Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Adapting FOE to the tabletop.

 I, am a massive Etrian Odyssey fan. I would be lying if I didn’t say it was not a massive influence on how I run tabletop games.

And I’ve always wanted to adapt FOEs to the tabletop. 

Now, let’s explain what a FOE is. In Etrian Odyssey, a FOE(Formido Oppugnatura Exsequens or Field On Enemy depending on the translation), is essentially a on-field miniboss. In game, each has different rules for how it moves on the field. One patrols a specific territory, another charges if you get in front of it, etc.  You either learn how to avoid it in a very OSR fashion, or get attacked by a miniboss that will kick your ass.

Now for the system agnostic stuff to use in your games. Every FOE has 3xHD. Ie, when you roll the FOE’s HP, triple the result. Or after however you determine a monster’s HP, triple it.

Evey FOE also has a Chase Trigger. This is a event/action that when triggered, causes the FOE to start chasing the party. Every time there is a encounter in the dungeon when the FOE is chasing the party, roll a 1d8. On a 1 through 6, the FOE is closing in and will attack in 1d4 turns/minutes unless you move on.

To get a FOE to stop chasing you, you must either leave the floor of the dungeon/the area your in, hide where it cannot find you, kill it, or otherwise drive it off. Some FOE’s may have special ways to drive them off. If the party splits up, have the groups roll 1d20 Which group that gets the highest result is the one being chased(GM choses on a tie).

Chase Behavior sums up how a FOE acts when it’s chasing you, any special ways to make it stop, and what it’s opening move is when it catches you. For making and using FOEs, I recommend reading Skerple’s post on better boss fights, linked at the bottom of the post.

Both FOE stat blocks will have flavor text next to their attacks to help the GM describe them.

Example FOE 1:

Jungle Killer

HD: 2d8 x3

Chase Trigger: Moving too quickly past their perch.

Chase Behavior: Quickly follows the party. When it enters combat, enters behind the party and uses Numbing Sting on the nearest player character. Despite their size and power, they are ambush predators, so a loud enough sound or party may drive them off.

Movement: As a horse, but without making noise. Can climb on walls.

It can make one Attack from the following list per turn.

Claws: 1d8 Damage. “It’s scissor like claws snap towards their prey, ready to cleave them in half.”

Numbing Sting: 1d8 Damage +  Numbness. “The beast’s tail darts forwards, like a spear dripping with violet toxins.”

Pounce: Move up to it’s movement, target must save or be knocked over. Then the Jungle Killer makes a non-pounce attack. Cannot be used on adjacent enemies. Attacks made on knocked over targets automatically succeed. “The jungle killer hurls itself into the air, ready to come crashing down on it’s prey.”

Keen Hunter: Once per round, whenever a enemy fails a roll, the Jungle Killer can make a attack against them as a reaction.

Numbing Blood: If the Jungle Killer takes damage, all adjacent enemies must Save vs Poison or suffer from Numbness.

Numbness: Each turn the player can choose to be paralyzed or act normally. If they act normally, all rolls are made at a disadvantage(roll twice, take the worse result). If they act paralyzed, remove this status condition and skip their turn.


A massive green scorpion, the size of a large horse with a head shaped like a demonic skull. It’s large black tail whips through the air silently, a crimson stinger tracing death with every movement.

Example FOE 2:

The Golden Ghoul

HD: 3d6x3

Chase Trigger: Picking up the Golden Idol.

Chase Behavior: Relentlessly pursues the party as long as they have the Idol in their possession. When it catches up to the party, it inflicts The Golden Curse to whoever has the idol and then uses Hellish Scream.

Golden Touch: 1d6 Damage + The Golden Curse. “The massive corpse jerks at you, fingers of rotten gold reaching to you.” 

Hellish Scream: All who hear it must Save vs Magic or take 1d4 damage and be forced to flee. Anyone who suffers from The Golden Curse must instead Save vs Magic against the Curse. If the Golden Ghoul takes damage, it can perform this attack as a reaction. “A hellish scream rips through the air, driving needles into your brain.”

Phantom: The Golden Ghoul can pass through surfaces not made of Gold should it wish, and as a result takes no damage from all non-magic attacks, unless said attacks are made with gold weapons or catch it by surprise.

The Golden Curse: All who suffer from the curse must, every time they do something stressful(Ie every turn in combat and every time they roll out of combat) and at the start of every day, must Save vs Magic or have a part of their body(their choice) turn into immobile gold. Starts off as small bits, like fingers and eyes. If this would kill the target, they completely turn into gold. Any direct contact with the Ghoul inflicts the curse.

Description: A moving corpse, the size of a small elephant. White fabric that vaguely resemble a priest’s robes hang off it’s rotten flesh, which seems to be made of golden and rotten sludge. A thick and stiff mask of gold is bolted to it’s face, two burning red eyes glaring past the eye holes.


Link to Skerples’ Boss Fight Design post: 

I recommend reading this, as FOEs are basically bosses that hunt down the party.

Also this post has no pictures as I couldn’t find any I liked for this.


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