THE NECROMANCER

By ASH LAW

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

 

MORTAL MAGICS NECROMANCER

 

Download the Mortal Magics Necromancer character sheets here.

 

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

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

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

 

Talents

 

Cackling Soliloquist

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

Deathknell

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

It’s Complicated

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

 

Race

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

 

Attributes

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

1st level

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

Racial Power: cruelty

Talents: cackling soliloquist, deathknell, it’s complicated

Feats: wasting away

Skeletal Minion Level: 1

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

2nd level

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

3rd level

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

4th level

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

5th level

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

6th level

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

7th level

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

8th level

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

9th level

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

10th level

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

THE NECROMANCER

By ASH LAW

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

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

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

DEATH GRIP NECROMANCER

 

Download the Death-Grip Necromancer character sheets here.

 

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

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

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

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

 

Talents

 

Death Priest

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

Redeemer

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

Skeletal Minion

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

 

Race

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

 

Attributes

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

1st level

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

Racial Power: breath weapon

Talents: death priest, redeemer, skeletal minion

Feats: wasting away

Skeletal Minion Level: 1

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

2nd level

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

3rd level

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

4th level

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

5th level

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

6th level

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

7th level

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

8th level

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

9th level

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

10th level

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

 

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!).

 

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).

 

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).