4Ward/FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 403

Cast
  • Humal (level 5 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 5 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 5 elf rogue/ranger)

Summary
While Humal and Corzale investigated the mage's guild, Sumia and Cenric were busy scouring the Foreign Quarter, docks, and slums for anyome that knew anything about Filge.

Several districts, taverns, and awkward conversations, and 100 sp later, Sumia found herself at Filge's hovel, which as she expected was nestled in the squalid outskirts of the city.

Filge was surprised to see Sumia, even when she explained that they had originally traveled to Dovin to speak with a sage named Eligos, but then decided to pay him a visit because they had plenty of free time.

Eventually Sumia offered Filge a job to help them out with the whole Kyuss worm issue; Filge not only accepted, but had a job that as it happened could benefit from Sumia's particular skill set. Sumia agreed to help, and told Cenric to meet her back at Stonehome before following Filge into the sewers.

Sumia returned to Stonehome just after Humal and Corzale, and when asked what Filge needed help with, explained that he wanted someone more alert and agile than shambling zombies to help move bags of arcane materials around the sewers. He had been concerned about oozes and other bizarre monsters, but thanks to her they were able to avoid any trouble.

With evening approaching and nothing else to do, the party decided to celebrate for the first time, since they both had more than enough money and didn't have to worry as much about getting mugged. Seeing as she was fresh out of the sewers, Sumia opted to first bathe and get a change of clothes.

The rest of the characters were several mugs in when Sumia returned, drove one of her horns into the eye of one of the kobold servers, and fled back upstairs. Humal and Corzale pursued her, along with a crowd of enraged patrons. They first checked her room, but when they found it vacant headed to the bathroom. There they found Sumia, still bathing and just as confused as they were when the patrons accused her of murder.

They tried to puzzle it out until the watch arrived. Initially they intended to imprison Sumia and question Humal and Corzale later, but then Humal made it a point that the whole debacle could be explained via magic, even going so far as to demonstrate that he could weave an illusion of the watch captain waving a knife around.

This probably had the opposite effect that Humal had intended, as in the end each of the characters were imprisoned. Stripped of their possessions, Humal concocted an escape plan. Their meals, if they could be called that, were delivered by a single guard: Humal would use his magic to render them all invisible, and when the guard returned, assuming he panicked and opened a cell to investigate, they could ambush him.

Unfortunately, the next day when Humal and Corzale woke they found themselves in a different location. They were still imprisoned, but the walls, ceiling, and floor were made of wood, and the floor covered in filthy straw. Humal suspected that they had been drugged, and once they were unconscious for some reason moved to another location.

Sumia was in a cell across from them. She was conscious, but had obviously been severely injured. She told them that after she found Filge he claimed to need her help moving various materials, but when she followed him into the sewers she was ambushed, captured, and brought here, which explained why "she" would use one of her much-coveted horns to randomly murder a stranger.

Furious, Corzale began tearing up floor boards until she was able to wriggle underneath her cell door. A pair of men in an adjacent cell warned her to be quiet lest the guards arrive, so she grabbed some boards and went to jam the doors leading out. But, once her back was turned the men drew swords from within their bodies, opened their unlocked cell door, and moved to strike.

Humal shouted out a warning, and Corzale was able to whirl about and defend herself long enough for him to charm one of the men. With his help, they quickly beat and stabbed the other man to death. The charmed man then apologized profusely to Humal, before producing a key from his body, freeing Humal and Sumia, and then directing them to their possessions.

Design Notes
Holy hell this session went flawlessly.

When it comes to doppelgangers, the DM advice I'm familiar with is to either clue one of the players in advance and have them play along, or just let the group know what's going on, and try to make sure they properly "role-play" through the whole scenario. I opted for a third method: lying.

I just told Melissa that Filge had a job, and when she agreed and followed him into the sewers, more-or-less handwaived that entire part, reasoning to the players that I didn't want to spend a lot of time simply focusing on what Sumia was doing, which would involve maybe a fight that with Filge and his undead she would surely overcome.

Melissa had no idea what was going on, until they found her beaten and bloodied: then I told her what had really happened, and it was an awesome revelation for everyone.

Here's the (current) doppelganger stat block:

Doppelganger
Level 3 Medium Humanoid
XP 15

Ability Scores 
STR +0 DEX +2 WIS +2
CON +1 INT +1 CHA +2

Skills
Bluff +4, Diplomacy +4, Insight +3, Perception +3, Stealth +3

Defense
Initiative +2
Speed 10 feet/30 feet
Fort 11 Ref 12 Will 12
Armor 1 (leather armor)
Wounds 10 Vitality 7 Total 17

Shapechange: A doppelganger can assume the shape of any Medium-sized humanoid. This shape can include clothes, though they will feel fleshy at the touch.

Offense
Shortsword: +2 versus Reflex; 1d6+2 damage

Sneak Attack: If the doppelganger strikes first or attacks a flanked creature, it deals +1d6 damage.

Equipment
Shortsword, leather armor

There's various origins for doppelgangers in FrankenFourth: some are fae creatures particularly skilled with manipulating their glamor, others are undead spirits, or perhaps some sort of demon.

These ones are the product of a very skilled transmuter, grown in a flesh vat to serve their creator (perhaps using bits from a mimic). They can manipulate their bodies to create internal pockets, and even "grow" clothing, but it still feels like flesh when touched (I'm thinking more like Jake from Adventure Time).

Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

Throughout the month of May, everything in our DriveThruRPG store is 13% off. If you want something and don't use DriveThru, hit us up and we can work something out. We've also added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

Temple of Elemental Evil: The Last Stand

Our daughter wanted to play Wrath of Ashardalon so she could try and slay the eponymous dragon, but a few years ago I sleeved all the cards, and since they wouldn't fit back in the box I put them in another box with a shitload of other cards from at least Descent: Journey in the Dark, Super Dungeon Explore/The Forgotten King, and I think Mice &Mystics and Mansions of Madness.

The cards got jumbled about during a move, so rather than try and sort everything out we broke out Temple of Elemental Evil (since I hadn't bothered to sleeve its cards) and play through the last adventure. A while back we actually played through the entire campaign; I forget exactly what we had by the time we made it to the last adventure, just that at the least we'd purchased a variety of those green upgrade tokens, were all 2nd-level, and had several magic items apiece.

So, I figured it was fair to start us at 2nd-level, and have all of two random magic items each, though we were allowed to trade before starting since my character didn't need both claws of the umber hulk and a flame tongue (gave the former to the ranger so she could have a high-damage attack). During the course of the campaign, succeeding or failing certain adventures has you add cards to the Monster, Encounter, and/or Treasure decks: we had won every adventure we played previously, so I kept the decks as-is since I don't think I removed any cards once we'd finished the previous campaign.

The Dungeons & Dragons board games can be pretty swingy: even before you factor in dice rolls, sometimes you'll get a string of black-arrow tiles, and just fucking brutal Encounter and Monster draws. We've played games where we barely managed to crawl through a couple of tiles before getting wiped out; I'd say just over half the time, so long as we have a cleric and fighter we manage to claw our way to victory.

This was one of the games that fell aaall the way on the other side of the spectrum. It wasn't as awesome as the time we were able to use a wand of polymorph on Ashardalon, transforming him into a kobold before finishing him off with a 1-damage-on-a-miss daily (hey, I couldn't find a rule that rendered him immune to being polymorphed), but it was pretty damn close.

We had some hiccups with a trio of empowered air cultists and a fire elemental, but otherwise it was a breeze: among other things, many Encounter cards were trivial (and one even let us discard a Treasure card to heal), and we racked up more than enough XP to ignore Encounters that actually mattered (like the second Rage of Imix), the one trap token that wasn't a dud only dealt 2 damage, the flametongue let me take out 1 hp monsters/finish off the ones that weren't wiped out by 2+ damage dailies, and most of the Treasure draws were exceedingly useful (ioun stone let Melissa refresh her AoE, and something else gave the ranger Advantage, which was great since the claws of the umber hulk had a low accuracy).

But the best part was at the end. First, the Water Altar came up on the ninth draw (ie, the fastest you can get it). While Velathidros (the dragon) tried to chow down on our daughter's ranger, I ran past and used Drown on the water node, which triggers it to explode the next time your Hero phase ends. On Melissa's turn, she used one of her spells to push Velathidros back onto the node with a Stunned token. Before he could act my turn came around, I ran off the tile, ending my Hero Phase, after which I guess the water node exploded, dealing a whopping 20 damage to everyone on the tile, which as it turns out was just Velathidros.

By that time we'd already dealt 7 damage, but Velathidros only has 16 hit points anyway.




Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

Throughout the month of May, everything in our DriveThruRPG store is 13% off. If you want something and don't use DriveThru, hit us up and we can work something out. We've also added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

FrankenFourth: Treasure & Magic Items

While flipping through the treasure section in the Dungeons & Dragons Game (1991 black box) rulebook, I noticed two differences from the most recent editions that I really dig.

The first is that there weren't wealth-by-level guidelines, something that was started in 3rd Edition. Yeah, the game cautioned against awarding too much or too little treasure, but basically the placement of treasure could be best summed up as "just make sure the players work for it".

Side note, since the majority of XP in older editions was gained via snagging loot (which makes no goddamned sense), it actually suggested figuring out how much XP you wanted to dole out in an adventure, and use that to determine out how much treasure needed to get placed.

The second was that when it came to figuring out random treasure hoards, monsters seemed to award by their type, not by their level or Hit Dice or Challenge Rating or whatever (another thing started by 3rd Edition).

For example, if you looted a dragon's lair you got treasure type H, regardless as to whether it was a lowly white dragon (6 HD), or a considerably more powerful red or gold dragon (11 HD). Other examples include most bears and great cats, which coughed up type U, and all giants netted you type E+5,000 gp.

These are both things I want to lift for FrankenFourth, but treasure will also deviate from the more recent editions (3rd through 5th) in several other ways.

First, the game uses a silver standard, something I was really hoping 5th Edition would adopt back when I still thought there was a chance that it might have become anything other than a rehash of 3rd Edition. Given that most people would use copper and silver pieces, this makes more sense, and in playtests the players are more excited when they find gold and platinum pieces, in part because...

...based on 3rd, 4th, and 5th Edition's guidelines, wealth acquisition is slower all around. In our Age of Worms playtest everyone's 5th-level, but the wealthiest character "only" has about 3,700 sp in assorted coins and gems. This is far less than what even a 2nd-level character in 3rd Edition should have (the equivalent of 6,000 sp), though it's actually pretty close for a 2nd-level character in 4th Edition (which should have around 3,520 sp).

It just felt absurd to me that, even at the start of the game, within a day or two of adventuring the party could be rolling around in hundreds, possibly thousands of gold pieces (not counting the plethora of magic items they'd also find).

Monsters currently have a treasure entry that specifies what it can have, so you don't have to refer to another page or even another book trying to figure out what a treasure code means (or figure out the encounter's difficulty and then reference other tables). There are also two treasure categories, personal and lair: personal treasure is what the monster carries around with them, while lair is what you'd find in its, well, lair.

Finally, and I'm sure I've said this somewhere else, magic items aren't necessary or assumed. No, not even healing potions (though there are alchemical variants that impose complications). Melissa and I have a lot of experience writing weird and awesome magic items: we're going to port pretty much everything over from our 10+ Treasures line, meaning the initial game will have well over 150 magic items to choose from.

Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

Throughout the month of May, everything in our DriveThruRPG store is 13% off. If you want something and don't use DriveThru, hit us up and we can work something out. We've also added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

A Sundered World: More Character Stuff Preview 7

Dwarves are one of the more "normal" races in A Sundered World: they're pretty much like what you'd expect of a dwarf in other games/settings, except that as they age they begin to slowly turn to stone ("returning to stone"), and they completely turn to stone when they die.

Case in point, here's a WIP of a dwarf's "corpse" that's been re-animated by his own lingering soul (a compendium class that you can pick up after you die):


And that's just one of the things their new suite of advanced race moves will let them do: they can also use CON instead of INT to shape weapons and armor out of astral essence, construct and repair metal objects instantaneously, gain fold when you hack and slash with a hammer or axe and roll a 12+, get along really well with stone spirits, and even transform into a creature of stone on a whim.

Took a lot longer than I'd expected (running two campaigns, developing two new role-playing games that aren't merely no-frills hacks, and a few more Dungeon World classes will do that), but this thing is finally nearing completion: only four-ish more classes to wrap up (two are nearly done), some compendium classes, and then the gear section (which has been expanded yet again).

If there's something you'd like us to add, clarify, and/or expand upon from A Sundered World, definitely let us know!

Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

Throughout the month of May, everything in our DriveThruRPG store is 13% off. If you want something and don't use DriveThru, hit us up and we can work something out. We've also added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

4E D&D: Save the Princess, Episode 101

Cast
  • Aka (1st-level red panda hengeyokai slayer)
  • Kabuto (1st-level warforged vampire)
  • Mirai (1st-level human cleric/shaman hybrid)
  • Sho (1st-level spirit-folk cursed swordmage)

Synopsis
As the characters continued their trek towards the crater, they came across wagon ruts and tracks in the mud. Hoping that it wasn't somehow more fungus zombies, they quickened their pace and soon came across a wagon guarded by kappa soldiers.

Aka called out to them, and when they responding by drawing their swords and advancing towards the party, she tried claiming that they were merely lost travelers. When they didn't believe her, she then tried drawing her sword and charging.

After slaying several kappa, one of them called out for help. Moments later a stooped, bearded kappa carrying a staff emerged from the fog. Aka again tried claiming that they were lost but, as with the other kappa he also didn't believe her, so as with the other kappa Aka charged at him.

Before Aka could close the distance, thick roots erupted from the ground. Though Aka was able to just barely evade the attack, Mirai and Sho were held fast, giving four of the kappa warriors enough time to surround and incapacitate her. Fortunately, before they were able to finish the job, Sho was able to teleport to freedom and continue fighting, while Mirai commanded the winds to batter the kappa from a distance.

Once the kappa were whittled down to just a single warrior, he held his sword above Aka's throat, promising to spare her if they in turn spared him. Fearing that he would alert others as to their presence, but seeing no other choice, they eventually relented. The kappa, unhindered by the rain or mud, swiftly vanished into the mist.

After Mirai finished treating Aka they inspected the wagon. It was pulled by a fungus-zombified horse. A basket on its head obstructed most of its vision, allowing it to only see a rotting arm dangling in front of it when a flap on the basket was lifted. The rest of the wagon was comparatively mundane: the kappa looked to have been transporting wood, food, and a stone sarcophagus wrapped in chains.

They broke the chains and opened the sarcophagus. Inside was an object, humanoid in shape and made entirely of metal. Aside from an elaborately sculpted face, it was completely unadorned. It didn't move until Aka touched it, at which time it seemed to...activate. Somehow able to speak, after introducing itself as Kabuto it asked them who they were and where it was.

They explained that a war against the kappa had devastated the Glorious Dragon Empire, driving the humans away and reducing the kingdom to a sodden ruin. A princess from the New Empire had been abducted by kappa, and they had traveled far intent on rescuing her. Unsure where it was or what to do, Kabuto decided to tag along.

Behind the Scenes
Melissa is having a hard time keeping her character conscious. Oh well, slayers are strikers, not defenders. Plus 4E is pretty damned forgiving: you can bounce back from getting dropped, either with a leader-heal, Heal check, or after the fight's over. Might try to work in some persistent injury rules from FrankenFourth to give near-death some more oomph.

Maria has also (re)joined the gang as a warforged vampire. She helped playtest A Sundered World and Dungeons & Delvers back when I ran a converted/expanded Heart of Hemskil, and also published a lich class for Dungeon World. Didn't get much play time, as the kappa fight took quite a while (going to see how long it takes next session, and if fights still drag on I'll be doing the half-hp thing)

Since the party will actually get to explore the crater next session, I'll need to whip up a hex map for the surface and underground regions.

Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

We've added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

10+ Treasure Vault Hardcovers are now Available

It took longer due to DriveThruRPG spontaneously changing up the type of paper they use for color prints, but thanks to Maria's badgering you can finally get the 10+ Treasure Vault in (color) hardcover.

10+ Treasure Vault features every magic item from our 10+ Treasures line, plus various magic items drawn from our numerous Dungeon World classes, for a grand total of 174.

As with the softcover print, if you already bought the PDF check your email (if you can be contacted via DriveThru, anyway) for a discount link so you can pick it up "at-cost".

You can see a preview of it over on DriveThruRPG.




 $14.25 (Print & PDF)

Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

Throughout the month of May, everything in our DriveThruRPG store is 13% off. If you want something and don't use DriveThru, hit us up and we can work something out. We've also added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

4Ward/FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 402


Cast
  • Humal (level 5 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 5 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 5 elf rogue/ranger)

Summary
A three hour wait and awkward corpse explanation later, the characters were finally inside Dovin, the Free City.

Obtaining directions to the Garden District was at first delayed by a parade, then complicated when a chimera, part of the aforementioned parade, managed to escape from its cage.

This kind, not the "D&D-ized" version.

Fortunately, the characters were able to put the chimera down with minimal injury, and Humal was even permitted to keep its remains because it saved the parade crew the trouble of cleaning it up themselves.

Despite a rickety cart burdened with remains in various states of decay, the rest of the walk to the Garden District was uneventful. They spoke to Eligos, who not only offered to look into anything and everything concerning Kyuss, but also recommended an inn where they would receive discounted prices if they mentioned his name.

Eligos explained that it would take him a few days to gather up any information he could, so they stopped by the inn, purchased a few nights, and then decided to try and find Filge. Of course they had no idea where he lived, so Humal suggested a two-pronged effort: Sumia and Cenric would root around the Foreign Quarter and see what they could dig up, while he and Corzale would go to the mage's guild and see if they had any information on him.

Once there, Humal paid for any information they had on Filge, and while waiting for the clerk to return registered at the guild for a month, so he could access their library and learn more about necromancy. Since the guild had wizards capable of casting divinations, Corzale paid to have them locate one of the dwarves from her band that had ventured to the surface while hunting Kyuss zombies.

To her surprise, they were able to determine that one of her companions was located in a shrine within the city's Foreign Quarter: they waited just long enough to get the information on Filge, which wasn't much beyond that he apparently had a bounty on his head, before heading there next.

At the shrine Corzale discovered that the companion was Gorath. He had arrived at the shrine a few days ago, feverish and heavily disfigured: his left eye was missing, and the side of his face looked to have been burned by some sort of acid. He had also been carrying the corpse of another dwarf that was missing the top half of his head, as well as everything inside.

While treating Gorath, the healers had managed to extract a green worm from his head: he survived the treatment, but had been catatonic since.

Design Notes
Nothing new, removed, or changed on the game design front. Didn't get a chance to see if raising the cleric Favor cap to level+WIS is too much (only one fight this session). The characters ending up plowing through the chimera encounter with ease, due to both a string of critical hits and terrible rolling on my end.

Here's the statblock for the chimera:

Chimera
Level 6 Large Beast
XP 32

Ability Scores 
STR +4 DEX +2 WIS +2
CON +3 INT -4 CHA 0

Skills
Athletics +6, Perception +6

Defense
Initiative +2
Speed 20 feet/50 feet
Fort 14 Ref 12 Will 12
Armor 1 (thick hide)
Wounds 38 Vitality 19 Total 57

Offense
Multiattack The chimera makes two claw, a gore, and a venomous bite attack against three different targets (due to its shape, it cannot direct attacks against the same target).
Claws +5 to hit; 1d8+4 damage (1 armor piercing). If the attack roll is 18 or higher, the target is also pinned by the chimera. On its turn, a chimera can deal an automatic 2d6+4 damage (1 armor piercing) against a pinned target.
Gore +5 to hit; 1d8+4 damage (1 armor piercing)
Venomous Bite +5 to hit; 1d6+2 damage; if the target suffers Wound damage, it is also poisoned.

Now I gotta stat out doppelgangers, mimics, and illithids for completely related reasons.

Announcements
If you're curious about Dungeons & Delvers, our other tabletop role-playing game that's in the works (and nearly done), you can find public alpha adventure here.

Throughout the month of May, everything in our DriveThruRPG store is 13% off. If you want something and don't use DriveThru, hit us up and we can work something out. We've also added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

A Sundered World: More Character Stuff Preview 6

Here's a WIP of a cambion invoker from our upcoming A Sundered World supplement:


Cambions are getting three new sins to choose from: envy, pride, and sloth, and there's a 2-5 and 6-10 move for each (plus some extras, like being able to grow wings that can also be weaponized, and the ability to ascend into a true devil).

Since this art will be used for the invoker section, let's also talk about that. Invokers get a new way to obtain a divine shard (Claimed, which uses Strength for Divinity) and an Evil alignment choice, which is fitting for the above cambion since he's using the Soul Grinder move to recharge his mantra.

Other advanced moves let you bolster your shard's maximum mantra, burn mantra to command hirelings, create life, and perform a wizard-esque ritual with less requirements/restrictions.

Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

Throughout the month of May, everything in our DriveThruRPG store is 13% off. If you want something and don't use DriveThru, hit us up and we can work something out. We've also added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

Dungeons & Delvers: Into Yig's Coils Playtest

We ran Into Yig's Coils (sans the hexcrawl portion), the Dungeons & Delvers alpha playtest adventure, using a two-pregen party: Melissa went with the dwarf fighter, while our daughter chose the elf wizard. They succeeded in cleaning the place out and living to tell the tale, albeit barely: Melissa's fighter got dropped during the final encounter with Yig's avatar, right before our daughter and her shadow snake pet took it down.

It went as well as could be expected for such a small party: they had to take a long rest after destroying a skeletal lizardman chieftain, and again after taking out the lizardman mummy. Partially this is because they were both pretty tough (skeletal chieftain makes multiple attacks, while the mummy has its frightful presence aura and a cursed touch), partially because without a rogue they basically triggered every trap in the dungeon.

Note that long rests don't fully top you off: you regain an amount based on your Might score, which is penalized while camping in a dungeon environment (but this can be offset using healing supplies, which they fortunately had). So, it's to their credit that they only took a total of two long rests throughout the entire session: Melissa ended up touring the dungeon one or two Wounds down most of the time.

Even so, there are a few things that need changing, namely the Frightened and Poisoned conditions. Previously, when you were Frightened or Poisoned, you discarded your highest dice result when performing certain actions. For Frightened, it's when trying to deal with the source of your fear (most commonly a monster), while Poisoned penalizes you on pretty much everything, making it much worse.

In actual play, just having one condition was exceedingly punishing, especially for 1st-level characters. Whenever Melissa's character got Poisoned by one of several poisonous traps found throughout the pyramid, she was essentially useless until it wore off since her Attack, Defense, and Skill Pools only had two or three dice in them; it's hard to succeed even against Difficulty 5 tasks when you only get to keep one of your dice.

It's because of that that we're changing them—as well as other conditions that force you to discard dice—as follows: Frightened and Poisoned now have ratings, like Poisoned (-1). This means that whenever you attempt a task and the condition could hinder you, whatever you roll is reduced by that amount. So, if you try to hit a lizardman warrior (Difficulty 7) while Poisoned (-1), you actually need to roll an 8 or higher.

Frightened is also getting tweaked so that when you try to approach the source of your fear, it counts as moving through Difficult Terrain (each space counts as 2).

This allows things to be more granular: for example, weak poisons are just -1, while stronger ones would be -2 or more, medium-sized monsters with a Restrain ability might only impose a -1 penalty, while Large monsters would impose -2, and so on.

Image Dump












Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth, our other tabletop role-playing game that's in the works, you can find the public alpha playtest document here.

Throughout the month of May, everything in our DriveThruRPG store is 13% off. If you want something and don't use DriveThru, hit us up and we can work something out. We've also added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

4Ward/FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 401


Cast
  • Humal (level 5 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 5 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 5 elf rogue/ranger)

Summary
While Humal was at the garrison, Sumia and Corzale learned from Allustan that Balabar had been linked to the Ebon Triad cults that were operating beneath the Dourstone mine.

This, coupled with the rapidly growing reports of Kyuss zombies in the region, drew the long overdue attention and intervention of the garrison: soldiers rounded up anyone suspected of cult activity, imprisoning, torturing, and ultimately executing most of them.

This included Balabar and his associates, which to Sumia's relief also included Kullen, leaving a power vacuum that the garrison commander was all too happy to fill. And so, in some ways Diamond Lake had improved, but in many others it had somehow gotten worse.

Given the party's history, as well as Humal's heritage and arcane...preferences, Allustan suggested that they travel east to Dovin, the Free City. Not only did the city boast a library of considerable size, but Eligos, a former associate and fellow sage, also lived there: Allustan was confident that they'd be able to learn more about Kyuss and the Age of Worms.

The characters stayed the night at Allustan's home. The next day Humal purchased a couple of cheap coffins to store and conceal his minions, and both he and Sumia went in half-and-half on a pair of mules and a cart: it would make it easier to transport the coffins and cockatrice skeleton, as well as any treasure they might find.

On the third day of their five-day trek to Dovin they passed Blackwall Keep. In the handful of days since they'd left, it had been melted down by what Humal surmised was a very big, very angry black dragon, and the corpses that had been scattered about were ominously gone. They continued on, increasing their speed to put as much distance as they could between them and the ruined keep before nightfall.

Soon after the sun set, they came across several wagons circled about a large campfire. The travelers were for the most part nondescript, but seemed very friendly: they invited the characters to stay with them for the night, offering food and shelter. The characters were grateful, up until they realized that they were worshipers of Kyuss on a pilgrimage, at which point Humal and Corzale began plotting how best to murder the lot of them.

Sumia was opposed to this, because despite worshiping a horrible god-like entity bent on destroying the world, the cultists were both kind and trusting. Plus, they'd divulged their plan to head north and wait for further visions from Kyuss, which was bereft of any noteworthy settlements. Humal and Corzale pressed the matter, and Sumia agreed to help slaughter them all if she could find evidence that they'd committed horrible deeds.

Since none of the wagons were noticeably different, Sumia chose a pair at random. The first contained nothing of note, while the second contained a suspicious barrel that oozed green slime. When Sumia went to open it, a Kyuss zombie emerged from the shadows, grabbed her, and heaved her out of the wagon. The commotion woke the cultists, and the elder ordered the zombie to stop, get back in the wagon, and close the door behind it.

The zombie did as instructed and, after the elder was certain that Sumia wasn't infested with any Kyuss worms, asked what she was doing. Sumia claimed to have heard a groan coming from within the wagon, and to everyone's surprise the elder believed her, apologized, and offered to pay her for her troubles. He explained that the zombie normally didn't make any noise, so he didn't think to tell her about it.

Sumia declined the money, and once the cultists returned to their wagons and bedrolls the characters again debated as to whether they should murder them. Eventually they decided to just continue on through the night to Dovin, and hope that the cultists didn't try hunting them down, or cause any harm before arriving at whatever amounted to Kyuss's version of a promised land.

Design Notes
First things first, if you're interested in reading/playtesting FrankenFourthyou can see the current alpha here: if you've seen the first one we've added some new classes, crafting rules, treasure tables, magic items, monsters, and a bunch of other things.

I rolled the random encounters before we started. One of the results was pilgrims, and on a whim I decided to make them Kyuss cultists, with a note to "make them seem nice". It was really entertaining to listen to the players debate about whether they should kill them, which they wouldn't have done if the cultists were all crazy evil, and trying to capture and sacrifice them.

We talked about adjusting the cleric so that it was more dependent on Wisdom. A number of talents not featured in the public alpha rely on Wisdom (like the Fire and Storm domain), and divine rites will also require it, but we're going to see if adding your Wisdom to your base Favor points is too much.

I need to at least make a notecard for Cenric, one of the soldiers from Blackwall Keep that's teamed up with them, because I keep forgetting that he exists. I'm going to give him actual fighter levels, because then we can playtest fighter exploits and see how well they work in actual, extended play.

Announcements
If you're curious about Dungeons & Delvers, our other tabletop role-playing game that's in the works, you can find public alpha adventure here.

Throughout the month of May, everything in our DriveThruRPG store is 13% off. If you want something and don't use DriveThru, hit us up and we can work something out. We've also added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

FrankenFourth Public Alpha Update

We've created a second FrankenFourth public alpha document. There's a bunch of new content, including a pair of new classes, craft skills, alchemy items, random treasure, magic items, etc (check the changelog). I'd initially intended to just copy over the original, but this way I can still see previous comments and address them.

As before, we're currently most interested in hearing feedback about the mechanics. In addition to the cleric, wizard, Vitality/Wounds, and Armor, we also wanna know what people think about ranked talents, craft skills, and the treasure tables (which are largely lifted from the Easy to Master D&D black box).

As always, feel free to share it with your group, play it yourself, and comment on whatever on the Google Doc, here, or the FrankenFourth community over on G+.

Announcements
If you're curious about Dungeons & Delvers, our other stand-alone tabletop role-playing game, you can find a public alpha adventure here.

We've added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip. Itch.io and Lulu are next on the docket.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes. A player expansion is just over the horizon, too.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

Forging Dungeons With Dwarven Forge: City Builder System, Part 1

Previous Dwarven Forge posts have covered dungeons and caverns (though I still need to talk about the water cavern sets). This time I'm going to talk about the city part of the city builder sets: even so, there's still a bunch of sets to choose from. Before I get into those, lets go over the key pieces.

NOTE: Floors, wall posts, walls, and roofs come in two types: tudor and stone. The only difference between them is appearance: you can otherwise mix and match as you like.

Each floor tile is 4 x 4 spaces, though half a space on each side can be eaten up by a wall tile, giving a completely walled floor tile an area of 3 x 3 spaces. Floor tiles are either completely solid, have a 1 x 2 space slot for a staircase, or have a small 1 x 1 space opening for a trap door.


There's a hole in each corner, allowing you to insert a wall post. There are two types of walls posts: normal and double. Normal wall posts take up about a quarter of a space. They have a metal peg that you insert into a floor tile corner, and are used to hold wall tiles in place.


Double posts serve the same function, but take up a half-space. They have two pegs, and can be used to join two floor tiles together.


They look a bit nicer for interior walls, but personally we don't use them except maybe for the ground level, because it's easier to reveal rooms of a building if we can just lift individual floor tiles off. With the double-posts in place, you gotta lift every floor that's connected.

Wall tiles are just over 3 spaces wide, and about a half-space thick. There are several types: solid (with or without internal magnets), windows (center and off-center), and walls-with-doors. Stone walls can have arrow slits, and there's even a pricey LED-lighted wall add-on pack.


With all four wall posts and wall tiles in place, you can stack floor tiles on top in order to create a building with multiple floors.


Roof tiles come in tudor or slate types, and in two sizes: either 4 x 4, which is large enough to cap a typical building, or 2 x 4, which is...I dunno. I can't think of anything, since you can't do a "half-room". The pair I have has both a tudor and stone side, so I suppose you could flip them about, giving you a flexible roof option.


They're magnetic on the top, so you can attach various magnetic pieces like chimneys and gables, and you can arrange them next to each other for a longer building.


The gable piece is also nice for making an L-shaped building.


With the basics covered, lets move on to the sets.

The hamlet set runs just under $200 and comes with 104 pieces. I know this sounds like a lot, but about a fifth of the set are things like a pair of ladders, chimneys, various window inserts (curtains, shutters, and bars), roof perches, a few grab-bag minis, etc.

You also only get two walls-with-a-door (one tudor and stone), which means you can really only make two buildings...or combine them together to make one big-ass building:


If you've got an extra $75 to burn, you can instead pick up a village set. It gives you an extra 53 pieces, among them another tudor wall-with-a-door, meaning you can make another tudor house (or, again, combine them to make an even larger building).

If you want to start simpler, a tudor or stone starter set only runs $55, and gives you enough to make a two-story house, though you'll have to use a floor tile for the roof. If you have a floor or roof tile to spare, plus another wall tile, you can squeeze a three story building out of it.

If you want the roof tile, the tudor and stone cottage sets have got you covered: there's just enough to build a bare-bones, single room house, and they're only $39 a pop.

Beyond these there are a wide variety of sets if you need/want more floors, corner posts, double posts, walls with LED "torches", magnetic walls with magnetic accessories (like mounted dragon heads, shelves, tapestries, and signs), doors, roofs, platforms, balconies, etc.

I'd recommend starting with the hamlet or village sets if you can swing it. A tudor or stone roof set comes with another pair of doors, which will let you spread out some floor tiles to get some extra houses (with roofs to boot). From there you can pick up cottage sets as needed.

Both the magnetic walls and accessories and tavern accessories sets are pretty rad, too. Even if you have no interest in the city sets, they can be used for dungeons. Same goes for the LED braziers.


Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

We've added most of our stuff to Tabletop Library and Payhip.

A Sundered World is out (and also available in dead-tree format)! If you for some reason don't want the entire setting, you can just snag the races and classes.

The Beastmaster is also out, and we're working on a cleric and paladin class next. If there's anything you want/don't want to see in those classes, let us know!

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).

Followers

Recent Comments

bloggerbloggerRecent Comments Widget

Popular Post

Blog Archive

- Copyright © Points of Light -Metrominimalist- Powered by Blogger - Designed by Johanes Djogan -