The image size limit has been raised to 1mb! Anything larger than that should be linked to. This is a HARD limit, please do not abuse it.
Our new Indie Games subforum is now open for business in G&T. Go and check it out, you might land a code for a free game. If you're developing an indie game and want to post about it, follow these directions. If you don't, he'll break your legs! Hahaha! Seriously though.
Our rules have been updated and given their own forum. Go and look at them! They are nice, and there may be new ones that you didn't know about! Hooray for rules! Hooray for The System! Hooray for Conforming!

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

145679

Posts

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    Spoilers don't play around. I had a fight with a couple spoilers against my party recently and when half the party is stuck, taking -4 to attacks, being unable to use anything except basic attacks because of hampered, etc. it really screws with them for sure.

    It's also one of my favorite things in 13th Age though, because target prioritization is key. My party loves having to figure out what to go after first when there's a huge wrecker beating their asses, a spoiler giving them conditions, and then a bunch of mooks who die fast but put out big damage if left alive, etc.

  • BrodyBrody Cabot CoveRegistered User regular
    Yeah, I think it was the combination of having a couple of party members taking 10 points ongoing damage, and of the 5 of us, only the cleric wasn't hampered for the majority of the fight. And then with all the mooks/hunters in the way, we couldn't really get to the casters.

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Brody wrote: »
    So, back of the book module we fairly waltzed through. GM builds an encounter after that experience, tpk. Two ettercap hunters, two supplicants, majority of the party is hampered/poisoned/acided the whole fight.

    The problem with low level characters in 13th Age, and really any d20 game, is that healing is low and few and far between. Like, I made a cleric one built on healing and the best I could do was 5 heals during one battle, and that would use up a daily ability. I think bards can add one more healing and I think commanders add another, but the heals low levels are small, mostly a recovery worth at a time. I normally don't do damage over time attacks until later, just because of how deadly they can be.

  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    It just depends on your party. Mine has a 2 pt wild healer Druid who puts out a ton of healing throughput with like 3 per battle heals, plus a bunch of daily ones. Then we have a bard with a flexible attack to heal somebody plus give them temp HP. Our commander/fighter could throw out rally commands too if the party needed it, but right now he doesn't keep that prepared because it's not needed.

    We like really challenging combat though. I'd probably have to tone it down if they had chosen a less efficient party setup.

  • BrodyBrody Cabot CoveRegistered User regular
    I think our main issue was the DoT's, combined with our bard/paladin being hampered, which meant we couldn't get any of our heals out.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Everyone knows the Necromancer has the best heal in the game :twisted:

    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • JoshmviiJoshmvii Registered User regular
    Yeah, hampered is a gnarly condition.

  • GanksLikeGastonGanksLikeGaston Registered User new member
    Greetings all, I recently started GMing this system (I'm also the GM for other posters, so I can't be too specific) and I have a question about level adjusting monsters down. I see that there are charts for level adjusting monsters up, but nothing definitive for the reverse. I tested the stats by just doing the opposite of the level adjustment table and they look mostly correct after some minor tweaking. Have any of you played with scaling down monsters? Similar to the scaled down blue dragon in the module.

  • OatsOats Registered User regular
    Honestly I wouldn't worry too much about one monster being too dangerous.

    Characters are always stronger and more resourceful than you expect.

    Debuffs tend to be what wreck parties more than pure damage, so that may be a consideration.

  • GanksLikeGastonGanksLikeGaston Registered User new member
    Yeah I found that out pretty fast. I'm that guy that TPK'd the party with Ettercaps. I have since made sure to track DOTs and status effects more carefully. The reason for my question is that I want to be able to take a high level monster (lvl 10) and drop it down to around level 6 so I can send it at a party of lvl 2 characters for story reasons without it being ably to one shot them on a whim.

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Maybe you can figure it out by looking at what the devs did themselves. In the adventure in the back of the core book called Blood & Lighting they had an 8th level dragon weaken by a spell thrown off by the tower commander or some other effect (My personal favorite way of doing this is to have a lighting rod that the players brought to the tower to help expel the energies trapped in the tower when the dragon attacks) and becomes a 4th level threat.

    Let's look at the two dragons and see what we can figure out.

    8th level Large Blue Dragon
    Large 8th level caster [dragon]
    Initiative: +13
    Vulnerability: force
    HP: 260
    AC: 25 PD: 22 MD: 22

    Double claws +12 vs. AC (2 attacks)—15 damage
    Natural even hit or miss: The dragon can make a bite attack as a free action.
    [Special trigger] Bite +12 vs. AC—20 damage, and 2d10 lightning damage

    C: Lightning breath +12 vs. PD
    (1d3 nearby or far away enemies)— 40 lightning damage
    Natural even hit: The target is also dazed (save ends).

    Intermittent breath: A large blue dragon can use lightning breath 1d6 times per battle, but never two turns in a row.

    Counter-spell: When an enemy targets the blue dragon with a spell, the dragon can roll a save; success means the spell has no effect on the dragon. If the level of the spell is lower than the dragon’s level, it’s a normal save (11+). Against an equal or higher-level spell, the save is a hard save (16+). If the dragon is staggered, the save target increases by +5 (normal becomes hard, hard becomes 21+: impossible unless the dragon has a save bonus from some other source).

    Resist lightning 16+: When a lightning attack targets this creature,
    the attacker must roll a natural 16+ on the attack roll or it only
    deals half damage.

    4th Level Crippled Blue Dragon
    Large 4th level caster [dragon]
    Initiative: +7
    Vulnerability: force
    HP: 120
    AC: 20 PD: 18 MD: 18

    Double claws +8 vs. AC (2 attacks)—7 damage
    Natural even hit or miss: The dragon can make a bite attack as a free action.
    [Special trigger] Bite +8 vs. AC—10 damage, and 1d10 lightning damage.

    C: Lightning breath +8 vs. PD
    (1d3 nearby or far away enemies)—15 lightning damage
    Natural even hit: The target is also dazed (save ends).

    Already staggered: This dragon is so badly hurt that it counts as being staggered. One wing is destroyed and the dragon cannot fly.

    Crippled escalator: When the escalation die is even, the dragon adds the escalation die to its attack rolls.

    Wheezing breath: The dragon can use lightning breath 1d2 times per battle, but never two turns in a row.

    vs. 2nd level PCs only] Faltering counter-spell: When an enemy targets this dragon with a spell, the dragon might be able to roll a save; success means the spell has no effect on the dragon. If the level of the spell is lower than the dragon’s level, it’s a hard save (16+). If the spell is equal to its level or higher, it doesn’t get to roll a save.

    Resist lightning 16+: When a lightning attack targets this creature, the attacker must roll a natural 16+ on the attack roll or it only deals half damage.

    Biggest thing we see is that HP is dropped in half, and defenses go down 4-5 points. Damage and Attack both are nearly cut in half. Also, the amount of times it can use it's breath attack is cut down from a 1d6 to 1d2. But the creature is basically the same, all the same attacks,

  • GanksLikeGastonGanksLikeGaston Registered User new member
    ... Yeah I should have done that a while ago. Those Numbers line up pretty close to doing the opposite of leveling up a monster, so I'm pretty sure it will work fine.

  • AmiguAmigu Registered User regular
    Okay guys I'm running a redcap encounter tomorrow. What's a good "bad word" to use for the interrupt attacks?

    BitD PbP Character Volstrom
    QEz1Jw1.png
  • BrodyBrody Cabot CoveRegistered User regular
    Amigu wrote: »
    Okay guys I'm running a redcap encounter tomorrow. What's a good "bad word" to use for the interrupt attacks?

    Any of the curse words would be good. Unless I'm the only one who swears like a sailor when I miss.

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Amigu wrote: »
    Okay guys I'm running a redcap encounter tomorrow. What's a good "bad word" to use for the interrupt attacks?

    "It."

    omgbfz5lzi1s.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The Disappearance of Inigo Sharpe: Tomas à Dunsanin
  • BrodyBrody Cabot CoveRegistered User regular
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Amigu wrote: »
    Okay guys I'm running a redcap encounter tomorrow. What's a good "bad word" to use for the interrupt attacks?

    "It."

    I thought the idea was that it's supposed to trigger off of a "naughty" word.

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    edited May 29
    Brody wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Amigu wrote: »
    Okay guys I'm running a redcap encounter tomorrow. What's a good "bad word" to use for the interrupt attacks?

    "It."

    I thought the idea was that it's supposed to trigger off of a "naughty" word.

    You should touch it, while you do it, until you feel it.

    :winky:
    Bonus Monty Python reference, too.

    Elvenshae on
    omgbfz5lzi1s.png
    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
    The Disappearance of Inigo Sharpe: Tomas à Dunsanin
  • BrodyBrody Cabot CoveRegistered User regular
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Brody wrote: »
    Elvenshae wrote: »
    Amigu wrote: »
    Okay guys I'm running a redcap encounter tomorrow. What's a good "bad word" to use for the interrupt attacks?

    "It."

    I thought the idea was that it's supposed to trigger off of a "naughty" word.

    You should touch it, while you do it, until you feel it.

    :winky:
    Bonus Monty Python reference, too.

    Is it in?

    Elvenshae
  • AmiguAmigu Registered User regular
    No it's a "bad word" in the sense that it shouldn't be said or thought around the redcaps. It doesn't have to be a cuss word.

    I ended up going with "attack" which triggered three times. If you wanted to be extra mean I think you should go with "Turn" because I heard that said quite often! It was a lot of fun. DMs if you haven't done it yet I recommend you run a redcap battle.

    BitD PbP Character Volstrom
    QEz1Jw1.png
  • CantideCantide Registered User regular
    13th Age veterans, I could use your advice. I'm going to be running a game of this starting next week, and I've got a small custom encounter planned for after character creation. It's meant to be a short tutorial to help my players get used to this new system, since no one has played 13th Age before. Since that includes myself, I'd like to make sure I'm not making any drastic errors in monster building.

    The campaign takes place on a newly discovered continent, but this encounter occurs before they arrive, when their ship comes under attack by a kraken. At the beginning of the fight, the main body of the kraken is underwater, and there's just a mass of tentacles coming up out of the sea. The tentacles will be 15 mooks, broken up into 3 groups for the sake of initiative but sharing the same damage pool. That's less dangerous than a standard 1st level encounter, which is intentional; I want the first battle to be exciting but also fairly easy, because again, it's everyone's first time with the system. Having a bunch of mooks to kill should also help everyone feel like their character is powerful and useful, which I think is important.

    15 attack rolls per turn can be dangerous, even with mooks, but there is a mitigating factor: on a natural odd roll, they attack an NPC passenger or damage the ship instead of targeting a PC. That should help make it feel like the kraken is doing a lot of damage and destruction even though it's not hurting the players all that much. I'm also considering adding a secondary trigger where if they roll two odds in a row, the third attack will be automatically treated as even, and vice versa, to ensure that bad rolling doesn't make the kraken gang up on or ignore the PCs. Their only other ability will be getting to grab a player once per round on an 16+ (when this occurs, it will override the usual "attack NPCs" trigger from a 17/19). This is half because you can't have giant tentacle monsters that don't grab people, and half to force them to get acquainted with the disengage rules.

    Once all the tentacles have retreated back under the surface, the kraken will emerge, wrapping itself around the entire ship and focusing its attention on the PCs that have been hurting it (no more targeting NPCs). It's a Huge monster with 3 attacks per turn, 5 damage each, and uses the Brittle modifier (+3 AC, 70% HP). The purpose of the kraken is first to have a cool boss battle, and second to demonstrate the power of the escalation die. That's why instead of the die staying still or reverting like with normal reinforcements, it will increase (technically, the current round will automatically end when the kraken arrives, going back to the top of the order and incrementing the die). Because of that Brittle, the players will appreciate the bonus to hit, and the lower health should help make each successful attack feel more impactful.

    Having two fights back to back like this is the tricky part of the encounter. The players won't get to heal in between or use their encounter powers a second time, but I think that will be offset by a) the escalation die not resetting, and b) the players being free to burn through their dailies. If someone experienced with 13th Age disagrees and thinks it'll be too much, this is where I could really use some feedback.

    Anyway, the kraken gets two abilities. First is the grab on 16+ from before, no longer limited to once per round since there's fewer attacks. Second is an ink spray it can fire once per round as a quick action, targeting the player who did the most damage to it since its last turn. The spray is against PD and does no damage, but dazes the target on a hit (easy save ends). I might end up giving it a third ability just so that it has an attack versus MD and reminds players that that's a thing that exists. If I do, it'll probably be an AoE screech that triggers automatically when the kraken is bloodied (and never again) for some paltry psychic damage. Maybe make it ongoing, to check off another tutorial box.

    And that's it. The dying kraken will sink back below the waves, and the PCs will go on their merry way. If any of them made an effort to save their fellow passengers, or deliberately let them get hurt to gain an advantage (a choice I'm definitely going to give one of them during the battle), that will play into how they're received when their ship arrives, and the campaign will proceed from there. And if any of them decide to investigate why such a rare and deadly creature attacked them on what was supposed to be a perfectly safe route, well, that's an icon roll waiting to happen. :)

  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    A large number of attacks worries me. That fight combined with another fight against a solo like really worries me.

    My very first thought is you are running against the thematics of the escalation die. They've cut through all the chaff and now the REAL ENEMY emerges and reset the die to zero? The way you describe it, saying it is two fights feels like only an excuse to reset the E die. If they don't get a break to rest, don't reset the Escalation Die.

    I also would not assume a group of new players will start popping dailies on their first fight. Probably fixable by having some NPCs scream about last stands and throwing obviously everything into it.

    I also think your "natural odd but not 17,19" is not a 50% halving. It is at best a 40% but by including the higher numbers in there you're counting a bunch of rolls that will never hit anybody on the low side but not counting the high ones that will always hit what they're aimed at.

    Though for all of this, the devil is in the details and bonuses to hit and HP pools are going to make a huge difference.

    Oats
  • CantideCantide Registered User regular
    edited September 14
    I'm not resetting the escalation die. If anything, it's going up faster than usual, since the kraken triggers a new round. And the grab is only once per round in phase 1, so any 17s and 19s after that hit NPCs.

    Cantide on
  • DevoutlyApatheticDevoutlyApathetic Registered User regular
    Alright, good.

    I still worry about the party having any healing by the time the big bad shows up. What sort of damage do the tentacles do? As a random bullshit thought it might make sense to swap that grab and their damage thing. Increase the number of disengagement rolls and lower the resource drain before the big bad shows up. Also promotes the emphasis on teamwork because with even the slightest hint folks are going to be really worried about what happens the round after a PC gets grabbed.

  • CantideCantide Registered User regular
    Default damage for a 1st level mook is 4. Assuming 8/15 attacks target the PCs, and 5 of those hit (default attack bonus is +6, but I'm lowering that by one to account for the kraken basically flailing around blindly), that's 20 damage per round while all 15 tentacles are in play, or 5 damage per player average. That doesn't seem too dangerous, especially since I expect the number of tentacles to drop quickly.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Instead of all tentacles, I would maybe do a mass of 2 mooks per PC, and then two actual monsters. They could be claws? Or a different type of tentacle or something similar?

    One of the drawbacks, mechanically, to what you're doing is that they're only getting exposure to mooks, which doesn't entirely help them get used to what they're going to be dealing with.

    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
    Elvenshae
  • CantideCantide Registered User regular
    Hmm, that's a good point.

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    You could do a Large Tentecle per 2 PCs that target the PCs and a few Mooks that target the ship/NPCs. The damage to the ship could create traps for PCs (Broken Boards: Players must make a Dex save when moving into close range of the small tentecles) when a Tentecle hits the ship twice or more.

  • BrodyBrody Cabot CoveRegistered User regular
    I would make the daze last one round, instead of save ends. A couple bad rolls can make the fight feel like a huge drag.

  • CantideCantide Registered User regular
    That was my first instinct, but I wanted to introduce the players to "save ends" conditions. If it's an easy 6+ save, it shouldn't be too bad. I might also give them the option of spending a move to wipe the ink off.

  • Lord PalingtonLord Palington Registered User regular
    This idea reminded me of a great blog post from awhile back, and it turns out I boomarked it - http://angrydm.com/tag/boss/

    The basic idea here is to have a three-phase video game-like boss fight. If you don't want to read through the whole thing, you basically have phases 1 and 3 down, the intro and the finish. His phase 2 ideas usually include skill checks. Maybe before the kraken emerges, it tries to sink the ship. You can make this last x number of rounds, and they could go into the boss fight with bonuses or penalties based on what they accomplish. Save crew members, defend the rigging, repair damage to the ship, prepare any anti-monster ship weaponry that may be aboard (cannons, tar and pitch, etc). These choices could also play into their reception on the new continent.

    Good luck - that sounds like a fun intro!

    SrUxdlb.jpg
    ElvenshaeCantideTox
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    I use this method for all my boss fights for years now. My players really seem to love it since I don't give out HP numbers during fights, being able to feel the change during a fight seems to keep them happy.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    Multi-stage boss fights are the light

    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
    Grunt's GhostsElvenshae
  • ArdentArdent Registered User regular
    General advice for encounter building in 13th Age: More hp is always better than higher ACs. High ACs just result in more missing and that's frustrating for everyone. Mooks are very dangerous when deployed in large numbers. You're always thinking about the non-mook monsters as big threats but in reality they can make maybe two attacks a turn, meaning at worst they can hurt two heroes a turn. Mooks, particularly when you're up to counting past 10, are far more dangerous despite their limited hp. They can attack every turn, too, and they attack at full power even if their damage is generally halved. At 5th level mooks are doing 10 damage per hit and hitting roughly 50% of the time.

    More mooks is how you ramp danger up, though. Because a big spell or great roll on an attack thins them out significantly, which makes your players feel like Big Damn Heroes, but it's also a clear relief from mortal danger everyone feels good about it.

    Make sure you count any reinforcement wave in a fight as "another" fight for the purposes of rest and advancement. Reinforcement waves (particularly of mooks) are a great way to reintroduce tension and give everyone something to do again.

    Steam ID | Origin ID: ArdentX | Uplay ID: theardent | Battle.net: Ardent#11476
  • jammujammu Registered User regular
    Is any else running or have played the Race to Starport adventure?

    I've been running it once per month since early summer and the episodic format makes it really treat to run.
    1.Reminiscence with players about the adventure so far.
    2. Montage(!!!)
    3. Scene or 2
    4. Something big
    5. Preview for the next episode of "Race to Starport"

    I really love montages. They make quick 2-3 hour adventures feel more epic, by expanding what can happen in 1 session. Some of my players still struggle with improvising, but they have been getting better at it. I'd really love to import this to other systems too.

    We've been ignoring Icon system so far. None of us are 13th age veterans and know the world enough to explore the system.

    Ww8FAMg.jpg
    Elvenshae
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    The icon system is the best and isn't really that complicated once you get into it. Is there a particular part of it that's hanging you up?

    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • jammujammu Registered User regular
    edited October 20
    They just look like this games "One unique thing", that doesn't add much to the experience. Just more work for GM and messing with my plans.

    I mean the background side is cool: Character has connections +2 to the Dragon Empire and it's organization, because X, Y and Z. I also made an enemy -1 about Lich king servants for reasons A and B. I can incorporate those elements to my campaign.

    It's the part that requires rolling relationships each sessions.
    I don't want to add anything related to Lich King to as session just because the dice said so.

    jammu on
    Ww8FAMg.jpg
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    That is why I use the token system, which basically they roll in the beginning of the game, and get a token for the 5s and 6s. When the player wants to do certain things, like reroll a miss or create a small item related to the Icon, they spend the token, kinda like Plot Points or FATE Points. They get narrative currency. They add in how the Icon helped in the situation.

    ToxElvenshae
  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    jammu wrote: »
    They just look like this games "One unique thing", that doesn't add much to the experience. Just more work for GM and messing with my plans.

    I mean the background side is cool: Character has connections +2 to the Dragon Empire and it's organization, because X, Y and Z. I also made an enemy -1 about Lich king servants for reasons A and B. I can incorporate those elements to my campaign.

    It's the part that requires rolling relationships each sessions.
    I don't want to add anything related to Lich King to as session just because the dice said so
    .

    So, this is actually a super common issue I've found among folks. You don't want to have to try to cram something in on the fly just because your player rolled a die at the beginning of the session.

    That's, like, really super common! Especially among folks here in this thread. Two suggestions:

    First, roll at the end of a "chapter" of the story. Basically, whenever you as GM want an idea for how the story will unfold, at the end of a session, have the players roll (or roll for them in secret! :evil: ) This will give you as GM a way to incorporate the players' choices into the campaign. I do this at the end of a level, and whenever a major event in a story occurs, and also just whenever I feel like things are playing out in a way that doesn't line up quite exactly with what I'd had in mind over the next few sessions.

    Then, as Grunt's Ghosts suggested, also use the relationships in-session as a point/token system. Basically the players themselves can invoke their relationships, "cash in" the point for the session (or level or whichever you prefer), and get an immediate, small (or large, depending on how often they "refresh") bonus. I typically let them use it to sort of take over the narration for a bit, or if it's in a dice roll I'll let them basically auto-succeed the roll. But! I keep track of who is cashing in what, and I use that as a sort of plot weight. So you've invoked the Emperor to help you succeed at a social interaction with some guards? Okay! But now the guards know you're in good with the Emperor, so the city's constable may try to pull the group into a sidequest/favor for the city.

    Ultimately relationship dice/points/tokens are a baked-in way for the players to make choices that can directly impact the overall story you're telling. It's an on-going way for you, as GM, to reach back to the choices the players have made and use that to influence the direction of the story. Some folks don't need this! For some, it's like 4e skill challenge rules - nice, but ultimately just a clunky mechanical way of doing something they already had a good way of doing. For a lot of newer GMs though (and some practiced ones like me!) it's a nice way to reinforce the notion of collaborative storytelling.

    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Also, since your players' characters are the star of the show, it also allows their stories to effect the campaign, which is something I used to struggle with before I started playing 13th Age and using the token system.

  • ToxTox I kill threads Punch DimensionRegistered User regular
    edited November 9
    @Grunt's Ghosts
    She's brand new to role playing like this so druid would be really hard for her. Then again, she picked Human Wizard with a poisonous, talking owl as a familiar.

    If you want relative simplicity plus options, I'm a big fan of letting Rangers have access to about half the Druid talent options (terrain caster, animal companion, warrior, healing). This allows you to make a flavorful ranger that more closely resembles the ranger of other games. Especially if nobody else is interested in either a ranger or a druid.

    e: It also allows you to scale the complexity of your character in a way that, frankly, is just revolutionary. Like, you've got the baseline super simple/straightforward class, and then you have the optional ability to add on special attacks, various degrees of spellcasting, and multi-mob play. I honestly would love a game where every class operates more or less like the 13th Age Ranger, with optional add-on stuff to give you the ability to add in as much complexity as you want, without really changing the overall power level of the character. The 13th Age Paladin dabbles in this a bit, as well.

    Tox on
    Wishlists! General | Gaming | Comics | Dilige, et quod vis fac
Sign In or Register to comment.