March 18th
Idle Champion Spotlight: Rosie Beestinger 
Posted in Idle Champions.

An elderly lightfoot halfling walks down the cobblestone street of Waterdeep's Dock Ward, the soft tap of her quarterstaff echoing through the evening air. Her footsteps soft and deliberate, she leans heavily on her staff as she takes in the last of the sunset along the water.

A dark-haired human carrying a hand crossbow, a red-skinned tiefling with an eyepatch and a dagger, and a shirtless, burly, tattooed mountain dwarf have their mark in their sights. As one they move from three directions towards the halfling centenarian, blocking her path.

"Your purse," croaks the human thug in front, his voice indicating a nose broken many times. "Hand it over."

As if to emphasize the threat, the dwarf begins cracking the thick, calloused knuckles on his hands while giving the halfling woman a predatory stare. The tiefling licks his dagger's blade menacingly as he creeps towards her from behind. Stifling a laugh, the human casually lifts his weapon to point it in the direction of the woman — except she isn't there.

*CRACK*

The dwarf's eyes roll into the back of his skull as a trickle of blood flows down his temple, and he falls forward, crashing into the cobblestone street face first. Standing where the dwarf's shadow once was, the elderly halfling woman carefully folds up her shawl and places it neatly on the ground, revealing hands and forearms are wrapped meticulously in ceremonial cotton gauze.

With a snarl the tiefling attacks, rushing towards the woman with his dagger at the ready. In the same moment, the human aims his hand crossbow and fires.

To this elderly Way of Shadow Monk, however, these thugs are moving in slow motion. She snatches the crossbow bolt from the air as easily as if she were picking an apple up from a fruit stand, and in a blur of movement she sends the bolt back towards her attacker's foolishly-unarmored knee. The bolt strikes true, and a nasally shriek fills the evening air as the human drops his weapon and falls backwards into the street.

Before the human hits the ground, the elderly monk has already closed the distance to the rushing tiefling, vaulting off the ground with her staff towards his face. He has barely enough time to register surprise before the monk lands a stunning kick to his face, snapping his head back. Consciousness fades long before his body collapses in the cobblestone street.

Dusting herself off, Rosie Beestinger resumes her walk along the water, pulling her shawl back on and clutching it closely to her chest. It's getting chilly out, wouldn't want to catch a cold!

Are you as excited as we are to have Rosie Beestinger coming to Idle Champions? If you want to know more about Grandmother Night, you've come to the right place!


All photography by Tyler Curtis


Not your grandma's grandma...

    "Rosie Beestinger came to us highly recommended—by basically everyone. By which I mean at least one hundred halflings all entered her name in our Winter Intern drive. They all seemed a little nervous, and their handwriting was very shaky. Who knows! Maybe they were very, very cold. Winter, right?! She’s a monk or something. Let’s see how she does." ~Omin Dran
    Weighing in at just under 30 pounds and with a grandmotherly demeanor befitting her advanced age, Rosie Beestinger is easily mistaken for someone on the wrong side of the “aggressor/victim” relationship. But this is a mix-up that few people make more than once.
Rosie Beestinger. Grandmother Night. Matriarch of the Beestinger family. Adoptive grandmother of Strix. Possible mob boss. This lightfoot halfling Way of Shadow Monk is over 100 years old and her story is still going strong. Played by the always-amazing Kate Welch, game designer at Dungeons & Dragons, Rosie is the most badass centenarian monk you'll likely ever cross paths with.

For more info, check out the Acquisitions Incorporated: The "C" Team each week or catch one of Rosie's many amazing live appearances (Dylan highly recommends last year's Force Grey one shot at Stream of Many eyes).


Rosie's Stats

Race: Halfling Class: Monk Alignment: Chaotic Good
STR: 8 DEX: 16 CON: 12
INT: 12 WIS: 14 CHA: 14

Rosie Beestinger is a sassy DPS Champion. Her damage increases for each Champion in the formation younger than she is, and she catches and deflects incoming missiles. When you want to add the Rosie Beestinger to your formation, you can swap her with Tyril (Slot 10).


The Art of Rosie

Every time we do an Idle Champion Spotlight we praise our art team here at Codename Entertainment, and today is no exception! Senior Artist Alexis Theroux did an absolutely wonderful job with Rosie Beestinger, both with her Champion and animations (we're especially fond of her Shadow Step/Flurry of Blows attack) and also with her portraits.

If you'd like to check out more of Alexis' art, you can find her on Instagram.


Designing Grandmother Night

We are big fans of Acquisitions Incorporated, both the original show and The "C" Team, so any chance we get to work on a character we love is a fun day at the office.

When it came to working on Rosie Beestinger, we connected with Kate Welch (as well as Shadow Chancellor Elyssa Grant) and spoke at length about just what makes Rosie tick. We drew inspiration for Rosie from these calls, ongoing design correspondence (usually over email), and of course, the wonderful abundance of podcast and live show performances Kate has been a part of. There was definitely no shortage of inspiration!

First and foremost, Rosie Beestinger is Sassy, and we wanted to make that a core part of her kit. This grandma has no problem putting anyone in their place, and the idea was that we would take a slightly different approach from Gromma's Grandmotherly Love and Rosie would get even more badass the more youngsters were around her. Not only does she keep up with the kids, but she shows them how it is done.

If you have ever seen Kris Straub's awesome introduction to The "C" Team, you know Rosie's entrance moment: she's an unassuming kind old lady until someone has the audacity to fire an arrow at her, which she catches it easily and gives the shooter the look of death. You don't mess with this grandma. We knew immediately that we wanted to include Deflect Missiles in Rosie's design, and we're excited to have her tossing those missiles back at enemies in your formation. And to boot, she'll also catch some of the arrows fired at her allies!

Busy Beestinger came together both as a play on words and because we wanted to try something unique with our latest team-focused Formation Ability. Rosie attacks a half second quicker once you unlock this Formation Ability, and for each one of her fellow #cteam members in the formation, she'll attack even more quickly. Float like a flumph, sting like a Beestinger!

Rosie's last two Formation Abilities are tied together, making it clear that she is a DPS Champion first and foremost. With Shadow Arts, Rosie's usual barrage of attacks starts to include her Beestinger Staff to add an AoE attack every fifth attack. With Timeless Body, that Shadow Arts attack becomes every fourth attack instead.

With her Specializations, Rosie can double down on boosting her DPS with Matriarch, increasing the potency of her Sassy self-buff for each female Champion in the formation younger than she is, or she can go for a powerful increase to her AoE damage with From The Shadows.

There really was only one Ultimate we considered for Rosie Beestinger, and it came straight from Kate: Grammamancy. Rosie roots all enemies in place, stopping them dead in their tracks — then she takes advantage of the situation and pummels the crap out of them! And as an added bonus, the cooldown on Deflect Missiles is removed for the duration of Grammamancy, allowing Rosie to take all those pesky fireballs and arrows and swiftly returning them to their senders.

Formation Abilities

  • Sassy — Rosie deals +100% increased damage for every Champion in the formation younger than she is.

  • Deflect Missiles — Rosie catches/deflects the next ranged/magic attack against herself or any adjacent Champion and redirects it back at the attacker. Damage done is 100% of Rosie's normal damage. This effect can only trigger every 2.5 seconds.

  • Busy Beestinger — Rosie's attack speed cooldown is lowered by .5 seconds (stacking additively) and her damage is increased by 100% (stacking multiplicatively) for each member of the C-Team in the formation, including herself.

  • Shadow Arts — On every fifth attack, Rosie does a whirlwind attack with her staff, hitting all enemies in a small AoE for 50% of her base damage.

  • Timeless Body — Reduce the number of attacks before Rosie performs a Shadow Arts attack by 1.

Specializations

  • Matriarch — Increases the effect of Sassy by 25% for every female Champion in the formation younger than Rosie.

  • From The ShadowsShadow Arts now hits for 200% of Rosie's base damage instead of 50%.

Ultimate Attack

    Grammamancy — Rosie roots all enemies in place and becomes a blur of movement, pummeling up to 10 enemies on screen for massive damage and, once she returns to the formation, removing the cooldown on Deflect Missiles for the next 15 seconds.

Equipment

As always, Kat (aka @TehArtMonkey on Instagram and Twitter) did a fantastic job with the equipment icons. When a player already has a detailed Cosplay and numerous pieces of official art and fan art, it goes a long way towards helping us flesh out the aesthetic of the equipment.


  • AI Cartographer's Gear — You can't have a cartographer without their gear!

  • Necklace of the Greater Will — Rosie's handcrafted necklace. Each ball represents a single regret.

  • Belt of the Beestinger — No outfit is complete without the right belt.

  • Beestinger Staff — Walnut Dankgrass found Rosie this staff, which has since been used to knock out countless foes.

  • Stuffed Jar of Eyeballs — Everyone needs to collect something! You wouldn't happen to have any spare eyeballs, would you?

  • Emerald Loot Bag — Who doesn't like emeralds? Rosie just happens to have a whole bag for them for no reason at all.


Final Thoughts

We are really happy with the approach we've taken to bring Rosie to Idle Champions. When we get a chance to work with an amazing creator like Kate Welch, it's always a great experience, and it is always an honor to work together to bring their character to life in Idle Champions.

The third member of Acquisitions Incorporated: The "C" Team has joined the fray, bringing a powerful DPS Champion to join her Support Champion friends, Donaar and K'thriss. Rosie will get better with every youngster you include in your formation, which considering her advanced age, is most non-elf/non-dwarf Champions in the game. She punches with fists honed over a century of experience. She lives life to the absolute fullest. And we think that once players have a chance to use her in their formations they will see the benefit of considering a centenarian Shadow Monk DPS in place of say, a Firbolg Druid ;)

As always, feel free to send us feedback on via the Idle Champions Subreddit, Steam forum, or the Idle Champions Discord!
March 15th
BW2: March 15th, 2019 Release Notes 
Posted in Bush Whacker 2.

Misc Update (March 15th, 2019)

- Added a “Gifts” button to the requests dialog so you don’t have to reload to see your gifts

- Fixed being able to friend whack manual-whack quest spawns (sorry)

- Fixed quest spawns getting stuck when you try to power whack them

- Wandering merchants now rotate properly (some were getting skipped over)

- Renamed the trinket crafting store to “Ye Trinket Tinkering Workshop”

- Renamed the trinket combining store to “Ye Trinket Integration Workshop”

- Renamed the Candy Apple store to “Ye Candied Apple Outlet”

- Made progress on Kaine’s Salt Desert mystery

- Fixed various reported typos and quest descriptions. Keep the reports coming!
March 13th
Idle Champions: Variants & QoL Update 
Posted in Idle Champions.

It is time for the first major Quality of Life update for 2019 — and we've included some new variants, to boot!

This update includes seven new challenging variants for the Grand Tour of the Sword Coast, Tomb of Annihilation, and Waterdeep: Dragon Heist campaigns, as well as Quality of Life Updates around improving chest opening, blacksmith contract usage, and potion of polish usage.

Don't worry if the QoL change you are hoping for didn't make the cut today. Today's update is the first of several QoL updates planned for this year, and we may even be able to sneak in a few extras here and there with different events. Thank you all so much for your patience!

Grand Tour of the Sword Coast Variants

  • Silken Swamp: Hatchlings Underfoot — Spider Hatchlings spawn in each area. They move very quickly and drop no gold when killed. If a Spider Hatchling reaches the formation they are 'squished', dealing massive damage to the Champion who stepped on them.

  • Supply Run: On the Hunt — An archer wearing a long green cloak takes up a slot in the formation. Every 10 seconds they attack for a percentage of the Formation's DPS. Every 50 areas, an additional archer appears in the formation.

Tomb of Annihilation Variants

  • The Immortal Warrior: Form Ranks — Male Champions are only allowed in columns two and four. Female Champions are only allowed in columns one and three. Warden can be placed anywhere they wish.

  • The Wyrmheart Mine: Distribute Your Weight — Champions with three or more Champions adjacent to them have their DPS and Formation Abilities disabled.

  • The Guardian of Orolunga: Air's Getting Pretty Thin — As the Champions ascend the temple their damage is decreased based on their Constitution (CON) score. The higher the CON, the lower the damage reduction.

Waterdeep: Dragon Heist Variants

  • Trollskull Manor: House Of Darkness — Darkness shrouds Trollskull Manor. Enemies in darkness move much more quickly, and each time an enemy emerges from the darkness they surprise a random Champion, increasing their attack cooldown by two seconds for 10 seconds. This effect does not stack, however, whenever it is applied again the duration is refreshed.

  • Attack on the Manor: Our Time To Shine — Champions from the C-Team, Waffle Crew, Champions of the Hall, Heroes of Baldur's Gate, and Force Grey can NOT be used.

March 13, 2019 QoL Updates

  • Improved Chest Opening — You can now open up to 50 chests at once; you will be shown up to the 6 best cards from the chests you open, and then all the other loot afterwards.

  • Improved Potion of Polish Usage — When you use a Potion of Polish a button appears to immediately use another one.

  • Improved Blacksmith Contract Usage — When you use a Blacksmithing Contract a button appears to immediately use another one.

  • Leveling Up Champions — On the standard interface (Steam) You can now hold down the mouse button (or press down on the tablet) when leveling up a Champion to repeat the action over and over (until you run out of gold), similar to how the Gamepad UI/Console UI works with holding a button to level-up. Note: This feature will only be available on iOS/Android in the next client update.

  • Time Gates — When choosing which Time Gate to open, Champions' gear rarities will be displayed.

Coming Soon

  • Additional QoL Updates

  • Core Champion Balance Update

See the in-game Change Log for more information, including a list of fixes!
March 8th
BW2: March 8th, 2019 Release Notes 
Posted in Bush Whacker 2.

St. Patrick’s Event (March 8th, 2019)

- Updated St. Patrick’s Event
- Added new customization and ranch items
- Added new ribbons and 100% reward
- Added a minor secret to Rainbow's End Island
- Added reward options for Lost Pocket in Paradise quest if you've completed it in previous years
- Added 3 new pets available from Feb 15th to 18th

- Added Cu Sidhe Mount promo (free with BB purchase over $10; 30% more BBs over $5)

- Pet release dialog now has the “Favourites” filter.

- Rotated Ghost and Robot pets out of the Island Token store for Poot and Gelatinous Cube.

- Added 3 new Amicus trivia questions.

- Fixed serpent ranch items being available after the mount has expired.

- Added hint for Nate’s Salt Desert adventure to description of the Silver Spanner.

- Fixed various reported typos and quest descriptions. Keep the reports coming!
March 8th
BW2: 2019 St. Patrick's Celebration! 
Posted in Bush Whacker 2.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day Bushwhackers!

The Commons is greener than usual! That’s because the Commons Party Planning Committee is putting on a St. Patrick’s day party!

Unfortunately, the guests of honour seem to have gotten lost in the bushes. Go whack them up and help them find their way to the Event Area!

There are eight Leprechauns to whack up that will help you put on a rocking St. Patrick’s Day party! Every day the event goes on, the odds to whack them up gets larger, so you can get them all before it ends. Three of them will have turn-in stations for you to do and the others will have repeatable quests for you to do for event progress.

Unlocking throughout the event are previous year quest lines:

Mr. Keith is looking to put out his special brew again. Help him find the ingredients.

Seamus is in the mood to do some whacking of his own, but first he needs your help to make the perfect shillelagh.

Siobhan is throwing her version of an Irish Feast...but the dishes got lost in the bushes. Go find them for her!

Those poor snakes are tired of being whacked so often. Help their leader out by setting up his snake relocation program efforts.

Help Bree learn about Irish mythology!

A red Leprechaun up on the Rainbow's End Island might need your help at some point.

New for 2019:

If you can complete the event, you'll earn this awesome 100% reward carousel critter for your ranch!



Event Achievements -- POSSIBLE SPOILER ALERT

There are a total of EIGHTEEN possible achievements to earn in the St. Patrick’s Day 2019 event.

Achievements Returning for 2019
Little Rascal - Capture a pesky missing Leprechaun.
More Little Rascals - Capture all of the pesky missing Leprechauns.
Destructive Behavior - Help 25 times at each St. Patrick's Station.
A Perfect Brew - Help Mr. Keith make his brew.
King of Clubs - Help Seamus make a Shillelagh.
Mythological Detective - You helped Bree learn about Irish Mythology.
Crafty Brewing - Help Alec Guiness brew the craftiest of St. Patrick's beers. Rainbow Cloud Island - Find all of the Clover Pots on the Rainbow's End Island.
Crock in a Haystack - Make a whoopsie on Rainbow's End Island and then make it better.


Added/Changed for 2019
Green Garb and Gear - Purchase all of the 2019 St. Patrick's Day event items.*

We also have 8 achievements from previous years which may be earned by spending Bush Bucks if you missed getting them the first time around.

My Leprechaun! - Whack a Leprechaun while dressed like Rainbow (Wearing custom items from 2014.)
My Rainbow! - Whack Rainbow while dressed like a Leprechaun (Wearing custom items from 2013.)
Pot o' Swag - Purchase all of the 2018 St. Patrick's Day event items. Patty's Purchases - Purchase all of the 2017 St. Patrick's Day event items.
Always Wearing Green - Purchase all of the 2016 St. Patrick's Day event items.
Lucky Purchase - Purchase all of the 2015 St. Patrick's custom items.
Rainbow Braid - Purchase all of the 2014 St. Patrick's custom items.
Green Pride Week - Purchase all of the 2013 St. Patrick's custom items.

* The St. Patrick’s mini-golf piece is not included in the Green Garb and Gear achievement.

Mount Sale:

New 2019 Mount:



The Cu Sidhe is a fearsome hound from Irish mythology! It occasionally lets out three terrifying barks that can be heard for miles. It increases your speed by 45% and it's starting bonus turns 5% of your Nothings into Energy!

Get this mount free with the purchase of 100 Bush Bucks or more during the weekend sale running until Monday March 11th @ Noon PDT!

Pet Packs:

New 2019 Pet Packs:



COMING SOON! Keep an eye out for the sale pop-up!

This event runs until Friday March 22nd @ Noon PDT.

Post your comments and questions here!

FAQ

What are the different leprechauns?
You can whack up two types of leprechauns: hatted and non-hatted.
  • There are 8 hatted ones to find, 3 will unlock turn-in stations, and the other 5 will give you daily quests. You must manually whack these ones to capture them.

  • The non-hatted ones will drop items for you to turn into the turn-in stations. You can quick whack and mana whack non-hatted leprechauns when they appear if you wish. The non-hatted leprechauns will *always* drop some turn-in items, rather than just having a chance to.


How can I find the leprechauns?
Just keep whacking. You could whack them all up in a day if you wanted to. The odds to whack up hatted leprechauns will increase as the event goes on.

What adds to my event progress?
Turning in items to the Gold, Beer and Clover stations, and doing quests for folks in the event area.

Do I have to do the achievements?
No. Completing the goals for the achievements is totally optional. You get either a large energy pack or a title for your character from them, no event progress.

Where can I see all the achievements available and how to get them?
Either on the holiday dialog, the achievements dialog, or on the blog.

Why should I ask for friends to help boost turn-ins?
It increases the amount of progress you get from doing a turn-in.
March 7th
COTLI: Hermit's Premature Party 4 

There's no such thing as a party starting too early — at least, that's what The Washed Up Hermit believes. Why celebrate St. Patrick's day for just one day? Why not instead celebrate for a whole two weeks!?

Perhaps Hermit is excited because his latest guest, Ana Guinness, an internationally-renowned bartender, has really cranked the party up to 11. She's here to make sure every Crusader has the time of their lives, and with her millennia of experience to back up her skills, lets just say she knows how to keep a Tier 4 party going until the sun comes up a dozen times over.

Welcome to Hermit's Premature Party 4! Hermit's Premature Party 4 introduces Ana Guinness, and brings back Kyle the Party Bro, Larry the Leprechaun, Snickette the Sneaky, Squiggles the Clown, and Saint Patroika! The party ends on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 12:00PM PDT!

New Tier 4 Crusader: Ana Guinness

News of your exploits has spread far and wide, from the crowded cities to the hidden taverns of fae kind. Ana Guinness, bartender extraordinaire, is ready to have some adventures of her own again, after millenia serving drinks to her fellow leprechauns.

Of course, she wouldn't be a leprechaun without an affinity for treasure, and if you follow the rainbow she guards, bosses you encounter will drop silver chests more often. Plus, gold will just rain from the monsters as they die before you from her gold find abilities.

Crusaders Return

If you haven't collected them already, you can unlock previous Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3 Crusaders by completing their respective objectives. Kyle the Party Bro, Larry the Leprechaun, Snickette the Sneaky, Squiggles the Clown, and Saint Patroika are all once again available to unlock!

New Tier 4 Objectives

  • Recruit Ana Guinness | Ana Guinness takes up a slot in the formation If a boss drops a chest, you lose DPS for 30 seconds. Reach area 600.

  • Leprechaun Party | Leprechauns and Elf Crusaders only. Invisible leprechaun enemies spawn randomly and are invisible, only appearing once they reach your formation. Reach area 700.

  • My Girl Likes Treasure All The Time | A Greedy Coin takes up a slot in the formation. Whenever you pick up gold, the Greedy Coin disables DPS for several seconds. The Greedy Coin also deals damage over time to Clicker Crusaders. Reach area 750.

  • Beers to You | Area quest requirements are tripled. Additionally, special Beer Monsters spawn on occasion, which increase area quest progress by 10 upon death. Reach area 800.

  • The Emerald Isle | An emerald island takes up the center slot in the formation. For every 100 monsters you kill, one Crusader gets disabled for 30 seconds. Reach area 850.


Help! Where’s the Loot?

Equipment for event Crusaders can be found in Silver and Jeweled St. Patrick's Chests, which you can earn from objectives and the free play or buy in the shop. Each non-recruitment objective will drop a chest for its given tier of Crusaders, and free play will drop all-tier chests. Gear for Tier 2, Tier 3, and Tier 4 Crusaders will only appear in all-tier chests once you've unlocked the respective Crusaders. You can select the tier of chest you buy in the shop.

You'll have until Tuesday, March 19, 2019 at 12:00PM PDT to complete Hermit's Premature Party 4!
March 1st
COTLI: Talents on Show 

Greetings, Crusaders!

Just in time for the first weekend of March, we have some new talents, tweaks, and changes that are sure to help you earn more crafting materials and make the most of your missions.

Read on to learn more...

New Talents

Impatience



Increases your chances to get shorter-duration Missions.

Prospector



Earn more Epic materials from Missions.

The More The Merrier



Send more Crusaders on Missions.

Jeweler



Increased chance to turn Silver Chests into Jeweled Chests.

Scrap Hoarder



Earn extra Common Materials from duplicate items.





Changes

  • Removed “Spend It All”, “Upgrade Them All”, and “Speed Looter”

    • Buying max Crusader levels/upgrades now unlocks for free upon clearing area 100

    • Being able to open multiple chests now unlocks for free after opening 50 chests

  • “Surplus Cooldown” is now Tier 2 and costs more

  • “Set Bonus” is now Tier 1 and costs less

February 28th
Idle Champions: Fleetswake 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

A Waterdhavian merchant guild has hired the Champions to look into a series of mysterious ship disappearances over the past year.

Superstitious folk are quick to blame the Queen of the Depths, Umberlee, a malicious sea goddess known as one of the Deities of Fury. However, the merchant guild isn't convinced, and they've asked that the Champions begin their search in the Dock Ward of Waterdeep...

Fleetswake 2 runs until Tuesday, March 12th, 2019 at 12:00pm PDT, introduces The Black Viper, an infamous Human Rogue from Waterdeep, and brings back Zorbu "Thunderbolt" Natten, the Gnome Ranger!

New Champion: The Black Viper

    The Black Viper was a notorious burglar, pickpocket, mugger, and assassin who died a century ago, after a long and nefarious career. Esvele Rosznar, a brash young noble, has recently adopted the Black Viper’s persona to lead a secret life of crime. Like many other nobles, Esvele gossips about the Black Viper’s exploits to lend credence to the villain’s mystique.
The Black Viper is a DPS Champion able to take advantage of Distracted Foes and deliver powerful Sneak Attacks for extra damage. Her Jewel Thief ability improves with every boss kill across all adventures.

When you want to add The Black Viper to your formation, you can swap her with Minsc (Slot 7). For more information about our latest Champion, check out the Idle Champion Spotlight: The Black Viper dev blog!

Returning Champion: Zorbu "Thunderbolt" Natten

    Zorbu grew up in a small village on the slopes of the mountains south of Yartar. He lived a typical gnomish childhood: tinkering with mechanical toys, pulling pranks on unsuspecting neighbors, and exploring the woodlands covering the mountains in the company of a local dwarf ranger, Galor Rockshield.

    A grizzled veteran of many battles, Galor was waging a secret battle against a clan of drow who were holed up in some deep caves near the village. He carefully struck from the shadows, attempting to drive them back into the Underdark. One night, after a particularly prolonged encounter, a drow scout followed Galor home, and on the night of the next new moon the drow and their minions descended upon the village in force. Galor saved Zorbu's life, but many others were killed, including Zorbu's parents. From that day forth, Zorbu trained under Galor as a ranger, vowing revenge upon the drow and any who claim allegiance to them.

    Cunning and imaginative, Zorbu makes use of his tinkering skills to wield an impossibly large crossbow (named Thunderbolt, which is also Zorbu's nickname) and unleash clever mechanical traps against his foes.

Zorbu is a DPS and Support Champion. He increases damage against Favored Enemies for all Champions and deals extra damage to injured or hordes of enemies. When you want to add Zorbu to your party, you can swap him with Arkhan (Slot 12).

Balance Update: Zorbu's Hunter's Pack ability now targets himself in addition to adjacent champions, and the effect has been increased.

Year Two Variants

  • Umberlee's Deluge — Sea Spawn monsters appear and attack the formation, growing in number the further you progress. These Sea Spawn monsters drop no gold and do not count towards quest progress.

  • Tightfisted Foes — The Black Viper starts in the formation. Only enemies killed by The Black Viper drop gold.

  • Extra DEXterous — Champions are augmented based on their Dexterity (DEX) scores:
    • 10 or less: Global DPS reduced by 50% (stacks).
    • 11–12: Enemies move 2x faster (stacks).
    • 13–14: Gold Find increased by 25% (stacks).
    • 15–16: Global DPS increased by 50% (stacks).
    • 17–20: Increases Champion's damage by 300%.

Year One Variants

  • Thunder and Lightning — A crazy storm blows in, affecting all outdoor areas. In addition to the wind and rain, lightning strikes your formation every 5 seconds, dealing 90% of max health unavoidable damage to a random Champion. When Zorbu "Thunderbolt" Natten is hit by the effect, his next normal attack does 10x damage.

  • Crashing Waves — Only two of your formation's columns do damage at a time. Columns change every 10 areas. Start with back two (slots 4-9), then middle two (slots 2-6), then front two (slots 0-3), then front and back (0-1 & 7-9), then repeat.

  • The Shipwright's Ball — Two Shipwrights take up slots (2, 9) in the formation. The Shipwrights dance with adjacent Champions, swapping the position of two random adjacent Champions every 15 seconds (the one in slot 9 swaps 6 and 8, while the one in slot 2 swaps two of 0, 3, and 4).

See the in-game FAQ for more information!

February 25th
Idle Champion Spotlight: The Black Viper 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Once upon a time, the Rosznars were one of the most prominent families in Waterdeep — that is, until they were convicted of a serious crime and exiled over 100 years ago. They have since returned, and among their ranks the young noble woman Esvele Rosznar harbors a secret. She has assumed the identity of the Black Viper, a legendary outlaw who once terrorized Waterdeep.

Assassin. Thief. Catburglar. Pickpocket. The Black Viper is all these things and more. Esvele carefully cultivates the infamy and mystique of her alter ego as she gossips among nobles about the Black Viper's exploits. She leads a double life: one of luxury and privilege, and another where she relies on her skills and cunning to survive, where one mistake could lead to imprisonment or death.

Welcome to the Idle Champion Spotlight for the Black Viper! If you want to know more about the latest Champion, you're in the right place!


All photography by Tyler Curtis


An Infamous Champion...

Warning: Potential spoilers for the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist Campaign
    The Black Viper was a notorious burglar, pickpocket, mugger, and assassin who died a century ago, after a long and nefarious career. Esvele Rosznar, a brash young noble, has recently adopted the Black Viper’s persona to lead a secret life of crime. Like many other nobles, Esvele gossips about the Black Viper’s exploits to lend credence to the villain’s mystique.

    The Rosznar family was convicted of slave trading — highly illegal in Waterdeep — and banished over a hundred years ago, but has since returned. The Rosznars’ inability to regain the respect they feel they deserve rankles them. The slave trade has continued in Amn and elsewhere, and it’s not like other noble houses don’t have skeletons in their closets. But just because of a little family squabble that went public, the Rosznar name has been said with a sneer for a century. As part of the family’s constant effort to prove this conception wrong and win others’ respect, Esvele has been brought up to be the most proper noble possible, partaking in lessons of etiquette, dance, and poise as befits someone of her station.

    In her younger days, Esvele openly rebelled, but that behavior led to locked doors at night and house guards watching her every move during the day. So she taught herself how to pick locks, pluck keys from belts and pouches, clamber up walls, and sneak past guards — playing the perfect daughter by day while cutting loose at night. To hide her identity from those she met, she wore a hood and mask, exchanging her fine clothes for the kind of practical clothing her parents would never let her wear.

    One of the things Esvele has learned is to embrace the legend of the Black Viper. When she throws back her cloak to reveal the costume she has put together, most folk toss their purses and flee. If that doesn’t work, she usually needs only to draw her dagger. Of course, some of the nobles she targets are made of sterner stuff, so Esvele has learned how to fight as well. She knows she’s playing a dangerous game, but is satisfied that at least one member of the Rosznar family is earning the respect of Waterdeep’s nobility.
For more info, check out the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist TRPG Book.


Character Stats

Race: Human Class: Rogue Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
STR: 11 DEX: 18 CON: 14
INT: 11 WIS: 11 CHA: 16

The Black Viper is a DPS Champion able to take advantage of Distracted Foes to increase her damage and deliver powerful Sneak Attacks to enemies she hits for the first time. Her Aura of Infamy ability increases the effect of formation abilities she receives from Bards and Rogues in the party while her Jewel Thief ability improves with boss kills across all adventures.

We have tweaked the Black Viper's stats slightly from her character sheet in the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist book, increasing her Charisma (CHA) score from 12 to 16 for two reasons:
  • First, because when Vivka played Esvele Rosznar/Black Viper during episodes of Dice, Camera, Action! she was incredibly charming.
  • Second, because we wanted the Black Viper to be able to take advantage of Hitch's Friendly buff. It just made sense.
When you want to add the Black Viper to your formation, you can swap her with Minsc (Slot 7).


Artistic Inspiration

When it came to putting together our version of Black Viper, we immediately turned to the official cosplay that Vivid Vivka assembled for last year's Stream of Many Eyes. At an event filled with talented performers and creators (including an amazing Minsc cosplay by Beamdog's Trent Oster) Vivka's take on the Black Viper stood out.


The extra details and personality that Vivka brought to the character inspired us to focus more on her take on Waterdeep's infamous burglar/pickpocket/assassin, including her custom-made Kris push daggers. When it was time to draw and animate the Black Viper for the game, the job fell to our Art Director Adam Kosh and Senior Artist Alexis Theroux.


Vivka put a lot of work into this costume. You can even see it in motion over on Vivka's Instagram here!

Note: Some of Vivid Vivka's content on Instagram and Twitter is NSFW.

Designing the Black Viper

What is the best way to bring a legendary outlaw to life? Which Rogue abilities combine to create the Black Viper as seen in Waterdeep: Dragon Heist?

After spending time going over the 5E Rogue subclasses in the Player's Handbook and Xanathar's Guide to Everything, we came to the conclusion that this Champion needed to be both Thief and Assassin.

To adapt an Assassin's combat style to Idle Champions, we looked to Sneak Attack. It's an integral part of all Rogue designs but isn't something we've really focused on, and we wanted to bring it to the forefront of the Black Viper's design to really capitalize on Vivka's Kris push daggers.

Distracted Foes is intended to be like a cross between Sneak Attack and gaining advantage. Enemies are busy with other Champions, attacking them, so the Rogue uses that opportunity to strike for massive damage. this will really come in handy during encounters and adventures with party-wide damage or multiple tanks up front.

Aura of Infamy symbolizes the mystique of the Black Viper that Esvele cultivates. She thrives when people know who she is - and who is more likely to know of her than other Rogues and Bards? They're the outlaws, right? Once she has gained enough notoriety with her Jewel Thief ability, Ranger and Warlock abilities are included as well!

Speaking of Jewel Thief, Chris came up with something really special. We wanted to feature The Black Viper's burglary skills, and we thought: maybe she gets better with each Red Gem she finds, not just during the adventure you are on, but across all adventures. The idea is that Black Viper will be a Champion you can stick with as your DPS of choice, and that continuing to play her when you're farming gems or completing objectives has a real benefit.


  • Distracted Foes — Whenever another Champion in the formation takes damage, Black Viper deals +100% increased damage on her next attack. Stacks up to 5 times (additive). Does not trigger when Black Viper herself is the one to take the damage.

  • Aura of Infamy — Increases the effect of formation abilities from Bards and Rogues on the Black Viper by 25%.

  • Sneak Attack — Whenever Black Viper attacks an enemy for the first time, she deals 100% additional damage.

  • Jewel Thief — Whenever a boss is killed, there is a 25% chance a Red Gem drops. Red Gems are collected by the Black Viper and grand unique bonuses:
    • Red Gems collected on the current run grant the Black Viper +10% damage (stacking multiplicatively) for the current run.
    • The Black Viper also keeps a permanent count of Red Gems earned across all adventures, which unlocks buffs at certain thresholds. There are 10 total buffs to unlock.
      • 10 Gems: Aura of Infamy now also affects buffs from Rangers and Warlocks.
      • 50 Gems: Increase max stacks of Distracted Foes by 5, and increase the damage per stack by 100%.
      • 300 Gems: Increased the effect of Black Viper's gear by 25% (excluding cooldown)
      • 800 Gems: Black Viper damage x2
      • 1500 Gems: Black Viper damage x2
      • 2500 Gems: Black Viper damage x2
      • 3500 Gems: Black Viper damage x2
      • 4500 Gems: Black Viper damage x2
      • 5500 Gems: Black Viper damage x2
      • 6500 Gems: Black Viper damage x2



When it comes to Black Viper's specializations, the question you need to ask yourself is simple: am I farming, or am I pushing to my wall or attempting to complete a difficult variant?

Since the Black Viper is the first-ever Champion whose formation abilities take all of her adventures into account, you may want to go with her Collector specialization to maximize her Red Gem earning potential. If you are doing regular gem farming runs in The Mad Wizard Free Plays, this specialization will appeal to you (assuming you don't reset before even reaching Slot 7).

On the other side, Assassinate offers the most damage potential out of Black Viper, further increasing her monster-clearing potential. A 0.5 second faster attack may not seem like much, but it really helps!

  • Assassinate — Sneak Attack now also triggers against enemies that The Black Viper has already attacked once, and her base attack cooldown is lowered by 0.5 seconds after a Sneak Attack.

  • Collector — Increase Jewel Thief Red Gem drop chance to 33% and the current-run damage bonus is increased by 25%.

Ultimate Attack

When it came to putting together an awesome ultimate ability for the Black Viper, we hit a bit of a wall. Rogues are mostly known for Sneak Attacks, which we already based much of the Champion design on. What else should we add?

We eventually settled upon the more traditional ninja-inspired concept of dropping a smoke bomb for cover, allowing the Black Viper to kick some serious butt. This ultimate will prove especially helpful during encounters and adventures with formation-wide damage.

    Smokescreen — All Champions takes 50% less damage for 20 seconds, and all of Black Viper's attacks are Sneak Attacks for the duration.

Equipment

Drawn by our resident in-house portrait and icon specialist, Kat, every one of the Black Viper's items is taken from Vivka's official cosplay. This proved to be especially invaluable since the version of Black Viper included in the Waterdeep: Dragon Heist TRPG book does not have a list of items outside basic 5E Rogue starting items.

  • Master Thief's Gauntlets — Ornate gauntlets perfect for hiding thieves tools inside!

  • The Black Viper's Rapier — Esvele Rosznar's ornate rapier, wielded by The Black Viper.

  • The Black Viper's Mask — Masks are iconic when it comes to legendary outlaws.

  • The Viper's Fangs — The better to Sneak Attack you with...!

  • Viper's Cloak — Concealing one's identity and intent is important for a thief - or an assassin.

  • Ostentatious Display — Some nice stolen jewels for a jewel thief.


Final Thoughts

The Black Viper is kind of like Zorro, the Dread Pirate Roberts, and Catwoman all rolled into one. We think she'll really be able to shine in certain DPS formations, especially when the buffs are coming from Aura of Infamy classes. Her Sneak Attacks hit like a truck, especially when you have multiple Champions taking damage to further buff Distracted Foes. And finally, with Jewel Thief benefiting from repeated runs, we feel like Black Viper offers an excellent incentive to stick with a DPS Champion for a long time, and one to focus on with your gem farming runs.

We look forward to seeing how she impacts the Idle Champions meta!

Feel free to send us feedback on via the Idle Champions Subreddit, Steam forum, or the Idle Champions Discord!
February 22nd
Sssserpentine Asssisssstance in Bushwhackia 
Posted in Bush Whacker 2.

A sssserpentine visitor needs your help training new breeds of Serpent Mounts! Catch them slithering around the Commons, pick a serpent, and start training!

You'll get Serpent Coins for every level your chosen mount gets and for completing the visitor's daily quests, and you can spend them in their slithery serpent shoppe!

This opportunity ends on Wednesday, February 27th, by which time you'll have to return your serpent, unless you've adopted it!