By Mark Craddock
13th Age and the Archmage Engine that drives it has become the clear frontrunner for most of my gaming needs since I got in on the Second Escalation Edition. However, I run many games for both my kids and new players, and sometimes I want something leaner. That’s how I came to mix Dan Porter’s excellent OSR product Labyrinth Lord with the sensibilities of the Archmage Engine.
In play, most things work as they do in 13th Age: saves, the escalation die, backrounds, one unique things. (But see below for recoveries.) And for simplicity, weapon and armor selection are purely cosmetic: your class or race dictates your defenses and damage output, unless you get a cool magic item. Most classes go to 10th level with some only going to 9th.
Spells, magic items and foes are used as they appear in Labyrinth Lord.
Hit Points per Level: 6 + Con mod per Level
Maximum Level: 10
Initiative: Dex mod + Level
Armor Class (no armor): 10 + middle mod of Con/Dex/Wis + Level
Armor Class (armor): 14 + middle mod of Con/Dex/Wis + Level
Armor Class (shield and armor): 15 + middle mod of Con/Dex/Wis + Level
Physical Defense: 11 + middle mod of Str/Con/Dex + Level
Mental Defense: 11 + middle mod of Int/Wis/Cha + Level
Backgrounds: 8 points, max 5 in any one background
Attack: Strength + Level vs. AC
Hit: 1D6 + Str Mod
Natural Hit of 16+: +2 to your next melee attack
Attack: Dexterity + Level vs. AC
Hit: 1D4 + Dex Mod
Target: 1d4 nearby undead creatures
Attack: Wisdom + Charisma + Level vs. MD
Natural Even Hit: Target is dazed (-4 penalty to attacks) until the end of your next turn
Holy Light (Optional, and assumes recovery rules are not being used)
Uses: 2 times per day
Target: All nearby allies
Effect: Heal 1d6+2 hit points
Divine Inspiration: Worshiping their god allows a cleric to cast spells in their god’s name. A cleric my cast any spell on the cleric spell list as long as it is not higher than their current level.
Thaumaturgy: Because clerics’ spells are granted by their gods, they do not need to learn them. If their gods wish them to have access to a spell, they simply do. Clerics cannot cast a spell that is higher than their cleric level.
At 1st Level a cleric may cast level 1 spells
At 2nd Level a cleric may cast level 2 spells
At 3rd Level a cleric may cast level 3 spells
At 4th Level a cleric may cast level 4 spells
At 5th Level a cleric may cast level 5 spells
At 6th Level a cleric may cast level 6 spells
At 7th Level a cleric may cast level 7 spells
When clerics cast a spell, they make a hard (DC 16) save. Note this DC can be adjust to 11 or even 6 if the GM feels that circumstances are particularly important to a cleric’s god.
If the cleric succeeds on her save, the spell is cast and she may recast that same spell again that day. When recasting a spell, she repeats the process above with the same two possible results.
If the cleric fails the save, the spell is cast, but that spell may not be cast again that day.
Example: If Sasha Bluth, a vicar of the Priestess, casts Light and rolls an 18 on his save, he may recast it as soon as the next round. If the roll of his second save is a 20 when recasting Light he can recast it a third time that day. However, if the roll of his third save to recast Light is a 14, the spell is cast but is no longer available to the cleric that day and requires Sasha to devote six hours of uninterrupted prayer to the Priestess before he may cast it–or any other spell he failed to save against while casting–again.
Devotion and spellcasting: If a cleric ever falls from divine favor due to violating the precepts of her god or breaking the rules of her priestly vocation, her god may withdraw her ability to cast spells. Whenever a cleric who has displeased her god casts a spell, that spell is no longer available to her for the rest of the day as if she had failed her save. Additionally, she must spend six hours in prayer and meditation to give her full access to all of her spells.
See Labyrinth Lord for the 1st Age cleric’s spell list. For a more traditional Vancian system, use the Labyrinth Lord spell progression chart for the cleric.
Healing and recoveries in the 1st Age: By default, 1st Age treats the cleric’s healing abilities as they appear in Labyrinth Lord. Cure spells are merely another resource open to the class, which has no special healing tools beyond that. This approach assumes that PCs in your campaign do not have access to recoveries — the self-healing mechanic in 13th Age. The Holy Light ability is ideal for groups that enjoy a play style where the cleric is the party healer who often stands between the adventurers and death.
If a group does want to include recoveries in the game, one option is to give each character four recoveries per day. These recoveries heal each class for their hit points per level (without Con mod), and may be used once per battle or freely while out of combat. If one or more PC clerics are present during a battle, each party member in the battle gets a second in-combat use of a recovery.
Another option if you’re not using recoveries: allow the cleric to grant “fast healing” to her allies. During combat in which the cleric is present, any party member in the battle who is below half their hit point maximum heals two hit points per round until they return to half their maximum hit points. Outside of combat, a cleric’s presence in the party allows each member to heal 1d6+1 hit points per day of rest, instead of 1d3.
Citadel: At 6th level a cleric may establish or build a citadel.So long as the cleric is currently in favor with his god, he may buy or build a keep at half the normal price due to divine intervention. Once a citadel is established, the cleric’s reputation will spread and he will attract 1st and 2nd level followers of the fighter class (numbering 5d6 x10) that are completely loyal. The GM chooses which proportions of followers are bowman, infantry, etc.
You can find more 1st Age material at Mark Craddock’s Cross Planes blog.
The 1st Age Cleric text in this article is Open Game Content, as defined in the Open Gaming License version 1.0a Section 1(d).