Of Playtests, Holidays, and Lost Time

Its been quite a while since I’ve updated this page or released a PDF. For those of you following the Minotaur, I know how frustrating that can be. Unfortunately, life has just been in the way over the past few months, but with the new year, I am hoping to get back on schedule.

As it turns out, running a playtest and really be a drain on your time and the holidays did not help my productivity over much. I hope all of you had a great Christmas and New Year. But that is all the past, lets talk about what is coming up in 2014. I’ve got some PDFs in the hopper, including a new Rule Zero focusing on Guilds, a new line of Monster Focus, looking at creatures of a type other than undead, and with some luck, a small Campaign Setting.

I’m also excited to announce that I have been working on a card game, one that I hope to publish using DriveThru’s Card Print on Demand service. The game has already gone through a few playtests and it is starting to shape up nicely. Its probably going to be a few months before it is ready, but I am hoping to have it ready for sale in early spring.

I also continue to tinker with rules for my own use of course, and for being so patient with me, I thought I would share a new system that takes the place of Hero Points in my game. Here are the rules for Hero Dice! Enjoy!

Hero Dice

Rules V1.0 – 1/6/14
What you need: A set of 7 polyhedral dice for each player (a different color for each), a set of polyhedral dice for the GM (suggested set of 10), and an opaque cloth bag to serve as the BAG OF HEROES!

Player Rules

Each player receives one set of seven (7) polyhedral dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d%, d12, and d20) of a unique color or style than the other players. These are the player’s dice pool.

Dice can be used to boost rolls or reroll, depending on the type of die used.
– d4, d6, d8, d10, and d12 can be used to add to the result of any d20-based roll or check. The decision to use the die in this way must be made before the results of the roll are revealed.
– d20 can be used to reroll any one d20-based roll or check. The decision to use the die in this way can be made after the results of the roll are revealed, but it must be made before the effects are applied.
– d% die can be used in place of any other die currently in the player’s possession. If a player has no other dice in his possession, this die cannot be used.

Once a die has been used, it is given to the GM and set aside until the end of the game.

GM Rules

At the end of the game, the GM counts up the total number of dice spend during the session and then takes all the dice spent and places them in the BAG OF HEROES!

The GM then draws out a number of dice, at random, from the BAG OF HEROES and returns them to the player with the corresponding dice set. The number of dice drawn is equal to 1/2 the number of dice spent (minimum 1).

In addition to player dice, the BAG OF HEROES also contains Black GM dice. When these are drawn, they are added to the GM’s dice pool. These dice can be spent in the same manner as above, or they can be used to negate a player die of the same type. Black dice count as two (2) dice at the end of the session when determining how many dice are drawn from the BAG OF HEROES.

The GM can also award additional dice at the completion of major points in the story or for particularly fun and engaging play. These bonus dice should be drawn until the entire allotment is made up of player dice. All GM dice should be returned to the bag.

Well, that about wraps up this update. Thanks again for sticking with Minotaur Games. I am looking forward to 2014 and I hope you are too.

Good luck escaping the maze.

Jason Bulmahn
Minotaur Games

Gem Magic is Coming

RZGM LogoThe wait is nearly over. Its taken me far longer than I originally estimated, but I think you will find the delay well worth it. Rule Zero: Gem Magic will release next week and it is the most ambitious PDF from the Minotaur to date!

This hefty PDF will come it at 16 pages (maybe one or two more depending on art placement) and it will include everything you need to add gem magic to your game, from crafting rules to the gems themselves. These new magic items can be attached to existing items, granting the wearer (or wielder) additional powers depending on the quality and type of the gem and the item to which it is attached. Grand total, there are 25 types of gems in the PDF, each with four different levels of quality. Each individual gem also has four different effects, depending on the item to which the gem is attached. All told, there are 100 new magic items in this PDF (with a total of 400 unique effects)! Take a look at this sample gemstone:

Ruby Shard

Armor: The armor is hot to the touch and any metal parts seem to glow faintly in darkness (as a candle). The wearer gains resist cold 5.
Weapon: The weapon’s metal pieces glow with an inner light (as a candle). The weapon deals 1d4 points of fire damage on a hit. This damage is not doubled on a critical hit. If the weapon is a flaming weapon, this gemstone instead increases the fire damage dealt on a hit to 1d10.
Staff: The staff can be used to cast fireball, consuming 2 charges from the staff.
Other: Once per day, whenever the wearer catches on fire, he can extinguish the fire as a swift action without needing to make a saving throw or other check.

There are 100 entries like this one in the PDF, four for each type of gemstone! I am really excited to get this PDF into your hands. Check back here early next week for the announcement when it becomes available.

Jason Bulmahn
Lost in the Maze, but I found an awesome gem!

A Bundle of Undead

Monster Focus Undead CoverIt is that time of year again, when the weather turns foul, the trees shed their leaves in a sea of gold and brown, and our thoughts turn to the macabre. So too has it turned in the maze and the minotaur has an offer for you! No need to choose between trick or treat, you can have both.

Today I am pleased to release a bundle of Minotaur Games products, just in time for the Halloween season. Every year, I use the month of October to run a special game, filled with screams and nightmares. This year, I want to help you terrify your players!

The Monster Focus Undead Bundle contains five great PDFs from Minotaur Games: Monster Focus: Ghouls, Monster Focus: Liches, Monster Focus: Mummies, Monster Focus: Skeletons, and Monster Focus Zombies! You can pick up all five for the discounted price of just $5.99! That is 40% off the price of buying them individually! But that is not all!

You will also receive a short bonus PDF tying all five of them together into one terrifying event you can unleash on your players: The Soul Harvest. This bonus PDF contains rules for running the soul harvest in your game as a special event for this time of year. Inside you will also find three more adventure hooks using rules from the Monster Focus PDFs.

What’s that you say? You already have the PDFs but you still want to take a look at the bonus PDF? No problem, you can download the bonus PDF for free right HERE! Monster Focus Undead Bonus

All told, this bundle contains a mountain of rules and ideas for your game, including:

  • 21 New Feats
  • 25 New Alchemical Items
  • 24 New Spells
  • 24 New Magic Items
  • 2 New Hazards
  • 3 New Traps
  • 3 New Undead Monsters
  • 13 New Undead Templates
  • 18 Adventure Hooks

So go grab this bundle today! Don’t delay, this PDF bundle will only be available at this price until the end of the October! You can find the Monster Focus: Undead Bundle at the following fine online retailers!

6 PDFs • $5.99 • PaizoDriveThru

Six Months of Minotaur Games!

I am King of the Maze!

I am King of the Maze!

Its hard to believe, but Minotaur Games turns six months old today! It was on March 20th that Monster Focus: Skeletons released to the world, and since then 9 other prisoners have escaped the maze. Taken in total, these 10 PDFs have been downloaded just over 2,000 times!!!

Its been a crazy 6 months, and I have learned a lot about the PDF and 3rd Party Publisher business, which was one of the major goals behind launching Minotaur Games. There have been a few missteps (remind me to show off the alternate, absolutely terrible art I did for Gravelings.. ugh) and a lot of successes that far exceeded my expectations (I’m looking at you Underlings). I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback and worked hard to improve the quality and range of my lines. So far, so good, but there are bigger things to come!

What’s Next?

The next PDF from Minotaur Games is already in the works. This is going to be a big one, clocking in at about 16 pages, if my current estimate holds. As a result, it is taking me quite a bit longer than expected. I was hoping to have it out next week, but it is looking like I am going to have to settle for the week after. Would you like to know what it is about?

I have always enjoyed the dynamic in video games that allow you to upgrade your gear with magic gems or other trinkets, but it has taken me quite a while to figure out a way to bring this to the table. I think I’ve come up with a way that is both evocative and balanced. Rule Zero: Gem Magic will release soon, and inside you will find rules for 100 different magic gemstones that can be affixed to any magic item, granting you additional powers and abilities. Each gem has a number of different abilities it can grant, based on the item to which it is attached. For example, a ruby shard allows a weapon to deal 1d4 points of fire damage on a hit, but attach that same shard to a staff and it allows the staff to be used to cast fireball!

Suffice to say, I am very excited to release this PDF as soon as possible, but I have to make sure that it meets my standards first and that is going to take a little bit longer. I hope you will like it!

The Future

I have even bigger plans for the future, including my first ever print product! I am going to keep the details secret for now, but I am hoping to get things rolling on the first ever print product from Minotaur Games later this year. I am contemplating using kickstarter to help me close some of the financing gaps on this one, but if I do, it will be a very small scale production. I am sure that since this is my first shot at this (on my own at least) that it is going to take me a while to get things right, but I have a lot of exciting ideas and I hope that you will stick around for the ride.

Contest

If you’ve been wandering the Maze with me for a while, you know that I am a big fan of contests. I like to give back to the people who have helped support Minotaur Games. So, since this is a big milestone, I should probably do a big contest!

Send an email to MinotaurRPG@gmail.com and include the following:

  1. Your Name
  2. Email Address
  3. The name of each Minotaur Games PDF you own, followed by the first word, from the last page of text from those PDFs (if you don’t own any, pick up Monster Focus: Gravelings, its free!)

In one week, I will draw 6 emails at random from those that are submitted. What you win is based upon how many PDFs you own! Note that the Bonus PDF for Rule Zero: Underlings is not counted as one of the ten.

  • If you own 3 or less, I’ll give you one for free of your choice.
  • If you own 4-6, I’ll give you two for free of your choice.
  • If you own 7-9, I’ll round out your collection with any that you are missing and throw in Rule Zero: Gem Magic when it releases.
  • Finally, if you own all 10, I will send you every PDF I make for the next six months!!!

The contest closes at midnight, PST on September 29th! I’ll make the drawing later that weekend!

So, in closing, thanks again for supporting Minotaur Games. Good Luck finding your way out of maze. If you manage to make it back to civilization, tell them I regret nothing!

Jason Bulmahn
Minotaur Games

Rule Zero: Underlings goes on Sale Today!

Rule Zero Underlings CoverYes Master! Whatever you want Master! Of course I can go sweep the floors of the fourth level of your glorious dungeon, and yes, I will feed your pet gelatinous cube. Where do I find the food? Why are you looking at me that way… master?!?

Underlings, minions, boot-licks: every good villain needs them. Planning world-wide conquest leaves little time for trivial details. But when the horde of lesser servants ends up facing off against the heroes, the results are often a long, drawn out fight of attrition. Rule Zero: Underlings presents a new way of doing things, giving you a simple underling stat block that you can customize to your campaign. Easy to run in combat, easy to dispatch by the heroes, these underlings make for the perfect speed-bump before moving on to the real villains. Most importantly, you can have a fight with over a dozen of these monsters and the combat still runs smooth and quickly.

Rule Zero: Underlings is now available from the following retailers!

10-Page PDF • $2.99 • PaizoDriveThru RPGNow ShopD20