Trigger Warning: Mutating Monsters

Just an idea from the ol’ idea mine.

Been playing a lot of Hearthstone (computer card game) solo adventures. In these games, you fight against a boss who has a special ability — maybe a ranged attack or an area of effect spell — they can use each turn. Some have weapons. Some have armor. What’s cool is what happens when the boss’ state changes — they suffer a certain amount of damage, they lose their weapon, etc. Then they often change abilities or get some new benefit. D&D 4th edition had a similar state: “bloodied,” where some enemies would gain new abilities.

Anyway, create a monster that has a dramatic state change. Maybe an axe-wielding orc boss who becomes enraged if his precious weapon is disarmed and he goes full beast mode, as the kids say, gaining +1 Might. Some recon and clever use of Hunter, Lore Master, etc can glean some insight into a boss and find out their abilities and how to avoid triggering new ones.


Yeah I could definitely see the concept fitting easily into the Torchbearer framework. The possibilities are endless, but right away I can think of a few obvious mechanical effects that only need the right flavor to be implemented (see below).

I also like the idea of bosses who become stronger in some ways and more vulnerable in others when they become bloodied to encourage the idea of recon and preparation even more. Either way, fun stuff!

  • One or more of the Foe’s Nature descriptors change

  • The Foe’s Instinct changes

  • Foe’s Might moves up or down the Order of Might scale:
    1 => 2 => 3 => 4 => 5 => 6 => 7 => 8

  • Foe’s current equivalent armor moves up or down the Armored scale:
    Unarmored => Helmet => Leather => Chain => Plate

  • Foe’s [Conflict Weapons: Attack, Defend, Feint and/or Maneuver] become better or worse:
    -2D, -1D, +1D, +2D, -2s, -1s, +1s, +2s

  • When the Foe is successful on an [Attack, Defend, Feint and/or Maneuver] roll [using any conflict weapon or specific conflict weapon(s)], the [target, adventuring party, or other appropriate choice] must make a [Health, Will, or Nature] test [because of flavor reasons relating to that particular foe]. The obstacle is equal to [the Foe’s margin of success, a fixed obstacle, or some other appropriate value]. Failure means [an appropriate condition or twist].

  • Every [round, action, or other appropriate trigger] the foe regains [1 or more] disposition up to its starting disposition


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