- September ended with ThawCon, my annual 13th Age fest, so this is a 13th-Age-heavy issue. I’ve also been playtesting GUMTHEWS, Kevin Kulp and Emily Dresner’s GUMSHOE fantasy game, and an indie game we are publishing (more on that another time). This month, we release the second adventure for Langston Wright, the veteran investigator first featured in Cthulhu Confidential, and two TimeWatch releases are available in PDF form, and you can pre-order the final Battle Scenes, Fire and Faith, too.
Finally, we say goodbye to Alex Roberts, our Production Assistant, podcaster, gamer, game writer and well of exuberance. It was a great pleasure to work with her – she has an amazing future. We are looking for an Administrative Assistant to take over some of her duties. The details are here.
The Valkyrie Gambit – a showcase of TimeWatch adventures PDF
Fire and Faith – Battle Scenes for Four Icons pre-order- The final volume in the Battle Scenes series features battles themed for the Crusader, Priestess, Great Gold Wyrm, and Diabolist – with maps
ThawCon X and the 13th Age
I’ve just returned from ThawCon X, my annual game with my original group of 38 years. We switched from AD&D to 13th Age four years ago, and we’ve not looked back. We start on the Friday afternoon and the game runs until 1:00, with a long break to eat and catch up. After a full day on Saturday, we feasted on roast pork and fine wine, then returned to the game table. While some of the game was an urban adventure, most of it was set in the Stone Thief, the vindictive living dungeon which Gareth created. It bursts with ideas, sparkling copy and malicious encounters, it made my job very easy. Some highlights of the game:
- A smithy which features golems which create swords of slaying during combat to use against the PCs
- Orcs in coracles with bill hooks, traversing a lake of magma
- A slave rebellions led by gladiators against their orcish captives
- A derro ambush amongst the ruins featuring trained bullettes
- A medusa in a maze of force walls with arrows which ignore said force walls
- An ice ape bridge guardian which threw one PC at another, damaging both
I’d like to shout out to :
- Our necromancer, who lit up the well of the Maddening Stairs by ordering his skeletal minion Renwick to immolate himself then jump into the void
- Our paladin/barbarian who is ever so polite until the rage kicks in
- Our commander player who roleplayed a high intelligence rather than high charisma character with just the right degree of pedantry and disapproval
- Our magic user who evoked a reckless fireball – fireball then ask forgiveness
- Our thief whose absolute insistence he was only looting the corpse rather examining it meant they missed an intellect devourer
- Our fighter who rolled a natural 1 and two natural 20s, but not fighting, repointing walls!
The Bestiary 2: Lions and Tigers and Owlbears
ThawCon was also an opportunity to put the Bestiary 2 through its paces. It was the last weekend for our youngest player, a keen 13th Age GM playing the commander, before he went to university. Just before he and his father left, he asked for a combat featuring a creature which pushes the rules to the limit, and had a decent chance of killing his character (takes all sorts). So I threw and Eidolon at him – a creature which represents a concept, can switch PCs into parallel realities, and swap them both temporally (changing their initiative) and physically (changing their positions). It also dishes out vast quantities of damage. The eidolon swapped the commander out to its own timeline, while the other PCs flipped in and out each round, facing other foes, until the combat was done. They also met, and were intimidated by the briar elves, creatures of thorn and sorcery, which took out three members of the party before finally succumbing.
Battle Scenes: Fire and Faith
ThawCon has featured encounters from the Battle Scenes series throughout. This year I had only one battle scene of a suitable level left – a drow ambush in the woods. Next year, I’ll be able to use some of the higher level encounters. The final Battle Scenes book Fire and Faith is nearing completion. The art and text are done and I’m just putting the finishing touches to the maps. It’s on pre-order.
- Now that the text of The Fall of Delta Green has been approved we’ve been working on cover treatments for approval by the Arc Dream Team – “Team” likes its capital letter there.
- We are adding new content to Hideous Creatures, our Trail of Cthulhu Bestiary.
- #Feminism purchasers now get additional exclusive games not in the first edition. Existing purchasers have received an email, new purchasers get them automatically.
- The Persephone Extraction for Night’s Black Agents is being illustrated, and Night’s Black Agents One-2-One is still in development. Get it on pre-order.