Sometimes a class is a bit more than a single class! The new demonologist class in Book of Demons is a bit like the druid in 13 True Ways in that it uses talent choices to define its class features and spell lists. The three demonologist paths—corruption, flame, and slaughter—have features in common, including resist abilities to specific types of damage and demon summoning. However, two demonologists with talent choices in different paths can play extremely differently.

As with the druid, you can mix demonologist talents from the different paths to create the character you want to play. With a single talent in a path, you’re said to be an initiate. You’ll have access to the path’s spells and its summoned demon, but not as much access as a demonologist who has become a devotee of a path with two of its talents. Use all three talents in the same path and you’re a fanatic—which may be a worthwhile choice for raw power, but will cut down on your versatility.

If you’re curious about the mechanical feel of the characters you can create using the different paths, here are the arguments for why each path might be the most interesting.

Corruption is the best path because you already know your enemies are weak, and your spells and talents will ensure it.

Talents from the path of corruption tend to power-up the effects and conditions your spells (and sometimes your allies’ spells) place on enemies. Examples include Contagion, a talent that transfers a condition to a different enemy when an enemy suffering from one of your spells drops; and Inimical, a talent which raises the saves required against all your spells. These bonuses apply to any spells you cast, not just corruption spells. For example, if you take Inimical as your one corruption talent and choose two talents from the flame path, all the ongoing fire damage your flame path spells deal will be harder to save against.

The demons summoned by corruption path demonologists are spoilers, oozing creatures that somehow daze or weaken enemies, creating conditions your corruption path talents may be able to manipulate.

Flame is the best path because everyone burns when you say so. 

A demonologist heavily invested in the flame path might play something like a summoning-capable sorcerer who specializes in fire spells. Unlike the hypothetical sorcerer, however, the flame path demonologist gets better at overcoming resist fire abilities the more talents they invest in the path. In playtesting, that made the difference between a path that no one could see themselves playing, and a path that could handle descending into a hellhole.

The path’s spell selection is more than just fiery offense. Spells like flaming teleport and flame shroud and golden claw (pictured at right!) interpret fire control as a source of improved mobility, so that demonologists on the flame path are a bit more survivable than similar brittle spellcasters.

Slaughter is the best path because you get to wear heavy armor, chop enemies up with swords and melee spells, and still summon demons.

I admit that it’s hard to dispute the slaughter path argument. Previously you could multiclass into a character who wirlds both swords and sorceries in 13th Age, but this is the first class implementation that deliberately invokes at least three Elric-tropes.

I’m not sure that the slaughter path is better, per se; but I know it’s popular, whether mixed with one of the other paths or followed to a full-fanatic three talents.

The demons summoned by slaughter path demonologists include two of the new demons added in this book, the claw demon and the hungry maw.

Art by Rich Longmore

The Book of Demons is out in print this month, so in celebration (unholy, raucous, and malignant) of that fact, we present a way to bring demons into your 13th Age campaign a little more.

Demons are always scratching at the walls of their prison, looking for a way out into the world. There are magical rifts and hellholes and summoning spells, of course, but demons can’t be choosers. Sometimes, the only way out is to squeeze through the narrowest of cracks—like, through a soul in a moment of pain or terror. A demonic boon is a special form of iconic benefit that a cruel GM might offer a vulnerable player. Say you’re in a dangerous pickle, and you really wish that you’d rolled a 5 or 6 on your relationship die. The GM might offer you a demonic boon—the chance to retroactively turn that relationship roll into a success.

You called for help, and someone answered. Just not who you were expecting. The benefit’s not coming from the icon directly—it’s coming from the forces of the Abyss.

If you accept a demonic boon, treat it as though you’d rolled a 5 on your relationship die—a benefit with strings attached, and the demons are the ones holding those strings. Don’t worry, it’ll only be a small favour to repay.

Probably.

And demons never (hardly ever) charge interest…

Spoor of the Abyss

Boons only happen in places where demons already have a toe-hold in the world. They happen near hellholes (or near places where hellholes are about to form), in places haunted by demons, sorcerers, or Diabolist-cultists, or in areas where the barrier between dimensions is naturally thin.

While demons are naturally drawn to the mighty, blazing, juicy souls of heroic player characters, they’re not that picky. Ordinary mortals and non-player characters might get demonic boons if the conditions are right. If you run into a little girl who really wanted a kitten and got one that talks (and teaches her to throw fireballs), or meet a farmer who’s gone from drought to bountiful harvest overnight, there may be a demon nearby.

Demonic boons might be delivered by imps and other obviously demonic entities or by demons masquerading as spirits or servants of the icons. A wary adventurer can usually spot some demonic tell—glowing eyes, sharp teeth, or the smell of sulphur.

Archmage: Demons are creatures of magic, and more than a few wizards and sorcerers have ended up in the Abyss out of hubris, damned by their pursuit of forbidden knowledge. Such spellcasters could be let out of the Abyss (briefly) to pass on some tidbit of arcane lore or juice up a spell.

Crusader: The Crusader’s servants don’t get demonic boons—they take them by force instead. The Crusader binds and enslaves demons to do his bidding, and is well aware of the seductive tricks and traps that demons might employ. Servants of the Crusader are never offered boons. Well, hardly ever—for all their oaths to the Dark Gods, for all their demon-binding magic, for all their fanatic hatred, there are times when even a Crusader feels fear…

Diabolist: If you had the demonological equivalent of a tunnelling electronic microscope, an arcane machine that could detect the most infinitesimal of supernatural influences, you might be able to tell the difference between a regular Diabolist relationship benefit and a demonic boon. Maybe.

Dwarf King: Dwarves are generally too solid and down-to-the-primordial-roots-of-the-earth to be tempted by demonic influences. Demonic dwarf-boons tend to work using existing grudges and hatreds—the demons won’t try to trick you or seduce you, they’ll just offer you that little boost of magical power or physical might to smash those ancestral enemies.

Elf Queen: Demonic boons from the Elf Queen cluster around the dark elves. There are old and deep connections between the dark elves and the demon realm, and it’s easy to demons to sneak in that way…

Emperor: The Emperor stands for law and justice, the antithesis of demons. Demons trying to sneak in demonic boons for this icon, therefore, always show up in disguise. Armoured knights with their faces hidden behind visored helms, legal documents warped and rewritten by demonic sorcery, malicious trickery disguised as moments of good fortune or justice.

Great Gold Wyrm: Like the followers of the Crusader, those who serve the Great Gold Wyrm are on guard against demonic boons. Clever demons, therefore, offer their boons as tribute, playing on the hero’s pride. Oh mighty paladin of the Great Gold Wyrm, we could not hope to defeat you, so take these offerings as your rightful due…

High Druid: Shapeshifting demons can take the form of animals. Talking cats, talking birds, talking trees—are these kindly servants of the High Druid, or demons in disguise?

Lich King: The power of the lord of graves is centred on the isle of the Necropolis, so he aids his servants through ghostly emissaries, chilly omens, and secretive servants. It’s easy for demons to mimic any of these, especially for nalfeshnee and hezrou, both of whom have the rotting stench down pat.

Orc Lord: Those who follow the path of the Orc Lord tend to stab first and ask questions later. Even questions like, “Hey, why am I suddenly blessed with this demonic fury, and why does my blood catch fire on contact with the air?” get glossed over.

Priestess: Demons convince followers of the Priestess to accept their boons by offering them in times when other people are in need. Out of healing spells and your companion’s at death’s door? A village wracked with disease? That kitten climbed a tree into the overworld and is now stuck beyond space and time? Do you want others to suffer or are you good and holy enough to accept a little compromise?

Prince of Shadows: If there’s one thing about the Prince, it’s that he’s honest. The Prince knows the value of a good deal, a bargain fairly made. His agents will take a boon when the time and the price are right.

The Three: Demons typically use the Red as cover. The Red Dragon’s barred from the Empire so he works through emissaries (check), he fosters random destruction (check), and he’s got a whole fire-and-brimstone shtick (check). Hey—are we completely sure the Red isn’t a demon?

 

Contain your dice, but not your enthusiasm!

The 13th Age RPG puts a bunch of dice in your hands, and sometimes they go astray. The 13th Age Dice Tray keeps your dice where you need them—right in front of you, so you can tot up your epic damage.

When flat, this black leatherette collapsible dice tray slips neatly between your 13th Age books.

When assembled, four robust metal poppers hold the corners in a pinched position, keeping the walls of the tray upright to take the hail of dice for your 13th Age adventuring.

Stock #: PEL13DT01   Flat: 8″ x 11.5″
Specifications: Faux leather dice tray   Assembled: 6.5″ x 10″ x 1.5″

Buy

Less prep, more play!

Get three books’ worth of icon-themed adventures for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game at all levels of play, plus a PDF-only battle not in the print version!

These adventures are designed to be modular, so you can:

  • Play through each adventure as-is
  • Use individual battles from the adventure in your campaign (perhaps when an icon roll results in an unexpected complication…)
  • Play individual battles as a quick, zero-prep pickup game of 13th Age

Each battle includes monster tactics and terrain features, making these great for GMs and players who enjoy battles where strategy and tactics make a difference.

The 13th Age Battle Scenes Collection includes all three Battle Scenes print books and full-colour printed map folios:

  • High Magic & Low Cunning Icon-themed encounters for the Orc Lord, Prince of Shadows, Archmage, High Druid, and The Three. From a white-knuckle white-water ride past orcish hordes, to abseiling kobolds and a perilous magical cloud fortress, High Magic & Low Cunning takes your players on an unforgettable journey to adventure.
    • The High Magic & Low Cunning Map Folio includes 45 full-colour maps for challenging battles in a mad wizard’s lair, an underground fighting arena, an active volcano, and more!
  • The Crown Commands: Icon-themed encounters for the Dwarf King, Elf Queen, Emperor, and Lich King. Crush a dwarven city beneath your mighty Gearwork Dungeon! Plunder the elven goldenwood library that holds the secrets of the Green! Soak the sands of the Emperor’s arena with the blood of his living champions in the name of the One-Eyed King!
    • The Crown Commands Map Folio features 40 full-colour maps for exciting battles in a gladiatorial arena, a haunted crypt, city streets, and more!
  • Fire & Faith: Icon-themed encounters for the Crusader, Priestess, Great Gold Wyrm, and Diabolist. Chase the Diabolist’s Circus of Hell cross the Dragon Empire! Fight your way through the nightmare dreamscape of a sleeping gold dragon! Ride with the Crusader to assault a hellhole! Ascend the Cathedral to battle cosmic foes amidst its mind-bending geometry!
    • The Fire & Faith Map Folio features 40 full-colour maps for exciting battles in a gladiatorial arena, a haunted crypt, city streets, and more!

Pick up the collection and download “The Wizard’s Gifts”, a bonus scene not included in the printed book! (NOTE: If you already bought High Magic & Low Cunning, this PDF is in your Bookshelf.)

Buy the print collection now

Buy the PDF collection now

As an OGL product, 13th Age is available for third-party publishers to create compatible supplements, adventures, settings and more. They can also create their own games using its Archmage Engine.

Recently, Simon Rogers asked the 13th Age community which third party products they’d recommend. Here are their top favorites:

 

Amethyst: Apotheosis (Dias Ex Machina Games)

Which side will you choose? Which weapons will you wield? Earth is torn between the order of science and the chaos of fantasy. These two worlds cannot mix. Venture into lands once claimed by skyscrapers and factories, now overrun by elves, goblins, and dragons. Choose your path and commit to the quest. Monsters will hunt you; machines will track you. No gods will help you; no prophecies will choose you. The fate of the world rests with you. This rulebook includes:

  • Eleven playable species, twenty-one icon-like affiliations, over forty backgrounds.
  • Eight new classes, over 270 feats.
  • Players can now select legends to expand their characters at high levels.
  • High-tech equipment from revolvers to railcannons, pickup trucks to powered armor.
  • Over thirty new monsters.
  • New rules including vehicles and ranged combat which can be added to any game.

Book of Icons (Rite Publishing)

Icons are the mysterious and powerful figures that shape the world of the 13th Age Role-Playing Game. The Book of Icons takes a fresh look at the game’s icon rules and offers a cornucopia of new stuff to throw at your players.

Need a new twist for your campaign? Six new icons—each presented with themes, agents, gifts, and events that will set your creativity afire—all based on the Tarot Major Arcana will spice up your game:

  • The Adventurer
  • The Revolutionary
  • The Order
  • The Cult of One
  • The Monster
  • The Tempter

In addition, find sly characters, scheming organizations, and brain-twisting secret agendas that you can use as a toolkit to flesh out the world around your icons.

Dark Pacts & Ancient Secrets (Kinoko Games)

Dark Pacts & Ancient Secrets introduces six new classes that are compatible with the 13th Age Roleplaying Game: the monstrous Abomination, the destiny-shaping Fateweaver, the mind-bending Psion, the berserking Savage, the dashing Swordmage and the dark-souled Warlock.

Deep Magic (Kobold Press)

Deep Magic: 13th Age Compatible Edition is for 13th Age players who want new options that allow them to bend reality to their wills and perform spectacular feats of sword and sorcery. Designer ASH LAW brings an astounding variety of new magic options to the game, including:

  • 555 wizard spells ranging from clever tricks to summoning the World Serpent itself to wreak havoc
  • 4 new class talents that put wizard spells within the grasp of every class—play an arcane ranger, a spirit-calling barbarian, a time-warping commander or face-stealing trickster druid
  • 30 new schools of magic including the Cult of Ouroboros, the Red Inquisition and the Scholars of Dust, with guidelines for creating your own magical tradition
  • 5 magical campaign options: post-apocalyptic vril magic, the mysteries of the ley lines, a class-warfare arcanopunk campaign option, and more!

For GMs looking for new material, or players looking for character customization options, this massive tome is the book you’ve been dreaming of.

Gods and Icons (Dread Unicorn Games, LLC)

Never again find yourself stuck for a good Icon Relationship result. Pick from the tables or let the dice decide.

  • Hundreds of Icon Relationship results.
  • GM advice on tailoring the Icon Relationship result to the character.
  • Gods with suggested backgrounds for followers, paladins, clerics, and druids.
  • Three pantheons: the Bright Gods, the Thirsty Gods, and the Old Gods. Add these gods to your campaign or map their effects to your own gods.
  • Thirteen new icons. Use them or steal aspects and apply them to your own icons.
  • 58 new magic items, including bardic instruments and rules for designing your own holy swords. Not to mention a dozen new potions and more.
  • Dhampir: A new playable race for a new icon of the undead. And seven other player races.

You can use this book with the core icons, as the new icons are similar enough for you to just use the boons and complications from Gods and Icons without changing your existing campaign. Yet different enough to feel fresh, and give a new spin to a 13th Age Campaign that uses them. A perfect set of icons for a campaign rich in intrigue and mystery.

Icons of Parsantium (Ondine Publishing)

Parsantium is a melting pot, a cosmopolitan city where trade routes meet and great cultures collide. Inspired by real-life Byzantium with its rich Greco-Roman heritage, the setting is packed with characters, monsters and magic from the Tales of the Arabian Nights, ancient India and the Far East, alongside traditional medieval fantasy elements.

The influential NPCs described in depth throughout the book include the rulers of kingdoms, powerful priests, arcane and martial orders and their leaders, and monstrous beings, both malevolent and benign, including:

  • The wise Maharani of Sampur, daughter of a sun god and ruler of six kingdoms
  • The bloodthirsty Gnoll Khan of the Great Grass Sea
  • The devious Witch of Flotsam, fortune-teller to the nobility and priestess of a sinister cult
  • The vanara Grand Master of the Blue Lotus, enigmatic leader of the world’s greatest arcanists’ guild.
  • The rakshasa Rajah, frozen in ice at the peak of the Pillar of Heaven Mountains and plotting his return to rule the city once more.

This 45 page PDF contains:

  • Double page descriptions for each icon
  • New PC races – the gnoll and the vanara
  • Five pages of icon relationship dice results and adventure hooks
  • Secret Knowledge for the GM
  • Lands of Parsantium map by top fantasy cartographer Jared Blando
  • Foreword by 13th Age designer Rob Heinsoo

Written by Richard Green, author of Parsantium: City at the Crossroads and the Midgard Bestiary for 4th Edition D&D (Kobold Press), and featuring cover art by Joe Shawcross.

Midgard Bestiary (Kobold Press)

The Midgard Bestiary sends 100 weird, warped, and unpredictable new monsters your way. ASH LAW has redesigned the greatest monsters from the Midgard Campaign Setting for your 13th Age game. You’ll get:

  • Steam golems, ice maidens, and fellforged warriors
  • Dwarf mercenaries, marauders, and berserkers
  • Elf spellblades, mages, and theurges
  • Wizards, warmages, and alchemists
  • Iron ghouls, imperial ghasts, and spectral wolves
  • Adventure hooks for each monster and lists of things you’re likely to find on them
  • 13 Midgard icons including the all-new Master of Demon Mountain, Illuminated Brotherhood, and the Beloved Imperatrix of the elves
  • 9 new player character races including ghouls, gearforged, kobolds and ravenfolk

Get ready to face deadly foes from every corner of Midgard: the alleys of Zobeck, the empire of the ghouls, the courts of the shadow fey and the magic-blasted Wasted West.

Nocturne (Savage Mojo)

Meet Frankenstein’s monster with a vorpal sword…welcome to the realm of Dark Fantasy, and Gothic Horror for 13th Age! Within a twisted realm shaped by the malignant power of The Nightfall, your adventure comes to life using the Archmage Engine to explore the many lands of the realm. These lands are as varied as the denizens themselves, taking the place of traditional 13th Age Icons: good against evil, order against chaos, tyranny against freedom… but at every stage the lines are blurred.

For players Nocturne provides:

  • New options for adventurers: several custom classes such as the mysterious Bloodshire Slayer.
  • New races: the vampire, werebeast, and sallowfolk.
  • New equipment such as the diving suit for The Churn, so you can explore the mysterious depths of this watery “land”. Alternatively, there’s the fire sword, a non-magical item of ingenious technology which draws fuel from a reservoir in the handle.
  • New magic items such as Daemonic Wings, allowing your hero to fly. However, this is Nocturne and such magic comes with a price!

For GMs Nocturne provides:

  • A complete dark fantasy setting with tones of gothic horror, steampunk, clockpunk, and more. Every land of Nocturne is detailed, with maps, and packed with story hooks to spin adventures galore.
  • A dozen new Icons for your players to discover, twisted beings pulled here by The Nightfall. They rule the lands but battle in opposed pairs for control.
  • A complete campaign, in the style of Savage Mojo’s award-winning Suzerain setting.
  • A whole slew of side quests, short adventures to slot between the main beats of your gaming group’s grand adventure.
  • A sandbox of ideas to use in the Nightfall realm, or to incorporate in your own campaign world.

Welcome to Nocturne. The Nightfall is but a breath behind; if you have the courage and strength, you might just survive for one more day.

Special Mentions

Capsule Content by Aaron Roudabush

An accomplished designer, Aaron heads up online organized play for 13th Age. He also creates crowdfunded content for the Archmage Engine under the banner of Wolf Pack Games, and lately he’s been revealing details of a new setting, Shattered Horizons.

Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin (Jon Brazer Enterprises)

Few third-party publishers support 13th Age as enthusiastically as Jon Brazer Enterprises. Deadly Delves: Reign of Ruin received 4.5 star rating from Endzeitgeist for its distinctive approach to a dragon-based adventure, and the well-done 13th Age conversion.

New Fighter Maneuvers and Talents (Quasar Knight Enterprises)

The first 13th Age compatible product by designer Ray Chapel got high marks from EZG for its “detailed and well-versed grasp [of] the rule-set”.  New Fighter Maneuvers & Talents  offers martial schools that enable players to customize the fighter class based on classic archetypes: the swashbuckling duelist, keen-eyed ranged combatant, heavy weapons master, and more.

The Escalated Barbarian (Dastow Games)

Whenever there’s an online discussion of third-party player options, the class-focused “Escalated” series from Dastow Games nearly always comes up. What’s interesting is that each one includes NPCs of the class in question, but they’re statted up as PCs, not as monsters. This could be quite useful for GMs who are looking for “mundane” foes based on PC classes, for an adventure that takes place in a city or town.

Part of the fun of developing adventures like Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan’s Red Crag Castle section of Book of Demons is adding monsters that complete the theme. Sometimes those missing bits turn out to be things that fill a gap in all of 13th Age, not just the one adventure.

That turned out to be true for the demonic forces that guard the hellhole centered on Red Crag Castle. One of the demonic factions is all about swords, steel, and a sadistic impression of military discipline. A sword-sword-sword (etc.)-wielding marilith-style demon seemed like a natural fit, but our mariliths are epic 12th level creatures, far too powerful for the champion-tier environment of Red Crag Castle.

What was needed was a 7th level version of something like a marilith. As I poked around our monster lists, I realized that we had precious few normal-sized demons at 7th level, and nothing that could stand in for a melee troop. So I added the minor serpent demon to Redcrag Castle, along with a couple of other generally-useful demonic warriors.

This minor serpent demon uses the same core mechanics as the marilith. It’s useful enough that I think it deserves to be in 13th Age monster lists that might not normally pay attention to demons in specific adventures. I’m going to reprint its stats here, along with two other stat blocks for demon warriors that could physically resemble the minor serpent demon and the marilith, or could be reskinned as you require.

To make them more useful, I’ve placed the new demons on either side of the 7th level minor serpent demon, and designed them for different roles. As you’ll see, each of the demons has a different approach to the question of how to force magically-competent enemies into melee, and how to punish enemies once they’re engaged. The minor variations in stats and abilities are deliberate. They should team up well with each other.

Minor Serpent Demon

Progressing sword by sword and death by death toward a full marilith.

7th level troop [demon]

Initiative: +13

 

Four whirling swords +12 vs. AC (4 attacks)—7 damage

Miss: 2 damage

 

C: Beguiling gaze +12 vs. MD (one nearby or far away unengaged enemy)As a free action, the target immediately moves toward the minor serpent demon, attempting to engage it or get as close as possible to it

Limited use: 1/round, as a quick action.

 

Terrible swords: When the escalation die is even, the minor serpent demon’s crit range with melee attacks expands by a number equal to the escalation die.

 

AC   23

PD    16                 HP 98

MD  20

 

Serpent Demon Slasher

A one-on-one fight may be the best way to face this demon, but is it really one-on-one when she wields three massive two-handed swords?

6th level wrecker [demon]

Initiative: +12

 

Three two-handed swords +10 vs. AC (3 attacks)—7 damage

 

Six-handed devastation: The serpent demon slasher gains a bonus to its attacks equal to the number of different enemies that it has attacked or been attacked by this battle; maximum +6.

 

AC   21

PD    17                 HP 94

MD  18

Bladeweaver Demon

You know how you’re supposed to keep your eye on the enemy’s blade? Don’t.

8th level blocker [demon]

Initiative: +14

 

Churning swords +13 vs. AC (2 attacks that add the escalation die as a bonus)—14 damage

If both attacks hit: Bladeweaver demon can use deadly swords attack below.

 

Deadly swords +13 vs. AC (2 attacks)—16 damage

Miss: 8 damage

Limited use: 1/round, as a quick action and only when triggered by churning swords.

 

Terrible compulsion: Each round, the first enemy that misses the bladeweaver demon with an attack when it is not engaged with the bladeweaver demon must immediately move toward the bladeweaver as a free action, attempting to engage it or get as close as possible to it.

 

AC   24

PD    18                 HP 124

MD  20

13th Age in Glorantha Coverby Rob Heinsoo

Several years after releasing our 13th Age grab-bag 13 True Ways, Jonathan Tweet and I have teamed up to create a new, 464-page 13th Age supplement that contains a mix of new classes, monsters, magic powers, adventures, and narrative tricks.

13th Age Glorantha (13G), published by Chaosium, and now available in PDF and print pre-order from both Chaosium and Pelgrane Press, functions as both an introduction to roleplaying in Greg Stafford’s classic world of Bronze Age myth AND as a giant supplement useful in any 13th Age campaign. 13G is entirely 13th Age compatible. In fact, it’s so compatible that it doesn’t reprint the mechanics from the core 13th Age rulebook—you need the 13A rules to play

If you’re running or playing in a 13th Age campaign, you can make immediate use of 13G’s 90 pages of new monsters (compared to 58 pages in the core 13th Age book) and 187 pages of classes (compared to 83 in the core book). The 13G classes chapter includes detailed rules for 12 different styles of characters. That’s a lot, and too many for detailed treatment in a single short preview article. Today I’ll focus on two of the entirely new classes from 13G: the deadly Humakti warrior and the spellcasting earth priestess.

Humakti, aka Sword master

In Glorantha, Humakt is the god of Death, and Death is shaped like a sword. Because several of the Humakti’s class features and talents focus on the sword, a simple way to use the Humakti class in a Dragon Empire or other non-Glorantha game is to refer to the class as the sword master and use its sword-oriented talents and attacks as written.

If you have a compelling non-Glorantha character concept that focuses on a different melee weapon, you could reskin the sword master as an axe master or perhaps as a spear master—though the flexible and quick-moving sword makes more sense to me personally for this class than other weapons do. For example, many of the Humakti’s sword form attacks emphasize quick-moving attacks, which doesn’t make quite as much sense for axe and hammer users.

Mechanics

The mechanical core of the class comes from our discussions about making alternate versions of the fighter class. Jonathan was never entirely satisfied with the 13th Age fighter’s flexible attacks. I’m happier with flexible attacks, but have always agreed that there’s room for several versions of something that felt like a skilled fighter class. Jonathan designed the core mechanics of the Humakti as a skilled fighter with more predictable attack powers, and a focus on killing enemies instead of protecting friends!

As a Humakti/sword master you can ignore conditions that slow other warriors down, so long as you attack with the sword that is an extension of your soul. You can make multiple well-drilled attacks once or twice a battle, and occasionally—in thematically appropriate situations—you reroll misses. These are all fun and straightforward ways of playing a deadly fighter-type.

Talents like Warleader and Who’s Laughing Now need no translation across worlds, but as a fanatic devotee of the god of Death, the Gloranthan Humakti has some magical powers that may not fit 13A character concepts that are all skill and no mysticism. If that is a problem for you, ignore powers like sever spirit (a ‘melee’ attack against the spirit/MD of low hit point enemies.) In most high fantasy 13th Age campaigns, translating such powers into Dragon Empire terms as your character rises in power should be a fun way to play off other elements of the campaign, including icons and magic items.

Honorable Histories

In Glorantha, Humakt is the god of Truth as well as Death. (Yes, that is usually as grim as it sounds.) The Humakti’s Utter Truth class feature (once a day you can swear an oath and everyone knows it’s true, there is no doubt), hatred of undead (your Undead Foe class feature makes all undead vulnerable to your attacks!), and other Death-before-dishonor features seem like a perfect match for a follower of the Great Gold Wyrm who wants a more sophisticated set of martial abilities than what the 13th Age paladin class offers. Humakt’s hatred of the undead isn’t an essential part of game balance—if your GM agrees and you have the blessing of the Great Gold Wyrm, perhaps the Undead Foe feature could become something more appropriate for a GGW paladin, such as Demon Foe.

Earth Priestess

The Gloranthan earth priestess is usually devoted to Ernalda, the queen of the gods and the pre-eminent Earth goddess. Ernalda’s myths are rich in stories of her power over the living earth, her powerful retinue of loyal spirits and warriors, and her eclectic collection of husbands, companions, and lovers.

In game mechanics terms, earth priestesses share Ernalda’s powers by casting deep magic spells, summoning spirits and warriors into combat, and dispensing favors to their allies. Your choice of talents determine which style of magic you’ll focus on. However you choose your talents, you aim to be a backrow spellcaster rather than a front-row fighter—the earth priestess needs allies for her powers to be fully effective.

Deep magic spells range from Ernalda the peacemaker, a spell that can temporarily prevent anyone from attacking, giving you and your allies a chance to catch your breath and survive a round that looked fatal, to dance of blood, a spell that wrecks enemies one turn and heals your allies the next.

Summoning is your steady contribution to each fight, because you’re the only character in the game so far who has at-will summoning spells! At-will summoning costs you some hit points and it costs you your standard action to control the creature you’ve summoned, but your creatures do enough damage or possess defensive advantages so that the action to control the creature feels worthwhile.

Favor of the earth are blessings that you offer to the next ally who can accomplish a worthwhile action—usually things like hitting with a natural even attack roll, or dropping a non-mook enemy to 0 hit points! You can’t be sure which ally will win your favor, but you know you’ll be helping someone when it’s not your turn, and every battle plays differently depending on which triggers you choose to reward and how well your blessings turn out.

If your allies want to forge a stronger link with you, they can take the Husband/Protector/Lover/Friend/Champion of the Earth feat, which gives bonuses to them (and to you) when they win your favor. It’s worth noting that some of the bonuses characters receive when they win the earth priestess’ favor depend on their character class—for example, the bard receives better bonuses than the Humakti. Pages 130 and 131 of 13G work through the list of all our 13A character classes, not just the classes in 13G, so that the earth priestess can fit into any 13A campaign.

Across Campaign Worlds

13th Age icon symbolsIn the Dragon Empire, the earth priestess class offers wonderful options for characters involved with the High Druid, Priestess, Elf Queen, and even the Dwarf King. Unlike the Humakti, who is named after a god who doesn’t belong in the Dragon Empire, the earth priestess doesn’t necessarily require a name change, though in the Dragon Empire, the convoluted reasons we used the name ‘priestess’ could equally well swing towards earth priests alongside the priestesses.

High Druid: 13 True Ways offers many ways of playing druids! The earth priestess is another, equally attuned to their human/humanoid allies instead of focused only on nature.

Priestess: Well this is a natural! With a lot of work, the deep magic spells might be replaced with other elemental powers and the summonings replaced with other elements to create a more generic priestess class. The model might work. For now, enjoy the favors of the earth!

Elf Queen: As written, the earth priestess feels  . . . well, too earthy for the sophisticated Elf Queen. But maybe earth priestesses represent a wood elf approach to magic? Or maybe the Elf Queen in your campaign is more in touch with the earth? Or maybe a cross-pollination with the powers and influence of the Green dragon is creating something new in the Queen’s world?

Dwarf King: As a new model of a possible dwarven approach to worshiping the powers of the earth, the earth priestess may contribute to my next 13A campaign!

Enter Glorantha, Greg Stafford’s classic fantasy world of richly imagined cultures, ferocious combat, and colliding mythologies.

13th Age Glorantha is a new setting for 13th AgeRob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet’s d20-rolling game of heroic fantasy, escalating combat, One Unique Things, and limb-ripping owlbears. You’ll need the 13th Age corebook to play 13th Age Glorantha—the two books are available together as a discounted bundle alone, or add The Glorantha Sourcebook for more information about this mythic setting

 

What is Glorantha, and what makes it awesome?

Glorantha is a world of mythic fantasy, where mythology is real—a Bronze Age setting where the world really is flat and the sun travels each day across the Sky Dome only to descend into the Underworld each night. Countless gods and goddesses rule the powers and elements. But what gods create, they can destroy. The Gods War came within a sword-stroke of ending the universe, until Orlanth and his Lightbringers rescued the sun from hell and brought forth the Cosmic Compromise that created Time. Exiled from the world by the Compromise, the gods could only watch as Chaos tore a place for itself in the heart of the cosmos, entering the world wearing the beautiful mask of a goddess shaped like a Red Moon.

13th Age Glorantha takes place in Dragon Pass, a magical land perched between mountain ranges formed from the scales of long-dead continent-sized dragons. For generations, Dragon Pass has been dominated by human clans that rely on the goddess of Earth, Ernalda, and her consort, the god of Storm, Orlanth, to fight off the trolls, dragonewts, and beastfolk who once ruled the land.

But now the Red Goddess’ Lunar Empire rises in the north. Chaos corrupts the land and invades the sacred myths that shape reality. Can the heroes of Dragon Pass retake their myths and remake their home?

 

For Game Masters, 13th Age Glorantha includes:

  • More than 80 pages of monsters and enemies fully compatible with any 13th Age campaign, including Chaos priests, dragonsnails, scorpionmen, Crater Makers who call down the Moon, and the awesome Chaos demon known as the Crimson Bat.
  • More than 60 pages of ready-to-run adventures and heroquests—venture into myth to refight the battles of the gods and gain their cosmic powers!
  • A distinctive setting that will entertain longtime fans but is aimed at gamers who’ve never heard of Glorantha.

If you’re a 13th Age player you’ll find:

  • 5 new classes, including the hell mother who summons Darkness spirits and giant spiders; the swordmaster Humakti who wields Death; and the trickster who (in theory!) funnels your bad luck onto your enemies.
  • 5 new class variants, including the wind lord, a fighter with magical storm-related exploits, and the rebel, a rogue with the supernatural ability to get where he’s not supposed to be.
  • 2 new PC races—the trolls and ducks—plus Gloranthan humans with new cultural traits.

Spear Warrior

IF YOU DON’T FIGHT, WE ALL DIE!

Pre-order the 13th Age Glorantha Complete Print Bundle

(13th Age print & PDF, 13th Age Glorantha print & PDF, The Glorantha Sourcebook print & PDF)

Buy the 13th Age Glorantha Complete Digital Bundle

(13th Age PDF, 13th Age Glorantha PDF, The Glorantha Sourcebook PDF)

Pre-order the 13th Age Glorantha Starter Kit Print Bundle

(13th Age print & PDF, 13th Age Glorantha print & PDF)

Buy the 13th Age Glorantha Starter Kit Digital Bundle

(13th Age PDF, 13th Age Glorantha PDF)

Pre-order the 13th Age Glorantha print book

(13th Age Glorantha print & PDF)

Buy the 13th Age Glorantha PDF

(13th Age Glorantha PDF)

 

Stock #: MDP001 Authors: Rob Heinsoo, Jonathan Tweet
Artist: Lee Moyer, Aaron McConnell, Jan Pospíšil, Dan Barker, Bernard Bittler, Mara Braun, Simon Bray, Caleb Cleveland, Jed Dougherty, Steve Ellis, Andrey Fetisov, Rich Fleider, Lisa Free, Chris Huth, Jennell Jaquays, Kalin Kadiev, Rachel Kahn, Jennifer Lange, Rhonda Libbey, Pat Loboyko Pages: 466 pages, full colour, case bound

DRUID

By ASH LAW

Druid Overview

The druid, more than any other class, is shaped by its talents. A shape-changing druid with an animal companion will play very differently from a caster-style druid, and both will play differently from a warrior druid or a healing-focused druid.

If you like the idea of building a class as you build your character, or if you love the idea of a character whose magic is linked to the natural world, this class is for you.

Wildblood Druid

Download the Wildblood character sheets here.

This druid is in touch with their animal side—really in touch. Being a shifter adept gives you the ability to transform into a dangerous animal at-will, and gives you the ability to scout about in the form of something small like a ferret, bat, snake, large spider, or sparrow.

As an animal companion initiate you have an wild beast friend that sometimes shows up and helps you out. It isn’t always around, but turns up when you need it most (it an fight every other battle).

Nature talking and wilderness survival means you can talk to animals and plants, and survive in the wilds.

You are very much a front-line fighter, taking on your enemies face-to-face and claw-to-claw. Get stuck in, giving your allies space to do their thing (which likely involves healing you on occasion).

This character isn’t complex to play—no hard decisions here. You scout ahead, and report back, and when danger rears its ugly head you turn into something even more dangerous.

Talents

Shifter (adept—two talents)

Turn into animals, to scout or fight. You also get some recharge 16+ beast aspects to make your transformations even more dangerous in battle.

Animal Companion (initiate)

You sometimes gain help in battle from an animal that has formed a mystic bond with you.

Race

Wood elves with their racial elven grace gives the possibility of extra attacks—very useful for this melee-focused character.

Attributes

Strength is the primary attribute for this build, with Constitution secondary (for AC and HP): Str 20 (+5) Con 16 (+3) Dex 10 (0) Int 8 (-1) Wis 10 (0) Cha 8 (-1).

1st level

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

Racial Power: elven grace

Talents: shifter adept, animal companion initiate

Feats: Beast form attack

Animal Companion Level: 0

Daily Scout Form Shifts: 1

Daily Beast Form Aspects: Wolverine

2nd level

New feat (wolverine), Animal companion level (1), Daily scout form shifts (1), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear)

3rd level

New feat (bear), Animal companion level (2), Daily scout form shifts (1), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger)

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), new feat (tiger), Animal companion level (3), Daily scout form shifts (1), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger)

5th level

New feat (beast form attack), Animal companion level (4), Daily scout form shifts (2), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear)

6th level

New feat (elven grace), Animal companion level (5), Daily scout form shifts (2), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear)

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), new feat (wolverine), Animal companion level (6), Daily scout form shifts (2), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear)

8th level

New feat (beast form attack), Animal companion level (7), Daily scout form shifts (3), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear, behemoth)

9th level

New feat (wolverine), Animal companion level (8), Daily scout form shifts (3), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear, behemoth)

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), new feat (toughness), Animal companion level (9), Daily scout form shifts (3), Daily Beast Form Aspects (wolverine, bear, tiger, owlbear, behemoth)

[Author Roland Rogers is a 14-year-old 13th Age player whose One Unique Thing is that he Knows All the Monsters. ]

In my opinion, there aren’t enough races in 13th Age that can cause the fun kind of trouble with NPCs in adventuring parties, though the half-orc and the tiefling are good candidates. The possibility of using creatures such as goblins and kobolds as part of your team might cause interesting tensions, and opens a lot of doors for exceptional Backgrounds and One Unique Things.

So here are some optional and very unofficial races for you to consider.

Goblinoid

+2 Dex or +2 Int

Bonus Feat: Goblinoids gain a +2 on rolls to filch things.

Filch (Racial Power)

Once per day, you can ‘take 19’ on a roll to steal an inanimate object (money, magic items) off a person, or out of a trap, etc. this means you don’t roll, instead taking a natural roll of 19, meaning you will almost always succeed.

Goblinoids are generally part Human, Halfling or Gnome. Very rarely will Goblinoids be part Elf, Dwarf, or Half-Orc.

Overall, Goblinoids are seen by most as scum, whether fairly or not. It is odd for Goblinoids to be in a group with other races, so the reason you are working in a group could be part of your backgrounds or one unique things.

 

Ogrespawn

+2 Str or +2 Con

Bonus Feat: Ogrespawn gain a +2 on rolls to lift things or force things to move.

Fortitude (Racial Power)

Twice per day as a standard action you can heal using a free recovery, but the hit points are temporary hit points, that last until you gain more temporary hit points. (You can use this ability out of battle.)

Adventurer Feat: Add your strength modifier to the temporary hit points. At Champion tier you add twice your Strength modifier; at epic tier: three times your Strength modifier).

Champion Feat: You gain an extra recovery per day.

Epic Feat: You can use this ability three times a day instead of two.

Ogres are not noted for their intelligence, and where they are not fighting, they often work as labourers. Ogrespawn can be more intelligent because they can take after their non-Ogre parent, but they are often expected to do the heavy lifting in adventuring parties.

 Kobold

+2 Dex or +2 Int

Alchemical Knowledge (Racial Power)

Twice per day as a quick action, the Kobold can throw a potion. Roll a D3 on the potion chart below.

1: Poison potion: Level + Dex or Str vs PD – 5 ongoing poison damage.

Level 3: 10 ongoing damage.

Level 5: 15 ongoing damage.

Level 7: 20 ongoing damage.

Level 9: 28 ongoing damage.

2: Flight potion: you can fly for the next 1d3 turns, but you have to land before the end of the final turn.

3: Life draining potion: Level + Dex or Str vs PD – the target is Weakened (save ends) and you heal half of a recovery.

Champion Feat: Once per level, you can, instead of rolling, use a Confusion potion. Make a Level + Dex or Str vs PD – the target is Confused (save ends).

Epic Feat: the Poison potion deals 10 more damage, the flight potion lasts for 1d3 +1 rounds instead of 1d3, and you heal extra hit points equal to triple your Dex modifier when you use the life draining potion.

The kobolds most likely to be found amongst the more numerous PC races are often talented alchemists

Kobolds often work for dragons, or powerful lizardfolk . They are viewed as weaker, or as lower creatures. This might affect how they slot into an adventuring party.

Trollspawn

+2 Dex or +2 Con.

Regeneration (Racial Power)

Every round, at the end of your turn, you heal hit points equal to half your Constitution modifier (Champion tier: your Constitution modifier, Epic tier: twice your Constitution modifier). You don’t regenerate when you are below 0 hit points.

On a round when you are hit by an attack that deals acid or fire damage, or if you are Stunned you do not heal.

Adventurer Feat: Heal one more hit point whenever you heal.

Champion Feat: You heal an extra one more hit point whenever you heal.

Trolls are devious tricksters, who also excel in physical combat. Their regeneration ability makes them hard to kill, unless you have acid or fire handy. As a Trollspawn, you are only half troll, which makes your regeneration less potent. You are viewed kindly upon by trolls, who value your intelligence, and welcomed amongst them.

Trollish regeneration has been speculated upon by wizards, sorcerers and the like for many ages. Is it the Trollish flesh, infused with magic? Is it a spell cast on every troll at birth? Or could it be a gift from an Icon, given at the start of the First Age?

 

 

 

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