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 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).

Dreamhounds char sheet page 1By Tony Williams

This exercise was far more difficult than previous character sheet designs I’ve done. My first problem was getting past the intimidating presence of the great art in itself and then the second was doing something I felt lived up to the design work put into the book.

I was flummoxed trying to think how I was going to incorporate the art into the character sheet; part of the problem is that the design work is meant to fade into the background behind the character stats so how could I use “artwork” and then hide it anyway ? Besides which art should I use ? Who actually represents *all* surrealists ?

I had put the problem on the backburner but later the decorating was looming and I needed an escape project ( I am a master procrastinator ).

So I turned my attention back to the problem and considered how I had approached my Bookhounds character sheet. The idea for that had been “What would one find on the desk of a Bookhound in the rear of his shop ?” Thus: “What would be found lying around the table of a Dreamhound in their dingy garret ?” Suddenly things seemed to fall into place.

Finding decent representational iconography required a lot more strenuous Google-Fu than previous sheet designs but finally I managed to find the stuff I needed to collage the sheet together. There was a lot more “hacking” the pictures in GIMP this time around as well, but I got there in the end.

Here’s a bit of design explanation:

The general tone is greens ( absinthe ) and murky browns ( down at heel ). I learned how to turn an electric blue pencil into a green pencil in GIMP this time around.

Surrealism – the starving Dreamhound was in his bathroom practising drawing his own eye in the cracked wall mirror when he needed to sharpen his pencil. The nearest thing to hand was, of course, his razor. He put the razor down casually across his drawing when he noticed a trail of ants on the floor and had to follow them out into his bedsit to foil the little beggars. He found them supping on a sugar cube he had left next to his absinthe spoon – curses! To calm his nerves he needed a little pipe tobacco whilst he perused the catalogue for the upcoming “Exposition Internationale du Surrealism” at the Galerie Beaux-Arts. If I have to spell it out for people – the pipe is a nod to Magritte, the razor on the eye is Buñuel’s “Un Chien Andalou” and the catalogue is self-explanatory ( durr… ).

Paris – well, ( Mon Dieu! ) the Galerie Beaux-Arts is *in* Paris, for Pete’s sake ! Absinthe seems an appropriate Dreamhound Parisian drink and any good absinthe drinker needs a supply of sugar cubes and an absinthe spoon. A photo of a typical Parisian street in the Pigalle area would be an easy representation of the city too.Dreamhounds char sheet page 2

Lovecraft – hmmm… that photo looks suspiciously like two investigators approaching Le Théâtre du Grand-Guignol with great trepidation to me.

I chose an empty square to represent running out of Instability to reflect the ‘void’ of creativity it brings, it is also meant to be a blank canvas ( since you can no longer create meaningful art ) and a vague reference to the fact you are now a ‘square’ ( in the beat poet sense ) rather than a ‘happening’ radical artist.

And how come that absinthe spoon looks somewhat like a silver key – coincidence ? I think not !

Finally, a technical point – the General Abilities that can have Dreamscaping pool points added to their test rolls when in the Dreamlands are in a brown font rather than the standard black. As represented by the brown “think bubble” next to the Dreamscaping ability. ( Even finding the “right” think bubble was a saga in itself. )

Sadly I’m not happy with the sugar cube. Finding a top-down picture of a sugar cube results in few decent hits – “Damn you interweb !” ( shakes fist ). Maybe I’ll actually resort to photography for a fix down the line…but don’t hold your breath as I have some bloody decorating to do now. I don’t mean “bloody” as in I’m going to murder someone, or *do* I ? Ha, ha, ha, ha…

You can download Tony’s character sheets here:

  • Download Dreamhounds of Paris character sheet (A4)
  • Download Dreamhounds of Paris character sheet (US letter)