The 13th Age PDF is out now – linked and bookmarked.
Play the new fantasy roleplaying game from legendary RPG designers Jonathan Tweet and Rob Heinsoo. Get your copy of the hardcover or PDF today at the Pelgrane Shop or your local game store and download the finished PDF!
“One of the best systems I’ve encountered—and I’ve either played or read the rules to countless d20 systems at this point—is 13th Age… It’s fun, fast and accessible.” – Erik Kain, Forbes.com
Learn more about 13th Age.
Check out the Resources page for downloads, reviews, interviews, convention videos and actual play, and visit the 13th Age forums to talk with other GMs and players.
Want to create a 13th Age compatible content? See here.
“13th Age is, perhaps, the first d20 game that I’ve ever played that treats the game inside of combat and the game outside of combat with equal love, attention, and innovation.” – Jon Spengler, Dorkadia
“[13th Age] has just enough of the freedom I want from a tabletop game while also being able to balance the crunchy aspects. I was just about to swear off D20 games, too. So I’m glad I found this.” – Kirby Smith, playtester
“The combination of a streamlined…system with fun and unique character creation and an interesting high fantasy world have completely won me over.” – Ed Grabianowski, Robot Viking
“The system is absolutely brilliant. For me, it brings a lot of the things I really enjoy about traditional fantasy gaming and infuses them with some new and really useful ideas that you often see in more indie gaming.” – Aaron R., GM of Forgotten Sagas of the 13th Age, Obsidian Portal’s March 2013 Campaign of the Month
About 13th Age
In the 13th Age of the world, adventurers seek their fortunes in the Dragon Empire while powerful individuals known as Icons pursue goals that may preserve the empire from chaos, or send it over the edge.
Players decide which Icons their characters ally with, and which ones they oppose. These relationships, along with a personal history and a unique trait chosen during character creation, help define an adventurer’s place in the world of 13th Age and lay the groundwork for epic stories that emerge through play.
There are also fun new rules for hitting orcs and making them go splat.
13th Age was playtested in 2012 by more than 200 gaming groups around the world. The game will be published by Pelgrane Press in August 2013.
“Our goal with 13th Age is to recapture the free-wheeling style of old-school gaming by creating a game with more soul and fewer technical details. …13th Age makes the play group’s campaign the center of attention, with a toolkit of rules that you can pick and choose from based on the kind of game you want to play. The mechanics draw from classic games as well as newer, story-based games.” – Jonathan Tweet, co-designer
About Rob Heinsoo
Rob Heinsoo has created dozens of role-playing games, card games, miniatures games and board games. He led the design of the fourth edition of Dungeons & Dragons® and wrote or led the design of many 4e sourcebooks. Rob has just released the card game Epic Spell Wars of the Battle Wizards: Duel at Mt. Skullzfyre. Other recent game designs include THREE-DRAGON ANTE, THREE-DRAGON ANTE: Emperor’s Gambit, Inn-Fighting, Dreamblade, FORGOTTEN REALMS® Campaign Setting, and the first nine sets of D&D Miniatures®. Games he worked on in the 90’s that have aged well include Shadowfist, Feng Shui, and King of Dragon Pass.
About Jonathan Tweet
Jonathan Tweet has been creating games professionally for 25 years. He created or co-created the roleplaying games Ars Magica (1987), Over the Edge (1992), and Everway (1995). He started writing for Dungeons & Dragons in 1992, and in 2000 he became the lead designer of the game’s third edition. In addition to roleplaying games, Jonathan has created and contributed to card games, miniatures games, computer games, and fiction. His games have won three Origins Awards, and he is in the Origins Award Hall of Fame.
In the shadow of empires, an epic saga of ambition and desire!
In an arid badlands, the hill people hunger. Your neighbors have grain, cattle, gold. You have horses and spears, courage and ambition. Together with those you love and hate, you will remake history—or die.
With the Hillfolk roleplaying game, you and your group weave an epic, ongoing saga of high-stakes interpersonal conflict that grows richer with every session. Its DramaSystem rules engine, from acclaimed designer Robin D. Laws, takes the basic structure of interpersonal conflict underlying fiction, movies and television and brings it to the world of roleplaying. This simple framework brings your creativity to the fore and keep a surprising, emotionally compelling narrative constantly on the move.
As you build your story, you mold and shape the Hillfolk setting to fit its needs. Do you entangle yourself with the seductions of your wealthy cousins to the north? Do you do battle with the fearsome sea people to the west? Or do you conquer the scattered badlands tribes to forge a new empire of your own?
Detailed play style notes show you how to make the most of DramaSystem’s new tools. Once you’ve mastered DramaSystem’s nuances, you’ll hunger to take them to new vistas. A stunning talent roster brings you 30 additional series settings. From Cthulhu cult family drama to ninjas, pirates, and steampunk cowboys, Hillfolk offers years of play value.
Contributors from every corner of the gaming scene and beyond include Ed Greenwood, Gene Ha & Art Lyon, Jason Morningstar, Kenneth Hite, Rob Heinsoo, Meg Baker, Wolfgang Baur, Jesse Bullington, John Scott Tynes, and Keith Baker.
|Authors: Robin D. Laws, Jason Morningstar, Michelle Nephew, Kenneth Hite, Matt Forbeck, T.S. Luikart, Jason L. Blair, Chris Pramas, Emily Care Boss, Rob Wieland, Steven S. Long, Eddy Webb, Jesse Bullington, Gene Ha & Art Lyon, James Wallis, Chris Lackey, John Scott Tynes, Ryan Macklin, Graeme Davis, Dave Gross, Allen Varney, Meguey Baker, Sarah Newton, Kevin Kulp, Mac Sample, Jason Pitre, Wolfgang Baur, Keith Baker, Will Hindmarch, Rob Heinsoo, Ed Greenwood
||Artists: Aaron Acevedo, Andrew Gustafson, Gene Ha, Jon Hodgson, Rachel A. Kahn, Jason Morningstar, Scott Neil, Jan Pospíšil, Hilary Wade, Jonathan Wyke
|Pages: 240pg A4 Hardcover
||Stock #: PELD01
A DramaSystem Companion
Kick your mastery of Robin D. Laws’ DramaSystem, the roleplaying game of epic interpersonal conflict, into high gear, with this essential companion volume. A fervent crowd of backers demanded it, and here it is — an imagination-stretching compendium of DramaSystem insights and ideas.
Blood on the Snow contains:
- LARP rules from Emily Care Boss. Take the drama off the couch and up onto its feet with two live action applications. Play richer and bolder live characters than ever before.
- DramaSystem MasterClass. A fierce vanguard of early adopters expands the margins of the game. Unlock its prequel potential. Free your scene calling. Tune to single session play.
Also by popular demand, we present a veritable deluge of character, setting and genre from 33 top gaming talents, from the gurus of today to the shapers of tomorrow.
- Dive with dolphins, flee genetic persecution, or rule a fantasy city.
- Explore histories alternate and accurate.
- Find out how DramaSystem provides the ideal vehicle for science fiction’s idea-driven tradition.
Series Pitch creators include John Rogers, Mark Rein•Hagen, John Kovalic, David L. Pulver, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Lester Smith, Greg Stolze, Paula Dempsey, and James L. Sutter.
You’ll need Hillfolk, the original book of DramaSystem roleplaying, to enjoy Blood on the Snow.
|Authors: Angus Abranson, Kevin Allen Jr., Scott Bennie, Jennifer Brozek, Ken Burnside, Emily Care Boss, Jon Creffield, Marcos Dacosta, Steven Darlington, Paula Dempsey, Steve Dempsey, Cédric Ferrand, Ian “Lizard” Harac, Chris Huth, Richard Iorio II, John Kovalic, ASH LAW, Robin D. Laws, Antti Lax, Phil Nicholls, Jack Norris, Andrew Peregrine, Mike Pohjola, Sean Preston, David L. Pulver, Mark Rein•Hagen, Jeff Richard, Josh Roby, Wade Rockett, Mark Ryan, John Rogers, Aaron Rosenberg, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan, Ralf Schemmann, Lester Smith, Greg Stolze, CA Suleiman, James L. Sutter, Mark Diaz Truman, Nick Wedig, Pedro Ziviani
||Artists: Aaron Acevedo, Andrew Gustafson, Rachel A. Kahn, Jon Hodgson, Jérôme Huguenin, John Kovalic, Pierre Legay, Jan Pospíšil, Mikko Vihervaara, Hilary Wade, Jonathan Wyke,
|Stock #: PELD02
||Pages: 208pg A4 Hardcover
“You wanna shoot me, Marshal? You ain’t fast enough, and my posse has a pyromaniac gadgeteer who’s already aiming at ya. You ain’t got the grit. You want me, I’ll be traveling the owl-hoot trail.”
– Calabash Twigg, orcish outlaw, part-time bounty hunter and a very bad man
To ride the owl-hoot trail: to take up as an outlaw.
– American Old West idiom
Owl Hoot Trail is a gritty Clint Eastwood western, set in a hostile fantasy world where half’in gunslingers ride out with shee scouts and hill folk preachers to escape the law, where mentalists cheat you at poker and gadgeteers build gizmos to keep undead off the range. Shee and half’ins and hill folk might exist in this world, but bullets hurt – hard. And there’s a whole range of monsters roaming the lonesome prairie, just waiting for a tasty morsel like you to cross their path.
Half rules book, half adventure, Owl Hoot Trail showcases the adventure They Rode To Perdition, a multi-part mystery and starting campaign setting that’s centered on the little town of Perdition. With as close to an epic storyline as you’ll find in a western setting, the PCs can change Perdition for good with their actions.
Using slimmed-down game mechanics you already know, the Old West of your imagination just got a lot more dangerous.
|Stock #: PELW01
||Author: Clinton R. Nixon, Kevin Kulp
|Artist: Rich Longmore
||Pages: 136pg Perfect Bound
Now the war’s over, and you and your crew of freelance effectuators patrol the edge of civilized space, trying to pay the bills while you keep the peace.
But the competition in this line is fierce, and sometimes you have to cut corners — which makes you wonder if justice bought and paid for is any justice at all…
The Justice Trade contains three adventures for Ashen Stars – The Justice Trade, Terra Nova and Tartarus – written by Leonard Balsera, author of Profane Miracles and co-author of the smash hit Dresden Files; GUMSHOE designer and gaming luminary Robin D. Laws, and Bill White, author of The Big Hoodoo. It also includes a bonus twenty-minute demo game by Kevin Kulp to introduce players to the world of Ashen Stars.
The Justice Trade
When the PCs answer a distress call from the planet Cabochon, they become embroiled in the political machinations of two powerful figures who each seek to shape the future of the Bleed. Will they choose to do good and make the Bleed a better place – or to do well for themselves?
In a devastatingly hostile environment, hard-bitten lasers – who know enough not to touch the gooey stuff or take off their helmets in an untested biosphere – investigate the demise of a survey crew doomed by the above mistakes.
The Terra Nova, last of the great luxury liners from the Combine’s heyday, is dead, a victim of disaster now drifting in the space between worlds. The last of the survivors clutch desperately to life, waiting for rescue. All but one; who waits only for a chance to finish the job, uncovering a secret which the Terra Nova has kept hidden for decades.
A twenty-minute demo, which is a great introduction to Ashen Stars and includes six pre-generated characters.
|Stock #: PELGA07
||Author: Leonard Balsera, Kevin Kulp, Robin D. Laws, Bill White
|Artist: Chris Huth, Pascal Quidault, Kyle Strahm
||Pages: 96pg Perfect Bound
The more you discover, the more the Mythos infects your mind. Your friends cannot be trusted, your knowledge means nothing, and everything you hold dear turns to dust.
The Final Revelation collects for the first time the four sanity-destroying Purist adventures for Trail of Cthulhu written by award winning RPG writer Graham Walmsley. With a framing scenario by Scott Dorward, The Final Revelation gives your Investigators the opportunity to play through a Purist campaign set in the United Kingdom of the 1930s where there is no escape, no comfort and no salvation when faced with the Mythos. Your Investigators are powerless and insignificant; your only choices death, insanity or a quiet life with a shattered mind.
The Final Revelation features the following scenarios:
- The Final Revelation: A group of Investigators called The Friday Group tries to piece together the details of what they believe to be a threat to humanity. As they uncover the facts behind each scenario, they are faced with a final, inescapable truth none of them could have guessed.
- The Dying of St Margarets: On the remote Scottish island of St Margaret’s, Investigators take jobs at a private school, each searching for an acquaintance who has disappeared. What they discover drives them to the edge of insanity to a place where guns will not help them, reason will not protect them and even faith will not give them comfort.
- The Watchers in the Sky: The Watchers introduces a new and unknowable Mythos entity. Blending Lovecraft with Hitchcock, a madman feeds the birds, paranoid they are watching him. Later, the same strange birds stare from the rooftops, warping the laws of physics and chemistry. And, when the Investigators dissect one of the creatures, they find something monstrous inside.
- The Dance in the Blood: In a forgotten corner of Northern England nestles a village plagued by terrible secrets and subterranean horrors. Every hundred and nineteen years it is torn apart, its inhabitants massacred. It happened in 1697 and 1816. Now it’s 1935 and beneath the village are loathsome creatures, waiting to reclaim their land and kill anyone who stands in their way.
- The Rending Box: In an antiques shop in North London, there is a box. Inside is an ancient creature, seeping through into the world. It will show the Investigators everything as it really is: the patterns behind the universe, the monsters older than time, the secrets that break your mind. And all they need to do is open a box.
With little else to do but go mad or die trying, how will your Investigators react when faced with the final revelation?
Read reviews of Dying of St Margarets, The Watchers in the Sky, The Dance in the Blood and The Rending Box.
Playtester comments about the Purist adventures:
“The adventure captured the Purist play style (with an encroaching sense of dread, a strange enemy that one cannot truly understand, and a conclusion that adds to the horror more so than it does to resolve anything). The difficulty of the adventure and the clues was just right as my players were able to piece together the information they needed to sail into the scene with just enough information for them to form new questions.”
“Our group had a blast playtesting the scenario! It’s truly creepy, and I was inspired enough by the material to improvise a truly horrific ending for the investigators. We still talk and laugh about it!”
“A good game with a thrilling intrigue and many new features and gaming methods which made it feel fresh.”
|Stock #: PELGT33
||Author: Graham Walmsley, Scott Dorward
|Artist: Jérôme Huguenin
||Pages: 128pg Perfect Bound
We sent the 13th Age manuscript to the printer last week. It’s a good feeling.
The book looks great. I think you’ll be able to see the quality of Chris Huth’s final layout work for yourself.
The magnificent editing job performed by Cal Moore is probably harder to see. Cal spotted innumerable problems and knew exactly which problems were his to solve and which problems were for the designers. We had fun finishing this book. We’ll do it again. For other books, I mean, we’ve done this one enough.
One funny aspect of taking a long time to finish a project is that your editor has time to look at things carefully and realize what’s missing. Cal’s advocacy got many small touches added or fixed at the last minute. A couple weeks ago, Cal wrote and said “There really should be more 7th and 9th level rogue powers.” I’d made up four new powers before I slowed down and realized that the answer had to be no, the time was past. Rob Watkins, the developer, was not going to thank me for slipping powers past him in the shadows of the final days. Chris had already laid out the feats list and new feats would mess it up. Cal and I were busy already. It was too late. Pencils down.
So we talked it over and got to laugh at ourselves about finally really going pencils down. And within a week Simon had suggested that we put the Chapter 10 adventure, Blood and Lightning, back into the book because we had the space. Ah. Good idea. Pencils up! We avoided all changes that weren’t corrections.
So I took the new rogue powers I’d written and slotted them towards 13 True Ways. And as a small tip of the dagger to Cal, who has given me a convincing list of small things I need to improve for the existing classes in 13 True Ways, here are a couple of the 7th level rogue powers that just didn’t get into 13th Age, can now be playtested, and will at least influence 13 True Ways even if they don’t actually make the cut, since one of them is pretty corner-case. If you play with them and have comments, email us at 13AgePlaytest@gmail.com
Happily yours, Rob Heinsoo
7th Level Rogue Powers
Nobody’s Fool (for long)
Special: This attack can only be used in place of a basic attack when you are confused and are therefore forced to attack one of your allies.
Target: One of your usual allies
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC
Natural even hit or miss: Your attack against your ally misses, and deals no damage. The confusion effect you are suffering from ends and you finish your turn normally.
Natural odd hit: Half of WEAPON + Dexterity damage.
Miss: No effect.
Epic Feat: When you roll a natural even hit or miss with the attack, you also gain another standard action this turn.
Resistance is Delicious
Target: One enemy
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC
Hit: Weapon + Dexterity damage, and ignore any resistance the target has to your attack.
Miss: Damage equal to your level.
Epic Feat: The next ally who attacks the target also ignores its resistance.
In this series, Kenneth Hite looks at the creatures, species, and monsters of the Cthulhu Mythos from every non-Euclidean angle. Alternate versions and new explanations provide the same jolt of mythic bisociation that the gods and titans receive in the TRAIL OF CTHULHU corebook. Hite traces these foul things through their legendary history, and provides further clues for any Investigator to follow. Horrific scenario seeds burst and bloom, story spines protrude and deform, in a blasphemous garden any Keeper can harvest.
HIDEOUS CREATURES: HOUNDS OF TINDALOS are lean and athirst! Frank Belknap Long’s greatest creations emerge from the angles of time, slavering and frumious. Are they hell-hounds, haunts, or cold equations? Track the Tindlosi spoor through prehistory and posthumanity, from the Wild Hunt to Cerberus and the howl of Garm.
Hounds of Tindalos is the third installment of the Ken Writes About Stuff subscription (if you’re a KWAS subscriber, it’s now on your existing order page) or it’s available as a stand-alone from the store.
|Stock #: PELGT36D
||Author: Kenneth Hite
|Cover: Kyle Strahm
||Artwork: Stefano Azzalin
|Pages: 10pg PDF
by Will Hindmarch
Eternal Lies took a while to devise and design and write. It took a long time to assemble and layout and that’s not even done yet. It turned into something. Working on a book this big can be scary.
We went through a number of ideas, experimenting with structure and motif and villains, before we refined a couple of the big ideas into what became this campaign. We built on the sterling adventure-design ideas pioneered by Robin D. Laws and Kenneth Hite. We developed plot and story ideas shared with us by Simon Rogers. With one hand on the railing behind us, we leaned out and reached into the dark in search of something frightening.
Trail of Cthulhu is a big damn game full of big ideas and we wanted to dramatize some of those ideas and we wanted to strike out into new turf in a few places. We wanted to pay homage both by meeting the demands of the game’s fans and by surprising them in a few ways. Trail’s players and keepers are why this thing exists.
We set out to build Eternal Lies because we wanted the game to have the kind of epic campaign that big damn games call for. We also wanted something that Trail players and Keepers could get excited about and dig deep inside for months and months of play. I, myself, wanted something that could be at once grand and personal, ugly in its terror and human in its stakes — some of its stakes. It’s big and it’s small. You’ll see.
What could have been the hardest part of assembling a big book like this, though, was the testing. When we supplied the text to playtesters, I was terrified.
For no reason. The playtesters on this book were remarkable. It was a wonderful experience. With great players gathered and facilitated by Beth Lewis, the playtest process honed and improved the text immeasurably. Sharp-eyed proofing and copyediting by Christopher Smith Adair further refined and cultivated the text.
It took a lot of hands and eyes and minds to bring this book together. It is a privilege to have my name on the front of it, alongside such colossal talents as Jeff Tidball and Jeremy Keller, when so many worked to make it real.
And parts of it still scare me.
All We Have Forgotten has been nominated for a 2013 ENnie Award as Best Aid / Accessory. More on this here.
All We Have Forgotten is music for Ashen Stars by James Semple, Marie-Anne Fischer and Yaiza Varona, the talent behind the chilling Eternal Lies Suite.
All We Have Forgotten contains 10 original tracks and 4 stings, short bursts of music to mark the end of a scene. The tracks are supplied as MP3s so can be quickly loaded onto any player to add that extra dimension and atmosphere to your game.
The music has been designed to be used with Ashen Stars but can, of course, be used with any number of sci-fi games.
You can listen to a sample here -
Read the reviews to date here.