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[Let's Read] 13th Age Bestiary

Nate_MI

Formerly 'Raveled'
Validated User
In imitation of the quite enjoyable quite enjoyable thread began by B Bira , and inspired by Civil Savage Civil Savage 's on-going mission to learn the 13th Age system, I've decided to take a look at the two extra Bestiaries published for this system by Pelgrane Press. Think of these as the Monster Manual v 2 and v 3; there aren't so many orcs and skeletons in here unless they're interesting and unusual orcs. Instead we're likely to get new monsters, new riffs on old monsters, and some catastrophes to build entire campaigns around. I don't think the Tarrasque is in here, but there are some cool dragons at least. I likely will not be covering the monsters from the core book unless Civil Savage Civil Savage gives the okay, because I don't want to step on anyone's toes.

What To Expect
I intend to get up two or three monsters every week. That should keep this thread going for... awhile. I'm going to be shying away from posting straight stats, as 13th Age is still a game actively being developed for and, frankly, I think these books are well worth your money. Hopefully we can still talk about why liches love basilisks and the care and feeding of your wendigo.

Some Things to Keep In Mind
A 13th Age monster stat block has much in common with a 4E monster's stat block, as one of the core designers of 4E is a lead designer for 13th Age. You're going to see notations like 4th Level Wrecker and 2nd Level Solo Striker so expect monsters with well-defined abilities and little in the way of out-of-combat stuff in their block. As well, it should be noted that 13th Age has a tight guideline for building combats.



My god, but I love that table.

Yeah, building fights in 13th Age is one of the easiest drag-and-drop experiences I've ever had in an RPG and I've never experienced a level of comfort and confidence when building fights in any other system. I could marry that table right there. Things to keep in mind is that Champion tier starts at lvl 5 and Epic tier starts at lvl 7 (13th Age classes only go up to lvl 10). So a lvl 3 Orc should give a good fight to a lvl 3 Fighter, but to provide a challenge to a lvl 5 Fighter I'd need to boost them up to lvl 4 and put two of them in the fight. And lastly...

Musing on Mooks
13th Age is the game of Superheroic Fantasy Adventure; Mooks are a special class of enemy that PCs are intended to mow through at increased speed. Mooks generally fight as a mob; that is to say that when 5 mook Skeletons attack, they move in a single five-person formation and their HP total is pooled for the group. Each skeleton gets its own attack (so 5 for the mob) but any damage done beyond what's needed to slay a single mook overflows and might kill additional targets! Say each skeleton has 15 HP; the mob of 5 has 75 HP. If Alice the Fighter does 37 pts of damage to the mob, she bashes 2 skeletons apart and the remaining 7 pts of damage is allocated to the next skeleton in line; that target only has 8 HP remaining.

Are we all on the same page? Are we all excited? I know I am.
 

NinjaPaladin

Member
Validated User
Yessss. I have used a lot of these creatures, reskinned, in my games. I love how the roll determines some of the monster’s special stuff, and I adore how easy it is to make new monsters.
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
Musing on Mooks
13th Age is the game of Superheroic Fantasy Adventure; Mooks are a special class of enemy that PCs are intended to mow through at increased speed. Mooks generally fight as a mob; that is to say that when 5 mook Skeletons attack, they move in a single five-person formation and their HP total is pooled for the group. Each skeleton gets its own attack (so 5 for the mob) but any damage done beyond what's needed to slay a single mook overflows and might kill additional targets! Say each skeleton has 15 HP; the mob of 5 has 75 HP. If Alice the Fighter does 37 pts of damage to the mob, she bashes 2 skeletons apart and the remaining 7 pts of damage is allocated to the next skeleton in line; that target only has 8 HP remaining.
This isn't clear to me as being true; they're certainly treated as one entity for damage purposes, but I'm pretty sure that the game even makes a comment about letting people temporarily dart around the battlefield or have other members of a mook squad surrender, faint or flee if need be to get their extra slopover on mooks, and that doesn't suggest its assumed they'll stay together (though some GMs may do so just to avoid some of the oddness). Since they roll separate attack rolls and don't typically operate in a categorical fashion different from other monsters other than their low hit points and the slopover, there's no overwhelming reason to do so.
 

AndrewTBP

You are Number 6
RPGnet Member
Validated User
I've never moved mooks as squads in my games. I might try it sometime when the mooks are formed troops, perhaps.
 

ESkemp

Registered User
Validated User
Yep, mook-slaying is full of stuff like "I cut down this guy, grab his javelin, and throw it at his friend over there attacking the wizard, killing his friend," and that's a lot of fun as well. It's fun in an Assassin's Creed game and it's fun here.
 

Bira

Registered User
Validated User
My understanding was that mooks act together with the same initiative, though they're not always necessarily in formation.

13th Age's combat uses abstract positioning by default, so it's possible for the mooks to be all in the same "area" even if they're not forming literal ranks, though. If they're further apart than that it might be interesting to treat them as separate groups of mooks.
 
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