Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms Adds Warduke as Next Champion (Exclusive)

The iconic 1980s Dungeons & Dragons character Warduke will be the next champion added to Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms. can exclusively reveal that the popular idle game will add Warduke on November 30th as its latest champion, with players able to collect the fearsome mercenary and add him to their formations as they make their way through waves of enemies. Warduke is described as a Tanking/DPS Champion who increases his damage output with every swing of his flametongue sword. Warduke's unique origin as an action figure is also implemented into the game, with a special Action Figure skin that comes with its own unique movements (which are described more below.)

Warduke is perhaps best known for his appearance in the 1980s Dungeons & Dragons toy line, which was designed to help promote the tabletop game. After making an appearance in the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, Warduke faded into the background along with many other characters of his era. However, in recent years, Warduke has made a comeback, with the character making a notable appearance in the 2021 adventure The Wild Beyond the Witchlight. 

To find out how the iconic character made its way into Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms, spoke with system designer Pete Lee and executive producer Chris Dupuis about the character and what surprises players can expect to find when Warduke officially enters the game next month. 

warduke-1.png Warduke has made several appearances in recent D&D products, dating back to last year. How long has Warduke been in the works for Idle Champions?

Pete Lee: We first put Warduke in the game as an enemy in one of our The Wild Beyond the Witchlight campaign adventures that came out in June of this year, so we technically started a few months before that. From the perspective of Warduke being a Champion that the players could recruit, we started system design in August. Normally implementation starts about a month after design, but we brought them in a little earlier than usual to run a test on a new mechanic.

Chris Dupuis: As Pete notes, Warduke's appearance in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight was a key driver to bring the old fighter back. He started as an NPC & enemy in that campaign, and almost became an Evergreen Champion unlock. However, we decided to bring him out with a bit more fanfare as an Event Champion!

What are Warduke's abilities within the game? How do they tie back to Warduke's history?

Lee: In Idle Champions, each champion has one or more roles in the game which generally inform the players what to expect from an individual character. The two primary roles are support and damage per second (DPS), and every champion is one of those two roles, although some can be both. Generally, players use one DPS champion and increase their damage with support Champions. Champions may also have the tanking, healing, speed, and gold find secondary roles.

As a chaotic evil fighter, we made Warduke a DPS and Tanking Champion, which means he's good at dealing damage and good at taking damage. He historically wields a flaming sword, so we designed an ultimate ability that lets the players light his sword on fire to further increase his damage. Finally, we try to give each Champion a unique ability that makes them play differently than any previous Champion, and Warduke's "Chaotic Inversion" ability does that. Some Support Champions buff certain positions in the party's formation. Warduke scrambles those abilities around to buff the inverse of those positions. For example, if a Support Champion would buff Champions in their own column, when combined with Warduke, they would instead buff everyone except the Champions in their own column. This opens up a lot of new opportunities for building a formation with Warduke.


Warduke has a long history within D&D, with several distinct visual designs over the years – how did you decide on what look to use for his standard look for the game?

Lee: When we are adding a Champion that has evolved in looks over the years, we usually focus on the most recent appearance. In this case, we chose the 5th Edition adventure, The Wild Beyond the Witchlight, as his canonical appearance in look, story, and statistics. Since he had already appeared in Idle Champions as an enemy, we could use the work we did for that as a start of the Champion model, but we needed to make some minor modifications so we could switch between his sword being on fire or extinguished.

Are any of his other looks incorporated into the game?

Lee: As part of Warduke's launch, we created a skin for him inspired by the old LJN Dungeons & Dragons action figure that came out in 1983, so players can change his appearance to be something from the bright and gaudy 1980s. We even changed how he walks in the game, as action figures aren't well known for having knees that bend.

Dupuis: Pete and I were chatting about Warduke one evening and he came up with the idea of a skin inspired by the original 1983 action figure. It was perfect because, for me, that was how I first met Warduke. As we continued to discuss the idea (like adding the nightmare familiar to match with the deluxe figure set that he was also included in), I kept making the joke that his knee & elbow joints shouldn't bend. Eventually, the joke became a reality and one of our talented artists, Kat Crane, took our crazy idea and turned it up to 11!


Can we expect other D&D action figure/cartoon characters to appear in Idle Champions, as Dungeon Master and Warduke are both now in the game?

Lee: We don't have any immediate plans, but I wouldn't be surprised if Warduke's sworn foe Strongheart eventually makes an appearance.

Dupuis: While we don't have any plans to bring more characters from the action figure line into the game at the moment, we do plan to expand our 'Action Figure' skins! With the release of the Action Figure Warduke Theme Pack, we're also releasing an Action Figure Skin & Feat Pack for 2 other Champions: Orkira, and Lucius! I hope they are well received cause I'd love to make more!

What are you most excited about having players get their hands on Warduke?

Lee: I'm looking forward to seeing what players do with his Chaotic Inversion ability. That's going to create a lot of unique combinations that haven't been possible with any previous champions. It's always a great treat to take familiar characters and adapt them for Idle Champions, and Warduke is no exception!

Dupuis: I can not wait for players to come up with new formations centered around his Chaotic Inversion ability. I'm also holding my breath to see what players think about the Action Figure skins we've put together, cause I think they are hilarious!



Warduke will officially be added to Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms on November 30th. Readers can unlock a special gold chests using the code below.