13th Age icon symbolsGreyhawk. Golarion. Eberron. Mystara. The names of these settings ring out in the history of roleplaying games. It’s no surprise that many 13th Age fans want to run campaigns in them, or others that are equally beloved. And one question comes up all the time: how do I figure out who the icons are in that setting? 

That was the project I undertook when I turned 13 powerful NPCs from the Midgard Campaign Setting into icons for the Midgard Bestiary by Kobold Press. Here’s what I learned: When you’re identifying the icons in a setting, whether it’s an existing product or your own homebrew campaign, focus on Connections, Goals, Geography and Flavor.

Connections

There’s only one mechanic for icons: relationship dice. This is the most important thing to understand about icons. They are all social by nature. A powerful dragon who spends all of his time in the heart of a mountain, sleeping on a mound of treasure, is not an icon. But a dragon who rules a city-state could be an icon, because she has followers, factions, allies, enemies and a need to employ adventurers.

This is important on a practical level because someone has to provide the benefit of an icon relationship roll to a player character, whether it’s gold, a magic item, a map, a copy of a key, a crew of henchmen, or valuable information. Even if the benefit comes in the form of a flashback, it’s still a flashback to a past interaction with a follower or foe of the icon. (Or at high levels, the icon itself.)

Goals

Here’s another reason that greedy dragon I mentioned isn’t an icon: he doesn’t have goals. All icons want something, and they use their power and influence to chase after that thing. Usually what they want gets in the way of something another icon wants, and that’s when the fun really starts. Goals make icons more than just vending machines for benefits — it makes them compelling and exciting additions to your campaign. If a setting’s NPC isn’t driven to accomplish or prevent something, they won’t be a very interesting icon.

Geography

An icon’s influence can span the globe, but most of them have a center of power somewhere. A few, such as Midgard’s Baba Yaga, are nomads who might turn up anywhere; but such beings aren’t the rule. (And adventurers are still more likely to find that cunning Feywitch in the Old Margreve forest than they are in the Southlands.)

When choosing the icons for your campaign, consider the extent to which an NPC’s influence is determined by geography. In 13th Age‘s default setting, the icons are most powerful and influential on their home turf, but their actions can affect events setting-wide. But not every setting includes people whose influence could be felt anywhere, no matter how far.

Depending on your comfort level, you can take one of two approaches here:

  • Decide where you want your campaign to take place, and choose icons based on which powerful NPCs with goals and followers could reasonably influence events in that place. For example, if your campaign takes place in and around a single city, your icons could be the ruler of the city, the local crime lord, the dwarf clan chief up in the nearby mountains, the northern barbarian king whose mercenaries fill the army’s ranks, the elf queen of the woods surrounding the city, and the scheming undead lord of a neighboring principality. If the city is important enough, faraway icons (even ones on other planes) could take an active interest in what happens there.
  • Present your players with all the possible icons in the setting, and have them decide which ones they want to be involved with. Then apply the above process in reverse, identifying a place where all these powers could be in play.

You can also use the involvement of icons who are distant, and their influence limited, to foreshadow that something important is going to happen that makes them want to have agents on the ground. If a baron sends assassins to kill a high priest on the other side of a continent, there must be a good reason he went to all that trouble. Maybe the baron has a direct interest in the affairs of church and state halfway around the world; or maybe he’s allied with, or being blackmailed by, a faction closer to where the PCs are based.

Flavor

Your choice of icons influences the type of campaign you’ll run, and which your players will play. Ask yourself whether making a particular NPC an icon helps to create the kind of game you’ll enjoy playing.

If the PCs never venture far from their city, but a distant sultana bent on conquest is an icon, it probably means her agents are in (or very near) the city, and your campaign will have a flavor of international intrigue. If the decadent, demon-summoning ruler of a slaver kingdom is an icon, you’ll focus heavily on the criminal and occult underworld — particularly smuggling, drugs, slavery and black magic.

How many?

You might be wondering how many NPCs to elevate to icon status. Five? Thirteen? More? Less?

Again, let’s look at practicalities. Just because you have 13 icons in a setting doesn’t mean that all 13 are going to be active in your campaign. And an even smaller number will play a major role in your adventures through successful icon relationship rolls. But in my experience, knowing that there are other powers striving and clashing in the world gives a setting depth, and makes it more dynamic. Even if things are relatively quiet in your neck of the woods, a mighty necromancer’s army might be steadily marching on a distant trade city — where a siege could mean a hungry winter for the dwarves in the North.

Me, I like to go with 13. It’s traditional, you know?

 

 


Origins Award NomineeThe Origins Award nominees for 2014 have been announced, and we’re happy to say that Pelgrane Press has products in two categories!

Congratulations to all of the nominees! And if you’re attending Origins, please stop by our booth — we’d love to meet you, and tell you all about these and our other fine products.

In the latest episode of their entangling podcast, Ken and Robin talk monster ability awareness, stolen passports, William S. Burroughs and the Mary Celeste.

Join Rob Heinsoo and ASH LAW at AFK Elixirs and Eatery in Renton, WA on Saturday, April 5th for International TableTop Day! Here’s the schedule at the table:

  • 11:00 AM to approximately 1:00 PM – ASH
  • Approximately 1:30 PM to 5:00 – Rob

First come, first gets-to-play. As a special bonus they’ll have pre-generated characters for the never-before-seen necromancer and chaos mage classes from 13 True Ways. We hope to see you there!

Wil and Felicia are heroicWhile we’re on the subject of TableTop Day, we realized that we do not have tabletop tokens to represent Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day in our games. ASH used ProFantasy Software’s Character Artist 3 to rectify the situation.

Download the printable tokens

 

 

ASH LAW at Emerald City Comic ConASH LAW designed some of our favorite monsters in the 13th Age Bestiary (which you can pre-order here.) His latest project is the Midgard Bestiary for Kobold Press, converting 100 monsters designed for D&D 4th edition to 13th Age.

We asked ASH to share his process for converting 4e monsters to 13th Age, and we’ve included some sample monsters at the end.  

Also: from now through April 1, you can take $5 off the Midgard Bestiary, 13th Age Compatible Edition at the Kobold Store with the promo code P3LGR4N3. (You can actually use it for any Kobold Press product with a minimum $5 purchase.)

How to convert a 4e monster to 13th Age in 13 steps

I did most of the mechanical conversion for Kobold Press’ Midgard Bestiary: 13th Age Compatible Edition by hand, in red pen and highlighter, in a car, during a daily commute and lunch breaks. (Though not while driving!) The 13th Age core book was on one knee, non-13th Age material on my left knee.

  1. Highlight anything that 13th Age does not have: Prone, push, that sort of thing. If it was integral to something that is thematically central for the monster I found a way to deal with it. If it was just an extra effect then I’d cross it out and ignore it. I generally didn’t cross it out straight away, because sometimes it wasn’t immediately obvious and I wanted to section it off with highlighter.
  2. Group similar attacks together. If something has a ‘basic axe attack’, a ‘mighty axe charge’, and a ‘great axe sweep’ – yeah, cross all those out and make a note “Axe”.
    1. If great axe sweep and so forth are actually different things that the axe does (instead of just a slightly better axe attack) I’ll make them conditional riders for the axe attack.
    2. Give the axe attack a decent name:
      Mighty Axe +X vs AC –  Y damage
      Natural even hit: Z damage or effect
  3. Determine the creature’s level. Generally that is (4e level/2)-1and round up or down to taste. So a 15th level 4e monster might be a (15/2)-1 = 6.5 level monster… so 6th or 7th. I then might bump up or down a level depending on if it feels right depending on its 4e ‘fiction’ (its place in the world).
  4. Fill in numbers for attack bonuses based on level. If something is thematically supposed to be good at something (an archer monster making ranged attacks) I’ll give attacks that fit the theme +1 and those that don’t fit a -1.
  5. Write in the total damage an attack is supposed to do beside the attack. If the attack has a conditional rider I’ll divide the damage between the two, and either frontload it slightly or bump up the damage on the rider part. So if a creature is supposed to do 12 damage (say a 6th level mook) and it has a conditional rider that happens half the time it might look like this:Mighty Axe +11 vs AC - 10 damage
    Natural even hit: 4 damageor like this:Mighty Axe +11 vs AC - 4 damage
    Natural even hit: 10 damageThe idea is that over the course of 2 hits it should average out as the ‘correct’ 12 damage.The first example is fine. On average it does 12 damage. The second example on average does 9 damage, but feels more impressive when it hits… so to balance that out I’d give it a little (+1) boost to its to-hit.Mighty Axe +12 vs AC - 4 damage
    Natural even hit: 10 damageThere! Now that mook does damage as though it was one level lower, but is hitting like it is one level higher (and its hits feel really impressive half the time). Generally I’d go with the first example unless the monster’s fiction had it be weak but with a powerful secondary attack.

    Goblin Scorpionataur’s Axe +12 vs AC - 4 damage
    Natural even hit: 10 poison damage from the striking tail of the half-scorpion goblin.

  6. Pop the defenses and HP in.
  7. Loop back for any powers or attacks with multiple targets, and adjust so that the monster’s damage output over several rounds roughly matches what the strike damage should be. In general if something is attacking 1d3 targets it should only do 1/3rd damage to each target. I actually aim for something closer to 2/5ths to each target.
  8. Loop back for anything still in highlighter (prones, pushes, etc). If they are relevant to the monster I’ll add them in as a special power triggered by an attack or something. Pushes and prones can generally become pops-free-then-must-save-or-X, but mostly they can be dumped when converting to 13th Age without losing the theme and feel of a creature.
  9. Shake my head. Tut loudly. Stare at traffic.
  10. I’ve made a mistake, this monster should be one level higher because…
    a) It feels like it should be tougher.
    b) It feels like it should hit more often.
    c) I’ve just converted an X and there is no way a Y mook is weaker than an X but I can’t bump the X down because it needs to be stronger than the Z.
    d) I’ve changed my mind.
  11.  Use Jonathan’s advice on how to bump monsters up in power (+X to hit, or +X% HP, or +X to defences). Adjust the monster until it feels right, and the numbers are not incomparable to other similar creatures in the core book.
  12. Use the level of the original 4e monster as its initiative modifier, but adjust for feel based on what kind of monster it is.
  13. Have a cup of tea.

Beyond the mechanics

Exploring the monsters in both Bestiaries by giving them things to have, adventure hooks, and treasure was a bunch of fun. It was challenging in a different way – after the 20th stat-block conversion you kind of get into the swing of it, but every monster presents fresh narrative challenges when giving hooks and things in its pockets.

Designing from scratch

If I had been approaching the Midgard Bestiary monsters fresh rather than doing a conversion of existing material, some of them would have been very different mechanically, because the underlying fiction would have been different. Mechanics flow from the fiction, and sometimes feed back into it too. For an example of how to start from a blank slate look at the chapter I wrote at the end of the 13th Age Bestiary on how to create monsters which goes step-by-step through the design choices in creating a ‘Lyznakian Fire Wizard’.

13th Age Bestiary Preview: Orcs

Download ASH LAW’s take on orcs for the 13th Age Bestiary in a glorious laid-out PDF.

Midgard Bestiary Preview: Goblins of the Wasted West

(Shared here with the kind permission of Kobold Press and its Kobold-in-Chief Wolfgang Baur.)

Midgard Ghost Goblin by Chris McFannThe Old Ones did it. They changed the buggers. It wasn’t the heat, or lack of food, or just not being civilized. These goblins live in the shadow of another world and can’t be compared to anything natural in all of Midgard. No one creature better represents the corruption and variety of the dangers in the Wasted West than the goblin. Nowhere else in Midgard will you find a race so different from tribe to tribe.

The goblins below are but a small selection of the unique goblin cultures found throughout this unforgiving land…

Ghost Goblin Tribe

The Ghost Goblins have strong ties to their dead in more than just a spiritual sense. When their warriors die, tribal necromancers create unliving soldiers to fill the ranks. So devoted are they to this practice that the undead obey all members of the tribe instinctively, even from those with no talent for spells.

Some warriors among the Ghost Goblins hold the undead in higher esteem than the living. They strive to honor the zombies through their actions, and through prayers to strange gods. Soon a ghost goblin horror is born, too intelligent to be considered a zombie but too unnatural to be called a living creature.

As its flesh slowly begins to rot away, a horror begins to develop a talent for tugging at the souls of others. The horror exists halfway between life and death, suffering vulnerabilities of both the living and unliving. This place between worlds grants it power, however. The ghost goblin horror can implant the suggestion of death in an enemy’s mind, paralyzing its body with the rigor of the dead before attacking relentlessly. The ghost goblin horror does not fear death and will retreat from battle only if ordered by a necromancer or priest.

Dust Digger Tribe

The Dust Diggers scour the waste in search of long abandoned artifacts. These strange goblins seem supernaturally talented in getting vril technology working again. Most members have an odd vril trinket in their arsenal. Some of them have even modified their bodies, seeming more construct than flesh.

The dust digger watchmen are charged with protecting the excavations of the tribe. They take up a positions that grants cover and makes them difficult to see, whenever possible, but do not sacrifice proximity to the excavation site. When enemies come too near, the watchman opens fire and shouts for reinforcements.  Watchmen typically fight alongside other warriors, they support mobile skirmishers well. Dust Diggers are also found with strange constructs and war machines excavated from vril ruins.

Bonewraith Tribe

The cannibalistic bonewraith tribe are speakers with spirits, and some say with the Old Ones themselves. Ceremonial leaders among the bonewraith tribe, the spirit callers are masters of ritual and can commune with large numbers of spirits. Their bone weapons and tools are carved with beautiful—if disturbing—images, and their hide armor bears the grisly, weathered faces of former enemies.

Spirit callers generally partake of goblin flesh more than other tribesmen. They can be recognized by their twitching hands and over-dilated pupils. In combat they can connect to an enemy’s soul and then use this connection to force their target’s limbs to move against the victim’s will.

The Bonewraith tribe generally doesn’t work with non-goblins, but they may make temporary alliances and do on occasion tame beasts as mounts or combatants.

Things You Might Find On A Ghost Goblin Horror…

Tiny bone disks carved with goblin prayers. Metal helm, exhortations to strange gods scratched into it. Maggots fat from the flesh of the decaying goblin. Mismatched pieces of armor, scavenged or taken from the bodies of slain enemies.

Things You Might Find On A Dust Digger Tribe Goblin…

Large bone knife. Chest containing broken artifacts. Goggles. Pliers. Tarnished coins with holes drilled into them, and star-charts scratched into their faces. Map of the wastes. Warm rock which glows slightly in the dark. Tea pot. Necklace of steel teeth. Dowsing rod. String of sand-glass beads. Jar containing a twisting bit of frozen time—if unfrozen over a fire it reveals the last words of a dying wizard. A chest containing 49 smaller chests, one inside the other, until the final chest which contains a tiny cloth doll.

Things You Might Find On A Bonewraith Goblin…

Armor made from the faces of victims. Bone sword, made out of the bones of victims. Pouch, made out of the skin of victims. Trousers, made out of the flesh of victims. Vile totem made out of soulstuff and bones.

Magic Items

Vril Power Bow (bow). A priceless artifact from a lost time, but sadly not as reliable as it was when it was new. At the start of each of your turns, roll a d8. If you roll over the escalation die value, on a successful hit with this weapon add the die result to your damage and the target briefly glows. If you roll under the escalation die, you take the die result in damage and you briefly glow. Rolling equal to the escalation die applies no damage from the roll, but you can make another attack with the bow on this turn as a quick action.

Quirk: Dream of lost ages, seek to restore that which was lost.

 

Goblin Totem (holy or unholy symbol). The artifact is unmistakably goblin in design, but started life as a holy symbol for a different god. Gain +1 to hit for every goblin ally in the battle, including yourself if you are a goblin, to a maximum of +6.

Recharge 16+ (Ghost Goblin tribal totem): On a successful hit with a single-target melee attack, the target is seized with rigor mortis (stuck, save ends).

Recharge 16+ (Bonewraith tribal totem): On a successful hit with a single-target melee attack against a foe with half your total hit points or fewer, the target is terrified by a vision of goblin ancestral spirits (fear, save ends).

Recharge 16+ (Dust Digger tribal totem): On a successful hit with a single-target ranged attack, the target is dazed by powerful vril energy (save ends).

Quirk: Sing traditional goblin songs such as “Three Dirty Goblins”, “The Goblin’s Eyes” and “Goblin’s Lament”. If you sing the songs for long enough they may drift into unholy hymns to the Old Ones without you noticing.

Adventure Hooks

The Goblin Market: A shiver of goblin sharks have come to town, far from their home, to meet and trade with representatives of the bonewraith tribe. The situation is potentially explosive—especially as the items the bonewraiths are trading belong to the ghost goblins, and the shark goblin’s items were stolen from dust diggers.

 

Ghost Goblin Horror

The ghost goblin horror fights alongside other living and undead tribe members. Sometimes the tribe will take in undead discovered in travels and raids. These creatures were often not goblins in life, so there is no end to the variety of undead they might command.

Level 2 troop [Undead]

Initiative: +5

Vulnerable: holy

Short sword +6 vs. AC—5 damage

Natural even hit or miss: The goblin may use curse of rigor as a quick action.

R: Curse of rigor +6 vs. MD—5 damage and the target is stuck (save ends).

Ghost life: When the ghost goblin horror is reduced to 0 hit points it makes a save. If it succeeds it gains 5 hit points and regenerates 5 hit points per turn until the end of the battle or it is next reduced to 0 hit points.

Fear aura: Enemies engaged with the goblin and who have 12 hit points or less are dazed and can’t use the escalation die.

 

AC 17

PD 11          HP 27

MD 15

 

Dust Digger Watchman

Dust digger watchmen guard major excavation sites against looters. Surprisingly disciplined, these goblins know the power of the artifacts they seek. They have mastered the strange vril bows whose bolts are charged with the power of the sun. When they open fire, reinforcements are never far behind.

Level 2 archer [Humanoid]

Initiative: +8

War pick +7 vs. AC—7 damage

R: Vril powerbow +7 vs. AC—7 holy damage

            Natural 16+ hit: Target glows and is vulnerable to all attacks until the end of its next turn.

AC 18

PD 16        HP 36

MD 12

 

Bonewraith Spirit Caller

The Bonewraith goblins are known for eating both their enemies and the weak and fallen of their own tribe. They fashion the resulting bones into weapons, totems, and armor, to imbue themselves with the power of the fallen. Most who encounter these fearsome creatures flee rather than find out the truth of these claims.

Level 2 caster [Humanoid]

Initiative: +6

Bone sword +7 vs. AC—7 damage

R: Soul grasp +7 vs. MD—7 damage and the target pops free

R: Summon ancestors +7 vs. PD—7 damage

            Natural 18+ hit or miss: Causes fear in 1d3 nearby enemies (save ends).

[Triggered action] Spirit guardian: When the spirit caller becomes staggered it gains +2 to all its defenses until it is next hit.

 

AC 18

PD 16       HP 36

MD 12

Kobold Press' mascot JiroFrom now through April 1, you can take $5 off the Midgard Bestiary, 13th Age Compatible Edition at the Kobold Store with the promo code P3LGR4N3. (You can actually use it for any Kobold Press product with a minimum $5 purchase.)

It’s a fine complement to our own 13th Age Bestiary, with monsters from the Midgard Campaign Setting including dire weasels, exiled elves, mad wizards and more – plus 9 monstrous PC races and 13 icons of Midgard.

If you want to learn more, check out ASH LAW’s article in See Page XX.

“The Midgard Bestiary combines Kobold Press’s dedication to quality and originality with ASH LAWS’ enthusiastic and accomplished take on the 13th Age to serve you a gallimaufry of ghouls and golems.” – Simon Rogers

by Martin Killmann

 Many types of barbarians roam the wilderness of the Dragon Empire, drawing on the power of winter’s ice, infernal fury, or death itself. With these options and others in Part 1, you can enhance the relatively bare-bones barbarian class in 13th Age in all sorts of interesting ways.

The High DruidWinter Storm

The following talents are taught by the clans of the icy northern wastes.

Winter Storm Adventurer Talents

Frost Range Barbarian

You have the Frost Range Barbarian background at its full possible bonus of +5, without having to spend your normal background points on it. You are an expert wilderness tracker, capable of surviving in the harsh climates of the North. You gain resist cold 12+.

Once per day, you can make a terrain stunt as per the Ranger’s Tracker talent. You can recharge the power during a quick rest on a roll of 11+. On your home terrain (ice, snow fields and tundra), the recharge difficulty is reduced to 6+.

Adventurer Feat: You gain a +2 bonus to disengage checks. Increase the bonus to +5 on your home terrain.

Champion Feat: Increase your cold resistance to 16+.

Epic Feat: You take half damage from environmental hazards like blizzards, avalanches and frostbite when on your home terrain.

Note: You can take this talent as a template to create Barbarians of other regions by switching out the terrain and elemental resistance, such as Volcano Worshipper (mountains; fire) or Overworld Avenger (overworld; force).

Rage of the North Wind

While raging, you are surrounded by icy winds. At the end of your turn, each enemy engaged with you takes cold damage equal to your Constitution modifier. At 5th level, double the Constitution damage. At 8th level, triple it.

Adventurer Feat: When you start raging, you gain a +2 bonus to AC and PD until the start of your next turn.

Champion Feat: While you are raging, enemies take a –5 penalty to disengage from you.

Epic Feat: The AC and PD bonus lasts until your rage ends.

 

Winter Storm Champion Talents

Break the Ice

You gain the break the ice daily power.

You can make the following close-quarters attack as a standard action:

Target: One enemy

Attack: Constitution + Level vs. PD

Hit: 1d4 per level + Constitution damage and the target is hampered (save 11+ ends). If the target is staggered after the attack, it is frozen instead (save 11+ ends).

Frozen: A frozen target cannot take actions and is immune to all attacks and damage, except damage dealt with blunt melee weapons (such as a warhammer). If such an attack deals at least 5 times the enemy’s level in damage, the target is destroyed and its body is shattered into pieces.

Miss: Cold damage equal to your level.

Champion Feat: Increase the saving throw against this effect to hard difficulty (16+).

Epic Feat: This power is now recharge 16+ after battle instead of daily.

 

Winter Storm Epic Talents

Ice Panzer

Once per day as a quick action, you can encase yourself in a thick layer of ice. This adds 30 points of cold damage to your melee weapon attacks. At the end of your turn, you deal 30 points of cold damage to any enemies that have grabbed or swallowed you.

When hit by an attack targeting your AC or PD, make a save (11+) to reduce the damage from that attack to zero. If the attack dealt fire damage, your save succeeds automatically.

When the damage negation of Ice Panzer triggers, reduce its cold damage by 10 points. After negating three enemy attacks, the effect ends. It also ends on a short rest.

While the Ice Panzer is active, it slows you down considerably. You take a -2 penalty to attacks and a -5 penalty to disengage checks.

Epic Feat: This power is now recharge 16+ after battle instead of daily.

 

The DiabolistInfernal Frenzy

Use these talents to build a Barbarian with demonic blood, a strong connection to the Diabolist, or another source of infernal corruption.

Infernal Frenzy Adventurer Talents

Corrupted Flesh

Your demonically corrupted flesh slowly regenerates. What grows back may look horrific, but at least you live on.

While raging, roll a d12 at the start of each turn. If the result is equal to the escalation die or lower, heal 3 hit points per level.

When you drop to 0 hp or below and fall unconscious while raging, make the regeneration check before rolling a death save. If you regenerate, ignore your current negative hit points; start from 0 and add the hit points you’ve regained. You can take actions normally that turn.

When you are hit by an attack that deals fire or acid damage, you cannot regenerate the next turn. If you have a positive relationship with the Diabolist, you do not suffer this weakness.

Adventurer Feat: Roll a d10 to check whether your regeneration activates.

Champion Feat: Heal 4 hit points per level.

Epic Feat: Roll a d8 to check whether your regeneration activates.

 Corrupted Body

Through demonic heritage or corruption, you have grown natural weapons that count as one-handed martial melee weapons (d8 damage die). They can take any shape, such as claws, a spiked tail, horns or hooves. You gain a +1 bonus to attacks with them.

Two-Weapon Fighting: When using your infernal weapons, but no other weapons and no shield, you gain the principal advantage of two-weapon fighting as detailed in the Combat Rules chapter of the 13th Age core book. When you roll a natural 2 with a melee attack, reroll and take the second result.

When entering a rage, you mutate further. Roll a d8 and gain the mutation below for the duration of the rage.

  1. You can keep enemies close with a prehensile tail. They take a -5 penalty to disengage checks.
  2. Your claws rip deep wounds. On a critical hit, deal 5 points of ongoing damage. Increase to 10 points at 5th level and 15 at 8th.
  3. Goat hooves. Your jumping prowess gives you a +5 bonus to disengage checks.
  4. Your horns are engulfed in flame. Your melee attacks deal 1d4 extra fire damage. Increase to 1d8 at 3rd level, 1d12 at 5th level and 1d20 at 8th level.
  5. Your fangs secrete demonic poison. Your melee attacks deal 1d4 extra poison damage. Increase to 1d8 at 3rd level, 1d12 at 5th level and 1d20 at 8th level.
  6. The flesh of your arms is covered in heretic scripture. Your melee attacks deal 1d4 extra unholy damage. Increase to 1d8 at 3rd level, 1d12 at 5th level and 1d20 at 8th level.
  7. Your sweat can dissolve metal. Your melee attacks deal 1d4 extra acid damage. Increase to 1d8 at 3rd level, 1d12 at 5th level and 1d20 at 8th level.
  8. Barbed tentacles on your back give you extra reach. You can attack nearby enemies without engaging them.

If you have a positive relationship with the Diabolist, roll twice and take the result you like.

Adventurer Feat: Once per day when you spend a recovery to heal while not raging, you can gain one mutation from the table above until the end of the battle.

Champion Feat: Increase your attack bonus with your infernal weapons to +2.

Epic Feat: Increase your attack bonus with your infernal weapons to +3.

 

Corrupted Skin

Your skin is as thick as leather and has an unnatural complexion, anywhere between flaming red, pitch black and pestilent purple. Your unarmored base AC is 13, and you have resist fire and acid 12+.

When entering a rage, roll a d8. You gain the benefit from the table below until the rage ends.

  1. Flaming marks on your skin increase your fire resistance to 16+.
  2.  Thicker leather increases your acid resistance to 16+.
  3. Diabolic markings give you resist holy and unholy 16+.
  4. Sweating, bleeding glands give you resist poison 16+.
  5. Wobbling pockets of fat give you resist damage from blunt weapons 16+ (example: maces, clubs, fists).
  6. Flames on your skin give you resist cold 16+.
  7. When an enemy hits you with a melee attack, it takes 1d4 poison damage from your infected pustules. Increase to 1d8 at 3rd level, 1d12 at 5th level and 1d20 at 8th level.
  8. When an enemy grapples, grabs or swallows you, it takes 2d4 damage from sharp, bony spikes on your skin. Increase to 2d8 at 3rd level, 2d12 at 5th level and 2d20 at 8th level.

If you have a positive relationship with the Diabolist, roll twice and choose the result you like.

Adventurer Feat: Once per day when you spend a recovery to heal while not raging, you can gain one mutation from the table above until the end of the battle.

Champion Feat: Increase your unarmored base AC to 14.

Epic Feat: Increase your unarmored base AC to 15.

 

Soul Collector

When you deal damage to mook enemies only with an attack, reroll all damage dice that come up as 1. Once per battle, make a melee attack against a mook as a quick action.

Adventurer Feat: When you miss with a melee attack against a mook, deal half damage with that attack instead.

Champion Feat: When you deal damage to mook enemies only with an attack, reroll all damage dice that come up as 1 or 2.

Epic Feat: You can make a melee attack against a mook as a quick action once per round instead of once per battle.

 

Infernal Frenzy Champion Talents

Bursting Rage

You set your inner demon free with an uncontrolled scream.

When you start raging, make the following close-quarters attack as a free action.

Target: All nearby enemies

Attack: Charisma + Level vs. PD

Hit: 4d6 + twice your Constitution or Charisma modifier damage. Roll a d4 to determine the damage type: (1) psychic (2) acid (3) fire (4) unholy. On a miss, deal 1 point of damage per level.

The outburst is hard to control. You also deal 1 point of damage per level to nearby allies when using this power.

Champion Feat: Increase the damage of the attack to 5d8 + twice your Charisma modifier.

Epic Feat: Increase the damage of the attack to 6d10 + triple your Charisma modifier. You deal half damage to enemies if you miss.

 

Infernal Frenzy Epic Talents

Gift of the Marilith

You grow an extra pair of arms. The arms are fully functional, but do not grant you extra actions. You gain a +4 bonus to Strength checks to grab or hold down enemies.

While raging, instead of gaining the standard benefit, you can choose to make two separate melee attacks as one standard action. You take a -2 penalty to the second attack. The second attack must use a different weapon.

Epic Feat: When choosing the separate attacks above, expand the critical range by 3.

 

The Lich KingVengeance from the Grave

Choose talents from this tree if you wish to play a Barbarian with a strong connection to death and the underworld. Talents from this tree are clearly supernatural. This can be explained with corresponding backgrounds or a One Unique Thing.

 

Vengeance from the Grave Adventurer Talents

Frenzied Spirit

You have died and returned from the grave. You are undead, a ghost-like creature. You do not need to eat, sleep or breathe.

Once per combat, you can spend a recovery as a quick action. Instead of making a recovery roll, you become partially insubstantial until the end of combat. In that form, you gain resist all damage 12+. This resistance does not protect against holy, unholy and force damage.

If you die again, you are able to come back from the dead. The first time, you return to life within 1d6 hours and permanently lose a recovery. The second time, you return within 1d20 hours. You lose a second recovery, and you cannot benefit from the escalation die until you gain a level. The third time, you take 1d6 days to return. You lose a third recovery, and you cannot benefit from the escalation die and one talent of your choice until you gain a level.

There is no fourth time. If you die again, you are permanently dead.

Most Ghosts have returned for either protection or revenge.

If you choose protection, choose one person. If that person is in mortal danger, you can sense it and teleport to him or her, regardless of the distance.

Note: This power should be used as a story device. Ideally, the target should be another PC or a close travel companion. Remember that this power teleports you to the person, but not back. Be careful about splitting the party.

If you choose revenge, choose one person. You receive occasional visions about his or her location, allowing you to track him or her down.

Adventurer Feat: If you chose protection, the target gains a +1 bonus to saves when you are nearby. If you chose revenge, the target takes a -1 penalty to saves when you are nearby.

Champion Feat: Increase the resistance gained from this talent to 16+.

Epic Feat: You can turn fully insubstantial as a standard action at will. In this form, you cannot affect physical objects. Your attacks only affect other insubstantial beings. However, you are not hindered by physical barriers, which allows you to walk through walls, fly, and ignore most mundane sources of damage. You can fly without tiring, which allows for roughly double the overland speed of a traveler on horseback.

 

Strike from the Grave

When using this power, you appear to sink into the ground and claw your way out right under the target.

Once per battle as a standard action, pop free from each enemy you are engaged with, teleport next to a nearby or far away enemy and make an unarmed melee attack vs. PD.

If the attack hits, deal 1d4 per level plus Charisma or Constitution modifier unholy damage. On a miss, deal 1 point of unholy damage per level.

If you also have the Frenzied Spirit talent, you heal half the amount of damage you dealt.

Adventurer Feat: If the attack hits, your target is also stuck (save ends).

Champion Feat: Add twice your Constitution or Charisma modifier to the damage roll. Increase the damage dice to d6.

Epic Feat: Add three times your Constitution or Charisma modifier to the damage roll. The target is now stunned instead of stuck (save ends).

 

Vengeful Wisps

When you begin to rage, 1d4 – 1 darkly glowing wisps start swirling around you until the end of the battle or until they strike an enemy. If the die result is a zero, no wisps appear.

When an enemy’s attack damages you, one wisp strikes the enemy in revenge. The target takes unholy damage equal to your level + Constitution or Charisma modifier. The wisp then fades and disappears.

Adventurer Feat: Increase the number of wisps to 1d6 – 1.

Champion Feat: Increase wisp damage to twice your level + twice Constitution or Charisma modifier.

Epic Feat: Increase wisp damage to triple your level + triple Constitution or Charisma modifier. If an enemy’s attack dropped you below 0 hp, the enemy is confused by the wisp until the end of its next turn.

 

Vengeance from the Grave Champion Talents

Visions of the Underworld

You gain the visions of the underworld power, which you can use once per battle as a quick action to incite the fear of death in an enemy. This is a close quarters attack.

Target: One nearby enemy

Attack: Constitution or Charisma + Level vs. MD

Hit: Your level in psychic damage. The target is struck with fear and vulnerable to your attacks (save ends both).

Miss: Your level in psychic damage on a miss.

Champion Feat: If you kill the enemy before it saves against the effect, you can use this talent again in this battle.

Epic Feat: Increase the difficulty of the save to 16+.

 

Vengeance from the Grave Epic Talents

Sever the Silver Cord

When you score a critical hit with a melee attack against a target, roll a d10 before rolling damage. If the result is lower than the escalation die, you kill the target.

Epic Feat: When you kill a target with this power, you can heal using a free recovery.

Lurker

LurkerLurker

by Casey Peavler and Ryven Cedrylle

Art by Kaitlynn Peavler

A moment of concentration brought a shadow into Tullie’s hand, the misty substance hardening into a stiletto dagger as light as a feather and harder than dragon bones. Her prey was currently occupied with the entertainment he had paid for tonight, and judging by the noises from behind the closed door he was getting his money’s worth.

Good for him, even a slaver deserved a good memory before he died. His blood was needed to open the Rose Gate, but a drop would have sufficed. How sad for him that the last descendant of the Flower Czar was a waste of flesh and bone. Her senses were focused on the room before her, waiting for the indication that it was time to strike. Hopefully it would be soon, he sounded like a braying donkey in there.

 

Overview

 

Play Style

Whether they are heroic or villainous, all Lurkers are thoroughly in touch with their predatory nature. Lurkers operate best when striking from the dark after spending time observing the behavior of their target, but even without time to prepare they are dangerous foes. Misdirection and deceit serve them as thoroughly as a Paladin’s shield and armor, and the dark powers they call upon bolster them like the powers of a Cleric.

 

Ability Scores

Dexterity and Lurkers go together like a knife and a kidney. Your attacks are based off Dexterity, and it augments your ability to stalk and hunt silently. Charisma is a close second, several of your Class Features have feats which grant you bonuses based off your Charisma score. Your recoveries are a precious commodity, so make certain you don’t neglect your Constitution score.

Lurkers get a +2 class bonus to Dexterity or Charisma, whichever you don’t get from your race

 

 

Races

Demontouched and Dark Elves have an innate bond to the dark energies that make them superb candidates for this class. The innate vitality of Dwarves and Steelborn provide a boon of health and stamina which can make a large difference if a Lurker ends up in the worst imaginable situation: a fair fight.

 

Backgrounds

The backgrounds of Lurkers tend to be headed in the same direction as the Rogue, but coming from a more supernatural background. Whereas rogues gain their stealth and cunning from pure physical and mental perfection, Lurkers have taken a dark and (some might say) easier path to power. Easy power often comes with a price however, consider painting your backgrounds with hints of ancient curses and faustian bargains gone wrong.

 

Revived by the Prince of Shadows, Killed the Emperor’s Heir, Son of the Diabolist, Graduate of the Shadow Academy, Cursed by the Midnight Serpent, Nightmare Refugee, Half-turned Vampire, Vengeful Revenant, Rode With the Wild Hunt.

 

Icons

The Prince of Shadows seems at first glance to be an ideal candidate for a positive relationship, but he seems to disdain Lurkers for some reason. Perhaps he sees a little too much of himself in them? Your dark power could easily draw the attention of the Diabolist or the Lich King, whether you like it or not. A particularly crafty Lurker might secure the allegiance of the Crusader or the Great Gold Wyrm, using her dark power to hunt down demons that have managed to manifest within the mortal world.

 

 

 

Gear

At 1st level Lurkers start with one or two melee weapons, a ranged weapon if preferred, light armor, and any nonmagical gear that would be appropriate. Some Lurkers prefer to wield a light shield or buckler as well. Lurkers who are frugal with their money start with 25 gp, while those who lead a riskier start with 1d6 x 10 gp in their pockets.

 

Armor

Anything beyond minimal armor is little more than a hindrance to Lurkers. Heavy armor restricts movement and creates noise, both of which are less than beneficial to a warrior that favors stealth and speed above all else.

 

Type               Base AC

None               12

Light                12

Heavy              15 (-2 Attacks)

Shield              +1

 

Weapons

To a Lurker a weapon isn’t nearly as important as the creative and deadly ways it can be used. Still, there is something to be said for comfort and familiarity. Most are comfortable with light weapons; cudgels, daggers, hatchets, even the rapier. Most find that larger battlefield weapons inhibit their deceitful fighting style, but some tap into their dark legacy to wield bastard swords, battle axes, or even their bare hands with unparalleled efficiency. Their preference is for melee weapons almost exclusively, but if a crossbow is needed they’re comfortable enough with them to wield them effectively.

 

 

Melee Weapons

One Handed                                       Two Handed

 

Small

1d4                                                      1d6

 

Light or Simple

1d6                                                      1d8

 

Heavy or Martial

1d8 (-2 to attack)                                1d10 (-2 to attack)

 

 

 

Ranged

Thrown                        Crossbow                   Bow

 

Small

1d4                              1d4                              –

 

Light or Simple

1d6                              1d6                              1d6

 

Heavy or Martial

–                                  1d8 (-1 attack)                        1d8 (-2 attack)

 

Basic Attacks

 

Melee Attack                                                               Ranged Attack

At-Will                                                                          At-Will

Target: One enemy                                                     Target: One enemy

Attack: Dexterity + Level vs AC                                 Attack: Dexterity + Level vs AC

Hit: Weapon + Dexterity Damage                              Hit: Weapon + Dexterity Damage

Miss: Damage equal to your level                              Miss: –

 

Lurker Level Progression

 

Lurker Level Total Hit Points Total Feats Lurker Talents Level-up Ability Bonuses Damage Bonus From Ability Scores
Level 1 (7+CON mod) x 3 1 Adventurer 3 ability modifier
Level 2 (7+CON mod) x 4 2 Adventurer 3 ability modifier
Level 3 (7+CON mod) x 5 3 Adventurer 3 ability modifier
Level 4 (7+CON mod) x 6 4 Adventurer 3 +1 to 3 Abilities ability modifier
Level 5 (7+CON mod) x 8 4 Adventurer, 1 Champion 4 2 x ability modifier
Level 6 (7+CON mod) x 10 4 Adventurer, 2 Champion 4 2 x ability modifier
Level 7 (7+CON mod) x 12 4 Adventurer, 3 Champion, 4 +1 to 3 Abilities 2 x ability modifier
Level 8 (7+CON mod) x 16 4 Adventurer, 3 Champion, 1 Epic 5 3 x ability modifier
Level 9 (7+CON mod) x 20 4 Adventurer, 3 Champion, 2 Epic 5 3 x ability modifier
Level 10 (7+CON mod) x 24 4 Adventurer, 3 Champion, 3 Epic 5 +1 to 3 Abilities 3 x ability modifier

 

 

Lurker Stats

Initiative, AC, PD, MD, Hit Points, Recovery Dice, Feats, and some Talents are level dependent.

 

Ability Bonus                                                +2 Dexterity or Charisma (different from racial bonus)

Initiative                                             Dex mod + level

Armor Class (light or no armor)        12 + middle of Con/Dex/Wis + Level

Armor Class (light or no with shield) 13 + middle of Con/Dex/Wis + Level

Physical Defense                              11 + middle of Str/Con/Dex   + Level

Mental Defense                                 10 + middle of Int/Wis/Cha    + Level

Hit Points                                           See Level Progression Chart

Recoveries                                         3

Recovery Dice                                   (1d8 x Level) + Con mod

Backgrounds                                     8 points, max 5 in any one background

Icon Relationships                            3

Talents                                               See Level Progression Chart

Feats                                                   1 Per Level

 

 

Class Features

All Lurkers start at Level 1 with the following Class Features.

 

Place of Power

At the start of each session designate one location to be a Place of Power, a location that has special significance to you or has an abundance of the same dark energies that fuel your unnatural might. It could be a town’s cemetery, your home, your coffin, the site of a nearby murder. Given the dark nature of this class it should usually be something sinister, creepy, or dark.

 

Bloody Immortal

You have only three recoveries. Perhaps your dark magick has drained your vitality or you hunger for sentient life. You monstrously heal all of your HP without spending any recoveries OR regain all of your recoveries during a short rest. During the rest, you may also roll a normal save. If you succeed, regain both your recoveries and your HP. If you ever have 0 HP and no recoveries, you must take on a shadowy form and retreat to a place of personal power else you crumble to dust and your soul is lost. You return from your place of power at the end of the next short rest with full HP and recoveries.

 

Death’s Mark

As a standard action, you can Mark one creature you can see and sustain it for subsequent rounds as a quick action. The target’s vulnerable points and the gaps in their defense glow red to your terrible sight. While the creature is Marked, increase its vulnerability to your attacks by 2. Marked creatures are not aware that they are Marked.

Heroic Feat: On an even hit, a Marked target takes extra damage equal to your charisma modifier if you are the only creature engaged with it.

Champion Feat: Increase vulnerability by 4 instead of 2.

Epic Feat: You no longer need to be the only creature engaged with the target to gain your bonus damage.

 

Finishing Move

When you deal damage that reduces a creature to 5hp, you execute a finishing move. The target is reduced to 0hp. Describe a second attack that ends your enemy in a grisly fashion. Increase to 10hp at champion, 20hp at epic.

Adventurer Feat: When the Escalation Die is 5 or higher, double the HP needed to trigger.

Champion Feat: When the Escalation Die is 4 or higher, double the HP needed to trigger.

Epic Feat: If you execute a Finishing Move on a Critical Hit, increase the Escalation Dice by 1.

 

 

 

 

Class Talents

Choose three talents at level 1. Gain an extra talent at levels 5 and 8.

 

 

Midnight Noose

Whenever you have a free hand you may attack nearby enemies with a shadowy noose with a dice size of d6, other than the range extension this is considered a melee attack for all intents and purposes. You may expend a recovery to force your target to become engaged with you. Your noose disappears after this attack is concluded.

Adventurer Feat: The noose no longer dissipates at the end of your attack. Instead it lasts until you dismiss it as a free action. The rope can be up to fifteen feet in length and is as strong as the strongest nonmagical rope.

Champion Feat: If you pull a creature to you with this power, it is considered grabbed by you.

Epic Feat: While you have a creature grabbed with your noose you can shank them as a standard action. You do not need to roll an attack, and instead automatically deal half the normal damage you would do with a one-handed melee attack.

 

 

Dark Hideaway

You and only you can reach into a shadowy pocket dimension and store or retrieve nonliving objects in it as a standard action. This pocket dimension can safely hold up to 250 pounds until the next sunrise. At sunrise roll a d6, on a 1 all objects inside the Dark Hideaway return to where you were when they were put into it.

Heroic Feat: Once per day you can reach through your Dark Hideaway into your Place of Power and retrieve a single object.

Champion Feat: Once per day you can reach into solid objects and open them the same way you reach into your Dark Hideaway. Doing hole creates a hole two feet wide and six feet deep for ten minutes. Move quickly.

Epic Feat: Remove the “nonliving” restriction and increase the weight limit to 4,000 pounds. Remove the d6 risk dice at sunrise.

 

GM Note: “Sunrise is in one hour. You’ve gotta ditch that dead body you stored in there fast.”

 

 

Vampiric Might

Dark energy strengthens your body, eliminating the usefulness of weapons altogether. Your hands, feet, and any other useful appendage now do qualify as one-handed melee Heavy Weapons, and you no longer take the penalty for wielding a heavy weapon. You cannot take this if you have taken Ebon Smithing.

On a natural odd hit you gain temporary hit points equal to twice your level. You can also use Dexterity in place of Strength for any skill checks that would call for it.

Adventurer Feat: Once per day you can gain temporary hit points from this talent with an even hit.

Champion: Once per encounter you can gain temporary hit points from this talent with an even hit.

Epic: Once combat per day add the level of the creature you hit to the amount of temporary hit points gained with this talent.

 

 

Ebon Smithing

You can craft weapons out of raw shadow and have no need to carry a dedicated weapon on your person. You no longer take the penalty for wielding a Heavy Weapon when wielding an Ebon Weapon. You cannot take this if you have taken Vampiric Might.

Adventurer Feat: Once per day when you reduce an enemy to less than 0hp, apply the surplus damage to another engaged creature.

Champion: One encounter per day, your shadow weapon deals d12 damage. It also looks way cooler for this encounter.

Epic: Once per encounter when you reduce an enemy to less than 0hp, apply the surplus damage to another engaged creature.

 

 

Nightmare Venom

Poison condensed into solid form from the maddening energies of a mortal nightmare. Roll 1d6 at the start of each turn, if you roll equal to or lower than the Escalation Dice you snag a recent nightmare off a nearby enemy, and cannot grab another nightmare until the next encounter. The next time you hit the creature you snagged a nightmare from it takes ongoing 5 damage per tier until the end of the encounter (no save). You can apply the venom to a different creature on a hit instead, but the damage becomes save ends.

Adventurer Feat: Targets under the effect of Nightmare Venom are also Dazed (Save Ends). If the Venom’s effect is already a Save Ends, one save ends all related effects.

Champion Feat: Gain one additional use of Nightmare Venom per day. This additional use pulls a random memory from the target rather than a nightmare, fully removing the memory from the target’s mind. To pull a specific memory you must pass a skill check determined by the tier of the target.

Epic Feat:Targets under the effect of Nightmare Venom are confused (save ends). If the Venom’s effect is already a Save Ends, one save ends all related effects.

 

GM Note: The Champion Tier feat here seems like a really powerful option, and it is. It’s also your best friend for railroading ignorant players who are not following your finely crafted narrative.

 

 

Deadman’s Lantern

You can summon a Deadman’s Lantern at-will. While holding a Deadman’s Lantern it provides light that only you can see, functioning the same as if you had Darkvision. While holding it, you also deal an extra 1d4 fire damage per tier while holding it.

Heroic Tier: Increase the bonus damage to 1d6.

Champion Tier: Your allies now benefit from the Deadman Lantern’s light.

Epic Tier: Increase the bonus damage to 1d8.

 

 

The Evil Eye

Apply curse when you hit with odd or when a nearby creature rolls a 13 on an attack. While cursed, the target creature subtracts the escalation dice from its attack rolls until the end of your next turn.

Adventurer Feat: Once per day you can force a cursed creature to reroll an attack and take the lower result.

Champion Feat: Curse becomes Save Ends.

Epic Feat: Once per day force a cursed creature to apply its attack to a target of your designation.

 

 

Crawstep

When you are not engaged with an enemy you can teleport to being engaged with any creature physically involved in the encounter (i.e. they’re on the map) as a move action.

Adventurer Feat: Once per day when you teleport, you can make a basic attack as a quick action.

Champion Feat: The next basic attack you make after you teleport can hit vs. PD instead of AC.

Epic Feat: Once per encounter when you teleport, you can make a basic attack as a quick action.

 

 

Mist Form

Once per day when you rally you become immune to attacks versus AC or PD and cannot make attacks against AC or PD until the start of your next turn.

Adventurer Feat:You also gain resistance 16+ to attacks vs. MD.

Champion Feat: Once per day you can make an attack Cha vs PD as a Standard Action, on a hit the target acts as if they had gone into Mist Form without regaining any hit points. This does not count as your use of Mist Form for the day. The Escalation Die does not increase at the start of the next round.

Epic Feat: You can choose to exude traces of your mist form at-will. When you do, you and all enemies engaged with you can’t make opportunity attacks.

 

 

Cruel Grimoire

Create a dark copy of a spell from another class.

Pick a spellcasting class, you may take one spell of your level or lower from that class. Rename the power to reflect the dark taint that your power places upon it. Cure Light Wounds could be Necromantic Healing, reflecting you funneling the life energy of a slain foe into an ally. Burning Hands could be Skeletal Hands, where the attack takes the form of skeletal burning digits that lash out at your foes. If the spell has feats available, you may take those feats as well.

Adventurer Tier: The spell you’ve taken uses your Charisma score for both attack and damage.

Champion Tier: You gain the Ritual Caster feat, and also gain the ability to sacrifice one of your Recoveries (or perhaps the recovery of a willing ally) in place of a daily spell.

Epic Tier: Write a second spell from the same class as your first down in your Necronomicon. You gain a dark copy of that spell in addition to the first spell.

 

 

Shadow Minion

You gain a small minion, mechanically identical to the Wizard’s Familiar talent. The minion should be suitably twisted or macabre in description. A spider is good. A spider with a human face is better. A spider with a human child’s face is best.

Undead

Blood Corpse ProfileUndead

by Casey Peavler and Ryven Cedrylle

+2 to Con or +2 to Cha

 

It’s not hard to understand why undead are feared and reviled by all cultures and all races. Mindless monsters, recently dead loved ones risen from the grave to feed on their family. The haunted spirits of those long-dead. Nothing in particular would make them especially endearing to the average humanoid. Their reputation is not undeserved, as they are products of curses or dark magic or other foul circumstances. Occasionally an undead arises who has retained his or her senses and sometimes even their memories despite their dark curse. Sometimes the undead are called back from beyond the grave to inhabit bodies which will no longer bear their mortal flesh but must soldier on anyways. Some are ancient phantoms who died in the pursuit of a noble cause, and who carry on until that cause or one equally worthy is fulfilled.

 

Skeleton

 

Bony Physique

While the Escalation Dice is at 0, take half damage from physical attacks.

Champion Feat: Take half damage from physical attacks while Escalation Dice is at 1, too.

 

Ghast

 

Spectral Form

Daily

Minor Action

Effect:Create an effect related to being dead that you and your GM can agree on. If the desired effect is something that directly affects another creature, roll it as an attack using your highest ability score against either the target’s PD or MD as the DM deems appropriate.

Champion Feat: At the end of combat, roll a d20. On a 16+, your effect recharges.

 

Vampire

 

Life Drain

Encounter

Free Action

Trigger: You hit an enemy with an attack

Effect: Deal half damage and spend a recovery.

Champion Feat: The recovery you spend grants temporary hit points instead.

by Rob Heinsoo

13 True Ways Great Bear DruidBy now, everyone who has been part of the 13 True Ways support network (Escalation Edition, Kickstarter, Bestiary pre-orders) has gotten notice of the availability of the new druid and the updated commander and monk.

As you’ll see, the druid class is a beast. The challenge of embracing elements of traditional druidic roles (wild healer, animal shifter, elemental magician, summoner, warrior of the wild) became huge fun as I took new approaches (talents defining spell lists and abilities, carefully calibrated summoning mechanics, spell lists tied to specific terrain). It’s definitely the biggest of all the class design jobs. I hope it turns out to be as much fun to play as it was to design.

Other 13 True Ways progress includes the fully edited and illustrated write-up of Horizon from Jonathan and Lee, and full illustrations and text for Drakkenhall from a combination of Jonathan, Robin D. Laws, and Lee Moyer. The great bear druid piece above is newly competed as well, a sketch from Aaron finished by Lee.

This week Jonathan is working on miscellaneous monsters, including azers, pixies, and cloud giants. I’m working on multiclassing after cooling down from the druid work by finishing a list of Thirteen Icon Variations that can shape a campaign.

- Rob

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