December 3rd
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!
November 14th
Idle Champion Spotlight - Vlahnya Um'vairar 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Today, we're going to go into detail on our newest Champion: Vlahnya Um'vairar, the Eladrin Bard/Wizard who runs the Sirens of the Realms.

Vlahnya will be available in our next Year Two Event, Feast of the Moon, which launches TODAY! I hope this blog will give you all you need to know about our latest champion. But don't forget that Feast of the Moon is also a chance to collect and gear up Gromma, the Tortle Druid who will be getting her annual tune-up in the upcoming tanking & healing update.

How you can unlock Vlahnya:

Vlahnya is unlocked by playing Feast of the Moon, a limited-time event launching on November 14th and running until November 26th. Once you unlock Vlahnya, she swaps with Delina, Hitch, or Nrakk (Slot 8)

Who is Vlahnya:

Fate Weaver, Spy mistress, New Olamn college of whispers instructor, Band Manager of Sirens of the Realms & Magic Missile, long time pal of Durnan. This noble looking Eladrin Elf has friends in high and low places. Her true origins are unknown though it is rumored she traveled across Faerûn with a bard troupe and learned about the world one tavern at a time.

Vlahnya is the leader/ Band Manager of the Sirens of the Realms. She is played by Satine Phoenix. Those with keen eyes may already recognize her from this year's Stream of Many Eyes, where Satine played Vlahnya during Ivan Van Norman's Off the Table sessions.


Vlahnya's Design:

Anyone who has ever met Satine has more than likely been overwhelmed by how OP her Charisma stat is. When we saw her play as Vlahnya at the Stream of Many Eyes in June, we knew Vlahnya could be an awesome presence within the Champions. We reached out to Satine and she was over the moon excited about bringing Vlahnya to video game life.

As we do with any of our content creator Champions, we started our design by talking directly with Satine about who her character is at her core. Being the Band Manager of the Sirens of the Realms is one thing, but what sort of quirkiness could she bring to the champions? After an exciting conversation we landed on the idea that Vlahnya would take her role as leader seriously, staying back to debuff enemies and make sure the team was maximizing their capabilities.

Base Attack - Mage Hand: Vlahnya starts by using her custom mage hand to slap an enemy and try to distract them.


Formation Ability: Enthralling Performance: Vlahnya's main formation ability is a bit complicated, but it's a lot of fun to try to maximize! All Champions in the columns ahead of her increase their damage by 1% for each stack, based on the stacks of 3 notes that are above her head. Building a formation and strategy that can maximize all three stacks will help you push further!
  • Tempo Note: Tempo gains 4 stacks every time a Champion in the formation attacks.
  • Bass Note: Bass gains 20 stacks whenever a Champion adjacent to Vlahnya kills an enemy.
  • Treble Note: Treble gains 1 stack for each gold goober you collect.
Each of the stacks diminish 20% every 10 seconds and cap out at 300 stacks per note.


From left to right: Tempo, Bass, Treble; each note fill with a color as that note gains more stacks.


Formation Ability: Witch Slap: Vlahnya's Mage Hand now stuns an enemy when she attacks, in addition to dealing a bit of damage.

Vlahnya's Specializations:

Vlahnya's specializations are all about deciding whether she's focusing on being a solo artist, or getting the band back together.

Vlahnya's Ultimate Attack: Plane Shift


For Vlahnya's ultimate, we wanted to come up with something really unique. Something to fit her character. She has an Amulet of the Planes magic item, and who doesn't like a little Plane Shift fun?! When Vlahnya uses her ultimate, she fey steps into the middle of the fray, and Plane Shifts away with up to 10 non-boss enemies. A few seconds later she Plane Shifts back to her formation slot. Where did the baddies go? That's Vlahnya's secret! Note, that enemies that are Plane Shifted away do not drop gold, nor do they count towards quest objectives.

The ultimate is designed to help you clear the rabble away on boss levels or blocker levels to help your champions focus fire on their target.


Vlahnya's Equipment



Slot 1: Zither
  • Vlahnya's signature instrument increases the damage of all Champions.
Slot 2: Arpeegee
  • Get it?! Vlahnya's Familiar also increases the damage of all Champions.
Slot 3: Harp-Handled Dagger
  • Her dagger of choice increases the effectiveness of the Tempo note stacks of Enthralling Performance..
Slot 4: Crown
  • Her crown increases the effectiveness of the Bass note stacks of Enthralling Performance.
Slot 5: Amulet of the Planes
  • Her amulet increases the effectiveness of the Treble note stacks of Enthralling Performance.
Slot 6: Cloak
  • Her cloak reduces the cooldown of her ultimate attack.

What about any other Vlahnya details I'm looking for?

Vlahnya is Neutral Good. She currently does not have an affiliation, and her stats are as follows:
Str: 8 Dex: 14 Con: 10 Int: 14 Wis: 14 Cha: 16

TL/DR- Final Vlahnya Thoughts

Vlahnya is a master spy, and a strong leader. She'll increase the damage of those in front of her in the formation based on how well your formation is doing in 3 areas: the speed of your attackers, how often those around Vlahnya are dealing killing blows to enemies, and how often you are picking up gold goobers.

We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well she's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord! If you are enjoying Vlahnya, consider checking out the Sirens of the Realms Broadcasts
October 23rd
Idle Champion Spotlight - Donaar 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Today, we're going to go into detail on our newest Champion: Donaar Blit'zen, the Dragonborn Paladin.

Donaar will be available in our next Year Two Event, Liars' Night, which launches TOMORROW (October 24th)! I hope this blog will give you all you need to know about our latest champion. But don't forget that Liars' Night is also a chance to collect and gear up Krond, the Half-Orc Fighter who recently got a big balance upgrade. You can read more about Krond and his new abilities in last week's Champion Spotlight.

How you can unlock Donaar:

Donaar is unlocked by playing Liars' Night, a limited-time event launching on October 24th and running until November 5th. Once you unlock Donaar, he swaps with Celeste or Regis (Slot 2).

Donaar will be sharing Liars' Night with last year's Champion, Krond, the Half-Orc Eldritch Knight. Don't worry - you will be able to unlock both of them if you haven't already unlocked Krond!

Who is Donaar:

Donaar is a member of the Acquisitions Incorporated's "C" Team. He is played by Ryan Hartman and will be featured on the main stage at this weekend's Acquisions Incorporated Main Stage game at PAX Australia!

This copper, draconic gentleman claims to know more than one hundred different dragons. Chromatic, metallic—just tons and tons of dragons—I’m hoping we can leverage some of these connections in our dealings. None of the dragons I’ve contacted have gotten back to me, but they’re probably just very busy right now. This is one of the busiest times for dragons… or so I’ve been told by my new best friend, Donaar Blit’zen.


Donaar's Design:

As fans of The C-Team, we were super excited to start working with their crew. Their attention to detail and love of their characters was clear quite quickly. Ryan came to the table with a TON of background info on Donaar and really helped bring the braggadocious Dragonborn to life. It is our hope that we did him justice, and that you become as enamored with Donaar and the rest of his crew as we are!

It's easy to see Donaar and think: Tank, right? He's a gigantic armored Dragonborn! However, the more we learned about him, the more we knew that to love Donaar is to understand that he might not serve your party in the best possible way. He's going to do things his way, cause he's the decisionist! Because of Ryan's love of using command to hilarious effect, we decided to double down on Donaar just doing whatever he thinks is best for the party.

Base Attack - Command: Donaar may have an enormous sword at his disposal, but his go-to attack is using command to compel enemies to do whatever he wants. He targets a random enemy and deals a small amount of damage while commanding them to do one of 4 possible things:
  • Hold: The target is stunned for 3 seconds.
  • Flee: The target is pushed back and damage dealt to it is increase by 100% for 10 seconds.
  • Fear: The target now has a 50% chance to miss on any attack for the next 5 seconds.
  • Drop Your Stuff: The target drops 50% more gold when it dies.

Formation Ability: Aura of Vitality: Every second, Donaar heals the champion who has lost the most health (percentage-wise). They will regain health over the next 10 seconds. He's there when you need him!

Formation Ability: Lead By Example: Donaar increases the damage of Champions in his column and those in the columns behind him by 100%.

Donaar's Specializations:

With Donaar's specializations, we wanted to give you the choice on how Donaar doubles down on his commands. He'll either use "Ohhh Yeaaaaah!" to increase the effect or duration of the commands or use "Everybody Cooool Out!" to allow his commands to affect a small area around the target each time.

Donaar's Ultimate Attack:


One of the best parts of Donaar's story when Ryan was relaying it, was his description of Donaar's "breath" weapon. Instead of exhaling acid, he instead vomits it "like a cat hacking up a hairball". As soon as we heard that, we knew we had our ultimate. Our resident Art Director Adam Kosh brought Donaar's hairball-hacking breath weapon to life in epic fashion. Donaar will cleave through a few baddies with his comically large sword Toothbrush, and vomit an acid pool that will deal damage to enemies that walk through it.

If you're at PAX Australia this weekend (or know someone who is) check the showbook for a code to unlock Donaar's Yum-Yum Hut chef variant outfit!

Donaar's Equipment



Slot 1: Giant Sword
  • Donaar's giant sword, Toothbrush, increases the DPS of all champions.
Slot 2: Toothbrush
  • Donaar's actual toothbrush, a bejeweled toothbrush he calls Percival, will increase the DPS of all champions. Tooth decay is a real problem when you're constantly vomiting acid!
Slot 3: Yum-Yum Hut Menu
  • The menu for Donaar's diner increases the effect of Aura of Vitality.
Slot 4: Decisionst's Coin
  • Donaar's role in the C-Team is the decisionist. It means that his vote counts twice. In our game, the decisionist coin buffs Lead By Example.
Slot 5: Eggy
  • Donaar's goddaughter Eggy/Chronaar increases the damage of his ultimate attack.
Slot 6: Cape
  • Donaar's regal and totally epic cape decreases the cooldown of his ultimate attack.

What about any other Donaar Details I'm looking for?

Donaar is Chaotic Good, a member of the Acq Inc "C" Team, and his stats are as follows:
Str: 18 Dex: 8 Con: 14 Int: 10 Wis: 10 Cha: 16

TL/DR- Final Donaar Thoughts

Donaar is a goofy, braggadocious buffoon, and we love him as a support/healer. He uses his Command ability to deal random effects to random enemies because he's the decisionist, darn it! He buffs the damage of those in his column and behind him, making him a row 1 or row 2 stalwart. He also heals the Champions in the formation who have lost the most health, keeping them fighting longer. His ultimate attack will bring a tear to your eye, his eye, and anyone unlucky enough to walk through the mess it creates!

We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well she's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord! If you are enjoying Farideh, consider checking out the C-Team broadcasts
October 17th
Idle Champion Spotlight - Krond Rebalance 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Krond was originally released during our first Liars' Night event in 2017. Initially, he was seen as a powerhouse thanks to his strong Ultimate. Unfortunately, an error in the calculations for the Ultimate happened to sneak through our QA pass, so we had to dial him back. It was all downhill for Krond from there. We don't normally like to "nerf" champions, but the bug presented us with a choice we had to make and so we toned down his power. Between that tweak and the design idea that we could split the power level of his cantrips between 3 equipment pieces, he was seen as a sub-par Champion for much of the past year.

As we started our TLC pass for Liars' Night, we had a discussion on if we should wait for a big rebalance pass, or use the coming event to give Krond some redemption. We decided to take some time to work on him now, bringing some newfound glory to our Half-Orc Fighter. These changes are live in the game as of the Grand Tour 6 update today, so everyone who has Krond can have a week to get used to him before he's available for everyone in Liars' Night Y2 starting next week!



We started by looking at Krond's slot, and how it has grown this year. Evelyn is a go-to tank in the meta, so a sub-par DPS just wasn't going to cut it. Additionally, Krond is a CNE-exclusive Champion, so we have a bit more leeway to make major changes to the character. Given that, we wanted to take a look at the champion from the ground up.

Survival of the Fittest

Knowing what is coming in the upcoming Tanking & Healing update allows us to do a bit of future design with nu-Krond. We started by creating a new Formation Ability titled Survival of the Fittest. Because everything in his design is tied to his specializations, we wanted to give him a "build around me" ability that might make you think about a different formation. We decided that Krond has been looked down on for so long that he's probably pretty cranky. He's missed out on a TON of adventures and he's ready to create his own crew. Survival of the Fittest was born from that idea: Krond's damage is increased 100% for each champion in the formation (multiplicative) who is Evil (Arkhan, Jarlaxle, and Makos at the moment), or has a Strength score of 16+ (Arkhan, Azaka, Barrowin, Binwin, Donaar, Jamilah, Krond, Minsc, Tyril, and Wulfgar). Eventually, this should allow Krond to create a new formation type, focusing on heavy hitters and evil Champions.

Ability Scores & Alignment

Given his new focus on strong and evil Champions, we imagined Krond benched from almost all adventures and quietly stewing and working out. We increased his Strength to 18, and tipped his alignment from Chaotic Neutral to Chaotic Evil. That's right. Nu-Krond isn't messing around!

Equipment

We wanted to break Krond's equipment away from the focus on his specializations. So we merged the 3 equipment items that each boosted a single cantrip power into one equipment item that boosts Krond's chosen cantrip. With the 2 extra equipment pieces we gained, we gave Krond another self DPS equipment item and an item that increases his bonus from Survival of the Fittest, pumping up his power level.


Base Attack

In balancing his damage, we decided to shave a half second off of his base attack cooldown, lowering his cooldown from 5.75 seconds to 5.25 seconds. We also doubled his base attack damage.

Cantrips

We buffed upgrades to Eldritch Strike to give Krond's follow-up attacks more of a kick, positioning Krond as a DPS who excels at longer drawn-out encounters. We also increased the damage modifier of Krond's Thunderclap and Fire Bolt cantrips, though his Shocking Grasp is still the best bang for your single-target buck, if that's your thing.


Ultimate

While Krond's original ultimate packed quite the punch, we had to dial it back in a major way shortly after he was released. We've fine-tuned his Arcane Charge for a better balance between over-powered and feather-tickling.


In the end, our entire focus was to pull Krond out of the DPS dead zone and get him in fighting shape. As we mentioned above, we're aware of some of the tanking & healing updates we'll be making, and we were able to take into account how much better new Arkhan is going to be. We're confident you'll be satisfied with nu-Krond's power level, and even happier when nu-Arkhan comes around in the coming weeks. We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well he's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord!
October 2nd
Idle Champion Spotlight - Farideh 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Welcome to our next Champion Spotlight design blog!

Today, we're going to go into detail on our newest Champion: Farideh, the Tiefling Warlock.

Farideh will be available in our first Year Two Event: Highharvestide, launching TOMORROW (October 3rd)! I hope this blog will give you all you need to know about our latest champion.


How you can unlock Farideh:

Farideh is unlocked by playing Highharvestide, a limited-time event launching on October 3rd and running until October 15th. Once you unlock Farideh, she swaps with Minsc or Catti-brie.

Farideh will be sharing Highharvestide with last year's Champion: Stoki, the Gnome Monk! Don't worry - you'll be able to unlock both of them if you haven't already unlocked Stoki.

Who is Farideh:

Farideh is a character from the from the Brimstone Angels D&D Novel series written by Erin M. Evans.

Abandoned as an infant and adopted by an outcast dragonborn warrior, Farideh grew to adulthood acutely aware of the drawbacks of being a tiefling. Despite doing everything she could to reassure her neighbors, including keeping her wild twin sister, Havilar, out of trouble, the villagers focused on Farideh as the one who would embrace the dark side of herself. They weren’t wrong.

When Havilar tried to summon an imp to practice her blade on, she drew the attention of Lorcan, a cambion looking to make warlock pacts with the descendants of one of the first Infernal warlocks, the Brimstone Angel. But Havilar was always meant for the glaive--and Farideh would do anything to keep her sister safe. While Lorcan, Asmodeus, and the Nine Hells do their utmost to corrupt her, Farideh isn’t interested in power so much as defending the world from demons, the undead, and any other villains trying to bring trouble or drag her friends and family into danger. Even being made the Chosen of Asmodeus--something Asmodeus isn’t going to explain to Farideh or anybody else--just means she has more magic to turn against the powers of evil.


Farideh's Design:

We were excited to have a fully fleshed-out 5th edition stat block, which gave us a great place to start from a mechanical standpoint. Between the stat block and our knowledge of the Brimstone Angels series, we reached out to Erin M. Evans, the author of the books Farideh appeared in, to see if she was interested in working with us to make our version of Farideh. Luckily for us, Erin was game for anything we threw at her. She worked closely with us, reviewing the design, sketches, and the equipment pieces. She also helped come up with some really fun GIFs, like this one showing Farideh enjoying her tea with WAY too much sugar.


We decided early that we wanted to place Farideh into slot 7 (Minsc, Catti-brie) and we wanted her to be a pure DPS character. I found her Hellish Rebuke ability super compelling. I really liked the idea of giving her a reaction-based ability to push back against the horde. From there, Justin and I sketched out the rough design and passed it over to Erin who enjoyed it as much as we did!

Base Attack - Scorching Ray: Farideh starts in your formation with her Scorching Ray attack. Scorching Ray begins with 3 rays of fire that attack random enemies. As Farideh increases in level, the number of rays she creates increases, which increases her DPS. Her DPS is key to her design as you'll see shortly.

Hellish Rebuke: When you unlock Hellish Rebuke, you start to tap into the infernal power that Farideh controls. Whenever an enemy hits Farideh, they take damage back equal to a percentage of Farideh's DPS. It starts as a modest percentage, but as you gain levels, and earn better slot 3 equipment, that percentage increases. On my dev server, each Hellish Rebuke is currently dealing 1,300% of her DPS!

Chosen of Asmodeus: Being a chosen of Asmodeus has to grant you some sort of advantage, right? When you unlock this ability, she grants Hellish Rebuke to champions adjacent to her. This means that when enemies attack Champions adjacent to Farideh in the formation, those enemies will take damage from Hellish Rebuke. Even though this damage is coming FROM a different Champion, the calculation is based on Farideh's DPS, so put her behind your tank(s) to maximize her damage dealing capabilities!

Pact Family: Farideh and her twin sister Havilar were orphaned at a young age. They understand the sting of growing up as a Tiefling. Because of that, Farideh's damage increases based on the number of Tieflings in the formation. Bring out Makos & Strix. It's time for a Tiefling party!

Farideh's Specializations:

With Farideh's specializations, we wanted to help you decide how you want to use Farideh's Hellish Rebuke based on your formation.
You can either use Dark One's Luck to expand the range of Hellish Rebuke, granting it to Champions within 2 slots of her, or you can increase her damage with Dark One's Blessing, which also increases the damage output of Hellish Rebuke to those Champions that have access to it.

Farideh's Ultimate Attack:


Farideh's Infernal Aspect is a new ability granted to her as a Chosen of Asmodeus. With it, she can project an aura of menace, affecting her enemies and causing them to be frightened. In our game, that means she's going to sprout a pair of fiery wings for the duration of the ability, tapping into her infernal connection. She pushes enemies back, slowing them for the duration of the ultimate, while she also damages a random enemy EVERY second, for 15 seconds.


Look out, baddies. We've got an angry tiefling!

Farideh's Equipment



Slot 1: Amulet
  • Farideh's amulet increases her damage.
Slot 2: Magical Rod
  • Farideh's chosen focus increases her damage.
Slot 3: Spellbook
  • Farideh's book increases the effect of her Hellish Rebuke ability.
Slot 4: Armor
  • Farideh's armor increases the effect of her Pact Family ability.
Slot 5: Wroth Deck
  • Farideh's wroth deck increases her Ultimate Attack damage.
Slot 6: Chapbooks
  • The chapbooks that Havilar continues to loan Farideh reduce the cooldown of her Ultimate Attack.

What about any other Farideh Details I'm looking for?

Farideh is Neutral Good, and her stats are as follows:
Str: 10 Dex: 14 Con: 14 Int: 14 Wis: 13 Cha: 18

TL/DR- Final Farideh Thoughts

Farideh uses her Hellish Rebuke as an unlimited reaction to deal damage to enemies that attack her or Champions in the Formation she wants to support. She wants to work with other Tieflings and stay near your tanks. She's a DPS character that you'll want to buff, especially when facing down an enemy that attacks multiple Champions!

We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well she's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord! If you are enjoying Farideh, consider checking out the Brimstone Angels series by Erin M. Evans. It's a good read!

Chris Dupuis
September 11th
Idle Champion Spotlight - Wulfgar 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Welcome to our latest Champion Spotlight design blog!

Today, we're going to go into detail on our newest Champion: Wulfgar, Son of Beornegar - A Human Barbarian, and a member of the Companions of the Hall!

Wulfgar will be available in our final Year One Event, Brightswords, launching TOMORROW (September 12th)! I hope this blog will give you all you need to know about our latest Champion.


How you can unlock Wulfgar:

Wulfgar is unlocked by playing Brightswords, a limited-time event launching on September 12th and running until September 24th. Once you unlock Wulfgar, he swaps with Tyril or Barrowin.

Who is Wulfgar:

Wulfgar is the final piece to the Companions of the Hall team that started with Bruenor in the base game, and continued with the introduction of Catti-brie and Regis as event champions, and Drizzt as an evergreen champion. With Wulfgar as the final Event Champion of Year One, the Companions of the Hall - made famous through R.A. Salvatore's bestselling Legend of Drizzt series - is now complete!

Wulfgar started his life in the north as the flag bearer of the barbarian Tribe of the Elk. He was bested in the assault on Ten-Towns by Bruenor Battlehammer, who decided his punishment would be five years and a day of service. Bruenor grew to love the tall barbarian, eventually seeing him as an adopted son. At the end of his service, Drizzt Do'Urden taught Wulfgar the ways of combat and Bruenor crafted for him a mighty warhammer, named Aegis-fang. This magical warhammer bears the symbols of three of the Dwarven Gods: Moradin, Clangeddin, and Dumathoin. It is specifically attuned to Wulfgar and magically returns to his hand upon telepathic command.

Wulfgar's Design:

We approached Wulfgar as the final piece of the Companions of the Hall formation. We wanted to make sure that he was strong on his own, but when placed with the Companions, the team shines.

Martial Training: We began by looking at his backstory and how he would want to work with all of the companions. Immediately, we landed on his Martial Training ability - the idea that since Drizzt taught him how to fight, he and Drizzt have been able play off each other and capitalize on their combat strategies. Whenever one of them kills an enemy, both of them increase their damage for 10 seconds. As a note, this is a one-time boost that lasts for 10 seconds. If the bonus is already in place and either of them get another kill, it just resets the countdown to 10 seconds.

Barbarian Smash: Wulfgar's base attack is second to none. He jumps out and smashes the nearest GROUP of enemies with a chance to stun them all for 5 seconds. Stuck at your wall and your tank can't take all the attacks? Bring Wulfgar in to help you clear them out. As we continue to talk about his abilities, you'll notice a lot of them deal with stunned enemies. Wulfgar is your expert at stunning, but his abilities will also work against enemies stunned by other Champions. He's like bringing the Xanathar to a Binwin fight. Oh? Too soon? Sorry. . .

Companion Abilities: Everyone knows that the adventuring party is always strongest when they are together, right? Well, we wanted to hammer that idea home with Wulfgar, who has an ability tied to each Companion. If they are in the formation, the ability is active. If they aren't, it isn't.
  • Bruenor: Increases the effect of Bruenor's Rally ability for each stunned enemy.
  • Regis: Stunned enemies drop more gold if Regis is in the formation.
  • Catti-brie: Increases the chance of Catti-brie's critical hit ability against stunned enemies.
  • Drizzt: Because Martial Training wasn't enough Drizzt/Wulfgar buddy cop fun, we also added an ability that increases Drizzt's damage against stunned enemies.

Smash 'n Grab: Wulfgar wields a GIANT magical warhammer that Bruenor created and called Aegis-fang. Not only does it magically reappear in his hand after he throws it, Wulfgar really loves smashing things with it. With his Smash 'n Grab ability, Wulfgar deals more damage against armored enemies. If he does enough damage with his attack to remove a chunk of the hit-based armor, he also increases the damage of all Champions for 10 seconds. This will hopefully help a few more Champions get in on the armor-breaking fun!

Flag Bearer: Wulfgar's damage is increased against stunned enemies. When he stuns an already stunned enemy, all Companion abilities are buffed for the duration of the stun. Acererak should really have thought twice before coming to this plane.

Wulfgar's Specializations:

As noted above, Wulfgar really wants to smash things. If he can't kill them outright he wants to stun them so the rest of the Companions have something to do. His specializations allow you to choose how he maximizes his abilities depending on the formation you have.
His three specialization choices are based on the deity symbols that adorn his mighty warhammer:
  • Clangeddin's Will: Choosing Clangeddin, the dwarven god of war, will increase Wulfgar's damage by 400%
  • Dumathoin's Will: Choosing Dumathoin, the dwarven god of buried secrets, will increase the chance of Wulfgar's attack stunning ALL enemies in the attack area by 10%
  • Moradin's Will: Choosing Moradin, the dwarven god of creation, will increase the duration of Wulfgar's stuns from his Barbarian Smash basic attack by 2 seconds.
Each of these specializations will help you augment how Wulfgar (and the rest of the Companions function in your formation. Try them all out to see which one works best on any given adventure. Don't forget, you can also change your choice mid-game by using a Potion of Specialization.

Wulfgar's Ultimate Attack:


Aegis-fang is unleashed with Wulfgar's ultimate attack. He throws Aegis-fang at the most distant enemy, dealing damage to and stunning all enemies in that line for 10 seconds.


Wulfgar's Equipment



Slot 1: Warhammer
  • Wulfgar's warhammer increases his damage.
Slot 2: Hair Clip
  • Wulfgar's dwarven hair clip shows the weight of his dwarven upbringing, increasing his damage.
Slot 3: Dagger
  • Wulfgar's Dagger increases the effect of Martial Training ability.
Slot 4: Tribe of the Elk Banner
  • Wulfgar's Tribe of the Elk banner increases the effect of his Smash 'n Grab ability.
Slot 5: Dragon Scales
  • The trinkets Wulfgar collected from his battle against Icingdeath increase the damage of his Ultimate Attack.
Slot 6: Wolf Cloak
  • Wulfgar's Wolf Cloak reduces the cooldown on his Ultimate Attack.

TL;DR- Final Wulfgar Thoughts

Wulfgar is the final piece to the Companions of the Hall puzzle. He focuses on stunning enemies he can't outright kill, and buffs the rest of the Companions of the Hall if he (or anyone else) stuns enemies. We're looking forward to seeing what new formations pop up now that he has been introduced! We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well he's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord!

August 14th
Idle Champion Spotlight - Ishi Snaggletooth 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Welcome back to our latest Champion Spotlight design blog! Today, we're going to go into detail on our newest Champion: Ishi Snaggletooth - Kobold Fighter, who will be available in our latest event: Ahghairon's Day- launching on August 15th! I hope this blog will give you all you need to know about our latest Champion.


How you can unlock Ishi:

Ishi is unlocked by playing Ahghairon's Day, a limited-time event launching on August 15th and running until August 27th. Once you unlock Ishi, she swaps with Jarlaxle or Stoki.

Who is Ishi:

In addition to being an adorable pile of Kobold fanciness, Ishi is a character played in the weekly Roll 20 livestream on the D&D Twitch channel. Ishi is an overconfident loudmouth. She's out to prove herself, and she doesn't know when to shut her mouth. I don't know about you, but I can definitely relate on that point! Since she began her adventuring career, she's often been looked down upon as "just a kobold". However, she's taken that frustration and channeled it into championing the fact that monsters can be adventurers too! Thanks to a few lucky encounters, and her ability to exaggerate her skills, she's known as a deadly duelist most noted for defeating the great Hershel Von Saberberg in a duel to the death. The remnants of his cape now adorn her small stature as a reminder to those that she passes: Ishi is not to be messed with.

You can go along on the continuing adventures of Ishi & co. every Friday at 1PM PST. She is roleplayed by Violet Miller, AKA DistractedElf.

Ishi's Design:

From our initial discussions with Violet, we keyed into the idea of "monsters are people too", as it is core to who Ishi is. She's a fighter who focuses on DPS and increasing your gold find.

Ishi is always out to prove herself, and that is reflected in her Quick Strike basic attack. Quick Strike states: Ishi attacks the front-most enemy a quarter second faster than anyone else. That means if you're fastest champion is attacking every 4 seconds, Ishi attacks every 3.75 seconds. If you then add a champion that attacks every 3.5 seconds, Ishi steps it up and attacks every 3.25 seconds!

The first ability you'll unlock with Ishi is her Monsters are People Too! ability. With it, she increases her damage by 25% for each non-human champion in the formation. It's an additive bonus, so if you can get her surrounded by 6 non-humans, she's got a 150% increase in her damage, just for hanging with her peeps!

From there, you can unlock the first of her specialization choices, which focus on increasing your gold find.



If you want to use her in the early game, when you're cleaving through enemies quickly, choose Clear 'em Out! If you want to have her boost your gold find when you're close to your wall and fighting against a bunch of baddies, choose Wait for It!

Her next ability is Let's Find Some Treasure, which increases all gold found by 10% for every non-human champion adjacent to Ishi. Are you sensing a pattern here?

From there, you reach her second specialization choice, which is all about choosing her friends.


You can choose her friends from 3 groups:
  1. Shorties: Both monsters and "standard" adventuring races that share a similar aversion to being the tallest in the room.
  2. Tall Monsters: The name says it all. Monstrous races who tower over Ishi.
  3. Tall Folk: These are tall folk that Ishi doesn't consider monsters, but at least they're not humans!

Whichever route you go, Ishi's damage is raised by 100% for each of those races in the formation!

Ishi's Ultimate Attack:

Ishi's ultimate is called Confidence Boost. It's all about her strutting her stuff in front of her friends. For each non-human in the formation, Ishi's damage is increased by 100% for 15 seconds. Pair that with friends who attack quickly, and Ishi can easily bounce around the screen, laying waste to your enemies!

Ishi's Equipment



Slot 1: Rapier
  • Ishi's Rapier increases her damage.
Slot 2: Cape
  • Ishi's cape inspires those around her, increasing their damage (even if they're human).
Slot 3: Hat
  • Ishi's amazingly fancy hat increases the effect of Monsters are People Too! increasing Ishi's damage for every non-human adjacent to her.
Slot 4: IOU
  • Ishi once ran into the famed Artus Cimber, and carries an IOU from him to be redeemed at a later date. This equipment card increases the effect of Let's Find Some Treasure, increasing your party's gold find for every non-human adjacent to Ishi.
Slot 5: Nub Ub the mouse
  • Ishi's pet mouse, Nub Ub helps to inspire her to continue onward when using her Confidence Boost Ultimate Attack.
Slot 6: Pocket Soup
  • I've heard it's a delicacy, but the pocket lint turned me off from trying it. Pocket Soup decreases the cooldown of Ishi's Ultimate Attack, allowing her to use Confidence Boost more often!

TL;DR- Final Ishi Thoughts

We're super excited to introduce Ishi into the game. Hopefully she'll inspire you to think of new formations, casting those pesky humans aside. We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well she's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord!

August 7th
Idle Champion Spotlight - Azaka Stormfang 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Welcome to what will hopefully be the first of many new dev blogs highlighting our Champions. We hope this blog will give you all the details you need on our newest Champion: Azaka Stormfang - Weretiger Fighter. She's launching in the update set to go live tomorrow - Wednesday August 8th, but we wanted to give folks a day to get ready for her arrival!


How you can unlock Azaka:

Azaka is unlocked by completing the two Azaka's Procession variants at the end of the Tomb of Annihilation campaign, so if you haven't completed the campaign yet, get cracking! It's quite a challenge to unlock her, but we've increased the level cap for Champions this week as well, so that should help you push a bit further. Once you acquire Azaka, she swaps with Arkhan or Zorbu.

Why we chose Azaka:

In each of our campaigns, we want to unlock multiple permanent Champions. These are Champions that you can unlock as an achievements for completing a certain level of a campaign, whose equipment gets added to regular gold & silver chests once you collect them. The Grand Tour has Drizzt Do'Urden (unlockable in a variant of the Underdeep Cartography adventure), and now Tomb of Annihilation has Azaka Stormfang. We're looking forward to unlocking more permanent Champions in the future.

We chose Azaka as our first permanent Champion in the Tomb of Annihilation campaign because of our fans. Let me explain. When we began designing the Tomb of Annihilation campaign, we needed a guide to get us around Chult. We chose Azaka as our guide in much the same way that any DM running the Tomb of Annihilation TRPG campaign might, since she is a listed as one of the possible guides within the book.

    Azaka joined the Champions as a guide to Chult in the fifth Tomb of Annihilation adventure: The Templar's Camp.


However, once she was around for a few adventures, Dylan started hearing requests on our official Discord and livestream for her to join the Champions. We didn't realize how quickly our fans had become attached to our guide, but as soon as we heard the request, we realized how much we liked the idea. Suddenly, our first Tomb campaign Champion was born!

Azaka's Design:

We wanted to make sure Azaka could be impactful to your late game strategy once you acquire her. Rather than look at what she could do differently in the slot, we focused instead on what she wanted to do as a character.

As a weretiger, she's really a beast of two worlds, and we wanted to reflect that in her design. Additionally, we didn't want to go the same route as Tyril where her weretiger form was just one option out of her specializations. We wanted to highlight swapping between human & weretiger forms as the cornerstone of her design. Her Curse of Lycanthropy ability dictates how she transforms.

Azaka's Curse of Lycanthropy
In human form, the counter over her head tracks how long until she transforms again (normally 20 attacks). In her weretiger form, the counter counts down till she transforms back to a human (normally 60 seconds). The red arrows remind you that she gets stronger with every attack.


As a guide, she hides her weretiger curse from the heroes as long as possible, so we wanted to make sure she felt like more of a guide than a raging beast of DPS all the time so we leaned on her increasing gold find in human form with her Guiding Hand ability. While in human form she increases gold find by 20%. This percentage continues to increase as you gain levels with Azaka, but it is decreased by 50% while she is in weretiger form.

We also wanted to show how adept she was at traversing the jungle. We started with a formation-wide boost to damage while in Chult. However, we didn't want her to only be a viable Champion in the Tomb of Annihilation campaign, so we extended her Adept Traveler ability to any outdoor area, which there is plenty of in Chult.

When we looked at her Weretiger form, we leaned on the narrative that we designed around her final assault on the Lost City of Omu. The Champions were captured and Azaka (in her weretiger form) assaults 3 of the shrines on her own, single-handedly collecting a third of the puzzle cubes that the Champions need before she succumbed to the death curse. Because of that story beat, we wanted to allow her to continue to grow in strength the longer she remains in her weretiger form. From that discussion, her Taste for Blood ability was born. Each time she attacks in weretiger form, she does 10% more damage than the previous attack (stacking multiplicatively). If you can maximize her time as a weretiger, she's a beast on the battlefield!

So we felt like we had a good idea of what her two forms would do, then we needed to work out the specializations. As I noted above, we didn't want her weretiger form to just be a specialization route, we wanted her transformation to be available early and used often. Her specializations allow you to highlight which version of Azaka you need for that adventure. In order to do that we decided the dial we would turn would be the length of time she spends as a weretiger.




If you choose Resist the Curse, she spends less time as a weretiger (from 60 seconds to 15 seconds), focusing instead on the gold find boost of her human form more often.

If you choose Lycanthrope Forever, instead of transforming into a weretiger after 20 attacks, she transforms into weretiger every 12 attacks instead, maximizing how often she shifts into weretiger form.

Azaka's Ultimate Attack:

We decided early on that her ultimate attack would be tied to her Mask of the Beast, a magic item listed in the Tomb of Annihilation campaign. When she uses the mask, she can cast the spell animal friendship, so her ultimate has her donning the mask and calling two tigers to her aid. The tigers have two abilities that are tied to her specialization.



If she specializes in Lycanthrope Forever, the tigers help you transform into a weretiger, and allow you to stay in that form even longer:
  • Their attacks (every 5 seconds) count as her attacks for the purposes of Curse of Lycanthropy, advancing your counter into weretiger form quicker.
  • For the duration of the ultimate, the countdown out of weretiger form is paused. So instead of the normal 60 seconds in weretiger form, you get 60 seconds + whatever time you spend as a weretiger while the ultimate is active.

If she specializes in Resist the Curse, the tigers help you collect gold:
  • Attacks by the tigers cause enemies to drop gold whether or not they are killed by the attack. They will still drop gold when they are killed.



Azaka's Equipment

Azaka has 6 equipment slots, and a variety of Chult-inspired equipment to collect.


Slot 1: Scimitar
  • Azaka's Scimitar is always by her side, granting her a bonus to her DPS.
Slot 2: Puzzle Cubes
  • The puzzle cubes remind Azaka of a great moment of triumph for her and her friends, granting a bonus to the party's DPS.
Slot 3: Coin Pouch
  • Azaka's Coin Pouch grants a bonus to her Guiding Hand ability, increasing the party's gold find while Azaka is in the formation.
Slot 4: Earrings
  • Azaka's Earrings grant a bonus to her Taste for Blood ability, increasing her damage in weretiger form.
Slot 5: Map
  • Azaka is an adept guide throughout chult. As such, her map grants a bonus to her Adept Traveler ability, increasing the party's DPS whenever they are in an outdoors area.
Slot 6: Mask of the Beast
  • Azaka's Mask of the Beast decreases the cooldown of her ultimate attack, allowing her to use her Mask of the Beast more often.

TL;DR- Final Azaka Thoughts

We're super excited to introduce Azaka into the game. We think she's going to be a strong DPS character who can also help you boost your gold find and help you get to your Champions' level cap sooner and push to your wall. However, we can only design and test a Champion so much. We'll be watching the discussion online and on discord to see how well she's received, so let us know what you think on Facebook, Twitter, or on the official Discord!