4E World

Version 0.1. Difficulties have been added because the ability scores are much too high without them.

As explained in the header for this site, all original content is Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licensed unless otherwise mentioned. That is true for this as well, but keep in mind that parts are taken from Wizards of the Coast – and obviously those parts are all rights reserved. In particular, the rules text for the spells and exploits is the flavour text of those spells and exploits in the original D&D books.


The game inside 4E (just as E6 was the game inside 3E).

4E World is a modified Dungeon World game hidden in the fourth edition of the world’s first roleplaying game. You can still play invokers and sorcerers and warlords with powers like sly gambit and mists of madness, but gone is square-by-square movement and keeping track of niggling small bonuses.

Essentially, what’s described here is a system for using the 4E character creation process to create Dungeon World-compatible characters. I’ve thrown in a few extra rules that I think make a lot of sense, but they’re certainly not necessary.

Character sheet

A character sheet looks like this:

Sir Pensival Tallbottom

Half-elf Cavalier 1; STR 18, DEX 11, CON 12, INT 10, WIS 8, CHA 16
HP 22; Armour 3 (scale, heavy shield); Damage d10 (longsword)
Equipment Holy symbol; dungeon rations 5, adventuring gear 5; Skills Diplomacy, Endurance, Insight, Religion
SQ Virtue of sacrifice; low-light vision; dual heritage; group diplomacy
Erathis Work with others to achieve your goals

Moves

Spirit of Sacrifice: When you draw upon your inner reserves, you can call upon the divine power of your virtue to instead grant that strength to an injured ally. You can pass the benefits of your second wind onto them.

Defender Aura (aura): When a Close enemy makes an attack that does not include you, choose one option from the defend list.

Exploits

Knack for success * recharge, near: Your mere presence is enough to tip the balance of fortune for you and your allies.

Holy smite * recharge; divine, radiant; dazing: Your weapon fills with divine radiant energy, which bursts forth as you strike your enemy.

Righteous radiance * divine, radiant: When a Close enemy triggers your defender aura or tries to change its range from Close or leave Melee with you, you exact divine punishment on the foe.

Righteous shield * recharge, reach; divine: When an ally would be hurt, you form golden energy around the ally, absorbing the attack and transferring the damage to yourself. You become charged with a righteous fury that fuels your attacks.

Valiant strike * divine: You attack a foe, gaining strength from your conviction as the odds against you rise.

Strike of hope * divine, radiant, invigorating: Your weapon flashes with divine light that sears your enemy and lifts your allies’ hearts with renewed vigor and purpose.

Natasha Greyscarlet

Tiefling Hexblade 1; STR 11, DEX 16, CON 8, INT 14, WIS 11, CHA 18
HP 14; Armor 1 (leather); Damage d8 (wand)
Equipment Dungeon rations 5, adventuring gear 5; Skills History, Stealth, Streetwise, Thievery
SQ Low-light vision; Fire resistance; Fey pact
Raven Queen Bring down the proud who try to cast off the chains of fate.

Moves

Infernal Wrath (recharge, far, triggered; fire): If an enemy hits you, you call upon the hellfire burning in your soul to punish them.

Soul Step: When you reduce an enemy to 0 HP or when a Close enemy drops to 0 HP, you briefly become a creature of wind and mist.

Pact Weapon: When you hold your implement in one hand, you manifest a pact weapon in the other.

  • Blade of Winter’s Mourning: Close; finesse, living metal, cold. Grants the following spells:
    Icy skewer (weapon; arcane, cold): Your strike imparts the deathly chill of winter on the target, hindering its attacks.
    Piercing shard (recharge, weapon; arcane, cold, illusion, psychic): As you pierce your enemy’s defences, its perceptions of reality become twisted, cloaking you from its sight.

Spells

Eldritch bolt (far; arcane, force): With a gesture, you can create a shard of shimmering force and send it streaking towards your enemy.

Mists of madness (rest, reach, area; arcane, charm, psychic): A thick mist rises around you. Within it, the intoxicating power of fey magic overwhelms your enemies’ senses, driving those foes to lash out at each other in their madness.

How you play

Unless otherwise mentioned, you play just like Dungeon World.

Different dice

When instructed to roll +ABILITY (roll +CON, etc), roll two d20s. If both are under the ability score but equal to or over the Difficulty, the result is a 10+ in Dungeon World terms. If one is under the ability score but over the Difficulty, the result is a 7-9 in Dungeon World terms. If neither are, the result is a 6- in Dungeon World terms.

For example, Natasha rolls +STR as part of a hack and slash. Her Strength is 11 and the Difficulty is 2 (Easy). She rolls two d20s and gets a 2 and a 13. This is a partial hit (7-9).

(From this thread)

Difficulties

Difficulties are Easy (2), Moderate (4) or Hard (6), except for monster defences which are Average (3) for its lower two defences or Good (5) for its higher two defences. All actions have a Difficulty, and the most common Difficulty should be Moderate (otherwise the characters’ ability scores will be too high).

(From this thread)

Skills

If a trained skill is relevant to a roll, the lowest result that you can get is a partial hit. However, the partial hit is worse than it normally would be.

Initiative

By default, 4E World has initiative. The creature with the highest Intelligence acts first in the first combat round, making a move (or multiple moves that are part of the same action). It then choose who acts after it. That creature then chooses who acts after it, and so on until all creatures have acted once in the round. The final creature to act then chooses who acts first on the next round (including itself). The process continues.

If you want to move on to no initiative, like Dungeon World, feel free to do so. However, this form of initiative (called “popcorn initiative”) adds a tactical element to play.

New tags

Recharge: Once used, can be recovered with an impressive, class-appropriate feat – like slaying a foe in one shot, consulting your spellbook by candlelight while in the stomach of a dragon, or hiding in plain sight. Or with five minutes rest.

Rest: Once used, can be recovered with a full-night’s rest.

Distance: 4E World uses the distance tags of Dungeon World – hand, close, reach, near and far – but adds two more:

  • Weapon: This power or effect has the range of the weapon it is being used through.
  • Melee: A melee is two or more creatures that are locked in hand-to-hand combat. For example, two creatures with reach weapons attack one another, or one creature with a hand weapon and one creature with a close weapon attack one another, or two creature with a hand weapon and one creature with a reach weapon attack one another. A power with a melee range would affect all two or three creatures in that melee.

Other potential rules

You could expand this with the blast move (for area attacks – a 10+ would let you choose all the targets, while a 7-9 would let the GM choose one target) or even change attacks so that – like defy danger - they can be made with any ability score.

You might also want to add a healing die. Just like your class damage die determines base damage whenever you injure someone, the healing die would determine base healing whenever you heal someone.

Creating a character

1. Choose a class

  • HP: Your HP are equal to your class’ hit points after first level value plus your Constitution score (so if your 4E class gives 5 hit points at each level after 1st, take the 5 and add it to your Constitution score to determine your HP in 4E World)
  • Armour: Choose one armour that your class gives you proficiency in. You begin with this armour. Regardless, light armour gives you 1 armour (1 weight) and heavy armour gives you 2 armour (3 weight). Heavy armour has the clumsy tag, but if your class grants proficiency in that armour you can ignore the tag. Likewise you may start with a shield (+1 armour, 2 weight) if your class grants proficiency in it
  • Damage Die: If your class grants proficiency in simple weapons, your damage die is d6. If it grants proficiency in military melee or military ranged but not both, your die is d8. If it grants military melee and ranged, or any superior, your die is d10.
  • Weapons: You may choose one weapon from each type of proficiency you are granted. For example, if it just a list (“club and quarterstaff”), choose one. If it is all simple and military melee, choose one simple melee and one simple ranged, and one military melee.
  • Implements: Choose one implement from the proficiencies available, if any.
  • Equipment: You can buy equipment, I guess, or just start off with 5 uses of dungeon rations and 5 uses of adventuring gear.
  • Class Skills: Choose trained skills as normal, but in this game all that matters is whether you’re trained or not – there are no skill modifiers.
  • Class Features: Try to convert all non-power class features to Dungeon World moves or special qualities (or, in rare circumstances, tags).
  • Powers: Choose your powers for first level as if you were making a 4E character, but use the system below to convert them.

A. Converting powers

Keep the power name. Gain all keywords as tags except “weapon” and “implement”. Gain a ranged tag based on the power range: self (none), weapon (weapon), 1 square (hand or close), 2-4 squares (reach), 5-9 squares (near), 10 or more squares (far).

If the target is two creatures (or can be, for example with a cascading attack), add the dual target tag. If the area is a burst or blast, add the area tag – unless it takes effect over multiple rounds, in which case the zone tag is more appropriate.

If the power can impose conditions, add those as tags (“blinding”, “dazing”, etc).

If the power is an encounter power, add the recharge tag. If daily, add the rest tag.

Use the flavour text as the rules text for the power.

2. Choose a race

If a racial trait doesn’t do much beyond adding a bonus, just add the name of the racial trait as a special quality. If a racial trait works as a move, power or tag, add it.

Add your racial ability bonuses to your ability scores (chosen in the next stage).

3. Choose your ability scores

Any legal method is valid, but for example you could choose from one of these arrays: 16, 14, 14, 11, 10, 10; 18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 8; 16, 16, 12, 11, 11, 8.

4. Alignment

Choose a deity. Each deity should have three or more teachings, phrased in the imperative. Choose one of these for your alignment move.

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