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!).

 

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).

 

THE SORCERER

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.

Last week we introduced the Arcane Sorcerer. Today, it’s a new build with a draconic spin.

DRAGON SORCERER

Download the Dragon Sorcerer character sheets here.

This sorcerer build is all about being as dragon-like as possible, and resisting energy attacks.

The build’s focus on breath weapons means that the sorcerer works best when close to the action (but not too close).

This sorcerer can resist energy attacks, so can move to the frontline against enemies whose damage it can shrug off. Otherwise it is best darting in and out of the battle, avoiding being pinned down and taking out multiple enemies with its breath weapon. Your metallic protector talent lets you resist energy as a quick action so do it as soon as you spot energy attacks being used (or you suspect that they might be), and use your resist energy spell to grant the same resistance to your allies. At epic tier you also gain once-per-day resistance to demon and dragon attacks—useful if you’ve gained dragon or infernal enemies.

Your talents make you optimized for breath weapons, so use them—even if you blow them on low-level mooks early in the adventuring day it you’ll have still saved the resources of the rest of the party. As a dragonic you get a once-per-battle breath weapon—if you run out of sorcerous breath you can still use your racial breath weapon.

When this sorcerer fails to recharge a breath weapon it is sometimes better to gather power and hope that the breath weapon recharges in time for it to be cast empowered on the following turn.

Your familiar is a small dragonette—make regular use of your familiar’s random abilities, it is your third talent and while not as useful in combat as other talents has lots of out of combat applications. At 4th level this sorcerer learns ritual casting, so keep imaginative non-combat uses of breath weapons in mind when playing this character.

 

Talents

Chromatic Destroyer

Keep multiple breath weapon spells active at the same time.

Metallic Protector

Improves chances of re-using breath weapons.

Sorcerer’s Familiar

A small dragonette with the flight ability, and one random ability that changes each day.

 

Race

Dragonic, obviously.

 

Attributes

Charisma and Constitution are important sorcerer attributes: Str 8, Con 16, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 20.

 

1st level

Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 16 (+3) Dex 12 (+1) Int 8 (-1) Wis 10 (0) Cha 20 (+5)

Racial Power: breath weapon

Talents: chromatic destroyer, metallic protector, spell sorcerer’s familiar

Feats: metallic protector

Spells: breath of the white, burning hands, chaos bolt, resist energy

 

2nd level

New spell (scorching ray), new feat (chromatic destroyer).

 

3rd level

New spell (breath of the green), level-up spells (breath of the white, resist energy), new feat (burning hands).

 

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), all spells now 3rd level, new feat (ritual casting).

 

5th level

New spell (breath of the black), level-up spells (breath of the white, breath of the green, resist energy), new feat (chromatic destroyer).

 

6th level

New spell (swap scorching ray for dragon’s leap), all spells now 5th level, new feat (breath weapon).

 

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), new spell (breath of the blue), level-up spells (breath of the white, breath of the green, breath of the black, dragon’s leap), new feat (metallic protector).

 

8th level

All spells now 7th level, new feat (chromatic destroyer).

 

9th level

New spells (breath of the void), level-up spells (breath of the white, breath of the green, breath of the black, breath of the blue, dragon’s leap) new feat (metallic protector).

 

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom), all spells now 9th level, new feat (breath of the blue).

THE SORCERER

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.

Sorcerers are all about timing, forgoing attacks now to cast an empowered spell later. Today we’ll be presenting a sorcerer with a touch of wizardry, the Arcane Sorcerer. Next week, we’ll share one inspired by and infused with the power of dragons.

Sorcerers can be ‘swingy’—they are for players who like sudden unexpected surges of power that turn the tide of battle in their favor.

 

ARCANE SORCERER

Download the Arcane Sorcerer character sheets here.

This sorcerer build focuses on close-up dependable magic, a ‘semi-melee caster’ that evolves into a flying teleporting menace as it levels up through higher tiers of play.

This sorcerer is an all-rounder, able to go toe-to-toe when needed or switch to ranged combat to support tougher warriors. As this sorcerer relies upon mobility and deterrence to avoid damage, if there are tougher warriors in the party let them handle melee while you hang back. Your sorcerer isn’t as tough as a fighter or paladin, so make wise use of spells that encourage enemies to keep their distance.

At 1st level this character has simple blast-away spells (burning hands and magic missile), and two more involved spells (the chaining lightning fork and the random chaos bolt)—at higher levels the spells become more complex.

The addition of the auto-hits wizard spell balances ‘swinginess’ from the wood elf racial and infernal heritage talent—so on a bad dice day use magic missile often (at champion tier it can be empowered).

Gather power is a worthwhile action in a fight—do it early and often so that when you let fly with empowered spells the following round the chances of hitting will be higher due to the escalation die. The wood elf’s racial power gives you extra actions—use these when they come up to gather power and cast on the same turn.

 

Talents

Arcane Heritage

A +2 magical background, and a wizard spell as an equal-level alternative to a sorcerer spell.

Infernal Heritage

This adds daily barbarian-rage-like ‘spell frenzy’, and damage resistance.

Spell Fist

A +2 AC bonus and you don’t provoke opportunity attacks when casting spells.

 

Race

Wood elves’ elven grace nets us extra standard actions to gather power.

 

Attributes

For this sorcerer, Charisma and Constitution are important attributes: Str 8, Con 16, Dex 16, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 16.

 

1st level

Attributes: Str 8 (-1) Con 16 (+3) Dex 16 (+3) Int 12 (+1) Wis 10 (0) Cha 16 (+3)

Racial Power: elven grace

Talents: arcane heritage, infernal heritage, spell fist

Feats: infernal heritage

Spells: magic missile, burning hands, chaos bolt, lightning fork

 

2nd level

New spell (breath of the white), new feat (spell fist).

 

3rd level

New spell (echoing thunder), level-up spells (lightning fork, chaos bolt), new feat (lightning fork).

 

4th level

+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), all spells now 3rd level, new feat (arcane heritage).

 

5th level

New spell (queen’s shadows), level-up spells (lightning fork, echoing thunder, magic missile), new feat (arcane heritage).

 

6th level

New spell (swap breath of the white for dragon’s leap), all spells now 5th level, new feat (elven grace).

 

7th level

+1 to three attributes (Charisma, Dexterity, Constitution), new spell (touch of evil), level-up spells (magic missile, lightning fork, echoing thunder, queen’s shadows), new feat (spell fist).

 

8th level

All spells now 7th level, new feat (spell fist).

 

9th level

New spells (resist energy, swap burning hands for three dooms), level-up spells (magic missile, chaos bolt, lightning fork, echoing thunder, queen’s shadows) new feat (infernal heritage).

 

10th level

+1 to three attributes (Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom), all spells now 9th level, new feat (echoing thunder).

 

 

 

bookA while back, Sune Nødskou designed a character sheet for Fear Itself. Spencer Sanders has taken Sune’s original sheet and made it fillable, as well as including spaces for the stereotype and a few languages. You can download Spencer’s new sheet as a PDF here.

13th Age LogoEvenglare on the Pelgrane Press forums has built a one-page, fillable PDF character sheet for 13th Age.

This very useful sheet can be downloaded here.

 

 

 

The man who gave Night’s Black Agents its sleek carnivorous look, Chris Hüth, has designed (and posted on his blog, The Elder Sküll) a modified Night’s Black Agents/Trail of Cthulhu Burn/Dust mode character sheet with slots for Magic, Mediumship, and Clairvoyance, should you want to play a paranormal spies vs. the Mythos game a la the sadly unproduced British TV series Rough Magik. You know, maybe I’d better let him explain it.

Following the release of the pre-order print version of Lorefinder, here is the character sheet to download.

Lorefinder is, we hope, the first of many future GUMSHOE mash-ups. It keeps the d20 Pathfinder system but seamlessly weaves in the investigative mechanic of GUMSHOE.

Download a PDF of the 2-page character sheet.

You can pre-order the print version from our store, to be released in December.

 

Downloads

A printer-friendly Quade Diagram

This chapter from MCB describes the role of the PCs and gives some background to the game.

Character sheet for MCB.

A very useful Reference Sheet for UK players, also one for US players. thanks to Charles Gordon Mitchell for these.

Actual Play

Code Indigo Fred Hicks ran an online game of MCB. You can read and comment on it the Code Indigo community here.

Johnny Shakalakah Our in-house playtest for Mutant City Blues.

Articles and Interviews

Interview with Robin D Laws

A Master Plan podcast you can listen to here. “They talk about designing this game from the original GUMSHOE framework,
what was changed to make the game focused on the new premise, and overall the experiences of making this game. Throughout the show, Robin
also talks a bit about moments in GUMSHOE’s design in general.”

Interview with Dr Quade

Leading the scientific charge is the mediagenic, indefatigable Dr. Lucius Quade. He coined the term for the scientific study of mutant genes and abilities, anamorphology, and is routinely called on to weigh in on any social or political controversy surrounding mutant rights.

Read an interview with Dr Quade here, on See Page XX

The Trouble with Tasers

Robin Laws discusses the use of Tasers in GUMSHOE games here.