Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 22, 2012.

Update #71

The smell of dragonfire in the morning

2 comments
8 likes

For this all-out push to finish 13 True Ways design, I've been channeling the man pictured above, a ruthless paladin/commander named Roland Abendroth. Roland is the creation of Davideogame, one of our high-level backers on 13 True Ways. Lee Moyer suggested creating portraits of the backer-created NPCs as full page art and Lee's portrait of Roland opens Chapter 1: Classes.

This week, Jonathan is busy with the full write-ups of Roland and the other NPCs, crafting a format that blends useful story with player torment and eventual resolution.The NPC write-ups will appear in chapter 6, the Gamemasters' Grimoire, where we indulge our ancient affection for grab-bag books like Arduin by including a bit of anything and everything wonderful that's not long enough to merit a full chapter.

Before starting on the NPCs, Jonathan created a dozen or so truly twisted monsters, including specters that outright steal the escalation die and pixies that ensure that player characters who choose fights with pixies are going to regret it, even when the PCs win. I want to say it's 'high comedy' but I'm pretty sure that's just me being ironic and it's actually low comedy.

My work lately has focused on the first two chapters, Classes and Play Character Options, notably the first draft of the necromancer. Comments from internal Fire Opal critique have been helpful and when revisions are complete and satisfactory the class will go out to wider testing. For those tracking earlier updates, I changed the initial design in which the necromancer was a multiclass. The necromancer is now a full class with summoning spells, skeletal minions, death priest options, and cackling soliloquies.

In other news, art for 13 True Ways is finished (unless I talk Lee into one more illustration that was his good idea but that falls outside the scope of his responsibilities). We haven't been sharing huge amounts of the art yet but it's in the wings. Just as Jonathan and I tried new things with game design in 13TW, Lee and Aaron pulled some stunts I did not expect and would never have demanded.

- Rob


Update #70

Claw Claw Call Lightning

1 comment
2 likes
(Originally posted to Rob's blog. Posting this to Kickstarter was delayed because, well, Kickstarter got hacked right about then and password-related confusion ensued. We hope Rob's party didn't die.)
Assuming the PCs survive tonight's 13th Age session, revelations within the tomb of the Bloody Emperor could lead to major shifts. If not quite every PC survives, or if the shifts involve someone wanting to start a druid as a new character, we're prepared. Everyone who has been part of the 13 True Ways support network (Escalation Edition, Kickstarter, Bestiary pre-orders) has gotten notice of the availability of the new druid and the updated commander and monk. 

As you'll see, the druid class is a beast. The challenge of embracing elements of traditional druidic roles (wild healer, animal shifter, elemental magician, summoner, warrior of the wild) became huge fun as I took new approaches (talents defining spell lists and abilities, carefully calibrated summoning mechanics, spell lists tied to specific terrain). It's definitely the biggest of all the class design jobs. I hope it turns out to be as much fun to play as it was to design. 

Other 13 True Ways progress includes the fully edited and illustrated write-up of Horizon from Jonathan and Lee, and full illustrations and text for Drakkenhall from a combination of Jonathan, Robin D. Laws, and Lee Moyer. The great bear druid piece above is newly competed as well, a sketch from Aaron finished by Lee. 

This week Jonathan is working on miscellaneous monsters, including azers, pixies, and cloud giants. I'm working on multiclassing after a morning spent cooling down from the druid work by finishing a list of Thirteen Icon Variations that can shape a campaign. 
And speaking of campaigns, I'm running the second session within the Tomb in about an hour. By the time you read this it will probably all be over but the screaming. Well, actually that's just GM-smack talk. The night seems unlikely to end in screams. There will be screams along the way, but I'm betting it will end with huzzahs. 
- Rob

Update #69

Horizon, Commanders, Mummies: a 13 True Ways Update

4 comments
5 likes
Given the push we are making to finish design and art on 13 True Ways, it's time for an update. I'm not going to talk about the things we're doing that aren't done yet, those will appear in upcoming updates.
Horizon 
Jonathan has written a wonderful take on Horizon, City of Wonders. As Jonathan says in the introduction to the 10,000 word piece: 
The metropolis of Horizon is probably the most daunting of the Dragon Empire’s seven great cities, certainly the most unearthly. Some find it to be a higher order of reality, more rational and perfect than the everyday world. To others, it is an impenetrable labyrinth of riddles and forbiddance. You come to Horizon because you have to, and you often leave under the same circumstances. Here, the skeins of destiny tangle with the Archmage’s ley lines, and reality will never be the same. 
Jonathan's Horizon hovers on the constructive edge between inspirational ideas and solid questions for each campaign. I'd show off a piece of the wonderful Horizon city art from Lee and Aaron here, but it might give the wrong impression, because part of Jonathan's approach to our half-designed world is to explain a dozen ways that the art and map of the City of Wonders can be interpreted in each campaign! So we'll let that art wait to be unveiled later! 
The Commander
The commander class has been through a fruitful round of playtesting and development and will be sent anew to people who are getting the updates. The designer note I left out of the first iteration of the class was that I'd deliberately designed the commander's weakest possible version. It was an experiment, starting weak in order to be able to increase the power level in later drafts. And yes, all the playtesters who sent us comments noticed that they'd been handed weak beer and several people had great suggestions. The new commander is stronger and more fun. To find the things that have changed, you'll only need to look for the yellow and green highlighting. 
As we close on the final version of the commander stats, here's the first draft of a piece of commander art, a dwarven commander whose troops will be carrying the flag of the Emperor. This guy is still fighting under the original name of the class, but Battle Captain is the name of one of my favorite talents from the class, a talent that got a lot better in this draft, so I'm going to shake off the guilt of showing off the old name.
 
Monsters! Monsters! 
After I worked all-out on 13th Age Bestiary monsters for months, Jonathan has taken the reins for recent batches of monsters that include the werebeasts, the metallic dragons, a heap of undead, and the devils, including four new sometimes-covertly operating devils created by Robin Laws as part of the Kickstarter goals. 
As a sample of the writing in the new monsters, here is Jonathan's story-riff on mummies, followed by a beautiful but still rough draft of a piece of art that was one of the Monster Art +13 winners in the Kickstarter. 
Mummies: Down through the ages, powerful magicians have endeavored to preserve their own lives, escaping both the mystery of death and the horror of undeath. The secrets by which they preserve themselves at the end of their mortal lives are lost, but someone always finds or recreates those secrets. Ideally, these carefully preserved mummies live on in a sort of passive false life of the mind, dreaming endlessly in their sarcophagi but never passing on into death itself. It’s good work if you can get it. The problem is that the Lich King is dead set against letting anyone enjoy such a happy ending. When his servitors discover mummies, they invariably animate them and turn them into proper undead minions. As those who have unnaturally extended their lives, mummies make exceptionally dangerous undead. The most powerful mummies reanimate as masterminds who take charge of those around them, while the lesser ones submit to their new masters’ commands. In any event, these unnatural creatures, trapped between life and death, are among the most spine-chilling of the Lich King’s minions. 
In theory, mummies might have enough humanity left that living souls could appeal to it and perhaps reach some sort of accord. In practice, it’s mummy rot for all those who tamper with the mighty who refuse to die. 
The mummy art: Evan Franke originally asked for somewhat South American/Tibetan mummies being called forth by a high priest. I thought that was a good place to bring in a necromancer. This version by Aaron is considerably advanced from the version we showed Evan earlier, but it's still going to get a bunch of finishing work from Lee, including the finished spiral stair that leads to adventurers or a world ripe for conquest. 

 And speaking of the Necromancer...I had an epiphany about this class. It's not a class. It's a multiclass. A multiclass that works especially well as a multiclass option for other spellcasting classes. So the sorcerer, cleric, and wizard are getting detailed multiclass combinations with the necromancer multiclass. Other people can do it but they're not as cool, and that's kind of the way 13th Age multiclassing tends to work: some combinations are deliberately more fun than others. 

The MonkThere's a new version of the monk coming as part of the playtest update. It features interesting solutions to the demand for multiple high ability scores, ki powers that matter, and high-graded fun options for monk talents instead of some of the earlier talents that didn't compare well. 

 See you with another 13 True Ways update later next week.

- Rob


Update #68 - For backers only

Pre-update note

1 comment
3 likes

For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.


Update #67 - For backers only

13 True Ways Monk and Commander ready for download and playtest

Comment
1 like

For backers only. If you're a backer of this project, please log in to read this post.


846
Backers
$70,101
pledged of $29,800 goal
0
seconds to go
  • Pledge $13 or more
    You selected

    1 backer

    VILLAGER - Desktop wallpapers of all thirteen 13th Age Icons.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    115 backers Limited (85 left of 200)

    ROGUE - PDF Version of 13 True Ways (The Expansion Book to the 13th Age RPG) ... AND a Kickstarter exclusive 13th Age Icon Die, a Twelve sided die with each facet representing one of major Icons. All Prior supporters at the $25 level will receive the Icon die as part of their reward.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $25 or more
    You selected

    4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)

    ROGUE - PDF version of 13 True Ways (the expansion book for the 13th Age RPG).

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $50 or more
    You selected

    192 backers

    KNIGHT - Hardcover (and PDF) of 13 True Ways (the expansion book), plus a set of thirteen postcards featuring art of the thirteen Icons. Add $13 for international shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $55 or more
    You selected

    142 backers

    NEW KNIGHT - Recieve the 13th Age core book PDF in December, the 13 True Ways expansion PDF on estimated release, the 13 icon cards and the influence icon die!

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $70 or more
    You selected

    74 backers

    DRUID - Hardcover (and PDF) of the Expansion Book - A logo-branded set of Dice - The Icon Die - A set of thirteen Postcards featuring art of the thirteen Icons. - Add $13 for international shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $90 or more
    You selected

    11 backers

    WIZARD - Hardcover (and PDF) of the Expansion Book - The Exclusive 13th Age T-Shirt - A logo-branded set of Dice - The Icon Die - A set of thirteen Postcards featuring art of the thirteen Icons. - Add $13 for international shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $99 or more
    You selected

    117 backers

    NOBLE - Hardcover (and PDF) of 13 True Ways and the Hardcover original 13th Age RPG. You will also get the Influence Icon die, the thirteen icon postcards. Add $13 for international shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $110 or more
    You selected

    13 backers Limited (12 left of 25)

    MONK - Leatherbound and PDF edition of 13 True Ways. The Icon Dice, the 13th Age Dice Set, and the Digital Wallpaper and Postcards. Add $13 for International Shipping. (If you want the t-shirt as well, upgrade to BISHOP.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $115 or more
    You selected

    69 backers

    ARTISAN - Hardcover (and PDF) of the Expansion Book and the original 13th Age RPG - Plus the exclusive 13th Age Dice Set - The Icon Dice - The digital wallpapers and a set of thirteen Postcards featuring art of the thirteen Icons. Please add $13 for International Shipping

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $125 or more
    You selected

    14 backers Limited (11 left of 25)

    BISHOP - Leatherbound (and PDF) edition of 13 True Ways. A 13th Age T-shirt that will not be available in stores. The Icon Dice, the 13th Age Dice Set, and the Digital Wallpaper and Postcards. Add $13 for International Shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $130 or more
    You selected

    3 backers

    WARLORD - Hardcover and PDF versions of 13 True Ways. PLUS a sweet 13th Age T-shirt that will not be available anywhere else AND a set of dice (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20) with 13th Age branding. Digital wallpaper and postcards also included. Wow! Add $13 for international shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $130 or more
    You selected

    20 backers

    DUKE -*NEW REWARDS* Hardcover (and PDF) of the Expansion Book and the original 13th Age RPG. Plus a sweet 13th Age T-shirt that will not be available in stores. The Icon Dice, the 13th Age Dice Set, and the Digital Wallpager and Postcards Please Add 13 for International Shipping

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $165 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (14 left of 15)

    $165 ***RETAILER ONLY*** MERCHANT: For confirmed game retailers only (please contact us with proof)! Get 3 copies of 13th Age, 2 copies of 13 True Ways, and 1 Leatherbound copy of 13 True Ways shipped to your store's USA or UK-based address at the same time as our non-retailer backers. This is at half MSRP, our standard retailer offering. UK and US shipping charges are included. Add $20 for International Shipping. Why 50%? Sure it looks huge, doesn't it? But this is the usual discount offered to retailers. Retailers need to see that sort of discount in order to make enough profit to pay for the shelf space, personnel, and marketing to support the games they buy. Game retail is tough! We don't want to make it any tougher on them. 13th Age Core Books will ship separately from the 13 True Ways Books

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $170 or more
    You selected

    29 backers Limited (1 left of 30)

    MONARCH - *NEW REWARD* Leatherbound and PDF versions of the Expansion Book and the Hardcover 13th Age RPG. Plus a 13th Age T-shirt, the Icon Die, the 13th Age Dice Set, the Icon Postcards, and the digital wallpapers. Please Add $13 for International Shipping

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $170 or more
    You selected

    4 backers

    MONARCH - This is the WARLORD rewards plus the original 13th Age RPG book. It contains: Hardcover and PDF versions of 13 True Ways and the 13th Age RPG. Plus the exclusive 13th Age T-shirt, dice set, the Icon postcards, and the digital wallpapers. Add $13 for international shipping.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $295 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (15 left of 15)

    $295 ***RETAILER ONLY*** MERCHANT PRINCE: : For confirmed game retailers (Confirmation required for Shipping)! Get 6 copies of 13th Age, 5 copies of 13 True Ways, and 1 Leatherbound copy of 13 True Ways shipped to your store's USA or UK-based address at the same time as our non-retailer backers. This is our standard retailer offering. UK and US shipping charges included. Add $30 for International Shipping. Why 50%? Sure it looks huge, doesn't it? But this is the usual discount offered to retailers. Retailers need to see that sort of discount in order to make enough profit to pay for the shelf space, personnel, and marketing to support the games they buy. Game retail is tough! We don't want to make it any tougher on them. 13th Age Core Books will ship separately from the 13 True Ways Books

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $300 or more
    You selected

    3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)

    ALCHEMIST - Pitch a 13th Age style magic item -- alive and strong willed! -- to Rob & Jonathan and they will turn your concept into a magic item to be included in 13 True Ways with a two-paragraph description. Rob will then figure out how to use your magic item as part of an illustration in the book and include it in the art order. Your name will appear in the credits of the book, you'll get both books (signed) plus PDFs, the 13th Age dice set, the icon Influence die, the postcards, and a 13th Age T-Shirt with the illustration on it. You will also receive a print of the illustration signed by Lee Moyer and Aaron McConnell.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $500 or more
    You selected

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    DUNGEON MAKER - Pitch a dungeon or flying realm to Rob & Jonathan and they will sculpt your concept into a dungeon or flying ream to be included in the expansion book, 13 True Ways. Your name will appear in the credits of the book, you'll get both books (signed), the 13th Age dice set, postcards, and a 13th Age specialty T-Shirt with your dungeon/flying realm. You will be the ONLY one with this T-Shirt! You will also receive art associated to the dungeon or flying realm signed by Lee Moyers and Aaron McConnell.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $550 or more
    You selected

    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    DIABOLIST - You pitch a monster you've made up to Rob & Jonathan, they will will sculpt your concept into a monster for the 13 True Ways book. Your name will appear in the credits of the book, you'll get both books (signed), the 13th Age dice set, postcards, and a 13th Age specialty T-Shirt with your monster. You will be the ONLY one with this T-Shirt! You will also receive art associated to the monster signed by Lee Moyers and Aaron McConnell.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $600 or more
    You selected

    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    LEGENDARY BARD - Tell us about your character or an NPC you created and Rob & Jonathan will massage it into the expansion book! Your name will appear in the credits of the book, you'll get both books (signed), the 13th Age dice set, postcards, and a 13th Age specialty T-Shirt with your NPC. You will be the ONLY one with this T-Shirt! You will also receive art associated to the NPC signed by Lee Moyers and Aaron McConnell.

    Estimated delivery:
  • Pledge $10,000 or more
    You selected

    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    GREAT GOLD WYRM - You and a friend are flown out to Seattle for a weekend. (Transportation and lodging included.) You'll be treated to a 2-session adventure (8 hours play time) run by Rob Heinsoo and/or Jonathan Tweet. Of course you'll get both books, which the designers will sign for you. Dice, T-shirt, and postcards also included. US RESIDENTS ONLY.

    Estimated delivery:
Funding period

- (37 days)