Dungeons & Delvers: A Giant Playtest

Melissa wanted to try a higher-level Dungeons & Delvers playtest, so I bumped everyone up to 5th-level, gathered up just some of my giant minis (I left out fire and frost giants...for now), and ran them through something that might be kinda like Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (which I've kinda read but never played).

The party made it through a pair of ogres without much of a fuss, but during the fight against a quartet of stone giants--who were apparently playing smash the tables--the rogue went down, which will hopefully teach him not to rush ahead of everyone else (especially if the bad guys are going next). They pressed on, taking out yet another giant and his guard-dire-bear, before finally confronting and barely slaying the giant king.

Behind the Scenes
I honestly dunno why I hadn't both thought of and playtested this before, but we're going to try giving adventurers additional Wounds at various rates as they level up: fighters would get +1 every two levels, clerics and rogues every three, and wizards every four, mebbe five.

Might also stagger talents and skills, so you get a skill at 2nd-level, talent at 3rd, another skill at 4th, another talent at 5th, and so on. This will not only reduce the amount of dice everyone's rolling, but slow down dice scaling (currently 4th-level adventurers will have easily maxed out a key skill).

I've got a playtest adventure nearly ready to go: we'll try it with both tweaks and see how it goes.

Anywho, here's the hill giant stat block:

Hill Giant
Attack 11; 13 versus Might; Reach 2, Multiattack 2, Mighty Swing
Defense 9
Wounds 4
Speed 3/8
XP 10

Mighty Swing: If an adventurer's Defense roll fails by 2 or more points, they are knocked prone.
Multiattack 2: The hill giant can use its Action to make two attacks.

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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 Ghost has manifested!

Sunken Treasures has been dredged up from the depths!

Lichfield is available for public consumption. If you want a concise adventure with a Silent Hill feel, be sure to check it out! Primordial Machine is also out, so if you want to catch a glimpse of A Sundered World, now's your chance! Finally, we've updated If These Stones Could Scream.


  1. I am really looking forward to when Dungeons & Delvers gets released so i can buy a copy; the stuff you're posting looks super cool.

    Just out of curiosity, instead of staggering talent/skill increases, have you thought about a point-buy system? That way you could slow down the overall increase, while still providing options as to what the player wants to optimize.

    Cheers! This game looks great!


    1. @Oberon: You mean make it so that you gain points, and spend them to gain skills/talents (kind of like White Wolf games, or maybe Numenera)?

      Since it's also geared for kids, optimization isn't really a focus, but it's also not hard to pull off: we make it pretty clear that if you wanna hit things really hard in melee, you take these things, and if you wanna be really tough, you take those things.

      The idea is that kids can just think "I wanna make my guy like/do this", and it's obvious what you wanna take.

    2. Yes, that was exactly what I meant.

      I get what you're saying about optimization not being a concern. Maybe I got the wrong idea, but I thought you were considering going from an increase in BOTH a skill and a stat every level to just ONE increase every level (skill on odd levels, stat on even (or something like that)).

      I was thinking that if you were just trying to reduce the rate of increase, have only one go up each level, but leave the choice open as to whether it was a skill or stat... Of course, just leaving it an open option is way simpler than a point buy system...


    3. @Oberon: You got it: instead of bumping both, you alternate. That's an interesting idea, letting players choose at each level. That would STILL slow things down, which is my primary goal.

      It would ALSO, as you say, be simpler than going point-buy (which could be an alternate character-building option for peeps that wanna go that route).

      We're going to run through a playtest adventure a few times, and try this all out and see what works. Thanks for the idea, Oberon!

    4. The issue with letting the player decide if to bump a stat or choose a skill is that if a player focuses on doing just one of those things you may end up with a boring character and/or a really mediocre one. If you go all stat bump you will have a character who will be able to make most of the checks but will lack versatility. On the other hand, if you focus on skills alone you may end up with a versatile character that will suck at most of the things it will try to do.

      The best route would be as Oberon mentioned and also what 4e tried to do which was to have stat bumps at certain levels and skill/talent/power gaining at others that way kids and/or beginners wont feel their characters suck.

      If you go the bump whatever you choose, you could come up with retraining rules.


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