by Paul Fanning
Races, as well as Backgrounds and One Unique Things, are very rules-light in 13th Age. Heritage feats represent aspects of your character’s heredity and history that aren’t easily covered by these mechanics, or by existing classes. Heritage feats aren’t necessarily for all campaigns, or all characters. Players should consult with their GMs about whether these feats make sense at their tables.
Heritage feats add a layer of complexity and diversity to characters, increasing their non-class rules-focused options. For example:
- A player wants his dwarf Paladin to be a natural shield fighter, so he takes the Born for Battle feat and a couple of appropriate fighter maneuvers.
- Another player may wish for her One Unique Thing to carry a little mechanical/combat weight: her elven paladin’s blood will never be spilled until she faces the Abyss’ greatest demon, so she takes the Mythic Flesh feat.
- A third player wants his tiefling to be decidedly demonic, with wings and sharp pointy things all over the place. He could take Low Glide, Nature’s Arsenal, or a number of other options.
If you want your character to be more focused on what heritage feats provide, your GM may let your character take the Strong Heritage Talent instead of one of your class talents:
New Talent (Any Class)
STRONG HERITAGE: You gain two heritage or general feats.
Suggested Heritage feats
Heritage feats aren’t restricted by race, but some of them are especially well-suited for specific races and classes. Here are a few heritage feats a character of each race might want to take:
Human: Blood Echo, Born to Battle (any class)
Dwarf: Born to Battle (Fighter), Elemental Endurance (Fire or Thunder)
Dark Elf: Alien Mind, Fey Touch
High Elf: Alien Mind, Speaking Mind
Wood Elf: Otherworldy Strike, Purpose over Pain
Halfling: Born to Battle (Rogue), Fool’s Luck
Gnome: Critter, Fluid Identity
Half-Elf: Blood Echo (Human or any Elf), Born to Battle (Bard)
Half-Orc: Bestial Wrath, Will to War
Dragonic: Elemental Endurance, Nature’s Arsenal
Forgeborn: Mythic Flesh, Water Breather
Holy One: Celestial Touch, Low Glide
Tiefling: Elemental Endurance (Fire), Terrible Soul
With GM agreement, a character may take as many heritage feats as they have feats available. As in the 13th Age core rules, heritage feats appear in three tiers: adventurer feats, champion feats, and epic feats. Adventurer feats are available to any character between level 1 and level 10. Champion feats are available starting at level 5. Epic feats are available starting at level 8. Players should give these feats a good in-story explanation when they appear.
Adventurer Tier: Once per battle when an enemy’s attack hits your MD, you can force the attacker to reroll the attack.
Adventurer Tier: Once per day when you are hit by an attack while staggered (even if the attack drops you to 0 hp or below) you can make a basic attack as a free action against the attacker.
Champion Tier: You no longer have to be staggered, but the attacker must be.
Adventurer Tier: Choose one racial power of another race. One battle per day, you can give up a use of your primary racial power to gain the use of this one.
Champion Tier: Two battles per day.
Epic Tier: Each battle.
Born To Battle
Adventurer Tier: You may give up one of your class’ three talents to gain the use of two powers from another class at your level or lower. You cannot exchange a talent for spells or talents. (For example, you can take the rogue’s flying blade and deadly thrust powers, but not the murderous or shadow walk talents.) You can use these powers as if you were a PC of that class at the same level. Any class requirements for using a power come with the talent. For example, if you take rogue powers that require momentum, your character uses momentum rules just as a rogue does. In addition, you may improve your choices by taking feats related to those powers up to your tier.
Champion Tier: Gain an additional power from the same class.
Epic Tier: Gain another power from the same class
Adventurer Tier: Twice per day, but only once per battle, you or an ally you are next to can heal using a recovery as a quick action.
Adventurer Tier: You have a small or normal sized creature that fights beside you in battle. It uses the Ranger’s Animal Companion rules, with the following important changes: It is the same level as you, but its damage dice are as if it was one level lower, and it has one-quarter of the usual animal companion’s hit points.
Adventurer Tier: Once per battle when the escalation die is odd, when an enemy hits you with a melee attack, you can make a melee basic attack against it as a free action.
Adventurer Tier: You gain resistance 16+ to a single elemental damage type: fire, cold, lightning or thunder.
Adventurer Tier: Choose two wizard cantrips. Once per round, or once per minute out of battle, you can cast one of these cantrips (per the normal cantrip rules).
Adventurer Tier: When making a skill check to disguise yourself as someone else, roll twice and use either result.
From Shadow To Shadow
Champion Tier: Once per battle (or once per five minutes out of battle) as a quick action, you gain a +5 bonus to checks to hide that turn.
Adventurer Tier: You are a large-size creature, capable of smashing puny foes. When escalation die is even, if you roll a natural even hit on a melee attack, increase your damage dice one size for that attack.
Adventurer Tier: You gain a +1 bonus to AC when wearing light armor or no armor.
Champion Tier: You gain an additional +1 bonus to AC when wearing light armor or no armor.
Epic Tier: You gain another +1 bonus to AC when wearing light armor or no armor.
Adventurer Tier: Once per day when you rally, you gain an additional use of your racial power that battle.
Champion Tier: Twice per day, but only once per battle.
Epic Tier: Once each battle.
Adventurer Tier: When you fall and are able to take actions (not stunned, helpless, or otherwise bound), roll a normal save. On a success, you land gently and take no damage. On a failure, you land awkwardly and take half damage.
Champion Tier: When you make a check that involves balancing, climbing, jumping, traversing terrain etc. you may roll twice and use either result.
Epic Tier: While you are moving, if an enemy moves to intercept you, you can make one disengage check per intercepting enemy as a free action to avoid that enemy, but you must stop the first time you fail any of those disengage checks.
Luck of the 13
Adventurer Tier: You can subtract 2d6 from the natural result of any d20 roll you make. The original roll must be 13 or higher.
Adventurer Tier: You make saves against untyped ongoing damage both at the start and end of your turn. In addition, once per battle you gain a +2 bonus to your fourth death save.
Champion Tier: Increase your maximum hit points by 2 hit points per your current level. . You also gain a +2 bonus to your third death save each battle, and a +2 bonus to saves against untyped ongoing damage.
Epic Tier: The hit point bonus is now three times your current level. You also gain a +2 to your second death save each battle, and your saves to end ongoing untyped damage are now easy saves. (You still get the +2 bonus from the Champion Tier feat.).
Adventurer Tier: Your unarmed melee attacks do 1d6 damage plus any applicable modifiers. If you are wielding a weapon in one hand, you are considered to be wielding a weapon in your other hand as well. Champion Tier: When your natural melee attack roll equals the number currently showing on the escalation die, you can make an immediate basic unarmed melee attack against the same enemy as a free action.
Adventurer Tier: Once per battle, before you make an attack, declare you are using Otherworldly Strike: roll an extra d20 when you attack and substitute it for one roll, if you wish. Also, do an extra 1d4 on a hit. This extra damage increases to 2d4 at 5th level and 3d4 at 8th.
Adventurer Tier: Once per battle when you hit with a melee or ranged attack against an enemy engaged with one or more of your allies, you can deal an extra 1d3 damage per level.
Champion Tier: Once per day deal an extra 1d10 per level with Pack Hunter (instead of 1d3 per level).
Epic Tier: You may use Pack Hunter twice per battle.
Adventurer Tier: When you take damage from a missed attack, you can roll a normal save; on a success, you instead take no damage.
Purpose Over Pain
Adventurer Tier: You may take damage equal to twice your level to ignore (not end) one dazed, hampered, or weakened condition until the end of your turn.
Adventurer Tier: As a quick action, you can send a 10-word mental message to any number of nearby creatures you can see.
Champion Tier: You can now send a 25-word mental message.
Adventurer Tier: Enemies engaged with you that have fewer than your Level x 6 HP are dazed.
Adventurer Tier: Once per day when you are hit by an attack, you can choose to take half damage from the attack.
Adventurer Tier: Each time you attack or are attacked by an invisible enemy, roll a hard save (16+). On a success, that enemy isn’t invisible to you during your next turn.
Adventurer Tier: You can breathe under water.
Adventurer Tier: When you are staggered and an enemy hits you with a natural attack roll of 16+, take less damage equal to twice your level.
Will To War
Adventurer Tier: When you drop to 0 hp or below, roll a normal save. On an 11+, you do not fall unconscious until you fail a death saving throw.