Continuing the OP thievery of prior 13th Age threads…
As a reminder, Linkage, and Miscellany
13th Age is the latest twist on a long series of heroic fantasy games, an indie game equal parts D&D and storygame. If you are familiar with D&D, you'll find that 13th Age is a game where you are given ample opportunities to influence the path the story is taking, on both a micro and macro level, with mechanics that model how you, with your character's ties to the world as a proxy, are on equal storytelling footing as the GM. If you are familiar with storygames, you'll find that 13th Age marries collaborative storytelling with the combat crunch of modern D&D, allowing for heroic action without getting bogged down with a huge set of rules.
Its brand of d20 will be most familiar to fans of 4e, with doses of inspiration from 3e. It comes from lead designers of those editions, on that note.
If you have the 13th Age book(s), you can create a 1st level character using the races and classes in the core book and 13 True Ways. Also available are the other classes published on the Pelgrane Press webpage (linked below). There's a PDF character sheet below, or you can just render your character in text. Follow the process from the core book, and ping the thread if you need pointers or have questions or whatever. You can roll abilities or use point buy --- but if you roll you're stuck with your "interesting" results unless they're horrible. Just do point buy unless you want to live on the edge.
The one unique thing describes something rad and interesting about your character
You have 3 icon relationship points to spend on 1-3 icons; each point is a d6 to roll for relationships, you're hoping for 6s and can (probably) live with 5s
You get 8 background points, each point is a +1 to a roll when you make an ability check where the background is relevant --- these describe what your character does and did, and should inform us of his/her history alongside implying his/her skillset
A very useful reference for most things 13th Age: http://www.13thagesrd.com
13 Facts about 13th Age (describes the one unique thing, icon relationships, and backgrounds, among others): http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=8583
13th Age Resources (player game aid, 13th Age character sheets): http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=8764
Summary of the icons: http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=7790
Some Generally helpful word docs: http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=13316
STALWART Class: http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=13622
VANGUARD Class: http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=13618
ELEMENTALIST Class: http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=13118
ELDRITCH KNIGHT Class: http://www.pelgranepress.com/?p=11922
I have run several D20 Game systems as a GM; it has mostly been D&D 3 and 3.5 with some of WotC’s Call of Cthulu as well. I have played in a few D&D 4E Pbps in these forums that either died almost immediately or lasted a few months before fading away. I am feeling the urge to run a game again pretty badly and these boards seem like the best place to do that. I am a full-time student and in two weeks I will be leaving my full-time job to be a stay-at-home dad to my first son. I plan on updating this campaign daily and hope to see it through from 1st to 10th level, but school and being a daddy means that I may miss a day or two here or there. I will let you know if that is happening. I am also an advocate of combat using “the theatre of the mind’s eye” (in no way related to my map tools incompetence).
This will be my first 13th Age campaign. I love the system and I’m glad I picked this up for my birthday since I blasted through the core book in two days. I may need some practice in handing over (some of) the reins to PCs, but I look forward to the challenge.
You? You’re awesome! You want to play 13th Age with me and rise from a lowly adventurer to an epic paragon of destiny. I am looking for 6 PCs. You should be able to post at least 5-10 times a week. Ideally I would like a mix of old and new players. Create 1 1st-level PC using 28-point buy or chance it with Geth with 4d6, drop the lowest, arrange to taste. Again, use the core book, 13 True Ways, and 4 extra classes above. I am ok with using fluff to create the character you really want (within reason). Want to battle with two daggers, and hate the idea of a ranger or rogue? Use standard 2H weapon rules and damage and make it a fighter or barbarian. Want to be a sentient plant? Pick the race that best fits what you envision and we’ll go from there. If you wish to create a second character, PM me to let me know that you are posting a new character in the thread. Post your creation here with any relevant backstory and then post your vote. Wait a minute? Your vote? (No more vote, Campaign Chosen!)
Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil
25 years ago, the forces of evil staged an epic battle near the remote, tiny village of Hommlet. They attempted to commune with dark elemental forces to bring the region under the control of darkness. This faction was not openly allied with any of the icons in the known world (though some suspect that the Prince of Shadows, The Three, or The Diabolist tried to work both sides) and instead were in thrall to a dark god known simply as “The Elder Elemental Eye”. The threat was concentrated in a magnificent conduit of unholy energy known as the Temple of Elemental Evil, and rose in power exponentially quickly, capturing nearly all of the wild areas to the north and west of the known land along with massive swaths of the underworld. Icons that normally were at each other’s throats signed a temporary truce to eradicate this threat, and some say that even the Lich King promised not to taint the dead upon that battle field, as the undead servants of the Elder Elemental Eye did not heed his call. The Emperor’s father led the charge and after five days of ferocious fighting, the Icons of the 13th Age prevailed and order was maintained. The temple was razed and the regions occupied by the strange cult soon fell as well. Unfortunately, the toll was so great on the allied forces that they did not venture into the vast catacombs below the Temple and strike the final deathblow.
10 years later, violence around Hommlet was linked to the Temple ruins and to the moathouse near town that served as an advance outpost. Rather than large armies, small bands of adventurers ventured into those vile places and stopped the secretly rebuilding cult from using the Orb of Golden Death, an artifact of unmeasurable power, to open the gates to the lairs of the Princes of Elemental Evil, malevolent beings that dwell in another universe that seek to consume our world into their own unlivable realms. The Temple was then cleansed, consecrated, and sealed.
No one has much reason to seek adventure in Hommlet anymore. The remote village is hardly even bothered by bandits, let alone world-shattering forces of evil. Adventurers have tried to return over the years, but have found little at the ruined temple or moathouse to justify their time or energy. Life has become bucolic and predictable in the golden hills of the region. Yet, you are compelled to come because…[insert Icon rolls and prologue motivation here]
All in game action will be in normal black text, but please bold
all spoken dialogue. You may wish to italicize
internal dialogue as well, but that is not a hard rule. We will cover combat once the game proper kicks in. Out of game conversation can be handled via message or more commonly by using spoiler tags. Use the @ourname
function to call attention to these if needed.
An example might look like:
Bill readies his mace and kicks down the door. This is it, my big moment
. Using all of his fury and wit, he screams "Come at me, bro!
That was pretty cool, right? Do I notice anything funny about the door before I kick it in?
Icon SpotlightsThe High Druid
No one knows the name of the newest High Druid, and the young half-elf almost seems to resent the very idea of names. That does not mean that she is distant or impersonal however. In comparison to her predecessor, she is mostly seen as a force for good in the world. As the Archmage continues his descent into paranoia and madness, The High Druid has set up eco-friendly small communities that give refuge to those effected by the damage done. The previous High Druid was a recluse, while the new High Druid engages with other icons and has even been spotted in a few cities. This does not mean that she is universally beloved though. Most farmers, mages, sailors, and those living in large cities fear that she may be using diplomacy to loosen their grip on shaping the earth and setting up those she allies with to be absorbed into her plans to unchain The Midland Sea
The Orc King (Lord)
Her relationship with the Emperor is a tenuous one. He still values the strength and familiarity of The Archmage, so on paper, the Empire considers agents of The High Druid to be saboteurs and terrorists. In reality, almost no soldier has set foot in the Wild Wood or taken action against her. This, and the fact that The Priestess is rumored to have a friendly relationship with her only serves as fuel for The Archmage's paranoia.
Orcs have always been a problem, but for the past few ages, they were more of a nuisance to The Dragon Empire than a true threat. Five years ago, in the midst of the Greypire War, the northern human settlements and dwarven villages outside of Forge were swarmed by well-coordinated attacks that included twisted beasts, ogres, goblins, hill giants, and orcs led by a new breed of orc that exhibited cunning and savagery not seen in generations. They were led by a woman that rose from the breeding pits and cowed the wastelands into submission. Known by many names, the orcs refer to her as Oonkva which translates roughly as "The Wound That Festers and Spreads". "King" is a title she has adopted as both a mockery of the Dwarf King and Lich King and a sign of respect among the fierce patriarchal culture of the orcs. Her power is truly frightening. She has tamed Lalia, the mother of all Manticores and rides her into battle. Her presence has rapidly increased the breeding capability, intelligence, and sheer barbarism of the Orc Horde.
For now, citizens of The Dragon Empire breathe a sigh of relief, as Oonkva has set her sights on conquering all of the northern wastelends, putting her in direct conflict with The Red. The Red decimates armies of her soldiers in a series of unending skirmishes. What's terrifying is that she appears to be winning. Slowly, but surely she is claiming hoards from the primordial gargantua. The Archmage is eager to study her, since the source of her power does not seem to be magical, natural, or divine. It is rumored that he instigated her into attacking the north to test the defenses of the realm. Few doubt that this rumor, but even fewer speak it aloud. Not only are the Archmage's spies everywhere, but if true, the defenses served only long enough to slow her down. Only with the aid of the Elves, the Dwarves, and some even say The Lich King (who wants an intact Dragon Empire to rule) did this exploratory force get driven back.
Leopold Yacobin has been Archmage for nearly 80 years. A child prodigy, Leopold graduated from The Arcanum at 9 and had become The Archmage by his 25th birthday. He has guided 3 emperors through what has mostly been described as a bountiful and (relatively) peaceful era. The Archmage was also a fine physical specimen for most of his life; stately and handsome, he led skirmishes on the front lines well into his 70's. His positive contributions to the safety of The Dragon Empire, the art of magic, and civilization as a whole are nearly immeasurable.
Since the beginning of the decade though, The Archmage has slowly become a complete recluse and runs Horizon through his massive and loyal bureaucracy. There are rumors that he has begun toying with dark magics to extend his reign, restore his youthly vigor, and conjuring fears of The Lich King, achieve immortality. Even those who would question his methods within the empire remain silent as those who speak out tend to disappear or suffer timely accidents. He spends less and less time maintaining the defenses of the realm, leaving The Priestess to pick up his slack. The fact that she is able to do so, drives him mad. The Emperor seems to seek his council much as his father and grandmother did in ages past, but many hope that he does this just to keep an eye on the mad genius. Recently, The Crusader has also been spotted visiting his shuttered spire in the heart of Horizon.
Many of the signature spells of The Archmage involved butterflies, from flight with butterfly wings to polymorph spells using cocoons. Now, The Archmage uses them to spy on enemies (and allies); not even The High Druid claims dominion over these small creatures anymore. People rightly quiet down and shutter their doors when they see one alight on a flower nearby.
The Lich King
Many of the Icons of the 13th Age are worshiped by their followers, but only two have the actual ability to literally claim godhood, The Great Gold Wyrm and Vecna, The Lich King. Ruler of the First Age, Vecna was struck down by the might of all of the other combined Icons. But the Wizard King did not have the ability to truly die, so powerful were his immortality magics. His phylactery is rumored to be an object that is magically indestructible and unknowable. He was merely driven underground where he plots his eventual conquest of his former lands. Vecna's plots span generations and have innumerable backups and contingencies. When any foul event despoils the land, most folk suspect the machinations of The Lich King, and with some degree of certainty, they would be right.
His true joy is in making his simple mortal enemies give up what they hold dear for his aid. His worshipers claim that he was never "struck down", but actually bargained to be "Lord of the Dead" in exchange for sparing the Dragon Empire from the mind-controlled behemoths he planned to use to smash Axis to pieces. This title gives him right to any "unclaimed" dead after two days. As anyone can imagine, performing last rites and securing graveyards are among the most sacred duties any priest carries out, so much so that suicide squadrons of clerics and paladins often rush onto lost battlefields to perform the duty at any cost. After The Priestess, High Consecrator of the Realm is the loftiest position any holy man or woman can occupy.
It is hard to know where the truth begins and ends since Vecna is lord of secrets, but his official godhood began after his servants "lost" The Greypire War. He now has a temple within the walls of The Cathedral and his cult, or rather "religion", is slowly growing in ranks. The Empire keeps tight watch on these new temples to ensure no laws are broken, but for now seem to be leaving them be. Servants of the gods of good and The Great Gold Wyrm work to undermine these stained places, but The Priestess is curiously silent on the matter.
as Maldras the Human Bard – A storyteller who grew up revering the Prince of Shadows, he now spins tales and swindles coin. He has managed to stay one step ahead of the law and his marks.@Capfalcon
as Golnar the Half-Orc Stalwart – A living weapon breathed into life by the unbridled experimentation of the Archmage. Golnar draws on the might of his flaming heart and can smash doors with his bare fists or exchange secrets with the burning wick of a candle.@Kirindal as All-Seeing Sabeiha Raseed the Human Fighter – A mercenary trained in magical theorems with ties to the gods. She fights blind since her tie is cursed sight, shared by the sleeping mad deity.@Ardent
as Fultur Hammershadow the Dwarf Wizard – A dwarf who became a wizard for the best possible reason: spite. His success has drawn the eye of the Archmage, who fears that Fultur may be his prophesied successor.@dracil
as Caldon, the Human Cleric – A rather astute fellow who has seen the light on how the world REALLY works. Life’s all a game and we are just the pieces in it; All praise the astrobstrd! All fear the Geth!@boozer as Vanminar Tel’Azahd the Half-Elf Sorcerer – A techno mage that boasts truly out of this world heritage. The life of a hermit has given him a taste for the finer things in life, no matter if those belonged to someone else or not.