’s inside Operation: Nazi Smasher:

  • Cover artwork by world renowned illustrator Claudio Pozas
  • A full color 19 page adventure for raiding the bowels of Castle Verzweifer, the last and most desperate effort of the Reich’s final days at the end of World War 2
  • Four full-page maps for a nazi outpost, the exterior of Castle Verzweifer, and the dungeons below it
  • Original illustrations for every character in the module as well as full-page pieces by a coterie of great artists
  • A dozen different nazi statblocks to defeat including SS soldiers, genetically modified commandos, occult mages, mad scientists, and Baroness von Helena Kriegstalhz the Heldenschlager (Killer of Heroes)
  • TASK FORCE V: A team of 7 alter sapiens in one of the Allied Forces’ most powerful teams of special agents—enough pregenerated PCs that the game can begin as soon as the last player sits down at the table [included in print, separate download for PDF]
  • The entire Hyper Score system with revisions, improvements, and updates from its original iteration so if the party wants to make their own patriotic super heroes, everything they need is available
  • A reprint of the Veloces base class for the player that demands to be a speedster
  • PDF for printing out Character Pawns for every NPC and pregenerated PC in the adventure [included in print, separate download for PDF]
  • High-resolution versions of all the maps for use with VTT (4 versions of each map)

Warhammer 40k D&D 5E – Chaos Template and Enuncia (Hack #10)

Before this post goes anywhere there’s two things folks should know–I’m not actually “in the office” right now and I won’t be for more than a week, so there isn’t a post going up next Friday (come back on 11/24).

The second thing is that Dan Abnett is fucking spectacular. He is far and away the person most responsible for getting me addicted to the grimdark future and I can’t say enough good things about his work. If for some awful reason nobody has exposed you to it yet, please, please go find a copy of one of the (many amazing) Gaunt’s Ghosts novels or something from Eisenhorn or (if you want what I felt was arguably a more compelling series because who doesn’t want a psychic casket protagonist?!) Ravenor or any of the anthologies with his work. You will not be disappointed.

PS: If last week you were like “wow Mists of Akuma Roll20 modules!” check it out because there are now 6 (including one that has versions in D&D 5E and Shadow of the Demon Lord) over on their marketplace. 😀

thomas brakes


First post general rules, the Corruption ability score, new skills, a hit selection system, races, character backgrounds, the psyker feat.
Second post the (shared) Resources party attribute, the Lucky Bastard feat, new martial weapons, new ranged weapons, new extremis weapons, power armor
Third post Apothecary monk archetype, Chaplains, and the Imperial Guard Veteran archetype
Fourth post Assault space marine barbarian archetype and the Imperial Commissar fighter archetype
Fifth post Psyker sorcerer archetype, Grey Knight warlock archetype, and Sisters of Battle monk archetype
Sixth post ASSASSINORUM CLADES! My favorite. ❤
Seventh post Inquisitors (warlock archetype) and Grey Knight space marines (paladin archetype)
Eighth post Sneaky space marines (I am Alpharius) and Rogue Trader bards!
Last post Techmarine mad scientists and Tech-Priest scrappers (both are classes with free PDFs)
TODAY’S POST We’re getting into one of the underappreciated bits of Abnett’s work (Enuncia; note that I took a few liberties here) and doling out the chaos template before the monster statblock posts begin. 😀

Yes, yes, I know this is a terrible not-covered-in-ornate-golden-skulls example, but unfortunately Enuncia doesn’t have any artwork (that I am aware of).

FEAT: Enuncia

Prerequisites: Intelligence 16, evil alignment
You know a number of Enuncia equal to half your proficiency bonus, selected from the list below. After uttering an Enuncia, any more uses of that Enuncia in the next 24 hours double their negative effects. Once you have learned one type of Enuncia, you may not select from that type again until you have learned at least one Enuncia from all other types. This feat may be selected multiple times.

Noun: Admordeo. As a reaction after you hit a living creature with a weapon attack that deals piercing or slashing damage, you hiss a word of bloodlust, dealing 6 points of damage to yourself. Your attack deals an additional amount of damage equal to half your proficiency bonus

Noun: Explivas. As a bonus action you spit out a word of primal malice that manifests into a wave of force, dealing 4 points of damage to yourself. Make a ranged attack roll against a creature within 30 feet. On a hit you deal 1d12 thunder damage plus your Strength modifier. On a critical hit, the creature is knocked prone.

Adjective: Anteactus. As an action, you utter a jibbering of syllables that pluck along the chords of fate, dealing 12 points of damage to yourself and bringing the energies of moments in the past to your senses. As long as you remain motionless, the events of the past reveal themselves to you:

  • After 1 minute you can sense the strongest emotion associated with an area or object you are touching.
  • After 2 minutes you can glean the general features of the creature the emotion belongs to.
  • After 3 minutes you have a clear mental image of the creature the emotion belongs to.
  • After 4 minutes you learn the person’s basic details (in what city they live, what their job is, and so on).
  • After 5 minutes you learn the person’s name.

Remaining motionless requires a concentration check every 30 seconds (DC 5 + 1 per previous check). If a creature is in combat within 30 feet, you have disadvantage on the concentration check.

Adjective: Praesens. As a bonus action, you whisper a questioning word from the void, dealing 10 points of damage to yourself, but in return you are gifted with glimpses of possible futures and likely outcomes. You have advantage on your next d20 roll.

Verb: Excaeco. As an action and bonus action, you pulverize your mouth to shout a potent word of command, dealin 20 points of damage to yourself. Choose a creature within 60 feet and make a Strength saving throw opposed by the target’s Charisma saving throw. On a success, you paralyze the creature until the beginning of your next turn.

Verb: Nilum. As an action, you utter a baffling word that muddles the senses, dealing 8 points of damage to yourself. Choose a creature within 30 feet and make a Wisdom saving throw opposed by the target’s Wisdom saving throw. On a success, you make the creature blind and deaf until the end of your next turn. By spending a bonus action and dealing 4 points of damage to yourself to continue uttering, you may extend the duration of the creature’s blindness and deafness by 1 round.

Ran into this picture and SUPER MAD PROPS on your amazing costume!

Chaos Template

The chaos template can be added to any living creature (in particular the space marine that appears in the next post!) It should be noted that this template means a creature has completely and irredeemably fallen, drinking deep from the Warp–a typical traitor space marine doesn’t need this, but if they’re a Veteran of the Long War it is definitely appropriate.

Alignment. Chaos creatures are chaotic evil.
Armor Class. Chaos creatures gain a natural armor of 2.
Speed. Chaos creatures increase all of their movement speeds by 10 feet.
Ability Scores. Chaos creatures choose two physical or mental attributes to increase by 2. They choose one of their opposite attributes (mental is opposite physical) to decrease by 4.
Resistances. Chaos creatures have resistance to necrotic and poison damage.
Poison Resistant. Chaos creatures have advantage on saving throws against disease and poison.
Senses. Chaos creatures gain darkvision 120 feet.
Vulnerabilities. Chaos creatures are vulnerable to radiant damage.
Languages. Chaos creatures speak and understand Warpspeech.
Magical Attacks. Chaos creatures weapon attacks are magical and they gain a +1 bonus on weapon attack rolls and damage rolls.
Challenge Rating. Chaos creatures increase their CR by 1. Do not recalculate proficiency bonus.

Warhammer 40k D&D 5E – Techmarines and Tech-Priests (Hack #9)

FYI before you get down with the far future–two of the Mists of Akuma adventure modules are now on Roll20 and they are killer.

Check out the first post for:

  • general rules, the Corruption ability score, new skills, a hit selection system, races, character backgrounds, the psyker feat.

See the second post for:

  • the (shared) Resources party attribute, the Lucky Bastard feat, new martial weapons, new ranged weapons, new extremis weapons, power armor

What’s in the third post?

  • Apothecary monk archetype, Chaplains, and the Imperial Guard Veteran archetype

What have you got in that there fourth post

  • Assault space marine barbarian archetype and the Imperial Commissar fighter archetype

Aaand the fifth post?

  • Psyker sorcerer archetype, Grey Knight warlock archetype, and Sisters of Battle monk archetype

What’s waiting in the sixth post?

  • ASSASSINORUM CLADES! My favorite. ❤

The seventh post?

  • Inquisitors (warlock archetype) and Grey Knight space marines (paladin archetype)

How about the last post?

  • Sneaky space marines (I am Alpharius) and Rogue Trader bards!


  • It is only mostly hyperlinks. We’ve also got that big technology kick some of you cogheads out there have been waiting for: technologists in the far future! The rogue trader bard archetype touches on techno-magic but that’s all xenos business and to really dig in there probably requires an entire class–good thing I’ve got two just for that!

Grab these two (free) things: the Mad Scientist Class PDF and Scrapper Class PDF!

Art by Rotaken on DeviantArt

Techmarine (Mad Scientist Archetype)

A Techmarine (known as a Frater Astrotechnicus in High Gothic) is a Space Marine technician and engineer as well as a full Astartes Battle-Brother of his Chapter. They are fully initiated members of both the Cult Mechanicus and their Chapter. Prospective Techmarines are chosen from the ranks of the Space Marine Chapters for their affinity with technology. They are sent to Mars for 30 standard years of training, and taught the machine lore. They learn how to divine the runes of engineering and study the liturgy of maintenance. This great body of lore must be committed to memory and understood by the novice Techmarine. They are taught how to “feel” the pain of a damaged machine and heal it. When they come back they serve the same role in their Chapter as a Tech-Priest Enginseer in the Imperial Guard. (from

Techwarrior (modifies Trickster archetype)
When selecting this mad scientist archetype, you are also selecting the Trickster archetype. When you reach 17th level, instead of Hide Out of Place you gain the benefits of the Cog-Born character background (from Warhammer 40k D&D 5E Hack #1). In addition, you can summon a servoskull (functioning as the Prototype Drone feature). When you reach 10th level, you are able to summon one more servoskull than normal.

Servo-Arm (replaces Forbidden Knowledge)
At 3rd level, you build a servo-arm that can be installed into your power armor. Your servo-arm can be used to pick up and hold objects but nothing that requires fine dexterity (such as typing on a dataslate or soldering a pair of goggles), treating its Strength score as 20. In addition, you may spend a bonus action to use it to make a melee weapon attack (using your spell attack bonus) against a creature within 5 feet, dealing 1d12 + 5 bludgeoning damage on a successful hit.

Extra Attack (replaces Insane Contraptions and Diviner of Secrets)
Beginning at 6th level, you can attack twice, instead of once, whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. The number of attacks increases to three when you reach 13th level in this class.

Tech-Priest (Scrapper Hack!)

A Tech-priest, also spelled Tech-Priest, is an Adept of the Adeptus Mechanicus of the Imperium of Man who is generally responsible for maintaining all of the advanced technology of the Imperium, enlarging the Imperium’s stocks of technical knowledge and conducting what little new scientific research occurs within the Imperium since the end of the Horus Heresy. Tech-priests are members of the Cult Mechanicus, the Cult of the Machine, a priesthood which forms an ecclesiastical hierarchy for the Cult Mechanicus of technicians, scientists, and religious leaders who believe that knowledge represents the only true divinity in the universe. The Tech-priests provide the rest of the Imperium with its technicians, scientists and engineers. Though their bodies often incorporate many inorganic components as bionic replacements, Tech-priests are fully human, unlike the cybernetic Servitors created by the Adeptus Mechanicus that carry out most of the heavy labour for all of the Imperium’s myriad organisations and enterprises. (from

In order to select this archetype you must have the Cog-Born background. Furthermore, it modifies the existing features of the scrapper class and trapper archetype.

Guntrapper (modifies all Trapper archetype features)
For GMs that have 2099 Wasteland, make use of the awesome custom-built weapon rules. For everyone else: At 1st level, your gun traps can utilize a bolt pistol or laspistol. At 5th level, your gun traps can utilize a bolt rifle or las rifle. At 17th level, your gun traps can utilize a bolter. All of these are available in Warhammer 40k Hack #2: Equipment.

Servoskull and Vox Transmitter (modifies Radio Transmitter and Prototype Drone)
Instead of a radio transmitter, at 2nd level you get a vox transmitter instead. This functions as a radio transmitter but with a range of 2 miles per scrapper level. In addition, you can summon a servoskull (functioning as the Prototype Drone feature). When you reach 10th level, you are able to summon one more servoskull than normal.

Mechadendrite (replace Technology Salvaging)
At 3rd level, you develop the means to construct and install a robotic tentacle or you’ve received one from the Mechanicum. You can use your mechadendrite to directly interact with human-constructed machinery and while doing so have advantage on Intelligence (Technology) checks made with a device. In addition, you may use it to make melee weapon attacks (using your spell attack bonus) with a reach of 10 feet, dealing 1d8 + your Intelligence modifier bludgeoning damage on a successful hit.

Cogitation Enhancer (replaces Radio Tower)
At 14th level, a cogitation enhancer is installed into your brain. Your Intelligence increases by 2 and your maximum increases to 22.