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 My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")

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Duskweaver
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PostSubject: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Sun Aug 18, 2013 4:38 am

EDIT: My concerns about class balance and racial pigeonholing having been mostly put to bed, I will mostly just be posting DIY monsters for critique, as well as maybe some updates on how the campaign is progressing (once we actually get started on it). I didn't think this needed a new thread.

I've only had the 13th Age book for a couple of days, and I've really just been flicking through it so far. I haven't really taken a serious in-depth look at the rules and how the whole mechanics side of the game hangs together yet.

The game as a whole seems like something I'd like: not quite as good as 4e for me personally but potentially better than 4e for at least some of the rest of my group. I can see it working as a compromise system between my unnatural badwrongfun love for for 4e-as-a-pseudo-miniatures-skirmish-game and the more grognard/roleplaying-not-rollplaying preferences of other people in the group.

However, I do have some... issues. I'm hoping those more familiar with the system and who have actually played it some can explain why these things aren't really problems.

Number one is the sorcerer class. More specifically, the balance between it and the wizard. OK, I get that the sorcerer's selling point is supposed to be that it's simpler to play than the wizard. But it also seems significantly less powerful. Since it lacks the wizard's flexibility and out-of-combat capability, I expected the sorcerer to do substantially more damage with its spells. But it doesn't, as far as I can see. It doesn't really seem to get anything in return for not having the things that make wizards so awesome. Sure, empowering spells for double damage is cool and all, but it doesn't actually increase your total damage output over the two turns it takes. What am I missing?

Second is the class/race pigeonholing caused by two of the racial powers. Half-orcs and half-elves effectively don't have a racial power if they pick one of the 'wrong' classes. As someone who loves playing against type, this sucks (literally the first two character concepts I wanted to try out when I first started reading this book - a half-orc sorceress* and a half-elf barbarian - both get screwed by this). I get that the GM can houserule something to make it work (allowing the half-orc sorceress to apply her racial power to ranged spells cast in melee through the Spell Fists talent, for example), but why couldn't the game's designers have gone the extra mile (really just an extra couple of yards) to make these racial powers work as-is with any class? The flexible ability score bonuses given by races and classes, as well as all the other racial powers (the dark elf one is a particularly obvious example) seem to have been designed specifically to make any race-class combination work, so why are half-elves and half-orcs singled out for this pigeonholing?

* - Hekla (named after an infamous Icelandic volcano) occasionally gets possessed by the malevolent genius loci of the volcano on whose slopes she was born. Burning Hands spews magma, Breath of the Green vents sulphurous fumes, Lightning Fork and Echoing Thunder are, well, this. Twisted Evil

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PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Sun Aug 18, 2013 9:10 pm

Duskweaver wrote:
However, I do have some... issues. I'm hoping those more familiar with the system and who have actually played it some can explain why these things aren't really problems.

Number one is the sorcerer class. More specifically, the balance between it and the wizard. OK, I get that the sorcerer's selling point is supposed to be that it's simpler to play than the wizard. But it also seems significantly less powerful. Since it lacks the wizard's flexibility and out-of-combat capability, I expected the sorcerer to do substantially more damage with its spells. But it doesn't, as far as I can see. It doesn't really seem to get anything in return for not having the things that make wizards so awesome. Sure, empowering spells for double damage is cool and all, but it doesn't actually increase your total damage output over the two turns it takes. What am I missing?
Empower dailies. Take a Wizard's Fireball spell via Arcane Heritage, pick up that talent's Champion feat, deal the equivalent of 20d10 damage, 30d10 if you crit (actually it's 10d10 x2, 10d10 x3 on a crit, but you get the idea Wink ).

When you compare at-wills to at-wills the Sorcerer only barely ekes out 33% ~ 67% of the time due to Gather Power's "side effect", but once you bring out the limited, that's where the Sorcerer's firepower gets really scary. With 18 CHA and Gather Power, Lightning Fork easily cranks out 14 ~ 44 damage (average: 29 damage), half damage on a miss in one shot. That's basically Acid Arrow, but with a 50% chance of hitting multiple targets *and* you can use it multiple times over the course of the day!

Duskweaver wrote:
Second is the class/race pigeonholing caused by two of the racial powers. Half-orcs and half-elves effectively don't have a racial power if they pick one of the 'wrong' classes. As someone who loves playing against type, this sucks (literally the first two character concepts I wanted to try out when I first started reading this book - a half-orc sorceress* and a half-elf barbarian - both get screwed by this). I get that the GM can houserule something to make it work (allowing the half-orc sorceress to apply her racial power to ranged spells cast in melee through the Spell Fists talent, for example), but why couldn't the game's designers have gone the extra mile (really just an extra couple of yards) to make these racial powers work as-is with any class? The flexible ability score bonuses given by races and classes, as well as all the other racial powers (the dark elf one is a particularly obvious example) seem to have been designed specifically to make any race-class combination work, so why are half-elves and half-orcs singled out for this pigeonholing?
If you feel excessively pigeonholed simply because your 1/battle racial ability doesn't coincide with the class you picked, when not every NPC in the world of the same race as you even has access to that racial ability (only PCs get them by default), then I don't know what to say; it's like complaining that you're not happy that the D&D 4E Minotaur is pigeonholed into playing a charge-centric class, when in casual games it's perfectly acceptable to play a Cunning Sneak Rogue Minotaur. Oh wait, I do: page 138 of the book...

Rob Heinsoo wrote:
We put the Undead Remnant Heritage epic feat into the game to make fun of the people we play with who will do just about anything to get a +1 attack bonus. If your group is less obsessed with math and more interested in story, you'll want to load this feat with all manner of "I see dead people" storylines, Lich King complications, and obligatory quests into the over- and underworld realm of the ghost dragons.
I believe the system encourages a focus on the stories that the group creates together, so not being able to use Lethal or Surprising can actually be a blessing in terms of story: you're [an] exceptional [half-orc/half-elf] for your race, but in spite of that ability born within you, you chose to take the harder path. Why? What is your character's story, and how does that come into play?

Having said that, Half-Orcs can still use their Lethal ability when they're hampered, so it's an effective backup. Half-Elf Barbarians might not get as much mileage for Surprising by themselves, but the Champion feat does allow them to boost the mileage of their bard, fighter, ranger and/or sorcerer companions.
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PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:12 am

chaosfang wrote:
Take a Wizard's Fireball spell via Arcane Heritage, pick up that talent's Champion feat, deal the equivalent of 20d10 damage, 30d10 if you crit (actually it's 10d10 x2, 10d10 x3 on a crit, but you get the idea Wink).
Except a wizard with High Arcana can do that by just memorizing Fireball and casting it twice, without having to spend two feats to do it. Razz

Quote :
When you compare at-wills to at-wills the Sorcerer only barely ekes out 33% ~ 67% of the time due to Gather Power's "side effect", but once you bring out the limited, that's where the Sorcerer's firepower gets really scary.  With 18 CHA and Gather Power, Lightning Fork easily cranks out 14 ~ 44 damage (average: 29 damage), half damage on a miss in one shot.  That's basically Acid Arrow, but with a 50% chance of hitting multiple targets *and* you can use it multiple times over the course of the day!
OK, I'm willing to have another look at the maths. It's possible the sorcerer does come out a bit ahead if he's smart about what he empowers.

Quote :
it's like complaining that you're not happy that the D&D 4E Minotaur is pigeonholed into playing a charge-centric class, when in casual games it's perfectly acceptable to play a Cunning Sneak Rogue Minotaur.
Well, I complained about that, too. But at least the 4e minotaur gets other racial features that work no matter his class (plus rogues can be built as chargers quite easily anyway). If I want to play a 13th Age half-elf barbarian, I'd be better off using the human racial mechanics and just saying my character is a-bit-less-than-half-elven and so counts as a human with pointy ears.

Rob Heinsoo wrote:
We put the Undead Remnant Heritage epic feat into the game to make fun of the people we play with who will do just about anything to get a +1 attack bonus. If your group is less obsessed with math and more interested in story, you'll want to load this feat with all manner of "I see dead people" storylines, Lich King complications, and obligatory quests into the over- and underworld realm of the ghost dragons.
Mad

Yeah, I tried to ignore that bit, because it strikes me as pretty unprofessional to mock your customers just because their preferred playstyle is slightly different to yours. Some people care about mechanics. That doesn't mean they don't care about the story or are bad roleplayers. It's not bad roleplaying or insult-worthy to want your character to get a +1 to hit. In fact, it'd be a bit strange for a player to say that his character didn't want to get better at hitting things.

I just don't get this "Caring about the maths is badwrongfun!" attitude that infests the TTRPG community. No

Quote :
you're [an] exceptional [half-orc/half-elf] for your race, but in spite of that ability born within you, you chose to take the harder path.
Except the book explicitly says that lots of barbarians, clerics and paladins are half-elves. Yet their racial power does nothing for those classes. Sorry, but it just seems like sloppy design to me.

Quote :
Having said that, Half-Orcs can still use their Lethal ability when they're hampered, so it's an effective backup.
Yeah, upon seeing how common 'hampered' is as a monster-inflicted condition, I'm actually OK with the half-orc racial power now. If I was GMing, I think I'd still allow Lethal to apply to close-quarters spells, though.

Quote :
Half-Elf Barbarians might not get as much mileage for Surprising by themselves, but the Champion feat does allow them to boost the mileage of their bard, fighter, ranger and/or sorcerer companions.
And if I didn't understand the concept of sunk costs, that might look like a good option. Wink

I think what I'll do if I GM 13th Age is allow Surprising to apply to an ally's roll even without the feat (the feat still gives an extra use per battle). That makes the half-elf a sort of 'leader' race that can get the best out of its allies, which seems to fit the flavour of the race.

Look, I really like ~95% of 13th Age. But, just like D&D4e, the few bits that do annoy me actually annoy me more precisely because the rest of the system is so awesome. Luckily, the few flaws I've found (so far) are minor enough to be easily houseruled away.

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PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:29 pm

Duskweaver wrote:
chaosfang wrote:
Take a Wizard's Fireball spell via Arcane Heritage, pick up that talent's Champion feat, deal the equivalent of 20d10 damage, 30d10 if you crit (actually it's 10d10 x2, 10d10 x3 on a crit, but you get the idea Wink).
Except a wizard with High Arcana can do that by just memorizing Fireball and casting it twice, without having to spend two feats to do it. Razz
True, but you had to spend two actions, take a class talent, and you still didn't get the benefit of Gather Power (+1 to at least one defense, damage to nearby staggered foes, or damage to one nearby foe).

Duskweaver wrote:
chaosfang wrote:
When you compare at-wills to at-wills the Sorcerer only barely ekes out 33% ~ 67% of the time due to Gather Power's "side effect", but once you bring out the limited, that's where the Sorcerer's firepower gets really scary.  With 18 CHA and Gather Power, Lightning Fork easily cranks out 14 ~ 44 damage (average: 29 damage), half damage on a miss in one shot.  That's basically Acid Arrow, but with a 50% chance of hitting multiple targets *and* you can use it multiple times over the course of the day!
OK, I'm willing to have another look at the maths. It's possible the sorcerer does come out a bit ahead if he's smart about what he empowers.
He does, especially with the right class talent combinations.

Duskweaver wrote:
chaosfang wrote:
it's like complaining that you're not happy that the D&D 4E Minotaur is pigeonholed into playing a charge-centric class, when in casual games it's perfectly acceptable to play a Cunning Sneak Rogue Minotaur.
Well, I complained about that, too. But at least the 4e minotaur gets other racial features that work no matter his class (plus rogues can be built as chargers quite easily anyway). If I want to play a 13th Age half-elf barbarian, I'd be better off using the human racial mechanics and just saying my character is a-bit-less-than-half-elven and so counts as a human with pointy ears.
And that works completely fine! Smile

Duskweaver wrote:
Rob Heinsoo wrote:
We put the Undead Remnant Heritage epic feat into the game to make fun of the people we play with who will do just about anything to get a +1 attack bonus. If your group is less obsessed with math and more interested in story, you'll want to load this feat with all manner of "I see dead people" storylines, Lich King complications, and obligatory quests into the over- and underworld realm of the ghost dragons.
Mad

Yeah, I tried to ignore that bit, because it strikes me as pretty unprofessional to mock your customers just because their preferred playstyle is slightly different to yours. Some people care about mechanics. That doesn't mean they don't care about the story or are bad roleplayers. It's not bad roleplaying or insult-worthy to want your character to get a +1 to hit. In fact, it'd be a bit strange for a player to say that his character didn't want to get better at hitting things.

I just don't get this "Caring about the maths is badwrongfun!" attitude that infests the TTRPG community. No
The point is that the game is already balanced at the offset, and that there are so many other game elements that already take the math into consideration; heck, even with an 8 on your primary stat, the Escalation Die alone gives you the equivalent boost of having an 18 on your stat (what more if you had a 14 or 16 on your primary stat?), and with improvisation allowing you to perform various actions that could include dealing damage, it's even harder in 13th Age to be gimped than in D&D 4E. Then there's the fact that magic items aren't included in the character math, which means that an 8 STR Barbarian with a +3 weapon could still hit enemies reasonably well at epic tier.

The mocking is done because some people have become so fixated in the math, rather than using math to better mechanically portray character concepts; If you're the sniper that's willing to give up a hand and an eye to become the best sniper, then the feat and talent are appropriate and even flavorful, as you'd be willing to basically sell your soul to the lich king for such a benefit... But if you simply looked at all the system and said to yourself, "how do I get the most damage out of the game?", then that's what the devs are poking fun at.

Duskweaver wrote:
chaosfang wrote:
you're [an] exceptional [half-orc/half-elf] for your race, but in spite of that ability born within you, you chose to take the harder path.
Except the book explicitly says that lots of barbarians, clerics and paladins are half-elves. Yet their racial power does nothing for those classes. Sorry, but it just seems like sloppy design to me.
The book also explicitly says that only exceptional characters (PCs) get racial powers: not all Eladrin/High Elves can teleport, not all Humans can move quicker in a fight or have a free feat [monsters don't have feats after all], not all Gnomes can cast illusions. In effect, racial powers are aren't inherent to a race as a whole, but rather the natural bonuses for exceptional characters from the race. So racial powers are best treated as PC bonuses, not inherent to the race as a whole.

[ See page 64. ]


Duskweaver wrote:
Look, I really like ~95% of 13th Age. But, just like D&D4e, the few bits that do annoy me actually annoy me more precisely because the rest of the system is so awesome. Luckily, the few flaws I've found (so far) are minor enough to be easily houseruled away.
Not a problem Smile
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PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Mon Aug 19, 2013 7:52 pm

Arguments over rules heavy, and rules light systems will always be there. Personally I like a good mix. I like a system that has enough rules that I don't feel like I have to constantly make stuff up. But not so many rules that I'm constantly looking things up in books. Few RPGs can do this all that well.

For me 4e, 13th Age, and Legend of the Five Rings are some of the closest to this that I've found.

Though I have to say one of my biggest problems with 4e was the separations of fluff and mechanics.

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PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Tue Aug 20, 2013 4:00 am

The rest of my group are going to have a look through my 13th Age book tonight before we get down to our regular 4e mayhem. If they like the look of it as much as I do, we'll probably be running a short 13th Age adventure over the winter.

Assuming all goes well, I'll be making some new monsters for that adventure between now and then. I may post them here for comments. It looks like building monsters for 13th Age is even easier than for 4e, but I do have a track record of making monsters really annoyingly tough (note to self: weakening auras aren't fun for the players), so having you guys check them over seems like a good idea.

Speaking of 13th Age monsters, I really like the idea of medusas being basically scaly green elves with an anarchist streak rather than the ugly mafia boss that is the D&D medusa.

And does that gnome girl on page 68 have hooves? Yowzers I'm seriously considering reflavouring gnomes as fauns now.

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PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:32 am

Duskweaver wrote:
The rest of my group are going to have a look through my 13th Age book tonight before we get down to our regular 4e mayhem. If they like the look of it as much as I do, we'll probably be running a short 13th Age adventure over the winter.

Assuming all goes well, I'll be making some new monsters for that adventure between now and then. I may post them here for comments. It looks like building monsters for 13th Age is even easier than for 4e, but I do have a track record of making monsters really annoyingly tough (note to self: weakening auras aren't fun for the players), so having you guys check them over seems like a good idea.

Speaking of 13th Age monsters, I really like the idea of medusas being basically scaly green elves with an anarchist streak rather than the ugly mafia boss that is the D&D medusa.

And does that gnome girl on page 68 have hooves? :mearls:I'm seriously considering reflavouring gnomes as fauns now.
I think the gnome girl has cloth shoes, but hooved gnomes work just as well Smile

I've been playing with mostly DIY monsters in 13th Age, and they're really easy to do without having to rely on a spreadsheet program. In fact, pages 317-320 combined with pages 199-203 and pages 252-255 -- or better yet, just get the free 2-page "GM Aid" from Pelgrane Press' download site -- should help you create lots of DIY monsters on the fly Smile I'd be more worried about Fear, Stun and last gasp save effects than Weakened, given how those conditions work in 13th Age Smile

I'd be happy to help you with monster creation Smile
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PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:01 am

We built some 13th Age characters last night, since our 4e campaign has come to a good place to pause it for a bit. I'll be out of the country for a while, so we won't actually be starting the 13th Age adventure until November at the earliest.

We were all really impressed by how quick character creation is in this system, but even more so by how uniques, icon relationships and backgrounds work together to create the beginnings of a storyline idea. Rather than coming up with a ragtag bunch of misfits, we actually ended up with characters who had genuine reasons to be adventuring together.

The High Elf Ranger

Erik isn't his real name, but what the halflings used to call him because they couldn't be bothered with trying to pronounce his real elven name. He used to be a gentleman farmer on the borders of the Queen's Wood near the halfling town of Burrow. He grew good turnips, although the natural magic of the area meant he occasionally had to ride quite far to bring back the ones that wandered away from the rest of his flock.

His bucolic existence was shattered when the Priestess sent her agents to aquire his farm. Apparently there is a magical portal to the realm of the gods buried deep beneath Erik's land. Maybe that's why his turnips were so frisky? Now, Erik did receive what the Priestess' agents considered fair market value for his land, but he wasn't happy. He was even less happy when he found out about the portal - surely that would have made the land much more valuable! Being kind of an arrogant bastard when you get right down to it, Erik stormed into the Court of Stars and demanded that the Elf Queen personally intercede on his behalf.

That went about as well as you would expect.

Exiled from his homeland, Erik soon ran into an itinerant gnome bard who taught him how to play the harmonica in an annoyingly self-pitying manner (though it at least reduces the verbal whining about how badly the Priestess shafted him). More importantly, the gnome (who is a servant of the Great Gold Wyrm) had heard of some really good farming land (just perfect for turnips and other root vegetables) on an island off Throne Point. Might need to clear away some brush first, though. And possibly a living dungeon or two. But the Great Gold Wyrm (who is far more reliable than that cheating *expletive* the Priestess) will totally help us out, man!

Erik wields a sharpened spade in combat (heavy 2-handed melee). When he's not hurling turnips (light thrown) at his foes, that is. He also has a loyal pet - a strange sort of talking bat-winged hedgehog-thing that may have been mutated by the same magic that caused Erik's prizewinning turnips to wander around. He also has a bit of magic in his blood from farming on the magical equivalent of Chernobyl for decades.

He has a 1-point negative relationship with the Priestess, a 1-point conflicted relationship with the Elf Queen (he remains a staunch royalist even in his exile, and she was really more amused with him than genuinely angry - our Elf Queen's actually a pretty cool hippy-chick), and a 1-point positive relationship with the Great Gold Wyrm (according to the bard, the Wyrm's promised Erik new lands where he can grow really exceptional turnips - what more could an exiled gentleman farmer want out of an icon relationship?)

The Gnome Bard

Twigwich Goldbough used to travel the road between Proudfort and New Port, bringing supplies and trading goods to the Imperial garrison. He was at Proudfort two years ago when the dragons attacked. As far as he knows, Twigwich was the only survivor, and he's still pretty traumatised by the experience.

He spent months wandering aimlessly, living off the money he could make in inns and taverns, telling the tale of the Fall of Proudfort. Over time, he began to realise that the voices in his head weren't the accusing cries of the Proudfort garrison demanding he tell their tale over and over to make up for living when they had died so bravely. They were the whispers of the trees, the murmurs of the stars and the songs of the stones. The whole world is alive, and everything in it has its own story to tell. And through those many, many voices, one voice is particularly strong in Twigwich's soul: the deep thrumming bass of the Great Gold Wyrm, who speaks to the bard from deep within the Abyss.

The Wyrm told Twigwich to go to the Elf Queen's court, where he would see a man in need of his aid and guidance, a man the Wyrm has great plans for. When that high elf farmer burst in raving about the Priestess and a magic portal and something about being cheated out of his land, Twigwich knew that must be the one. "Arrogant bastard with an inflated sense of his own importance": check. "Unhealthy obsession with root vegetables": check. "Needs to be guided to the Promised Land": check. Yep, this must be the guy the Wyrm was talking about. There was a lot of other stuff, but Twigwich didn't understand most of it. He's sure he'll know what he needs to do when the time comes, though. The voices in his head will tell him.

Twigwich has 1-point positive relationships with the Wyrm and the Emperor, and a 1-point negative relationship with the Three. He fights with a curved rapier and a dagger (his player specifically wanted "the classic Grey Mouser style").

The Aasimar Paladin

Clarity always thought she was just a normal human girl. But the dreams started coming more and more often - the ones where she was flying high above the clouds, carrying messages for... someone... and sometimes wielding a glowing spear of pure sunlight and fighting against... something dark and horrible. And eventually it wasn't just her little cousin Joofy (who everyone always said had been dropped on his head one too many times) who started seeing that strange glow around her head and hands when she got angry about something (like that time she caught the Yoshi twins tormenting a puppy). The local priest always seemed a bit scared of her. And then she walked in on him with the Katos' youngest daughter. Clarity was too young to know what was going on, but she knew it was wrong. But nobody believed her, and the Kato girl couldn't speak up - had never been able to speak at all after that fever when the wind blew out of the Red Wastes and nearly everybody in the village got sick.

So Clarity left her village. The priest had made it pretty clear she'd be dead soon otherwise. She heard a couple of years later that the Kato girl finally stuck a knife in the old priest's eye and then ran away herself. But Clarity has never felt the need to go back. She traveled west to the ruins of the Golden Citadel, where she met up with a band of crusading paladins sworn to the Order of the Gold Wyrm. She had never held a weapon before, but ancient memories stirred within her soul when she took up the naginata of a fallen paladin. Anointed on the field of battle, in the shadow of the Citadel's great golden dome, Clarity is the youngest sworn sister recorded in the rolls of the Order.

The Great Gold Wyrm does not speak to Clarity in words, yet she feels a tug at her heart whenever he wishes her to go somewhere to act in his name. She was too late to intervene in the Fall of Proudfort, but she now realises that even that was part of the Wyrm's plan, for she was not yet strong enough to make a difference. It was a lesson in the foolishness of pride. She will be the Wyrm's weapon of righteousness against the Three, but the time is not yet right. For now, her heart tells her to follow this single solitary survivor of the massacre: a strange gnome who seems to hear what Clarity herself cannot. Can it be that this gnome is the Great Gold Wyrm's mortal Champion in this Age? Or, even more bizarrely, is it this arrogant high elf that accompanies the gnome on his travels?

Clarity has a 1-point positive relationship with the Great Gold Wyrm, a 1-point negative relationship with the Three, and a 1-point conflicted relationship with the Priestess. She is sure the Priestess is, at heart, a good woman, but she also holds her responsible for the corruption that infects the Cathedral hierarchy, and for the perverted wickedness of her own village priest.

She wields a naginata (martial 2-handed), carries a yumi (an asymetrical longbow) and wears lamellar armour. Yes, paladins of the Order of the Gold Wyrm are samurai in our game. She is trained in magical healing (Lay on Hands, Cleric Training: Cure Wounds) and has incredible resistance to pain, but possibly also a bit of a martyr complex (Bastion).

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Duskweaver
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Class: Invoker
Race: Eladrin

PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Sat Aug 24, 2013 11:55 am

We've also decided to riff off that picture of the gnome-girl-who-may-or-may-not-have-hooves and say that all gnomes have some sort of 'fairytale' (often animalistic) feature to them, such as rabbit ears, or a fox's tail, or webbed fingers and toes, or bug eyes and antennae, or leaves and flowers in the hair, or generally looking like they belong in Changeling: The Lost.

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Duskweaver
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Name: Duskweaver
Class: Invoker
Race: Eladrin

PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:02 am

This is my first DIY monster. Please let me know if it seems too tough/weak/boring/otherwise unsuitable.

She will likely turn up as an NPC representative of the Crusader, offering aid in return for something morally questionable. None of the PCs have a relationship with the Crusader, but he's listed as an enemy of the Priestess, whom two of the PCs have reasons to dislike, as well as sort of theoretically being on the same side as the Great Gold Wyrm (i.e. "Smash the demons!") and bowing the knee to the Emperor. I reckon an agent of the Crusader would make a good '5' on a relationship roll with any of those three icons.

But, assuming my players want to be able to call themselves heroes, they will probably come into conflict with her at some point, either because they refuse to follow her morally questionable orders or because she ceases to find them useful. So she needs some stats.

I've no idea what 13 True Ways will do with devils, but in my campaign they're what the Crusader turns demons into when he binds them to his service. Erinyes are the ones he uses when he wants to send a message (particularly when that message is "Cross me and you get incinerated!") or when he wants a loyal bloodhound who will track down a target and drag them back to First Triumph in chains.

I'd like to give her some special ability to represent her nigh-unstoppable 'determinator' nature. Any ideas?


ERINYES

This statuesque redhead wears a stylish suit of black half-plate that hides her crimson-feathered wings. Consequently, she could pass as just another of the Crusader’s paladins. Well, except for the smell of sulphur and the eyes that glow red when she’s angry. Why did you have to make her angry?

Double-strength 3rd level wrecker [DEVIL]
Initiative: +10

Flaming longsword +9 vs. AC (2 attacks) – 10 damage.
Natural even hit or miss: The target also takes 5 ongoing fire damage.

R: Flaming longbow +9 vs. AC (2 attacks) – 10 damage.
Natural even hit or miss: The target also takes 5 ongoing fire damage.

Inescapable huntress: When making an attack roll against an enemy that disengaged from her since the end of her last turn, the erinyes rolls twice and uses the highest roll.

Flight: The erinyes only reveals her wings when she needs to fly in order to hunt down those she’s been tasked with bringing to ‘justice’. Or in the unlikely circumstance that she needs to flee a battle that isn’t going well. The mission always comes first.

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

AC 19
PD 14 HP 80
MD 16

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Felorn Gloryaxe
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PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Mon Aug 26, 2013 6:21 pm

Man. You gotta love those simple stat blocks. Smile 

Really that was one of the biggest turnoffs about 3e and most d20 games.

Looks good to me though. Is the critter/NPC based off anything? It sounds familiar.

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chaosfang
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PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Tue Aug 27, 2013 12:56 am

It looks balanced enough, and will likely work as written. Here's a suggested set of nastier specials:

Hell's Wrath
Every d20 that misses, including the lower reroll of inescapable huntress deals fire damage equal to the escalation die.

We're Not Done Yet
Whenever Erinyes is reduced to zero hit points or lower, roll a normal save (easy save if at least one enemy has attempted to disengage from her before the start of her next turn). On a success, she regains 20 hit points at the start of her next turn. The first time she fails this save, she gains only 10 hit points at the start of her turn, and cannot use this ability until the end of a daily heal-up.
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Duskweaver
0th-Level Adventurer
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Posts : 64
Join date : 2013-06-14
Age : 35
Location : Et In Arcadia Ego

Character sheet
Name: Duskweaver
Class: Invoker
Race: Eladrin

PostSubject: Re: My 13th Age campaign and new monsters for critique (was "OK, so... Sorcerers...")   Tue Aug 27, 2013 3:49 am

I should probably point out that 'Erinyes' is not her actual name. I haven't come up with a name for this particular individual yet. She's an erinyes. If the PCs annoy the Crusader too much, they might well end up with a whole squad of erinyes hunting them. Smile

Felorn Gloryaxe wrote:
Man. You gotta love those simple stat blocks.
Yeah. That was the single biggest improvement D&D 4e made over 3.X IMO, and 13th Age takes it even further.

What I especially like about 13th Age monsters is the randomised nature of their secondary attacks (i.e. "on a natural 16+ it also does XYZ"). You don't have to faff about with tracking encounter powers and recharge powers. I actually stopped giving my own 4e monsters recharge powers because I literally never remembered to make the frikkin' recharge rolls! I now use "X times per encounter" instead and adapt pre-made monsters accordingly.
 
Quote :
Looks good to me though. Is the critter/NPC based off anything? It sounds familiar.
Yes:
 
Except this particular erinyes actually wears proper armour, partly because the "female monsters are all hot semi-naked chicks" thing is a bit silly and juvenile, but mostly because she's masquerading as a human paladin and therefore needs to at least pretend that she gets some sort of protection out of wearing large plates of steel.

chaosfang wrote:
It looks balanced enough, and will likely work as written.  Here's a suggested set of nastier specials:
I like "We're Not Done Yet". I think I'll use that one. Thanks for the help! Very Happy

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