[Let's learn] 13th Age

Civil Savage

Proud Lifetime Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
This is not really a where I read thread, though I will be rereading my way through the core rules (I've read them once) and probably most of 13 True Ways. (I also have the Bestiary, but haven't looked at it yet, and I might be persuaded to pick something else up.) But my purpose is not to summarize everything I read or necessarily comment on them (though I might do either)--rather I want to make sure I'm understanding the game so that someday I'll be able to run it with confidence. (And play with confidence if a good opportunity presents itself.)

Spoiler: Show

D&D was my first game, though honestly I've had surprisingly little experience with it. Once I started finding other games, they often held more interest for me. But I've kind of paid attention to the evolution of D&D, usually reading or at least skimming each new PHB if I can get my hands on it. But it always seemed too crunchy for me to want to get into, with too much baggage I didn't care for. I probably could have figured any given edition out enough to play if I'd had a tempting offer, but surely not to run.

My tastes generally tend to run more to PBTA and Forged in the Dark games, or other things with player crunch but less on the GM side.


Anyway, I have this crazy notion in my head for a someday game (probably run here on PBP), and it needs to have some rule heft to it. And then the thread about good games to read kept mentioning 13th Age, which I'd always been a little curious about, so that drew me in, and I took the plunge. So this thread will help me figure out if it can really work for me and my crazy idea.

So expect my questions, and maybe trying some stuff out to see how it works--definitely in fits and starts as I have time.

If you're also new or semi-new to the game, you can ask questions too!
If you know 13th Age, then I hope you'll help answer questions and point out things that might elude me.
 

Talisman

The Man of Talis
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Subscribed. I too have heard good things about 13A, but have zero personal experience with it. This should be educational. Or, dare I say it, edu-taining?
 

Baz King

Role + Play + Game
Validated User
I love 13th Age so much I’ve gone in and hacked apart the rules for my own version. You always hurt the ones you love.
 

Civil Savage

Proud Lifetime Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Chapter 1: Icons
(The introduction didn't raise any questions or need to comment from me.)

Chapter 1 is a little about the Icons and a page write-up for each. Icons are the most prominent/influential/powerful NPCs, and they kind of stand in for gods in most D&D style games and for factions in other kinds of games. I love the concept, and I find the particular ones included flavorful and appropriately iconic. I do wish the gender assignments were a little less obvious and conventional. I like the Priestess as a largely positive embodiment of conventional femininity, but it'd be nice to offset that with having at least one of the more power/war/authority focused icons be female. (Yeah, I know, there's 2/3 of the Three.) So I may need to do some gender switching for my version.

Questions: Any good online resources for the Icons? A relationship map? Tools for tracking their machinations? (Otherwise I can probably just adapt Faction clocks from Blades in the Dark.)

No doubt more to come when we get back to actual icon relationship mechanics.
 

AndrewTBP

You are Number 6
RPGnet Member
Validated User
The Icons in the book are for the Dragon Empire setting. Other settings have different Icons. There are Fallen Icons in Bestiary 2 and long lost Icons in Book of Ages.
I haven't needed any mechanics to track Icons.
 

Lysus

Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
Validated User
I have to say, the Bestiary is possibly the best book that's been written for 13th Age. It is chock full of interesting monsters with lots of ideas for how to bring them into a campaign along with ready-made adventure hooks. You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you skipped it. Here's hoping you enjoy it, as it's one of my favorite iterations of D&D.
 

hroc

New member
13th Age is my favourite game I've never played, so I'll be following along. I don't know whether this sort of thing is helpful to your process, but here's an article on the Pelgrane Press website presenting one interpretation of gender-switched icons. The Pelgrane site in general has some worthwhile articles for 13th Age, it might be worth checking it out if you haven't already (although I'm not sure they'd win any points for organising those articles).
 

Kath

The Furthest Away
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I do wish the gender assignments were a little less obvious and conventional. I like the Priestess as a largely positive embodiment of conventional femininity, but it'd be nice to offset that with having at least one of the more power/war/authority focused icons be female. (Yeah, I know, there's 2/3 of the Three.) So I may need to do some gender switching for my version.
I made the Crusader and the Emperor female in my game to address this. IIRC, almost all the canonically female icons can all be described as 'mysterious' in some way* and so the Crusader and Empress add some much-needed straightforward and martially powerful female icons.

One of the features of the icon system is that it's very flexible, and you can easily tweak icons or replace them with entirely new ones.

* Priestess, Diabolist, Elf Queen, blue (sorcery) definitely quality as mysterious/obscure, leaving perhaps the black (assassins) of the Three and the High Druid as 'straight talking' female icons.
 

Civil Savage

Proud Lifetime Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I have to say, the Bestiary is possibly the best book that's been written for 13th Age. It is chock full of interesting monsters with lots of ideas for how to bring them into a campaign along with ready-made adventure hooks. You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you skipped it. Here's hoping you enjoy it, as it's one of my favorite iterations of D&D.
I will definitely get to the bestiary, but thanks for the encouragement!
13th Age is my favourite game I've never played, so I'll be following along. I don't know whether this sort of thing is helpful to your process, but here's an article on the Pelgrane Press website presenting one interpretation of gender-switched icons. The Pelgrane site in general has some worthwhile articles for 13th Age, it might be worth checking it out if you haven't already (although I'm not sure they'd win any points for organising those articles).
Will check out that article, thanks.

And i did glance at the Pelgrane site & got frustrated at the chaos, so other recommendations of resources there are also useful.
 
Top Bottom