Making Use of DIY Monster Mechanics

Let’s take a moment to talk about DIY monsters. It may be odd to talk about creating your own monsters for an organized play adventure unless that adventure calls for….. spiders. Creepy, crawly, gross spiders. We don’t do spiders. Okay, fine, Sarah doesn’t do spiders. So this week we wanted to show how easy it is to create a new monster in 13th Age. While some d20 games try to simulate all aspects of a monster’s ability, 13th Age utilizes simple mechanics to harness the power of imagination. The book does a wonderful job of offering a breakdown of baseline stats per level as well as a guide for GMs to invent cool abilities that make their monsters memorable. Choose your monster’s level, adjust the numbers, add an ability and you’re ready to go.

So we stomped on the spiders and brain stormed about a new monster that would fit well in the Lich King’s labyrinth. We had the idea of shadow warriors that fade into the shadows then strike at the adventure’s when they’re most vulnerable. This concept was inspired by the rogue’s talent Shadow Step, but we wanted to use a different game mechanic do make our monsters truly unique. The escalation dice provided our answer. Each rotation of the dice the shadow warriors abilities would shift. During the shadow phase they would be harder to hit, but also deal less damage. Role-playing them should be really fun, describing the sinister movement of shadows. They took less than 15 minutes to create.

For any gamers with arachnophobia or simply tired of spiders we hope you enjoy this alternative monster for Crown of the Lich King Part 4 – The Necropolis Maze.

ShadowLegionnaireSHADOW LEGIONNAIRE
Once legion to a long lost ruler, these creatures now only show absolute obedience to the Lich King. They make no sound and a shift in the shadows around you is your only warning before they strike…

4th level troop [Undead]
Initiative: +10
Vulnerability: holy

Rusted Sword +10 vs AC – 10 damage
Natural hit of 16+: Target is weakened (-4 to attacks and defenses) until the start of the Legionnaire’s next turn

R: Javelin +8 vs AC – 10 damage

Nastier Specials:
Shadow Meld: When the escalation die is odd, the Legionnaire phases into shadow, dealing half damage and taking half damage from all attacks.

Shadow Strike: When the escalation die is even, the Legionnaire may teleport behind a nearby enemy and attack with Shadowstrike.
Shadow Strike +10 vs AC – 20 damage

AC: 21
PD: 15 HP: 60
MD: 17

* These monsters are level 4 so adjust quantity based on party numbers.  With a party of six we aim for four legionnaires.

 
(Sarah)    (Ben)

Part 3 Bluebook – Alleric

Into the mind of Alleric, dark elf sorcerer: 

BlueBooksThe Magic Barnacle was a fine enough establishment, and I headed for the bar while my companions questioned patrons about a ship to take us to Necropolis. My goal was to try a pint of their finest brew and chat up a few locals. It’s possible that I might get us a ship before those goody-goody types could, and I might as well at least try. Going into my second pint I managed to convince a few locals to play a game of “Coppers” where you bounce a copper piece off of the bar and try to land it in a cup. Great fun. I vaguely recall my companions shouting at some captain or other, discussing loudly things like honor and bravery, but frankly I found the discussion boring and I quickly returned to my game. Sometime after the fourth pint I realized that my group had left the tavern, and I think I recall some vague mention of getting supplies and finding an inn for the night. I decided at this point that I could continue my drinking and stay in the tavern, thus saving the cost of a room. Pretty clever, I know, and it worked out pretty well. I won enough playing Coppers to buy a bottle of “Jack Daniels Mystical Healing Draught” for the road.
* * *
Sunlight is painfully bright, I notice. I dislike it a lot on a normal day, but today was especially rough after my evening at the Barnacle. I think I’ll just pull my cloak a little tighter and let my companions handle whatever has to be done today.
* * *
This ship is a piece of crap and the crew isn’t much better. The captain gives the illusion of being a respectable chap, but it’s clear that his crew doesn’t run in the same social circles. Half of the crew look like a bunch of thugs and pirates, and the other half are orcs and other lowlife scum. I decide that it’s to my advantage to stay in the bow near the steering wheel to perhaps gain some understanding of how this ship works. It would not surprise me if we have to take over the ship and someone has to know how to steer the thing. I should note for future reference that ships tend to make one ill and excessive pint consumption does the same thing, but the combination seems to counteract one another. Interesting.
* * *
The best thing about the seas near Necropolis is that the darned sun is obscured by a heavy bank of clouds pretty much the whole time. The water is sort of an ugly grey, which ordinarily would trouble me but I was kind of expecting something like this. If we can survive the lurker in the deeps, then we get to face the city of the dead.
* * *
Necropolis is more creepy than I had expected. Skeletons digging and filling graves, yet watching us. I saw that ring in the one crypt and just knew that I ought to possess it. The fools I travel with are afraid of the skeletons, but the risk of angering them is worth the value of the ring. And, since it’s my destiny I must get it.
* * *
The battle with the skeleton giant was pretty nasty, but probably not as nasty as the gates of Necropolis which are staring at us. If it seemed like the graveyard skeletons were watching us, the gates seem to be even more sinister and watchful. Our quest lies therein, however, so therein we shall go….
(Sarah)    (Ben)

The Journey Continues…

Red lines represent travel by land, blue lines by boat.

TravelMap2

Click on image to view full sized map with destination markers.

Traveling down from the cold peaks of Gorogan’s Maw the party headed west to the closest city in hopes of finding a port with a ship that would take them to Necropolis. Once they reached flat-lands travel became easier and before long a vast city of flying buildings and floating ramps lie before them. They had reached Horizon, city of wonders. Home to an unparalleled amount of libraries full of arcane lore, Horizon was home to the Archmage. It was a much safer city compared to the likes of Shadow Port, so long as you avoided crazed arcanists that liked meddling with things that they ought not meddle with. Securing a captain and ship that would take them to Necropolis took the better half of a day so the party set sail the next morning. Their travels on the Midland Seas were not as uneventful as their first however. As they neared the shores to Necropolis a Death-Kraken emerged from the dark waters and attacked both party and crew. After narrowly avoiding being shipwrecked the party was taken to the shores of Necropolis. Endless rows of gravestones lay before them, so far as the eye could see in the fog that had settled around them. Necropolis had once been home to the former Wizard King, but the Wizard King’s palace and formerly loyal subjects had been tainted by the Lich King’s power when the Lich King claimed the island as his own. It was a place that few living things dared to enter and fewer yet left still alive.

The Crown of the Lich King parts 4, 5 and 6 all take place on Necropolis. As such this will be the final update to the Dragon Empire map for this organized play adventure.

 
(Sarah)    (Ben)

Part 3 Recap – Into the Necropolis

Adventure 3 – Into the Necropolis

Necropolis

Dragon Bone Compass in hand, Rune-laid map in the other, our adventurers finally had their ticket through the Labyrinth under Necropolis.  From Gorogan’s Maw, they trekked west to Horizon in hopes of finding a crew brave enough to take them to Necropolis.  Augustine was confident he would find a courageous captain to aid them, but after searching the docks for hours they could find no such individual.  Many of those they asked laughed in their faces; others ignored them completely and went back about their business.  Traveling to the likes of Necropolis was a foolish man’s death wish and at first no one would have any part in it.  It seemed that none of them had any backgrounds in the area that would help them until Deneveve overheard the name Greensheaf, a wood elf captain that used to be known around the Elven Courts.  They found the captain’s first mate on the docks who told them Greensheaf could be found at a nearby tavern.  The party trekked up the street, none the wiser that a cloaked figure now followed them.

They found the Magic Barnacle tavern easily enough.  It was a cozy gnome pub and the owner greeted them enthusiastically offering wine.  Alleric was easy to take the cup and sat down for a midday meal, having become rather fond of food due to his new belt (magic item quirk).  Deneveve and Augustine were more concerned with finding the boat so asked for the Captain.  The wood elf was sitting near one of the bay windows in some ragged leathers.  Augustine, not one for subtlety, approached the captain and blurted out, “We are on a holy mission and must get to Necropolis as soon as possible.  We have need of your boat.”

“First of all, it’s a ship not a boat.  And why on earth would I risk my neck and the neck of my crew, ship, and livelihood for you?  Piss off.”  Perhaps Augustine’s time around the Crusader had tainted the wonderful charm paladins are known for as he failed to sway the captain with a charisma check.  Feeling the conversation had ended, the captain went back to enjoying his wine.  Before the party could take another approach the cloaked figure that had been following the party stomped up to the captain and slapped him hard across the face.

The movement was so fierce is left a red hand print on Captain Greensheaf’s face and caused the hood to fall back from the stranger’s face, revealing a female half-elf ranger.

“Coward!”  The ranger stood above the Captain, fury radiating from her.  “This filth failed to stand for justice in the Court of Stars when my beloved Tig was left to be cursed by the Queen’s wrath,” she gestured toward large white tiger who now housed her beloved’s soul (one unique thing).  “You failed to show courage once before when someone needed you most and here I find you doing it again!”  Behind her, Tig bared his fangs and growled at Greensheaf.

The captain noticed the heads turning to look at the commotion.  He tried to stand but a growl from the tiger made him sit back down again.  “Please, I run a ship of certain repute.  Lower your voice.”  Not to waste an opportunity, the party resorted to intimidation checks, stating their silence could be bought for a trip to Necropolis.  The captain knew that his reputation would be ruined in Horizon if this secret got out.  “Listen, the few living souls who set foot on Necropolis have a nasty habit of never returning.  I can take you to the shore, but I won’t land on that cursed rock.  We set sail at dawn.”  It would be a long time until they could visit a store again so the party took steps to stock up on anything they might need before settling down for what would no doubt be their final restful night of sleep in the dangerous days ahead.

The next morning the party was surprised to see the half-elf ranger at the docks talking to Captain Greensheaf.  The ranger introduced herself as Xilia and that she would be accompanying them on their journey to Necropolis.  Xilia saw an opportunity to use the Lich King’s crown that the party spoke of to sell to the High Druid or someone of equal power that could possibly break the curse on her beloved Tig.  If the crown could not be secured she would simply find another artifact from Necropolis that would suffice.  She offered her services as a ranger and knowledge of the Midland Seas to secure a position with the party, but kept the reasons for joining the band of adventurers to herself.

Boat

♫ I’m on a boat! ♫
♫ I’m on a boat! ♫
♫ Everybody look at me cause I’m sailin’ on a boat! ♫

The Concord’s Grace set sail at sunrise into the peaceful waters of the Midland Sea.  Deneveve was thankful that the Emperor’s Ancient Blessing kept the monsters of the Iron Sea at bay and the waters generally calm.  Xilia knew better.   There were beings powerful enough to slip past the Emperor’s protection and prime among them was the Lich King.  During Xilia’s past travels on the seas she had heard accounts that the Lich King had resurrected a shadow of an ancient creature that lurked in the watery depths around Necropolis… the Death-Kraken.

Fearing the crew would not take them to their destination if she gave advance warning Xilia waited until the ship neared Necropolis before altering Captain Greensheaf of the threat.  Cursing under his breath, the captain quickly barked out orders for the crew to man the Arbalests and brace for combat.  Recruiting the help of Augustine, Deneveve began collecting reagents to cast ritual magic.  The crew was quick to hand over a few good luck charms – an assortment of gold coins, trinkets, even a few special items that raised some eyebrows.  Augustine once again lent Deneveve the blessed stone he carried from the Cathedral.  Items gathered, Deneveve began casting ritual magic to help ward the ship from evil.  A symbol of the Priestess flared to life on the center of the ship’s deck which let everyone know the wards were in place.  Meanwhile, Alleric performed a knowledge check using arcane studies and shared what he knew about Krakens with the party.  Familiar with the workings of a ship, Xilia climbed the bow and kept watch.

From her vantage point the ranger was the first to see it – Like a massive shadow sliding under the surface of the waves.  She called out for the crew to take arms and felt the ship shudder.  Gigantic tentacles made of shadow crept up the sides of the ship, whipping toward the crew and the adventurers.

Kraken

Release the Death-Kraken!

Deneveve could feel something crunching and biting against the wards at the bottom of the ship so she quickly blessed her allies’ weapons.   Dodging a tentacle, Augustine bravely leapt into the midst of battle, shielding the crew as best as he could.  Alleric unleashed his arcane fury, alternating between breaths of acid and bolts of lightning.  Xilia took a lashing from the tentacle near her, commanding Tig to take vengeance for her.  Just when they thought they had a handle on the situation kelp zombies emerged from the icy depths and began climbing aboard the ship.

Boat2

Why yes, that is Play-doh tentacles.

Distracted with the new zombie threat, Alleric did not notice one of the Kraken tentacles wrap around his legs until it was too late.  With a yank Alleric was sent over the port side railing.  Casting their differences aside Deneveve dove after him, catching the sorcerer with a strength check before he was flung into the waters below.  Some of the other crew members were not so fortunate.  Just as Deneveve pulled Alleric back on board the ship lurched violently knocking several people off their feet.  The massive head of the Death-Kraken had emerged from the waters on the starboard side of the ship.

Boat6

Admit it, you’ll be adding Play-doh fights to your future games. 😉

Still surrounded by shadow tentacles and kelp zombies, Xilia and Augustine could only watch as one of the crew trying to operate an arbalest was devoured whole by the Death-Kraken’s gaping maw.  Feeling the protective wards she had cast falling, Deneveve tried to cast invocation of beauty to gain the Priestess’s favor in protecting the ship but failed as a shadow tentacle wrapped around her.  Alleric tried to take out a group of kelp zombies with chain lightning, but his spell fizzled.  Seeing the dire situation the party gathered together to beat back the kelp zombies and unleash a concentrated attack on the Death-Kraken’s head.  After receiving a beating, the Shadowy Kraken released the ship and slid back down into the depths.  It would enact its vengeance another day.

Boat8

Disclaimer: Sarah takes no responsibility for the construction of the Kraken head. That one is on Ben.

Captain Greensheaf was none too happy that he had almost lost his ship.  With his ship more sparely manned than before he wanted nothing more to do with these damned adventurers.  The Concord’s Grace came as close as Greensheaf would allow to Necropolis and the party was brought ashore.  The island before them was a gray bleak landscape and the beach was lined with rows of graves as far as the eye can see.  While the Emperor’s blessing protected the Midland Sea from storms, it granted no such protection on Necropolis.  Mist clung to the ground and the clouds ominously gathered overhead.

MagicRingNot wishing to stay here any longer than necessary Augustine started up the shore, leading his companions onward.  Deeper inland they found statues of skeletons standing over a collection of unearthed graves.  Augustine urged the party onward, but the glint of a shiny ring in one of the graves caught Alleric’s eye.  Reaching down to examine the ring further, he saw the statue above him slowly draw his sword.  He retracted his hand quickly and after some thought reasoned that out of respect for the dead he may be able to exchange something of his own.  He gently laid a suitable sum of gold pieces in the grave and the skeleton allowed him to retrieve the Ring of Protection from the grave.  Deneveve found the body of an imperial legionnaire and proceeded to perform the funeral rites to send his soul home.  When she finished, the statue above opened its hands to reveal a set of Archer’s Gauntlets.  Xilia was happy to put them on, marveling at the comfortable fit.  The skeletal guardians admired the respect that the party gave them and let them pass unharmed through the graveyard.  It gave the party hope that not all of the undead found on Necropolis served the Lich King willingly.

The graves stretched out endlessly before them.  A deathly silence filled the air.  After consulting the dragon bone compass and map, Xilia was able to guide her companions forward until they reached a series of obelisks.  Curious, Alleric approached one to study it.  A low hum and a crack of thunder was all the warning he had before a bolt of lightning raced out from the obelisk shocking him to the bone.  Deneveve quickly rushed forward to ease his pain.  Augustine noted that several runes on the obelisk pulsated right before the lightning struck.  Xilia stepped forward and offered to bait the obelisk so they could study the runes again.  Dodging back and forth she and Tig nimbly drew their fire thus giving Alleric enough time to translate the ancient runes into a timing system.  With this knowledge in hand the party deftly maneuvered past the obelisks.

Ahead the party spotted an area where the earth dipped low into a hollow.  At the lowest point of the hollow lay broken tombstones and the bones of a hundred fallen heroes.  In their midst was two large stone doors leading into a crypt.  The dragon bone compass pointed straight ahead.  The party had finally reached the entrance to the maze.

Determined to find the crown, Augustine marched forward toward the doors.  As he approached the bones that littered the earth rattled to life and flew up into the air.  Spinning faster and faster, the bones whirled around the party before connecting together to form a colossal skeletal horror.  The Guardian of the maze had awoken.

Guardian1

Guardian of the Necropolis Labyrinth. Created out of the bones of a hundred dead warriors! Dwarfed only by our Escalation Dice.

The Guardian reached down and pick up a nearby tombstone, wielding it as a gigantic maul.  His other hand pulled a burning blade from its chest.  Silently, the towering Guardian approached the Paladin.  Augustine raised his shield but not fast enough.  He felt the tombstone slam against him, driving him a few inches into the dirt.  Xilia sent Tig forward and readied her bow.  Two rapid shots shattered several of the guardian’s bones.  Recovering from her horror, Deneveve prayed to the Priestess and wrapped her allies in divine armor.  Knowing better than to get close, Alleric unleashed powerful arcane energy at the creature from a distance.  The Guardian ignored the Paladin and charged Xilia, bringing his hammer then blade down onto the ranger, pummeling and burning her.   Barely standing, Xilia dodged out of the way and plugged two arrows into the Guardian’s skull.

Guardian3

Rest in Pieces

The Guardian released a silent roar and shattered into a swirling whirlwind of bones.  The whirlwind swept over the entire party, ripping at their skin.  The bones reformed again near Alleric.  The tombstone maul flew to the Guardian’s hands and he swung at the sorcerer.  Augustine deftly moved to intercept, absorbing some of the blow with Bastion.  The sword came swinging in again, slicing Augustine and leaving him badly wounded.  Deneveve’s healing coursed through the Paladin knitting his wounds.  Rejuvenated, Augustine attacked with a powerful smite of holy energy that cleaved the skeleton’s spine in two.   The Guardian shattered, sending hundreds of bones clattering to the ground around the adventurers.

With the Guardian defeated the adventurers opened the stone doors, revealing a dark chasm.  The labyrinth awaited…

Player feedback:

“Fantastic game. The battle with the Kraken took a while but was worth it! (I loved the artistic use of playdoh.) The giant skeleton dude was amazing as well. Quite a fun afternoon of gaming!” 

GM Note:

Had an opportunity to fail forward this adventure because the PCs absolutely tanked the majority of their rolls.  This was especially true during the Kraken battle which resulted in a longer encounter than expected.  As a result we broke free from the organized play outline and opted not to engage the Monks of Death (skeletal statues) in combat.  Instead that encounter was changed to an opportunity to gain magic items for the party.  
(Sarah)    (Ben)

Custom Pre-Generated Character Sheets

Tonight we have a little treat lined up for you…. pre-generated character sheets!  These crisp professional character sheets are designs by Ben in Omnigraffle to fit all necessary information on one page.   No more shuffling paper in the middle of combat to find a spell or talent!  All the number crunching bits such as damage and attack bonuses have been calculated in.  This allows players to focus on who their character is by jumping right into backgrounds, icon relationships and one unique thing.  Since 13th Age is dubbed “a love letter to D&D” these sheets feature a similar block power system seen in 4th edition character sheets.  These character sheets are designed with two options: with a blank background or with character art backgrounds set at 30% opacity.  Examples of the character sheets with background art can be seen blow (click image to zoom in).  As general rules we like having a lot of diversity in character races to showcase a variety of racial abilities and the gender of the chosen character artwork is split 50 / 50 to encourage more female participants in our games.  Our pre-generated characters include a Half-Orc Barbarian, Gnome Bard, Elf Cleric, Dwarf Fighter, Human Paladin, Half-Elf Ranger, Halfing Rogue, Dark Elf Sorcerer.  The link will be updated next week to also include a High-Elf Wizard.   If you are interested in building your character from bottom up we have also included a blank template for your use.  Enjoy!

Half-Orc Barbarian

PregenBarbarian

Dark Elf Sorcerer

PregenSorcerer

Gnome Bard

PregenBard

Half-Elf Ranger

PregenRanger

 
(Sarah)    (Ben)

Pirate Pre-gen Character on the Horizon! Arrr!

The next Tales of 13th Age adventure in part features adventures on the high seas so it got us thinking about creating a playable pirate character.  We created this character at level 2 so that anyone participating in 13th Age organized play could pick him up – a pre-gen character of comical sorts. Whether any new players joining our adventures in upcoming weeks will pick him is yet to be seen, but we had a lot of fun creating him regardless!

Update – To clarify: All of the pre-gen characters we hand our to players have the name, background, icon relationships, one unique thing, and so forth left blank so players can make a character uniquely their own.  Because we had so much fun with this character concept we decided to share him here as a whole.  If you stripped away his backgrounds and everything to be a true pre-gen rogue he wouldn’t be much of a pirate and we wished to show how a pirate could be constructed using character mechanics.  Think of this more like a sample character.  Customize and change things as you wish! 

Without further delay, may we present… Captain Danziker, The Disgraceful Knave.

Pirate

Captain Danziker, The Disgraceful Knave

Human Rogue 2

Appearance
Will someone please give this man a bath?! Disheveled, stubby faced, reeks of rum even when he’s not loaded to the gunwales.

Gear
Light leathers, old faded pirate clothing and a Captains’ hat. The only thing of value is a sharp cutlass and flask of grog.

Backgrounds
+5 Swindler. Quick on his feet and a damn good cutpurse. Knows the best places to get some coin, if you don’t need to be honest about it. He’s a man made for the likes of Shadow Port. (See talent: Thievery)

+4 Captain! If one can still call themselves a Captain still after the Emperor “stole” his ship and locked up his crew. He reckons he can be fixing that little situation smartly, if he can just get some more gold.

+2 Escape artist. Knows the ropes… literally. The best there is at getting out of a tight situation. Escaped capital punishment in Axis when the rest of his crew was taken into custody.

+2 Keen eyesight. Any proper pirate believes that piercing their ears with precious metals improves their eyesight. Captain Danziker has spent years indulging in the practice. His ears are littered with silver and gold. This is similar to a background in tracking, but he does not always know what he is looking for… probably has something to do with the ale.

One Unique Thing
Carries around a treasure map that he claims leads to the treasure of Captain Blackwreath, a pirate of legend who once braved the Iron Seas.

Icon Relationships
The Prince of Shadows 1 (positive)
Captain Danziker is well known as a disgraceful knave for a reason. Boasts he even sold his plunder to the Prince himself. That is, until he lost his ship…

Lich King 1 (complicated)
Made a bargain with the Lich King for safe harbor and passage around Necropolis. Has yet to pay his debt.

The Emperor 1 (negative)
Pirates are not loved by the Emperor who works to keep the Midland Sea safe, especially ones that plundered the coast all the way from Azure Bay to New Port.

Stats

Str 12 + 1, Dex 18 +4, Con 12 +1, Int 8 -1, Wis 12 +1, Cha 16 +3
Initiative +6, AC 16, PD 15, MD 13, HP 28, Recovery 8 x 2d8 + 1

Basic Attack

Melee Weapon (2d8 shortsword)
Ranged Weapon (2d4 throwing daggers)

At-will melee attack
Attack: d20 roll + 6 (DexMod + Level) vs. AC
Hit: 2d8 + 4
Miss: 2 (Damage equal to class level)

At-will ranged attack
Attack: d20 roll + 6 (DexMod + Level) vs. AC
Hit: 2d4 + 4
Miss: 2 (Damage equal to class level)

Racial Ability – 

Quick to Fight
At the start of each battle, roll initiative twice and choose the result you want.

Rogue Class Features –

Momentum
Certain attacks require momentum to function.
You gain momentum by hitting an enemy with an attack and lose momentum when you are hit by an attack.
The default is that you can use momentum powers without losing momentum, but a few powers specify that you must spend your momentum to use them. You don’t have to use attacks that require momentum against the foe you hit to gain that momentum.
Momentum powers that do not require you to spend your momentum are generally classified as interrupt actions. You can only use one interrupt action a round, which keeps your momentum powers from dominating the battle.

Sneak Attack
Once per round when you make a rogue melee weapon attack against an enemy engaged with one or more of your allies, you can deal +1d6 damage if your attack hits.
Adventurer Feat: Your Sneak Attack talent also works the first round of combat against enemies with a lower initiative than you.

Trap Sense
Even rogues whose backgrounds don’t have anything to do with noticing, avoiding, or disarming traps have a unique knack for dealing with traps.
If a rogue’s skill check involving a trap is a natural even failure, the rogue can reroll the skill check once. If a trap’s attack roll against a rogue is a natural odd roll, the rogue can force the trap to reroll the attack once.

Talents –

Swashbuckle
Once per battle as a quick action, you can spend your momentum to pull off a daring stunt the likes of which others could scarcely conceive. You’ll probably want to make an attack as part of the stunt, and that’s alright, but you’ll need to roll normally for the attack. The fun is doing something outrageous like dodging between the legs of giants, vaulting on a 12-foot pole over the heads of onrushing orcs, or cutting open bags of flour just in time to make them go poof and daze several foes for a round.

Thievery
You have the Thief background at its full possible bonus of +5, without having to spend your normal background points on it.
Adventurer Feat: Regardless of your level, you gain the bonus power thief’s strike in addition to your normal number of powers.

Smooth Talk
Once per day, convince your GM with an amazing line of patter while you are using social skills to speak or interact with NPCs associated with a particular icon. If the GM is convinced by your patter, roll a normal save (11+). If you succeed, for the rest of the day you can function as if you have a 2-point positive relationship with the icon who seems to be in play. Thanks to your amazing gift of gab, for a short time, it’s more or less true. (Note that these points replace any points you normally have with the icon rather than adding to them.) Failure on the Smooth Talk save generally arouses suspicions.

Rogue Powers –

Evasive Strike
Melee attack
At-Will
Target: One enemy
Attack: d20 roll + 6 (DexMod + Level) vs. AC
Hit: 2d8 + 4, and you can pop free from the target.
Miss: 2 (Damage equal to class level)

Deadly Thrust
Melee attack
At-Will
Target: One staggered enemy
Attack: d20 roll + 7 (DexMod + StrMod + Level) vs. AC
Hit: 2d8 + 4
Miss: 2 (Damage equal to class level)

Roll With It
Momentum power
At-Will
Interrupt action; requires momentum
Trigger: A melee attack that targets AC hits you.
Effect: You take half damage from that attack.
Adventurer Feat: The power also triggers on an attack against PD.

Sure Cut
Melee attack
At-Will
Special: You must have momentum and be able to deal your Sneak Attack damage to the target if you hit.
Target: One enemy
Attack: d20 roll + 6 (DexMod + Level) vs. AC
Hit: 2d8 + 4
Miss: Deal your Sneak Attack damage + 2 (Damage equal to class level).

Tumbling Strike
Melee attack
At-Will
Always: You gain a +5 bonus to all disengage checks you make this turn. You can also move to engage an enemy, make this attack against it, and then use a quick action to attempt to disengage from it (the quick action disengage lets you move again if you succeed).
Attack: d20 roll + 6 (DexMod + Level) vs. AC
Hit: 2d8 + 4
Miss: 2 (Damage equal to class level)

Thief’s Strike
Note: Power granted from Thievery adventurer feat.
Melee attack
At-Will
Target: One enemy
Attack: d20 roll + 6 (DexMod + Level) vs. PD
Hit: Half of 2d8 + 4, and roll a normal save. If you succeed, you can pickpocket an item from the target that they are not holding. If you succeed by 5 or more, the target doesn’t realize you pickpocketed them.
Miss: No damage / effect.

Note to GMs – Grant small reward if player stays in character and talks like a pirate for the duration of the game.  Arrr!  

We hope you all enjoy this character as much as we enjoyed creating it!  After our session 3 recap next week we’ll share some more pre-gen characters with custom one-page character sheets.   Stay tuned!  🙂

 
(Sarah)    (Ben)

Magic Items!

Here are the magic items acquired by the party so far during Tales of 13th Age Crown of the Lich King. The first three are featured in the 13th Age book and the fourth is a magic item written into the organized play packet. The organized play adventure lists Silverflame as a magical weapon that can be gained from Shez-a-kah if the party passes DC skill checks. In our adventure we changed it slightly so that Silverflame was found in the icy dragon cave among a pile of bones, no doubt dropped from some unfortunate soul who ended up as a dragon’s meal.

Jeweled Glove (Recharge 6+)
A single glove befit with a variety of jewels. It sparkles magnificently in the light.
When you cast a divine spell, allow one nearby ally to roll a save against one ongoing save ends effect as a free action.
Quirk: Alternatively paranoid that people are looking too closely at your precious jeweled glove and upset that people aren’t paying enough attention to your amazing jeweled glove.  (Blog Note – Read part 2 bluebook posts to see how we played this quirk out.)

Belt of the Boar
A Chain of Linked Plates, the buckle depicts a boar charging.
Increase your Maximum Recoveries by 1
Quirk: Hard to resist taking seconds at dinner.

Rune of Creation
Random effect – See book page 284

Silverflame
This stylishly curved blade seems to shift as it moves, growing new protuberances and shifting its weight to better harm enemies. The silvery metal of the blade is warm to the touch, and will burst into flame when the elven words engraved on the pommel are spoken aloud by its wielder.
[Melee Weapon]
+1 bonus to attacks and damage.
Always: This weapon does fire damage.
Always: While you are in a battle against a dragon or a draconic or reptilian creature (like a kobold or hydra), until the end of the battle you deal +1d6 damage with all attacks that hit using this weapon, even if they are not against dragons or reptilian enemies. Whoever crafted this weapon really didn’t like dragons. I wonder if their spirit still lingers within the metal?
Recharge 11+: As a free action the sword may shape-shift into another heavy or martial melee weapon (longsword, greatsword, axe, war hammer, halbard, lance, etc).
Quirk: Hatred of anything scaly.

Bonus material:  Here’s a great photo taken of our first Tales of 13th Age adventure by Josh, the owner of Fair Game store!

13thAgeGM

 
(Sarah)    (Ben)

The Journey So Far….

Each week we will be updating the 13th Age world map to show the party’s travels and provide a more in-depth look at the Dragon Empire.  While a few minor places like inns will be invented to suit our adventure, we will try to stay true to the locations as described in the 13th Age book. Red lines represent travel by land, blue lines by boat.

Journey1

Click on image to view full sized map with destination markers.

Adventure 1 – Alleric joined Augustine and Deneveve north of the Fangs at Oldstone Inn.  Together they set out to find  Jont Urner, the only known adventurer who escaped the Lich King’s labyrinth.  His last known location was Roachdale, deep in the Fangs.  The Fangs are a dangerous place lurking with monsters that fled the Midland Sea to live among the twisting rivers and overgrown marshes .  The party spent the better part of the day traveling carefully not to attract unwanted attention before reaching Roachdale where they were attcked by Vrock, a vulture demon from the Abyss.  After defeating their foe they found that the body of Jont Urner itself had hints of a map through the Lich King’s labyrinth, but only a compass from dragon bones could decipher the runes tattooed on his body.

Adventure 2 – In search of dragon bones needed for a compass the party headed to the White Dragon Inn in Shadow Port to seek out the dragon hunter Shez’A’Kah.   The journey to Shadow Port took them west through the Fangs then south through Bitterwood.  Living up to its name, Shadow Port is a pirate haven, smuggler’s nest and rumored to be visited frequently by the Prince of Shadows.    After besting Shez’A’Kah in a game of chess they were told to travel far south to the cold peaks of Gorogan’s Maw to find the dragons they sought.  Traveling to Gorogan’s Maw by land would take too much time so the party found a boat that would take them south through the Midland Sea.  The Midland Sea had been at peace since the Emperor took power and presented no challenges during their travels.  Few boats these days had disappeared on the seas without a traces and they were fortunate that theirs was not one of them.  Taking port at the western end of the Demon Coast the party continued their journey south on foot to the summit of Gorogan’s Maw.  Gorogan’s Maw was the location where great fiend Gorogan once clawed through the Abyss before the Great Gold Wyrm could seal the gap.  The high peaks were not an actual mountain, but rather his petrified demonic head frozen forever by forces unknown.  The area was known to crawl with demon spawns and treasure.  Where treasure lay, dragons gather.

 
(Sarah)    (Ben)

Part 2 Bluebook – Deneveve

Inner musings of Deneveve, elf cleric: 
BlueBooksDeneveve tugged at her jeweled gloves, making sure they were snug around her hands.  The movement wasn’t required – the gloves fit her perfectly the moment she slipped them on after exiting that dreafully unholy living dungeon called Roachdale – but it was a comforting movement to remind herself that they were still on her hands.  To think that Alleric, their dark elf “companion”, would try bartering off her precious gloves to the dragon hunter Shez-a-kah to gain information on a dragon’s where-abouts without first consulting her of her opinion on the matter was simply absurd.  At least Shez-a-kah gave her newly aquired gloves the admiration they deserved….. the sparkle, the shine, they were really quite lovely, weren’t they?  Thank the Priestess that her noble companion Augustine guarenteed that her gloves continued to stay in her posession by besting the dragon hunter in a game of wits and chess. 
For a brief moment Deneveve questioned when she had started caring so much about material things.  In what almost seemed like another life she served as a bodyguard to royalty, but had never owned anything more than what was required to carry out her duties.  When her life fell into darkness and the Priestess granted her a new one in the Cathedral she had taken nothing but the clothes on her back to call her own.  Books and holy scripture were the only thing that she cared for in the years since.  Yet here she was marveling over some shiny metal that protected her hands with the same awe she had seen ladies of the court take when presented with glittering gems.  Just then a soft glow of sunlight caught her jeweled gloves and was reflected beautifully in tiny rays of light.  Sensibility was cast aside.  Surely such gloves were only befitting of someone who served the god of Light.  
Her thoughts soured as they returned to Alleric.  The Priestess grant her patience.  Trying to barter her gloves away was not the only trouble that the dark elf had brought to their latest travels. The road ahead had unimaginable dangers enough without Alleric turning a group of white dragon hatchlings against them.  Gods of Light have mercy, she had actually believed this dark elf when he said he spoke proper Draconic.  Perhaps that breath of ice he took to the face when he tried walking past the dragons would teach him next time to take more care in the words he spoke.  Deneveve had healed him of course.  It was, after-all  the proper thing to do.  Augustine had accepted the dark elf’s aid as a way to redeem himself from no doubt a wicked past and she had sworn her services as a healer to Augustine.  It seemed everyone in this small band of adventurers was on a path of redemption from their past, but without a doubt Alleric had the longest way to go.  
Despite the dark elf’s misgivings, she could not deny that he was becoming a valued member in their party.  With everything she and Augustine had encountered in the short time since they left the Cathedral it was only by the god of Light’s grace that they were still alive.  The evil she encountered in the living dungeon was enough for one adventurer’s lifetime, but in the days since they had also come up against dragon.  Dragons!  Not one, but three!  Plus the hatchlings and an entire camp of kobolds.  Alleric was not proving very useful when it came to getting information…. or facilitating peace talks among dragons…but at least his skills in arcane destruction helped them all stay alive when enemies struck.  Deneveve would do her part as a cleric to keep him alive in turn.  As long as he didn’t try to remove her jeweled gloves from her possession again.  

(Sarah)    (Ben)