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October 17th
Idle Champions: The Grand Tour, Part 6 
Posted in Idle Champions.

After receiving their fortunes from a Vistani Fortune Teller, the Champions sought out "Evil's Bride" and eventually crossed paths with Ismark and Ireena, two Barovians burying their father. The party learned that Strahd von Zarovich is in pursuit of Ireena, believing her to be the reincarnation of his long lost love.

Now it is time for the Champions to venture onto the next leg of their journey – and their next mystery: The Tower on the Lake!

Note: You will need to complete the Grand Tour Adventures The Mists of Ravenloft and Family Entanglements in order to access these new adventures.

Tower on the Lake

After arriving in Vallaki, the Martikovs send the Champions in search of the Tower on the Lake.
  • Variant: Only the Strong Survive — Only Champions with an STR score of 12 or higher may be used.

Seeds of Deceit

The Wizards of the Wine winery is known throughout Barovia – and they need your help!
  • Variant: Visions of Strahd — Strahd von Zarovich taunts the Champions in their dreams as they relive their latest adventure. Only the first nine Core Champions may be used (Bruenor, Celeste, Nayeli, Jarlaxle, Calliope, Asharra, Minsc, Delina, and Makos) while all other Champions are locked out.

Champion Update: Krond

Born to an academic human wizard who was researching an orc tribe and the leader of said tribe, Krond has experience in both worlds. Raised as a fearsome warrior, he began focusing on the arcane arts after his mother was killed in a goblin raid. Krond wears intricate leather and cloth armor and carries a bonded warhammer.

Krond is a versatile DPS Champions, able to choose one of three DPS specializations. Krond's formation ability, Survival of the Fittest, increases his DPS for every strong or evil-aligned Champion in the formation. When you want to add Krond to your party, you can swap him with Asharra or Evelyn (Slot 6).

For more information about our Krond Champion Update, check out the Idle Champion Spotlight - Krond Dev Blog!


See the in-game Change Log for more information!
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 29th
Idle Champions: Dragon Heist, Part 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

A plot as been uncovered to murder one of the Masked Lords of Waterdeep, and the Blackstaff of Waterdeep wants the Champions to help protect a key Person of Interest: a retired adventurer and philanthropist named Mirt.

Today marks the second story update for our Waterdeep: Dragon Heist campaign, but that's not all: we're also including additional Torm's, Kelemvor's, and Helm's Blessings!

Note: you will need to have completed the previous two Dragon Heist Adventures, A Mysterious Summons and Building Trust, in order to access these new Adventures.

A Dinner Party

The party returns to Waterdeep at the behest of Vajra Safahr, Blackstaff of Waterdeep. It seems there is a plot to murder one of the hidden lords of Waterdeep, but she doesn't know which one. She has activated every tool at her disposal, and assigns the party to protect Mirt, the moneylender...
  • Variant: Chatty Nobles — Only Champions with a Charisma score of 14 or higher can be used.

A Botched Kidnapping

Trying to relax in the renowned Yawning Portal isn't working out too well for the party. Not only is your group too big to find a table, Volothamp Geddarm starts to chat you up and won't shut up about his newest tome, Volo's Guide to Monsters. Your drinks and conversation are suddenly interrupted a troll erupts out of the well!
  • Variant: Haaave you met Asmodeus? — Two Cultists of Asmodeus take up slots in the formation, proselytizing on behalf of Asmodeus, the Lord of the Nine Hells. They do little to help you, and to add insult to injury, Xanathar & Zhentarim foes are upset that you have "aligned" yourself with the cult. They now deal four times as much damage and have four times as much health!

Features:

  • Added two new adventures to our Waterdeep: Dragon Heist campaign, along with two new variants.
  • New Blessings of Torm, Kelemvor, and Helm have been added to the game — we hope you've been farming lots of Divine Favor!

See the in-game Change Log for more information!
August 27th
Idle Champions: Roll with High Rollers! 
Posted in Idle Champions.

We've sponsored the current season of High Rollers' Dragon Heist campaign. What does that mean? In addition to enjoying awesome live-streamed D&D shenanigans, you can earn FREE LOOT just for playing Idle Champions!

For the next 12 weeks, you'll help earn Idle Champions branded D6s for the High Rollers players to use in their campaign. At the same time, you'll earn some sweet loot for yourself.

Every time you complete an adventure, or complete a free play above area 50 (the threshold increases as you continue to complete free plays) you'll earn points that will fuel both your own rewards and the on-stream rewards in the form of Idle Champions branded D6s!

The High Rollers crew will be able to use those D6s to replace any saving throw or ability check, using as many (or as few) as they want to replace their D20 roll. The more dice we earn for them, the more wacky rolls they'll be able to make!

Additionally, while you're earning D6s for the streamers, you'll be unlocking your own rewards. Gold Chests, Time Gate Fragments, Potions of Polish, even an exclusive Golden Epic card for Minsc!



Log into the game now to learn more, and start unlocking your personal rewards!
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 8th
Idle Champions: Azaka's Procession 
Posted in Idle Champions.

After a long and difficult journey through the jungles of Chult and into the depths of the Tomb of the Nine Gods, the party succeeded in ending the Death Curse.

However, your work in Omu is not yet complete: a soul stirs in the beyond. A companion who gave the ultimate sacrifice yearns to return to the mortal world...

Today's update is something of an epilogue to the main Tomb of Annihilation storyline, offering eight new variants and the potential to unlock another Champion: Azaka Stormfang, Weretiger Fighter. These variants are extremely challenging to complete. Fortunately, we also have raised the max level for upgrades on each Champion to help you push further. Good luck!

Note: To start these new variants, you need to have completed the corresponding adventures to unlock them.

New Champion: Azaka Stormfang

A former guide who operated out of Port Nyanzaru on Chult, Azaka Stormfang originally concealed her curse of lycanthropy from the champions, having lost many friends to that revelation in the past. Her true self was revealed after she valiantly helped them to collect the puzzle cubes they needed to defeat the villain Acererak in the Tomb of the Nine Gods. Azaka paid the ultimate price in that battle, but was able to be resurrected afterwards once the champions destroyed Acererak's soulmonger.

Azaka increases Gold Find and buffs party damage while outdoors. The longer she is in her human form, the more she increases party Gold Find. The longer she is in her weretiger form, the more damage she deals with her Taste for Blood ability. When you want to add Azaka to your party, you can swap her with Arkhan or Zorbu.

For more information about our latest Champion, check out the Idle Champion Spotlight: Azaka Stormfang dev blog!


Homecoming

Struggling through Omu — Only Champions with a charisma of 13 or lower can attempt to gain the friendship of the Aarakocra.

Lost Heir of Omu

Lobsterfolk Assault — Who brought a lobster to a pirate fight? Aldani spawn in every area, and they don't drop gold.

The Forbidden City

No Good at All — Only Champions who are of Neutral or Evil alignment are allowed. No Good-aligned Champions are allowed.

Captured!

Double Vision — All enemy spawns are doubled, including bosses. These duplicated enemies drop no gold and do not count towards quest progress.

The Grand Puzzle

Never Split the Party — It seems not all of you returned from the Fane! Every 25 areas there is only one Champion available per bench slot. The Champion available in each slot randomly changes every 25 areas.
Note: There is always at least one champion open in every slot, so if you only have base champions, this variant is just like a normal run.

Azaka's Procession, Part 1 — You cannot leave Azaka behind. When she dies, her body takes up the center location on your formation.

The Tomb of the Nine Gods

The Soulmonger Calls — Champions start at 50% health - Whenever a Champion dies, their soul is sucked into the Soulmonger and they are unavailable for the remainder of the adventure.

Azaka's Procession, Part 2 — Azaka's body takes up the center location of your formation as in Azaka's Procession, Part 1. Completing both of the Azaka's Procession variants unlocks Azaka Stormfang.

Features:

  • Added eight new Tomb of Annihilation variants: Struggling through Omu, Lobsterfolk Assault, No Good at All, Double Vision, Never Split the Party, Azaka's Procession, Part 1, The Soulmonger Calls, and Azaka's Procession, Part 2.
  • Added a new Champion: Azaka Stormfang, Weretiger Fighter.
  • Added new Champion upgrades for each Champion.

See the in-game Change Log for more information!
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!
July 18th
Idle Champions: The Grand Tour, Part 5 
Posted in Idle Champions.

On the road to Longsaddle the party is swallowed by thick fog, becoming lost in the mists. Soon they are under siege from all manner of unholy horrors, now bound by fate to a cursed land without sunlight.

While endless storms toil in the skies above, Strahd von Zarovich stands atop the ancient ramparts of Castle Ravenloft, watching intently as the hapless party arrives in his domain. All goes according to his plan.

The master of Castle Ravenloft is having guests for dinner...

Note: You will need to complete the Grand Tour Adventure Supply Run in order to access the new adventures.

The Mists of Ravenloft

On the way to return an Owlbear to the Harpells of Longsaddle, the Champions get lost in the mists and find themselves in Barovia, under the close watch of none other than Strahd von Zarovich. Can they escape before the horrors of Castle Ravenloft trap them in Barovia forever?
  • Variant: The Hunt for Owl-y — Two particular Harpells want to help you track down their particular baby Owlbear. Unfortunately, by help, they mean walking along while you do all the heavy lifting!

Family Entanglements

Not everything is as it seems in Barovia. The champions head out to follow Madam Eva's fortunes and begin in the town of Barovia to find "Evil's Bride".
  • Variant: Haunted Fortunes — Every 25 areas, a different one of Madam Eva's fortune haunts the adventurers.

Features:

  • Added two new Grand Tour of the Sword Coast adventures: The Mists of Ravenloft and Family Entanglements, each with one variant. You will need to complete the Grand Tour Adventure Supply Run in order to access the new adventures.

See the in-game Change Log for more information!
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