Skrint are small goblinkind with a worrying quality: when a band of Skrint latch onto something beautiful or interesting, they develop a hivemind with each other.

The Arise playtest is out, but there’s only a handful of GMCs - GM Characters, or “monsters” - available. Let’s work out some principles to make more, and then create a few

Deconstructing the Arise GMCs

Like characters, GMCs have aspects. These affect their vulnerabilitties, but don’t otherwise impact individual stats.

Stat blocks

The first thing you’ll notice is that each stat block has two versions of a GMC: a lower-rank baseline and a version that’s two ranks higher. The difference is slightly higher stats and (usually) a bonus move from their move list. So this simplifies things - I just need a way to create those baseline GMCs. But it would be nice if the upranked versions were consistent too!

I created a spreadsheet with the existing GMCs and their stats, and tried to figure out if I could assign a “stat weight” to things like SPD and PDEF. This would multipy (stat value * stat weight) for each stat, sum the result, and compare that against a similarly weighted value based on rank. Ideally, a correctly weighted rank would balance against the sum of correctly weighted stats. I kept a running total of the standard deviation for the difference - the lower that deviation, the closer I was.

Start by picking a Rank for the GMC. This is roughly equal to a level for PCs, and encounter design suggests that 1 PC vs. 2 equivalent GMCs should be a fair fight.

  • Your budget is 6 BP (build points) per Rank of GMC, plus or minus 1 per rank (e.g. a rank 5 GMC has 25-35 BP available)
  • SPD is 1, +1 per 1 BP spent
  • Dash is 2, +1 per 1 BP spent
  • Either ATK or MGK starts at 5, while the other starts at 0, +5 to either ATK or MGK per 1 BP spent
  • PDEF and MDEF start at 5, +5 to either PDEF or MDEF per 1 BP spent
  • Counters is 1, +1 per BP spent for upranked enemies
  • HP is 5, +1 per 1 BP spent
  • RES is equal to Rank, -1 if you lowered the BP budget, +1 if you raised it, +1 for Elite GMCs

If you roughly balance your points spent, favoring stats appropriate to the GMC (for example, more PDEF for tankier monsters, more SPD or Dash for fast guys), this process should give you something like the standard GMCs.


Each GMC has 3-4 moves on its AI list. While it’s important that these be specialized to really bring out a GMC’s personality, there’s still a few things we can glean from them.

To populate a GMC’s move list, start with the basic enemy. Design 3 moves. Add an additional move for upranked enemies that activates on a 6. Before that, decide how often each move should fire: with a 1/6 chance, a 2/6 chance, or a 3/6 change.

The basic move types are:

  • Dash +0, Melee Attack +0
  • Dash +0, Ranged Attack +0, Range 4
  • I gain 2 beneficial statuses, or gain 1 status + heal 1 HP
  • Summon a bonus enemy at the bottom of the round, cancel if I die (upranked enemies only)

If the move is an attack, it will receive 1-3 upgrades. Give it a number of upgrades based on how often it fires:

  • 3 in 6 chance (e.g. 1-3, 4-6): 1 upgrade
  • 2 in 6 chance: 2 upgrades
  • 1 in 6 chance: 3 upgrades

Take Dash -1 to gain an extra upgrade

Typical upgrades for an attack:

  • Raise Dash by +1
  • Chance to inflict a status (33% chance per upgrade spent, e.g. on a 1-2 on d6)
  • Instead of doing damage, inflict a status
  • Gain +5 ATK or +10 DEF
  • Change a single-target attack to an AOE, e.g. Line 3
  • Add an elemental damage type
  • Change the tile type where the attack lands
  • Adjust target or self’s position by 1 on the turn tracker

Of course, moves should not be bound by this format - this is intended as a starting point, not a straitjacket.

Creating new GMCs

Let’s use these guidelines to see if we can construct a new enemy type.

The Skrint

Skrint (the singular and plural are the same) are small goblinkind with a worrying quality: when a band of Skrint latch onto something beautiful or interesting, they develop a hivemind with each other. Without individual motivations, the collective sets to work protecting and venerating the “shiny” that has captured their attention.

For this reason, fellow Skrint often encourage adventurers to steal the “shiny” away from a Skrint pack that’s fixated on it, even if some individual members of the pack must be hurt. Once the “shiny” is gone, the hivemind collapses and the affected Skrint will return to their original selves.

Individual Skrint in the world often pick up eccentric habits, manners of dress, or obsessions in an attempt to resist this urge with fellow Skrint. They become fanatically individual to retain their selves, no matter how quirky or weird it makes them seem. Their latent telepathy, the source of the hivemind, otherwise makes them empathetic and sensitive to the needs and feelings of others.

Skrint Design

We’ll start Skrint as a rank 2 GMC with the Metal aspect (when they are in their hivemind).

Their base stats are SPD 1 Dash 2 ATK 5 PDEF 5 MDEF 5 Counters 1 HP 5 RES 2. Our point budget is (6 * 2) or 12, plus or minus 2. We’ll give them the standard 12 BP.

We spend 2 BP for SPD 3, 1 BP for Dash 3, and nothing for HP. We’ll spend 2 BP each on both PDEF and MDEF, bringing them to 15. 5 BP gives us an ATK of 30, and we leave MGK at 5. That’s 12 points.

Comparing our stats to the rank 2 soldier, we see it has SPD 2, Dash 3, ATK 30, MGK 0, PDEF 15, MDEF 5, HP 6. The Skrint is a little faster but a little more frail by comparison, with SPD 3, Dash 3, ATK 30, MGK 5, PDEF 15, MDEF 15, HP 5, RES 2, 1 Counter.

We’ll give the Skrint the following moves:

  • Raking Claws (1-3): Dash +0, Melee Attack +5.
  • Pelting Rocks (4-5): Dash +0, Ranged Attack +5, Range 4. Sharp Rocks: Roll d6: on 1-2, the target is BLEEDING.
  • Battle Frenzy (6): I gain HASTE heal 1 HP

Upranked Skrint at rank 4 get +1 SPD, +1 Counter, +2 HP, and a +5 to ATK, PDEF, and MDEF, for a total of SPD 4, Dash 3, ATK 35, MGK 5, PDEF 20, MDEF 20, HP 7, RES 4, 2 Counters.

Their move list is:

  • Raking Claws (1-2): Dash +0, Melee Attack +5.
  • Pelting Rocks (3-4): Dash +0, Ranged Attack +5, Range 4. Sharp Rocks: Roll d6: on 1-2, the target is BLEEDING.
  • Battle Frenzy (5): I gain HASTE heal 1 HP
  • Summon Pack (6): add one Skrint (Basic) to the bottom of the turn tracker, otherwise as per the Grave Thrall’s “Howlcall” move.

Skrint Encounters

An encounter with a Skrint hivemind should include at least one upranked Skrint, who can summon more units.

The map should include the “shiny” - an object, or a doorway to a place - that the Skrint have latched onto. An objective of the battle should be to deprive the hivemind of the shiny, either by destroying it or carrying it off the map boundary. This will bring the Skrint to their senses, ending the battle.

The GM can stipulate that Downed Skrint aren’t killed, merely injured, and that they’ll be treated by their comrades once the hivemind is dispelled. The PCs can help with this task, perhaps during a Camp scene, or leave it to the goblinkind themselves.