This edition is on the threshold. All our art by Aaron and Lee is finished. Classes and systems are in place in broad strokes, development is underway, we’re pushing towards completion.
The most significant shift in gameplay introduced in this edition come from monster damage expressions. Playtest feedback, and our own games, indicated that our original all-dice monster damage system was swingy. Too swingy, unless the GM implemented dice conventions on the fly.
We’ve finally adopted the system Jonathan has always (3e, 4e, homebrew, 13th Age) used for monster damage in the games he runs: fixed damage amounts for most monster attacks. See the start of the monster chapter for the full rules and discussion of the rationale. People who want to roll dice for monster damage can, but we’re opting for something cleaner.
Other changes include many new or fixed-up monsters, redefinition of ‘vulnerable’ and vulnerability, a reorganization of chapter 6: Running the Game, more shifts in the racial abilities including a new racial curse for tiefling, an icon alignment chart dropped colorfully into chapter 2, adjustments to the barbarian and cleric . . . . and the difficult decision to pull the monk and multiclassing out of this book.
I’d already realized that multiclassing was almost certainly going to be something that we should calibrate when we had a perfect sense of our published play balance. Then our developer’s input on the previous copy of the Escalation Edition was that finishing the monk properly would take almost as much time as finishing everything else in the book.
I’m making the call that it will be better to publish the game sooner rather than push the monk to be another part that works and publish later. So the monk is going to get finished after everything else and published in another book. It’s not ideal. But it’s better than screwing it up. We have high design ambitions for both the druid and the monk and as usual, if we err, we want to err on the side of getting it right [Publisher's Note: There is also the issue that the book has far more content already than when we priced it - so you won't be losing out. It's a big book!]
We’re still getting good playtest feedback from people who are using the Escalation Edition. Send concise playtest feedback to 13thAgePlaytest@gmail.com. One of the last things we’re going to do is comb back through all the playtest comments and compare them to our final manuscript, so if it seems like we haven’t accounted for your comments yet that may be true.
[For more on the monk and the forthcoming 13 True Ways see this interview on rpg.net.]
Pre-order 13th Age and download the finished rules to start playing now!
13th Age is a new fantasy roleplaying game by Jonathan Tweet – lead designer of Dungeons & Dragons® 3rd edition – and Rob Heinsoo, lead designer of D&D® 4th edition. To learn more about the game check out the interviews, videos and Actual Play on the Resources page.
“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
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 by more than 200 gaming groups around the world, and has sold more than a thousand pre-order copies. The game will be published by Pelgrane Press in 2013.
The Escalation Edition is an advanced pre-order of 13th Age. UPDATE DEC 2012: The Escalation Edition is sold out, so new Pre-Orders will not get their name in the credits or be entitled to the below benefits.
Along with the full colour hardback book, Escalation Edition customers will get:
- First refusal on the Limited Edition
- Signed postcards
- Your name in the credits
- The PDF of the playtest rules which will be upgraded to a PDF of the final rules then upgraded again to the final layout version of the book
- The first part of the forthcoming adventure
- The Escalation Edition web badge.
“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.
Status: Available to Pre-Order
Version 2.0 is a fairly minor revision over v 1.0. Details follow. Escalation Edition customers can download it from the link on your order page.
Those who saw Escalation Edition v 1.0 will find that the monk has been revised and made somewhat playable up to level 5. I say ‘somewhat’ because it’s in need of formatting, rationalization, and testing.
Other changes in this version include the edited cleric (though there are a few more spells coming for the class before we’re done), 40 new feats spread around the classes, some reorganizations that are in mid-construction, and a host of adjustments in response to playtest feedback.
Changes thanks to playtest responses include a scarier dark elf racial power; half-elves who are uniquely interesting in their own right rather than functioning as the sum of the other races; clarification that the Great Gold Wyrm isn’t literally plugging the hole in the Abyss with his own dragon-scaled butt; a curiously balanced battle cry for the bard that can let the class function as an inspirational battle healer (Pull it together!) as well as revised battle cries pivoting around that change; and the start of more interesting talents for the ranger.
Classes and sections not mentioned in that list of revisions are due for more work soon.
We’re still getting good playtest feedback from people who are using this edition. Send concise playtest feedback to 13thAgePlaytest@gmail.com and we’ll add it to the 800+ pages of playtest feedback we’re processing now with our developer.
The things we would love playtest feedback on from this edition are the monk and the Building Battle Encounters system on page 191, especially as it relates to adventures at champion and epic tier where PCs are pitted against monsters above their level. Our early playtesting showed that we needed to make life harder for high level characters. And we have.
The post-playtest first draft of 13th Age is now available for download for Escalation Edition customers. I’ve sent them an email with the details. Rob’s introduction detailing the changes in since the playtest draft follow the cut
Continue reading »
Round Two of the 13th Age playtest has ended. We’re profoundly grateful to the players and GMs who took the early version of the game out on the road and tested it thoroughly. They provided valuable feedback on everything from the icon relationship mechanics to the monk’s fighting styles to punctuation errors. People are passionate about the game already; as Jonathan Tweet observed, “It looks like Rob and I are onto something.”
Now it’s time to get 13th Age out into the world. We’re happy to announce that we will make the game available for pre-order through the Pelgrane Store before the end of the month. As we’ve done with games such as Night’s Black Agents, we’ll make an early edition available in PDF format for pre-order customers.
Keep an eye on this website for the date, and follow @13thAge on Twitter and +13th Age on Google+!
Pete, a not so loveable loser always ready to become a fanatic for any cause, craves the respect of his coolly abusive best friend Steve. His wife, Shirley, pursues Steve while half-heartedly plotting Pete’s demise. Her best friend, Loretta, signals her unrequited love for Pete by sending him severed raccoon heads. Eventually Steve’s Dad shows up, fresh out of prison. All of them are heavily armed.
Finally appearing in print after providing years of appalling hilarity to readers of writer and game designer Robin D. Laws’ blog, The Birds, is a deadpan, minimalist missile aimed straight at the heart of the avian condition.
The Birds is available to buy from the Pelgrane Press Shop.
“I look forward, near-slavering, to those days that Robin’s blog reads ‘CLICK HERE for another installment of the Birds.’ Where most squeaky-clean comic strips are trying to channel After-School Specials, The Birds is strictly Saturday Night Special.”- John Kovalic, Dork Tower.
They’re back, pistols reloaded, in all their smudged and deadpan glory! Pete, aggressively passive and always ready to embrace new fanaticism. Shirley, his beloved wife, except when she’s trying to poison him. Steve, his best friend, except when he’s shooting him. Loretta, his best stalker. And Steve’s Dad, who is very wrinkly and owns many grenades.
There Goes My Dream Job takes the feathered anti-heroes of Robin D. Laws’ webcomic through their second print collection of life, love, mordancy and irresponsible handgun use. The second volume of The Birds includes a foreword from 13th Age designer Jonathan Tweet and guest strips from Dork Tower’s own John Kovalic.
“In The Birds, Robin D. Laws distills his insights into the human predicament down to a hilarious comic strip. It’s all about sex, death, family, lies, and popular culture – doled out in carefully measured doses” – Jonathan Tweet, from his Foreword.
The Birds Volume 2 is available to buy from the Pelgrane Press Shop.
The bumper January/February edition of See Page XX is now out. Read about Ashen Stars combat options, improving your scenario writing, constructing and destroying conspiracies in Night’s Black Agents and loads more. Also take our Page XX Poll where we ask your opinion on options for a new GM Screen.
We have playtest opportunities, an open call for artists, new releases and updates on Eternal Lies and Razed. Read all about it here.
We have new releases, a host of articles, and the traditional See Page XX poll in the latest Pelgrane Press Webzine.
Check it out here.
In the smog and grime of 18th century London, a great evil stirs…
In the seedy underclass of the city a plague is taking hold. Its victims are under the sway of something far worse than they can imagine, an entity of disgusting power bent on engulfing the world in disease and death.
The Investigators are members of the exclusive, but publicly reviled Hell Fire Club. One of the Club’s most trusted members is involved in a Breach of Promise suit. But when he vanishes and the woman is found dead, outsiders start to make inquiries; Club secrets could be revealed. If this happens, Club members would be socially ruined. The Investigators must discover the truth of their Brother’s disappearance and who – or what – killed his alleged paramour.
This trail will take the protagonists into the heart of the disease-ridden underbelly of London society, through a globe-spanning conspiracy and eventually, to the Colonies in a race against time to save the Americas from sharing the same fate as their Brother.
Hell Fire is the brand new Trail of Cthulhu scenario from Adam Gauntlett (Not So Quiet). Set in the late 1700s, it harnesses the tense politic situation of the time and infuses it with Mythos horror. A must-have addition to any Keeper’s library.
||Author: Adam Gauntlett
||Pages: 40 page PDF