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The Wizard's Desk

The Wizard's desk is a blog space where our staff and creative leads offer their insight and experience on engaging with DrachenFest US! We're excited to share what we can, so pull up a seat!

2024 Warbook & Change Log

Updated: 3 days ago

The War Book for the 2024 event is here:

Over the next week, we may fix typos and make small clarifications. On 5/15/24, the posted version will be final, and the Mobile/PDF versions will be available via the website.

To address a big question head-on: we are not making significant changes to anything affecting player construction efforts, except for the changes we already hinted at in our post about Large Monsters. Next year, any changes to Monster, War Machine, or Gate evaluation will be "fast tracked" for early release.

Here are the changes to this year's War Book:

Initiating a Battle (p5) - Added text about when to declare a battle with refs - contact a ref when you’re getting ready to march. You can’t declare a battle hours in advance, we just want to know when it’s time to move refs to the right location. 

Staying in the Courtyard (p12) - added text clarifying the boundaries of a siege. Within the defending camp, combatants must remain in the courtyard or be eliminated. You can’t leave the courtyard and return, healing must be performed within the courtyard, and armor repair is not possible during the battle. If you step out of bounds, you're not dead, but you cannot rejoin the battle.

Gate Crashing (p15) In response to feedback requesting more ways to confront long siege timers, attack timers no longer cap out at 30 minutes. Through cross-camp diplomacy, multiple armaments can be brought to a battle, potentially reducing even the biggest defense timers to a minimum of 5 minutes. 

The Final Battle (p17) - Instead of the ritual circle, the final battle is about capturing enemy Avatars and bringing them through the front gate of the castle façade. Camps may bring their own water/shade stations to the edge of the battlefield.

Palisades (p25) - Added rules for War Machines to fire through framed holes in the palisade. These holes must be at least 3 feet square, enabling attackers to potentially snipe the war machine crew or other bystanders when the hole is open.

Some spaces can be sabotaged... (p28) - Added Crafting Workshops to the list of sabotageable camp enterprises that must be accessible from the courtyard.

Armaments (p30-31) - Added text hinting that some armaments and war machines may have unique vulnerabilities negotiated at the time of evaluation. Monster hit points have been reduced to 5 hp per tier, and War Machine hits deal 5 damage to Large Monsters. To keep parity with Large Monsters, War Machines that are destroyed in battle cannot be repaired on the field.

Large Monsters (p33-34) - Updated tier language. Because many normal DrachenFest characters wear bodysuits or masks, a mask and arm/body covering are no longer enough to be a “Large Monster”. Large Monster builds must now include additional bulking which distinguish the monster’s silhouette from a regular combatant.  Most "big character" type monsters will be Tiers 1-2, which are distinguished by weaponry: Tier 1 monsters use a regular larp weapon, Tier 2s have special oversized weapons or safe body weaponry. Tiers 3 and 4 are reserved for colossal monstrosities much much larger than a human. By Tier 4, the monster needs multiple pilots, or a vehicle, to move around.

The Monster “handler” is no longer an active combatant or target. To focus on their duty of counting hits and watching for unsafe situations, they will wear a noncombatant sash and cannot be targeted by attackers. If the monster is defeated and the person in the suit no longer needs assistance, the handler can remove their sash and become a regular combatant.

Clarified that Large Monsters must fight and move slowly, using large and deliberate motions.

When large monsters fight, they engage each other in a way similar to brawls. While Berserking due to handler death has been removed, monsters are still reckless when distracted.

Errata - 3/15

Based on feedback, we've made one additional rule adjustment. While we evaluate the threat level of our new monster rules, we want to hold the bazaar to similar limitations as dragon camps.

Getting Help from the Bazaar (p31) The Dragons care deeply about balance, so only one Large Monster AND one War Machine from the bazaar can join a given side in a conflict (whether that side is a single army, or a coalition).  There can never be two bazaar Monsters or two bazaar War Machines on the same side.

If a side arrives with multiple bazaar Monsters or multiple bazaar War Machines, they must choose which one to field. The other can't join that battle, even if the first one is defeated. If there's time, two bazaar Monsters who happen to have been hired to fight on the same side could choose to have a brawl for dominance to see who gets to join the battle. (Because this is just a cool showcase duel, the winning monster wouldn't lose any HP for the upcoming battle).

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