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[Let's learn] 13th Age

Lord Shark

Validated User
Yeah, I think the druid is a little too complicated for its own good, but you can get a decent character if you're willing to work through all of that. I had a druid player who went Shapeshifter/Terrain Caster and he spent most of his fighting time in beast form, pulling out his terrain spells for big moments, and he was quite effective.


Formerly 'Raveled'
Validated User
I'm a big fan of the Druid, thigh I almost always playa Shifter Adept so maybe it's more true to say that I'm a big fan of F20 finally getting a good shapeshifting class. 13th Age handles shapeshifting in a fairly unique way that gets around a lot of the hacks and baggage that Wild Shale has carried around and it's just a fun way to play.


Validated User
Regeneration of 1 and 1 would be once per battle, and then in one of those battles, if you need to, you use it a second time.

I... do not love the Druid. I love what they tried, but it didn’t land for me. (I’ve played it a little and tried to build a few more.)

  • Too many of the talents are “Go Adept or Don’t Bother at All.”
  • Animal Companion: Cool, like the spells, but if I get this, I have one talent left to build a functional character, and that doesn’t work. Compare a Ranger with two talents in Animal Companion and a Druid with the same. How does the Druid possibly stand up?
  • Elemental Caster: some of the spells seem fun. Using feats to get At-Wills feels expensive, and the at-will spells, while decent, ain’t all that.
  • Shifter: Not my thing, but okay.
  • Terrain: Fiddly in a way that isn’t fun for me. I don’t feel like this and Elemental were worth splitting, and this kind of requirement, even with feats to avoid some of it, makes the character only really useful in certain areas, and I haaaaaaate that.
  • Warrior: Very much felt like this one is only worth it if you go Adept. Liked it as Adept, though.
  • Wild Healer: I gotta burn a talent for something that feels like what the party needs from me, and I’m only actually good at it if I burn two talents. Also, the spells are a pain, and force the whole party to do more work. If someone at the table is playing a simple character because they’re new, I’m forcing them to do “heal halfway and then heal halfway again and then save to continue,” which, based on experiences with new folks at my table, is optimistic. I’m fine taking that pain on myself. I’m not fine volunteering my party for it.
So: stretched too thin.

I would combine simplified versions of Elemental Caster, Terrain Caster, and Healer talents and make that the basic Druid. Let people figure out if they wanna be Punchy Druid, Shifty Druid, or Animal Buddy Druid.


Unbelievably Fancy Ostrich
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There's also the Outmaneuver tactic, which you can do as a quick action to try to get 1 command point when you start with 0. But I wonder if you'd be at 0 enough to justify using one of your slots for that. And maybe I'm just paying attention to it now in a way I didn't with the other classes, but it seems like there are several options where I wonder how often they will really come up, like tactics/commands that can only trigger when the escalation die is at a certain point, or the one where the escalation die becomes a d8 (so basically, it only helps in combats that go on 8+ rounds...how often will that happen?).
You'd be surprised. I'd say my table goes past six on the escalation site every other session, if not more.


Registered User
Validated User
I still want a chance to play a dwarforged druid (shifter adapt/ elementalist initiate) for the ability to turn into a fire breathing metal dinosaur.
Call them Grimlock...


Registered User
Validated User
Pretty fond of the build-your-own druid, though I'd be remiss to avoid mentioning that the druid in one of our games is only a druid on the character sheet: he's a forgeborn Shifter Adept/Warrior Acolyte, which is to say he's a clockwork warrior able to transform into catlike war and stealth forms something like an Arabian Nights version of a Transformers: Beast Wars character. Most any other version of druid wouldn't allow for that specific area of specialty, and he'd have had to have vine powers or something to go with it. So yeah, I'm a fan.

Civil Savage

Proud Lifetime Member
RPGnet Member
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Monks seem fun. I'm not expert in all the different incarnations of D&D and D&D-alikes, but this seems like a particularly viable version of monkdom.

I'm sure I haven't fully processed all the forms, so if anybody has observations or notes on them, bring 'em on - along with the usual general advice, stories, etc.

I do have two questions:
1) So the monk (alone?) gets +2 on two ability scores. That's...a surprise to me, I guess is the point. This doesn't seem like the kind of game that says "Oh, let's make this class singularly awesome in an area that is otherwise standard across all of them." Unless that's offsetting some inherent weakness in the class that I missed. So I guess my question is: huh?

2) Spinning Willow Style says this:
When a ranged attack or close-quarters attack that targets AC hits you, you can roll a normal save.
The first part ("a ranged attack or close-quarters attack") seems to be saying that it's not just ANY attack that targets AC. But...what attacks are being excluded? Aren't ranged and close-quarters all the attacks? Or what am I missing?

Lord Shark

Validated User
Monks get the extra bonus attribute because, like their 3E predecessors, they tend to be dependent on multiple attributes -- a monk wants good Strength (for damage), Dexterity (to hit), and Wisdom (for ki points), and probably decent Constitution (for HP) too. It's a 3E holdover I could have done without, but then I think the 4E monk is the best version.

13A attacks are either ranged, close-quarters, or melee, so Spinning Willow Style doesn't work on melee attacks. (Most close-quarters attacks are things like spells or breath weapons that are intended to be used at close range or while engaged, without drawing opportunity attacks -- what would be called "close attacks" in 4E.)
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Follower of the Way
Validated User
1. Yeah, the monk is unusual, but that's because it's the only class that depends clearly on 3 distinct stats. Strength, Dex, and Wis, with Con also being really nice to have. (Phoenix-touched monks swap Wis for Cha). I think another part, though, is that it's not just mechanical--the warrior-monk archetype is supposed to be definitely wise, and also definitely at least a little bit strong, and super light on her feet. Since the main mechanical way to do that is to let one stat affect stuff it normally doesn't, there's not a whole lot of difference between that and just letting the Monk pick two stats instead of three. It also does give the monk a neat little claim to fame, as it were--the only class getting more stats.

2. As noted, "close-quarters" usually means an area-of-effect ability that only works in (more or less) melee. The dragonic/dragonspawn's dragon breath attack works this way, and becomes properly AoE with a feat (hitting 1d3 opponents). C-Q spells and abilities do not draw attacks of opportunity, while ranged spells and attacks do. In some senses, C-Q is the halfway point between melee and ranged--it's more than just what you can reach with your hands, but it's still up-close-and-personal in ways "ranged" attacks aren't.

Also I adore the 13A monk. It's just...it really works super well. The Forms feel straightforward to use, and yet I never felt particularly confined--even at relatively low level where you only have a few of them.
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