S4-E22: Chaos – Part 3

This week we conclude our series on Chaos in Glorantha – unpacking more 13th Age Gloranthan monsters and their unique mechanics which really portray the horribleness that is Chaos!


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S4-E20: Chaos – Part 1

Join us for Part 1 of 2 episodes, where Evan (co-host of Exploring Glorantha) joins us as we discuss the concept of Chaos and the different ways it’s portrayed in F20 games. We also examine Chaos in Glorantha and take an in-depth look at how it’s used in 13th Age Glorantha and the different ways it ‘breaks the rules.’


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S4-E19: Elven Towers Review

This week we give the Iconic Review on the upcoming Elven Towers book, which is a champion-tiered adventure set deep in the lore of the elves. While we try to keep it spoiler-free, we do cover each section of the book, so listen at your own peril!

Cal Moore did a fantastic job on this book, and it’s chock-full of 13th Age gaming goodness! If you want to pick up the PDF or pre-order the physical (and get the PDF too!), you can do so over at Pelgrane’s website.

 


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S4-E18: Giants – Live Episode Part 3

We did a live (video) show with our patrons on the topic of Giants! We talk through some of the history through F20 games and how they’re portrayed in 13th Age and 13th Age Glorantha. You can go back and listen to Part 1 and Part 2 here.

If you would like to participate in future live shows like this, please consider becoming a patron!


If you enjoy listening to the Iconic Podcast, please consider supporting us by becoming a patron!

A Call for Editors and Glory!

The Escalation! Fanzine team is putting together a special issue entitled, “Red Moon and Warring Kingdoms” as a sourcebook for the Lunar Way of Glorantha. They are doing a tribal edit of this and could use your help!

If you’re interested in learning more or helping out, please send an email to escalationfanzine (at) gmail (dot) com.

S4-E17: Giants – Live Episode Part 2

We did a live (video) show with our patrons on the topic of Giants! We talk through some of the history through F20 games and how they’re portrayed in 13th Age and 13th Age Glorantha. You can go back and listen to Part 1 here.

If you would like to participate in future live shows like this, please consider becoming a patron!


If you enjoy listening to the Iconic Podcast, please consider supporting us by becoming a patron!

Rerolling the Escalation Die

The Escalation Die is one of the unique pieces of mechanical design introduced in 13th Age. In the core book, it is described as:

As the characters fight in a battle, they build up momentum and tactical advantages that help them defeat their opponents. This bonus to attacks that increases as the fight goes on is represented by the escalation die. (p 162).

Essentially, it represents the PCs growing to understand the creatures they are facing and the gradual shift in battles to their favor. Now the escalation die has a lot of integration in 13th Age already. Many powers—for both PCs and monsters—trigger off it. And there is a bit of advice on setting the die to different starting values in the Gamemaster’s Resource Book (see page 58 of that book).

We at Iconic have talked about the escalation die in episode 9 of Season 1 (check it out here). Since then, J-M has used the escalation die in new ways, and is sharing them now:

Chaotic Escalation – 13th Age Glorantha introduced two new ways to employ the escalation die revolving around how different categories of monsters—the Lunars and Chaos—interact with it. When fighting Lunars the escalation die advances by two (1,3,5 or 0,2,4,6) and then ebbs back down in a similar manner. Chaos has a 25% chance of stealing the escalation die each round. This gives each of these monsters a unique feel to them and makes them a bit more unpredictable to fight. It also throws the default assumptions out the window for players. That first time the escalation die does not do what it’s supposed to, you can see the players sit up!

Adapting these rules for the Dragon Empire is simple. The Lunar progression easily adapts to fighting lycanthropes or places where magic is out of whack. The Archmage’s wards are failing? Deep in a Hellhole? Traveling to the Overworld but the Djinn are working to stop you? The die advances by two and then retreats, it fits for places where the normal rules of the world don’t work. As for the theft of the escalation die, J-M now uses it whenever the Prince of Shadows is involved. After all, the Prince can steal anything right?

Horrific DE-escalation – The escalation die gives the players a sense that they are in control. Eventually that die will start triggering all of the cool powers and that +3 in the fourth round is super nice. It represents the heroic fantasy nature of the game. But, what if you want a fight to be a bit more scary. Try starting with a double strength (or because J-M is evil, a triple strength) battle, and starting the escalation die at 5 or 6. The PCs will feel like Big Damn Heroes, until at the start of round two, the escalation die drops by one…and continues to drop. In this case, the die is a timer. The heroes will grow weaker as they face the magic/life draining forces of the BBEG, or just succumb to the horror of what they are facing.

Escalation Timers – We touched on this one in the episode, but J-M loves using this. Using the escalation die as a fight timer for when events in the battle trigger. Use the different values to see when things happen. For example:

  • Every time the escalation die reaches an odd number, more reinforcements arrive on the scene, giving the battle the sense of unstoppable waves of minions flooding into the fight.
  • The area of the battle is unstable, and if the escalation die gets to 6, before the heroes defeat the monsters and get out, the ceiling collapses causing major damage.
  • Events—traps, magical rites, healing, summoning, etc—which trigger on certain numbers.
  • Villainous soliloquies spaced out throughout the round!
  • The classic ‘stop the ritual’ quest becomes more interesting if it goes off when the escalation die reaches 2 and gets worse the longer the heroes take.

Escalation Trade Off – J-M is a big fan of consequences in his games. He will often negotiate with players or plan in scene effects which will grant the players a boon at the cost of the escalation die. In exchange for what the players want—or as a consequence of them calling in a ‘5’—the escalation die may freeze for several rounds at a specific number—usually 0. This represents the fact that the monsters had a plan or more time to prepare. In one case, the cost was that the die started at 1, but the monsters got it the first round! Then it dropped to 0, and then increased as normal. Escalation die trade offs are the perfect consequence for a 5 on an icon relationship.

Those are just some of the new ways Iconic are using the escalation die. What are some unique ways you have used it? Let us know!

Written by J-M

S4-E16: Giants – Live Episode Part 1

We did a live (video) show with our patrons on the topic of Giants! We talk through some of the history through F20 games and how they’re portrayed in 13th Age and 13th Age Glorantha.

If you would like to participate in future live shows like this, please consider becoming a patron!


If you enjoy listening to the Iconic Podcast, please consider supporting us by becoming a patron!

S4-E15: Escalation! Fanzine

This week we bring Tim back onto the show to talk about the 13th Age fanzine, Escalation! It’s a wonderful publication that is well worth picking up and reading!

(Be aware that we experienced some intermittent, technical difficulties while recording the discussion; please forgive the sections of poor audio quality.)

You can access the eight Escalation! volumes, the two 13th Age Glorantha adventures, as well as send in your own submission, by going to https://escalationfanzine.blogspot.com


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