March 27, 2017

FrankenFourth: Monster Preview

Here’s three of the many monsters that will be featured in the FrankenFourth “black book” (most of the monsters will be illustrated, just depends on if there’s enough space to put one in).

Initially this stat block was for a goblin, but (and I forget why) very early on someone suggested replacing it with a boggart and it just kinda stuck.

If you’ve played Dungeons & Dragons much of the stat block should make sense to you. If you haven’t kept up with FrankenFourth‘s design and development, once we get to the Defense section a few things look different.

The first is Armor Class and DR. We started out having armor just be Damage Resistance, with shields upping your Reflex (and having melee and ranged attacks target your Reflex “defense”), but a lot of playtesting and a few polls later people really wanted to see saving throws.

So, Reflex got changed back to a saving throw (along with Fortitude and Will), Armor Class came back, and I ended up doing an AC/DR split with armor so that magical armor, special materials, and class talents wouldn’t quickly and easily result in an insane amount of damage reduction.

The other thing that differs is the Wound/Vitality split. When you take damage you normally lose your Vitality first, then Wounds. Vitality replenishes fairly quickly (short rest brings some or all back), while Wounds requires a long rest and even then only a portion is healed.

Since for monsters it typically won’t matter, we also give you the Total at the end.

After that it’s basically business as usual, though we put in a treasure line. Originally I was going to do it more like older D&D, what with treasure types and whatnot, but this is easier than looking at a monster, then flipping to the treasure section to see what it means.

The cockatrice is one of many monsters that has stuff for you to harvest from it (rangers and druids have access to talents that let them harvest more from certain monster types). You can sell it to a sage or alchemist, but they can often be used to create things (assuming you know how to make something and have access to the necessary equipment).

In the case of the cockatrice, I could see someone with the alchemy crafting skill using its blood to make an oil to restore someone that got petrified (or even something for you to use on your own weapon to petrify someone you hit with it), and the feathers could be used to make magically petrifying arrows (or, since the cockatrice can fly, a cloak that would let you fly).

Some things have a cost (like alchemical potions), so it’s a matter of having x sp worth of something to make it, but in many cases (like the magic arrows or cloak) it’ll end up being the GM’s call.

We went a more mythological route with the ghoul (as we did with the Dungeon World version), giving them abilities to change their shape and steal faces. The treasure line points out that the ghouls’ treasure is in its lair (by default any treasure listed is either carried on its person or must be harvested from it).


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

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

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

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