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).

THE FIGHTER

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 Fighter.

Fighters are far more complicated than barbarians to play, but if you like lots of mid-battle decisions and tricks to pull out of nowhere to astound your friends and terrify your enemies they are the class for you.

Fighters use flexible attacks and manoeuvres, and a large part of playing a fighter is choosing what flexible attack outcome works best for you at any given moment.

 

WINNER FIGHTER

 

Download the Winner Fighter character sheets here.

This build is called the winner, because it matters little if you miss as every roll is a winner hit or miss. Focusing on turning every miss into a win, this fighter build also uses talents and manoeuvres that get you extra attacks. This fighter uses a longsword in one hand and a warhammer in the off-hand.

Your tactics are simple—get into melee combat and stay there. You are tough enough to stick it out when the going gets rough, and when you miss you use your manoeuvres to get second chances at attacks or expand your crit range. You don’t have any way to heal yourself (invest in some healing potions) but you shouldn’t need it, especially if you remind the party healers that you are taking the brunt for them.

Look out for counter-attack, it’s tricky as it requires you to keep escalation die values and enemy attack rolls in mind, but if you pay attention you’ll get some free attacks outside the normal turn order.

For the rest of your talents and manoeuvres just make your attack roll and see where it takes you. If you hit, great… and it matters little if you miss because every roll is a winner.

Talents

Cleave

Once per battle after you drop an enemy make a second melee attack as a free action.

Comeback Strike

Once per battle make a second attack after your first misses.

Counter-Attack

When the escalation die is even, and an enemy misses you with an odd melee attack roll you get to make a basic melee attack against them.

Race

The half-elf’s surprising power lets you drop your natural attack roll down by 1, a once per battle trick useful for turning an odd miss into an even miss or vise-versa.

Attributes

Strength is key for your attacks, and Constitution for your hit points: Str 17 (+3) Con 17 (+3) Dex 15 (+2) Int 10 (0) Wis 10 (0) Cha 8 (-1).

1st level

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

Racial Power: Surprising

Talents: comeback strike, skilled intercept, counter-attack

Manoeuvres: brace for it, grim intent, heavy blows

Feat: Cleave

2nd level

New manoeuvre (two-weapon pressure), new feat (comeback strike).

3rd level

New feat (brace for it).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new manoeuvre (carve an opening), new feat (toughness).

5th level

New feat (two-weapon pressure).

6th level

New talent (tough as iron), new manoeuvre (hero’s skill), new feat (carve an opening).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new feat (cleave).

8th level

New manoeuvre (steady now), new feat (steady now).

9th level

New feat (strong recovery).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new manoeuvres (hack & slash)

THE FIGHTER

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 Fighter.

Fighters are far more complicated than barbarians to play, but if you like lots of mid-battle decisions and tricks to pull out of nowhere to astound your friends and terrify your enemies they are the class for you.

Fighters use flexible attacks and manoeuvres, and a large part of playing a fighter is choosing what flexible attack outcome works best for you at any given moment.
 

IRON-ARCHER FIGHTER

 

Download the Iron-Archer Fighter character sheets here.

The point of this build is to be as tough as possible: high hp, high AC, and as many ways to avoid damage as possible. As the build name suggests, you are a ranged tank: a big stack of hit points in a fancy metal can, with a bow.

Our maneuvers are all going to be selected based on how well they increase our survivability in battle. Your melee weapon is a warhammer, and you carry a shield to boost the AC from your already impressive heavy armor. However, you’ll be fighting with a longbow most of the time (so no shield)—being at range means you’ll hopefully avoid most damage while still dishing it out.

Tactically this build is selfish—all about survival rather than killing enemies or aiding allies. However, that means that if everything does go wrong, you’ll likely still be standing to either avenge the fallen or haul your allies off the battlefield. Don’t discount this build’s effectiveness though—staying power is an enviable quality in a fighter.

Talents

Deadeye Archer

Ranged damage dice go up one step (d8 to d10), and your miss damage with ranged weapons increases.

Heavy Warrior

Once per battle, rally using a quick action, a self-healing second-wind.

Tough as Iron

Tell a story to reroll icon dice.

Race

Halflings fare surprisingly well as fighters, with their small racial power giving a bonus to AC against opportunity attacks and their evasive power forcing enemies to reroll their attacks.

Attributes

Constitution is vital for hit points, and Dexterity for AC and PD (strength is needed to hit and damage, but that is a secondary concern with this build): Str 10 (0) Con 20 (+5) Dex 18 (+4) Int 8 (-1) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 8 (-1).

1st level

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

Racial Power: small, evasive

Talents: deadeye archer, heavy warrior, tough as iron

 

2nd level

New maneuver (brace for it), new feat (deadeye archer).

3rd level

New feat (heavy warrior).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new maneuver (make ‘em flinch), new feat (tough as iron).

5th level

New feat (heavy warrior).

6th level

New talent (power attack), new maneuver (steady now), new feat (tough as iron).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new feat (deadeye archer).

8th level

New maneuver (hero’s skill), new feat (tough as iron).

9th level

New feat (deadeye archer).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Dexterity), new maneuver (sword of destiny), new feat (hero’s skill).

 

THE BARD

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 Bard.

BATTLETHUNDER BARD

 

Download the Battlethunder Bard character sheets here.

This bard is all about getting stuck into the fight, a daring warrior who enhances their weapon attacks with battle cries and bardic songs.

This ‘battlethunder’ bard uses battle cries to fulfil a leader-style role, granting their allies little boosts here and there as a side-effect of their bardic weapon attacks. This bard sings bardic songs rather than use spells, and can usually maintain songs over several rounds of melee combat.

In battle you’ll want to get stuck in on the front line, with your melee attacks triggering battle cries and your songs providing constant benefits to the whole party.

If you want to play a character who is all about singing their way to victory, this is it.

Talents

Songmaster

When you (the player) sing, gain a bonus to maintain songs (just rewrite the words to your favorite songs and sing to entertain the GM and the other players with your ‘combat karaoke’).

Spellsinger

You get extra bardic songs.

Storyteller

Tell a story to reroll icon dice.

Race

High elves get to teleport, useful for getting to fallen allies or quickly reaching enemies.

Attributes

Charisma and Dexterity are all-important for this bard – you use Dexterity for your melee attacks instead of Strength: Str 8 (-1) Con 14 (+2) Dex 18 (+4) Int 10 (+0) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 18 (+4).

1st level

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

Racial Power: highblood teleport

Talents: songmaster, spellsinger, storyteller

Feats: soundburst

Spells & Songs: song of heroes, song of spilt blood, soundburst

Battle cries: stay strong! pull it together!

 

2nd level

New spell (charm person), new feat (pull it together!).

3rd level

New song (song of aid replaces charm person), new battle cry (hang tough!), level-up spells/songs (song of heroes, song of spilt blood), new feat (hang tough!).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), new song (song of thunder), all spells/songs now 3rd level, new feat (toughness).

5th level

New song (song of magic), level-up spells (song of thunder, song of aid), new feat (song of thunder).

6th level

New battle cry (stay true!), all spells/songs now 5th level, new feat (soundburst).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), new song (song of blood and legends), level-up spells (song of thunder, song of aid, song of heroes), new feat (hang tough!).

8th level

New battle cry (victory is ours!), all spells/songs now 7th level, new feat (song of thunder).

9th level

New song (song of destinies), level-up spells (song of thunder, song of aid, song of heroes), new feat (soundburst).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom), new battle cry (the time is now!), all spells/songs now 9th level, new feat (overworld two-step).

 

THE BARD

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 Bard.

INCANTER BARD

Download the Incanter Bard character sheets here.

This bard plays to their ability to learn a little bit of everything magical—it’s ideal for smaller 2-3 person parties who need to cover their bases.

As befits a wandering ‘incanter’ your bardic magic includes bits you’ve learned here and there: you’ll start with a wizard’s utility spell, at champion tier you get access to a cleric’s mighty healing, and at epic tier you pick up a sorcerer’s stolen faces spell. Rather than use melee attacks to trigger your battle cries, you use your battle chant spell instead.

At lower levels you benefit from having access to cantrips and utility spells, but rely on your battle cries for healing party members. Once you hit champion tier you get a some powerful daily cleric healing to aid the party.

Your bard is more flexible than a wizard or cleric, but is not as an effective artillery piece as the wizard nor quite as good at healing as a dedicated healer cleric. What you are good at is pivoting from one role to another.

You aren’t a front-line fighter, stand at the back and befuddle and battle chant your enemies from a distance.

Talents

Jack of Spells

Pick up spells from other classes, and use Intelligence to cast those spells.

Loremaster

Use Intelligence for elements of the bardic class rather than Charisma, and have an extra two points to put in backgrounds related to magic.

Storyteller

Tell a story to reroll icon dice.

Race

Humans get an extra feat, which we’ll use to enhance the healing from our pull it together battle cry. The war-like humans also get quick to fight, letting us roll twice for initiative.

Attributes

For this scholarly bard being smart is very important—other attributes make way for Intelligence: Str 8 (-1) Con 14 (+2) Dex 12 (+1) Int 20 (+5) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 12 (+1).

1st level

Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 14 (+2) Dex 12 (+1) Int 20 (+5) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 12 (+1)

Racial Power: quick to fight

Talents: jack of spells, loremaster, storyteller

Feats: jack of spells, pull it together

Spells & Songs: battle chant, song of heroes, utility spell (disguise self, featherfall, hold portal), cantrips (arcane mark ghost sound, mage hand)

Battle cries: move it! pull it together!

2nd level

New spell (befuddle), new feat (battle chant).

3rd level

New spell (charm person), new utility spells (levitate, message, speak with item), new battle cry (we need you!), level-up spells (battle chant, befuddle, utility spell), new feat (befuddle).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence), new spell (soundburst), all spells now 3rd level, new feat (soundburst).

5th level

New spells (discombobulate, mighty healing), new utility spell (water breathing), level-up spells (utility spell, battle chant), new feat (jack of spells).

6th level

New battle cry (victory is ours!), all spells now 5th level, new feat (victory is ours!).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Dexterity, Constitution, Intelligence), new spell (overworld two-step), new utility spell (scrying), level-up spells (utility spell, mighty healing, battle chant, befuddle), new feat (battlechant).

8th level

New spell (stolen faces, dancing lights cantrip), new battle cry (they fall before us!), all spells now 7th level, new feat (jack of spells).

9th level

New spell (inspire legends), level-up spells (utility spell, mighty healing, stolen faces, battle chant, befuddle), new feat (battlechant).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Wisdom, Charisma), new battle cry (the time is now!), all spells now 9th level, new feat (the time is now!).

 

Fire & Faith: Battle Scenes for Four Icons is the final volume in the Battle Scenes Series.

The Battle Scenes books are independent collections of icon-themed encounters for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game  at all levels of play, packed with dangerous hand-picked foes on terrifying terrain.

Less Prep, More Play!

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!

Fire & Faith: Battle Scenes for Four Icons has 36 challenging and memorable icon-themed battles against enemies connected to the Crusader, Priestess, Great Gold Wyrm, and Diabolist. Drop these fights into your game at every tier of play, from adventurer to epic, and bring them to life with gorgeous maps by our expert cartographers.

Fire & Faith gives you:

  • New NPCs and monsters whose icon connections make them meaningful opponents for your PCs
  • Traps and terrain to provide deadly hazards and opportunities for clever tactics
  • Adventure hooks that offer a variety of entry points for each set of battles
  • Storylines that link each battle to the ones that come after, taking the PCs from one full heal-up to the next – with room to expand on these stories to fill multiple sessions of gameplay.

With Fire & Faith, your players will find themselves on an unforgettable journey to adventure.

The enemy awaits. Are your heroes ready?

 

Stock #: TBC Author: Cal Moore
Artwork: Rich Longmore, Alicia Vogel Developer: Rob Heinsoo
Cartographers: Gill Pearce. Ralf Schemmann, Christina Trani Type: Monochrome perfect bound book

Forthcoming  Estimated August 2017

Fallen Icons – the Gold King

Three of our new epic-tier monsters in the 13th Age Bestiary 2 were once icons. The Gold King, Forest that Walks, and the Great Ghoul have new game mechanics that model the fact that even fallen icons are much harder to dislodge from reality that normal monsters.  The defeat of a fallen icon is a campaign in itself – and what a final battle! The Gold King in the Bestiary 2 has an array of followers and a selection of origin stories. In this excerpt, we get straight to the meat – the Gold King his almighty self, and the campaign victories you need to have a chance of defeating him.

The Gold King

The Dwarf King of a previous age led every man, woman, and child from Underhome to a promised greater fortune, deep in the underworld. All perished, but the fallen icon and undead remnants of its greed survived.

Triple-strength 13th level spoiler [aberration] Initiative: +18

Hammer of golden sovereignty +18 vs. AC (up to 3 enemies)
—90 damage

  Natural Even Hit: The target pops free and takes extra damage equal to the attack roll
  First natural even miss each round if targeting one or two enemies: The Gold King makes another   hammer of  golden sovereignty attack against the enemy it missed.

C: Behind the mask +18 vs. MD (one nearby enemy)—160 psychic damage and the target is
weakened (save ends).
Miss: 80 psychic damage and the target is weakened until the end of it’s next turn.

[Special trigger] C: Golden greed +18 vs. MD (one nearby enemy)—The target is confused (save ends)
Limited use: When a nearby enemy uses the magic item power of an epic tier item, the Gold
King may make a golden greed attack against 1d4 other nearby enemies as a free action. (It’s possible the PCs should have some warning, for example, a magic item might be too-eagerly wheedling to be used. Or maybe you’d rather teach lessons the hard way.)
The mask slips: When first staggered, the Gold King makes a behind the mask attack against the   enemy that caused the triggering damage as a free action.
The wandering king: The Gold King can deal 4d6 damage to itself and teleport someplace it can see nearby as a move action.

Sticks and rags: The Gold King has resist 16+ to attacks not made with epic-tier magical   weapons, implements, or bracers. Enemies not wearing epic-tier magical armor are vulnerable to its hammer of golden sovereignty attacks (that’s right—eschewing magic items makes it easier to defeat the minions of the Gold King, but harder to beat the King itself).

Even worse:  When the escalation die is even, the Gold King rolls 2d20 instead of 1d20 and uses the higher result whenever it attacks or rolls a save.

Fallen icon: The Gold King is no longer an icon, but it still possesses magical bonds with reality that make it difficult to destroy. See the Campaign Impact section immediately following the Gold King’s stat block for ways in which significant campaign victories can make the Gold King easier to defeat. (To be clear: if the PCs don’t achieve any of these campaign victories, the Gold King will be difficult or perhaps even impossible to destroy.)

Compel fealty:  An epic-tier dwarf, forgeborn, or human slain by the Gold King will arise at the end of the battle as a bronze kingsguard, loyal gatherer, or royal bearer—whichever seems most appropriate.

Eternal kingdom:  If the Gold King is slain, the GM secretly rolls a normal save (11+) at the end of each session, including this one. If the save succeeds, the Gold King returns to life in one of its secret treasure rooms deep in the underworld. If the campaign somehow ends while the Gold King is still dead, it’s the GM’s call whether the Gold King stays dead or rises after the events of the campaign.
Nastier Specials
Fealty owed: Human, dwarf, and forgeborn characters may not use their racial power until the escalation die reaches 4 or higher, and not when engaged with the Gold King (so standard humans are simply out of luck).

Fealty shown: The first time each round an attack would reduce the Gold King to zero hit points   or less, it instead damages the closest nearby loyal gatherer. If these have all been destroyed,   the attack damages the closest nearby royal bearer, then finally the closest bronze kingsguard. If these have all been destroyed, the Gold King is reduced to zero hit points—but see long live the king below.

Long Live the King: When the Gold King is finally defeated, nothing remains but a featureless   gold mask that wants to be picked up.  This mask makes a golden greed attack against each enemy in the battle as a free action. The save to end the confusion from this attack is a hard save, with confused targets violently fighting over the mask. When no targets are confused, the mask crumbles into dust. (If one PC slays the others while confused, they’re probably going to put on the mask.)

AC 30
PD 27           HP 1200
MD 27

Campaign Impact

The wrong way to defeat the Gold King is to treat it as just another monster—one-fight-and-we-got-this is not likely to work against a fallen icon. The right way to defeat the Gold King is to dedicate yourself to destroying the pieces of reality that help it sustain its power.

The list that follows details a number of campaign victories that the PCs might achieve before confronting the Gold King itself. Alternatively, they may fight the Gold King once before achieving any of these wins, only to realize that they’re going to need to destroy the Gold King’s heritage before they can complete the fallen icon’s destruction.

His Armor Clatters About Him

The player characters can achieve the campaign victories listed in the next section in any order, but successive victories remove the Gold King’s abilities one at a time, in the following order:

First PC campaign victory: Remove the Gold King’s eternal kingdom ability.

Second PC campaign victory: Remove even worse, and ignore any nastier specials even if you are a nasty GM.

Third PC campaign victory: Reduce the Gold King’s defenses by 2.

Fourth PC campaign victory: Remove the wandering king.

Campaign Victories Vs. The Gold King

The possible victories below could be modified or added-to to suit your campaign. If your campaign has heavily featured the Dwarf King, the PCs may have been delving for one or more of these victories in previous tiers.

Reclaim Underhome: The dwarves return to Underhome, probably led by the PCs, because the NPCs of the world aren’t going to manage it, not even the Dwarf King himself. This goal need not require long-term success, but if the dwarves have already been kicked out again, well, the victory isn’t valid anymore, is it?

The Extremely Generous Dwarf King: To prove that the Dwarf King is not like his terrible golden predecessor, the PCs must have lived their lives well enough that the Dwarf King has willingly gifted an epic tier true magic item to each PC that is a half-orc, elf, forgeborn, or that has at least one positive or conflicted icon relationship point with the Orc Lord or the Prince of Shadows. A character with some peculiarly anti-dwarf One Unique Thing would also qualify as requiring a gift. If there’s only PC who qualifies for such a gift, it needs to be a Really Big Deal. Obviously if there are no PCs who qualify as recipients of extreme generosity, this campaign victory isn’t available.

Artifact Side Quest: Find the legendary trapped treasure room of the Gold King that all those other seekers have been after and liberate its chief treasure, an artifact belonging to an icon that the PCs are probably friendly with and the Dwarf King may not be. This is a mission that can fail, since the consequences aren’t necessarily lethal, so the odds should be against the heroes.

Iconic Altruism: Several allies or loved ones of an icon have fallen to the Gold King. This icon wants the bodies of their friends returned for a proper ceremony, or maybe even dicey resurrection, depending on the icon. Can the PCs find and defeat the icon’s allies, now transformed into the Gold King’s servitors? Can they do it in a way that preserves enough of the bodies to convince the icon that these really are their friends? Will they have to quest farther to find the friends’ identifying treasures? Just how many quests is this going to take? Can the PCs stay true and return these awesome magic items to the icon, instead of giving in to greed themselves?

Two Time Winners: Drop the Gold King to 0 hit points in two different battles. Eventually, piling the hurt on the fallen icon has an impact.

by Rob Heinsoo

When we wrote the 13th Age core book, Jonathan and I traded off writing Chapter 8: The Dragon Empire. I got the chapter rolling with a big rush of ideas I’d always wanted to use in a fantasy campaign. Jonathan added many sections, then I rolled back through to finish the chapter off.

All of that is to explain why I don’t know which of us wrote the following section, which got cut during layout because of space. The phrasing makes me think that it was Jonathan, with me revising; but that may just be a case of how we mimic each other’s style when we write together.

Not only do I not know which one of us wrote it, for years I didn’t remember that we’d cut this piece out of the book! I would have put it into 13 True Ways if I’d realized it had been knocked out of the core book during construction. I’ve told multiple groups the story, thinking that I was just repeating stuff they’d already read.

Touching up the entry for this post, I noticed that “Builder’s Dreams” apparently misplaces its possessive apostrophe—the highway had multiple builders, so why the singular? But I think that was originally intentional: a hint that there may have been a singular builder, one whose dreams are not dreams you want to share.

Builder’s Dreams

Part of the magic of the great Imperial Highways is that no one feels comfortable living too close to them. Inns, towns, and buildings of all sorts (other than temporary shelters from the weather) are almost always constructed at least 100 yards or more from the road.

Travelers who sleep too close to the highways often have problems with dreams. The dreams of the original road builders haunt the highway stones. The dreams won’t touch you if you’re awake. But anyone who sleeps too near the road can count on nightmares, terrible sleep, and a gradual degradation of their faculties.

Such dreams and disrupted sleep isn’t something that has game mechanics effects after a night or a week, but the effects could be a problem after two weeks. People say that the Lich King has no power over these dreams. It might even be true.

The innkeepers near Horizon and Santa Cora show off the strength of their warding spells by setting up closer to the road than inns built in less magically skilled areas.

THE BARBARIAN

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 Barbarian. The Furious Barbarian is here.

UNSTOPPABLE BARBARIAN

Download the Unstoppable Barbarian character sheets here.

 

This barbarian build focuses on staying power in a battle, staying upright when other barbarians would fall. Mid-battle self-healing and improved recovery dice together with the toughness feat mean that this barbarian keeps on ticking while butt-kicking.

This barbarian’s focus in battle is on single foes, toe-to-toe combat against the tougher foes while leaving mobs of mooks to be cleared by any magic-users in the group. The slayer attack triggers when you charge into battle with a staggered enemy that you were not previously engaged with, so you will best serve your allies by swooping in and finishing off tough enemies that they are bogged down with (in other words this build is a ‘kill stealer’).

While not exactly fragile, barbarians always benefit from the attentions of allies who can either increase their ability to harm enemies, or to shrug off damage. Remind your fellow players that you are their front-line fighter, and that it is in their interests to heal you so that they don’t have to go toe-to-toe with the big-bads themselves.

Of course this build is less fragile than the ‘frenzy barbarian’ build, as it benefits from its unstoppable mid-battle healing. Stack unstoppable’s hit-to-heal with slayer’s bonus to attack and barbaric rage’s roll-twice-to-hit for maximum damage attacks with healing on the side.

This barbarian uses a shield and a battleaxe, losing a bit of damage output in exchange for an increase in AC (hopefully this barbarian will find a magical shield and get an increase in hit points).

Talents

Slayer

Slayer increases your damage against staggered enemies.

Strongheart

Strongheart improves your recovery dice.

Unstoppable

Unstoppable lets you heal mid-combat, provided you hit with an attack (preferably yelling “I’m unstoppable!” before making the roll).

Race

Dwarf, short and angry, and with the is that your best shot? racial power it makes for a surprisingly persistent barbarian—which is exactly what we are looking for with this build.

Attributes

Constitution is the most important attribute for this barbarian, followed by Strength. Str 18 (+4) Con 20 (+5) Dex 10 (+0) Int 8 (-1) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 8 (-1)

1st level

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

Racial Power: is that your best shot?

Talents: slayer, strongheart, unstoppable

Feats: toughness

2nd level

New feat (slayer).

3rd level

New feat (barbarian rage).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), new feat (unstoppable).

5th level

New talent (violence), new feat (slayer).

6th level

New feat (barbarian rage).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), new feat (unstoppable).

8th level

New talent (ancestral warband), new feat (slayer).

9th level

New feat (barbarian rage).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), new feat (unstoppable).

THE BARBARIAN

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 Barbarian. The Unstoppable Barbarian is here.

FURIOUS BARBARIAN

Download the Furious Barbarian character sheets here.

This barbarian risks everything, heedlessly attacking in a frenzy of blows. This build works best against multiple foes.

If your primary, indeed only concern, is damage output and killing everything in your path then this barbarian build is for you. Get stuck into knots of mooks as soon as you can, kill them, and move on to the next set of enemies. As you decimate weaker enemies it frees other characters to focus on tougher boss foes—and once you’ve cleared the battlefield of weaker enemies that could endanger your allies you should join them in taking down the big bads.

However, this build is best used in groups which focus on ending fights early with high damage output and devastating cooperative tactics. If every character focuses on slaying enemies with massive attacks then enemies don’t stick around long enough to endanger you.

If your group prefers to be less focused or your teamwork isn’t as tight as it could be then you’ll find yourself running ahead of the group and taking more than your fair share of damage—not to worry, just let players whose characters can heal know that you need constant healing to stay effective if battles run long.

This barbarian prefers to swing the biggest two-handed weapon that can be found, leaving shields to those who care about defense—this barbarian is all about going on the offense.

Talents

Barbaric Cleave

Barbaric cleave gives you an extra attack after you drop a foe.

Building Fury

It sucks to miss, but this talent takes the sting out of missing by making later attacks deadlier.

Whirlwind

Whirlwind drops your defenses but lets you attack everything engaged with you—risky but satisfying.

Race

The forgeborn’s never say die power doesn’t require much thought, and that works well with the barbarian class ethos—especially as this build is the one most likely to take a lot of damage.

Attributes

Strength and Constitution are paramount for a barbarian—thinking about things is for characters who are weak. Str 19 (+4) Con 19 (+4) Dex 10 (+0) Int 8 (-1) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 8 (-1)

1st level

Attributes: Str 19 (+4) Con 19 (+4) Dex 10 (+0) Int 8 (-1) Wis 8 (-1) Cha 8 (-1)

Racial Power: never say die

Talents: barbaric cleave, building frenzy, whirlwind

Feats: barbarian rage

2nd level

New feat (barbaric cleave).

3rd level

New feat (building frenzy).

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), new feat (whirlwind).

5th level

New talent (violence), new feat (building frenzy).

6th level

New feat (barbarian rage).

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Dexterity, Constitution), new feat (barbaric cleave).

8th level

New talent (relentless), new feat (barbarian rage).

9th level

New feat (barbaric cleave).

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Constitution, Wisdom), new feat (building frenzy).

 

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