Archive for October 2016

Dungeon World: The Blackguard

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

This dark reflection of the paladin isn't hindered by meaningless virtues. Cruel and terrifying, you are more than capable of slaughtering those foolish enough to stand before you (such as virtuous souls, not that they could hide from your gaze anyway). The sinister powers of a blackguard come easily; not only can they can be wielded in a variety of ways, but unlike those of your self-righteous counterparts can be used without restriction.

So go forth: conquer and destroy as you see fit.

This product contains three files.

The first is a letter-sized character sheet that uses our new character sheet layout (so we could fit the thirty 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 blackguard class (which includes 30 advanced moves).
  • New weapons, armor (including armor for animals), and dungeon gear.
  • The dread knight compendium class.
  • 14 additional moves that we couldn't fit on the sheet/people didn't find as interesting as the rest (but you can use them if you want).
  • A Director's Cut with questions to ask yourself when rolling up a blackguard, and explanations/clarifications for some of the moves.

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.

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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 102

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

Summary
Once Asheal was back on her feet, the party continued past the bone spikes, and after a few twists it opened into a gaping chamber. The chamber was sparsely illuminated by numerous snails with dimly glowing shells: they crept across its furrowed and scabrous surfaces, seemingly oblivious to the party.

At the far end the party saw a small grouped of robed figures, the heads of each were also capped with a glowing snail. They were huddled about another robed figure. He was wearing a tall, spiraling snail shell on his head, but also had a glowing snail perched on each shoulder.

The party observed the group slowly move across the room, gradually approaching one of many crates that, along with a myriad of other storage containers and objects, was adhered to the walls. Presuming the snails to be controlling them, Waive tried folding space to remove one of the snails, but it was firmly attached.

While startled, the figures didn't notice the party and soon returned to following their sluggish overseer. Eventually his patience wore out, and Waive initiated conflict by by collapsing a point in space, sucking in nearly half the group. This time the party was spotted by a pair of figures flanking the entrance to the chamber: they were clad in plates of shell, giving them the semblance of an armored knight and also making them difficult to notice against the walls.

The cultists drew shell-capped maces from beneath their robes and rushed towards the party; all but two were immolated by Hordac's fiery breath, and they decided to flee through different exits. The snail knights charged into the fray, and up close even Hordac was revolted by their slimy faces, bereft of defining features, and pale eyes that could extend on long stalks. Despite their strength and surprisingly durable armor, the party was able to slay them both before the figure with the shell hat crossed the room.

He spoke much more quickly than he moved, but it didn't help much because he apparently enjoyed gesturing as he talked. Even so, the party eventually learned where to go to find the celestial salt, and they made it out of the room just before another snail knight arrived, this time mounted on a giant snail with a modified elemental collidor attached to its shell. Waive folded a flask of alchemist's frost into the collidor, rendering it useless. The knight dismounted and charged towards the party, severely wounding Hordac before he was finally slain.

Design & Development
From the previous play report:

I've been doing some snail art for Inktober, which will be used for this adventure when it comes time to publish it. Definitely doing it for Dungeon World and FrankenFourth (by default it will be for A Sundered World, with notes on how to use it in something not A Sundered World), maybe even Dungeons & Delvers and 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons (which was almost voted the system of choice).

Now the new stuff:

I need to change the tarchon's breath weapon from being an all the time thing. Currently I'm waffling between giving it a Vitality/Fatigue cost (like sorcerer/wizard spells), make it an encounter power (or do the 5E thing and spell out every time that you "regain it after you take a short or long rest"), or do something like 4E's recharge mechanic: at the start of each turn, you roll a d6 to see if you get it back. Could even do it like 3E, where you roll a d4 or d6 to see how many rounds it takes for you to get it back.

Unlike the Dungeon World nomad, this one uses Power Points instead of I guess making an Intelligence check for Fold (I suppose I could hold a vote to see if people would prefer to make a Search check in an area to determine how many Fold points they get). It differs from the wizard and sorcerer's Mana in that you get a small amount, more on par with the cleric's Favor, and when you rank up a talent you have to spend more Power Points to boost up your psionic powers.

So right now Waive's Singularity lets him make a ranged Intelligence attack up to 30 feet away, that deals 1d6+Intelligence damage (ignores armor), half on a miss. Rank 2 bumps up the range to 50 feet, makes it affect a 5 foot radius around the initial target, and you deal 1d8+Intelligence damage, but you gotta spend 2 Power Points.

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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: Pointless Portents

I saw this post from the Dungeon World Tavern Community over on G+ (because someone plussed it of course):

Ok, I'm a veteran GM but Dungeon World still is something new to me. I mean, I've read the book three or four times, read the Guide, and even played as a player once. Yet, when I think of adventure design I feel I may be at odd with "play to see what happens."

My main problem is with the portents and its dangers (sorry if I confuse a term or two, but my DW book is in Portuguese). While they are great in theory (from a standpoint of someone who still needs to play as a DW GM), they seem to lead me to a trap. Let me explain.

If I make a list of 5 escalating problems to the players and they are able to defeat the threat in the 2nd step, what I believe it can happen: a) Problem solved for the players. World is a little safer this time. But as a GM I've wasted 3 other problems that won't see the light of day; or b) Okay, they solved THAT part of the problem, but as there are 3 more problems after that, they somehow shoehorn themselves in the game: it's a railroad, so it defeats the the purpose of "playing to see what happens."

I can live with a). Have done this for years (love hexcrawls and sandboxes, even when there's some epic plot buried there to be found--or not). But when I'm on a sandbox, for example, I rarely plot the steps of something bad happening: I usually give it a trigger and, when it comes into play, I develop the next step (if there's need of one) on the fly. It's an improvisational style.

So, TL;DR: -How do you advise me to deal with this a) and b) situation? -Can you provide some links to a campaign setting tailored for DW that could act as a good example of DW setting design?

While I'm not a fan of the whole Danger, Grim Portent, and Impending Doom structure in general (I can't recall ever using it in actual play, but that's something for another blog post), I think option A is fine because the players probably want to resolve the Danger as soon as possible, certainly before it ticks through all of its Grim Portents and kicks off the Impending Doom. So, for example, if the characters stop a lich before he completes and drops a necrobomb on a huge city and kills everyone within, good for them!

Option B is garbage, and isn't something you should do in any game whether or not it contains the phrase "play to see what happens" (though I'd argue that playing to see what happens applies to more than just your Grim Portents bullet list).

Really though this isn't an A-or-B dilemma: just because the players stop a Danger early on, doesn't mean that the Danger must goes away (and "waste" the rest of your Grim Portents). If it makes sense then great: take a bit of time to cook up some more Dangers/Grim Portents/Impending Dooms, and keep playing. But, and we'll call this option C, sometimes a Danger can shift gears and keep going: maybe the lich had an assistant who will continue his work, or maybe the lich comes back (either as a demilich or because the players didn't smash the phylactery).

Maybe the necrobomb (possible Arcane Enemy/Sentient Artifact) was completed and is now just sitting there, waiting for someone else to find it (what if the players get it and need to find a way to store it/dismantle it/keep it safe from a number of power-hungry individuals), or maybe it wasn't completely perfected and is unstable, liable to go off at any moment, though not necessarily where the lich intended. I mean sure, it's not in the city, but its hexplosion could still create a desolate, undead-haunted wasteland (which could be another Danger).

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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).

DriveThruRPG: Halloween Sale

DriveThruRPG is running a Halloween sale, in which a bunch of stuff is 31% off for the next seven days or so (as of this post). We opted into this sale, but DriveThru didn't put everything we wanted on sale, so we went ahead and discounted the rest of the stuff that we wanted to include.

There's also a monster design contest going on over on the Dungeon World reddit. First place gets you a free illustration of your monster by yours truly (colored by Melissa, of course), a free monster class from us (you choose, but it can't be Playbooks of the Dead because that's four monsters) and Victor's Halloween Party Bundle.

Second place gets you the Halloween Party Bundle, which is still great because Victor is one of the few guys making Dungeon World classes that does more than the cover-plus-two-page thing. He also creates pretty strange things, like a possessed/haunted kid and a scarecrow (though there are some "normal" things like a barbarian and scoundrel).

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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).
October 25, 2016
Posted by David Guyll

FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 504

Cast
  • Humal (level 8 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 8 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 8 elf rogue/ranger)
  • Kuhnja'bi (level 8 human w/ devil-in-the-details fighter)

Summary
Raknian approached the party, exclaiming that he recognized Kuhnja'bi from last year's games, and apologized for not speaking to him at yesterday's feast. He asked about Kuhnja'bi's new companions, but since the party knew that he had hired a bunch of doppelgangers to murder them their responses weren't exactly forthcoming.

Even up close Raknian didn't seem to recognize them, and he continued attempting to make small talk while escorting the party back to the arena's interior, leaving after congratulating them for their victory and wishing them luck during tomorrow's match. Ekaym arrived shortly after Raknian left: he had something to tell the party, but preferred to do it behind closed doors.

The party brought him to the Coenoby, and once they were in their personal chamber Ekaym explained that part of the reason he became a team manager was to find his sister: she came to Dovin during the Champion's Games last year, but soon after hooking up with Raknian he lost all contact with her. He'd tried using various divination spells to track her down, but since they all failed he suspected that Raknian, or at least someone Raknian knows, had murdered her; he wanted their help in locating her, alive or dead.

Sumia readily agreed to help, but Corzale, suspecting that he was a doppelganger, fetched a dagger and demanded that he cut himself so they could see if he bled. Given that she didn't explain the purpose of the task (to check if he was a doppelganger), Ekaym became understandably confused and more than a bit worried. He eventually thought better and declined their offer to help and tried to leave, but Humal used his magic to charm Ekaym and asked if he was a doppelganger.

Ekaym claimed to not know what a doppelganger was, which was proof enough for Humal and seemed to at least mollify Corzale, and they both agreed to keep a look out for his sister while they investigated the arena for...personal reasons.

That evening, with most of the teams and guards having departed and what guards remained exhausted and inebriated, the party made their move. There were three ways out of the Coenoby. One they knew led to the elevator that brought them to the arena, but it was more or less guarded by two sentries. Another passage was unprotected, but relatively nearby, and the third was both obscured, unguarded, and at the opposite end of the Coenoby.

The party opted for the exit least-guarded; it led to a winding passage that sonn brought them to a dark, abandoned chamber that was similar to the Coenoby, just smaller and cluttered with fallen stones and broken statues. A pool of water in the south-eastern corner partially obscured a large stone disk: with some effort the party was able to dislodge it, revealing another passage permeated with the stench of decay.

Sumia decided to scout ahead; thanks to her magically enhanced vision she could see perfectly well in the dark, so she didn't need to bring a light source that would immediately betray her presence. Unfortunately she came across nearly a dozen ghouls, and though she wasn't sure if they could also see in the dark it was clear that they could smell her. She fled back towards the party to warn them, but the ghouls pursued her and emerged before they could replace the stone.

The party gradually dwindled the pack's numbers, and when there was one ghoul left he tried to surrender, offering his knowledge of the tunnels. Sumia was of course in favor of teaming up with another monstrous creature, but surprisingly not even Humal would humor him: he'd just let Corazale destroy him now, and use his necromancy to wrest the information out of whatever amounted to its soul later.

Design Notes
The ghouls were "only" 3rd-level, but even with Kuhnja'bi's 4 Armor he still suffered a decent amount of Wound damage at their claws over the course of the fight (when you take damage, you take a minimum of 1 regardless of your Armor).

So, good to know: even low level monsters can pose a threat to a well-rounded mid-level party. Also, Kuhnja'bi was still able to hew through them pretty easily despite the damage drop (went from something like 3d6+14 to 2d6+10ish), but again they were only 3rd-level so I'm also fine with that.

Still considering changing cleric Favor to be a once-a-day thing (pray at a specific time of the day), with the option to sacrifice stuff in order to get it back early, but rather than shift gears so drastically mid-campaign I'll give it a shot for another playtest game.

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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).

Inktober2016: Snail Dungeon Cover

The now-Thursday group has been crawling through the snail dungeon over the past several weeks. We're playing in A Sundered World (which is also the Deal of the Day over on DriveThruRPG) but using FrankenFourth rules (though it's also going to be released for Dungeon World first).

So, I figured a good cover would be Adam's character Waive (an A Sundered World iconic) facing off against a giant snail (thankfully no rocket pack). Shane is still rolling tarchons, and Melissa is doing an ishim wizard, so I'll try to work their characters in some other art.



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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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

A Sundered World: Deal of the Day!

A Sundered World is the Deal of the Day over at DriveThru, so if you've been on the fence about it you can pick it up for 40% off! We intended for this to be a Halloween thing, but you never know quite when your Deal of the Day submission will go through, so hey it's early.

From the original product blurb:

A Sundered World is 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.

There's also a player-centric expansion, which you can pick up here.

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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: Hidden Halloween Horrors Contest

So over on the Dungeon World reddit they're doing a monster design contest. First place gets you a free illustration of your monster by yours truly (which you can do whatever with except sell it in an art collection or by itself), a free monster class from us (you choose, but it can't be Playbooks of the Dead because that's four monsters), and Victor's Halloween Party Bundle.

Second place gets you the Halloween Party Bundle, which is still great because Victor is one of the few guys making Dungeon World classes that does more than the cover-plus-two-page thing. He also creates pretty strange things, like a possessed/haunted kid and a scarecrow (though there are some "normal" things like a barbarian and scoundrel).

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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).
October 18, 2016
Posted by David Guyll

FF/ASW: The Golden Spiral, Episode 101

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

Summary
The party was hired by a crumbling, literally-salty cthon named Kloros to venture to an island that he referred to as the Golden Spiral. Too old and damaged to do it himself, he needed them to locate a stone vessel filled with celestial salt. He gave them a radiant core, explaining that they would need to use it on the vessel in order to activate it, and once they did they would know what to do next.

Two-cycles later they arrived at the Golden Spiral. It was a barren island with a somewhat coiled shape, and a protrusion near the bottom suggested that it might be the fragment of a severely eroded god-corpse. The party left their ship some distance away, hopefully sufficiently concealed by silvery clouds, and drifted towards an opening in the protrusion.

The interior was dark, ridged, and glistened with slime. Waive and Asheal opted to drift; despite the slime it was still quicker for Hordac to walk. After a few minutes of drifting and plodding the tunnel curved sharply, and they found themselves standing before numerous tall, jagged spikes jutting forth from what was to their current orientation the floor.

Waive and Asheal drifted over the teeth, while Hordac slogged up the walls and onto the "ceiling". They didn't make it far before a strand of mucus struck Hordac and began dragging him towards the spikes, but before he was impaled he breathed forth a gout of flame, incinerating the strand and hopefully harming whatever was responsible.

Another strand shot out and struck Asheal. It managed to pull her into one of the spikes, but now that she was closer she saw what was responsible: a giant snail.

DUN DUN DUUUN

Waive teleported in and severed the snail's head, freeing Asheal. There were two snails left, and though she was able to incinerate one with her magic, the last one was able to snag-and-yank her into another spike, this time rendering her unconscious. Unable to use his breath weapon without harming his allies (and certainly killing Asheal), Hordac kicked off from the ceiling and ran the last one through.

While Waive administered a mending potion to Asheal, Hordac noticed that the scorched snail remains had an unexpectedly pleasant aroma. He gathered up all that he could and returned it to the ship: they'd either eat or sell it, maybe a bit of both, which was all fine by him.

Design & Development
I've been doing some snail art for Inktober, which will be used for this adventure when it comes time to publish it. Definitely doing it for Dungeon World and FrankenFourth (by default it will be for A Sundered World, with notes on how to use it in something not A Sundered World), maybe even Dungeons & Delvers and 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons (which was almost voted the system of choice).

I basically bullshitted together some characters, most of which were rendered pointless because everyone but Adam ended up changing their characters at the last minute and/or wanted different stuff: Shane went from tarchon shaman to battlemind (opting to focus on the tarchon breath weapon tree as opposed to battlemind stuff), which caused Melissa to bounce from ishim battlemind to invoker, at least up until she settled on an ishim wizard.

At least Melissa is trying out a blasty wizard, which is great because we haven't had much long-term playtesting with one.

Unlike the Age of Worms playtest, we're using armor in the 1-5 range. We're also going to try out different damage values because a few players were concerned that things dealt too much damage (like Maria McMy-Fighter-Deals-All-The-Damage). So far things are going well: Melissa got cronked out, but that's what I'd expect from even a 3rd-level wizard getting nearly impaled on bony spikes.

Adam wants to use lots of grenades, so he took the alchemy crafting skill in order to make them. Being 3rd-level and all I gave them 400 sp each to play with (assuming the rest went to pay for ship fuel and repairs, supplies, food, docking fees, etc); in addition to being able to make grenades more cheaply he'll also be able to brew potions on the cheap.

I'm working on a "black book" for FrankenFourth, which is going to include the rules and standard race and class selection that people are familiar with. It won't be free (it'll still have an actual production quality and art and such), but it will be cheap (prolly $5), and whatever you pay will get you a discount on the finished game should you want to pick it up (this way you won't pay an extra).

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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).

Trick-or-Treat Sale: The Spider

Though The Ghost has departed, for the next four days you can snare The Spider at 15% off!

From the original post:

Dungeon World is filled with all manner of strange and horrible monsters: marauding orcs, moldering skeletons, shambling zombies, chimeric owlbears, sinister demons, towering giants, fire-breathing dragons, and more.

Like spiders.

No, not your normal, run of the mill arachnid that can be easily dispatched with a shoe or broom. We’re talking the size of a dog, maybe even a man, capable of weaving webs stronger than steel, and a body capable of deflecting blades.

Like you.

Why have you scuttled forth from the dark, foreboding forests? Why do you travel with these pale, soft creatures? Would it not be more satisfying to truss them up, and let them marinate with terror before slurping up their insides, leaving only dessicated husks?

Well, maybe. Time will tell.

Just what it says on the tin: you're a giant spider. Spin webs, poison prey with your venomous bite, and then slurp up their delicious, liquefied insides.

This product comes with two files:

  • The first is a digest-sized book that contains everything about the spider, the spider trickster compendium class, magic items, advice on tweaking the class if you wanna play an ettercap, drider, or tuchigomo,  and a director's cut that further explains the class.
  • The second is a letter-sized character sheet.

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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).nt to buy in print (which you can now do).

Inktober2016: Snails & Stats

Though I'm running the snail dungeon thing using FrankenFourth, I figure I could also write it up for Dungeon World, so here are some stat blocks.

(I should note that I'm adding a medium tag for human-sized things, ditching Instinct because no one was able to justify its existence back when I made this post on modding monsters, and specifying example moves so if you think of another move the monster could do it's fine. I'd also like to change how HP is calculated, because kinda-sorta basing it on frequency doesn't make sense.)

The Golden Spiral
Within the tunnels of the Golden Spiral, snails and snail cultists wearing shell armor gain the stealthy tag because they can blend in with the walls Aliens style.

Giant Snail
Medium, Group
Defense: 6 HP 2 Armor
Bite: Close; d8 damage
Special Qualities: Moves at a Snail's Pace, Thick Shell, Trail of Slime
Example Moves:
  • Hide in its shell
  • Spit a strand of adhesive slime (near and entangling tags)
  • Spit a glob of corrosive slime (near and corrosive tags)
Basically a human-sized snail that eats intruders. Typically found with snail cultists: it understands them and will do what they tell it to, but they aren't particularly smart.

Rocket Snail
Medium, Group
Defense: 6 HP 2 Armor
Headbutt: Close; d8 damage (1 piercing)
Special Qualities: Rocket Pack, Thick Shell, Trail of Slime
Example Moves:
  • Hide in its shell
  • Rocket-propelled headbutt into an enemy (add +2 damage and forceful tag)
  • Spit a strand of adhesive slime (near and entangling tags)
  • Spit a glob of corrosive slime (near and corrosive tags)
A giant snail with a rocket pack to help it get around faster (and also headbutt intruders really hard).

Snail Mage
Tiny, Solitary, Intelligent, Magical, Organized
Defense: 12 HP 4 Armor (1 Armor if its magic is dispelled/suppressed)
Slime Bolt: Near, Corrosive; d10 damage (1 piercing)
Special Qualities: Moves at a Snail's Pace, Shell, Trail of Slime
Example Moves:
  • Mentally control a creature whose head it's sitting on
  • Coat a surface in sticky or slippery slime
  • Encase in slime
  • Transform into slime and flow away
Snail mages are smaller than giant snail, but still much larger than a normal snail. It's shell is covered in runes, and it typically takes possession of a snail mage vassal to make it more powerful: when a snail mage is attached to a snail mage vassal, the vassal gains access to its magic, which includes its better slime bolt attack, 4 armor (because it stems from the snail mage's magic), and magic moves.

Snail Mage Vassal
Medium, Group, Intelligent, Organized
Defense: 12 HP 0 Armor
Slime Bolt: Near, Corrosive; 1d8 damage (1 piercing)
Example Moves:
  • Sustain a snail mage's spell
  • Empower a snail mage's spell
  • Cast another spell in tandem with the snail mage
These are magical adepts that are often used by snail mages for a power boost.

Malleable
Medium, Solitary, Intelligent, Amorphous, Organized
Defense: 17 HP 1 Armor
Spiked Limbs: Close, Reach, Messy; b[2d8] +2 damage (1 piercing)
Special Qualities: Malleable Shape
Example Moves:
  • Shrug off an attack with its rubbery body
  • Flow through a small opening
  • Twist and wrap around a creature's legs or limbs
Snail cultists that have used too much malleoil: their bodies have only vague facial features, and are flexible and rubbery (to the point where they can compress themselves to fit through tiny openings). They attack with their whip-like arms, which can extend hundreds of needle-like teeth.

Titan Whelk
Huge, Solitary
Defense: 24 HP 3 Armor
Bite: Reach, Forceful; d10+5 damage (3 piercing)
Special Qualities: Moves at a Snail's Pace, Thick Shell, Trail of Slime
Example Moves:
  • Hide in its shell
  • Force its way through an obstacle
  • Swallow a medium creature whole
The largest of the snails, they sometimes carry snail knights into battle.




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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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 503

Cast
  • Humal (level 8 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 8 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 8 elf rogue/ranger)
  • Kuhnja'bi (level 8 human w/ devil-in-the-details fighter)

Summary
The party, going by the title Wayward Four, and three other teams—Arcane Auriga (elves with bows), Badland's Revenge (a human and a few gnolls), and Sapphire Squad (just humans, yawn)—were brought up to the now bustling arena, and spaced a hundred or so feet apart from each other.

This worked out great for Arcane Auriga: when the gong sounded they started loosing arrows at Badlands Revenge, who lacked any ranged capabilities. With both teams sufficiently occupied Sapphire Guard turned their attention to the party, charging them on steeds that their leader, Korush, conjured from rock and dust.

Humal ordered his chimera and cockatrice skeletons to move forward and shield the party, but Korush exhaled a great cloud of sand, which both blinded the party and scoured their exposed flesh. This allowed the other two riders to maneuver around the skeletons and strike, but despite these advantages Corzale and Kuhnja'bi were able to knock them from their horses. They surrendered, but their horses continued to attack.

Corzale managed to scramble on top of one, and while she struggled to stay on and smash it Kuhnja'bi easily destroyed the other, before staggering out of the billowing sand cloud. He stumbled across Sumia, who was clearly fighting a losing battle against the still-mounted and unwounded Korush. Kuhnja'bi charged into the fray, quicky knocking Korush from his horse and forcing a surrender, dispersing both the sand cloud and horses.

When the dust settled the party saw that Badlands Revenge's dire badger had been impaled by several arrows, and was now lying lifelessly on the ground. Joren was nowhere to be found, but one of Arcane Auriga's members had been literally torn apart by a bulette, and the remaining three elves had surrendered to the blood-thirsty gnolls' disappointment. With only one target left, the gnolls hooked their halberds onto the bulette's tail plates, and it dragged them along as it burrowed its way towards the party.

Suspecting that the bulette would try to emerge beneath one of them, the party spaced themselves apart and Humal commanded his cockatrice skeleton to start stomping on the ground. He hoped that the bulette would only be able to sense its presence and attack, but after a minute of relative calm they began nervously looking about until their eyes fell upon the dire badger at the other side of the arena.

To their shock it was now staring intently at them, but before they could react the bulette burst forth from the earth behind Kuhnja'bi, snatching him up in jaws that tore through his armor and flesh with ease. As it landed it flicked its tail, hurling the gnolls towards Sumia and Corzale.

Kuhnja'bi managed to wrest himself free, and Humal's chimera was able to pin it in place, preventing it from grasping another party member. Sumia and Corzale were able to render the gnolls unconscious, and just before Kuhnja'bi could drive his sword through the bulette's head it dwindled back into Joren, who promptly surrendered.

Some of the audience cheered, others were visibly dismayed at the likely costly results, but as they were being rewarded with a small box filled with gold coins and a bronze bull trophy, Raknian stood from his chair, eyes wide with recognition. He jabbed a finger towards the party, and in a booming voice loudly proclaimed, "You!"

Design Notes
So a few things came up this session. First, adventure changes.

Since FrankenFourth doesn't assume magic items, I scrapped pretty much all of them on the opposing teams (not like the characters would get to loot them, anyway), with the exception of Rennida's bow. In the original adventure it's basically a longbow that deals bonus cold damage, but I felt that was boring so changed it so that it dealt cold damage, but if she rolled a 15+ the target was also slowed from being partially encased in ice. Fortunately, it didn't come up for the party.

Unfortunately, I also changed what Sapphire Squad and Joren could do, both of which affected the party. Korush, the leader of Sapphire Squad, is a janni. I think in 3rd Edition that was a kind of half-genie. He had access to spell-like abilities that let him turn invisible and do some boring stuff like create food and speak with animals, so I gave him some sand/wind powers, including the ability to summon elemental horses because that sounded cooler than normal warhorses.

Joren was supposed to change into a crocodile, but I figured a bulette would be cooler because this is Dungeons & Dragons goddamn it and I have a really awesome bulette from Reaper (certainly cooler than all the D&D bulettes I own). It also let him burrow, which further monkey-wrenched the party's plans.

Now, game mechanics changes.

Kuhnja'bi, Maria's fighter, was built specifically to kill shit asap. She started with the specialized ability score array, which gave her a +3 that she put into Strength. Her human stat bump and stat bump you gain from being level 5 both sent into Strength, making it +5.

She then chose Devil in the Details, which allowed her to take the Wrath sin, giving her +1 damage with melee weapons. This was further supplemented with three ranks in Slayer (+6 damage but only with two-handed weapons) and the fighter's Weapon Focus class feature (+1d6 damage with all weapons at 4th-level), for a grand total of 3d6+12 damage.

Oh, did I mention he also gets two attacks?

Compare this to Corzale, a war cleric that is only dealing something like 2d6+3 damage I think, and only gets one attack (though she can spend Favor to reroll missed attacks).

So, fighters are getting a pretty big overhaul.

First, no fighting style talent at 1st-level: I think being able to wear most armors without a problem, and +1 to hit and damage with all weapons is fine. Second, Slayer is going to only give you +1 damage every Rank (maxes out at +3). Finally, the +1d6 damage thing is going to get reduced to another +1 damage with all weapons, meaning that Kuhnja'bi's damage is going to be reduced to "only" 2d6+10 damage.

Still much better than the war cleric, and she gets to make two attacks to boot, so I'll need to give war clerics a boost (or advise war clerics to multiclass into fighter a bit).

The cleric's Favor points might get changed to a kind-of per day thing. My current thought is that you choose when you pray to your god (sunrise, noon, or sunset), and when you do you get your Favor maxed out. Talents that use Favor will get bumped up, and this will let me have a cleric that can use healing magic (instead of reducing damage that people take, which feels more like a Protection Domain thing).

To help offset this, clerics will be able to make sacrifices at any part of the day to regain spent Favor points, and I'm going to noodle on a talent or ability that will let you try to invoke your god for aid, so if your cleric is out of Favor and about to bite it you might be able to squeeze out something extra.

On the upside, regardless as to whether Favor gets changed, clerics will get to choose two Domain talents at 1st-level instead of one, so you'll have something else to spend Favor on (or, if you want to be better at something you can further specialize).

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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).

Inktober2016: Rocket Snail

I ran A Sundered World a few days ago using FrankenFourth. Adam wanted to keep playing Waive from our previous Dungeon World campaigns, so he rolled up a scion (ie, human) nomad, Shane went with a tarchon battlemind (surprising no one), and Melissa ended up with an ishim blasty wizard.

I'll do a playtest report soon (probably tomorrow), I'm only mentioning it because they just started their foray into a Gigeresque snail dungeon. By the time we got the characters and gear settled there was only about a half-hour left; thus far they've only encountered a quartet of giant snails (which means they're human-sized) crawling about a field of jagged, tooth-like growths.

Hopefully next time they'll run into the weirder shit I've cooked up. Not only the snail stuff I've already posted, but, say, a snail with a rocket pack bolted to its shell because snails are slow and why the hell didn't I put this in A Sundered World: Player Fragments?

It's based on the elemental collidor engine that many astral vessels in A Sundered World use (because the alternatives are harder to maintain/too fucking terrifying), just smaller. This is all well and good for helping the snails get around more quickly, but for some added punch they can also wear spiked helmets and just rocket-headbutt you.
Announcements
If you're curious about FrankenFourth and/or Dungeons & Delvers, you can find public alpha documents here and here respectively.

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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).

Trick-or-Treat Sale: The Ghost

Next up for this year's Trick-or-Treat sale is The Ghost. For the next five days, you can pick it up over on DriveThruRPG at 22% off.

The Ghost 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.

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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).nt to buy in print (which you can now do).

Dungeon World: Developing the Dragon

A few weeks ago Maria hit me up in chat, asking what I thought about making a dragon "class" for Dungeon World. My immediate thought was yeah I think that could work, which was quickly followed up with me throwing out some 16ish moves. Here's more or less my thought process as best I can remember it (because maybe it will help you design your own classes):

For starters, dragons tend to breath fire/have a breath weapon of sorts, can fly, have thick scales, claws, and teeth, so right there we got the four starting moves out of the way. I like to provide advanced moves that build upon the starting moves (and sometimes expand on them, but we'll get to that later), so with a 2-5 and 6-10 upgrade to all of that, we've already got eight moves accounted for and are therefore almost halfway done if we want to do the bare minimum (psh, yeah right).

But, what about backgrounds (which we do instead of needlessly restricting a class by race)? Whelp, this is a monster so we don't need backgrounds; in this case I think it would make more sense if you chose a type of dragon.

Now, if we're thinking Dungeons & Dragons then that would just be various color types (since I think chromatics are cooler than metallics, but if you wanna do metallics you can just rename them pretty easily): each color mods the breath weapon starting move in some way, and makes you immune to something (ie, red dragons get fire breath and are immune to fire).

If we use black, blue, green, red, and white we'll have a whopping five things to choose from (most classes only get 2-3 options). We can always pare them down or change them to something else later (which we did, at least for the default dragon).

Going back to advanced moves, polymorphing into human form is a thing: I'm thinking you can turn into a human for one move, and then retain some dragon abilities as a 6-10 upgrade (so you can be a human and breath fire).

Also, being able to smell treasure and/or other creatures (keen senses), deal damage when a creature wounds you (probably something like "when you take damage, you can take +x damage to deal your damage" because of burning/caustic/harmful blood), and something that lets you use magic (mebbe using the A Sundered World wizard as a foundation, but if that's too complex it can go in the back).

That's another 6-8 advanced moves. Not sure if I can think of an upgrade for keen senses and the blood thing, but we'll see, and in any case, we're now well past the halfway mark! I remember mentioning a tail sweep, and hitting things with your wings could also be cool (and I can't forget about adding stuff for flying).

At this point I can't think of a way to implement it all, yet: your claws and fangs have the close tag, and while I suppose your tail and wings could have the reach and forceful tag, weapon-range-tags almost never come up, and I think a dragon should be able to swat creatures around with their claws.

I decide to give my brain a break and come back to it the next day, during which I start fleshing out what I already have, add some more moves (let others drink your blood for temporary buffs, magic resistance plus spell reflecting, etc), change/figure out how some moves work (for example, tail and wing attacks get folded in with your claw and fang hack-and-slash: if you get a 12+ you can do more things), and as expected bump the dragon magic stuff to a compendium class because that way I can better represent it (even with our space-efficient character sheet it wasn't going to fit anyway).

I've heard some people claim that it can take a month or more to design a Dungeon World class, but by this point I've only spent about an hour or so of time actually working on The Dragon, and much of that was reading up on dragons from various mythologies because we held a vote and people preferred that over D&D dragons.

We ran it through a few rounds of feedback (which adds more time but is worth it if you get some good people and listen to them), and then added other dragon types in the back (such as the cockatrice and wyvern), a dracolich compendium class, and so on because why not include everything we came up with during the design process?

The entire design process was to basically think about what a dragon could/should do, independent of mechanics (worry about that when you get to it), jot some notes/names down, and then later go about attaching mechanics to them (a process I go into more detail here, which also works for creating awesome magic items). No forced gag move names/pop culture references, or clunky, gimmicky mechanics.

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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).

Inktober2016: Spiked Snail & Snail Mage

Keeping this whole snail cult thing going, here's an ambiguously-sized spiked snail (could be small, could be really big):


And, per Melissa's suggestion, a magic-using snail that sits on your head and takes over so it can make you cast spells:


Assuming everything goes according to plan, tomorrow evening we'll be playing FrankenFourth using A Sundered World classes (specifically the nomad, battlemind, and invoker), with the players tackling a dungeon carved into an island that is the corpse of a snail god.

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

A Sundered World: Player Fragments, the first supplement for A Sundered World, is finally out!

If you're looking for a class that lets you play almost any were-thing you want (plus a bunch of related extra content), then check out The Therianthrope. There's also The Dragon, a class that lets you play almost any dragon-ish thing you could think of.

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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