Monday, March 31, 2014

Pop Creature - Handyman

In-game poster of a Handyman from
Bioshock: Infinite.
As noted in the last update, I've recently jumped on the Bioshock: Infinite bandwagon, albeit belatedly. The game's ability to capture the imagination with both twisted storytelling and superbly rich visuals is likely to blame for the sudden influx of Bioshock-related updates here. In the next update we'll be stepping away from Bioshock to tap an altogether different well, but for now, enjoy the stemepunk-themed update.

Today's Pop-Creature article features one of the hulking automatons from Bioshock: Infinite, the handyman. Encountered early in the game, the handyman is both a terrible war machine and a terrible tragedy as an unwilling fusion of man and machine, tormented by its own existence.

Friday, March 28, 2014

System Shock - Vigors

The Devil's Kiss vigor advertisement from
Bioshock: Infinite. Image courtesy of the
Bioshock Wiki.
2013 was a banner year for gaming, both on the table and off. It's no small surprise that I'm as big a fan of video games as I am tabletop, and I was even fortunate enough to work in the video game industry for a few years doing concept art and content design. Video games are as much a part of my life as tabletop games are, and typically I'm pretty ahead of the curve when it comes to playing new titles. That said, occasionally a great game slips through the cracks and I wind up being pretty late to the party raving about it. That time, readers, is now!

Last week I was gifted Bioshock: Infinite for my 33rd birthday, a visually stunning game with a mind-warping story that travels time and dimension. You've probably heard about it or even played it yourself by now, but if you've been living under the same rock I'd been under I highly recommend you give it a try, if not for its gameplay than it's twisty and engaging story and fantastic visual design.

Today's Encounter Table entry comes with a healthy dose of Bioshock: Infinite inspired whimsy and presents a new type of imbibed magic item created with the Brew Potion feat: Vigors!

So step right up and try an effervescent vigor and let me know what you think in the comments! Maybe it will conjure a spirit to clean your house! Maybe it will summon a gentle spring breeze to cool you off! Maybe it will reduce your enemies to smoldering piles of ash and bone!

Friday, March 14, 2014

System Shock - The Exalt

The Advanced Class Guide playtest.
Today's Encounter Table is the second look into custom hybrid classes, the likes of which will be featured in the Advanced Class Guide. The exalt, featured below the break, is a class dedicated to mastering a single weapon that its wielder forges a strong bond to and blends elements of the fighter and monk core classes to achieve this effect.

The Advanced Class Guide will feature the duelist, a hybrid class that combines the fighter and gunslinger into a light armored front-line combatant and shares similar design space with the exalt. You can get a preview of the swashbuckler in the Advanced Class Guide Playtest, available for free at

Next week the Encounter Table breaks out the pop creature articles once more!

Speak your mind about the exalt in the comments below, or join the Encounter Table at its discussion thread on the official Paizo forums!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

System Shock - Cantor

The Advanced Class Guide playtest from Paizo Inc.
With Paizo's RPG Superstar competition having ended and Victoria Jaczko crowned champion, there's now more time for production of articles here at the Encounter Table. Wanting to kick things off again with a bang, this week's article is a fully designed "hybrid" class like those soon to be featured in the Advanced Class Guide.

Below the jump you'll find the cantor class, a hybrid of inquisitor and bard designed to play the role of a religious mystic that can blends the bard's versatility and party enhancing features with the inquisitor's divine spellcasting and martial focus.

Let us know what you think about the cantor in the comments!