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EXCITING BATTLES Epic Stories Two Books Compatible With 1E The Team Playtest & Kickstart

Exciting Battles

Revamped Class Powers (or, Hard Choices = Good Choices)

13th Age brings crunchy but streamlined d20-rolling combat to the table, where every character has their moment in the spotlight and no class gets left behind. For 2E we’ve revised almost every core class spell, power, and talent to give players a wide array of effective options to choose from.

(ROB SAYS: To put it another way, over time it was clear that players found some 1E class spells, powers, and talents much, much better than others, which narrowed their options to a few reliable standbys. We made those not-so-fun options fun.)

Revitalized Monsters

Monster powers trigger unpredictably during 13th Age combat, and that helps the GM have as much fun as the players! 13th Age 2E doubles down on that fun by revising our core monsters with diverse mechanics to challenge the heroes in surprising ways.

(ROB SAYS: We learned a lot about designing good monsters for 13th Age after we did the core book, so we’re going to make those monsters as awesome as the ones in the Bestiaries. For those who participated in the 2E playtest, the monsters you saw worked okay but we did a lot more work to make them better.)

Epic Stories, Dramatic Roleplaying, and Collaborative Worldbuilding

Your Character’s Backstory Shapes the Game

Whether you want heroic, over-the-top story arcs in your d20-rolling campaign or intense personal drama, 13th Age is for you. Every character has One Unique Thing that sets them apart from all others, and provides the raw materials for adventures and campaign arcs. Also, your character’s background provides a bonus to relevant skill checks so every skill roll might reveal a new facet of your story.

(ROB SAYS: It can be hard for new players to come up with effective Uniques and Backgrounds, so we added more and better examples.)

Your Character is Significant

13th Age 2E strengthens the game’s other major storytelling mechanic: icon connections that link the heroes to the world’s powerful magical archetypes, including the Emperor, Elf Queen, Prince of Shadows, and Great Gold Wyrm. Like Greek heroes and their complicated relationships with the gods, your connections provide both powerful narrative advantages and. . . .let’s say interesting consequences. New icon connection examples will help players and GMs improvise stories and add twists that feel perfect, even though no one will see them coming!

(ROB SAYS: Honestly, the icon rules as presented in 1E were indecipherable and harder to use than they should be. In 2E we’ve streamlined and clarified how those connections work narratively and mechanically, changed them so you roll for a “twist” after using the connection, and provided different techniques for using them: interacting with icon-aligned NPCs, flashbacks, channeling raw iconic power, getting help from icon-associated spirits, and so on.)

Two Books!

For the first edition we were determined to fit everything into a single core book, partly because we’re allergic to the not-uncommon business practice of releasing multiple unnecessary books just because people will buy them. As work on 2E progressed we became convinced we could best serve the game, and the needs of players and GMs, with two reasonably-sized books instead of one huge book.

Player’s Handbook

The 13th Age Second Edition Player’s Handbook will be around 240 pages, maybe more depending on layout. It will include character creation, a chapter on the kin, classes, backgrounds, the combat rules, icon connection rules, and detailed writeups of each of the icons to help players use their connections in fun ways that shape the story. Also there’s an option for using icon connections in combat, but just because it exists doesn’t mean it’s the best option. . . .

Gamemaster’s Guide

The 13th Age Second Edition Gamemaster’s Guide includes 160+ pages of campaign advice, rules for running the game, monsters, setting material for the Dragon Empire, treasure, and a new introductory adventure. The Kickstarter will offer the two books together in a slipcover.

Compatible with Earlier Books

Use What You’ve Got

Except for the original core book and the first edition GM Screen, books published for first edition 13th Age are entirely compatible with the revised rules, monsters, magic items, and classes in 13th Age 2E.

Mix and Match from Any Book

Run a new party through Elven Towers or the Eyes of the Stone Thief! Add a monk or necromancer from 13 True Ways to the party, or maybe a demonologist from Book of Demons! Then hit them with the Great Ghoul from 13th Age Bestiary 2. . . .

(ROB SAYS: This is all true. There are some changes to conditions that we think make them work better in the game, but they won’t dramatically change how monster abilities and PC powers, talents, and spells that use those conditions operate. We’ve revised true magic items so they get better and unlock new abilities as their wielders level up. Also, GMs might want to double-check the Building Battles sections in individual adventures to match the improved chart in 2E.)

The Original Team, Plus Fan Favorites


Lee Moyer and Aaron McConnell are collaborating on full color art for the new edition. (Check out the preliminary drow fighter sketch from Aaron—the final is in progress.) Lee’s already pulled off one stunt that none of us can remember seeing before (the GM Screen)! We’ll also be working with artists who have contributed wonderful bits in the first edition, including Simone Bannach and Rich Longmore.


Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet haven’t been arguing enough in the printed playtest documents yet, but their opinionated sidebars will surface again once it’s clear who gets the final word in the rules.

The Community

The Playtest

We received just under 200 playtest reports on the 2E Alpha Packet, a few of them between 15 and 30 pages long. This feedback has taken some time to digest and has been incredibly helpful! We’re going to do a shorter playtest window on the Beta Packet, which we’ll release during the crowdfunding campaign to backers and already-enrolled playtesters. We’ll focus our feedback requests on some of the newest elements, including the musically talented bard, the simmering barbarian, rushing rogues, overspill-effect sorcerers, and drastic dragons.

(ROB SAYS: These are clever [?] hints about the new musical focus of the bard; the barbarian’s new Simmering Rage talent; improvements to the rogue’s Rush class feature; a cool new effect when the sorcerer gathers power that replaces chaotic benefits; and evil new dragon abilities to make your players ask, “How do the Fleeing rules work again?”.)

The Crowdfunding

The Kickstarter campaign begins on May 7th and runs until June 6th. If you’re not already signed up for the playtest, back the Kickstarter to receive the Beta Playtest Packet. You can also get the 13th Age 2E Preview Document right now by subscribing to our newsletter using the form below!

Subscribe to our 13th Age 2E mailing list for updates and

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