Quinn Murphy sent me a review copy of his first Worldbreaker, Etherkai. The terrifying creature is a creature literally of nightmares.
What is a worldbreaker? To quote Quinn: “Imagine a monster of such power and presence that, for a short period of time, it drastically alters the world around it. A monster that changes the rules of the game, presenting players with unexpected twists, new and interesting mechanics and previously unfathomable problems. A worldbreaker is a solo unlike any other in 4e. Each monster comes with an engaging story, evocative art, and exciting mechanics.”
There will be nine monsters total, with Etherkai being the first.
The great thing about Etherkai’s back story, is the use of elements of the world that you recognize, but aren’t copyrighted: Underearth, the Chained God… If you know your 4e D&D lore, you’ll recognize their analogues in the world easily, making the dragon feel like it’s a part of the world you’re already playing in.
Etherkai was imprisoned by the Chained God, and has now escaped. His twisted psychic powers feed on nightmares, and his mechanics reflect that.
All Worldbreaker monsters unleash a Worldbreaker power. In Etherkai’s case, it’s the Nightmare’s Gate. The players must rush to close the Nightmare Wells that fill the battlefield. Anyone who fails a skill check while near these wells loses a healing surge. Gone. Etherkai also gains an extra temporary 120 HP. Yikes.
At 10th level, Etherkai makes the perfect villain for the end of a Heroic Tier adventure. All events can lead up to the final showdown with him, as Etherkai summons Nightmare Warriors (one per turn, at 40 HP each!) and throws off conditions like they were made of paper.
It’s a terrifying monster, one that Quinn has done a fantastic job of bringing to life.