13th Age at Origins 2014Many thanks to our GM team and all the players who attended our games at Origins this year. We sold out of all of our games, and even squeezed in some walk-ups in the scheduled games. Kendall Jung did an amazing job of managing our play events at the show. Onward to Gen Con!

Free RPG Day

Make Your Own Luck, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan’s prequel to the upcoming Eyes of the Stone Thief campaign, is our contribution to this year’s Free RPG Day — you can get it on Saturday, June 21 at your nearest participating game retailer. We’ve heard that some stores are giving GMs their copies in advance so they can run the adventure on the day of release, so you might want to ring up your local store and see if they’ve scheduled a play event.

(Because some folks have asked: Free RPG Day is a retailer-sponsored event created to support game stores, so we’re not giving away PDF copies of the game.)

Make Your Own Luck: Live Play Crossover Event!

In much the same way that Nick Fury assembled the Avengers, for Free RPG Day we’ve assembled a team of players to play Make Your Own Luck via Google Hangout and Roll20 on Saturday, June 21st at 3:00 PM EST / noon Pacific:

Join us live on Aaron’s YouTube channel on Saturday, and watch the mayhem unfold.

Upcoming Adventures

Domain of the Dwarf King will go live soon. At Rob Heinsoo’s request it features a dwarf centipede. (I guess I know what Dutch horror movie Rob watched last night.)

Domain of the Dwarf King concludes the Orc War trilogy, and will see the final defeat of General Gul. Or not — that’s up to the adventurers.

The next big Organized Play installment after Domain of the Dwarf King is the first of our champion-tier games: Escape from the Diabolist’s Dungeon!

State of Play

We’e now up to 1186 GMs running Tales of the 13th Age worldwide, on every continent except Antarctica. If you know anybody in an Antarctic research station who wants a copy of 13th Age let us know!

by Rob Heinsoo

Orc TileWhen I read the fun Wrath of the Orc Lord organized-play adventure written by ALL CAPS MAN, aka ASH LAW, I decided I’d want another orc variety or two if I was running the adventure myself. For those keeping pace with the 13th Age OP seasons, Wrath of the Orc Lord is just about over. But I suspect a lot of groups will still be experiencing Wrath and (not-really-a-spoiler-alert) ASH says that the Domain of the Dwarf King adventure coming up in a few weeks also features orcs.

So here’s a new 3rd level orc mook that can sub in for 3rd level Cave Orc mooks or used any other way you like.

My thought process designing the monster went like this:

  1. I’ve got some nice orc minis with spears and shields.
  2. What’s an interesting reason orcs would be fighting with spears?
  3. To keep them at a distance from their foes, so that they wouldn’t lapse into bestial bloodlust, throw away their weapons, and fight with their bare hands and teeth.
  4. OK, so the Orc Lord equips these savage grunts with spears and cheap shields because they do fight better with weapons, but when they lose control or things go badly for them they throw away their weapons and shields and revert to scavenger behavior. So they’re not even trained in throwing spears, and the spears are probably deliberately badly-balanced for throwing.
  5. Looks like two different stat blocks, one for fighting with weapons, one for when the Orc Lord’s discipline has been shattered and they’re fighting tooth and claw.

The results follow. Start battles using the orc spear grunt, which are tougher than most other mooks. Their bestial reversion ability means they might turn into savage grunts midway through the battle.

The savage grunts have a strange ability which is me messing around a bit: their feral aversion ability kicks in whenever they start their turn engaged with a non-staggered enemy, you roll a die and you don’t know if the orc is going to use that die roll to attack (standard action) or disengage (move action).

Orc Spear Grunt

3rd level mook [humanoid]

Initiative: +5

Spear +8 vs. AC—7 damage

Mob of seven: The maximum size of a mob of orc spear grunts is 7 mooks. When you include more than seven orc spear grunts in a battle, use another mob.

Bestial reversion: When an orc spear grunt’s attack drops an enemy to 0 hp or below, or when one or more orc spear grunts drops, roll a single normal save for the orc spear grunt mob, with a bonus to the roll equal to the number of remaining mooks in the mob (for example, 4 mooks left = +4). If the save fails, all the remaining mooks in the mob cast away their weapons and shields and become savage grunts until the end of the battle (use that stat block instead).

AC   20

PD    16                 HP 13 (mook)

MD  12

Mook: Kill one orc spear grunt for every 13 damage you deal to the mob.

 

Savage Grunt

3rd level mook [humanoid]

Initiative: +5

Claw and teeth +6 vs. AC—5 damage

Feral aversion: When a savage grunt is engaged with a non-staggered target at the start of its turn, roll a d20 that will become either an attack roll or a disengage check!

On a natural even roll, the grunt uses the roll as a claws and teeth attack.

On a natural odd roll, the grunt uses that roll as disengage check that may or may not succeed. If the grunt disengages, it will move to engage and attack a staggered enemy, if possible. If the grunt doesn’t disengage, it will stay and fight.

AC   17

PD    15                 HP 10 (mook)

MD  12

Mook: Kill one savage grunt for every 10 damage you deal to the mob.

 

13th Age answers the question, “What if Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet, lead designers of the 3rd and 4th editions of the World’s Oldest RPG, had free rein to make the d20-rolling game they most wanted to play?” Create truly unique characters with rich backgrounds, prepare adventures in minutes, easily build your own custom monsters, and enjoy fast, freewheeling battles full of unexpected twists. Purchase 13th Age in print and PDF at the Pelgrane Shop.

Pelgrane Press will be at Origins Game Fair on June 11-14, running the following 4-hour games in the Hyatt Regency Ballroom. You can find a master spreadsheet at http://originsgamefair.com/events/games/. Hope to see you there!

Event Number Event Name Event Start Date/Time Game Master
7011 13th Age – Omenquest Thu 10:00 AM Jacob Wachtman
6981 13th Age – Caverns & Cave-Creepers Thu 6:00 PM Kendall Jung
6982 13th Age – The Folding of Screamhaunt Castle Fri 10:00 AM Jacob Wachtman
6984 13th Age – Omenquest Fri 2:00 PM Kendall Jung
6985 13th Age – Caverns & Cave-Creepers Sat 10:00 AM Jacob Wachtman
6986 13th Age – Omenquest Sat 11:00 AM Randy White
6988 13th Age – Fungaloid Infection Sat 2:00 PM Kendall Jung
6989 13th Age – The Folding of Screamhaunt Castle Sat 4:00 PM Randy White
6990 Trail of Cthulhu – Voices from the Other Side Sat 4:00 PM Rob Bush
6991 13th Age – Danger at Deathless Gulch Sun 10:00 AM Jacob Wachtman
6992 13th Age – Caverns & Cave-Creepers Sun 11:00 AM Randy White

by Wade Rockett

13th Age OP graph May 2014I’ll start this update by sharing a graph that ASH made, showing what almost a year of 13th Age Organized Play looks like in terms of GMs and sign-ups — click the image on the right to see it more clearly. The initial bump and flatish-line represents our pre-launch OP announcement. Once we went live we saw the numbers really start to go up.

I was going to use the rest of this post to list all 21 Gen Con games we’d scheduled, but THEY ALL SOLD OUT IN A HALF HOUR. Which is wonderful and amazing, because there was always the terrifying possibility that we’d underestimated demand for play and would end up struggling to fill our events. But the enthusiasm and support for 13th Age is greater than ever.

The good news for you is that we received a lot of GM applications after the deadline, so  expect to see a second wave of 13th Age games added to the schedule. We’ll let you know as soon as they go live.

13th Age Seminars at Gen Con: GM advice, design workshops & more

But maybe you’re interested in becoming a better 13th Age GM, or learning how to design adventures and monsters for the game? You’re in luck! We’re offering four seminars at Gen Con:

13th Age Adventure Design
Date & Time: Thursday at 1:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza : Pennsylvania Stn C
The freeform story rules in 13th Age require a different approach to adventure design. We’ll talk about how to design with icons, backgrounds, uniques and more, and answer your questions.

13th Age GM Roundtable
Date & Time: Friday at 3:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza: Grand Central D
Rob Heinsoo, Mike Shea, Ruth Tillman and Wade Rockett share their advice on how to run 13th Age, from handling icon rolls to collaborative world building and beyond. Got questions? Bring ‘em!

13th Age: Year One
Date & Time: Saturday at 3:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza: Victoria Stn A/B
13th Age debuted one year ago at Gen Con! Join Rob Heinsoo, Simon Rogers and Wade Rockett as they talk about where the game is now, share what’s coming next and answer your burning questions.

13th Age Monster Workshop
Date & Time: Sunday at 2:00 PM
Duration: 1 hours
Location: Crowne Plaza: Pennsylvania Stn C
Join 13th Age designers as they build a new monster that’ll take advantage of the game’s mechanics to deliver all sorts of nasty surprises at the table.

…also, check out Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff Live on Friday at 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM at the Crowne Plaza : Victoria Stn C/D

13th Age at Origins

We’re also running games at Origins Game Fair  June 11-15 —  download the Origins event grid.

Elf Queen SketchBy ASH LAW

Our latest adventure is out: The Elf Queen’s Enchantment.

In this adventure the elves answer the call of the Dwarf King, marching west to aid in defeating the renegade orc warlord General Gul. The adventurers are called upon to act as wayfinders for the elven forces, being dropped ahead of the army by eagle riders to clear the way.

GMs: If you’re a Tales of the 13th Age GM, check your email to download The Elf Queen’s Enchantment. If you’re not in the program, sign up here!

Players: This 4th level adventure takes place simultaneously with Wrath of the Orc Lord and Domain of the Dwarf King, and intersects with those. Unless you have a character who has a compelling One Unique Thing that lets them be in more than one place at once you should play a different 4th level character than the one you used for Wrath of the Orc Lord.

Other News

Award time
As you have probably heard, 13th Age has been nominated for an Origins Award for best RPG!

Maps!
The maps from the current adventure and a lot of maps from the previous adventures can be found here.

GM of the Month
We asked our organized play GMs who deserves to win GM of the Month for the 2nd level adventures…

Who deserves to win GM of the Month for Wyrd of the Wild Wood?

You answered: Aaron Roudabush

Who deserves to win GM of the Month for Quest in the Cathedral?

You answered: Aaron Roudabush

Who deserves to win GM of the Month for Shadow Port Shuffle?

You answered: Ben Roby and Sarah Miller

This will be the 2nd win for team Roby-Miller, as they also won for Crown of the Lich King. You can read about it on their blog.

Until next time, stay awesome!

 

Tales of the 13th Age is the free ongoing organized play program for the 13th Age roleplaying game. You can play it anywhere you like: at home, your local game store, the neighborhood tavern…wherever. Sign up here to join.

13th Age: The Lich KingTales of the 13th Age is Pelgrane Press’ free organized play program for 13th Age RPG. You can play it anywhere you like: at home, your local game store, the neighborhood tavern…wherever. 

Sign up to get an world-spanning epic that you can play as an ongoing campaign, or as standalone adventures:

  • 2nd Level
    • Crown of the Lich King
    • Wyrd of the Wild Wood
    • Quest in the Cathedral
    • Shadow Port Shuffle
  • 4th Level
    • Wrath of the Orc Lord
    • Elf Queen’s Enchantment
    • Domain of the Dwarf King
  • 6th Level (Upcoming)
    • Escape from the Diabolist’s Dungeon
    • The Crusader’s Fist
    • The Wyrm’s Tale

PLUS, shorter 3rd and 5th Level adventures including:

  • Fungaloid Infection
  • Folding of Screamhaunt Castle
  • Tower of the Ogre Mage
  • Three Hearts Over Glitterhaegen
  • Omenquest

Find a game near you

Each game of 13th Age is different, because the One Unique Things and backgrounds of the characters in separate groups will be different. These rules give players the ability to help to define the world: there is no standard, universal Dragon Empire.

Tales of the 13th Age lets players enjoy 13th Age games with a continuity of story that still leaves room for the freedom and flexibility that sets 13th Age apart.

You can run our organized play program anywhere you like: at a game store, a school, your local library, or even your own home.

Join the discussion in the forums

Sign up to GM!

Questions? Contact Ash Law, head of 13th Age organized play at ash.law@fireopalmedia.com

 

13th Age organized play is coming, which is exciting. And it presents a challenge: Knowing that people will bring different expectations and styles of play to the table, how do we ensure that everyone has fun? Designing fun-optimized materials is obviously a big part of that, but so is setting ground rules and expectations for the event.

Thus, the 13th Age Organized Play Anti-Harassment Policy.

Getting is right was important to us. Thankfully Anna Kreider (Thou Art But a WarriorGo Make Me a Sandwich and this excellent Page XX article on sexism in gaming) was available to help us draft it. Anna also provided valuable feedback and reality checks at every step.

Along with the core principles of 13th Age OP, we included a section to help GMs implement and enforce the policy.

This policy looks to the example of other convention and game company anti-harassment policies – most notably OH Nerd, CONvergence, KristaCon, Nerd NYC, Geek Feminism and Privateer Press.