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August 28th
Idle Champion Spotlight: Lazaapz 
Posted in Idle Champions.

"Where was this device discovered," Lazaapz whispered, "and how old is it?"

The goblin artificer reached out of her mechanized armor to run her fingers along the surface of the Eldritch Machine, admiring the elegant craftsmanship. It resembled a large metallic sarcophagus, covered in arcane runes written in an ancient language.

"It was unearthed during one of our recent expeditions to Xen'Drik," the surly envoy of House Cannith responded. "Our analysis has confirmed that this device was constructed by the Cul'sir Dominion approximately forty thousand years ago."

"Incredible. THEY WERE SO SMART! I've only seen a handful of other machines they've created. There was the one down in the Cogs but it was broken, and then there was the last one your employers brought..." Lazaapz trailed off as she wandered around the machine, inspecting it from every angle.

"House Cannith trusts that you will keep the results of your testing discrete as per our previous arrangement."

"Did you see this?"

"I'm not sure what you're pointing at." The envoy shifted to get a better view of what Lazaapz was gesturing towards.

"These are symbols associated with Dal Quor. Do you see them? WHOA! If this machine is from over forty thousand years ago, that could mean it has something to do with the Quori. Weren't the Quori corporeal on our plane back then? OH BOY! Do you know what this could mean!?"

"...I'll leave you to it," said the envoy, turning to leave the workshop. Lazaapz didn't notice. She rarely noticed people when her mind was fixated on a mechanical puzzle. AND WHAT A PUZZLE! This will be fun...

I. Goblin Armorer Artificer

Dungeons & Dragons Lazaapz

    Born in The Cogs beneath Sharn's Lower City, Lazaapz's remarkable intellect elevated her to the Tradefair district, where her mechanical genius became highly sought after by the Dragonmarked Houses. Lazaapz's first invention was a functional mechanical arm to replace the one she was born without; now she leads an elite team of engineers in cutting edge research and development.

    Following the discovery of a mysterious Eldritch Machine, Lazaapz was brought in by House Cannith to ascertain the purpose of the device. Shortly after, both Lazaapz and the machine disappeared, never to be seen again.

Lazaapz is a Tank and Support Champion who buffs other small-sized Champions with her Fury of the Small ability. She wears a suit of custom mechanized Power Armor that powers up her abilities and attacks, granting improved bonuses and additional attacks that debilitate enemies while she is under attack. When you want to add Lazaapz to your formation, you can swap her with Makos (Slot 9).

II. Lazaapz's Stats

Race: Goblin Alignment: Neutral Evil
Class: Artificer (Armorer) Gender: Female
Age: 19 Affiliation: none

STR: 8 DEX: 16 CON: 16
INT: 18 WIS: 10 CHA: 8

Role: Tanking/Support
Eligible for Patrons: Mirt the Moneylender, Vajra Safahr, Strahd von Zarovich


Dungeons & Dragons Lazaapz

III. Lazaapz's Design

The story of Lazaapz began with Rizz Dupree.

We receive a lot of feedback and suggestions when it comes to Champions players would like to see, and among the most popular and frequent requests is for us to introduce a Goblin Champion and to introduce some kind of Artificer now that they have been officially introduced to 5E through Eberron: Rising from the Last War.

Other feedback that came to mind:
  • A tank that uses a tower shield.
  • More short/small Champions.
  • More monstrous Champions.
  • More evil Champions.
This had been on our minds for a while, but it took the introduction of the Armorer subclass for Artificers in Unearthed Arcana: Subclasses, Part 3 in late February for it all to come together. We were inspired to create a Goblin Armorer that used a tower shield and their Arcane Propulsion Arm to fight enemies, and Rizz Dupree was born!

Side note: 'Rizz Dupree' was just a name that sounds kind of like 'Chris Dupuis' to start, and it was just part of the initial Champion design pitch. This name quickly became 'Renton' (named after Renton, Washington, where Wizards of the Coast is located) as the design came together before eventually settling on 'Lazaapz' while the design was finalized.

At this point we knew that we wanted this goblin to be an inventor, a mechanical prodigy able to build their own prosthetic arm replacement as a young child. Using their ingenuity, they worked their way up from the lowest depths of Sharn, the Cogs beneath the Lower City, making their way all the way up to the Tradefair District. The equipment cards for Lazaapz speak to this history, as she built and tested her own suit of power armor.

We knew that we wanted to base the design around a suit of Power Armor that charged up and stored power while not in combat, and that used that power to boost abilities and dish out some punishment to enemies while under attack. This suit would build up to a high power threshold while you cleared areas quickly, and once things got tough the suit would kick in and buff the small members of the party and help Lazaapz damage enemies with her Thunder Fist.

Of course, since Lazaapz has an Arcane Propulsion Arm as a prosthetic, we thought that it would be fun if it was also a kind of long range grappling fist in addition to a thunder fist. She could reach across the screen, grab an enemy, and drag them to the front of the formation for a beating. Another Champion that can manipulate enemy placement!

...and isn't it about time we had a Champion that buffed our kobolds, gnomes, halflings, and dwarves? #IshiMeta

We're still really excited about Lazaapz. We hope you are, too!

IV. Lazaapz's Abilities

Basic Attacks

Lazaapz has two basic attacks. She attacks four times with Thunder Gauntlet and then attacks with Grappling Fist, then repeats.
  • Thunder Gauntlet — Lazaapz leaps out and attacks the nearest enemies with her Thunder Gauntlet, damaging them and stunning them for 0.5 seconds.
  • Grappling Fist — Lazaapz fires her Grappling Fist at a random enemy and quickly yanks it to the front of the formation. This attack deals no damage and cannot move static enemies or blockers.

Formation Abilities

  • Fury of the Small — Increase the damage of all small races (dwarves, goblin, halfling, gnome, or kobold) by 100% for each qualifying Champion in the formation. Stacks multiplicatively.
  • Power Armor — Lazaapz has a set of Artificer Power Armor. It gains one stack for every 1 second that Lazaapz is not under attack. This caps at 100 stacks. Lazaapz gains 1% max health for each stack of Power Armor, stacking additively.
  • Tiny Bulwark — When Lazaapz is under attack, she consumes 10 stacks of Power Armor and increases the effect of Fury of the Small by 400% for 10 seconds.
  • Lightning Launcher — When Lazaapz is under attack by at least 5 enemies, she consumes 15 stacks of Power Armor and activates her Lightning Launcher (fired from a large gem located in the middle of her chest plate), targeting one of the enemies attacking her and striking all enemies in a line, causing them to take 200% more damage for 7.5 seconds
  • Shield of Sharn — Lazaapz increases the max health of all other Champions by 25% of her base max health.

Specializations

  • Stolen Power — Increase the max stacks of Power Armor by 100.
  • Team Player — Abilities that require Lazaapz to be under attack (Tiny Bulwark and Lightning Launcher) will now trigger if any Champion in the formation is attacked.
  • The Zapper — Lightning Launcher will now trigger with only one enemy attacking Lazaapz and its damage buff is increased by 100%.

Ultimate Ability

The ultimate changes based on the number of Power Armor stacks Lazaapz has available. If she has 20 or fewer stacks, her ultimate ability is Recharge. If she has 21 or more stacks, her ultimate ability is Overcharge.
  • Recharge — Lazaapz immediately regains all of her Power Armor stacks and, for the next 30 seconds, does not expend any stacks when triggering Tiny Bulwark or Lightning Launcher.
  • Overcharge — Lazaapz overcharges her Power Armor, preventing it from gaining any more stacks but increasing the effect of Tiny Bulwark and Lightning Launcher by 400% for 30 seconds.

V. Lazaapz's Equipment



Slot 1: Global DPS
Slot 2: Global DPS
Slot 3: Fury of the Small
Slot 4: Power Armor
Slot 5: Tiny Bulwark
Slot 6: Lightning Launcher

VI. Conclusion

What do you think about Lazaapz? If you have feedback, let us know in a Community Q&A or Champion feedback post on the Idle Champions Subreddit, on the Steam forums, or on the Official Idle Champions Discord!
December 3rd, 2018
Idle Champion Spotlight: Warden 
Posted in Idle Champions.

During The Last War, House Cannith designed and constructed the ultimate prison: a vast underground complex built to entomb alien and extraplanar threats. Complete with its own Creation Forge and led by an immortal warforged named Warden, this complex was intended to keep these otherworldly threats imprisoned until the end of days.

Unfortunately, even the great minds of House Cannith could not have imagined that the end of days would come so soon...

Welcome everyone to our Idle Champion Spotlight for Warden, our new Skirmisher Warforged Hexblade Warlock Champion for Simril Year Two!

I. Warden's Story

    Forged to be the jailer for a prison filled with eldritch horrors in a faraway land, Warden became corrupted by the monstrosities they sought to keep locked away. Now they journey at the behest of an otherworldly master, seeking souls for the insatiable Dark Hunger to corrupt and feast upon.
Warden is a DPS and Support Champion, corrupted by their Hexblade, the source of their otherworldly strength. At the same time, it is also from this Hexblade that the Elder Evils of Realmspace have laid their claim to Warden, infesting their body with eldritch malignancy. They use their Hex ability to curse enemies, debuffing them and causing them to take additional damage for each stack of the Hex curse they are afflicted with.

When you want to add Warden to your formation, you can swap them with Jamilah (Slot 11).

II. Character Stats

Race: Warforged Class: Warlock (Hexblade) Alignment: Chaotic Evil
STR: 14 DEX: 16 CON: 12
INT: 8 WIS: 11 CHA: 18

For more info, check out Warden's D&D Beyond Character Sheet!

III. The Initial Idea

Believe it or not, the design for Warden actually began with a Triton Storm Sorcerer I called 'Solinus'.

When Chris asked me if I wanted to design the Simril 2 Champion, I immediately accepted. How often does one get the opportunity to design a character in a video game? That's an item to check off the bucket list! But of course, there was a catch — Chris gave me a set of criteria to follow...

    "Here are my high level marching orders for the Warforged character if you're still interested in taking a stab at design:

    • A non-named, non-lore character. Think Stoki: Krond: and Gromma. Let's make an awesome CNE hero.

    • Should work with Krond. Re: Either be Evil or have Str +16.

    • Non-binary gender.

    • Keep in mind the story design doc: Adjacent champions are Vlahnya (bard), and Nerys (cleric).

    • Cannot fit into slot 5 (Dhadius, the other event champion) or 6 (Krond, so they can work with them).

    • I'll need first pass design done by Tuesday the 30th (of October).

    • Focus on a mechanic that the players will like, but keep it simple. 1-2 formation abilities, and Specializations that don't diverge as much as our other characters."

Well, that put an end to Solinus! And being a Triton. But maybe a Storm Sorcerer could still work. I knew I wanted at least one ability that pulled ranged enemies to the front of the formation, and aside from that I just wanted to make sure that I was as close to D&D 5E as possible.

To put it simply: I struggled. Storm Sorcerers are awesome, and I played around with the idea of using a cantrip like Lightning Lure to pull enemies to the front of the formation, and pretty much every other positional spell or ability that Sorcerers have access to. In the end, they all just felt wrong with a Warforged, perhaps because one of my recent characters, 0N1X, is a Tempest Domain Cleric and this felt too similar. It actually wasn't until I abandonned the idea of a Sorcerer that I was able to make some real progress.

As soon as I considered making a Warlock (our most under-represented class!) and making them a Hexblade (my favourite subclass in 5E!) it all started to click. More attacks? Thirsting Blade. Area of Effect damage? Cloak of Flies. Pulling enemies to the front of the formation? ARMS OF HADAR! (not a perfect fit, I know, but thematically, tentacles + void worked for me)

The initial design came together over the course of a few hours, and there was the basic idea: Warden, the Skirmisher Warforged Hexblade Warlock, was a DPS who would support the party by casting Hex on enemies, which could then spread to other enemies. He was perfect for Slot 9 (Makos)!

Or so I thought. After putting the pieces together and doing the math, Justin and Chris elected to move Warden from Slot 9 to Slot 11 (Jamilah). Their reasoning was that they didn't want to have Warden compete with Makos for a spot with Krond, and that Warden's design was better-suited to Slot 11 where Jamilah and Strix have very limited capabilities as Support Champions.

IV. Art

I want to acknowledge Katherine Crane, our artist who drew and animated everything Warden. Kat did a fantastic job with incredibly vague information from myself, Chris, Justin, and Adam when it came to Warden's design and aesthetic. When designing Warden, the description I gave Chris first was:

    As a general character I had pictured a lean, warped Warforged decked out in an ominous but shabby cloak. Like the warforged version of an undead in terms of skeletal and spiky bits of metal and writhing with eldritch corruption.
As you can tell, that's not a lot to go on - and Warden doesn't have any spikes. When Kat put together the first iteration of Warden, complete with spiky armor and more cloak, it just didn't work. It was missing something.



We threw (probably too many) ideas at Kat, but what stuck was the core aspects of Warden's aesthetic: the organic components of the warforged body have been replaced by some kind of writhing eldritch tentacles, and Warden's magic items are now a part of their visual. We're pretty happy with the result!

You can find more of Kat's art online at www.twitter.com/TehArtMonkey and www.instagram.com/TehArtMonkey. Check it out!

V. Design

As one might expect, Warden's basic attack is with their pact weapon, an Armblade made with their Hexblade. It is an artifact of profound otherworldly corruption that has now grown across and inside Warden's body. Now they are held together as much from these insidious tendrils as they are from the composite plating they were initially constructed with.

Warden’s design revolves around Hex: cursing/debuffing enemies to make them weaker, and then attacking and killing them to spread Hex around further. Formation abilities unlock Hex, increase the number of attacks Warden is able to make (Thirsting Blade), and cause Hex to spread more quickly and easily (Master of Hexes). Finally, the final formation ability, Relentless Hex, allows Champions to deal even more additional damage to targets cursed by Hex by allowing the curse to stack(!).

    Formation Abilities

  • Hex — Warden casts a Hex curse on enemies before attacking them, debuffing them and causing them to take increased damage from all Champions.

  • Thirsting Blade — Whenever Warden Attacks, they attack the same enemy twice.

  • Master of Hexes — Enemies that die while afflicted with the Hex curse now spread it to all nearby enemies.

  • Relentless Hex — Hex can stack up to four times on each enemy.

VI. Specializations

Specializations for Warden go in one of two directions: further buffing their single target damage and adding a chance to stun (Eldritch Smite), or giving them a way to do extra AoE damage whenever they attack (Cloak of Flies). My personal favourite is Eldritch Smite because Warden's Hexblade transforms into a colossal Greataxe for the final attack, a bit of a subtle nod to Improved Pact Weapon as well as just being something really flavorful and awesome.

  • Eldritch Smite — After Warden attacks an enemy, they attack the same enemy again an additional time with Eldritch Smite, dealing additional damage with a chance to stun the enemy.

  • Cloak of Flies — Whenever Warden attacks, they do an additional AoE damage attack around them.


Kat did a wonderful job of Warden's attack-into-Eldritch-Smite animation!


VII. Ultimate Attack

Finally, Warden’s ultimate ability is Hunger of Hadar, where they open up a rift to the void at the front of the formation and a swarm of tentacles grasps all enemies, pulling them into a cluster and damaging and stunning them. Thematically it speaks to the otherworldly power that Warden accesses through their growing connection to the Elder Evils, but this spell is intended more to be pure utility: players have long wanted a way to grab ranged enemies and pull them to the front of the formation, and now they can!

This ability was initially designed to be Arms of Hadar instead, but the scale of the effect we wanted to achieve was too large for that spell. Instead, we have somewhat combined both Arms of Hadar and Hunger of Hadar into one spell.
    Note: Hunger of Hadar will pull ranged enemies to within range of Strix's Poor Hygiene ability. The downside being that you can't have both Warden and Strix in the formation at the same time. #BlameChris #BlameJustin

VIII. Equipment

I had a lot of fun putting Warden's equipment sheet together. This time around, rather than having the more weathered or decrepit versions of different pieces of equipment at lower rarities, the grey/common and green/uncommon versions are now more pristine and new compared to higher rarities. Now the rare/blue and epic/purple versions are the most vile and corrupt versions of each item.

The item descriptions/flavor text owe a lot to the works of HP Lovecraft and Clive Barker, and of course, to Keith Baker and everyone else who has contributed to building the world of Eberron.

Can you spot all the references? (I know you can't see them here, because these screenshots were taken from the Dev server, but you will be able to read them all in-game)



IX. Final Thoughts

So there you have it! From the not-really-that-deep depths of my mind, I pulled an incredibly-evil, Lovecraftian war robot for Idle Champions players to play with. The idea behind their final kit is that they can fulfill the role of a boss-killer with Eldritch Smite, attacking the boss multiple times and stunning them while stacking up Hex.

I hope you enjoy Warden as much as I did making them! Feel free to send us feedback on via the Idle Champions Subreddit, Steam forum, or the Idle Champions Discord!