THE MONK

By ASH LAW

In this series by ASH LAW, we feature two different builds for every 13th Age character class, at all levels. ASH suggests how the builds might be used, and offers tips on playing each character. Stats are based on the point-buy method, and the characters have no non-standard elements.

 

THE MONK

 

The mighty monk: never unarmed because their fists (and feet, and foreheads) are weapons. Wielding the power of ki, monks are by default also fighting with two weapons. Monks don’t make weapon attacks, nor unarmed attacks like other classes—instead they make special attacks known as Jab, Punch, and Kick attacks. You also use attack forms (opening, flow, finishing) that grant AC bonuses (+1, +2, +3). As the combat progresses you cycle through forms, dealing damage for Jabs, Punches, and Kicks.

As a monk expect to be very mobile on the battlefield, but be careful not to get too far ahead of the rest of the party. You should also expect to track ki, work out which forms to use and when, and to know when to activate your ki powers. This class has a lot of moving parts to track and isn’t for those who prefer a simpler combatant.

 

PHOENIX-FIST MONK

 

Download the Phoenix-Fist Monk character sheets here.

 

This monk is all about avoiding damage while dishing it out. Talents like flurry give extra attacks, and phoenix-touched and spinning willow style let us heal or avoid damage.

This monk build works well as a defender, soaking up attacks that would otherwise target your allies. You are that unusual class build—one that actively relishes being engaged with multiple tougher enemies.

 

Talents

 

Flurry

Make extra quick action attacks each round, provided the escalation die is high enough.

Phoenix-Touched

Use Charisma in place of Wisdom for monk class attacks, talents, features, etc. Plus heal yourself. Plus deal extra damage to engaged enemies.

Spinning Willow Style

Take half (or no) damage from certain attacks.

 

Race

Half orcs get a once-per-battle re-roll on attacks, very useful for this monk as it will be making a lot of attacks.

 

Attributes

For this build, Charisma replaces Wisdom as one of the most important attributes, but being a monk it’s still important to keep attributes balanced: Str 16 (+3) Con 14 (+2) Dex 16 (+3) Int 10 (0) Wis 10 (0) Cha 16 (+3).

1st level

Attributes: Str 16 (+3) Con 14 (+2) Dex 16 (+3) Int 10 (0) Wis 10 (0) Cha 16 (+3)

Racial Power: lethal

Talents: flurry, phoenix-touched, spinning willow style

Feats: toughness

Ki: 4

Ki Powers: a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends

Attack Forms: dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes)

 

2nd level

New feat (flurry), ki (5), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes)).

 

3rd level

New feat (phoenix-touched), ki (5), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick)).

 

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Charisma), new feat (spinning willow style), ki (5), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick)).

 

5th level

New feat (flurry), ki (6), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness)).

 

6th level

New feat (phoenix-touched), new talent (path of the perfect warrior), ki (6), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends, perfect breath), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness)).

 

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Charisma), new feat (spinning willow style), ki (7), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends, perfect breath), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness), tiger in storm (stalking tiger, tiger follows blood, striped lightning roars)).

 

8th level

New feat (flurry), ki (7), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends, perfect breath), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness), tiger in storm (stalking tiger, tiger follows blood, striped lightning roars), death’s quivering shadow (invoke the name, stunning fist, ghostwalk of the fallen king)).

 

9th level

New feat (phoenix-touched), new talent (champion of three worlds), ki (7), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends, perfect breath), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness), tiger in storm (stalking tiger, tiger follows blood, striped lightning roars), death’s quivering shadow (invoke the name, stunning fist, ghostwalk of the fallen king)).

 

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Charisma), new feat (spinning willow style), ki (7), ki powers (a thousand palms, imperial phoenix flare, the willow bends, perfect breath), attack forms (dutiful guardian (one must be free, wind horse shakes mane, temple lion stands true), way of the metallic dragon (bronze thwarts an army, silver warrior advances, general slays the hordes), iron crusader form (no retreat, no mercy, no weakness), tiger in storm (stalking tiger, tiger follows blood, striped lightning roars), death’s quivering shadow (invoke the name, stunning fist, ghostwalk of the fallen king), flagrant blossoms (the petals open, fist shows the path to wisdom, lotus dreams the world)).

THE MONK

By ASH LAW

In this series by ASH LAW, we feature two different builds for every 13th Age character class, at all levels. ASH suggests how the builds might be used, and offers tips on playing each character. Stats are based on the point-buy method, and the characters have no non-standard elements.

 

THE MONK

 

The mighty monk: never unarmed because their fists (and feet, and foreheads) are weapons. Wielding the power of ki, monks are by default also fighting with two weapons. Monks don’t make weapon attacks, nor unarmed attacks like other classes—instead they make special attacks known as Jab, Punch, and Kick attacks. You also use attack forms (opening, flow, finishing) that grant AC bonuses (+1, +2, +3). As the combat progresses you cycle through forms, dealing damage for Jabs, Punches, and Kicks.

As a monk expect to be very mobile on the battlefield, but be careful not to get too far ahead of the rest of the party. You should also expect to track ki, work out which forms to use and when, and to know when to activate your ki powers. This class has a lot of moving parts to track and isn’t for those who prefer a simpler combatant.

 

FLYING DAGGERS MONK

 

Download the Flying Daggers Monk character sheets here.

 

This monk is all about battlefield mobility, with access to ranged attacks that add extra flexibility to the build. When using your attacks (opening, flow, finishing) pick ones that allow you to pop free if you are engaged, or ones that grant extra movement, or that allow you to fly.

This monk isn’t exactly fragile, but works best when it is darting from foe to foe and avoiding getting bogged down, so don’t be afraid to pull back and make ranged attacks when monsters are too tough for you to face one-on-one.

 

Talents

 

Temple Weapon Master

Turn misses into hits when you are fighting with a weapon that fits your style, which for this build would be throwing stars, arrows, etc.

Heavens Arrow

You have no penalties for using ranged weapons, and you can sometimes make ranged attacks in place of melee attacks as part of your fighting forms.

Leaf on the Wind

Gain extra move actions, fall without damage by using nearby handholds to slow you, and sometimes you fly.

 

Race

Halflings have the neat evasive and small powers that lets them dodge through battles—perfect for a flying daggers monk.

 

Attributes

Wisdom gives us ki, Dexterity and Strength are important for attacks, and Constitution is needed for hit points—the monk needs to be a balanced character. Fortunately the monk gets two +2 attribute bonuses from its class, instead of the usual one!: Str 16 (+3) Con 14 (+2) Dex 16 (+3) Int 10 (0) Wis 16 (+3) Cha 10 (0).

1st level

Attributes: Str 16 (+3) Con 14 (+2) Dex 16 (+3) Int 10 (0) Wis 16 (+3) Cha 10 (0).

Racial Power: small, evasive

Talents: temple weapon master, heavens arrow, leaf on wind

Feats: ki

Ki: 1

Ki Powers: supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade

Attack Forms: claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp)

 

2nd level

New feat (leaf on wind), ki (6), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp)).

 

3rd level

New feat (heavens arrow), ki (6), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick)).

 

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom), new feat (precise shot), ki (6), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick)).

 

5th level

New feat (ki), ki (7), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist)).

 

6th level

New feat (leaf on wind), new talent (improbable stunt), ki (7), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade, ludicrous improbability manoeuvre), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), dance of the mantis (springing mantis strike, the pincer whirls shut, precise mantis kick), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist)).

 

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom), new feat (heavens arrow), ki (8), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade, ludicrous improbability maneuver), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), three evil dragons (the burning shadow, blue lightning fist, red fury), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist)).

 

8th level

New feat (leaf on wind), ki (8), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade, ludicrous improbability maneuver), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), three evil dragons (the burning shadow, blue lightning fist, red fury), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist), feathered serpent (coils dispense blessings, feathers on talons on scales, poisoned heaven kick)).

 

9th level

New feat (heavens arrow), new talent (abundant step), ki (8), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade, ludicrous improbability maneuver), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), three evil dragons (the burning shadow, blue lightning fist, red fury), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist), feathered serpent (coils dispense blessings, feathers on talons on scales, poisoned heaven kick)).

 

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom), new feat (abundant step), ki (8), ki powers (supreme warrior discipline, wind from heaven, wind’s comrade, ludicrous improbability maneuver), attack forms (claws of the panther (panther spins free, cat cuts between hounds, twinned panther claws), three cunning tricksters (fox senses weakness, monkey taps the shoulder, crane summons carp), three evil dragons (the burning shadow, blue lightning fist, red fury), rising phoenix (rising phoenix fist, becomes the pillar of flame, life burning fire fist), spiral path (the cycle opens, spiral ascension widens, star joins as ally), feathered serpent (coils dispense blessings, feathers on talons on scales, poisoned heaven kick)).

 

In the demonologist playtest I ran a week ago, the non-demonologist character in the party cast turn undead against a mixed group of zombie mooks and ghostly mooks. We were halfway through the attack when we all realized, no, this couldn’t be right, something was wrong with our results.

I must have half-remembered an earlier moment with the cleric’s spellbook because I decided to look at the 13th Age FAQ here on the Pelgrane website. Half a minute later I was reading the turn undead FAQ entry from the cleric section to my players, who guffawed when I read the part that said the turn undead spell isn’t playing as intended against mooks, and that “Rob Heinsoo says . . . .” The FAQ goes on to explain how the spell can be revised to work properly against mooks.

Now that I’ve designed many more classes, I realize that turn undead could use a bit of a tune-up. The version of the spell below is what I’ll use in my game. I’m sorry that it’s wordier, but it now folds in the mook usage notes from the FAQ. It also has slightly improved adventure-tier and champion-tier feats. Not so much that the feats are must-haves, because spells that only target one or two types of enemy are either heavenly-useful or hellishly-irrelevant. But if you’re going to take feats that are attached to a questionably relevant daily spell, you should have a little more fun with it.  The improvements make it less likely that casting the spell at its proper targets will play out as an unlucky waste of time.

 

Turn Undead

Close-quarters spell

Daily

Target: 1d4 nearby undead creatures, each with 55 hp or fewer

Attack: Wisdom + Charisma + Level vs. MD

Hit: The target is dazed until end of your next turn.

Hit by 4: 1d10 x your level holy damage, and the target is dazed until end of your next turn.

Hit by 8+ vs. non-mook: Holy damage equal to half the target’s maximum hit points, and the target is dazed (save ends).

Hit by 8+ vs. mook: 4d10 x your level holy damage, and any mooks left in the mob after this attack is over are dazed (save ends).

Hit by 12+ or Natural 20 vs. non-mook: The target is destroyed.

Hit by 12+ or Natural 20 vs. mook: 4d20 x your level holy damage, and any mooks left in the mob after this attack is over are dazed (hard save ends).

 

3rd level spell       Target with 90 hp or fewer.

5th level spell       Target with 150 hp or fewer.

7th level spell       Target with 240 hp or fewer.

9th level spell       Target with 400 hp or fewer.

Adventurer Feat: If you wish, you can expend your daily use of turn undead to gain an additional use of heal in one battle. Cast against undead targets, the spell now targets 1d3 +1 undead instead of 1d4 undead.

Champion Feat: You can choose to target either demons or undead with the spell (but not both with the same casting). In addition, natural even attack rolls with the spell weaken targets instead of dazing them.

Epic Feat: Increase the targeting limit by 100 hp.

THE NECROMANCER

By ASH LAW

In this series by ASH LAW, we feature two different builds for every 13th Age character class, at all levels. ASH suggests how the builds might be used, and offers tips on playing each character. Stats are based on the point-buy method, and the characters have no non-standard elements.

 

MORTAL MAGICS NECROMANCER

 

Download the Mortal Magics Necromancer character sheets here.

 

This necromancer is all about magic, deadly magic. The magic of the dead.
As with other necromancers this one avoids penalties from high Constitution, and benefits from the wasting away class feature via feats.

The mortal magics build avoids summoning, in favor of direct magical attacks. This means that you’ll have no shambling army of undead to stand behind. Your best plan is to hit enemies hard and fast, then retreat behind tougher party members.
Your spells let you do things like temporarily turning your allies (or yourself) into terrifying undead monsters—as well as more direct attacks. You can switch out spells at the start of each day, so these are suggestions only.

You are not tough, and have no undead minions to hide behind—but the death knell class feature and the death’s call spell let you heal yourself, as does cackling soliloquist. Add to that the fact that your wasting away class feature means that you just won’t stay dead.

 

Talents

 

Cackling Soliloquist

Take a bit longer (and make a grand speech) while casting a daily spell and it becomes a recharge (18+) spell, and you get a minor improvement to the spell.

Deathknell

As a quick action kill a nearby enemy that is at or below a certain hit point threshold.

It’s Complicated

Your icon relationships are worse, but get an extra daily spell.

 

Race

Dark elven cruelty is the order of the day for this necromancer.

 

Attributes

Low Constitution, high Intelligence, a dash of Charisma: Str 8 (-1) Con 8 (-1) Dex 8 (-1) Int 20 (+5) Wis 10 (0) Cha 18 (+3).

1st level

Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 8 (-1) Dex 8 (-1) Int 20 (+5) Wis 10 (0) Cha 16 (+3)

Racial Power: cruelty

Talents: cackling soliloquist, deathknell, it’s complicated

Feats: wasting away

Skeletal Minion Level: 1

Spells: zombie form, channel life, unholy blast, chant of endings, terror

2nd level

New feat (deathknell), spells (1st level: zombie form, channel life, unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, terror).

3rd level

New feat (cackling soliloquist), spells (1st level: unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, 3rd level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, terror).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (terror), spells (3rd level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, terror).

5th level

New feat (deathknell), spells (3rd level: unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, 5th level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, death’s call, terror).

6th level

New feat (wasting away), spells (5th level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, death’s call, terror).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (cackling soliloquist), spells (5th level: unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, 7th level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, negative energy shield, death’s call, terror).

8th level

New feat (wasting away), spells (7th level: zombie form, ghoul form, channel life, negative energy shield, unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, death’s call, terror).

9th level

New feat (deathknell), spells (7th level: unholy blast, death’s gauntlet, chant of endings, 9th level: zombie form, ghoul form, vampiric form, channel life, negative energy shield, death’s call, terror).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (cackling soliloquist), spells (9th level: zombie form, ghoul form, vampiric form, channel life, negative energy shield, unholy blast, chant of endings, death’s gauntlet, death’s call, terror).

THE NECROMANCER

By ASH LAW

In this series by ASH LAW, we feature two different builds for every 13th Age character class, at all levels. ASH suggests how the builds might be used, and offers tips on playing each character. Stats are based on the point-buy method, and the characters have no non-standard elements.

The Necromancer: digging up old acquaintances and making new friends!

This class is for players who like things a little darker, and can handle a bit more complexity and decision-making than is found in most other classes. The necromancer has aspects of battlefield control (by deploying undead servants to engage enemies, and hindering enemies via spells), healer (via things like channel life and deathknell), and part buffer (via the various turn-into-undead spells). More than other classes, the necromancer helps to define the shape and terms of a battle.

DEATH GRIP NECROMANCER

 

Download the Death-Grip Necromancer character sheets here.

 

This necromancer build is all about maximizing the number and potency of your undead followers. I’ve called this build ‘death-grip’ because leader-of-undead-multitude is a bit of a mouthful.

The spells you have tend to focus around improving the abilities of your undead followers, or summoning even more of them. You’ll even end up with powers that kill enemies and bring them back as undead under your command. Meanwhile your feats focus on improving your loyal skeletal minion, and getting the most out of a negative constitution modifier via the wasting away class feature.

You can cast your spells as rituals, so look forward to ritually raising graveyards full of workers to build a tower for you. Like a wizard you can pick new spells at the start of each day (so this build has only ‘suggested’ spells, rather than an inviolable list). You also gain a benefit from the wasting away feature, giving you FIVE death saves to fail before you die, and an identical number of last gasp saves.

Necromancers aren’t known for being tough (quite the opposite), so avoid getting into situations where you are a target. Hang back, and flood the battlefield with undead. Your skeletal minion isn’t the most impressive of your array of undead friends, so use it more as a disposable bodyguard than as your main offensive ploy.

 

Talents

 

Death Priest

Perform seances to commune with the spirits of the dead, gaining useful information.

Redeemer

When your followers die, you release them to their afterlife—as a result they fight for you with greater potency.

Skeletal Minion

You have a loyal servant/bodyguard, and when it inevitably falls apart you just go dig up a new servant.

 

Race

Dragonics get a handy breath weapon, useful if an enemy gets too close. Our dragon will be bone-white, naturally.

 

Attributes

For necromancers Constitution is a dump stat—in fact it is beneficial for necromancers to have as low a constitution as possible. What we do want is lots of Intelligence and a touch of Charisma: Str 8 (-1) Con 8 (-1) Dex 8 (-1) Int 20 (+5) Wis 10 (0) Cha 18 (+4).

1st level

Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 8 (-1) Dex 8 (-1) Int 20 (+5) Wis 10 (0) Cha 18 (+4)

Racial Power: breath weapon

Talents: death priest, redeemer, skeletal minion

Feats: wasting away

Skeletal Minion Level: 1

Spells: summon undead, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life

2nd level

New feat (skeletal minion (1st adventurer feat)), skeletal minion level (2), spells (1st level: summon undead, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, unholy blast).

3rd level

New feat (skeletal minion (2nd adventurer feat)), skeletal minion level (3), spells (1st level: command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, 3rd level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (skeletal minion (3rd adventurer feat)), skeletal minion level (4), spells (3rd level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life).

5th level

New feat (wasting away), skeletal minion level (5), spells (3rd level: command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, 5th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith).

6th level

New feat (skeletal minion (1st champion feat)), skeletal minion level (6), spells (5th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (skeletal minion, (2nd champion feat)), skeletal minion level (7), spells (5th level: command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, 7th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith, death’s call).

8th level

New feat (wasting away), skeletal minion level (8), spells (7th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, death’s call).

9th level

New feat (skeletal minion (1st epic feat)), skeletal minion level (9), spells (7th level: command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, 9th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith, finger of death, death’s call).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Intelligence, Wisdom, Charisma), new feat (skeletal minion (2nd epic feat)), skeletal minion level (10), spells (9th level: summon undead, the bones beneath, summon horror, summon wraith, command undead, death’s gauntlet, channel life, finger of death, death’s call).

 

Publishing Lions & Tigers & Owlbears: 13th Age Bestiary 2 feels like a celebration! As part of the fun, we’re offering sample monsters from the book to a few gaming and geek culture sites, and I’m taking a sage moment here to tease out the origin stories.

Rakshasa: The rakshasa entry started with art. Lee Moyer created a couple wonderful rakshasa illustrations and asked me if I liked them. I loved them enough to write them up as part of a 13th Age Monthly installment, but didn’t think to create the rakshasa saint who surely appears in at least one of the pictures. ASH LAW wrote adventure hooks, added stats for the rakshasa saint and the rakshasa delver, and then I drafted a rakshasa into service as the tigerish-mastermind creating the conflict on the Bestiary 2 cover, with pencils by Aaron McConnell and paints by Lee.

Rakshasas are complex creatures. They can be handled so many different ways in fantasy games, and even in different 13th Age campaigns. We’ve made them tough in combat, with new ideas in the descriptive text to suggest that combat could be the least of your worries when rakshasas are involved. In fact, part of the reason we keep shapechanging rare in 13th Age is to make it a scary part of the arsenal of rakshasas and other evil masterminds. . . .

Great Ghoul: Did you read Ruth Tillman’s Eldritch Icons columns on the Illuminerdy website? If not, do so now!

When ASH came up with the concept of fallen icons, I thought immediately about the ghoul king that Ruth had started to write up, and its jackal priests. I didn’t want to introduce a whole new ecology of icons (proper term: an icology) in the Dragon Empire, but a single eldritch icon, left over from a previous dark era, lingering as a fallen icon? Yes! And wow, did Ruth deliver. Along with Paul Fanning’s Gold King (a part of which was previously excerpted here on the Pelgrane website), the Great Ghoul is a fallen icon that can have story consequences through an entire campaign.

Hydra: The second page of the Bestiary 2 hydra entry explains why I needed to include the hydra in this book. In an issue of 13th Age Monthly, and in offhand remarks in a video, I mistakenly said that the math on the hydra was off in the core book. Yes, it’s true that there are monsters in the core book whose stats are too forgiving to the PCs—and that will make a good 13th Sage column someday. But as I explain in the new hydra entry, the core book hydra only seemed to fall into that category because of an unfortunate special ability.

Anyway, enough about mistakes! The chaos hydra was something I knew I wanted to design and Ania Kryczkowska provided the perfect illustration. It’s probably going to be the most fun when the players have no idea what’s about to happen, but foreknowledge won’t actually help them.

claw demonIn The Book of Demons, we introduce the idea of hellhole-specific demon powers. Instead of using the standard random demon power table, the book provides tailored tables of random powers, so demons from the Ratwood are more likely to have, well, ratty-woody themed powers, and demons from the Floating Market have a chance of powers reflecting the anything-goes-as-long-as-The-Diabolist-approves laws of the place.

Now, why should the Hellholes from the 13th Age core rulebook be left out of the fun? This article gives site-specific power tables for those hellholes on p. 271…

 

Random Hum Demon Powers (d4 for lesser demons, d8 for bigger ones)

  1. Bug Eyes. The demon is immune to invisibility and ignores any illusions.
  2. Carapace. +1 AC
  3. Bug Wings. The demon can buzz into the air on furiously beating insect wings. If the demon can already fly, reroll.
  4. Blind Instinct. At the start of the encounter, pick a target for this demon. The demon gets a +1 bonus to all attacks on that target, but may not attack other enemies as long as that target is still in the battle. (The demon can use attacks that hit multiple foes, as long as the chosen target is one of those foes.)
  5. Egg of Doom. When this demon is slain, it lays a demonic egg. If the egg is not destroyed, the reborn demon hatches from this egg at the start of the next round at half its starting hit points. The egg can be destroyed before it hatches; treat it as having the defences and hit points of a basic mook of level equal to the demon.
  6. Stinger. On a natural 16+ with a melee attack, the demon also inflicts 5 ongoing poison damage (save ends). Champion-tier demons: 10 ongoing poison damage; epic-tier, 15 ongoing damage.
  7. Swarm. Once per battle, when the escalation die is 4+, this demon may grant all nearby demon allies an extra action this round.
  8. Protect The Queen! Once per turn, when an attack hits this demon, the demon may attempt a save. If successful, the attack is redirected to a nearby demon ally.

 

Random Blackfort Demon Powers (d4 for lesser demons, d8 for bigger ones)

  1. Implements of Torture. The demon gets a bonus to damage equal to its level when attacking staggered foes.
  2. To The Barricades! The demon gets a +2 bonus to AC and PD against ranged attacks thanks to its mastery of the terrain.
  3. Hold The Line! If fighting alongside two other demons, this demon gets a +1 bonus to attack rolls.
  4. The demon starts the battle invisible. It becomes visible when it attacks.
  5. Terrain Stunt. The demon may pull of a terrain stunt, as per the ranger power (13th Age, 120).
  6. Strength of the Earth. The demon has a +5 bonus to saves as long as it’s in contact with the ground.
  7. Master Torturer. Whenever the demon inflicts a critical hit, it heals a number of hit points equal to its level x 3.
  8. Once per battle, the demon may summon up a fortress from the earth, changing the terrain of the battlefield. The fortress comes with a garrison of mook reinforcements.

 

Random Bubble Demon Powers (d4 for lesser demons, d8 for bigger ones)

  1. Smoke shroud. If the demon doesn’t attack this round, it gains a smoky shroud that gives attacks against it a 25% miss chance. The shroud vanishes when the demon attacks.
  2. Resist Fire 18+.
  3. When the demon dies, it inflicts fire damage equal to its level x 2 to all nearby enemies.
  4. Resist Fire 18+.
  5. Demonic Flame. The demon’s got a fiery aura; any foes engaged with the demon at the start of the demon’s turn take 1d10 damage (Champion-tier: 2d10; Epic: 4d10).
  6. Demonic Hatred. If the escalation die is 3+, the demon gets an extra action each round. This extra action may only be used to attack a foe it’s already attacked this round.
  7. Demonic Aristocrat. The first time this demon is staggered, it vanishes, and a demon bodyguard two levels lower appears on the battlefield. When the bodyguard’s defeated, the original demon reappears.
  8. Once per battle as a standard action, if the demon is staggered, the demon may trigger a localised volcanic eruption. Treat this as a ridiculously hard impromptu challenge (13th Age, p. 186).

SaveSave

Can you kill the dungeon before it kills you?

We have produced just 100 copies of this faux-leatherbound limited edition of 13th Age: Eyes of the Stone Thief. 50 will be made available to customers in the US & Canada, and 50 will be made available to customers outside the US & Canada. The books are faux leather with gold foil, and each one includes a sticky-backed book plate signed by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, which you can add to your book.

In 13th Age, living dungeons slither up through the underworld and invade the surface lands. The Stone Thief is the most ancient and cunning of its kind; a vast monster that preys on the cities and structures you love, swallows them, and remakes them into more deathtrap-filled levels inside itself. Now, it’s hunting YOU.

For players:

  • Embark on a saga of madness, revenge and giant monsters
  • Aid or thwart the schemes of the Icons as they battle for control of the dungeon
  • Slay, loot and survive deep in the bowels of the earth
  • Destroy this age-old threat forever

For GMs:

  • A monstrous campaign covering the entire Champion tier (4th to 8th level)
  • Thirteen levels of peril from the dungeon’s opening Maw to the orc hordes of the Deep Keep, the terrors of the Pit of Undigested Ages, and the nightmare city beyond the Onyx Catacombs
  • New monsters, new treasures, new traps, and new factions for your 13th Age campaign

The Stone Thief rises. Enter it, find its secrets and defeat it – or die trying.

Stock #: PEL13A07L Author: Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan
Artist: Anna Kryczkowska, Pat Loboyko, Rich Longmore, Juha Makkonen, Russ Nicholson, Ben Wooten Pages: 360 page hardback

Buy

THE CLERIC

By ASH LAW

In this series by ASH LAW, we feature two different builds for every 13th Age character class, at all levels. ASH suggests how the builds might be used, and offers tips on playing each character. Stats are based on the point-buy method, and the characters have no non-standard elements.

This time, we look at two different takes on the Cleric.

The Cleric is the core of most adventuring groups, able to heal and buff their fellow adventurers, while laying the hurt on enemies.

The 13TH AGE Cleric has some interesting wrinkles to the class—things like spells that can be cast for power or for broad effect, invoking domains, and a resurrection spell with an increasing cost. The cleric has only two class features. Firstly, you get to cast the spell heal twice per battle as a quick action. You can take extra healing spells, but all clerics can heal as a class feature. Secondly, just like the wizard class, you get ritual casting, letting you cast spells as more powerful and unusual versions of themselves if you take an hour or so and make some skill checks.

 

RADIANT CLERIC

 

Download the Radiant Cleric character sheets here.

This cleric build is focused on dealing ranged holy damage, commonly known as a “laser cleric.” Javelin of faith is our primary attack, with spells like spirits of the righteous and judgement being reserved for big dramatic moments. This cleric probably serves a god or goddess of light, or a chaotic yet good trickster deity.

Talents

Justice Domain

When an enemy crits you or an ally or drops somebody you gain an attack reroll blessing to hand to an ally. Invoke to add extra damage to your misses and the misses of your allies.

Sun Domain

All attacks deal holy damage, unless you choose otherwise. Invoke the domain to get a chance to regain uses of daily spells.

Illusion Domain

Invoke to cause enemies to miss you, and once-per-battle if an enemy does get too close to you then you get a special trick die.

Race

Dwarves have a great self-healing racial power called “Is That Your Best Shot?” which lets them instantly recover from getting hit, shrugging off the damage. Together with a racial bonus to Constitution or Wisdom this makes for a very survivable cleric.

Attributes

Wisdom is the most important attribute for this character, with high HP being important too: Str 8 (-1) Con 17 (+3) Dex 15 (+2) Int 10 (0) Wis 17 (+3) Cha 10 (0).

1st level

Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 17 (+3) Dex 15 (+2) Int 10 (0) Wis 17 (+3) Cha 10 (0).

Racial Power: Is that your best shot?

Talents: justice domain, sun domain, illusion domain

Spells: bless, javelin of faith, shield of faith, spirits of the righteous

Feat: javelin of faith

2nd level

New spells (1st level: bless, cure wounds, javelin of faith, shield of faith, spirits of the righteous), new feat (sun domain).

3rd level

New spells (1st level: cure wounds, shield of faith / 3rd level: bless, javelin of faith, spirits of the righteous), new feat (justice domain).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom), new spells (1st level: cure wounds / 3rd level: bless, javelin of faith, shield of faith, spirits of the righteous, judgement), new feat (precise shot).

5th level

New spells (3rd level: cure wounds, shield of faith / 5th level: bless, javelin of faith, spirits of the righteous, judgement), new feat (javelin of faith).

6th level

New spells (3rd level: cure wounds / 5th level: bless, crisis of faith, javelin of faith, shield of faith, spirits of the righteous, judgement), new feat (judgement).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Dexterity, Wisdom), new spells (5th level: cure wounds, shield of faith / 7th level: bless, crisis of faith, javelin of faith, spirits of the righteous, judgement) new feat (toughness).

8th level

New spells (5th level: cure wounds / 7th level: bless, crisis of faith, javelin of faith, shield of faith, spirits of the righteous, judgement, resurrection), new feat (javelin of faith).

9th level

New spells (7th level: cure wounds, resurrection / 9th level: bless, crisis of faith, javelin of faith, shield of faith, spirits of the righteous, judgement), new feat (judgement).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Constitution, Dexterity, Wisdom), new spells (7th level: resurrection, / 9th level: bless, cure wounds, crisis of faith, javelin of faith, shield of faith, spirits of the righteous, judgement, overworld travel), new feat (justice domain).

THE CLERIC

By ASH LAW

In this series by ASH LAW, we feature two different builds for every 13th Age character class, at all levels. ASH suggests how the builds might be used, and offers tips on playing each character. Stats are based on the point-buy method, and the characters have no non-standard elements.

This time, we look at two different takes on the Cleric.

The Cleric is the core of most adventuring groups, able to heal and buff their fellow adventurers, while laying the hurt on enemies.

The 13TH AGE Cleric has some interesting wrinkles to the class—things like spells that can be cast for power or for broad effect, invoking domains, and a resurrection spell with an increasing cost.
The cleric has only two class features. Firstly, you get to cast the spell heal twice per battle as a quick action. You can take extra healing spells, but all clerics can heal as a class feature.
Secondly just like the wizard class you get ritual casting, letting you cast spells as more powerful and unusual versions of themselves if you take an hour or so and make some skill checks.

 

HEALING TANK CLERIC

 

Download the Healing Tank Cleric character sheets here.

This cleric build is focused on healing and buffing party members, and on devastating melee combat. Hammer of faith and the Strength Domain are used to bolster attacks, with buff spells cast for wide effect so the cleric can benefit from them too. This cleric probably serves a god or goddess of battle, or the chief deity of a pantheon.

Talents

Healing Domain

All your healing is more powerful, and when you use your daily invocation you get an extra use of heal.

Strength Domain

Wield big weapons without penalty, and invoke to give you and your allies x3 damage with crits. The feats give you extra damage once per battle on a hit.

War Domain

Allies get a bonus to attack enemies that you make melee attacks against, invoke to increase the escalation die.

Race

Aasimar get a halo which helps protect them in battle, useful for a melee-focused cleric. Aasimar also play thematically into a touched-by-the-divine origin.

Attributes

Wisdom and Strength are paramount, so including bonuses from race and class we get: Str 18 (+4) Con 14 (+2) Dex 10 (0) Int 8 (-1) Wis 18 (+4) Cha 8 (-1).

1st level

Attributes: Str 18 (+4) Con 14 (+2) Dex 10 (0) Int 8 (-1) Wis 18 (+4) Cha 8 (-1).

Racial Power: Halo

Talents: healing domain, strength domain, war domain

Spells: bless, cure wounds, hammer of faith, shield of faith

Feat: heal

2nd level

New spells (1st level: bless, cure wounds, hammer of faith, shield of faith, turn undead), new feat (healing domain).

3rd level

New spells (1st level: shield of faith, turn undead / 3rd level: bless, cure wounds, hammer of faith), new feat (strength domain).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Wisdom), new spells (1st level: turn undead / 3rd level: bless, cure wounds, hammer of faith, shield of faith, mighty healing), new feat (war domain).

5th level

New spells (3rd level: shield of faith, turn undead / 5th level: bless, cure wounds, hammer of faith, mighty healing), new feat (strength domain).

6th level

New spells (3rd level: turn undead / 5th level: bless, cure wounds, hammer of faith, mighty healing, shield of faith, sphere of radiance), new feat (healing domain).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Wisdom), new spells (5th level: turn undead, shield of faith / 7th level: bless, cure wounds, hammer of faith, mighty healing, sphere of radiance) new feat (halo).

8th level

New spells (5th level: turn undead / 7th level: bless, cure wounds, hammer of faith, mighty healing, sphere of radiance, shield of faith, resurrection), new feat (strength domain).

9th level

New spells (7th level: resurrection, turn undead / 9th level: bless, cure wounds, hammer of faith, mighty healing, sphere of radiance, shield of faith), new feat (healing domain).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma), new spells (7th level: resurrection / 9th level: bless, cure wounds, hammer of faith, mighty healing, sphere of radiance, shield of faith, turn undead, prayer for readiness), new feat (mighty healing).

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