Category Archives: Design

Erinbour: Council of Powers

The Council of powers is the current ruling body within Erinbour. Built largely as the hereditary posts that made up of the Nobles and the Court of the Lost King. These offices through the last millennium since the days of the Lost King have lost the Hereditary features but are still assigned to the Family and regions of Erinbour.

The council is mostly kept honest by magic. Each member is gifted a mask of purest white ivory. The masks magic accomplish 3 things.

First, they disguise the wearer from identification. No member of the council is known to anyone else, even other members, save one person. The steward of the King, is the only person who knows who wears a mask.

Second the mask will always vote the wearers true feelings. When a vote is called for the masks will radiate a faint color indicating a Yea, a Ney or an undecided. The Council has rules on handling a vote and one is not easily called but when called a matter is decided. This is based solely on the voters personal feelings so a Member will always vote his personal belief.

Third will protect the sanctity of the council. If a person reveals his identity on the council the Mask will change from White to Clear upon donning. However the wearer will not know of this change. Identification of Council status is punishable by death and or banishment. This becomes very difficult for someone to demand bribery for a vote when everyone knows they told people.

The Councils original job was to bring matters to the king, with the King lost they have taken over a true leadership role, setting policy and laws for the Erinbour nation. It is through the Council who regulate the Magic License and set the Agendas for the Major Colleges. They also enforce Erinbours protection via military and other organizations to guard from the encroaching curse.


Erinbour: History Lessons

The queen stood over her son, dead on the throne, shaking as the anger left her. Grief like her sons blood washed over her as the realization of what had happened. She could feel her body shaking and it wasn’t until the first stones clattered like thunder did she realize the floor was shifting beneath her.

The King, bloody, stood silently as he witnessed the murder of his son by his wifes hand as she cursed him as he sat on teh throne. He heard her accusations ring through the great hall and knew them to be true. His own son betrayer and murder in his own right. He stood silently as the throne room collapsed beneth his wife. He stood in silence as the ceiling slamed him to teh ground. The grief in his heart was a heavier weight and drove his spirit to remain.

This is how the world came to be. The king thought dead and lost had his throne usurped by his own son. His Wife discovering the truth cursing him as he sat there on a throne that was unrelenquishing in its own power.  Alone in the throne room this family watched itself destroy each other.

Now an interesting thing happens when a king is cursed in this manner. The land, his lands, those same lands he is tied to as Monarch, they get cursed too. Fortunatly for the inhabidants of Erinbour the curse was not on the True king, but it was on his bloodline. The curse, while potent, is more of a slow leak upon the land then the tidal wave of decay that would have happened. This is the cause of the past 800 years of war, carnage, monstrous beings, and all the other things working to destroy Erinbour.

This is the time when brave heroes and heroines must step up to save their kingdom as well as the people it protects. This is why the Seekers Guild exists to find the ancient Places of Power to restore greatness to Erinbour to discover lost magics and lost knowledge to discover what happened and how to fix the ancient curse that haunts the land.


Erinbour: Of Magics and Greatness

Wanted to take some time and share with you the loyal readers a high level look at Wizards, Sorcerers and a bit of how Magic works in Erinbour. Today we will be focusing on Pathfinder conversions primarily as the descisions made will primarily affect that rule set.

To begin with we wanted to add our own stamp to Erinbour and wanted Magic and those that weild it to be one of the first things we worked on. Since we wanted Erinbour to be a High Magic setting we felt, if we get this right the rest will fit nicely. Now as I said previously Erinbour will also be about choices, and I wanted to make sure that if at any point we limited choice we returned something for that.

First lets talk about how Magic is viewed in Erinbour.

Erinbour is a world full of Magic. It was Magic that brought the Kingdom to its pinnacle and it was Magic that tore it down, and it was destroyed by a sorceress when the Queen Cursed her own son. From that day forward Magic is seen as a power that must be regulated, licensed and controlled. The people did not run from Magic they saw the potential still and grew a great university to teach and guide those who could afford such teachings. Magic is Heavily regulated and a Wizard must have the proper licenses when casting within the civilized world.

Sorcerers and those who cast by more natural means are somewhat austricised and feared. The cities fine Magic users hefty for unlicensed casting of spells and this has created a bit of a Magic underground for those who do not attend university proper.

So what does this mean for Magic Characters?

Great question. First we are limiting choice in that all Wizards are now “Specialist” wizards in that they have attended university and thus have a Major.

[Rules Brief Mechanically we are looking here at the Wizards Spells per day. We are altering the meaning here slightly. As a Wizard you choose 3 schools. 1 Major and 2 Minor, you will know and have all the 0 level spells from those schools. You will also gain a spell book with all 1st level spells from your school. As you gain levels you will add a 4th school and gain access to schools as your numbers increase.

What we are giving back to wizards for this limit in choice. You no longer have to worry about opposition schools in Erinbour. Learning one school does not mean schools naturally oppose each other. Secondly you gain 1 additional spell per day per level per the chart.}

What about Sorcerers?

Sorcerers are not formally trained and mechanically not much is changing but we are adding the ability to access “Wild” Magic (Name changes pending) this will allow the sorcerer/sorceress the ability to push beyond their means. Each time they use this power in a given day (Between 8 hours of rest) the DC goes up. So what they can do is 1 of 3 options.

1. They can attach a Meta Magic Feat to any spell even if they do not currently have the Feat. Base difficulty is to be determined basically DC 15ish (Plus 5 for each additional use of this ability)

2. Cast a spell not in your Spell List. Need to cast Web but you never picked it, that’s ok form the magic from the Aether and cast ti one time.

3. Run out of spell slots, pull magic from the air and over exert yourself DC would be 5 per spell level plus any additional DCs from the spell or use of the power.

What happens if I fail the DC on using WIld Magic?

Here is where it can get bad. You can burn yourself out and loose access to your spells until you rest or take damage or any number of backlash type things.

So that’s some of the decisions we made as far as Magic goes and how it affects the main classes. Feel free to comment and share your opinion. We are still in early development so some of this may change and it will assuredly get more shored up mechanically.

Hope you enjoyed.

PS A brief take on Inherent Magic

So Erinbour is going to have a unique thing. Inherent Magic, or Inner Magic, its everyones inate ability to pull on the Aether and potentially cast spells. If you are not a trained Magic User you can try to cast a spell by rolling a DC if successful you can wield the spell if you fail you suffer backlash. We will talk more Later.

Welcome to Erinbour


Erinbour is a fantasy setting that will for us at Heroic Journey Publishing be the answer to several nagging questions.The first brings us back a few years.

Back in 2009 Chris and I had an idea for a series of Fantasy adventures that we were calling Places of Power. These mini settings could be dropped into any campaign and be used as an interesting place to let players and GMs explore. Theye were filled with interesting plot hooks and while they detailed a special place of powerful magics were as nonlinear as we could make them.

We never completed nor published that series. We did get over half of the 12 origionally planned developed and quite a few actually commissioned written and most importantly paid for. SO question the first. What do we do with these awesome bits of non specific setting?

The second question came about while we started working recently on Bare Bones Fantasy: Dynasty. Where would we drop it? Would we just do the ruleor actually put it some where? Chris and I talked about this and asked… “Could we answer both questions the same?” Short answer Yes and thus Erinbour was born.

Initially we are going to produce a core setting book and “Places 0f Power” an Epic Campaign within Erinbour. As well as Dynasty, rise to power in the political sphere within Erinbour.

Places of Power will be duel stated to  both Pathfinder and BareBones Fantasy and Dynasty will include rules to build a kingdom and rise to power with in Erinbour. Our plans are to prehack the setting for several popular systems out of the box so you can play in Erinbour regardless of your favorite system. We will release more about each item and our plans more directly over the next few weeks as we prepare to kickstart this August 4th.

Updates & Stuff

Today I want to share three things. First where I’ve been the last few weeks, an Update on our Card Game and a few thoughts on BareBones Dynasty.

First, whats been happening personally. Well back in April I had the joy of my third child, and frankly feedings , lack of sleep, and a few other things have kept me busy so I haven’t had a chance tor eally update here, but I am back and working hard tohelp Chris, David and Wayne create cool games.

Secondly I wanted to share that I Heard from FutureDude about art and as of right now we are schedule to go to print with our Beta Test Decks through POD to have some high quality Beta Test Decks to showcase at Upcoming cons and playtesting events. If you are interested in participating we will announce where we will be soon. If you cant make it to an event or con and woul like to participate we will also have the beta decks available for downlaod to allow you to build your own to help playtest. Go ahead and drop us an email at and let us know and we will add you to the list.

And Lastly…

BareBones Dynasty

So I have been thinking about Birthright and how to translate it into BareBones. I first started with organization. We have a Kingdom. A kingdom is made up by Regions, which are made up of Counties.

We will begin here with Counties as the smallest unit. A typical Region may have anywhere from 4-8 counties depending on size. Each county will be made up of 4 type of holdings.

Legal Holdings (so courthouses, sherrifs, Tax collectors, etc) These will support a County and Region in protecting and administering the land. Spiritual Holdings would be churches, shrines and other improvements devoted to the pantheon of gods and goddesses. Guild holdings will indicate markets, trade, warehousing, and business viability of a county. Natural holdings will indicate how undeveloped or how much magic influence a county has in the world.

The way I envision this is that a County will have a default statistical measure. So a Basic even county will Look like this

Legal – 25%
Guild – 25%
Spiritual – 25%
Natural – 25%

This means that when a Character has the ability to do an action during a DYnasty turn their base ability to influence the county begins at the holdings level. Improvements can be purchased to grant bonuses and sway influence for more control.

For instance Lets look at Talen a minor Lord who has Middleberg as one of the counties in his Holdings. Since he is a Nobleman his influence will primarily be in legal areas so his default influence on raising armies, tax collection etc is set at 25%. Building a courthouse and a tax collector improvement might raise that to a base of 35% + 5% for every Regency level they have. I will talk about Regency later.

Also I will talk about improvements and look at the other skills such as cpiritual leader, guildmaster and Source holder type skills to access the different type of actions that are done at the Dynasty level, such as Raise an army, collect taaxes/tithes/Profits, Cast ritual spells, build improvements, etc.



Bare Bones: Dynasty

Hey wanted to share a new project myself and Heroic Journey Publishing is working on.

We have permission and will be working with the Bare Bones Fantasy system to create
Bare Bones: Dynasty
Have you ever wanted to be king or maybe leader of a guild, or religion and build your powerbase to rule the world? Well you soon will be.

Bare Bones: Dynasty will allow you to take your characters into the polictical battelfield and make decisions on a Domain level moving policy and building holdings to further your influence in the world. In short Bare Bones Meets Birthright.

Thoughts and opinions are welcome more to come

PotMR – Setting thoughts

I have talked a little about setting with the return of the Dragon Lords, and I’ve mentioned some ideas on the mechanical changes. I wanted to delve a little deeper into my thoughts as I develop the history, mythology and general goings on of this setting.

From a mythological stand point I feel pretty good going for an agnostice, spirit based religion akin to Ancestor Worship. So I am thinking of pulling in much of Chinnese Daoisim and Confucianism in how I structure the governments and religions of the setting. I also want to roll in some western mythologies as well  and do a hybrid of the two cultures. So we can still have knights etc. Still at the early stages here.

The idea is that the Setting is very provincial with a ruling Emperor and localized governments. I also dont want to segregate the races much. My plan is to have a province governed by a different race but each province isnt a province of elves, a province of orcs. etc.  Ideas on how to do this are welcome.  

Thats the update as it stands. I am planning to roll out the Path of Battle soon and begin to deconstruct those for commentary. As always comments and opinions are welcome here.

Of Class and Race – PofMR Part 2

Previously I wrote about the races overview. This post will be a high level discussion on CLasses in Protectors of the Middle Realm. Again this will be very High Level nothing has been finalized and questions and comments are welcome.


I wanted to do something different with classes. I know why re invent the wheel, but I wanted to tie Class into the setting more then just a fancy name. FIghter, Rogue, Mage, Cleric Ranger etc. Sure I could call them by another name but thats just creates a new class. I wanted a deeper tie in to the setting.

So I came up with Paths. Not overly unique sounding but bare with me. So each Character will choose a path to walk in their life. Path of Battle, Path of Shadows, Path of Mystics, Path of Nature, Path of Spirt. Each of these paths will behave similarly to the Class from standard Pathfinder but with a twist.

First off all Races will define the Paths differently so a Human walking the Path of Battle will differ then an Elf, or even an Orc. This means there will be different level progressions for each race. While there will be some similarities, the Path of Battle is still the same core beliefs, each Race will walk that path differently and some of the abilities/Feats will be unique to each race because of their uniqueness of Race.

But what about Multi-Classing…
Nothing says you have to walk only 1 path.  Also I am thinking of haveing branches on each path that allows for “Prestige” like classes at certain levels such as 5, 10, 15 and 20.

Please feel free to post any comments or questions. I have plenty of ideas but I know I need to refine them. Next post will be a high level discussion on the Dragon Lords I think.

Of Class and Race – PofMR Part 1

I promised an update on what I was thinking around Race and Class for my Pathfinder side project. Here it is. This is a very High level discussion I will get deeper into these as we move through these. Questions and comments are welcome


I mentioned before the 5 Dragon Lords which made their way to the Middle realms. This got me thinking that what if the Dragons meddled in the Races so very long ago in the Planes infancy? If they did that what would races look like today? So this got me thinking of Racial groupings. We have a set of 5 stock races Human, Ogre, Dwarven, Bastet, Gnolls (Some of the names will change but for now these are simpley place holders to give you an idea).

Each Dragon will have adopted 1 of the races (Except 2. One will create a race from itself and one dragon will adopt 2 races). 

Human will encompass both Human and Halfling as “Kinder races”.

Ogres will have had the most tampering as its Kinder Races are Elf, Orc and Goblinoids.

Dwarven will have Dwarf and Gnome as Kinder Races

The Bastet and Gnolls were not tampered with and are thus classified as teh Nomadic Races.

Last but not lease we have the Lizard races. These are new to the MIddle realm as one of the Dragon Lords used their own essence to create a race in its image. We have the Aquarians and the VIprians.

That makes 9 Kinder Races and 2 Elder Races of the MIddle realm.  A Decent start I believe.

Next Up Classes.