Fear in 13th Age

As GMs and as players, we want to immerse ourselves into the story that’s being told. Many games ask the GM to craft an elaborate world for the PCs to learn about. While the imagination can certainly take hold while describing that world, one of the best ways to get a player invested in it is to get their emotions invested. As a GM, you can’t expect your players to fall in love with all the NPCs you portray or want to prove their loyalty to the guild you’ve slaved over creating. But you could probably get them to fear the monsters they encounter. Yes, describing the demon in all its slavering glory could get the players trembling, but 13th Age has a mechanic built in to create fear within the character. This fear effect seems simple enough, but it comes with dire consequences.

Fear, at its very basic mechanic, forces the PC to be dazed and prevents them from using the escalation die. While not obviously dire, when the PCs are facing a Large Red Dragon with an AC of 25, (who does get to use that escalation die) the bonus from the escalation die goes a long way to helping the party land a hit. If the fighter has a -4 penalty due to being dazed and cannot use the escalation die from being afraid, the player is going experience some frustration as well as fear for their character’s life.

Typical monsters who have this effect are demons, devils, dragons, and really nasty minotaurs. Usually these monsters are the bigger, badder, out-to-wreck-the-party monsters. They will have a fear aura, which is based on the amount of hit points the character has. For example, a large red dragon is a level 10 monster. Any enemy engaged with this monster who has less than 72 hit points will succumb to fear. This penalty is intense as between the -4 Attack and lack of Escalation Die bonus, it’s doubling down on the PCs’ ability to fight the monster.

Players have a couple of different avenues for combating fear. The paladin class has a talent called Fearless, which allows them to be immune to fear. It has a few other sweet perks such as actually giving the player a bonus against enemies who have that fear aura and abilities. An Occultist can also choose a talent that has a feat which negates fear, but because that’s a champion feat; it’ll take some time to get that ability. Since all of the characters probably won’t be Paladins or Occultists that take those Talents, the other way to beat that fear aura is to either remove themselves from being engaged with that particular monster or to heal themselves above the fear threshold. There are very few monsters who allow the PCs to roll saving throws and shake off that fear.

As you run your next 13th Age game, we at Iconic hope that you will consider how to use this fear mechanic to further invest the players into the game, and we look forward to hearing your creative uses of it. Is there a room in the castle that has a fear threshold? Or will the characters inch closer to the unseen monster who lurks, waiting to devour all will and bravery? Would you let your players roll a wisdom check to see if they can withstand the horror?

Written by Becca

S2-E23: Son of the Living Dungeon

This week Becca joins us again for another Random Encounter brainstorm session! The thought behind this week’s topic is how we might introduce a living dungeon to an Adventurer-Tier party. The theme? An Epic-Tier party botched slaying a Living Dungeon, and now your party is handling the cleanup.

Don’t forget that we’re currently running a 13th Age Contest, and it’d be great if you could participate! For more information, please visit the announcement post!


If you enjoy listening to the Iconic Podcast, please consider supporting us by becoming a patron or by using our Amazon referral link to do your online shopping.

S2-E20: ASH LAW’s Patreon

This week, we brought ASH LAW back into the studio to talk about his 13th Age-focused patreon. We talk about what sort of resources he’s created, what he’s working on now, and what we might expect in the future.

If you’re interested in supporting ASH’s work or gaining monthly access to new 13th Age resources, go to www.patreon.com/ashlaw

And if you’re curious about the articles ASH has done for the Escalation fanzine, you can download the free volumes here (http://13thage.org/index.php/escalation-zine)


If you enjoy listening to the Iconic Podcast, please consider supporting us by becoming a patron or by using our Amazon referral link to do your online shopping.

S2-E19: Adventure Site Creation: Sleigh Down!

This week Becca joins us again as we create another adventure site! This one is themed for the holiday as we build up the situation surrounding Santa’s sleigh crashing!

And like we mentioned, if you haven’t read the 13th Age novel written by Greg Stolze The Forgotten Monk, be sure to pick it up this holiday season. It’s great!

And for more 13th Age holiday festival ideas, check out Volume 3 of the Escalation Fanzine!


If you enjoy listening to the Iconic Podcast, please consider supporting us by becoming a patron or by using our Amazon referral link to do your online shopping.

S2-E15: Adventure Site Creation: Castle Ruins

This week we brainstorm another adventure site. Back in Episode 10, we crafted a Champion Tier Swamp, and this time we come up with some ideas for some Epic Tier Castle Ruins for you to use at your table.

 

 


If you enjoy listening to the Iconic Podcast, please consider supporting us by becoming a patron or by using our Amazon referral link to do your online shopping.

S2-E11: Go Berserk!

This week we take a close look at one of the new classes introduced in 13th Age Glorantha – the Berserker. This class is divided into two paths: the Storm Bull and the Zorak Zorani. While both come from the same core class, they play very differently from each other. Listen in as we talk about the differences, why you might want to play one, and some ways to bring them into the Dragon Empire!


If you enjoy listening to the Iconic Podcast, please consider supporting us by becoming a patron or by using our Amazon shopping referral link.

S2-E10: Adventure Site Creation: Swamp

This week we’re trying something new for the show! We brainstorm encounter ideas centered around a location that you might find useful in your campaign. The location we chose this time is a champion-tier cursed swamp that’s consuming a nearby village.

Listen in, take notes, and be inspired to use it at your table. And if you do, we’d love to hear about it, and what you named the swamp and village.

And let us know how you liked this sort of encounter-creation brainstorming session!


If you enjoy listening to the Iconic Podcast, please consider supporting us by becoming a patron or by using our Amazon shopping referral link.

S2-E07: Campaign Creation: The Diabolist

This week we focus our attention on one of the 13th Age Icons of the Dragon Empire: the Diabolist. We discuss various perspectives of who she might be, what might motivate her, and even toss around some ideas on a campaign arc with her as a primary feature.

If she is prominent in your campaign, leave a comment, and let us know what your take on her is!

The 7 Icon Campaign article discussed in the show is actually one of the 13th Age Monthly installments. You can find out more about that here.

And don’t forget that in the month of July, you can receive a 10% discount off your pre-orders of Loot Harder: A Book of Treasures and The Book of Ages by using the promo code POD#ICON18LHBA