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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.

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)

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