A Sundered Fragment - Art Pack II

This art pack contains all of the art from A Sundered World: Player Fragments.

As with our previous three art packs, you can use the art in this pack in anything but another stock art collection (at least, not without asking us first), you can use it as much as you want, and you can edit it however you want to make it work. The only condition is that you need to credit us.

You can see a preview of every illustration in the pack over on DriveThruRPG, using either of the preview links.

Another Note: If you purchase using the PayPal Buy Now button, we will also send you a complimentary copy through DriveThruRPG. Please allow up to 24 hours for delivery, though it usually ends up taking maybe a half hour, and at the most eight (depends on if you buy it after we've gone to bed).

$3.99

$4.99


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

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it 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).

Design & Development: The Druid

I've been on and off working on the druid for awhile now—mostly trying to figure out how I wanted its magic to work—and it's at a point where we can finally playtest it (which we'll be doing this Thursday in place of our A Sundered World campaign).

Here's what it looks like right now:

Stats & Proficiencies
Wounds and Vitality would be on par with the cleric.

They can use claw bracers, clubs, daggers, darts, greatclub, longbow, quarterstaff, shortbow, sickle, sling, and spears.

They can wear light armor and use a light shield. Not restricting them from wearing metal armor (right now, anyway), because they can wield metal weapons.

Wildshape
This is an at-will thing, but it takes a minute (so you can't go back and forth in combat).

Now, our Dungeon World druid lets you turn into basically anything that's your size: you gain all of the new forms features and limitations (including, for example, flight and the inability to speak), and chose x options from a list, such as thicker skin, better natural weapons, and complete mastery over one of the form's abilities (ie, if your form lets you fly, you don't fly so clumsily).

I'm thinking a similar approach would work here, too, but with a generic stat block or two to determine things like default Speed, AC/Armor, and natural weapon damage. When you turn into an animal, you get to pick x options to beef yourself up, such as increased Strength, Speed (and flight, climbing, and swimming Speeds), and darkvision.

Also like our Dungeon World druid, you suffer a penalty to your Intelligence and Charisma (reflecting your mind becoming more primal).

Ranking this up and/or taking related talents lets you transform into things bigger and smaller than you are, plus plants and elementals, choose more options, and transform more quickly.

Druid Magic
From what I could find druids were, among other things, religious leaders, so the easiest way to handle druid magic would be to just give them Favor like a cleric. Clerics already have a sacrifice mechanic (a way to regain Favor sooner by sacrificing valuables), which also works well with druids what with all the human sacrifice.

Other things I'd considered (and might use for other classes):

Commune With Nature
You make a Wisdom check to do something, and if you succeed it happens. If you fail nothing happens, but like our nomad I could also have seen a kind of Calamity table if you nat 1'd the check.

Universal Recharge
If you haven't played 4th or 5th Edition, some monsters had abilities that would say something like recharge 5+. When they used that ability, at the start of their turn you'd roll a d6, and if you roll that number or higher they could use it again.

With this mechanic, when you use a recharge ability you can't use any other recharge abilities until you make the roll, but you could suffer Wound damage to give yourself a bonus on the roll in case you really want to use a recharge ability when your turn comes around. 

Weaker abilities would recharge on something like a 3 or 4+, while more powerful magic would require a 6. Also could have played with using larger dice, and letting you roll multiple dice and take the highest result.

Druid Talents
Here's a bunch of potential talents I also whipped up.

Barkskin
Grants AC/DR bonus when not wearing armor (or rather, doesn't stack with armor), but adds fire vulnerability 5. Rank ups increase AC/DR and reduce fire vulnerability.

Call Lightning
Single-target attack. Requires stormy weather or a bound storm elemental. Costs 1 Favor.

Chain Lightning
Prerequisite: Call Lightning
Spend additional Favor to have lightning bolt arc onto another creature.

Charm Animal
Prerequisite: Wild Speech
Charms on animal of your level or lower. Can only have one charmed animal at a time.

Command Water
Control water in an area. Can also make it attack. Costs 1 Favor.

Entangle
Area-effect attack that can restrain. Costs 1 Favor.

Pack Master
Can summon more animals. Takes longer. Limit by total level.

Reincarnation
Ritual that brings someone back to life as something else.

Rejuvination
Ritual that requires target buried in ground to increase healing.

Renewal
Touch a creature and heal them (prolly 1d8+Wisdom Wound points). Costs 1 Favor.

Speak With Plants
Communicate with plants. At-will, no cost. Might be required for Wild Speech.

Summon Animal
Prerequisite: Charm Animal
Ritual that takes x minutes (or spend 1 Favor to get it right away). Animal requires an offering of food or it flees. Can be up to your level, and you can only have one at a time helping you.

Summon Elemental
Ritual that lets you summon and bind elementals. Limited by your level.

Transfer Health
Living sacrifice grants health to another. Can also transfer Wounds between willing creatures (including yourself).

Tree Shape
Ritual, at-will. Turn into a tree that can slowly move about. Rank ups let you attack and move faster.

Tree Stride
At-will, teleport from tree touched to another you can see. Rank ups increase distance and let you teleport as a swift action and even an immediate action.

Wall of Wood
Prerequisite: Entangle
Exactly what it says on the tin. Extra ranks increase size and add thorns. Costs 1 Favor.

Waterbreathing
You can breath underwater. At-will. Can use a ritual to grant water breathing to others for a limited time.

Weather-Worker
Can change local weather. Ritual effect, or spend 1 Favor if you want it right away.

Wicker Man
Ritual that basically lets you make a wood golem. Level is yours when you make it, and rank ups increase the size.

Wild Speech
Can talk to any animal. At-will, no cost.

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

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it 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).

FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 509


Cast
  • Humal (level 9 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 9 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 9 elf rogue/ranger)

Summary
As soon as Sumia finished describing as best she could the bloated amalgamation of Bozal and Kyuss worm within the room, there was a muffled groaning of metal. When she peered through the hole again the creature was gone. The pipe leading into the pump had been torn open, which begged the question: was it coming for them, or retreating?

The party swiftly retraced their steps through the southern hall and training room, and when they arrived at the hall that connected to the pump room a wave of dark green slime swimming with worm-ridden undead came cascading towards them. As the undead staggered to their feet, the Bozal-Worm emerged from the pump room—an act that took some effort due to its considerable size—and began gradually wriggling its way towards the waste chute.

With the hallway clogged with undead and dark green slime, it was impossible for the party to pursue the Bozal-Worm; at least it was also too narrow for more than a few of the undead to claw at Corzale as she held the line. Unfortunately, despite the Bozal-Worm's impeded speed and the undead's susceptibility to Corzale's twice-blessed hammer, by the time the last of the undead fell the Bozal-Worm had already vanished down the waste chute.

Apparently it hadn't intended on confronting them, but the question now was where was it going, and why?

Design Notes
Another short session because Jacob had to duck out early (real life can do that to you), so we spent some time after the game talking about various game stuff and armor.

I'm overhauling armor (boo...), but not the armor mechanics (yay!): added a few new armor types, shuffled some stuff about, grouped everything into light/medium/heavy categories, got rid of Speed penalties entirely (so Armored Mobility will probably end up being a slight increase to the maximum Dexterity bonus that a given suit of armor allows), and the new Armor Class/Damage Resistance ceiling is +5 for both (was formerly +4/+4 for plate).

This puts plate-clad warriors nearly on par with lightly armored, Dexterity-focused rogue-types (AC 15 versus 16, though you can grab a shield and also get a 16), which I'm fine with because heavy armor also gives a buttload of damage resistance. Plus, as with A Sundered World you'll be able to purchase armor (and weapons and other things) made from special materials, namely mithril and adamantine.

In terms of the actual adventure (The Champion's Belt), I changed how the Apostalic Scroll can be interacted with such that a party can actually do something with it, which has caused a huge shift in the expected course of events in this adventure, and I'm totally okay with that. It'll be really interesting if the party fails to stop Bozal-Worm from doing whatever it is he intends on doing (I know, but they don't).

Showcased where we are with the cover art on this post. The basic game is virtually done, just gotta do a few more bits of art and reorganize some of the writing, which will give people more time to submit feedback.

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

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it 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).

Design & Development: The Nomad

I based the nomad from A Sundered World loosely on the psychoportation psion specialist from 3rd Edition's Expanded Psionics Handbook, but rather than give it something like per-camp power points, we opted for a roll-and-hold move that lets you do things like teleport and manipulate things from a distance (including "manipulating" a sword into a creature's guts).

(If you want to see more details, I posted a preview of the class awhile back, and though A Sundered World was released just over a year later it's still very close to the final iteration.)

Since FrankenFourth is more of a traditional Dungeons & Dragons thing, we started out giving the nomad power points that recharged during a short rest. The idea was that this would allow Adam (Waive's player) to utilize his psychic powers more often, but when shit hit the fan he ended up just hanging back and burning through his power points tele-stabbing things.

Granted this strategy was effective at both killing monsters and keeping Waive alive long enough to take their shit, it just failed to properly evoke the feeling of a highly mobile mind-mage, so we're going to strike out in a drastically different direction. The first thing is that most if not all of the nomad's stuff is going to be usable at any time...

BLARGHLARGH GAME BALANCE!?!??!
...with some caveats.

The first is what we're calling the "ripple" die. Reflecting the ever changing spatial fabric, the ripple die is rolled at the start of every round, or whenever the nomad tries to do something outside of combat (unless he happens to do two things in the span of 6 six seconds). It starts at a d4, and whatever value comes up determines the range of many nomad powers. As you level up, the die increases, and doing certain things can further modify it.

For example, short range teleports will be the ripple die's current value x 10 feet. If you roll a 4, then great you can teleport 40 feet that round, but if you get a 1 then you can only go 10 feet.

Same goes for the nomad's teleport-stabs, sensory projection, grabbing/placing things beyond arm's reach, and so on. We know that some people consider teleporting to be a super-big-game-destroying-deal (think of the pits and walls!), but we're hoping that the variable and overall limited distance will prevent what I suppose some would consider abuse.

The next thing are "tear" abilities.

Adam had initially pitched this idea back during A Sundered World's development. The idea was that fold (the hold currency that the nomad uses for many of its abilities) would be used for more passive things like teleporting, while a "tear" currency could be gained and used for more destructive powers. I'm not sure why it didn't make the cut: maybe we couldn't make the mechanics work, or I didn't think players would want to juggle two types of hold (in addition to hold from defend and potentially other moves), but we're giving it a shot this time.

These are for when the nomad wants or needs to risk tearing open the fabric of space for various reasons. Examples we've cooked up in a pair of G+ comments are to give you a bonus to the ripple die on the following round, dealing area-effect damage (based on the fabriquake move from A Sundered World: Player Fragments), creating a zone where everyone is hasted or slowed, teleporting a creature away (with or without damage), and even shuffling everyone in an area about.

Though these are also usable whenever, the nomad must make an Intelligence check each time he gives it a shot. Failure means rolling on a Calamity Table to see how it backfires: could mean you take some damage or are dazed/stunned, but you could also accidentally summon something from beyond space and time. Ideally I'd like to have one Calamity Table, but depending on how many tear abilities we cook up they might each have their own (or there might be a few tables and each ability will refer you to a specific Calamity Table).

Finally, some nomad abilities will be usable whenever-if-you-have-enough-time, or be passive effects. An example of the former is a really long range teleport, taking 10 minutes or 10 minutes per x miles or something like that, and an example of the latter would be a talent like Making Waves, which bumps up the next ripple die roll by +1 for each 10 feet you move on your turn (encouraging you to stay on the move).

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

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it 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).

FrankenFourth: WIP Cover

Since people are now looking at the nearly-finalized FrankenFourth basic rules (if you're interested leave a comment or hit us up on whatever social network thing you use), I figured it was time to work on the cover since I want something flashier than just the title. Here's where we are so far:


I'd like to cram a third character in there somewhere. Maybe behind the fighter (which is the same fighter that we used on the cover of The Fighter, and you might recognize the rogue, too). Still gotta add some more detail to the rocks and dragon.

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

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it 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).

FF/ASW: The Golden Spiral Finale

Cast
  • Asheal (level 3 ishim wizard)
  • Hordac (level 3 tarchon battlemind)
  • Waive (level 3 scion nomad)

Summary
Probably hoping to avoid another pointless massacre, Giganteos quickly clarified that the party weren't helimorphosis volunteers, which caused Doctor Lucorum to immediately lose interest and return his focuses back to the tasks at his many hands.

Giganteos explained that this alchemical lab was primarily used to experiment with all the slime excavated from numerous pockets within the First Snail, which resulted in,among other things, healing potions, malleoil, and youth oil. The party decided to continue on, and return after they decided whether to spare the Doctor and his assistants.

After passing across and out of the lab, Giganteous proceeded to guide them to the only other rooms they hadn't already ransacked: the hatchery and garden. Asheal managed to convince Hordac to not incinerate the snails and eggs in the hatchery, and they opted to just skip the garden because from what Giganteos said they were only growing carrots and lettuce (and they'd discovered plenty of food in the dining room).

They returned to Cubopolis (a cube-shaped island filled with gears) and informed the salt-cthon Kloros of their success (their deeds were corroborated by Iodes). Waive and Hordac demanded double the pay, but Kloros informed them that he regrettably only offered what he could provide, just before saying his farewell to Iodes and crumbling into a large pile of salt.

Design & Development
The basic rules for FrankenFourth are basically done: we're just going through a round of closed feedback to see if anyone catches any issues with the rules, and trying to make sure that everything makes sense. If you're interested, leave a comment or email me at antiochcow@gmail.com and I'll share the Google Doc with you.

Need to work on refining the nomad and battlemind (but since they would be in the FrankenFourth version of A Sundered World it's not a high priority right now).

I'm not satisfied with giving nomads power points (though I think it would work "well enough" if we can't find something better). Currently I'm thinking of making them roll a "ripple" die every round to give them a power multiplier (reflecting changing ripples in the fabric of space). It'd start at something like d4, then gradually scale up as you gain more nomad levels.

For example, their teleport power could let them teleport 10 feet * whatever the die value is: if you roll a 3, then you can teleport 30 feet that round, but if you roll a 1, then you only get 10 feet. Obviously this wouldn't be that big of a deal out of combat (just keep waiting and rolling until you get a high enough value), so the big thing would be playtesting this to see if/how these powers can be abused.

(Right now this would be "at-will" stuff, though again they might end up with power points, and depending on how easy it is to recover them the power effects would change.)

During development of the Dungeon World/A Sundered World nomad, Adam (the guy that basically only plays nomads to the point where his character is the art for the nomad section, and makes appearances in other bits of art) kicked around the idea of letting you play with fold and tear currencies, with tear being use for more destructive powers.

We ultimately decided against it, because people didn't want to juggle a bunch of hold currencies all the time, but this time I think we could make it kind-of work. You wouldn't spend points (so far), instead making an Intelligence check: if you succeed then you do whatever it is you wanted to do, but if you fail you'd roll on a table to see what sort of calamity occurs (kind of like wild magic).

Possible uses for tearing the fabric is increasing your "ripple" result on the following round, banishing a creature for a period of time (random duration, reappears in a random spot), creating an an area of "difficult terrain" (or giving allies a speed boost/teleport), stopping someone from moving at all, dealing area-effect damage, or even summoning an entity from outside time and space (not necessarily controllable).

The battlemind is a simpler fix: just need to compare it to the fighter (which I've had to nerf like three times so far), and remove some passive stuff (like the damage bonus) to account for their psychic powers.

Anywho, now that we're finally done with The Golden Spiral Melissa is taking the reins for our next adventure. She's got something planned with time travel and/or temporal anomalies, so I'm rolling up a kytheran chronomancer. Once she's done I'll probably have to run again, and I've got an idea for a vampire adventure that I think is wildly different from the usual fare.

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

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it 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).

D&D Doesn't Use Vancian Magic

On a whim I picked up Appendix N, a purchase that I've been questioning, borderline regretting since the first chapter on Jack Vance in which the author gets a number of things wrong, including the notion that people don't "get" (pseudo-)Vancian magic simply because they never read The Dying Earth.

Magic in The Dying Earth does make sense, and can be very easily explained without requiring you to read any of the books, it's just that Dungeons & Dragons magic deviates from The Dying Earth such that it no longer makes sense.

Basically, in The Dying Earth a wizard picks the spells he wants, and after an unspecified amount of time (The Dying Earth role-playing game requires 20-60 minutes, but I don't remember any mention of time in the actual stored) they're stored in your head and ready to go.

While conceptually a fire-and-forget model, going off the books it sounds less like you're literally memorizing-and-forgetting spells, and more like you're cramming the spells into your head and releasing them at a later time:

Maziriam made a selection from his books and with great effort forced five spells upon his brain: Phandaal's Gyrator, Felojun's Second Hypnotic Spell, The Excellent Prismatic Spray, The Charm of Untiring Nourishment, and the Spell of the Omnipotent Sphere. This accomplished, Maziriam drank wine and retired to his couch.

They also might be alive or intelligent to some degree:

Turjan found a musty portfolio, turned the heavy pages to the spell the Sage had shown him, the Call to the Violet Cloud. He stared down at the characters and they burned with an urgent power, pressing off the page as if frantic to leave the dark solitude of the book.

A key difference from Dungeons & Dragons is that wizards in The Dying Earth have a universal head space. It's not oddly compartmentalized into leveled slots. You don't have some first level slots that can only hold 1st-level spells, and you don't have 2nd-level slots that can hold 1st- or 2nd-level spells, but if you fill it with a 1st-level spell the rest of the space is wasted (just as if you used a whopping 9th-level slot).

Another key difference is that overall the magic is prep-and-release: the closest thing I could find to "at-will" magic is cantraps (yes, cantraps) from The Dying Earth role-playing game, though I don't recall them in the stories. If you play 4th Edition you could drop cantrips and at-wills, and treat everything as an encounter spell (since it seems like you can just keep cramming more spells in your head over the course of the day): you'd just need to bump up how long it takes you to re-prep them, adjust how many can be stored at a time, and/or modify their effects to account for the frequency change.

If you play 5th Edition, also drop cantrips and let wizards re-prep their spells--not slots, but actual spells--during a short rest, though you'd still need to overhaul what spells do and probably adjust how many you can store at once. Treating them as rituals would also work (for both 4th and 5th Edition), since you can cast them right out of your spellbook if you have the time.

We've already designed a "vancomancer" for Dungeon World: you get 1 spell slot per level, there are simple spells (1 slot) and complex spells (2 slots), because that's how it worked in The Dying Earth role-playing game, and when you cast a spell it's always released, but you can keep prepping spells throughout the day so long as you have the time and spell available.

If I were to make a vancomancer for FrankenFourth or Dungeons & Delvers (and I'm debating whether the default wizard should use this), it'd basically be the same: you have x slots (probably 1/wizard level, or maybe based on your Intelligence+wizard level), and you can fill your head with any spells you want so long as you don't exceed this total

I could see more powerful spells taking up more than one slot, and maybe even make a spell do more if you let it eat up more space. So, instead of something like fireball dealing 1d6 damage/level, it'd deal 1d6 damage per slot it uses up. There'd also be a way to try and "simplify" a spell (reducing the number of slots it needs), casting a spell right out of the spellbook, and casting a spell more quickly (chance that it doesn't work, is easier to resist, and/or causes some random effect).

You can reload your spells with enough time, maybe something like 10 minutes per slot, or just reload however many you want during a short rest. Because of this the overall effects of spells probably wouldn't be like what you see in other D&D games.

I also wouldn't base saving throws on the number of slots a spell requires (i.e. how 3rd Edition based spell saves on the spell's level), so even simple spells could have some use at later levels. Though, your wizard level would boost the save Difficulty: currently it's +1 every five levels so long as you have a focus (though the overall math doesn't scale quickly so it's not like you're completely crippled without one).

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

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it 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).

FrankenFourth: Looking for Feedback!

We're looking for people that want to look over the latest FrankenFourth "basic" rules document.

It's currently a 114ish page Google Document, and this would mostly be about seeing if everything makes sense (ie, you don't need us around to explain and clarify things for you) and is well-written and organized.

(Of course pointing out mechanics things/rules tweaks is also fine.)

Once all the writing and art is done this will be published as a stand-alone RPG, and as with our Dungeon World stuff anyone that provides useful feedback/criticism/suggestions/etc will get a free PDF when it's done.

If you're interested, leave a comment here, email me, or get in touch with me on G+ or Facebook or whatever you use.

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

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it 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).

FF/ASW: The Golden Spiral, Episode 106

Cast
  • Asheal (level 3 ishim wizard)
  • Hordac (level 3 tarchon battlemind)
  • Waive (level 3 scion nomad)

Summary
After they finished loading up Iodes with the shell masks and jewelry strewn about Ostona's room, the party retraced their steps to the dining room to retrieve the cooling and heating boxes, as well as whatever foodstuffs they thought they would actually eat (or at least be able to sell).

Continuing through another tunnel, they came across a passage sealed with a membrane. Waive unceremoniously stabbed it with the celestial salt spear, causing it to shriek and shrivel up. This revealed a cultist quartet, whose confusion quickly turned to fear after Hordac brandished his sword-arms and bellowed out a fiery roar.

But, before he could charge in and commence with their effortless destruction, a blast of corrosive slime struck him in the chest. A trio of cultists slowly descended from a hole in the ceiling. Unlike the other cultists they'd encountered, the snails on their heads had long, spired shells covered in glowing runes.

With a twist of space, Waive yanked one of the snails off of the cultist it was riding on. The cultist seemed confused, moreso when Hordac flung him towards one of the walls and hacked apart what he assumed was a snail autocrat. Waive shoved the salt spear through a spatial ripple at one of the snails; the cultist it was riding on howled with pain, and commanded the other cultists to retrieve it.

Waive viciously tore open the fabric of space, sucking in each of the cultists, giving Asheal a clear shot at the snail mage that he'd wounded. Once she'd vaporized it, the remaining snail held up its tiny arms and, speaking through its scion vassal, surrendered. Initially Waive and Hordac wanted to kill it anyway, but Asheal convinced them to spare it because she sought whatever surely snail-related magical knowledge it could teach her.

The snail agreed and introduced itself as Giganteos. The party interrogated it, learning that Giganteos needed the vassal in order to audibly communicate, and while it could mentally control creatures by attaching itself to their heads, the specially trained mage-vassals had volunteered for this duty. They also learned that Giganteos didn't seem particularly concerned with the destruction of Ostona, possibly because it knew that if it tried to avenge her or flee the party would just destroy it.

More or less satisfied with its answers, Giganteos proceeded to guide the party through the temple. After effortlessly slaughtering a room filled with lesser cultists, they came across another membrane. Giganteos explained that they could be simply passed through by anyone wearing one of the numerous shell gorgets they'd found in Ostona's sanctum. The party each donned one, and as Giganteos stated they were able to move through the membrane without it emitting any noise.

The room beyond was filled with tables covered in beakers, vials, vats, scrolls, scattered notes, and thick tomes. Shelves lined one wall, and large vats filled with an ochre fluid lined another. A trio of snail cultists were hunched over tables, scrawling notes and making adjustments to various instruments. Near the center of the chamber was a mechanical creature, which could have been roughly described as humanoid if it weren't for its three pairs of arms, three faces, and telescoping eyes that allowed it to simultaneously monitor and assist each cultist.

The party was still standing at the entrance, taking everything in, when one of the eyes craned about, followed by several more. After a brief examination each of the faces spoke in unison.

"Ah, fresh test subjects!"

Design & Development
Shane swapped out Hordac's breath weapon talents for actual battlemind stuff, which is good because now I can see how it works in actual play. Though, after the 1.4 update I'm gonna have to redo the battlemind progression to account for the drop in overall fighter efficacy (don't want the battlemind to be a super fighter).

We're gonna try having wizard mana recover more slowly, something like 1/wizard level per short rest. If that works out, I'll try changing nomad power points to something similar. Or, might move closer to the Dungeon World nomad and have them make an Intelligence check in a new area to see how much fold they can find and use.

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

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it 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).

Dungeon World: Portuguese Playbooks

I want to give a quick shout-out to Marcelo Paschoalin of Letraimpressa, who has translated The Therianthrope and The Witch to Portuguese. If that's something that interests you, you can snag them here and here respectively.


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

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it 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).
January 25, 2017
Posted by David Guyll

FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 508 & 1.4 Update

Cast
  • Humal (level 9 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 9 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 9 elf rogue/ranger)

Summary
While the rest of the party rested, Humal examined the remains of the alkilith: its ichor would be useful in creating potent acid and toxic gases, while the remains of its hide could be fashioned into armor resistant to acid. With access to an arcane laboratory, he could even create armor capable of coating itself in acid.

What could be consider its brain was the utmost importance for him. Thanks to his knowledge of necromancy, he could preserve it in a jar and gradually learn what knowledge and magic it possessed. This would also require access to an arcane laboratory, but if he became desperate he could consume it to gain temporary access to its knowledge.

Loading up everything he needed in his bag of holding, they returned to the room with the Apostolic scroll. Despite the risk of necromantic backlash, Humal attempted to undo the magic surrounding the scroll, and through great effort he succeeded. It still sapped his strength, though he was certain that failure would have resulted in far more severe consequences.

With the beam gone Sumia peeked through the hole into the room beyond: since her eyes could see in complete darkness, she was able to behold its contents. A gargantuan, worm like creature was curled about in a lubricous mass. Its numerous legs twitched as it slowly unfurled, and Sumia saw that its head was a bone-like mask that closely resembled Bozal's face.

As Sumia stared in horror, certain that the Bozal-worm-creature could see her, the mask split open, revealing a cavernous maw filled with needle-like teeth and worm-ridden corpses.

Design Notes
We didn't get a chance to play much because one of the players had trouble getting Hangouts to work. He eventually got it working, but by then we were over and hour late so we mostly talked about the 1.4 document update (we'll do a closed feedback round with it soon).

4th Edition-esque Defenses got flipped to saving throws. Previously we were using the 4th Edition model in which the attacker always rolls, but we held a poll and the majority wanted saving throws. Even so, we'll put in a Defense variant rule in the back so if you want to go that route you can with just a bit of work.

Armor also got changed to a hybrid model: leather nets you damage resistance 1, and better armor gives you both damage resistance and an Armor Class bonus (up to DR 4 and +4 AC with plate armor). This allows for more types of armor without making the numbers too big (also magic armor).

Talked about changing wizards to an actual Vancian spellcasting model, but Jacob really likes the talent-mana system due to its flexibility (and I like it because its actually a little unpredictable and dangerous). This is one of those things I'll probably end up doing anyway as a new/variant wizard class (like our Dungeon World vancomancer).

Corzale ended up multiclassing into fighter, which revealed that I need to specify that multiclassing does not grant you all the 1st-level things (otherwise you'd have players snagging 1st-level from a bunch of classes and ending up with a shitload of Wounds, Vitality, and extra stuff).

Finally, there's another example of monster harvesting, with Humal snagging 700 sp worth of alkilith bits to use however he sees fit (plus the brain).

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

The Rogue is our latest alternate-addition to the Dungeon World core class roster. If you want something different and/or more flexible than the thief, be sure to check it out!

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it 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).

Dungeon World: The Rogue

The Rogue is now on sale! It has been added to our All of the Playbooks, Adventuring Party, and Alternative Classes bundles over on DriveThruRPG.

This class deviates from the thief in more than name. Backstab is replaced with sneak attack, which is more flexible and doesn't contradict the rulebook about attacking things unawares, stealthy and evasion make you more difficult to notice and pin down, and tricks of the trade handles the Dexterity-based skills: instead of giving you all of them at the start you get one from your background, and you get to choose a second (an advanced move lets you grab the third if you want).

The twenty-nine advanced moves provide you with numerous ways to customize your character. As with most of our classes there are move trees or paths to choose from: you can move around while hiding without being noticed, deal more damage with sneak attack (and more easily assist your party), make yourself even harder to hit and harm, specialize in your skills, make ranged sneak attacks, learn to use and make poisons, and more.

There's also a bunch of new weapons, armor, and dungeon gear, several magic items (including a dagger that you can jam in someone's head to animate and control them until you take it out), and an arcane trickster compendium class if you want to learn a bit of magic to supplement your other talents.

This product contains three files.

The first is a letter-sized character sheet that uses our new character sheet layout (so we could fit all pdf the advanced moves on the back).

The other two are digest-sized PDFs, one in color, the other in black and white to make it easier to print at home. They both contain:

  • The rogue class (which includes 29 advanced moves).
  • New weapons, armor, dungeon gear, and magic items.
  • The arcane trickster compendium class (8 moves in total)
  • Six extra moves we couldn't fit on the sheet
  • A Director's Cut with questions to ask yourself when rolling up a rogue, explanations/clarifications for some of the moves, and a suggestion for an assassin background if you want to better use poisons right away.

You can see a preview of it over on DriveThruRPG.

Note: If you purchase using the PayPal Buy Now button, we will also send you a complimentary copy through DriveThruRPG. Please allow up to 24 hours for delivery, though it usually ends up being at most eight (depends on if you buy it after we've gone to bed).

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

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

Hot on the heels of The Blackguard, The Troll is out! The Rogue is up next: we should have an alpha draft ready soon.

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+ Treasures Goes Gold!

10+ Treasures is a Best Gold Seller on over on DriveThruRPG!

Actually, this happened awhile ago (though I'm not sure exactly when): our internet was also down for a few days, and we wanted to get a new cover done to commemorate this event (because the original was drawn back when I was still getting used to a Wacom tablet that I'd owned for years yet barely used).

10+ Treasures is one of the earliest things Melissa and I created: we'd been offering a lot of suggestions and advice to people making magic items in the Dungeon World community on G+, and someone asked us when we were going to make our own magic item book.

Since then we've made four more volumes, compiled them into a single PDF volume (with a few extra items and tables for randomly rolling them), and have plenty more in the works (might hold a vote to see what theme people wanna see next).

We're also gonna update the printed book files: if you’ve already purchased a physical book, hit us up and we’ll send you a print-at-cost link if you want to get another one with the new cover.

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

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

Hot on the heels of The Blackguard, The Troll is out! The Rogue is up next: we should have an alpha draft ready soon.

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).

The Bard Was Featured on Discern Realities!

Just over a week ago Melissa and I got tagged on a G+ post for a Dungeon World podcast called Discern Realities.

I'd never heard of it before (at least I don't think I have), so I went on over to figure out why we were tagged. Turns out one Jason Cordova had been gifted The Bard during one of our usual product giveaways on G+, and (understandably) he really liked what he saw!

If you're curious, go and give it a listen, and if you like what they have to say about The Bard pick it up!

I think The Bard is due for at the least a cover update: it's one of our earlier Dungeon World products, and we've learned a lot since then, so if you pick it up (or already have it), let us know what you'd like to see added or changed.

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

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

Hot on the heels of The Blackguard, The Troll is out! The Rogue is up next: we should have an alpha draft ready soon.

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: Eldritch World

I wrote a post over three years ago about doing Star Wars as Lovecraftian Horror. Also a while back but more recently I did another flavor-centric post about a for some reason still unfinished sun priest class for a Dungeon World setting that I was going to call Eldritch World.

I haven't stopped thinking about the general setting concept (or the class for that matter), but it's grown and changed since those two posts. Here's where I'm at, now.

The nutshelled backstory is that a sun deity named Ayash creates a world and all life on it, and after a while a bunch of Great Old Ones show up and start ruining their shit. Ayash and her creations (both mortals and angels) fight back, but in the end Ayash is forced to incinerate the world and start over.

(I'm thinking that the default "tech-level" of the campaign during what I guess you'd call the Second Age is about bronze age, with a heavy Mesopotamian style.)

The bad news is that not even Ayash's power was sufficient to completely destroy the Great Old Ones, but the attempt and act of recreating life exhausted her such that she is forced to retreat to her heavenly realm on the sun in order to rest.

So the the scorched not-quite-corpse husks of the Great Old Ones now orbit the world, like a bunch of twisted moons. When night falls and they're shielded from the sun's light they begin to slowly regenerate and stir, causing chunks of them to break off and fall upon the world: sometimes they transform into or give birth to Lovecraftian horrors, sometimes they warp the region around them, often they do both.

The good news is once they are re-exposed to sunlight the Great Old One husks once again burn and shrivel up, and whatever fell upon the world is destroyed...so long as it's touched by sunlight.

Monsters born from these husk fragments instinctively flee from it, seeking safe places to hide until night falls and they can venture forth to terrorize, mutate, and/or devour whatever they find. But, sometimes fragments fall in forests or punch through the ground and land into caverns, where they are safely concealed during the day. This allows them to grow and fester, and sometimes insane cultists find the husks and monsters and provide them with shelter.

Since the progeny of the Great Old Ones cannot bear the sun's light, dungeon locales wouldn't need to be changed much: dense forests, deep caverns, ruined/sunken cities, hidden grottos and temples, sewer systems or ancient parts of a city that have been built over, anywhere that's well hidden. But, many would feature weird shit like distorted time or space, and otherwise mutated terrain and inhabitants.

Other, more exotic locales would include dreamscapes or venturing through gates that lead to other dimensions or worlds (perhaps other worlds that the Great Old Ones destroyed or conquered). Also, since Ayash is sleeping and there aren't many angels left, adventurers might go to various heavenly kingdoms on the sun if for no other reason than to raid them for artifacts to use against the Great Old Ones.

Adventurers could be hired to patrol the streets of cities at night or help keep watch in smaller villages, hunt down cult cells and husk fragments that fall out of the sky, destroy portals and star arrays, and deal with dangerous monsters plaguing settlements. They'd also explore dungeons in search of treasure, especially ruined cities and temples from before the Purification.

For races, obviously human, probably dwarves and kobolds (they hid underground before the Purification). Might rename ishim for a celestial race, and would wanna look up Mesopotamian demons to see how well cambions would work. Not sure about elves (could have hidden in a fae realm).

As for classes:

  • Fighters, paladins, and barbarians are basically unchanged, and would be great to have on hand for hacking apart the bandits, barbarian hordes, eldritch horrors, and cultists that you'll invariably run into.
  • Bards, druids, rogues, and rangers are also basically going to be the same (wonder how to handle bards knowing things mortals aren't meant to know, though).
  • Clerics of Ayesh are a big deal, and the most common, but clerics can also worship powerful angels or spirits (though shamans might be more appropriate if you want to play someone that deals with nature spirits).
  • Instead of physically draining you, wizard magic would drive the user insane and/or cause mutations if used too frequently. On the upside, wizards would know how to communicate with, imprison, banish, and even command the Lovecraftian horrors lurking in the shadows.
  • Psionic powers (battlemind, nomad, psion, etc) would be ideal: not only would they not drive you insane or mutate you, but mental shielding could also prevent you from being driven insane!
  • Warlocks with an outer god pact would be regarded with suspicion for obvious reasons, though they might prove invaluable so long as you are confronting an opposing Great Old One. Of course, the party could be part of a cult, in which case The Cultist would also be a good fit (if we do this in Dungeon World, that is).

Definitely going to want some sort of random mutation tables. Also some sort of mechanic for insanity and various fear effects. I know 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons had Heroes of Horror, and 4th Edition had a fear/madness card deck from I think Gloomwrought that gave you bonuses if you overcame your fear. I also have a bunch of boxes of 1st and 2nd Edition stuff I can rummage through in case I wanna go old school.

At any rate, going to see about starting up a campaign using this setting as an alternative when someone can't make it to our usual Monday/Thursday games (or maybe just switch over if they get bored), though I'll probably start running Melissa through it solo before any of that happens since we need to do more playtesting anyway.

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

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

Hot on the heels of The Blackguard, The Troll is out! The Rogue is up next: we should have an alpha draft ready soon.

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: Defenses vs. Saves

Oh hey look yet another thing I'm mulling over, this time whether to keep static defenses for Fortitude, Reflex, and Will (a la 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons) or go back to saving throws (a la 3rd Edition, though I could also see making every stat its own save).

Personally I can see a case for both.

On one hand, rolling against a static defense value has a consistency that I really like: whether you're swinging a sword, loosing an arrow, channeling the might of your god, or unleashing bolts of lightning (or charming someone or trying to transform them into a frog), you're attacking/actively trying to do something, so you make the attack roll.

On the other hand, I've heard that players simply enjoy making saving throws; it's fun to roll dice, and/or it gives you the impression that you the player are attempting something to avoid your fate (even though in a static defense system your character is still trying to avoid harm, it's just that who does the rolling gets flipped).

That said, I can see cases where saving throws would make just as much if not more sense. For example, in 4th Edition if you, say, got bit by a giant spider with a venomous bite, it would first make an attack roll to hit (against your AC), and if it hits it would then make a secondary attack against your Fortitude: I think it'd make more sense for you to make a Fortitude/Constitution save to resist the poison's effects.

At this point it'd be a simple matter to go through the rules and just flip everything over to saving throws (and even include variant/optional rules so that groups could go with whatever), so what would you prefer: static defenses or saving throws? As with the poll on armor-as-AC-or-damage-resistance, this is another one of those things where I really only need to know what you'd prefer to see (but if you want to tell me why, go for it).

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

Just released our second adventure for A Sundered World, The Golden Spiral. If a snail-themed dungeon crawl is your oddly-specific thing, check it out!

Hot on the heels of The Blackguard, The Troll is out! The Rogue is up next: we should have an alpha draft ready soon.

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).

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