Archive for February 2016

4Ward/FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 110

Cast
  • Adair (level 3 elf war cleric)
  • Humal (level 3 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Sumia (level 3 elf rogue/ranger)

Summary
Tracking the lizardmen through the Mistmarsh was the easy part: they'd clearly taken no effort to conceal their course, sticking to elevated ground whenever they could, and the party discovered their den by the end of the first day.

It was built in and under the root structure of a vast, ancient grove of trees. The only entrance was hidden behind a thick curtain of flexible roots, making it difficult to find even with the assistance of the tracks.

Since they would need light sources in order to see, the party opted to wait until dawn, figuring it would be at least somewhat easier to navigate the den without immediately betraying their presence.

Unfortunately, they were ambushed by a trio of lizardmen during the night, and only managed to slay two before the third fled into the darkness: so much for getting the drop on them.

Despite their wounds they ventured inside the den the next day, figuring that further attempts at resting would only result in additional ambushes. They chose a tunnel at random; it led to a wide chamber with a hole in the ceiling, under which was a substantial pile of excrement. Unsure what to make of it—an awkwardly and oddly placed lizardman toilet, perhaps—they exited through the only other opening.

This led them to a bedchamber of sorts, with four lizardmen sleeping on grass and mud pallets. Sumia snuck in and slit the throat of one, but its hissing managed to wake the others. Fortunately Adair and Humal managed to take out the other two before they could arm themselves, which prompted the fourth to drop his weapon and surrender.

Unable to communicate with him, Humal conjured an image of one of the soldiers from Blackwall Keep. The lizardman seemed to understand what Humal was getting at, and directed them through a nearby passage. This was connected to another bedchamber, and after they picked up a second lizardman captive finally made it to what amounted to a lizardman prison.

There were four cages that looked to have been somehow grown from carefully shaped roots, though only three had occupants: two contained a single man each, clad in filthy rags, while a third contained a similarly attired woman. Her mouth was gagged, and her fingers were twisted at painful angles: Humal surmised that this was the warmage, and that the lizardmen had taken "precautions" to prevent her from employing her magic.

The chamber was guarded by a single, monstrous lizardman. Unlike the other lizardmen they'd encountered, this one was nearly the size of an ogre and covered in thick, black scales. Numerous thick, chitinous plates were tied to its body, and it wielded an appropriately sized maquahuitl.

Thanks to Humal they didn't receive a demonstration of its fighting capabilities: one charm spell later and it—against the protests of their lizardmen captives—was effortlessly tearing the cages apart and freeing the prisoners. The party in turn released the lizardmen and left, and while carefully making their way back to the entrance, the soldiers asked what they were doing in the swamp.

At the mention of green worms, the soldiers said that they'd encountered worm-ridden undead: the worms could be passed on to living hosts, killing and reanimating them as new zombies. The safest method of dealing with them was to whittle them down from a distance and incinerate the remains. They weren't sure where they'd come from, but it seemed that the lizardmen suspected humans of creating and loosing them in the swamp, which might explain the sudden increase in hostility.

The soldiers also explained that others had been captured. They weren't sure where, but pleaded the characters to help rescue them, too. The party agreed: they still hadn't discovered what the Ebon Triad believed was out here that could assist them, but with a few more capable warriors it'd increase their chances of at least surviving long enough to find it.

Design Notes
We're about halfway through Encounter at Blackwall Keep, which means I'll need to get on re-reading whatever the next adventure is, because this is the first time in about a decade that a group has gotten this far. I also kept running the campaign in Eberron, so I'll need to decide whether to use Sharn or a more "normal" city.

I'm prepping a public alpha document for FrankenFourth. Obviously it won't have everything (or even most of the content): the core four races (except for halflings, of course) and classes (with six or more talents to choose from each), skills, gear, some typical low-end monsters, basically enough to see you to at least to 3rd-level (and beyond if you don't mind making up XP requirements).

Announcements
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!

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.

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.

Dungeon World: 10+ Treasure Vault

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. It's also in full-color, with a bunch of new illustrations, advice on making your own magic items (which we've put in every magic item book), and some tables to randomly generate a magic item from the book.

Currently, if you want to buy a print copy of any previous 10+ Treasures book, you'll end up paying about $9 per 29-35 page booklet ($5 for the book, and something like $3-4 for shipping and handling), which adds up to around $30 or more (depends on S&H costs).

The purpose of this product is to provide a more convenient print option (when it's available at any rate; the files have been submitted to DriveThru, so it's gonna be a week or so for us to get our hands on a proof): with 10+ Treasure Vault, you'll instead only pay around $18 (which includes the $4ish for S&H) for everything.

Plus, it'll look nicer on your shelf, and the page count lets us offer a hardcover option.

If you buy the PDF before the print options are available (either through DriveThru or PayPal), when they are available we'll send print-at-cost discounts to everyone that picked it up.

Also, if you already own one or more 10+ Treasure volumes, you should be able to go to our 10+ Treasure Trove bundle and get everything at a discounted price (look for a previous purchaser discount notice). Even if you don't you should just buy the 10+ Treasure Trove bundle anyway since it's the same price as 10+ Treasure Vault.

This product contains two files: both are digest-sized pdfs. One is full color, while the other is black and white.

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).

$8.99

$10.49


Announcements
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.

A Sundered World: Color Hardcovers Are Available!

In addition to color- and B&W-softcover, A Sundered World is now also available in hardcover-color format (the hardcover B&W is on its way). If you purchased the pdf and want a print-at-cost discount link for the hardcover color version, email me (otherwise, wait until the other ones are available).

If you bought it via DriveThruRPG, make sure your account is set so that your email address is visible to publishers, that way I can run a sales report and confirm. If you got it via PayPal I can just check our records, though if you used a different name/email address lemme know.

From the original pdf post:

Just beating out the Dungeon World rulebook in size, it's also available in full-color and has over twice as many illustrations (which will soon be released as another big-ass, minimal license art pack).

In case you aren't sure what the hell A Sundered World is, it's a fantastic, kind of gonzo campaign setting for Dungeon World. It takes place in the shattered remnants of the worlds, which were ravaged by a cosmic war between the gods and primordials.

It includes:

  • Ten races, each with their own race moves, to better allow you to determine how much your race affects you (and serve as a foundation in case you want to flesh out an entire racial class). There's also guidelines and suggestions for using them in "default" Dungeon World games.
  • Six new classes.
  • New weapons, armor, dungeon gear (including poisons), services, transport options, hireling skills, buildings, and magic items.
  • Materials to further customize your weapons and armor: bind a wind spirit to your spear so that it flies further, shape a shield out of black ice, or don sturdy-yet-weightless armor shaped from raw astral essence.
  • Ships, both magical and mundane, to help you get around the Remnants, Maelstrom, and the darker regions beyond. There's ship-specific moves, plenty of example ships to choose from, and a section to help you build an entirely custom ship of your own design.
  • World moves for drifting through the astral, willing objects into existence using astral essence, lingering on as a ghost when you die, and more.
  • Eleven new monster settings, detailing glorious-yet-terrifying angels, sinister devils, cold, emotionless machines from the pre-Sundering era, spirits that managed to survive the Sundering, and strange beasts that were changed during the Sundering, or managed to adapt.
  • Six varied example campaign and adventure fronts to get you started.

Buying the pdf gets you both the black and white and color versions. Each class gets their own character sheet, and there's even a blank, generic character sheet, which might be useful for characters that end up piling on race moves and/or going into one of the many compendium classes.

Once we get proofs back from DriveThruRPG, you'll be able to get it in both soft- and hardcover, in either black and white or full color.

Oh yeah: Delos Adamski, of the blog Ramblings of Jacob and Delos, has put up the first part of a kind of broad strokes review of the book, and Drunkens & Dragons had a bunch of nice things to say.


$32.99 (Print & PDF)

Announcements
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.

Dungeons & Delvers: Bandit Blockhouse Stress Test

Going back to basics (so we can further stress-test numbers, and try out staggered skill and talent gains), we created a new batch of 1st-level characters (based on minis the kids picked out from our kind-of local game store) and sent them over to a small fort occupied by bandits.

Things went more or less fine up until the party made it to the third floor, and squared off against the bandit leader, a few of his henchmen, and a trained cockatrice: the party managed to take out one of the bandits, but then the fighter was knocked out, and the cleric fell soon after.

Luckily the rogue managed to flee due to the mine kobold's ability to pass through stone (she kept popping straight down to the previous floor), so the next session is going to involve her either sneaking back in, or coming back with another pair of adventurers to mount a rescue.

Image Dump
As a quick aside, we got our Dwarven Forge city builder Kickstarter rewards a couple weeks ago. Kids are loving it (especially the LED torches), and we were able to integrate bits of it into the "normal" dungeon sets (which you can kind of see in the first and third images).









Announcements
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.

A Sundered World: More Character Stuff Preview 3

For this preview of whatever we're going to call our player-centric expansion for A Sundered World, I'm going to talk about what's in store for the cthon race.


For starters, we're adding level 6-10 "crit" (ie, 12+) effects for some of the 2-5 essence moves, so an essence of lightning cthon can have its lightning bolts arc on to other targets, and essence of fire cthon will be able to burn those that touch it while charged up.

There's also a few moves for drawing from elemental vortexes and cores, as well as charging cores and powering up devices that require elemental cores (if you've got the hp to spare and/or don't mind taking debilities).

Finally, given that the art depicts a cthon invoker, I though it would be appropriate to add a cthon made from a temple or shrine (free kobold hireling!).

Announcements
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.

4Ward/FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 109

Cast
  • Adair (level 3 elf war cleric)
  • Hedris (level 3 greedy cambion warlord)
  • Humal (level 3 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Sumia (level 3 elf rogue/ranger)

Summary
The scroll they discovered in the bowels of the Ebon Triad's temple had instructed one of the priests to send agents to the Mistmarsh. Apparently, whoever had written it believed that what they needed to further their plans could be found "among the lizardmen".

They'd already seen firsthand one of Kyuss's worms, and heard rumors of powerful, worm-ridden undead wandering the land. Whatever the prophecy concerning the Age of Worms entailed, it was sounding less and less improbable.

The party waited just long enough for their new armor to be completed before setting out. The journey to the Mistmarsh took them just over four days, but near its nebulous border they came across a small keep besieged by a horde of lizardmen.

They were divided into five groups: four were shielded by unusual earthen walls, while the fifth had taken shelter in a nearby stable. A few of their dead lay about the barren field surrounding the keep, and the rest of the horde seemed to just be...waiting.

Sumia tried sneaking up on the nearest group, but they spotted her before she could close the distance and do...whatever it was she had planned on doing. Their surprise and confusion quickly waned, and they cautiously advanced upon her, periodically glancing at the keep as they moved.

Humal conjured an illusion of a dragon's head rising from behind a nearby hill. It succeeded in startling a pair of lizardmen, but the trio that continued to press the attack managed to render Hooty unconscious and seriously wound Sumia before Adair, astride his mighty dire battle chicken, finally arrived to help. To be fair, he had been several hundred feet away when Sumia was spotted.

There's probably a lesson to be learned about splitting the party or some such.

Once it became clear that the illusionary dragon wasn't a threat, or at least much less of one than Adair, the surviving lizardmen retreated to another group that was still hunkered down behind one of the walls. Adair pursued them, but was quickly forced to flee towards the keep under the onslaught of eight lizardmen warriors. Fortunately soldiers in the keep had been observing the battlefield: with at least some of the lizardmen army exposed and occupied, they began raining bolts upon them.

It was then that Humal had managed to get close enough to better use his magic; unlike Adair he had no mount, not even one as mundane as a horse. He looked about, considering where his efforts could be best applied, when he noticed one lizardman crouched behind a wall. Its eyes were closed, and its hands were plunged into the ground: it distinctly looked like it was concentrating, almost certainly on sustaining or perhaps casting some sort of magical ritual.

So, he ran up and struck it with his staff.

His blow sent it sprawling to the ground. The good news was the walls crumbled apart, rendering the rest of the lizardmen horde vulnerable. The bad news was that a considerably larger, horned lizardmen saw what Humal had done. It skewered Humal with its trident before he could raise an illusionary wall and flee.

To Humal's relief the horned lizardman did not pursue him. Instead it loudly bellowed what they could only assume was a call to retreat: it and the rest of the lizardmen immediately halted their attack and fled back into the Mistmarsh.

The soldiers welcomed the party into the keep. They explained that the lizardmen had recently become considerably more aggressive, though they weren't sure why, and that during the attack several soldiers and their warmage were abducted. The party agreed to rescue whoever they could, as they were already planning to venture into the Mistmarsh in search of the lizardmen.

Design Notes
It's been nearly a decade since I last ran this adventure. So, hey, new record.

In the original Encounter at Blackwall Keep, the party is supposed to escort Allustan (who the characters ideally befriended in the previous adventures) to Blackwall Keep, because a friend of his stationed there sent him a message about the Kyuss worms.

When you get there it's under attack by a bunch of lizardmen, and the adventure explicitly states that no matter what Allustan--an 8th-level wizard with a variety of spells, scrolls, and wands at his disposal--teleports back to Diamond Lake as soon as possible.

If the players ask him to stick around, maybe drop a web or fire off an empowered scorching ray before he bounces (it's not like he's going to miss or need them in the interim), he is supposed to appear tormented by the "common sense" decision, which is to leave the characters to fight off the lizardman horde, so he can bring back a bunch of armed soldiers in 1d4+2 days.

The characters can press him, which just angers him and then he leaves anyway.

I solved all this bullshit by removing Allustan from the equation. The characters know that something regarding the Age of Worms can be found in the Mistmarsh, so they were already going there of their own volition. They came across Blackwall Keep, helped chase off the lizardmen, and were asked by the surviving soldiers to rescue their friends before they get eaten.

Adair recruited his first (religious) follower, and hired a team to start renovating the observatory while they're away into a church for his god, which is also himself.

He also got a suit of plate armor, which currently grants him a whopping armor of 6, which means that every time he gets struck he shaves six points of damage off (unless the attack has armor piercing or ignores armor entirely). Even getting battered by a gang of eight lizardmen, he was doing fairly well: I don't think he suffered any Wound damage in the exchange.

We'll keep playtesting this, but we're currently considering a number of armor changes:

The simplest tweak is to reduce armor to categories: light, medium, and heavy. This is more abstract than I would like, but it would keep armor ratings smaller: light would be 1, medium would be 2, and heavy would be 3. Medium would reduce your Dexterity by 1, and heavy would reduce it by 2 (and also Speed).

I would like to have crafting skills let you make "masterwork" weapons and armor (you could also buy or find them), which could grant more armor, reduce the Dexterity penalty you suffer, and so on. Reigning in the armor ratings would help prevent a player from running around in masterwork plate armor with an armor of something like 7 or 8.

Another idea is to reduce armor for plate and maybe chainmail by a point or two, and have them instead bump up your Reflex by a point. It would still make more sense than having armor completely negate attacks. I'd just have to figure out what a character with Reflex-bumping plate and a tower shield would look like, as much of the math is derived purely from stats.

As above, it would also make it a bit easier to incorporate masterwork armors without the ratings/bonuses getting too far out of hand.

Something that would be waaay different than what D&D players are used to, would be to have armor essentially give you an extra pool of hit points that must be depleted before you start taking damage (unless the attack has armor piercing or ignores armor). When the points run out, the armor is too damaged to be effective and would need to be repaired or replaced.

Which, if any, would you prefer?

Announcements
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.

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.

Image Dump








Announcements
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.

FrankenFourth: Taking Hits

Though FrankenFourth is based on various parts of various editions of Dungeons & Dragons, when it comes to armor it uses a model similar to that of Dungeon World, Numenera, and I'm sure many other games: armor reduces the damage you take when an attack connects (while shields prevent you from getting hit at all).

Currently armor ratings range from 1 (leather) to 5 (plate), though we might end up reducing the range to 1-3, and go with a more abstract light, medium, and heavy categorization. As with older editions of Dungeons & Dragons, no class starts with chainmail or plate armor: it's something you save up to buy, or maybe loot.

I should note that, similar to how a creature in Dungeons & Dragons always inflicts at least one point of damage on a hit regardless of damage penalties, a successful attack always inflicts at least one point of damage regardless of armor. This way, you can't just slap on plate armor and heedlessly saunter through a gang of goblins.

Also, some attacks ignore a point or two of armor, while others ignore it completely (like fire and poisonous gases).

Armor Class gets dropped entirely in favor of a Reflex Defense (or just Reflex), which as with 4th Edition is 10 + your Dexterity or Intelligence, whichever is higher (though it might get changed to just be 10 + Dexterity, with some classes potentially allowing you to substitute other stats).

This means that most characters will have a Reflex of around 9-12, with more specialized characters having a starting Reflex of 13 and rarely 14. This may not seem like much, until you realize that most of the numbers are based almost entirely on ability scores, as opposed to ability scores plus Hit Dice or levels or whatever, so the typical monster only has a +2 to +4 to hit (with your typical dragon having a whopping +8 to hit).

Shields increase your Reflex by 1 point, while tower shields bump it up by 2 at the cost of reducing your Speed and maximum Dexterity/Intelligence bonus. Fighters and other melee types can choose a talent that negates Speed penalties for tower shields and armor, as well as further boosting their Reflex when they're packing a shield, which helps put them more on par with agile characters.

Most creatures have both Wound and Vitality Points (creatures like constructs and mindless undead will normally only have Wounds): Wound Points represent the meat-point part of the equation, while Vitality is the exertion, luck, minor scrapes, etc.

Wound Points replenish over the course of days: each time you take a long rest (6+ hours) you regain an amount equal to your Constitution, to a minimum of 1. This rate is affected by your environment (warm, comfy inns are better than cold, hard dungeon floors), supplies (like poultices and salves), and certain class talents (cleric's Healing Hymn and the fighter's Unbreakable). The game also has lingering injuries, which you likewise recover from sooner in the right conditions.

Vitality Points on the other hand replenish much more quickly. We're playtesting two models: the first is that they completely recover with a short rest (which requires 30 minutes), the other is that when you take a short rest you regain a random amount based on your class (think Hit Dice from older editions) and relevant talents.

Inside a dungeon, assuming you're using random encounters, this means every short rest is going to likely call for at least one random encounter check. So in this instance it becomes a gamble: you might regain some Vitality, only to lose it again (and possibly some Wounds) if another monster comes along while you're trying to rest.

Of course there are going to be situations where the characters really have nothing to worry about, and so can sit around as long as they want without fear of anything showing up to nom on them. This is why the Wound/Vitality split favors the former: most of your "hit points" are going to take one or more days to recover.

Even so this system makes characters a bit more durable, which is intentional due to the lack of prevalent magical healing: bards, clerics, druids, and paladins can't just throw around healing spells willy-nilly, and healing potions and wands aren't going to be looted in abundance (all of which is more inline with what you'd expect from the Appendix N library anyway).

Announcements
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.

Dungeons & Delvers: Meet the (Kobold) Cleric

It just so happens that the cleric art features another kobold, but since I already talked about kobolds here we can just skip straight to the cleric-y bits.

The high concept for a cleric is basically what you'd expect: they're servants of various gods that can channel various divine powers.

The difference is that they don't operate exactly like wizards, just with a different spellcasting stat and sometimes different spells (which I'll get to in a bit).

Stats
The key stat for clerics is Grace, which is used for most cleric talents (and all of the social skills). There are three stat arrays to choose from, depending on whether you want to also be strong, fast, or smart.

Skills
You start with Religion at d6, and get to pick three other skills. Though Religion is tied to Intellect, there's a sidebar that explains that for clerics, most Difficulties will be lower for them (especially when it pertains to their own god).

Gear
You begin with an adventuring kit, a holy symbol, and either medium armor and a melee weapon, or light armor and a ranged weapon (presumably you'll choose whatever best works with your stats and skills).

The holy symbol is similar to the wizard's magic focus: if you don't have it, when you use cleric talents that require dice rolls you have to discard your highest dice result.

Talents
At 1st-level you get to choose any one Domain talent, which helps establish what your god is about. As you level up you can choose other Domains to further flesh out your god (like a god of healing and fire, or a god of thunder and war), focus on the Domains you already have, or choose other various talents that require specific Domains (like Warpriest, which requires the War Domain).

The big cleric thing is Favor. Favor is a kind of point currency: your maximum Favor is equal to your level (or cleric level if you multiclass), and you regain them all when you spend a short rest praying to your god. Many talents require you to have at least one Favor left, or spend Favor to activate.

For example, the Healing Domain lets you spend 1 Favor to negate a Wound that an ally suffers (you can't use it after the fact, which means clerics can't spend a half hour full-healing the entire party), while the Fire Domain lets you spend 1 Favor to make a ranged attack that uses both Grace and Religion.

There are also Blessing/Rite talents, which are somewhat to rituals from 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. These let you do things like heal your allies, bless their weapons, protect them from fire, or bring them back from the dead. The catch is that they all require some time (usually 10 minutes or more) and a sacrifice of some sort.

Though they're basically useless once combat starts, the Divine Intervention talent lets you use a Blessing/Rite talent whenever you want, but you can't use it again until you pay the required sacrifice (and if you don't pay it off as soon as you can, then you can lose access to all of your cleric abilities until you do).

I should note that we're using all of these mechanics for clerics in FrankenFourth, which we think better evokes the idea/feel of a cleric (as opposed to giving them universal turn undead, and praying for specific spells with specific "slots" x times per day).

Announcements
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.

4Ward/FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 108

Cast
  • Adair (level 3 elf war cleric)
  • Humal (level 3 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Sumia (level 3 elf rogue)

Summary
After spending several days recuperating, the party returned to the Ebon Triad's temple.

To say that it was in disarray would have been a vast understatement: the elevator was destroyed, forcing them to climb down hundreds of feet of chain in order to make it to the main chamber, where they found countless dismembered bodies strewn about.

Apparently, the monstrous creature had thoroughly ransacked the place before seeking them out.

They set about exploring the other two wings of the temple. The first was dedicated to Morrigan, an old, somewhat obscure war god. They checked each room as they went, and the further they ventured the less destruction they observed. The very last room looked to be the perfectly intact bedchamber for this particular cult's high priest. He was dead, but his body was completely unharmed.

This lead Sumia to theorize that the creature had somehow stolen his soul, possibly in a similar fashion as the three-faced high priest they previously fought. Her hypothesis was confirmed when Filge tried communicating with his spirit, and his ritual failed to provide any results.

While they looted his room Humal found several scrolls. One of them seemed to contain nothing more than garbled characters, but when he referenced the cipher scroll they found in the three-faced priest's laboratory the message became clear: it mentioned a being called Kyuss, an "age of worms", and that they would need the "worms of Kyuss" in order to further their agenda.

Though it did not explain why, it also stated that what they sought could be found in the Mistmarsh, among the lizardmen tribes that dwelled there.

The third and final wing was little more than a cavernous series of tunnels. Bones were both placed in roughly hewn alcoves and scattered about. Corpses of slain cultists wore gruesome armor made of bones, and wielded heavy maces. Though none of the dead rose to trouble them, a pack of chokers were either dwelling there the entire time, or recently moved in while the party was recovering.

Fortunately, they only had to slay a few before the rest fled back into the shadows.

They scaled a cliff, crossed a rickety wooden bridge, and found several large chambers connected by narrow, winding passages. As with the previous wing, the furthest chamber contained the corpse of the cult's high priest, also without any visible wounds. It was slumped in a crudely carved stone chair, before which was a small pool of blood, a bowl of dried mushrooms, and numerous scraps of parchment.

Humal examined the parchment, and was able to puzzle out the rambling, disjointed notes. They spoke of a swarm of worms, the return of Kyuss, and the Age of Worms.

Design Notes
Going through The Three Faces of Evil, I noticed that there's a bunch of masterwork weapons and armor, which was a thing in 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons: masterwork weapons gave you a +1 bonus to hit, while masterwork armor reduced your armor check penalty by 1. For some bizarre reason, only masterwork weapons and armor could be magical.

Something we've been kicking around is whether Craft (and, I suppose, Profession) skills should be included in FrankenFourth. My reasoning against it them is, despite what 4th Edition detractors have said, that Craft (and Profession) rarely come up in actual play: I played 3rd Edition for nearly a decade, and the only Craft skill I ever used with any frequency was Craft (alchemy).

After reading the Weapon Mastery section in Rules Cyclopedia, I like the idea of making Craft skills something you can learn at any time, so long as you put in the necessary amount of time (which could be reduced if you study under someone more skilled than you).

This way, you don't have to invest actual points or slots in a very specific skill with nebulous applications, and characters can't run around adventuring, yet still quickly and easily eclipse the skill of craftsmen that dedicate their entire lives to doing that one thing.

Announcements
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.

Dungeon World: The Ghost

The Ghost has manifested (and has been added to our All of the Playbooks, Bundle of the Dead, and Monster Mash bundles).

This class is good as a starting character, or as a way to keep a slain character in the game. Depending on your campaign this could be permanent, just until they complete some task and move on, or even until they get brought back from the dead.

In latter circumstances you could treat is as a kind of compendium class, allowing players to mix and match ghost moves with moves from their original class (or, if the character started as a ghost, let them more freely multiclass into another class).

This product contains three files.

One is a letter-sized character sheet that uses our new character sheet layout (which still only allowed us to fit 30 of the 32 advanced moves).

The other two are digest-sized books, one in color, the other in black and white (to make it easier to print at home if you want). They both contain:

  • The ghost class (which, again, has 30 default advanced moves).
  • A director's cut with questions to ask yourself, explanations for some of the moves, and a pair of advanced moves that we couldn't fit on the character sheet.

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).

$2.00

$2.25


$2.25


$2.25


Announcements
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 Gunner is locked and loaded.

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.

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