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D&D 5E Auroborus: A Mountain-shattering Rock-and-roll D&D World from WoW Developers

What happens when some of the developers of Warcraft, Diablo, and Overwatch make a D&D setting? You get a 'rock-and-roll' high-powered world called Auroboros!

coils.jpg


Coming to Kickstarter on April 20th from Warchief Gaming, Auroborus: Coils of the Serpent is set in a land called Lawbrand. Players can wield immense power, able to shatter mountaintops. The Kickstarter is for the first 'Worldbook' which details Lawbrand.

"Ancient magic flows through the grimy streets of Lawbrand’s bustling Trade-Cities. Tensions between the ruling Sularian Church and the new generation of upstart adventurers threaten to ignite a firestorm of societal upheaval. In the wilds beyond Lawbrand’s borders, long-forgotten races and newly formed cults rise to claim their own territories – and exert their will upon civilization. And beneath it all, the ancient World-Serpent, Auroboros, awakens to devour all…"

The setting contains 5 new races (including the aquatic Atsaad), and 4 subclasses (including the fighter Wildkeeper).

As for that 'mountain-splitting" power? Here's what they say: "The ancient World-Serpent, Auroboros, coils throughout Creation; its vast power capable of birthing startling new life or annihilating all that is. By taking the dread Mark of the Serpent, players can wield the Auroboros’ awesome power directly, gaining the ability to heal the sick and shatter mountaintops alike – but at great peril to themselves."
 
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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey


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I am suspicious of both the idea of doing really high powered stuff mechanically interestingly in 5E, as well as the idea of some benefit of have a vast power disparity within the player character group.

The thing that works well for your home group for 30 years is not necessarily something that is going to work well for a published product.
If 4th Edition taught me anything, it's that it doesn't have to be balanced if it's flavorful and immersive...
 

From Polygon: Warcraft and StarCraft co-creator Chris Metzen is building a new world in D&D


I know. I was surprised that Azeroth wasn't it -- it was a widely held belief that the World of Warcraft was based on Metzen's own D&D campaign -- and it's not orc-centric.

But very on-brand: Lots of big action and probable game balance issues:

Where regular 5th edition D&D campaigns can get bogged down in low-level fights, Warchief’s setting will give players incredible powers fairly early on. By tapping into this raw power, at least one player character in the party will be able to do incredible things. They could turn cities into stone, freeze entire oceans, or level mountains with the flick of their wrist. It will be up to the group’s Dungeon Master (DM) to roll with these punches.

The Aurobos website.

Auroboros: Coils of the Serpent is a 5E campaign setting by Chris Metzen and Warchief Gaming. The first release in this universe, Worldbook: Lawbrand, is based on the roleplaying campaign that Chris ran with his childhood friends in the eighties and nineties, before heading to Blizzard to work on worlds such as Warcraft, StarCraft, and more.

As a 5E compatible source book, Worldbook: Lawbrand gives players and GMs all the tools they’ll need to create their own adventures in this epic fantasy world.

Will you tame the world – or shatter it?

Ancient magic flows through the grimy streets of Lawbrand’s bustling Trade-Cities. Tensions between the ruling Sularian Church and the new generation of upstart adventurers threaten to ignite a firestorm of societal upheaval. In the wilds beyond Lawbrand’s borders, long-forgotten races and newly formed cults rise to claim their own territories – and exert their will upon civilization. And beneath it all, the ancient World-Serpent, Auroboros, awakens to devour all…

Filled with new player options to create characters in the world of Auroboros, Worldbook: Lawbrand gives access to five unique new races and four new subclasses. From the aquatic race of the Atsaad to the nature-wielding fighter subclass Wildkeeper, new backgrounds, and other new gameplay features, the adventurers of Lawbrand will be nothing like you’ve ever played before. In addition to character creation options, you’ll also discover new magic items, spells, and “Sigils”, a new form of customization.

The ancient World-Serpent, Auroboros, coils throughout Creation; its vast power capable of birthing startling new life or annihilating all that is. By taking the dread Mark of the Serpent, players can wield the Auroboros’ awesome power directly, gaining the ability to heal the sick and shatter mountaintops alike – but at great peril to themselves.

For once mortals start to descend through the Coils of the Serpent’s power, they risk losing themselves to madness, despair and ultimate oblivion…

Ooh, and Samwise Didier art!

The Kickstarter goes live on April 20.
 
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The last expansion I thought was an interesting concept was Warlords of Draenor, where they went back in time to Draenor and explored an alternate history where the orcs were uncorrupted (the Iron Horde). I though that idea was a pretty good one.
hi i'm number one "Warlords had some great ideas but failed on execution" person right here. Warlords had such promise.

Mind I'm the type of person who was basically ride or die for Warcraft for... Decades. And then Shadowlands and its "oops you're not running mythic dungeons too bad so sad no engaging content" came along. Me? Salty? Why would you ever think such?

Anywho, gonna keep an eye how this develops
 

Mind I'm the type of person who was basically ride or die for Warcraft for... Decades. And then Shadowlands and its "oops you're not running mythic dungeons too bad so sad no engaging content" came along. Me? Salty? Why would you ever think such?
The gap between patches is too long, but Castle Nathria has some good fights. Every raid needs a line dance encounter.
 

Ringtail

World Traveller
I like Chris Metzen's work on WoW, so I'm pretty excited for this.

I'm not expecting him to reinvent the wheel, it's still D&D after all, but I'm optimistic all the same.
 

While it's popular in some quarters to scoff at Blizzard's game lore, I really enjoy Azeroth's lore and Metzen's infectious enthusiasm at Blizzcons before he left the company. I'm betting this will be another big fun setting. The fact that, in the video, he describes the church as "Lawful Good gone crazy" suggests that this will end up being another setting featuring the clash of civilization versus more "wild" people.
I can tell you what it means without even clicking the link - it means the whole thing is going to read like a late 1990s Image comic.

Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing is pretty much a matter of perspective.

I note that I clicked the button to be notified when it got KS'd so I must not be entirely opposed to it! :)

EDIT - Metzen's stuff has always, always been extremely in that "Image revolution" vein (if he was a slightly better artist I'd say he was wasted on games - as is I don't think he was quite as competent or prolific as any of the Image guys). I'm fully expecting bad-but-sexy angels and the Sularian Church will no doubt be full of florid shrieking hypocrits and styled after the late-medieval Catholic Church, and there will be edgy demonic-types who are the real good guys, but also demonic types who are just bad and so on.

It's like no-one got the memo that Nemesis the Warlock did the whole schtick, only with twice the style and intelligence but 1/100th the sales in the 1980s. But hey I guess it bears some repetition.

EDIT EDIT - Clicking the link confirms that impression, frankly. This is an Image revolution-style deal much like Kingdoms of Amalur. That horned monster looks curiously like Simon Bisley drew it. Overall it looks a bit tacky/silly to me. But... maybe that's perfect? Maybe that's what I'd like? Tacky over-the-top D&D? I think it might be.
 
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oreofox

Explorer
The name bugs me so much I'm having trouble getting past it. "Hey guys, it's an Ouroboros but we sexied it up with this sweet 'A'!"

As @grimslade said, it's probably for the TM capabilities. Also, perhaps this world serpent Metzen speaks of is gold in color? Auro being the word for gold (at least, a form of the word anyway).

As for the setting itself? I'm not sure. Metzen seemed like a good dude back when I played WoW. I am not sure if I will back this thing or not, but I do wish it success. And Metzen is very enthusiastic about his endeavors, which is always a good thing.
 

TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Supporter
As @grimslade said, it's probably for the TM capabilities. Also, perhaps this world serpent Metzen speaks of is gold in color? Auro being the word for gold (at least, a form of the word anyway).

As for the setting itself? I'm not sure. Metzen seemed like a good dude back when I played WoW. I am not sure if I will back this thing or not, but I do wish it success. And Metzen is very enthusiastic about his endeavors, which is always a good thing.
Metzen strikes me as the type of guy who's enthusiastic about ordering his daily Starbucks. :)
 


The Chronicle books, the Eastern Kingdoms items book and the forthcoming Shadowlands lore book would be a great basis for a set of 5E sourcebooks. I'm mildly surprised that Blizzard hasn't gone for this, honestly, given how popular D&D is both internally and with the general public.
And the fact that there WAS both a Warcraft and World of Warcraft pen and paper RPG using the 3.5 rules of DND. I even came upon the book(World of Warcraft version) for it yesterday while checking out one of the local brick and motor hobby shops I haven't been to in a while. Part of me is actually tempted to buy it for lore stuff if I ever felt like doing a 5E Warcraft campaign.
 
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My only problem with Warcraft (and its lore right now) is the fact that it just went....I honestly don't known after a certain point. I pretty much stopped following it after vanilla Burning Crusades. Got into it around Warcraft 3 and Frozen Throne(which were the only Warcraft games I've ever played.) Groaned at the fact it lead into an MMORPG, but still kept up with it a tad bit before stopping. It's only like, the basic PDF bullet point version of each expansions main lore/gameplay gimmicks (Undead's new leader, Lich King returning/Death Knights/Demon Hunter's back, certain NPCs/Characters from Warcraft III/Frozen Throne being regulated to Raid Bosses, Deathwing coming back, Pandas, Were(not)Wolves, Artifact Weapons, traveling back in time(Iron Horde), and last time I checked, both the Alliance and the Horde now in some kind of Mcguffin/Resource arms race all while Shadowland crap is now happening with...Not Angels or something? Burning Hells, I'm surprised that Sylvanas Windrunner hasn't been killed yet in WoW at this rate.

I rather deal with the outdated lore and stuff from the Pen and Paper rpg version of Warcraft and just add choice selections from later WoW expansions into it.
 

And the fact that there WAS both a Warcraft and World of Warcraft pen and paper RPG using the 3.5 rules of DND. I even came upon the book(World of Warcraft version) for it yesterday while checking out one of the local brick and motor hobby shops I haven't been to in a while. Part of me is actually tempted to buy it for lore stuff if I ever felt like doing a 5E Warcraft campaign.
That lore was off even at the time, though. Ratchet is not, even in game lore, a metropolis, like it was in the RPG book. And the 3E stats for everything were pretty shaky (it came out early in the cycle, which didn't help).

I would almost just go with the Wowpedia wiki instead.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
Yeah well, don't get me started on the current state of WoW lore. I'm a Horde player first and foremost, and the entire faction has just been on a downward rollercoaster ever since Garrosh.

I signed up for a world of grey where the two sides had different philosophies but were both mixtures of good and bad, with the tantalizing hope for peace always just out of reach due to recognizable flaws on both sides. And now it's turned into the virtuous and longsuffering good guys fighting off the depraved and primitive (yes, I went there) bad guys. I am bitter.

Come to think of it, this is probably a good reason not to update the old RPG. Because they'd just enshrine and canonize this stuff.

Anyway, to circle back to the topic, I think Warcraft did a much better job of keeping the story balanced when Metzen was in charge, so that offers some hope for his D&D setting.
 

My only problem with Warcraft (and its lore right now) is the fact that it just went....I honestly don't known after a certain point. I pretty much stopped following it after vanilla Burning Crusades. Got into it around Warcraft 3 and Frozen Throne(which were the only Warcraft games I've ever played.) Groaned at the fact it lead into an MMORPG, but still kept up with it a tad bit before stopping. It's only like, the basic PDF bullet point version of each expansions main lore/gameplay gimmicks (Undead's new leader, Lich King returning/Death Knights/Demon Hunter's back, certain NPCs/Characters from Warcraft III/Frozen Throne being regulated to Raid Bosses, Deathwing coming back, Pandas, Were(not)Wolves, Artifact Weapons, traveling back in time(Iron Horde), and last time I checked, both the Alliance and the Horde now in some kind of Mcguffin/Resource arms race all while Shadowland crap is now happening with...Not Angels or something? Burning Hells, I'm surprised that Sylvanas Windrunner hasn't been killed yet in WoW at this rate.

I rather deal with the outdated lore and stuff from the Pen and Paper rpg version of Warcraft and just add choice selections from later WoW expansions into it.
The lore is actually more coherent than it may look if you just drop in and out. The Chronicle books are really good at knitting Warcraft 1, 2, 3, Lord of the Clans, the novels and comics, and WoW all together.

Thrall's Horde has never quite gotten its crap together until relatively recently, between the various tensions within the Horde and Thrall's own reluctance to be its singular leader. So that's allowed Horde conservatives, like Garrosh, to double-down on the violent (and racist!) tendencies of some of the Horde to escalate hostilities between the Alliance and Horde, which played out over several expansions. (When he was deposed, he escaped his war crimes trial with the help of a bronze dragon, which gives us the time travel adventure Warlords of Draenor.) The Pandaren expansion actually turned out to be a fairly meditative affair focused on the consequences of war and the collateral damage inflicted by it. The most recent Warchief, Sylvanas, has been quietly working with an outside force, which we've known for a while, sweeping the Alliance and Horde into an incredibly bloody Fourth War, which played out in Battle for Azeroth. The outside force turned out to be an imprisoned god of death who is the big bad of Shadowlands. The Horde, tired of playing Warchief Musical Chairs (Vol'jin was briefly warchief before getting killed to put Sylvanas on the throne) now has a war council, which looks to be more stable going forward.

Meanwhile, there's been supernatural shenanigans going on, with the Old Gods/Void making their moves, the Titans fighting back and the Burning Legion attacking. A lot of the stuff from War3 has been explained as part of a larger supernatural/multiversal war going on (there's a really cool map of the Warcraft multiverse in the inside cover of Chronicle, which shows that Blizzard has a lot of D&D players in it and that they loved and wanted to improve upon the D&D cosmology). Arthas: Tool, ultimately, of both the imprisoned death god and the Burning Legion. Deathwing: Tool of the void/Old Gods. Illidan: Fighting a good fight against the Burning Legion, tripped up by his inability to get along with anyone for longer than five minutes tops. The end of the war with the Burning Legion damaged the planet, which is where the Azerite resource came from. But for the most part, that conflict is over, at least for now, with the Old Gods dead/put back in their box, the Burning Legion defeated for at least a few years or decades, etc. Now the game is heading out into the multiverse, as high level campaigns do, starting with finding out what Sylvanas and the death god she's working with want.

The expansions see-saw back and forth between grounded expansions, like vanilla or Battle for Azeroth, and more out there stuff, like Burning Crusade and Shadowlands.
 

Yeah well, don't get me started on the current state of WoW lore. I'm a Horde player first and foremost, and the entire faction has just been on a downward rollercoaster ever since Garrosh.
Sylvanas has been pretty much the same person since WoW started, though. Back in vanilla, she had low level undead players testing plague out on prisoners of war in the Brill tavern's basement.

If anything, it looks like the Alliance is heading toward a period of Drama, with Tyrande essentially resigning from the Alliance and Anduin, at least for the rest of this expansion, being turned into a tool of the imprisoned god of death.

I think the whole point of creating the War Council for the Horde was to end their period of Draaaaaaamaaaaaaa. Blizzard knows everyone, especially Horde players, is sick of that stuff.
 

jayoungr

Legend
Supporter
I'm not going to get into the whole Sylvanas debate. I'm upset at the state of the entire Horde. Ending the drama now is too late. I don't even recognize the faction that I joined anymore, so I don't really care if this new ersatz ... thing ... that it's become lives or dies.

But I told you not to get me started, so I'll just leave it there.
 

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