Archive for January 2017

FrankenFourth: Looking for Feedback!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FF/ASW: The Golden Spiral, Episode 106

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Ah, fresh test subjects!"

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dungeon World: Portuguese Playbooks

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


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

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

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

By fan demand, we've mashed all of our 10+ Treasure volumes into one big magic item book, making it cheaper and more convenient to buy in print (which you can now do).
January 25, 2017
Posted by David Guyll

FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 508 & 1.4 Update

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dungeon World: The Rogue

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

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

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

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

This product contains three files.

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

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

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

You can see a preview of it over on DriveThruRPG.

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

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

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

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

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

10+ Treasures Goes Gold!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Bard Was Featured on Discern Realities!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FrankenFourth: Eldritch World

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As for classes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FrankenFourth: Defenses vs. Saves

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

Personally I can see a case for both.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FrankenFourth: Age of Worms, Episode 508

Cast
  • Humal (level 9 wrathful cambion wizard)
  • Corzale (level 9 dwarf war cleric)
  • Sumia (level 9 elf rogue/ranger)
  • Kuhnja'bi (level 9 human w/ devil-in-the-details fighter)

Summary
Peeking through the northern door, Sumia saw that it led to a grimly furnished chamber. To her, anyway: Humal would probably want to speak to whoever decorated it.

Numerous glowing skulls were strung from the ceiling, bathing the chamber in green light. A frame cobbled from a chaotic assembly of bones stood at the eastern wall. A pale sheet was stretched across it, covered in diagrams and symbols: the necromantic energy Sumia and Humal had sensed before was pouring from it and through the western wall.

Underneath the energy stream a robed figure bowed before the sheet, as if in prayer. Sumia couldn't make out any details in the dim, flickering light, but she assumed that it was probably a monster or cultist or both. She'd hoped to sneak into the room to get a closer look, but the moment Sumia set foot inside each of the skulls twisted about to glare at her. The crouched figure stood up and removed his hood: he was a cambion, similar in appearance to Humal, but his horns were longer and more curved.

He calmly strode towards her, introducing himself as Bozal. He stated that he recognized her from the tournament and asked if she was lost. Sumia claimed to be looking for a bathroom, but when he offered to take her there she said that she found one back the other way. This prompted him to question as to why she would be looking for a bathroom when she'd already found one, which in turn prompted Sumia to start stammering out various excuses while backing away.

Bozal thrust out his arm: black energy coursed from it and poured into the ground behind Sumia. A skeletal dog covered in shadowy worms tore free of the loose dirt and leaped upon her, pinning her to the ground. By now her screams of terror and pain weren't necessary for the rest of the party to know Sumia was in trouble: they burst into the room, smashing and slicing the wormhound apart.

Seemingly unfazed by their sudden appearance, Bozal drew a massive morningstar from underneath his robe and began flailing at Sumia with it. The spikes were bad enough, but she could also feel it sapping her strength: once she managed to regain her feet, she quickly scrambled past the rest of the party and out of the room.

Corzale acted first, attempting to crush Bozal with her blessed hammer. Bozal moved far more quickly than she expected, but despite his speed she was still able to land a solid blow and stagger him. This gave Kuhnja'bi enough of an opening to inflict two deep wounds...which revealed that Bozal was apparently an amorphous mass of Kyuss worms wearing the skin of a cambion.

The Bozal-worm-mass shuffled towards the wall that the necromantic energy was flowing into. In unison the worms muttered something about doing things yourself if you want them done right, and then the entire mass escaped by wriggling through a tiny hole. Unsure what to expect, but expecting something bad to happen, the party waited. Figuring that perhaps Bozal actually fled, the party began searching the room for possible treasure and hidden passages.

Humal carefully examined the sheet, and after several minutes of study learned that it was being used to, in essence, grow a worm-like creature that, while fortunately not a Kyuss worm, could be used to constantly generate undead minions. The necromantic energy was being "fed" to the creature, and it would continue to do so until its gestation period was complete.

While it was theoretically possible to halt the process, Humal and Sumia both lacked the necessary magical knowledge to even attempt such a feat. Even if they did it would be both difficult and dangerous: if the attempt failed, and maybe even if it succeeded, a magical backlash would harm and possibly kill whoever tried.

The party considered trying to gain access to the room where the creature was; perhaps it was vulnerable and they could destroy it before it woke. Aside from the tiny hole the wall was solid, which meant they'd have to find the necessary tools to tunnel through, or try crawling through the large pipe back in the pump room they discovered earlier.

For now they continued on, and after passing through a few short halls came to another large chamber. This one was comparatively unremarkable, save for a checkered curtain that mostly obscured the southern half of the room, and a brazier burned brightly along the northern wall. Suspecting some sort of monster or trap, the rest of the party remained in the hall while Kuhnja'bi pulled the curtain aside.

He shouted and recoiled with fear as a shapeless, leathery mass slithered towards him. Bright green ooze burbled and sputtered from numerous cracks as it moved. Corzale pointed her hammer at it and unleashed a blast of holy light, scorching the creature and drawing its attention. It responded with a powerful spray of freezing wind and icy shards, severely harming everyone but Kuhnja'bi, who had backed himself in a corner, seemingly too terrified to move.

Unsure how often it could do that, Corzale dashed into and across the room, continuing to hammer it with divine might as she went, while Sumia loosed arrows dipped in holy water and Humal conjured illusions to attack from a safe distance. Fortunately, it both continued to focus entirely on Corzale and for whatever reason opted to only strike her with acidic pseudopods until it was finally destroyed.

Design Notes
Still didn't get a chance to try out armor-as-Armor-Class. Actually been thinking of a kind of DR/AC hybrid. So, leather would be DR 1, a hauberk would be DR 1/AC +1, brigandine would be DR 2/AC +1, scale armor would be DR 2/AC +2, and so on. It would allow for more armor types while keeping both values relatively small (and also prevent magical armor from further blowing the numbers out of whack), and hopefully appease both the armor-as-DR and armor-as-AC camps.

Overhauled the fighter quite a bit, further reducing talents and spacing out its attack and damage bonuses. This currently marks the fighter as the least customizable class (battlemind will probably end up looking similar), but even after reducing damage output a few times its still dishing out far more than everyone else, even when I ignore the fact that Maria is super-specialized for damage output, and without having to spend Mana or Favor to boot.

I decided to keep the alkilith (3rd Edition Fiend Folio, page 46), though I forgot about its wall of ice and cloudkill abilities. Its cone of cold was changed to a recharge effect (roll a d6 at the start of each round, if you roll a number or higher monster gets to use it again), but I kept rolling 2's and 3's. Oh well, still did better than Melissa, who kept rolling nat 1's and 2's on a d20 (which was a shame because her holy water-arrow plan would have totally worked).

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

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

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

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

A Paladin, Rogue, and Blackguard Walk Into a Barrow...

I've been pretty sick for the past week or so, but this week rather than just cancel Jacob was generous enough to run a Dungeon World one-shot  (probably). Maria played The Blackguard, I played The Paladin (making it I think the first paladin I've ever played), and Melissa did a bit of playtesting with our upcoming rogue.

Since we only had about an hour it ended up being a short, straightforward dungeon crawl: we were hired to investigate the source of a bunch of undead descending upon some villages, and stumbled across a nearby barrow during our search.

Perrin, my character, removed a massive stone sealing the entrance because he didn't realize that undead typically don't close the door behind them when they come and go, so they probably weren't coming from within this particular barrow.

The first floor was oddly enough filled with sand, and after Taranis (Maria's character) sensed something evil buried within Perrin immediately jumped into the barrow to confront what was soon revealed to be a huge, pulsating mass of organs...which died in a single sword-stab (+1d4 damage against evil things, yo).

When nothing else emerged Jade (Melissa's character) began scooping up coins that she claimed to have absolutely no value so Perrin don't gotta worry about it. Taranis searched for a hidden passage, because there's no way this barrow was just a one floor/room/monster deal. He found a trap door that was also fire-trapped, but Perrin was able to leap in the way and take the literal heat for him.

The second floor smelled like a plague ward, which a lack of any ventilation didn't help with. Taranis sensed something evil within the sarcophagus, so Perrin, heedless of any traps, again charged forward and flung the lid off of it. A putrid, vaguely humanoid creature covered in boils and pustules bolted from it and into the shadows, fast enough that the party lost track of it until it lunged towards Taranis...

...but Perrin managed to dive into its path, keeping it at bay long enough for Jade and Taranis to hack it to pieces.

The sarcophagus concealed a staircase that lead to a third chamber filled with a half-dozen sarcophagi. A haunting melody played throughout the room: Perrin went about opening each sarcophagi in search of its source. Taranis found the music pleasing (surprise surprise) so just kind of stood around listening to it. Jade scanned the room, and in the shadows spotted a dark, skeletal figure floating in one of the corners.

She hurled a dagger at it, striking true despite Taranis's attempt to stop her. The creature's tune quickly changed: it seemed to tear at everyone's soul, filling them with anguish and dread. It even affected Taranis, which shook him from his trance, and with their combined might the creature was quickly destroyed. As best Taranis could tell all of the evil had been vanquished, and there weren't any more passages, so they set about looting the sarcophagi.

Amidst heaps of varied treasure they found a holy icon belonging to the church of a sun deity that had only very recently arrived in the region: why was it here? Did they have a part to play in this sudden undead incursion?

Design & Development
We never actually playtested The Paladin during development, instead relying on extensive feedback to kind of collectively eyeball it enough to avoid what I guess you'd call "balance" and mechanics issues. Having actually played it (and, again, perhaps a paladin in general for the first time ever), it was a lot of fun.

Even though I kept jumping in front of enemy attacks to shield the rest of the party, I ended up getting through the whole ordeal virtually unscathed, partially due to having 4 Armor (3 from plate, +1 from shield), partially due to insanely lucky damage rolls (Jacob actually runs the game right and has players roll the damage they suffer, but I kept rolling 1's or 2's).

Really the only reason I suffered any damage at all was because the last guy's attacks ignored armor (some kind of soul-wrenching musical attack), but even then I only rolled a 1 so no big deal. Also, I conveniently chose the Chastity virtue, which rendered me immune to any disease-based tags the second undead critter might have had. Had there been more shit to fight and the other characters suffered more damage, I also had the Sacrifice virtue to spread my hp around.

Maria brought up something concerning The Blackguard and a few moves that both let you ask a question on a miss. She felt that it was better to miss, since you could technically trigger both moves to ask two questions and mark XP, whereas if you rolled a 7-9 you'd only get to ask one question and not get to mark XP.

Jacob and I pointed out that on a miss the GM gets to hit you with something, but that's up to the GM and they might not hit you with anything bad enough for you to give a shit (or at least enough to offset the XP and extra question), so as the authors of The Blackguard our official response is that on a miss you can still only ask one question (but of course if your GM is cool letting you ask both we can't stop you anyway).

Melissa didn't have a chance to do many rogue things (Taranis triggered the only trap, we weren't in an area with a thieves' guild, and there weren't any pockets to pick), but still enjoyed the game and didn't feel useless or anything.

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

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

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

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

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