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And in the [13th Age] there arose powerful Icons

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  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    The back of the book adventure is fun because it shows that even though you can run balanced fairly easy encounters just using equal level fights, you can really push players just using some higher level fights. We played through that to introduce some of our group to the game, and even with 5 PCs it was pretty gnarly.

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    So with our D&D campaign having ended last weekend, we kick off our 13th Age game tomorrow night. I'm so excited for this game. Got a real interesting set of characters, can't wait to see what they get into.

    ToxBrody
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    So, I started to make something up a Swashbuckler Class awhile back. Today, I got to messing with it and I think it looks pretty cool. Still need an epic feat for Duel Wield Specialty but it's pretty solid I think.

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    So we're 5 sessions in to our bi-weekly(when scheduling doesn't screw up with holidays and sick people) 13th Age game, and it couldn't be going better so far. I put a huge amount of effort into building out a world collaboratively with the players with all these great specific character goals they want to achieve over the course of the campaign, which is intended to be a full 1-10 new adventurer to epic badasses type deal.

    Everybody's characters are great and they seem really into them.

    I'm GMing with a different style than I've ever used before, where I'm using Apocalypse World style fronts and just trying to let the players do whatever they feel like rather than sending them on a linear plot type thing. This next session coming up we're about to come face to face with a lot of things that happened over a couple weeks that they were off handling other business, so I'm excited to see how they react to the changes.

    I settled on two uses for icon relationship dice that have worked out immaculately:

    1) Pre-campaign and periodically(we just rolled a 2nd set after session 5) I'm having everybody roll icon relationship dice, and any 5s and 6s that come up guide which icons have their hands in the next upcoming fronts and world developments. So if my wife rolls her negative lich king relationship and my other buddy rolls his paladin king (custom icon for our setting) positive relationship, then I know that the upcoming happenings in the world are going to involve undead and lich king machinations but also the paladin king getting involved.

    This one has solved any "I have to come up with the story all by myself" GMing issues, because I get to leave whatever icons on the bench that the players didn't choose, and get to feature the ones they are interested in and selected when they made their characters. It also lets me see a sort of campaign meta plot develop throughout, where by the end nobody will be surprised at which villains and nice guy icons are involved in the big epic events because it's been their choices and dice rolls that help things along.

    I get to create fun interactions between icons I wouldn't normally put together too for this particular campaign.

    2) Icon relationship tokens. I got the idea from posters here on this forum and just adapted it to my liking. We've already had lots of tokens used to reroll attacks in big moments, make an enemy reroll a big hit on a player, try to influence the narrative in interesting ways, and one guy is trading in his three 6 tokens with his icon to get a magic sword (I'm letting them trade three 6 tokens for a single magic item, once per adventuring tier), but we're still going to play out him having to adventure to get it in the game.

    All in all it's just been such a fantastic experience. This game really does have most all of what we liked about 3rd and 4th E D&D but without the stuff we didn't, and with some story game stuff added on. It's definitely not a perfect game, but it's definitely the most satisfying combat-heavy D&D game we've played yet.

    Tox
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    I'm glad you like my token idea (that I stole from someone else).

    So you roll for relationships and do tokens at the same time? Interesting.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    How often are you rolling for the second one there?

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    For the "icon story guidance" rolls as I call them, which don't give the players benefits but just tell me which icons I'm going to incorporate into whatever is going on in the world, I don't have a set frequency with which I roll them. We did them pre-campaign to get it started, then I had them roll them again at the end of session 5, but the rolls probably won't come into play until session 7 or 8 just because they have a lot going on right now already. Basically I'm going to have them roll them again each time the world is ready for some new and interesting shenanigans, however long that takes between rolls.

    For the currency tokens we roll those at the beginning of each session, and while they don't go to waste if they don't use them, they're limited to 3 tokens at a time (I will probably keep this limit equal to their number of relationship points, so it will increase to 4 when we reach 5th level.

    Here's the list of things they can use tokens on.
    If you spend a 6, you can:

    • Succeed at a skill check.
    • Re-roll an attack roll and take the better result.
    • Let an ally re-roll an attack and take the better result.
    • Force an opponent to re-roll and take the worse result. (does not apply to critical hits)
    • Save someone from instant death.
    • Redistribute recoveries among the party.
    • Restore two recoveries for yourself or an ally.
    • (Spend 3 tokens) Gain a true magic item, you get to choose the type. (Limit one per adventuring tier).
    • Influence the story, conjure a resource, etc. E.g.
    ○ "I want to spend a token(Elf Queen), to have Elf Queen allies/in this area who recognized we're working on the same thing, and for them to offer aid.
    ○ "We could really use a grappling hook for our rope to make this difficult climb easier. I spend a token, and look, we have one in the bag."

    If you spend a 5 token, you can do all of the above things except gain a true magic item. In addition, spending a 5 comes with a complication or cost. This is a sort of negotiation. You tell the GM what you want, they tell you what they think it'll cost, and you can suggest tweaks or changes and come to an agreement.

    The idea, and it's worked out great so far, is that the story guidance rolls help develop the meta plot of the campaign and determine which icons are in play regardless of what the players do. Then the tokens are what they use to either get mechanical benefits or influence the story.

    So the guy with the dwarf king relationship rolls a story guidance roll, and now the dwarf king's forces are in the area kicking orc asses or whatever. But if the player wants to call on aid from them he's going to have to spend one of his currency tokens to make that happen without skill checks.

    Joshmvii on
    Anialos
  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    So in Friday's session, while on the way to a ruin to find our Paladin/Commander's family heirloom +1 sword (he traded in 3 icon tokens for it), I rolled a random encounter on the table I use and the party fought some enemies, that included an Owlbear.

    The fight started in round one with 4 out of 5 of the PCs critting, it was unreal. They dominated the Hellwasps and mooks that were the only enemies they knew about at that point. But the last initiative was the Owlbear I had in the fight, who quietly charged in to attack.

    I actually managed to get our party's Monk hampered with an attack, and then crit him with the next attack with a nat 20 and tore his arm off. The crit actually hit him hard enough that he would've died outright, but my wife's Wizard spent an icon token to save him(can do this to save someone from instant death, but not like failing death saves slowly) as her character reacted to seeing the thing diving it's beak at his chest.

    So they finish the fight, and our Druid wants to do a ritual to regenerate the Monk's arm. I tell him he can spend his 6 token from the High Druid to be able to find the reagents needed for the ritual in the forest they're in. He does it. But the only daily heal spell he had left at this point was a regular regeneration, not a greater regen. So he trades in his 5 token with the Diabolist to be able to pull the regen off with the lesser regen, still expending it for the heal-up.

    I tell the Monk player that it works, his arm is reattached, but he has to come up with a way that the demonic influence of the Diabolist affects that arm. He decided that the arm regenerated, but his left hand now has demonic claws. He absolutely loved it, and in the next fight he used it for flavor, using the claws to tear through a tent to surprise some bandits.

    Man I love this game.

    Grunt's GhostsAnialosElvenshaeBrodyToxMsAnthropyFry
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Noice!

    Point of Order: I was fucking wrong

    Tox on
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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    Noice!

    Point of Order: Diabolist is devils, not demons :p


    Demons have no icon

    Reverse that. Devils have no icon, at least not the ones in 13 True Ways.

    Although I have no idea why there is a distinction between demons and devils.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    edited January 2017
    I'm like 99% sure it's Demons in True Ways

    Tox on
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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    I'm like 99% sure it's Demons in True Ways

    I'm looking at the book. It's Devils.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    Yes, but what is the difference?

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Demons seem to be dumb creatures who serve the Diabolist and her cults, while Devils are cunning and serve only themselves. But honestly, it's stupid to sperate the two, IMO.

  • OptimusZedOptimusZed Registered User regular
    Separating them gives you two sides of a civil war in hell to play off of if you're into that.

    We're reading Rifts. You should too. You know you want to. Now With Ninjas!

    They tried to bury us. They didn't know that we were seeds. 2018 Midterms. Get your shit together.
    ElvenshaeOatsBrodyNotoriusBEN
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Traditionally, devils have been more interested in conquest, both dominion and souls.

    Demons are destructive and only want nothingness

    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
    Elvenshae
  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    In the 13th Age core book, the first paragraph about the Diabolist talks about how she controls fiends, and refers to her relationship with demons. Devils aren't actually a thing in the 13th Age core book.
    There are two differences between her and her demons: First, she
    likes keeping destruction personal rather than universal; second,
    she’s capable of kindness, so long as it comes as a great surprise.

    In 13 True Ways, they introduced Devils, but specifically didn't tie them to any particular icon. They had Robin D. Laws write that great chapter that has cool ideas for tying them to all the different icons, whether as servants or enemies of that icon, depending on the icon relationship that makes most sense for them in your game.

    Devils are the tricksters who are running things behind the scenes and you can't even figure out their plans until they're too late. Demons just want to wreck everything and are only really limited by the fact that they're generally stuck in the vicinity of hellholes unless the story says otherwise.

    Of course, any of this could be different in anybody's game. My party's Druid just has a one unique thing and a background about how the way he got his Druid powers was that he was kidnapped and tortured by demons in a hellhole, and then by blessing of the high druid he gained his druid magic and was able to break himself free, hence the negative diabolist relationship. But now he has demonic taint in him and he doesn't know exactly what that means yet. Neither do I, but that's the fun of exploring the characters in game.

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    Next session should be very fun. The party's main center has been a town in the wilds that is known as a place for low level adventurers to cut their teeth, and in the 6 weeks of game time since they came together there's been two murders there, and the party thinks they've figured out who is behind it, and now have to come up with a way to get evidence. The culprits are tied to my wife's negative icon relationship as this whole storyling of them undermining the town of Venture and trying to take it over came from one of her story guidance rolls that I use. Wife's character is a wizard, and she plans to try to use her disguise self utility spell to get them to incriminate themselves if possible.

    Then they have a hook that there's a young white dragon with kobolds serving it nearby that might have some juicy treasure, so I expect we're going to have some political maneuvering/mystery solving that transitions into some good old fashioned treasure hunting next Friday.

    It's been so fun having a party that's very well synergized and effective in combat, because I'm able to really challenge them with harder fights. "Fair" fights using the system have been way too easy for them so far, so in general I've been running them about 50% harder than the standard expectation, at least for 2 or 3 fights per heal up.

    They're playing:

    Paladin/Commander multiclass: Great tank, with paladin's challenge and bastion, but more options than the simple paladin because of paladin tactics/commands.
    Bard: Solid mix of damage, spells, songs that buff the party, flexible attacks that buff the party, etc.
    Monk: Nice damage output
    Wizard: Great damage output
    Druid (Adept wild healer, initiate terrain caster): Insane healing throughput that helps them handle the tough fights, solid damage with feat spells like Ruination, Whoomph, and daily terrain spells.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Joshmvii wrote: »
    In the 13th Age core book, the first paragraph about the Diabolist talks about how she controls fiends, and refers to her relationship with demons. Devils aren't actually a thing in the 13th Age core book.
    There are two differences between her and her demons: First, she
    likes keeping destruction personal rather than universal; second,
    she’s capable of kindness, so long as it comes as a great surprise.

    In 13 True Ways, they introduced Devils, but specifically didn't tie them to any particular icon. They had Robin D. Laws write that great chapter that has cool ideas for tying them to all the different icons, whether as servants or enemies of that icon, depending on the icon relationship that makes most sense for them in your game.

    Devils are the tricksters who are running things behind the scenes and you can't even figure out their plans until they're too late. Demons just want to wreck everything and are only really limited by the fact that they're generally stuck in the vicinity of hellholes unless the story says otherwise.

    Of course, any of this could be different in anybody's game. My party's Druid just has a one unique thing and a background about how the way he got his Druid powers was that he was kidnapped and tortured by demons in a hellhole, and then by blessing of the high druid he gained his druid magic and was able to break himself free, hence the negative diabolist relationship. But now he has demonic taint in him and he doesn't know exactly what that means yet. Neither do I, but that's the fun of exploring the characters in game.

    Yea, my touchstone for Demons in 13th Age has always been Pratchett's creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions:

    "They apparently cuddle around our world for light and shape, craving only the ability to exist. They could no more survive in our world than wet paper in a shredding machine, but that doesn't stop them wishing they could. If they ever did break through, the effect would be not unlike the ocean attempting to warm itself on a candle, but they haven't stopped trying yet, and they never will."

    They are just so incompatible with this world that their mere existence in it actively degrades it. They aren't pure malice only because malice is too human a concept to apply to them. It explains why everyone is on board with telling them to fuck right the hell off from the Great Gold Wyrm to the evil god's champion the Crusader while simultaneously emphasizing just how fucked up what the Diabolist is doing is.

    Though the word nerd in my does point out that diabolist comes from devil rather than demon.

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    I doubt I'll even use devils in this particular campaign. I don't think the development arcs of the characters is really going to call for devils behind the scenes doing stuff. Probably the only one I want to use is the devil of the fangs, because the idea of a demon who just was like hey i'm going to become a devil but I still don't care about your hierarchies and I'm just going to chill in these rivers until time to really wreak havoc is very cool to me.

    The only person in my party who is directly related to the diabolist is the druid, and I foresee demons just playing the part of the chaotic servants of the diabolist who will sometimes cause problems when they start to get free of hellholes and what not.

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Joshmvii wrote: »
    In the 13th Age core book, the first paragraph about the Diabolist talks about how she controls fiends, and refers to her relationship with demons. Devils aren't actually a thing in the 13th Age core book.
    There are two differences between her and her demons: First, she
    likes keeping destruction personal rather than universal; second,
    she’s capable of kindness, so long as it comes as a great surprise.

    In 13 True Ways, they introduced Devils, but specifically didn't tie them to any particular icon. They had Robin D. Laws write that great chapter that has cool ideas for tying them to all the different icons, whether as servants or enemies of that icon, depending on the icon relationship that makes most sense for them in your game.

    Devils are the tricksters who are running things behind the scenes and you can't even figure out their plans until they're too late. Demons just want to wreck everything and are only really limited by the fact that they're generally stuck in the vicinity of hellholes unless the story says otherwise.

    Of course, any of this could be different in anybody's game. My party's Druid just has a one unique thing and a background about how the way he got his Druid powers was that he was kidnapped and tortured by demons in a hellhole, and then by blessing of the high druid he gained his druid magic and was able to break himself free, hence the negative diabolist relationship. But now he has demonic taint in him and he doesn't know exactly what that means yet. Neither do I, but that's the fun of exploring the characters in game.

    Yea, my touchstone for Demons in 13th Age has always been Pratchett's creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions:

    "They apparently cuddle around our world for light and shape, craving only the ability to exist. They could no more survive in our world than wet paper in a shredding machine, but that doesn't stop them wishing they could. If they ever did break through, the effect would be not unlike the ocean attempting to warm itself on a candle, but they haven't stopped trying yet, and they never will."

    They are just so incompatible with this world that their mere existence in it actively degrades it. They aren't pure malice only because malice is too human a concept to apply to them. It explains why everyone is on board with telling them to fuck right the hell off from the Great Gold Wyrm to the evil god's champion the Crusader while simultaneously emphasizing just how fucked up what the Diabolist is doing is.

    Though the word nerd in my does point out that diabolist comes from devil rather than demon.

    I like this idea, especially when you consider that there are some who believe that the Diabolist is actually holding them back, given them just enough destruction to feed them but keeping them from outright destroying the world.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Though the word nerd in my does point out that diabolist comes from devil rather than demon.

    That's what messed me up.

    Has anyone been following Page XX? I'm curious if there's been any new content released recently, or if they're planning any new books or anything

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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    I haven't checked it recently, but they are still doing the monthly series, which are full of goodies and stuff. I need to check if year 3 has started yet, as I have the first 24 issues.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Uh, pretty sure the monthly got discontinued at the end of last year. Got an email about it and everything. The next book is 13th Age in Gloriantha which is the hero quest setting.

    Edit: Now with quotes!
    "The decision not to renew the Monthly for a third volume was a difficult one: we took account of the sales, and the resources and creative energy it took to run it, and decided that Rob’s time was better used concentrating on new books for 13th Age—including the 13th Age Bestiary 2."

    DevoutlyApathetic on
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Oh right, Gloriantha.

    Wasn't that Kickstarter like 2 years ago?

    Tox on
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  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    About two and a half yeah. They have the writing finished/played tested and last I heard it was getting art/layout done. That was like two months ago though.

  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    Tox wrote: »
    Oh right, Gloriantha.

    Wasn't that Kickstarter like 2 years ago?
    It got held up over legal issues, I believe. You know, IP owner sees Kickstarter, greed gets a bit up. Same thing that went down with the Flash Gordon movie IP.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    Yeah the only new content I knew of coming for 13th Age was Glorantha which isn't my cup of tea but I know has had people waiting, and they are going to be doing a bestiary 2 which I think they announced at gencon.

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    I've decided that we're going to tack on Dungeon World-esque roleplaying flags going forward. We're getting a lot of great RP interactions in the game, but I have a couple players who have things they'd love to get to explore through inter-party roleplay but they're just not finding good opportunities to do it, or they don't want to demand spotlight by framing their own scene or asking for it.

    So we're putting in flags where each player has to have an active flag for their character to prompt other PCs to trigger it and explore it.

    So maybe the Paladin wants to show he sticks to his ideals and has a flag that says "Offer me an easier choice that I must refuse on principle," and the party rogue type suggests that the party just kill a guard to get past him, and the Paladin's flag is triggered and he can refuse and demonstrate that he won't bend his ideals.

    The reward (for the rogue type in this case because he triggered his fellow player's flag) will be they get to pick one of their icon relationship dice and roll a single die for an extra chance at a 5 or 6 token, which will be the only additional way to get a token outside rolling at session start.

    ToxBrodyFuselage
  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    So in our last 13th Age session I had one player who rolled 3d6 for relationship dice and got all 6s. Then during the fight I talked about above with the Owlbear and the arm maiming the party rolled 4 nat 20s on their first 5 turns of combat. If my numbers are right, the probabilities of those things are like 0.005% and 0.00003% respectively. Fun stuff.

    webguy20
  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    Alright 13th Age people, I need some help figuring out how to handle an incremental advance. We're running a pretty slow burn campaign in terms of leveling speed, so I have to give incremental advances to keep the feeling of progression there.

    So I have a Bard, with the Spellsinger talent(you have one more spell/song of the highest level you know).

    At level 2 he has three 1st level spell/song slots plus one from spellsinger. (1 1 1 + 1) When he gets to level 3, he will have one 1st level slot, two 3rd level slots, plus one 3rd level slot from spellsinger. (1 3 3 + 3)

    After their next heal up when they're still level 2 but he gets an incremental advance he may choose another spell/song for the incremental. So then how exactly should I determine what his loadout will be.

    My first instinct was to say that he will now have (1 1 3 + 1), since the slot total isn't changing, he'd basically just be getting one of his 3rd level slots early, but not the second. Also, even though he would technically know a 3rd level spell/song, I wouldn't consider his highest spell level known to be 3 until he's actually character level 3.

    I feel decent about the first part, I really just want to make sure I'm not being unfair by not allowing his spellsinger extra spell to also be level 3 after he takes the incremental advance to get a level 3 spell/song early.

    Thoughts?

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Reviewing the incremental advance rules I think agree with you or at least that it is entirely reasonable. I was thinking that weapon damage was one of the things you could advance but it isn't so the slot choice seems pretty powerful already.

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    Yeah, after googling and realizing they clarified the incremental advance rules on the 13th age FAQ on pelgrane's website, I'm definitely right about the spell slots. Since his slot total isn't changing from 3, he just chooses to replace one of his 1st level slots with a 3rd.

    The only question remaining is how do I handle the Spellsinger talent part of it. It's already a great talent for letting him have an extra spell/song, so I'm leaning toward not having it interact with the incremental and increase to 3rd also. I tweeted at Tweet/Heinsoo to ask their thoughts too.

  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    edited January 2017
    Phrase it as the Bard is sampling a new song, seeing how the crowd reacts to the new style, and so although technically he knows it, its not officially part of his lineup, y'know? Crowds love to hear fresh stuff, and this way if it bombs, he can change it up before it ends up on tape.

    Brody on
    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
    ElvenshaeFuselage
  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    Yeah, I just told my player spellsinger doesn't interact because his "highest level of spell known" doesn't increase to 3 until he's actually level 3. He totally got it. He's an optimization focused player and just wanted to see if he could squeeze two 3rd level spells/songs out of one incremental, and that's fine. He agreed that's how he'd rule it too if he was the GM.

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    So last friday's 13th Age session was a lot of fun.

    The party had arrived back in the town where they've been working out of the entire game so far. The party has pretty good suspicions(and they're right) that these two people who have been gaining influence there(one spreading the word of their church, the other being a sort of man of the people who helps out the commoners) were agents of the Blood Pontiff(one of our world's icons, leader of a church that uses blood magic and creates undead soldiers). The Pontiff is one my wife's wizard's negative icons so she's super motivated to figure them out. These two people had been responsible for 2 murders so far in about 6 weeks, along with trying to usurp control of the town, which has long existed as a sort of neutral town for adventurers to strike out from and see if the life is for them.

    She works with the party Bard and they get some poison and they're ready to go in with a kill first find evidence later approach, but the rest of the party is a bit more on the side of wanting to find evidence first. So they come up with a plan where the wizard uses her disguise self utility spell to pretend to be a bishop in the church and the paladin/commander dresses as a body guard to be close to her in case things go wrong, and they get invited into the house and start a social engagement with the woman.

    She starts feeling it out trying to get her to make a confession of guilt, but she's having a hard time. The woman is already relatively suspicious because previously the wizard(not in disguise) had been pressing her in the street, the Bard had tried a Charm Person and missed his roll badly enough that she was aware an attempt had been made, and the party in the first session months back had let some guards of a guy they killed(who works for the same people) go free, and so the people here in town had been keeping an eye on their group in general with a suspicious eye.

    I make my wife's wizard make a skill check to not have her disguise seen through, but she fails, but barely. So instead of just having the whole jig be up, I have the woman crank up her paranoia to the next level and she has her guards go give a closer look at the guy disguised as the bodyguard to see if he seems legit. His check was going to be very hard, DC25, so he spent an icon relationship token 6 he had to pass that check. So the woman kind of calms down again, and getting careless she lets slip some verbal confession around the murders and their plans. She tells her guards to go get some wine for them and their guest and they bring it back to the kitchen.

    By then, the 3 party members outside includng the guy with the poison are hanging outside a window to the kitchen, one room over from the party and listening in as best as they can. Our Wizard uses ghost sound to create a noise like breaking glass from the 2nd floor of the house and the guards are sent upstairs to check it out. While they're gone I figure that the Bard is about to make his poison play, but before he can, the Paladin/Commander gets antsy when the woman tells them she'll be back and goes to leave and go to the next room over, where the party had been hearing sounds that were like a whipping sound.

    She was just going to get her other guy and tell him they need to figure out what's going on with the noise upstairs and all, but the Paladin/Commander tries to grab her trying to subdue her and fails it, so she gets her man and a fight breaks out. The party convinces her 2 body guards it's not worth it to fight(they didn't like her anyway) and they bolted, so the party ends up fighting the man and woman plus some assassin mooks they had working for them.

    It was a brutal fight, but ultimately they won with the woman still alive. They found written evidence by the dead guy who was more careless that confirmed her confession. Rather than having her tried in the country they were in where she might be able to bribe her way out of it, the paladin/commander who is an initiate of an order of knights in his home nation used a 6 token to say that a Knight Errant of his order was nearby, and since they were on the outskirts of the other nation, the errant was empowered to sentence the woman and deliver the sentence without spending much political capital.

    The townspeople were being swayed to the side of these new people, not realizing their nefarious motivations, and they were a couple days from holding an emergency election to replace the mayor with their guy(that the party just killed) and the party knew it. So the Bard used his Balladeer talent to tell sort of reverse propaganda tales of the Prince of Shadows and how his agents(the party) saved Venture from the evil Blood Pontiff forces and swayed the people back to their side so they didn't riot when they found out about the man's death and the woman's impending sentencing. As part of his Balladeer roll, I had him roll the cursed dice for Blood Pontiff and he got a 2, so I started brewing up ideas.

    After that the party struck out to head west and find a young white dragon that has taken up in some caves in the hills with some kobolds working for it. There's rumors flying that there's magic items to be gained for those who can defeat it so adventurers are getting themselves killed left and right trying to get it and the region is in a bit of a bustle about it.

    On the way I had an NPC who was there to essentially deliver some magic robes to our Monk who had turned in three 6 icon tokens before the session to get them. I wanted to make it more fun than just that though, so I tapped into his background. Our Monk is the last survivor of his monk order, whose monastery was destroyed by the shadow order whose master had been corrupted by the Black dragon(Three icon), and I told them as they approached this man fighting off some kobolds with martial arts that our monk recognized some of the flair on his moves indicated he was trained by the unseen shadow, which made our Monk understandably nervous and he went into his frail old man demeanor he uses when he doesn't want to show himself.

    The man had been badly injured by the kobolds in the fight, and our healer helped him, and the rest of the party started talking to him and asked him what he was doing out there, etc. where they found out that he had fled the shadow order when he found out the master was planning on attacking our monk's order, and tried to go warn them, but was badly injured while traveling and failed to do so. Now he's been living in guilt-wracked solitude for about 4 months(when our monk's monastery was wiped out) until they met him. Our Monk wanted to read him to see if he was being honest and rolled high on his sort of sense motive check, and once he believed he was telling the truth, he revealed himself and told the guy he could travel to the library of his monastery(the only part that wasn't completely destroyed), to train and help in the rebuilding and find new purpose. Then the guy gifted him the magic robes. It was a really fun moment for our monk, I loved it.

    After that they found the cave they were looking for, killed the kobold scout who was sleeping on the job, narrowly avoided some traps, and had a fun fight with some kobolds(I absolutely love the Trapster ability the Kobolds from the 13A Bestiary have). We ended the session with the party entering the large cavern face to face with three kobolds between them and the white dragon, and a dozen kobold mooks in the back of the room with the dragon ready to roll initiative next time. The fight difficulty is equivalently "fair" for a party of 9 level 2 characters, while we only have 5 characters. This will be their hardest fight yet depending on their initiative rolls, but they're a very well synergized party who makes a joke out of "fair" fights, and they're down some daily resources already so we'll see how that goes.

    Also, what they have no idea about is the fact that the cursed die result from Balladeer is going to play out with a much tougher than they could handle right now agent of the Blood Pontiff(the icon who the bard took a dump on in his ballad) coming in to knock the bard down a peg. I think it's going to play out great, because the bard's player has told me he wants to get some opportunities for his character to learn that he's not quite as hot shit as he sometimes thinks he is.

    This game has been everything I hoped, and utilizing all the GMing principles I learned from stuff like Apocalypse World using fronts, playing to see what happens, etc are making this the most fun I've ever had GMing.

    Lord Palington
  • BrodyBrody The Watch The First ShoreRegistered User regular
    So my friend has decided to run a fantasy campaign, and he hasn't settled on a system yet. I think he's pretty against 5e, as he bought a bunch of 4e stuff very shortly before 5e came out. Unfortunately, hes also "heard some nice things about pathfinder." I'd really rather convince him to swing the 13th Age direction, please send help.

    "The shore does not dream of you." - Blind poet Gallan.
    Tox
  • OatsOats Registered User regular
    What don't they like about 5e? Or, what did they like best about 4e?

    13th is good for a vaguely-4e-esque romp through the wilderness, with tweaks like the Escalation Die to speed up combat, the Icons to tie the party to the world, and whatnot. It mostly solves the quad-wiz-lin-fighter problem, and the freeform skills give him even more hooks to pull on.

    Conversely, Pathfinder had a designer tie a mouse cord around his wrist to test the efficacy of weapon chains.

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    4th is also kinda a bear to build and maintain characters without electronic assistance and that is now fraught with difficulties. Not insurmountable but enough that I kinda shudder when my non-computer geek friends ask about how.

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    If your friend likes 4E more than 5E, then I definitely think 13th Age should be a fairly easy sell, as long as he's good with the abstract movement stuff and not having 5 foot grid and pushing people 2 squares and all that noise.

    My 13th Age pitch is 3.5's distinct classes and customization within those classes without the simulationism and 2000 words of rules on grappling, with some of 4E's balanced approach to combat, where the GM controls when the heal-up comes and so managing "daily" powers alongside per battle and at will ones is a fun part of the game but without the detailed wargaming stuff like tons of modifiers/bonuses/pushes/pulls, and then with some story game sprinkled in and more player agency in what the story will be from one unique things and the icon relationship dice.

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