June 12th
Idle Champions: Dragondown 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

The City of Sails, Luskan, needs your help! While celebrating their annual Summer Solstice festivities, the Luskans have somehow drawn the ire of a powerful Bronze Dragon and their kin. It's up to you to save them...

Dragondown 2 introduces Korth, a ruthless Lizardfolk Samurai, and brings back Binwin Bronzebottom, legendary Dwarven Fighter and Barbarian. Players will have until Monday, June 24th, 2019 at 12:00pm PDT, to unlock them!

New Champion: Korth

    Raised as a gladiator in the pit arenas of Kara-Tur, Korth has since traveled the world studying fighting styles and the art of war. Korth is infamous for his skill and efficiency in battle – and for his ruthlessness, as he never spares the lives of his opponents. Those who cross Korth's path do so at their own risk.
Korth is a Support Champion who marks enemies he hits. Attacking marked enemies can increase Champion damage, lower cooldowns, and grant temporary shields. When you want to add Korth to your formation, you can swap him with Celeste (Slot 2).

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

Returning Champion: Binwin Bronzebottom

    Binwin Bronzebottom was a member of a rather infamous adventuring group/company, until he left to spend more time with his family. A grumpy and headstrong dwarf with a penchant for springing traps rather than disarming them, if he's not the first into battle then he's disappointed. There's nary a door, tankard, or acid pit that hasn't felt the wrath of Binwin Bronzebottom at one time or another. These days, when he's not adventuring with the likes of Drizzt and Minsc, Binwin leads a small group of incompetent and eminently replaceable minions through perilous adventures.
Binwin is a celebrity dwarf and DPS Champion, played by Scott Kurtz on Acquisitions Incorporated and now the leader of Binwin's Minions. He excels at destroying objects and armored enemies, able to attack multiple times through his Extra Attacks ability. When you want to add Binwin to your party, you can swap him with Nayeli (Slot 3).

Year Two Variants

  • It's All Going To Be O.K. — Only Champions with an 'o' or 'k' in their name may be used.

  • Korth's Kobold Kleanup Krew — Korth begins the Adventure in your formation with his Lizardfolk Tactics upgrade unlocked. Armored kobolds attack the formation. These kobolds are invulnerable until marked by Korth.

  • Durable Dragon — When the Dragon boss in area 50 is defeated, she immediately resurrects with additional armor hits (+20%), attack speed (+25%) and damage (+33%). She gains additional resurrection (and stacking bonuses) for every 50 areas completed (resurrects once in area 50, twice in area 100, three times in area 150, etc.).

Year One Variants

  • Awaken the Beasts — Beasts move much more quickly and deal far more damage.

  • Binwin's Minions — Two of Binwin's Minions take up slots in the formation, decreasing the damage of adjacent Champions by 90% with the exception of Binwin, whom they buff by 400%. Binwin's Minions move to different slots in the formation every 20 areas.

  • Untrusting — The bronze dragon doesn't trust you to return her egg, so she continuously sends her Wyrmlings to keep an eye on you. Four different varieties of Wyrmling spawn at random.

See the in-game FAQ for more information!

May 22nd
Idle Champions: The Great Modron March 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Of all the planes in the multiverse, there is only one of pure law: Mechanus, home plane of the modron race and their supreme ruler, Primus.

While the clockwork modrons themselves seem strange enough, what is more puzzling is how once every 17 cycles, they journey by the thousands on a grand tour of the cosmos. Each time they take the exact same route through the planes — except this time. This time, for reasons unknown, the Great Modron March is headed for the city of Waterdeep...

The Great Modron March 2 introduces Qillek Ad Khollar, the Aarakocra Bard & Cleric played by Tom Hazell on High Rollers, and brings back Evelyn Marthain, Human Paladin of Lathandar. Players will have until Monday, June 3rd, 2019 at 12:00pm PDT, to unlock them!

New Champion: Qillek Ad Khollar

    Qillek is timid, meek and nervous, being a comparably young character in the party and thrown into a world he doesn’t understand with no wing to fly him out of a bad situation. His charisma, wit, and superiority ripped away when flying through the Valley of the Storms, taking his left wing and arm away but introducing him to H’esper, who gave him dark visions to push him forward. Inside him is an envious amount of courage and a stable sense of logic when things get dire, which has led other party members to consider him their leader. He doesn’t agree with the idea, but he’s not ready to let his friends down.
Qillek is a Support Champion capable of buffing allies while also debuffing enemies. He casts Prayer of Healing to heal the formation and Bless to boost their damage. When you want to add Qillek to your formation, you can swap him with Calliope (Slot 5).

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

Returning Champion: Evelyn Marthain

    Caring, motherly, and endlessly optimistic, Evelyn has adventured across the realms as part of the Waffle Crew with Strix, Diath, and Paultin for many years. She's always first in battle, thanks to her flying boots, and will always take a hit to protect others. Short, yet tough, her devotion to Lathander has seen her through many perilous situations.
Evelyn is a powerful Tank and Support Champion. She buffs her allies with her Divine Prayer, Channel Divinity, Steadfast Might, and Conduit of the Light abilities. When you want to add Evelyn to your party, you can swap her with Asharra (Slot 6).

Year Two Variants

  • Division — Every time a Modron is killed (including bosses) it splits into two copies of a Modron one level lower on the Modron hierarchy. You must kill all the split Modrons in boss Areas.

  • Machine Learning — The Modorns have decided to stop bashing their melee weapons against the Champions with no results. All melee Modrons now throw gears at Champions while at range. Champions struck by four gears are stunned for 15 seconds.

  • Messenger of Hope — Qillek has a dream that his god has granted him the power to overcome The Great Modron March. Qillek begins the adventure in the formation and cannot be moved. Only Champions within two slots of Qillek can deal any damage.

Year One Variants

  • The Neverending March — Every time a Modron is killed in non-boss areas it shuts down for five seconds and then comes back to life with full health.

  • (Hu)man vs. Machine — All human Champions get a buff called "The Human Spirit" which increases their damage by 5% in each area (stacking multiplicatively).

  • Charge Into Battle — Enemies move extremely fast and deal massive damage to everyone except Evelyn. Evelyn starts the adventure at level 1 and in the front slot of the formation.

See the in-game FAQ for more information!

May 1st
Idle Champions: The Running 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

It's a once-in-a-human-lifetime event: an acorn from the ancient Grandfather Tree will soon fall into the forest below. These acorns are among the holiest of relics, and a young Harper wizard has recruited the Champions to help them make the journey to recover this prize for Silverymoon.

However, as the party makes their journey towards the Grandfather Tree, the very forest itself seems to fight their advance. Eladrin from the Feywild, the plane of Faerie, attack the party — and Drow from the Underdark soon show up as well...

The Running 2 introduces Spurt, the Kobold Inventor played by Chris Perkins on Critical Role, and brings back Catti-brie, Human Fighter and Companion of the Hall. Players will have until Monday, May 13th, 2019 at 12:00pm PDT, to unlock them!

New Champion: Spurt

    Spurt the Kobold Inventor is crafty and quick with his hands. He builds improvised weapons in the hope of gaining some new advantage in combat. Spurt never knew he would have such lasting appeal when he met a mighty group of adventurers in a cave, but here we are. Packed to the gills with his "awesome" inventions this clever kobold brings his 11-days of life experiences to the Champions, along with a really cool 'Centi-pult'!
Spurt is a clever Kobold Inventor and Support Champion. He buffs the party with his Centipede Net, Wa-spiration, Pack Tactics, and Heroic Sacrifice abilities.

When you want to add Spurt to your formation, you can swap him with Nayeli (Slot 3). For more information about our latest Champion, check out the Idle Champion Spotlight: Spurt dev blog!

Returning Champion: Catti-brie

    "When I first laid eyes on Catti-brie, she had just punched a rather menacing fellow who was threatening to break every bone in my body. She hit the lout with such surprising force that he flopped to the floor like a sackful of mullet. Over the years, I’ve come to call her a friend. Underneath Catti-brie’s rough exterior lies a heart of gold. She cares deeply for her friends and will protect what she holds dear without fail. If she takes a shine to you, be sure to count your lucky pennies, because her enemies rarely fare well for long."
    ~Volothamp Geddarm
Catti-brie is a DPS and Support Champion. Her Powerful Draw and Critical Hit abilities help her deal damage at long range, while her Mark for Death weakens enemies.

Balance Update: Catti-brie can now cause double, triple, or higher crits if her crit chance is above 100%. At 100%-199% crit chance she will always crit, with a chance to hit for double crit damage. At 200%-299% crit chance she will always double crit, with a chance to cause 3x crit damage. These higher crits show a (xN) in their hit text, with the N being the crit multiplier that was applied. When you want to add Catti-brie to your formation, you can swap her with Minsc (Slot 7).

Year Two Variants

  • Delusions of Grandeur — Spurt and his Centipult start in the formation, taking up two slots. The Centipult launches centipedes at random enemies, enraging them and increasing their speed and damage.

  • Elves are Wild — All Elves (Elf, Eladrin, Drow) & Half-Elves in the formation have their attack speed increased. Drow enemies now have armor. Additional Eladrin spawn in each area, and they are immune to damage until after they attack.

  • Alignment Askew — Champions are all affected by different debuffs based on the formation's alignment.

Year One Variants

  • The Wolves in the Woods — Werewolves randomly spawn and attack the party, each with special abilities. Catti-brie's silver arrows deal double damage/hits to these creatures.

  • Critter Companions — Two forest critters take up slots in the formation, increasing the damage of adjacent Champions by 400% moving around every 25 areas.

  • Catti-alone — Catti-brie is the only Champion available for this mission. Her damage increases by 40% per area, stacking multiplicatively, her attack speed is greatly increased, and her Ultimate ability cooldown is reduced to 10 seconds.

See the in-game FAQ for more information!

April 10th
Idle Champions: Greengrass 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

The start of spring is traditionally marked by a day of peace and rejoicing, featuring beautiful displays of flowers in celebration of Lathander, God of Spring and The Morninglord. Unfortunately for the town of Triboar on the Sword Coast, their celebrations are interrupted by the arrival of a githyanki raiding party... That's right, it's time for the Greengrass Y2 event!

Greengrass 2 runs until Monday, April 22nd, 2019 at 12:00pm PDT. Our latest Year Two Event introduces Aila, the Storm Herald Barbarian and Hero of Aerois. It also brings back Nrakk, the Githzerai Monk!

New Champion: Aila

    Aila was found and raised by a clan of wild elves, but never truly felt like she belonged. The tartan that was found with her is the only clue she has to her lost elven roots. Aila is stubborn and proud. Whenever anyone questions her past, she simply states 'I'm a delight!'. However, her smirk holds a lifetime of anger & questions that she's held close to her heart.
Aila is a path of the Storm Herald Barbarian, able to Tank and Support in formations. She wields the primal power of storms to damage, stun, and weaken enemies.

When you want to add Aila to your formation, you can swap her with Makos (Slot 9). For more information about our latest Champion, check out the Idle Champion Spotlight: Aila dev blog!

Returning Champion: Nrakk

    Having watched your party's progress for many years from Limbo, the Great Githzerai, Zaerith Menyar-Ag-Gith, has dispatched Nrakk to join your party on the Material Plane. Though his true motivations are unknown, Nrakk is a Way of the Kensei monk whose weapon of choice is a Naginata, making him a true force to be reckoned with on the battlefield. Reserved and aloof, Nrakk sometimes has a hard time interacting with those he sees as his lessers, but he nevertheless seems committed to the party's cause.
Nrakk is a methodical Githzerai DPS Champion. His methodical approach to DPS has him able to deal AoE damage, stun, and bonus damage to single targets. When you want to add Nrakk to your party, you can swap him with Delina or Hitch (Slot 8).

Year Two Variants

  • Pixie Machinations — A pixie riding an intellect devourer (like you do) arrives in every area. When it appears, a random Champion is stunned until the pixie is destroyed.

  • Starve Them Out — Only champions with INT 12 or less can be used. A giant intellect devourer with 200 armor-based HP arrives in each area. While it is alive, all other monsters are immune to damage. For each collective point of intellect BELOW 12 in your formation, the giant intellect devourer's armor is reduced by 10, to a minimum of 10 armor-based hits. For example. If you have Bruenor in your formation, his 8 INT (4 less than 12) will reduce the giant intellect devourer's health by 40 (4x10).

  • Ride the Storm — Aila starts in your formation. Aila's Storm Aura hits two enemies with each strike. Only enemies who are either Primed or Electrified by Aila can be damaged.

Year One Variants

  • Whispers — The Elder Brain slowly drives your Champions mad. Whenever a Champion lands a killing blow, they gain 5–10 stacks of a "Whispers" debuff. When they reach 100+ stacks, they are stunned for 15 seconds.

  • Flower Power — Sentient flower enemies spawn at random in non-boss areas. When killed, they imbue the champion who killed them with a random power, which can be good or bad.

  • Unlikely Allies — Two Githzerai monks take up slots in the formation. Each increases the DPS of Nrakk by 400% as long as he is adjacent to them, stacking multiplicatively.

See the in-game FAQ for more information!

March 20th
Idle Champions: Festival of Fools 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

"What is the Festival of Fools", you ask?

Well, it's a celebration of feasting and foolishness observed by communities all up and down the Sword Coast. People play pranks, overeat, and overdrink as they celebrate reaching the end of winter.

But some folks take their pranks too far, and the wife of one prankster just told the Champions that her husband plans to prank a Frost Giant...

Festival of Fools 2 runs until Monday, April 1st, 2019 at 12:00pm PDT. Our latest Year Two Event introduces Rosie Beestinger, the Halfling Matriarch of the Beestinger family and Way of Shadow Monk, and brings back her adopted daughter, Strix Beestinger, the Tiefling 'Trash Witch' Sorcerer!

New Champion: Rosie Beestinger

    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 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 Rosie Beestinger to your formation, you can swap her with Tyril (Slot 10). For more information about our latest Champion, check out the Idle Champion Spotlight: Rosie Beestinger dev blog!

Returning Champion: Strix Beestinger

    The Sorcerer known as Strix is from Sigil, the City of Doors at the center of the multiverse. Very little is known of Strix's heritage, even to herself, but it was recently discovered that she was a powerful member of the Skizzicks family, who long ago made a pact with Asmodeus, ruler of the Nine Hells, to become Tieflings.
Strix Beestinger is a 'Trash Witch' DPS Champion who attacks enemies with Fireballs. Her Poor Hygiene ability causes approaching enemies to take increased damage. When you want to add Strix to your party, you can swap her with Jamilah (Slot 11).

Year Two Variants

  • A Lighter Touch — Only Champions with a Strength (STR) score of 14 or lower may be used. Additionally, Champions with an Intelligence (INT) score of 14 or higher deal 400% increased damage.

  • Flay the Fools — During boss areas, Mind Flayers appear and attack the formation. While alive, Mind Flayers make all other enemies immune to damage.

  • Beestingers Unleashed — This adventure features unique dialogue created with the help of Strix & Rosie themselves! Strix and Rosie Beestinger begin the adventure in your formation with Strix asking Rosie what it means to be a Beestinger. No other Champions are able to be used, however, both Strix and Rosie Beestinger have increased damage, increased attack speed, and reduced Ultimate ability cooldowns. Additionally, Rosie Beestinger's Matriarch also doubles her health. Completing this adventure will unlock a bee outfit for both Rosie & Strix!

Year One Variants

  • Foolish Variance — Champions randomly do between 0.1% and 199.9% of their actual damage with each hit.

  • Persistent Foolishness — The Drunken Fool appears randomly in non-boss areas. Only one can be spawned at a time, but he has special abilities each time he appears.

  • Like Father Like Son — The farmer's son takes up a slot in the formation. He moves to a new slot every 25 areas. Every 15 seconds (in non-boss areas) the farmer's son foolishly summons a Frost Giant to attack the formation unless Strix is adjacent to him.

See the in-game FAQ for more information!

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 6th
Idle Champions: Grand Revel 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

Grand Revel has returned to the Chult, and a day of dancing, music, and decadence has begun at Camp Vengeance.

As festivities begin the Champions begin a quest: to investigate a missing caravan on behalf of a Templar of the Order of the Gauntlet. Their friend, a local bard, has been missing for nearly a month...

Grand Revel 2 runs until Monday, February 18th, 2019 at 12:00pm PST, introduces the Vistani Bard from Dice, Camera, Action!, Paultin Seppa, and brings back Birdsong, the Tabaxi Bard from Chult!

New Champion: Paultin Seppa

    Paultin and his "son" Simon (AKA Murderbot) have been adventuring as part of the Waffle Crew for many years. Paultin is a wise-cracking adventurer who is more at home at a tavern than anywhere else. He cares deeply for those he considers his friends and will leap into action if anyone hurts them.
Paultin Seppa is a Support Champion whose Muderbot son, Simon, rides atop his shoulders. Paultin increases Gold Find through his Lucky ability and increases the DPS of Champions who are not adjacent to him based upon the number of Champions who are with his Magical Secrets ability. Paultin doesn't always attack, choosing instead to drink from his wineskin or play his bagpipes while Simon shoots poison darts at enemies.

When you want to add Paultin to your formation, you can swap him with Jarlaxle (Slot 4). For more information about our latest Champion, check out the Idle Champion Spotlight: Paultin dev blog!

Returning Champion: Birdsong

    Birdsong, a cunning young Tabaxi bard, learned to defend herself while enslaved by the Yuan-Ti. Proficient in playing the lute, Birdsong discovered her potential as a bard when witnessing the effect of her songs had on other slaves. After her escape, she became one of the greatest minstels of Chult. She promised herself to, one day, get the revenge on the Yuan-Ti who destroyed her village.

Birdsong is a Support and DPS Champion. She buffs Champions within two spaces with her Song of Battle ability, and can greatly increasing the potency of Good, Evil, or Neutral Champions depending on which specialization she uses. When you want to add Birdsong to your party, you can swap her with Makos (Slot 9).

Year Two Variants

  • Flower for Nanny Pu-pu — Magical floating crates of flowers take up four slots in the formation.

  • Grand Revel Rock Band — Paultin begins the adventure in the formation. Only Bards with a Charisma (CHA) score of 15 or higher may be used.

  • Love Hurts — Hordes of adoring fans attack the formation! Superfans, Infatuated Fans, Burly Fans, and Persistent Fans, spawn in each area and attack the formation, each with different abilities.

Year One Variants

  • Three's a Crowd — Any Champion that is adjacent to more than 1 other Champion has their damage reduced to 0.

  • Pair Up — Your ratio of women to men in your formation cannot be off by more than one (at all times you must have an equal number of men and women, or 1 more man than woman or vise-versa).

  • Love Potion — Every 25 areas, two Champions drink a love potion and fall deeply in love. For those 25 areas, if those Champions are adjacent to each other in the formation they do bonus damage themselves (x4), and buff global damage as well (x3). The chosen Champion combos are fixed rather than random.

See the in-game FAQ for more information!

February 5th
Idle Champion Spotlight: Paultin Seppa 
Posted in Idle Champions.

A haunted Vistani Champion, the sole survivor of a massacre in Barovia who somehow escaped to Waterdeep, and 'The Bard Who Goes Hard': Paultin Seppa is coming to Idle Champions! Players will finally be able to include the entire Waffle Crew, including Simon the Murderbot, in their formations once Grand Revel begins.

Read on and learn more what this Champion can do...


Paultin runs out of wine. Photo taken by Tyler Curtis at the Steam of Many Eyes.

I. Who is Paultin Seppa?

    Paultin and his "son" Simon (AKA Murderbot) have been adventuring as part of the Waffle Crew for many years. Paultin is a wise-cracking adventurer who is more at home at a tavern than anywhere else. He cares deeply for those he considers his friends and will leap into action if anyone hurts them.
Paultin Seppa is a Support Champion whose Murderbot son, Simon, rides atop his shoulders. Paultin increases Gold Find through his Lucky ability and increases the DPS of Champions who are not adjacent to him based upon the number of Champions who are with his Magical Secrets ability. Paultin doesn't always attack, choosing instead to drink from his wineskin or play his bagpipes while Simon shoots poison darts at enemies.

When you want to add Paultin to your formation, you can swap him with Jarlaxle (Slot 4).

II. Character Stats

Race: Human Class: Bard Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
STR: 14 DEX: 15 CON: 14
INT: 14 WIS: 12 CHA: 18

For more info, check out Paultin's Official D&D Beyond Character Sheet!

DCA fans may have noticed that our Paultin has lower stats than he does on the show. Like with Evelyn's release last year, we needed to dial Paultin down a bit for Idle Champions to allow design space for future Champions and abilities.

III. Art

Anyone who attended PAX West last August/September or PAX South earlier this month may have already seen the Dice, Camera, Action! poster created by one of our artists, Michelle, which included the first 'sneak peek' at Paultin in Idle Champions. When it came time to finish designing Paultin and complete his animations, one of our Senior Artists, Alexis Theroux, finalized the version of Paultin for the game.

Alexis took inspiration from Nate Sharp's cosplay of Paultin and some of the cast's favorite pieces of fan art to do the design. Nate gave us great feedback as we worked closely to bring 'The Bard Who Goes Hard' to life.

When it came time to Simon, we chatted with Chris Perkins and went back to the actual Curse of Strahd book and the art for Pidlwick II. Chris, Anna Prosser, and Nate had a few suggestions on how to tweak Simon's appearance, and that's how our Simon came to be!

IV. Design

Paultin proved to be an extremely tough nut to crack in terms of design. As fans of DCA, we definitely wanted to do him justice - but at the same time, Nate's portrayal of Paultin is not easy to emulate in our game. How do you represent a character who is essentially the Waffle Crew's version of Deadpool? Then there was the added complexity of just how many Bard Champions we already have in Idle Champions, with Paultin joining a roster that already includes Deekin Scalesinger, Calliope, Vlahnya Um'vairar, and Birdsong. Adding another Bard when Deekin (and his Troubadour Troupe ability) are already so popular while still doing something unique for Bards was a definite challenge.

Ultimately we looked at past episodes of Dice, Camera, Action and how Paultin/Nate reacted to events to find our inspiration. I knew that Thunderwave had to be an important part of Paultin's design, likely his Ultimate Ability based on how Paultin has used the spell at key moments throughout the series. I also knew that I wanted to include Simon, Paultin and Evelyn's adopted Murderbot son from their time in Barovia, to the design. It felt right to include him, and to have Simon shoot poison darts while Paultin sometimes chooses not to attack or engage enemies at all (opting instead to either drink from his wineskin or play the bagpipes) while at other times Paultin attacks multiple enemies at once.

With those starting points a design for Paultin started coming together. Playing off the Waffle Crew's dysfunctional party dynamic, we opted to have Paultin support the party based on how many allies are around him. We don't really have the kind of game where a lot of Paultin's signature spells like Counterspell and Crown of Madness really work, so we leaned into his College of Lore subclass to focus on increasing party damage through his mastery of Magical Secrets.

We didn't stop there with adjacency-based abilities — we also based Lucky, Paultin's Gold Find ability, off how many Champions are adjacent to him, with an ability called Edgy to increase the potency of Magical Secrets whenever Paultin is on the edge of a formation. Get it? Edgy?

Finally, we wanted to include another ability that represented the unity of the Waffle Crew in the form of Stronger Together, a buff to Strix, Diath, Evelyn, and Paultin that increases based on how many of them are in the formation.

    Formation Abilities

  • Lucky — Increases Gold Find by 20% for each Champion adjacent to Paultin in the formation. (stacks additively)

  • Magical Secrets — Increases the damage of Champions not adjacent to Paultin by 50% for each Champion adjacent to Paultin. (stacks additively)

  • Edgy — increases the effect of Magical Secrets by 100% when Paultin is on the edge of the formation.

  • Stronger Together — Increases the damage of Waffle Crew team members by 100% for each member present in the formation. (stacks multiplicatively, THEN any buffs are applied)

V. Specializations

Specializations for Paultin Seppa are surprisingly straightforward: you can either go with Luck of the Vistani to further increase Paultin's Gold Find or you can go with Additional Magical Secrets to increase the effect of Magical Secrets. For those of you who love setting up your Gold Farming Formation overnight, it's hard to find a better ally than a lucky Vistani!

  • Luck of the Vistani — Increases the effect of Lucky by 50%.

  • Additional Magical Secrets — Increases the effect of Magical Secrets by 100%.



VII. Ultimate Attack

Paultin is so well known for his epic Thunderwave casts that we knew from the get-go that it had to be his Ultimate Ability.

    Thunderwave — Paultin leaps to the front of the formation, drawing and swinging the Sunsword while a shockwave shoots out from the front of the formation, stunning enemies, dealing massive damage to them, and slowing their movement speed by 50% for five seconds. This spell deals bonus damage based on the current boss/enemy enrage multiplier.

VI. Equipment

Through our conversations with Nate and our viewing of Dice, Camera, Action! the shortlist of items for Paultin became clear early on in our design process:

  • Bagpipes — Paultin Seppa's instrument of choice needs no introduction, though we do struggle to remember when the last time he played them was?

  • Wineskin — Is there ever a time Paultin doesn't have a wineskin handy? This one in particular is even a part of Nate's Paultin Cosplay!

  • Strahd von Chairovich — Animated by Paultin for the Chair Battle with Strix's 'Chair Richten' in Episode 101.

  • Golden Cog & Marthain Signet Necklace — Just a plain ol' leather strap necklace with a pair of mementos Paultin keeps for no reason at all...

  • The Sunsword — The sentient weapon, once wielded by Sergei von Zarovich, brother of Strahd von Zarovich, and given to Paultin by Ezmerelda in Episode 31.

  • Mandolin — The magical mandolin Paultin stole from Jesper while in Barovia's past, which was eventually fed to a Dragon Turtle in Episode 92 along with Nit Luap/Evil Paultin.



VII. Final Thoughts

Paultin is the fifth(!) Bard to join Idle Champions, but possibly the most important as we finally complete the Waffle Crew. We are really happy with how Paultin's design came together, and feel like he plays differently enough from the other Bards to be unique and is a worthwhile swap in Slot 4. He supports the party while also increasing Gold Find and bringing a truly powerful ultimate to the table, possibly justifying a new kind of Champion formation since Slot 4 will now be a possible buffing/support slot to consider.

We're excited to see what Paultin brings to the meta! We hope you like him :)

Feel free to send us feedback on via the Idle Champions Subreddit, Steam forum, or the Idle Champions Discord!
January 16th
Idle Champions: Midwinter 2 
Posted in Idle Champions.

As the citizens of Longsaddle celebrate Deadwinter Day by exchanging gifts, the Champions have once again been hired by the Harpells to patrol the outskirts of town.

However, it appears as if one of Orcus' most feared abominations has been summoned to wreak havoc, a demonic fiend with an insatiable hunger...

Midwinter 2 runs until Monday, January 28th, 2019 at 12:00pm PST, introduces K'thriss Drow'b, Drow Warlock of the Great Old One, and also brings back Regis, the Halfling Rogue!

New Champion: K'thriss Drow'b

    Curious, affable, and morbid, the Drow heretic K'thriss Drow'b seeks the insane god-truth behind the veil of reality. As the "C" Team's hoardsperson, he keeps an eye out for occult relics that could aid him in his unearthly quest.
K'thriss is an unusual Support Champion. He reduces Gold Find to increase Global DPS, summons Shadow Demons to assist the party, and buffs distant allies. When you want to add K'thriss to your party, you can swap him with Bruenor (Slot 1).

For more information about our latest Champion, check out the Idle Champion Spotlight: K'thriss dev blog!

Returning Champion: Regis

    As a poor urchin on the streets of Calimport, Regis quickly learned that survival often requires bending the rules in your favor. He fled to the north to avoid capture after stealing his former master’s magical ruby pendant. Eventually, he found companionship amongst the Companions of the Hall, becoming one of Bruenor Battlehammer’s most trusted confidants. Bruenor was the one who gifted Regis with the nickname “Rumblebelly” due to the halfling’s insatiable appetite.

    Regis would prefer nothing more than to relax in the sun with a full belly near his home in Ten-Towns and fish for knucklead trout, the source of all of his scrimshaw carvings. But when his friends need help, Regis is always there for them. He never sees himself as the hero, even though his true friends know better.

Regis is a Support Champion. He uses a magical ruby amulet to buff Champions in front of or behind him, and to make enemies weak to different types of damage. When you want to add Regis to your party, you can swap him with Celeste (Slot 2).

Year Two Variants

  • Velvet's Midwinter Adventure — K'thriss summons his unseen servant, Velvet, to help with party. Unfortunately, Velvet has been tasked with collecting gold for K'thriss, causing enemies to drop 50% less gold. K'thriss and Velvet both start in the formation, and once unlocked, K'thriss' Unseen Encouragement ability extends from both K'thriss normally, but also extends to those adjacent to Velvet.

  • Truth Beyond Knowing — K'thriss desires more knowledge of his unknowable god. Every area, a Drow Cultist empowered by the sign of the Ur appears, attacking with Chain Lightning. The Drow Cultist drops no gold upon death, but does drop a glyph (book). Every time you collect a glyph, Champions with an Intelligence (INT) score of 13 or higher have their damage increased by 5%, while Champions with below 13 INT have their damage go down by 5% for the remainder of the adventure.

  • More Like the Scream Team — The Devourer now arrives as a second boss in Area 25, and if that wasn't scary enough, the Devourer now devours Champions every 8 seconds instead of every 10 seconds!

Year One Variants

  • Deadwinter Date — You've been tasked with escorting two young Harpell wards on a date during your adventure. They take up slots and are otherwise pretty useless..

  • Deadwinter Fey — A large number of sprites and pixies spawn with each wave of enemies (not during boss areas). These extra monsters do not drop gold, and when killed they sprinkle a random Champion with pixie dust. Any champion that is sprinkled with 10 Pixie dust has their DPS and Formation Abilities disabled. Pixie dust stacks reset when you change areas.

  • Deadwinter Pay (-back) — Every time you defeat an enemy (in a non-boss area) your Champions take 10% unavoidable damage. Champions adjacent to Regis take one third of that damage while Regis himself is immune.

See the in-game FAQ for more information!