13th Age: Gorram Adventurers – Session 1

I guess Firefly references are the new Monty Python -quotes, eh?

Ran my first 13th Age today. Since it was a playtest game for a forthcoming adventure, I’ll hold mum on most of the happenings, and just pull out some impressions on the system, and a couple of isolated incidents I thought were especially amusing – no, make that gorram funny.

Three of the players had characters made up beforehand, and I made a few fill-in-the-blanks -options for K. who was known to be a late arrival. Chargen was smooth and easy, really. Most of the time went into talking about the world, and hashing out Uniques and Backgrounds, and picking Icon Relationships. After choosing race and class almost all of the option-shopping is contained within the class description, so there’s very little need for back-and-forth browsing — which is something I’ve really hated about making characters in some games.

H played a high elf wizard, who has done something the Elf Queen will not forgive (as mentioned in the previous entry.) A bit more fleshing out revealed that while the Head Librarian at the Queen’s Library, she he had browsed the Forbidden Collection and accidentally read some parts of The Gate and The Key out loud. Oops. The library isn’t quite safe anymore, and in addition to “Please Be Quiet”, there is now also a poster that says “DO NOT GO INTO THE STACKS ALONE!”.

M made a forgeborn fighter, who is “A dwarven artefact of a bygone age, discovered in the deep underworld by the drow, now fuelled by drow crystals distilled from the poison of the underworld.” He (it?) is a thing of clockwork and hydraulics, and strongly believes himself a giant — which he indeed is, …by dwarf standards.

T ended up with a human rogue who sees dead people. He was trained as a temple thief in service of the Priestess by his father, a priest of shadows. Unfortunately he was more interested in picking locks and raising hell than theology…

From the options presented K picked a half elf ranger, and determined that she bound the creatures of the Bloodwood into defence of the Wall while in command of rangers in service of the High Druid (there was a unique opportunity involving some ancient spell that came her way, and she took it.) The Druid was not happy.

All the characters kicked some serious butt, and felt very distinctive. Combat was pretty smooth. Wasn’t quite as fast as I might have liked, but part of that was due to a conscious decision to be clear about the rules instead of moving forward at maximum speed. I’m sure it will speed up quite a bit more.

Icon relationship roll handling will need some more thinking on my part, but I was somewhat constrained there by the adventure we were playtesting. Reading people’s comment on Pelgrane Forums, many groups seem to use them for rather straightforward mechanical bonuses a lot of the time, which I find distinctly unappealing. I think I’d rather let them guide my improvisation.

We saw our first ritual in the game. The characters were in need of a dead body, and decided to fake one. The wizard cast Disguise Self as a ritual: she he staged own suicide by hanging herself with the belt of the rogue character’s dead father; this was to induce a long-lasting pseudo-death she he could cancel at will. …and she failed her roll. Failing forward, her his body is now possessed by the aforementioned dead father. OOPS. By the way, this is the same rogue who has the unique “I can see dead people.” Eh-heh. Anyways, the group’s plan can still work just fine. This is just a minor complication. A highly inconvenient and downright hysterical complication, but definitely not a show stopper. :D

I had a blast.

EDIT: Turns out high elfs can be pretty gender-ambiguous.

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