The Anvilgard

Yesterday, I talked about the city of Torrent, and the Doval monastery that it’s built around. Here is some mechanical information about how to make and play a character from Torrent, or, if you want, how to play an Anvilgard!

Background: Torrent

You came from the mountain city of Torrent. You lived near a heated lake, full of fish and crabs, by forests full of hunting game, and almost certainly keep a biscuit tin in your bedroom as a habit. Near the Doval monastery, you almost certainly learned something about the arcane lightning magic the monks use, as well as their physical disciplines.

Benefit: You add Arcana and Athletics to your class skill list, and you gain a +1 bonus to Arcana checks and Athletics checks.

That’s the basic background. Almost certainly, if you’re from Torrent, you probably don’t know exactly how harvesting grain works, but you definitely know how to swim, and how to fish, and what pastries keep in what order.

What’s more, the monastery of Doval is willing to train visitors in the ways to manipulate lightning and thunder to control a space. If you visit there, your character has had a chance to get this suspiciously less-powerful-than-a-known-feat-that’s-still-an-absolute-gas-of-a-feat.

Doval Stormchaser

Heroic Tier

Benefit: Whenever you hit an enemy with a thunder or lightning power, you can slide that enemy 1 square.

And finally, what if you are one of the Doval monks, and you have been kissed by the lightning, you might be one of the Anvilgard!


The Anvilgard (singular and plural) are the immortal warrior monks from the monastery of Doval in the center of the mountain city of Torrent. There are only a few hundred such Anvilgard in the world at any given time, and most of them live in the monastery, but they serve as highly resistant defenses for a city that might otherwise be asked to become part of another state. This immortality is often, in stories, treated as a tragedy waiting to unspool, where every Anvilgard who has stepped into the lightning has done so knowing they are dooming every friend they had to being nothing but mourned. The Anvilgard tend to a bit more prosaic about things and focus on dealing with the world in front of them in the immediate, rather than long-term plans, which seems exactly at odds with a lifestyle of militant contemplation and preposterous arcane study.

The Anvilgard who take to adventure has almost certainly spent some years in study and contemplation at the Doval monastery. Regardless of their own history, they’ve died at least once; the process of becoming an Anvilgard involves being struck by divine lightning, which kills everyone who experiences it at least once. This experience also comes at the end of training and practice as people learn to listen to themselves and see if the lightning wants to kiss them – they do not assume everyone can become an Anvilgard and there are plenty of Doval monks who never feel the need to step into the lightning. This time was probably spent in either physical training understanding the limits of your own body, or engaging in some truly weird science involving mind-altering substances. You might have also been one of the archivists, according information about the study of other Doval monks, and helping to preserve those records for long enough that even the Anvilgard will be able to reference them eventually.

The Anvilgard presents survival tools and healing tools for almost any character. While melee characters can obviously maximise their ability to spread damage, and will have the most healing surges to spend for their other effects, the utility presented by the theme is about either resisting lightning damage or refusing to die, and could be useful to almost anyone. Thematically, the Anvilgard characters are somewhere between a contemplative warrior-monk and a mad scientist who experiments on themselves with psychotropic drugs. Think ‘hold my beer’ style researchers who maybe have a few more burns and shorter fingers than they need, but who still know what they have to do to maximise muscle growth.

Anvilgard Starting Feature: You gain the Charged Heart power.

In addition, any time you fail a death save and die, if you’re not revived before sunset, your body disappears and you are reanimated fully healthy the Anvil at the Doval monastery. This can be very inconvenient for travel purposes, and all your gear remains where your allies have it.

Charged Heart

Anvilgard Utility

When you were blessed by lightning, the lightning remained in your blood.

Encounter, Arcane

No Action, Special

Trigger: You hit a creature with an attack.

Effect: You may pay a healing surge. If you do, the creature you hit deals 5 lightning damage to each creature adjacent to it.

Level 11: 7 lightning damage.

Level 21: 10 lightning damage.

Anvilgard Level 5 Feature (5th level): You gain resist 5 lightning or your existing lightning resistance increases by 5.

Anvilgard Level 10 Feature (10th level): Whenever you resist lightning damage, you gain temporary hit points equal to the amount of lightning damage you resist.

In addition, Anvilgard can choose from the following utility powers:

Sharp Start

Anvilgard Utility 2

You think this can stop me? I’ve died!


Minor Action, Personal

Requirement: You must have at least 1 healing surge.

Effect: You spend a healing surge but regain no hit points. You make a saving throw against every effect on you that a save can end.

Bolt Awake

Anvilgard Utility 6

The body and its relationship to nature is key to Doval study. When you find someone dying, you can reach out to catch their fingertips, and bring them back.

Encounter, Arcane

Minor Action, Special

Target: You hit a creature with an attack.

Effect: The target can spend a healing surge. They can then stand up as a free action.

Anvil’s Tenacity

Anvilgard Utility 10

The Anvilgard know what dying feels like, they know what that path is like – and they know they can find their way back.

Encounter, Arcane

No Action, Special

Trigger: You fail a death saving throw.

Effect: You succeed on the death saving throw instead. You can spend a healing surge, and get up from prone.