By ASH LAW
Sorcerers are all about timing, forgoing attacks now to cast an empowered spell later. Last week we introduced the Arcane Sorcerer. Today, it’s a new build with a draconic spin.
Download the Dragon Sorcerer character sheets here.
This sorcerer build is all about being as dragon-like as possible, and resisting energy attacks.
The build’s focus on breath weapons means that the sorcerer works best when close to the action (but not too close).
This sorcerer can resist energy attacks, so can move to the frontline against enemies whose damage it can shrug off. Otherwise it is best darting in and out of the battle, avoiding being pinned down and taking out multiple enemies with its breath weapon. Your metallic protector talent lets you resist energy as a quick action so do it as soon as you spot energy attacks being used (or you suspect that they might be), and use your resist energy spell to grant the same resistance to your allies. At epic tier you also gain once-per-day resistance to demon and dragon attacks—useful if you’ve gained dragon or infernal enemies.
Your talents make you optimized for breath weapons, so use them—even if you blow them on low-level mooks early in the adventuring day it you’ll have still saved the resources of the rest of the party. As a dragonic you get a once-per-battle breath weapon—if you run out of sorcerous breath you can still use your racial breath weapon.
When this sorcerer fails to recharge a breath weapon it is sometimes better to gather power and hope that the breath weapon recharges in time for it to be cast empowered on the following turn.
Your familiar is a small dragonette—make regular use of your familiar’s random abilities, it is your third talent and while not as useful in combat as other talents has lots of out of combat applications. At 4th level this sorcerer learns ritual casting, so keep imaginative non-combat uses of breath weapons in mind when playing this character.
Keep multiple breath weapon spells active at the same time.
Improves chances of re-using breath weapons.
A small dragonette with the flight ability, and one random ability that changes each day.
Charisma and Constitution are important sorcerer attributes: Str 8, Con 16, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 20.
Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 16 (+3) Dex 12 (+1) Int 8 (-1) Wis 10 (0) Cha 20 (+5)
Racial Power: breath weapon
Talents: chromatic destroyer, metallic protector, spell sorcerer’s familiar
Feats: metallic protector
Spells: breath of the white, burning hands, chaos bolt, resist energy
New spell (scorching ray), new feat (chromatic destroyer).
New spell (breath of the green), level-up spells (breath of the white, resist energy), new feat (burning hands).
+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), all spells now 3rd level, new feat (ritual casting).
New spell (breath of the black), level-up spells (breath of the white, breath of the green, resist energy), new feat (chromatic destroyer).
New spell (swap scorching ray for dragon’s leap), all spells now 5th level, new feat (breath weapon).
+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), new spell (breath of the blue), level-up spells (breath of the white, breath of the green, breath of the black, dragon’s leap), new feat (metallic protector).
All spells now 7th level, new feat (chromatic destroyer).
New spells (breath of the void), level-up spells (breath of the white, breath of the green, breath of the black, breath of the blue, dragon’s leap) new feat (metallic protector).
+1 to three attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom), all spells now 9th level, new feat (breath of the blue).
By ASH LAW
Sorcerers are all about timing, forgoing attacks now to cast an empowered spell later. Today we’ll be presenting a sorcerer with a touch of wizardry, the Arcane Sorcerer. Next week, we’ll share one inspired by and infused with the power of dragons.
Sorcerers can be ‘swingy’—they are for players who like sudden unexpected surges of power that turn the tide of battle in their favor.
Download the Arcane Sorcerer character sheets here.
This sorcerer build focuses on close-up dependable magic, a ‘semi-melee caster’ that evolves into a flying teleporting menace as it levels up through higher tiers of play.
This sorcerer is an all-rounder, able to go toe-to-toe when needed or switch to ranged combat to support tougher warriors. As this sorcerer relies upon mobility and deterrence to avoid damage, if there are tougher warriors in the party let them handle melee while you hang back. Your sorcerer isn’t as tough as a fighter or paladin, so make wise use of spells that encourage enemies to keep their distance.
At 1st level this character has simple blast-away spells (burning hands and magic missile), and two more involved spells (the chaining lightning fork and the random chaos bolt)—at higher levels the spells become more complex.
The addition of the auto-hits wizard spell balances ‘swinginess’ from the wood elf racial and infernal heritage talent—so on a bad dice day use magic missile often (at champion tier it can be empowered).
Gather power is a worthwhile action in a fight—do it early and often so that when you let fly with empowered spells the following round the chances of hitting will be higher due to the escalation die. The wood elf’s racial power gives you extra actions—use these when they come up to gather power and cast on the same turn.
A +2 magical background, and a wizard spell as an equal-level alternative to a sorcerer spell.
This adds daily barbarian-rage-like ‘spell frenzy’, and damage resistance.
A +2 AC bonus and you don’t provoke opportunity attacks when casting spells.
Wood elves’ elven grace nets us extra standard actions to gather power.
For this sorcerer, Charisma and Constitution are important attributes: Str 8, Con 16, Dex 16, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 16.
Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 16 (+3) Dex 16 (+3) Int 12 (+1) Wis 10 (0) Cha 16 (+3)
Racial Power: elven grace
Talents: arcane heritage, infernal heritage, spell fist
Feats: infernal heritage
Spells: magic missile, burning hands, chaos bolt, lightning fork
New spell (breath of the white), new feat (spell fist).
New spell (echoing thunder), level-up spells (lightning fork, chaos bolt), new feat (lightning fork).
+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), all spells now 3rd level, new feat (arcane heritage).
New spell (queen’s shadows), level-up spells (lightning fork, echoing thunder, magic missile), new feat (arcane heritage).
New spell (swap breath of the white for dragon’s leap), all spells now 5th level, new feat (elven grace).
+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), new spell (touch of evil), level-up spells (magic missile, lightning fork, echoing thunder, queen’s shadows), new feat (spell fist).
All spells now 7th level, new feat (spell fist).
New spells (resist energy, swap burning hands for three dooms), level-up spells (magic missile, chaos bolt, lightning fork, echoing thunder, queen’s shadows) new feat (infernal heritage).
+1 to three attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom), all spells now 9th level, new feat (echoing thunder).
Ripped from the history books, here’s a great choice the next time you’re asked to create a Trail of Cthulhu player character: Bessie Coleman, aka Queen Bess, pioneering African American aviator. An active protagonist if ever there was one, she taught herself to fly when neither women nor black people were supposed to do so. So she went to France to get her pilot’s license, dated two years before Amelia Earhart’s. Unable to get conventional piloting work back in the states, she returned to Europe to learn barrel rolls and other aerobatic techniques, then toured the US as a popular barnstormer. Coleman forced promoters to desegregate her audiences, and turned her back on a Hollywood career when asked to play a stereotypical role.
(In some of her publicity shots, she bears a striking resemblance to Janelle Monae. Somebody call somboedy’s agent.)
History tells us that she died in an air accident in 1926. Those of us steeped in horror adventure can see the flaws in that story, in which she allowed her mechanic to fly the plane, and it went out of control due to a literal wrench left in the engine case. A little too on the nose, surely—clearly she’s signaling to those in the know that she’s faking her own death. And if she’s doing that in ‘26, clearly she has to drop from sight to settle some business with Nyarlathotep.
That’s her backstory when it comes time to play her a few years later, in the Trail era.
Pilots can be a little hard to work into the action of a standard multiplayer game. As a GM you might build a Cthulhu Confidential series around her, with lots of aerial Challenges and problem solving. She speaks fluent French, so one of her globe-trotting Mythos-busting cases could take her to Paris to rub elbows with the Dreamhounds of the surrealist movement. Chauvinists like Andre Breton and Luis Buñuel might not know what to make of her, but a romp into Unknown Kadath with Gala Dalí and Kiki de Montparnasse might be just the thing. Perhaps she would also insist on taking Josephine Baker along, too. I’m sure she’ll be entirely careful while buzzing Mount Hatheg-Kla in the butterfly ornithopter Kiki has dreamed up for her.
The Archmage BANISHES them.
The Crusader CONQUERS them.
The Great Gold Wyrm DEFIES them.
The Diabolist SUMMONS them.
When the world cracks open and the demons attack, what will YOU do?
The Book of Demons takes an in-depth look at the Abyssal enemies of the 13th Age – the demonic hordes whose eternal struggle to shatter reality causes hellholes, dimensional breaches, and other, even weirder assaults on the world.
- Master the forbidden arts of the demonologist class
- Claim demon-tainted magic items (or be claimed by them…)
- Discover how to seal a hellhole and save the world
For Game Masters:
- Five detailed hellholes, and advice on making your own
- Secrets of the Crusader and the Diabolist
- Demons! Demons! Demons!
Status: In development
(Cover art by Melissa Gay)
Fallen icons, apocalyptic fire giants, and a purple dragon who throws the best parties: welcome to 13th Age Bestiary 2!
We had so much fun with the first 13th Age Bestiary that we’re making an even bigger monster book! More than 250 individual stat blocks appear in 40+ all-new entries, plus a dozen revised and expanded monsters that first appeared in 13th Age Monthly. Each monster comes with story hooks, icon relationships, customizable campaign variants, and advice on creating exciting battles.
New monsters for your campaign include:
- Fallen icons like the Gold King and the Forest that Walks, powerful beings who must be defeated by a blend of swords, spells, and campaign victories.
- A wizard bonded to their spellbook, a rogue bonded to their magic cloak, and other former heroes who took shortcuts to power by merging with their magic items.
- The Lich King’s covert undead propaganda force: the Cult of the Silver Hand.
- Fomorians, monstrous worshipers and children of the ancient chaos gods (fomorian art by Ania Kryczkowska).
- Rattletales, dangerous spirits who will probably leave you alone if you can tell them a truly scary story (ideally, one about rattletales).
- Malatyne, the purple dragon whose entertainments are legendary—and the player characters might be the main attraction…
- Lions (temple); tigers (elemental & rakshasa); and owlbears (plumed).
Coming in the fall of 2017.
Lead Designers: Rob Heinsoo, ASH LAW
Developer: Rob Heinsoo
Art Direction: Rob Heinsoo, Cathriona Tobin
Interior Art: Rich Longmore, Ania Kryczkowska, Aaron McConnell, Lee Moyer, Patricia Smith, Naomi VanDoren
Authors: Liz Argall, Paul Fanning, Jaym Gates, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Lynne Hardy, Rob Heinsoo, ASH LAW, Cal Moore, Carrie Rasmussen-Law, Wade Rockett, Aaron Roudabush, Michael E. Shea, Ruth Tillman, Jonathan Tweet, Steven Warzeha, Emily Westfall
The book has been written.
The book has been read.
Now it rewrites you.
Across time it spreads, creating dread new realities.
And you’re in all of them.
Pelgrane Press is terrified to announce that The Yellow King Roleplaying Game is coming soon to a Kickstarter near you.
Written and designed by GUMSHOE master Robin D. Laws, YKRPG takes you on a brain-bending spiral through multiple selves and timelines.
Inspired by Robert W. Chambers’ influential cycle of short stories, it pits the characters against the reality-altering horror of The King in Yellow. This suppressed play, once read, invites madness or a visit from its titular character, an alien ruler intent on invading and remolding our world into a colony of their planet, Carcosa.
Four books, served up together in a beautiful slipcase, confront your players with an epic journey into reality horror:
- Belle Epoque Paris, where a printed version of the dread play is first published. Players portray American art students in its absinthe-soaked world, navigating the Parisian demimonde and investigating mysteries involving gargoyles, vampires, and decadent alien royalty.
- The Wars, an alternate reality in which the players take on the role of soldiers bogged down in the great European conflict of 1947. While trying to stay alive on an eerie, shifting battlefield, they investigate supernatural mysteries generated by the occult machinations of the Yellow King and his rebellious daughters.
- Aftermath, set later in the same reality, in 2017 North America. A bloody insurrection has toppled a dictatorial regime loyal to Carcosa. Players become former partisans adjusting to ordinary life, trying to build a just society from the ashes of civil war. But not all of the monsters have been thoroughly banished—and like it or not, they’re the ones with the skills to hunt them and finish them off.
- This is Normal Now. In the 2017 we know, albeit one subtly permeated by supernatural beings and maddening reality shifts, ordinary people band together, slowly realizing that they are the key to ending a menace spanning eras and realities.
New GUMSHOE features include:
- A completely new player-facing combat system.
- A fresh, evocative approach to wounds, physical and psychic, inspired by the innovations of GUMSHOE One-2-One.
- Linked character creation across multiple settings.
Crowdfunding in 2017 for a 2018 release.
The latest edition of See Page XX is out now! Featuring Icons for Ashen Stars, our official Community Use policy, and mo’ Mythos problems for Cthulhu Confidential, as well as new releases The Valkyrie Gambit and GM Screen and Resource Book for TimeWatch.
We’re putting the finishing touches to some overdue projects this month, including sending the final version of Cthulhu Confidential – now with an additional chapter about the Mythos, and many typo fixes – to the printers. We’ll be closing pre-orders for this on March 21st. We’re also shipping the physical Hawkins Papers to Kickstarter backers this month, so Pelgranista homes no longer double as “Hawkins document storage”. Both projects have been greatly improved by the additional time we’ve spent on them, and we’re excited to see what you make of them.
Speaking of time, here’s what we’re releasing this month, too – specifically, pre-orders for a set of three new adventures called The Valkyrie Gambit, along with the GM Screen and Resource Guide, both of which are for the TimeWatch RPG. The PDFs will be available to download in mid-March. And as we’re on the subject, today’s date is significant – it’s Gareth’s birthday. Have a good one, Gareth!
See Page XX Poll
If you could use Pelgrane Press artwork, settings, and original characters for original, fan-made materials, what would you create?
If you could create your own GUMSHOE game, 13th Age compatible supplement or game powered by the system which powers the 13th Age what would you do?
This article doesn’t answer those questions – but it does address how you can!
Create Non-Commercial Content
What Esoterror investigations would you have the Ordo Veritatis send player characters on? What crimes would challenge the mutant detectives in your webcomic about the Heightened Crimes Investigation Unit? What cool smartphone lock screen would you design for agents of TimeWatch, or the vampire hunters in Night’s Black Agents? What would your custom 13th Age Character class look like?
Let’s find out!
With the Pelgrane Press Ltd Community Use Policy, our community can use our artwork and game world elements in free, fan-created adventure campaigns, wikis, fan fiction, and so on.
A few important notes, though:
- Professional publishers are not allowed to use this content.
- This policy applies to every Pelgrane Press product except the 13th Age product line—that game has its own policy over at Fire Opal Media’s website.
- If you want to design playable GUMSHOE-compatible materials, you’ll also need to follow the Open GUMSHOE terms in either the Open Game License or Creative Commons License. Read more here.
Make Your Own GUMSHOE, 13th Age and DramaSystem Games
You can create your own GUMSHOE game not based on Pelgrane Press intellectual property and sell them or give them away. In fact, it’s already been done.
For the GUMSHOE system there’s Bubblegumshoe – the game of teen detectives, Harlem Unbound, a Mythos RPG set in 1920s NYC and for Ars Magic Tales of the Quaesitors. For DramaSystem there’s Malandros in which you play characters in a tight-knit community in the final year of the Empire of Brazil. There are a whole bunch of supplements for 13th Age including the Kobold Press range such as the Midgard Bestiary.
- GUMSHOE is available under two licenses – choose the one which suits you. There is a cut down rules summary (SRD) which you can use to form the basis of your game. More information and links to the SRD can be found here here.
- DramaSystem is available under two licenses. There is a cut down rules summary (SRD) which you can use to form the basis of your game.More information and links to the SRD can be found here.
- 13th Age has two licenses, one stricter than the other. There is an overview here. The stricter 13th Age Compatibility license allows professional publishers to use our Open Content to create commercial products compatible with the 13th Age Roleplaying Game and to put our “13th Age Compatible” logo on them.
- The 13th Age Archmage Engine license allows professional publishers to use our Open Content to create commercial products and to put our “Archmage Engine” logo on them. The difference is that your product does not have to strictly rely on the 13th Age Roleplaying Game.
So now, go create!
If you are interested any of these games, please email us with the adventure you wish to playtest in the subject line.
Title: The Persephone Extraction
System: Night’s Black Agents
Author: See individual entries
Deadline: 31st March
Number of sessions: 2-4
THE PERSEPHONE EXTRACTION is a campaign for Night’s Black Agents. Each of the adventures below should take 2-4 sessions to play through, and is largely standalone. Please let us know which one you would like to playtest – once you have submitted your playtest feedback, you can playtest a second adventure. THE PERSEPHONE EXTRACTION is the first adventure in the sequence and THE PEOPLE OF ASH is the last; the other three can be played in any order. The adventures are:
- THE PERSEPHONE EXTRACTION (Emma Marlow): Someone’s framed the Agents for a murder that hasn’t happened – yet. Warring factions within the Conspiracy struggle for control of a biological weapon, and its designer holds the answers the Agents need. Can they find Morgane Le Corre before her pursuers track her down – and just who else is hunting her?
- SLEEPING GIANTS (Will Plant): The trail leads through Moscow to a sealed city, where forbidden plagues slumber in a concrete tomb buried deep beneath the tundra. The Conspiracy are on their way here, to obtain more of the pathogen they need to implement their cryptic Pale Agenda. The Agents are all that stands between the vampires and the plague…
- CLEAN-HEELED ACHILLES (Heather Albano): Mysterious disappearances and archaeological traces bring the Agents to Istanbul, where they must uncover the secrets of an ancient monastery – and descend into the Underworld to confront the living dead.
- THE PALE AGENDA (Bill White): The Conspiracy intends to recruit an international drug smuggler as part of their plan to end the world – but that initiation gives the Agents a vitally needed entry vector into the vampires’ most cherished tool. Corporate intrigue meets occult rituals in Madrid…
- THE PEOPLE OF ASH (Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan): The final assault on the Conspiracy takes the Agents to Greece. There, they must uncover the ancient lair of the vampire elders and destroy them, once and for all time. Their clandestine odyssey ends in darkness…