S1-E19: Encounter Creation

13thAgeMonstersMarchingWe’ve had a number of listeners put in a request for an episode on encounter creation, and we were happy to oblige! In this episode, we start at the beginning and talk about what an encounter is.


A great tool that is at your fingertips to use in your 13th Age encounter creation is the monster page on Pelgrane’s website and the Monster SRD.

We also discuss how 13th Age balances the encounters mechanically and create three encounters you can use at your table!

[expand title=”Adventurer Tier“]
Level 2 Encounter

Use in any underground, moist environment (sewers, cavern at bottom of well, crypt, marsh cave, etc)

Need to gather Fungaloid spore (for ritual, etc)
Troglodyte has something an Icon wants back (it killed/ate a courier and stole the item, etc)
Something/someone is in cave(rn) and is well guarded

DC15 to notice trap
On failure, Trog Chanter ambushes them (gets a free attack before initiative is rolled)
On success, you expose Trog Chanter

When escalation die is even, roll a DC15 Dex check. On a failure, the character slips on the slimy, underwater surface and is vulnerable. It is a move action to stand up (and is no longer vulnerable). Does not provoke opportunity attacks.


Trog Chanter

Aerial Spore


















Trog Chanter (13th Age Core Rulebook p247)
The stories say that trogs developed their hideous stench to escape from being a slave race of the dark elves. Certainly the trogs hate dark elves, the way any cold-blooded predator hates a former tormentor. But trogs really hate dwarves. If a dwarf is slain in battle, that counts as a trog victory, even if the trogs had to ally with other creatures they loathe to kill the dwarf.

For All troglodytes
Trog stench: Trogs spray scents that stink so badly that other humanoids take penalties to all attacks, defenses, and saves when engaged with a troglodyte or when nearby three or more troglodytes. Non-humanoids usually aren’t affected.

Humanoids affected by trog stench can make a normal save at the end of each of their turns (though they’ll be taking a penalty…). If the save succeeds, the humanoid can ignore all trog stench for the rest of the battle.

Trog stench penalties vary for different humanoid races:
-4 Elves, gnolls, gnomes
-3 Humans, halflings, half-elves, holy ones, tieflings, most everyone else
-2 Half-orcs, dragonics
-1 Dwarves
-0 Forgeborn

3rd level leader [HUMANOID]
Initiative +5

Spear +8 vs. AC -12 damage
Miss: Damage equal to the penalty the trog’s stench currently imposes on the target.

R: Hissing curse +10 vs MD (one nearby enemy, or a faraway enemy at -2 atk) – 10 damage, and the target is again affected by trog stench if it had saved against the effect.

Natural 20: All nearby humanoids who saved against trog stench earlier in the battle are again affected by it.

Chameleon: Underground, or in swamps and rives, attacks against troglodytes by enemies who aren’t engaged with them take a -4 penalty.

AC 19
PD 16
MD 18
HP 44

Aerial Spore (13th Age Bestiary p83)
It floats serene, red and deadly. The long tendrils push it spasmodically as it crawl-drifts closer, flicers of bioluminescence pulsing through its small, languid body.

2nd level mook [PLANT]
Initiative +1

C: Stinging tendrils +6 vs PD (one nearby enemy) – 4 poison damage, and the target is weakened until the end of its next turn

Puffball exploder: The first time each round an aerial spore in the battle drops to 0 hp, it explodes and 1d3 nearby non-fungus non-construct creatures are covered in spores and begin to choke. Until the end of the battle, when a choking creature8 rolls a natural 1-5 on an attack roll, it takes damage equal to the natural roll. If a creature is affected twice by this attack, the damage it takes on a natural 1-5 doubles; if affected three times, it triples, etc.

Spores: A creature choking from puffball exploder can use a standard action to wash the spores off itself and/or cough them up, preventing further choking effects until it’s affected by puffball exploder again.

Weightless: The aerial spore floats upon air currents, but it prefers to stay within 5 to 7 feet of the ground so it can use its tendrils to keep it in place or propel it. A free-floating spore too far away from the ground to use its tendrils can easily be blow about from strong winds or similar magical effects

AC 15
PD 9
MD 13
HP 7 (mook; puffball exploder)
Mook: Kill one aerial spore mook for every 7 damage you deal to the mob.

Sporrior (13th Age Bestiary p84)
Fungo are not known for being fast, but this one is. A strange pale ape-dog thing, with a head that hinges open to unleash a high=speed spore attack. Clouds of choking fungus accompany chitinous darts launched by compressed air.

2nd level wrecker [PLANT]
Initiative +10

Chitinous bite +7 vs. AC – 5 damage
Natural even hit or miss: The sporrior can make a spore cloud attack this turn as a quick action
R: Parasitic darts +6 vs. AC (1d3 nearby or far away enemies in a group) – 5 poison damage
Natural even hit or miss: The sporrior can make a spore cloud attack this turn as a quick action.
C: Spore cloud +6 vs. PD (1d3 nearby enemies) – 4 poison damage

Sprinter: A sporrior gains an extra move action when the escalation die is odd.

Wall-crawler: A sporrior can climb on ceilings and walls as easily as it moves on the ground.

AC 18
PD 16
MD 12
HP 36


[expand title=”Champion Tier“]
Random encounter to be used as a “Red Herring” that has no direct connection to the current story. I love it when the group gets sidetracked on a useless trail. Of course it can be used to foreshadow another adventure.

Party has something that is wanted/needed by someone very powerful. – The Master (Pit Fiend) who wants to become an ICON??

I am using Devils out of 13 True Ways

Fury Devil (Erinyes) 8th Level Wrecker p 175
Lemure 3rd Level Mook p 169

An Erinyes (Fury Devil) is sent to punish the mortal and retrieve the item.

Erinyes brings along a mob of Lemures to distract/impede group.

– remember encounter math p186. Mooks count as 0.2 so bring plenty(tailor to group size and composition)

– Hellbent When the first Erinyes is defeated, three more rise up to finish the mission. (Hero who killed first Erinyes is now on hit list)When they are defeated five more rise up to finish the mission. (and the hero who killed an Erinyes is added to the list)This makes the fairly easy battle of one powerful devil and a mob of mooks something to talk about at the ol’ alehouse….if you live.

– Lots of special abilities to remember for devils. Should not be an easy fight. Remember devils work well together!

– Outdoor encounter since it will less likely attract help for the group. Town always have do gooders hanging around.
– Lemure’s Nastier Special – Too dumb to die

If the group is smart and tries to bargain with the devil over the item, the PC with the item must still be punished for having the item. (The hubris of mortals!) Of course this leaves a lot open for the GM for future hurt and humiliation. The group might live through this encounter without having to fight, but it will cost them later.

[expand title=”Epic Tier“]
Volcanic Lair of the Flame Wreathed Dragon [Almost Double Strength]

Reasons: This can be dropped into any campaign where you need to give the players a macguffin
– The Dragon has an item in the horde.
– The volcano was a dumping pit in a previous age where an older archmage deposited magics that were too dangerous to be out in the open but could not be destroyed.
– The Players need a wish granted by an efreet in order to complete a quest.

The Lair
The Caldera of an active volcano. The spirit of the volcano as tortured by the magic items lodged in its belly as its rage is placated by the magics of Volinaosk. There are two ways in. The first is through the halls of a Fire Giant enclave. The second is through a maze of volcanic vents that lead to the main Caldera chamber.

Pyroclastic Spirit Manipulation:
Players who want to attempt to anger, sooth, or control the mountain spirit can do so. The boundaries between the real world and the plane of fire is thin here. The spirit can be contacted with an appropriate background check, power, or icon relationship roll.

If the players want to anger the mountain spirit (DC25), they can increase the Escalation die by +1 (1x per round).
If the players want to soothe the mountain spirit (DC35), they can prevent the Escalation die from increasing (The second time this is done in the same round decreases the die by one).
If the players want to control the mountain spirit (DC3-), they can cause the mountain spirit to lash out at their enemies
Choose 1 of the following:
On a natural 1-5 – The presumption angers the spirit and the caller suffers the same effect.
– Lava Psuedopod Attack:
– Background vs PD:
□ 4D20 + (Ability mod used in the background check x3) Fire or Crushing Damage
– Entangling Grasp:
– Background vs PD:
□ 2D20 + Hampered and Stuck

Volinaosk – Flamewreathed Dragon x1 [B170]
– Both nastier specials
– Smoke Elementals
Effreet x2 [B93]
Epic Fire Elementals x4 [13TW p193]

Volcanic Escalation
1 – [Check for Wildfire. Roll For Smoke Minions]
– Eruptive Rumblings
§ The stress from the fight is causing the spirit of the mountain to begin to awaken. The walls shake a bit and the magma bubbles faster.
2 – [Check for Wildfire. Roll For Smoke Minions]
– Cracks in Stone
§ The floor begins to break apart. Non-flight movement requires a D25 roll. On a failure the creature takes 2D20 fire damage
3 – [Check for Wildfire. Roll For Smoke Minions]
– Eruptive Rumblings – Level 2
§ The stress from the fight is causing the spirit of the mountain to begin to awaken. The walls shake a bit and the magma bubbles faster. 1D4 chunks from the wall fall to the floor. Odds will strike Volinaosk or the Efreets, evens target the PC’s.
□ Giant Effing Wall Attack: +20 vs PD to hit, 4D10
4 – [Check for Wildfire. Roll For Smoke Minions]
– The Cracks Spread
§ You have about 50% lava and floor at this point. Disengage attempts are done a -3 due to the need for situational awareness. Non-flight movement requires a DC30 roll. On a failure the creature takes 2D20 fire damage
5 – [Check for Wildfire. Roll For Smoke Minions]
– It can’t get much worse
§ Nothing happens now, but the rumblings get more intense.
6 – [Check for Wildfire. Roll For Smoke Minions]
– Pyroclastic Explosion.
§ Fed up with the disturbing of its slumber, the mountain spirit attempts to expunge all with a fountain of lava. Fire resistance [even the monsters] is worthless against the hate filled attack.
□ Pyroclastic Explosion – +25 vs PD. 4D12+6 Fire Damage

Things to Remember
– Chaotic Damage
– Whipping Flames Jump
– Blade of the perfect warrior jumps
– If the PC’s roll an odd, they take damage
– Lots of Ongoing Damage
– Fear threshold is 120hp

1 thought on “S1-E19: Encounter Creation

  1. Pingback: E27: Iconic Campaign Creation | Iconic Podcast

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.