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03: Warforged Colossus - Steve Fidler
Episode 324th August 2020 • Making a Monster • Lucas Zellers
00:00:00 00:11:46

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The Warforged Colossus, a 10-story weapon of mass destruction wandering Eberron's Mournland, combines the roles of dungeon and dragon in Steve Fidler's Mythic Eberron.

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Meet my guest:

https://twitter.com/vorpaldicepress/

http://vorpaldicepress.com/

Saga MacKenzie, illustrator: https://smackfolio.wordpress.com/

Music from Jason Shaw at Audionautix: https://audionautix.com/

Transcripts

Steve Fidler:

As you progressed forward, you came to this room

Steve Fidler:

where there was this big window.

Steve Fidler:

Right.

Steve Fidler:

And you realized you were like elevated above the ground and it's moving.

Steve Fidler:

So you kind of realize you're in this vehicle of some sort, and then this like

Steve Fidler:

mechatronic, robotic head looks into it.

Steve Fidler:

Like it's peering down and looking through inside.

Lucas:

Hello and welcome to Making a Monster where game designers show us their

Lucas:

favorite monster, and we discover how it works, why it works and what it means.

Lucas:

I'm Lucas Zellers.

Lucas:

This week, we're leaving the Forgotten Realms for Eberron.

Lucas:

Steve Fiddler creates adventures and encounters for D&D under

Lucas:

the label Vorpal Dice Press.

Lucas:

His monster blurs the line between enemy and environment,

Lucas:

between dungeon and dragon.

Steve Fidler:

My favorite, I just finished it, is the Warforged Colossus.

Steve Fidler:

So it's a Warforged that is the size of a skyscraper, a hundred feet tall, has

Steve Fidler:

an entire dungeon inside of its body.

Lucas:

Warforged are part of Keith Baker's Eberron setting for D and D, which

Lucas:

is a bit like Tolkienian fantasy aged forward into an industrial revolution.

Lucas:

It's a world where people travel by magical elevators, air

Lucas:

ships and the lightning rail.

Lucas:

Yeah.

Lucas:

It's also a world that only recently ended the longest and most destructive

Lucas:

war anyone has ever seen the war.

Lucas:

Forged are an entire species of sentience constructs designed to be soldiers.

Lucas:

And now the war they fought in is over.

Lucas:

Most Warforged are the size of a person, but a very few were built

Lucas:

on a much, much grander scale.

Steve Fidler:

There's only like 8 to 10 of them that anyone knows about.

Steve Fidler:

They're not operational, so they were more like sites to scavenge,

Steve Fidler:

but they were given stats.

Steve Fidler:

They can stomp stuff and shoot laser beams and do some pretty cool stuff.

Steve Fidler:

The, the specific Warforged Colossus that we're using its name is Arkus, and

Steve Fidler:

that was very briefly detailed in Rising of the Last War as being a Warforged

Steve Fidler:

Colossus that was missing an arm and found in the Glowing Chasm in the Mournland.

Steve Fidler:

So what I wanted to do with it was this really cool idea that came from

Steve Fidler:

a really, really weird dream that I had where essentially in the dream you

Steve Fidler:

were fighting this endless horde of robots that were like cobbled together.

Steve Fidler:

And you're in this like factory setting and it was kind of

Steve Fidler:

like fighting a zombie hoard.

Steve Fidler:

So I had this whole idea and mythic encounters gave me a great

Steve Fidler:

opportunity to expand on that.

Steve Fidler:

A mythic encounter is an optional rule for creatures in D and D

Steve Fidler:

that triggers a mythic trait.

Steve Fidler:

Usually when the creature is reduced to zero hit points after which it

Steve Fidler:

transforms musters its strength or exposes a new objective, extending

Steve Fidler:

the fight and unlocking new powers and abilities for the creature.

Steve Fidler:

My favorite thing about mythic encounters in that mechanic is

Steve Fidler:

you can take what is normal.

Steve Fidler:

Or, you know, traditional and kind of builds a lot of uniqueness into it.

Steve Fidler:

Hi, to your monsters in D and D have regional effects impacting

Steve Fidler:

the terrain around them.

Steve Fidler:

Layer actions occurring at intervals during the fight and

Steve Fidler:

special legendary actions they can take after a player's turn.

Steve Fidler:

So I've given to him.

Steve Fidler:

Some regional effects because he's placed in the morn land.

Steve Fidler:

She has this devastated apocalyptic terrain that was left over

Steve Fidler:

from a devastating attack that happened in Iran just before the

Steve Fidler:

campaign setting becomes playable.

Steve Fidler:

And then you fight this monster and it's legendary actions are all about it.

Steve Fidler:

Creating.

Steve Fidler:

More war forged.

Steve Fidler:

So it creates a war forge Titan, which is another large war forged

Steve Fidler:

and uses its actions to command it, to move around and attack.

Steve Fidler:

So you're almost fighting two monsters at once when you destroy it, the

Steve Fidler:

Colossus, it collapses in a heap.

Steve Fidler:

But then all of this activity happens inside of it body.

Steve Fidler:

Like you can see the lights come on and all this activity and motion

Steve Fidler:

and an opening appears, and it kind of invites you to come inside.

Steve Fidler:

And the whole second phase still uses the war force, Colossus stat block

Steve Fidler:

and its attacks and it's legendary actions, but now it introduces

Steve Fidler:

its layer actions, which all.

Steve Fidler:

Occur inside of its body.

Steve Fidler:

So it, you know, detaches portions of its body to make it more difficult

Steve Fidler:

for you to traverse and it squeezes you in the hallways and it spawns more

Steve Fidler:

war forged inside to defend itself.

Steve Fidler:

And the idea being is your need to fight through.

Steve Fidler:

This onslaught and get to its heart and you essentially have to destroy it to

Steve Fidler:

truly destroy the Colossus, to stop it from functioning and, and terrorizing

Steve Fidler:

anyone exploring the more land.

Steve Fidler:

So we've kind of envisioned is kind of elevating what a monster can be

Steve Fidler:

and turning it into this whole, like self-contained adventure within its own.

Steve Fidler:

Right?

Steve Fidler:

The thing I really like it because it gives you an opportunity to

Steve Fidler:

include a creature of fights.

Steve Fidler:

An exploration pillar, where you're diving into it and trying

Steve Fidler:

to figure out what what's ticking.

Steve Fidler:

And then also that dungeon crawl that you get in a typical, the D

Steve Fidler:

session where you're just kind of fighting through a dungeon and dealing

Steve Fidler:

with traps and that kind of thing.

Steve Fidler:

And it's all.

Steve Fidler:

Almost all of it is enclosed in the step block of the creature.

Steve Fidler:

There's going to be some room descriptions like you would

Steve Fidler:

have with a typical adventure.

Steve Fidler:

And you know, this is what's in this room and here's what you can find here.

Steve Fidler:

And there'll be a map as well.

Steve Fidler:

But the idea is essentially to enclose as much as I can in a stat

Steve Fidler:

block, which I think is pretty cool.

Steve Fidler:

Yeah.

Steve Fidler:

That's great.

Steve Fidler:

So what is it that you think makes this whole idea that effective on its own?

Steve Fidler:

I think that by making it more than just a fight, you're not just punching

Steve Fidler:

a hip point punching bag you're, you know, progressing the encounter further.

Steve Fidler:

You're uncovering mysteries.

Steve Fidler:

Why is there a creation forge inside this Colossus who would have put that there?

Steve Fidler:

Why is it not making real war for us?

Steve Fidler:

Why is it only making these like abomination war forged?

Steve Fidler:

You can kind of throw that at somebody and you you've essentially got your

Steve Fidler:

next arc of the campaign, you know?

Steve Fidler:

And I think that that.

Steve Fidler:

Is where this encounter will be really effective.

Steve Fidler:

Steve, once his players to dread this creature to feel a sense

Steve Fidler:

of ominous inescapable dude.

Steve Fidler:

But I think it will be really useful as a tool.

Steve Fidler:

You can kind of put it in the distance.

Steve Fidler:

It can always be this thing that the players that are interacting

Steve Fidler:

with, like NPCs and what have you.

Steve Fidler:

They kind of mention it and it'll always be this kind of carrot on a stick.

Steve Fidler:

And then when you finally do encounter it and hopefully defeat

Steve Fidler:

it, you've now got a whole other carrot on a stick to build off of.

Steve Fidler:

And so it's kind of this midway point for your players narratively.

Steve Fidler:

And it can kind of always just be sitting on the horizon for when all the other

Steve Fidler:

storylines sort of threads together.

Steve Fidler:

What do you think this tells us about what we, what we want our monsters and villains

Steve Fidler:

to be the story around it, why it exists?

Steve Fidler:

Why you're fighting.

Steve Fidler:

It is not necessarily black and white, but it's not ambiguous.

Steve Fidler:

It's it's quite clearly a threat.

Steve Fidler:

You could maybe try to wrangle it and turn it to your side, or try to find some

Steve Fidler:

alternative way of bypassing the encounter or accomplishing it in a different way.

Steve Fidler:

But I think some players like to have a very clear unambiguous.

Steve Fidler:

Something to accomplish.

Steve Fidler:

I like the idea of using robots for that, because you don't have to worry

Steve Fidler:

about their morals and their, you know, they're not usually persuadable.

Steve Fidler:

It's usually just some obstacle that you have to deal with.

Steve Fidler:

Given the deformed war, forged its spawns and its origin story in the glowing chasm.

Steve Fidler:

It's pretty easy to read the war, forged Colossus as a metaphor

Steve Fidler:

for nuclear fallout, a kind of.

Steve Fidler:

Steam punk Godzilla as such.

Steve Fidler:

It affords players a straightforward moral choice.

Steve Fidler:

Whereas in mythic encounters, there's a lot of demon, princes, grafts, and orcas.

Steve Fidler:

And what have you from forgotten realms lore, where they could have so many

Steve Fidler:

motives and your players can deal with them in so many different ways.

Steve Fidler:

You know, you could appeal to grasses, vanity, and possibly

Steve Fidler:

even get him to come to your side on things at least momentarily.

Steve Fidler:

Whereas this is very.

Steve Fidler:

Clear cut.

Steve Fidler:

There's a lot of things to learn, but going into it, you know, that this

Steve Fidler:

is something you're going to have to defeat or overcome right off the bat.

Steve Fidler:

And there's a very clear way to do that, which I think it tells maybe doesn't

Steve Fidler:

tell the story, but I think that if you were to introduce this to your players,

Steve Fidler:

they would have a lot of fun with it.

Steve Fidler:

And I think a lot of players do just enjoy beating the bad guy.

Steve Fidler:

Sometimes my guest is Steve Fiddler of Vorpal dice, press artists.

Steve Fidler:

The war forge Colossus will appear in mythic, ever on a new supplement featuring

Steve Fidler:

mythic encounters for monsters in the ever on campaign setting, releasing on the

Steve Fidler:

dungeon masters Guild in September, 2020.

Steve Fidler:

You can see a full page illustration of artists on the shows, website,

Steve Fidler:

scintilla.studio/monster it's half character art, half all beautiful.

Steve Fidler:

And it was drawn by saga Mackenzie as a special bonus

Steve Fidler:

for listeners of the podcast.

Steve Fidler:

Steve has made available one of mythic everone's mythic rewards.

Steve Fidler:

It's called a salvaged Titan chassis, and it's a fully operational mech suit.

Steve Fidler:

Your D and D character can pilot, if you want the Saturday morning, lot of even

Steve Fidler:

Voltaren power Rangers or Gundam wing in your Dungeons and dragons campaign,

Steve Fidler:

download the free pdf@scintilla.studio.

Steve Fidler:

Slash monster.

Steve Fidler:

Here's how to get in touch with Steve.

Steve Fidler:

You can follow me on Twitter.

Steve Fidler:

It's at Vorpal dice press.

Steve Fidler:

I also have a website up and coming, which is for both dice, press.com.

Steve Fidler:

I think it's going to be pretty interesting.

Steve Fidler:

Thanks for listening to making a monster.

Steve Fidler:

If you like what you've heard and you want to support the show, please share

Steve Fidler:

it with the people in your gaming group.

Steve Fidler:

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Steve Fidler:

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Steve Fidler:

So there's an app for everyone.

Steve Fidler:

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Steve Fidler:

And it's a real gift to me and the creators I feature

Steve Fidler:

next time on making a monster.

Steve Fidler:

Alright.

Steve Fidler:

Symptoms of the disease include itching, sneezing being spontaneous

Steve Fidler:

narcolepsy, willful disregard for one's own safety, a craving for fish,

Steve Fidler:

an overwhelming desire to shell.

Steve Fidler:

One liners, vertigo, and frequent public urination.

Steve Fidler:

Incubation time.

Steve Fidler:

DN seems to be about 14 seconds and the contagion is spread through bodily fluids,

Steve Fidler:

dirty toilet seats, crisp high-fives awkward hugs and prolonged eye contact.

Steve Fidler:

In a possibly unrelated event that nice colony of leper nuns.

Steve Fidler:

We picked up hitchhiking on the side of the hyper route.

Steve Fidler:

After their shuttle bros bus broke down has gone missing.