Playing Without a Cleric

Playing Without a Cleric

Most times, in F20 games, playing with a cleric is a forgone conclusion. It is one of the most, if not THE most, vital roles in the dungeon delving party. Few things will stress a party out as quickly as the cleric hitting 0 HP. And, as we know, 13th Age provides many great options for the cleric, not the least of which is allowing them to heal as quick actions, allowing them to play more than just a mobile bandaid box. All that being said, here is a secret. Come closer. Are you ready for this?

You don’t need one. That is right, you really do not NEED a cleric in 13th Age. I know what you are thinking. Iconic, I come to you for Epic Tier advice on 13th Age, and this seems like a quick way to turn my game into a 0-level funnel. But wait, hear us out. There are plenty of options for your groups if you want to leave the cleric behind in Santa Cora praying to the Priestess.

 

Option 1 – Other Choices

Dust off some of those classes from 13 True Ways! 13th Age is rife with alternative choices for healers besides the Cleric. Bards can heal. Commanders can heal. Druids can heal. That is not counting the fact other classes have spot healing (the Necromancer & Paladin come to mind) and that all characters can heal as an action at least once a fight. If you are going to adventure without a cleric, try to plan ahead and include some of these other classes. Additionally, give the group extra potions as a way for them to deal with their healing needs.

Option 2 – Go Mythic

13th Age Glorantha has less available healing classes than core 13th Age. To counter that, they include the Battle Healing rule (page 64). Steal this for your core 13th Age game to help offset the lack of power healing. Let everyone have the ability to trigger someone else’s recovery, possibly even before they hit 0 HP. An encouraging word, a slap upside the head, or a kick in the rear is all it could take to get someone back into the fight. Remember, hit points are an abstraction of luck, endurance, fighting spirit, and toughness. Theme Battle Healing however you like, but this option opens up a lot more flexibility in the party where healing is concerned.

Option 3 – Fudge the Rules

If nothing else feels like it works, you can make a couple of simple rules changes to increase the available healing. Perhaps you make drinking/administering a potion a quick action? You know your players already wish that was the case already. You could make the first use of Rally (each battle, each heal up) a quick action for characters, representing that first rush of adrenaline when the character realizes how dire the straights are. Or perhaps it goes to a quick action after the Escalation Die reaches 4, representing the surge of confidence as the party knows the battle is turning in their favor. Play around with these ideas to find a good feel for your table.

 

Last Words

Anyway you look at it, 13th Age provides a lot of options for non-standard party make-ups. As a GM, I would caution to you start off a bit friendlier than you normally would with a party like this. Use basic build math and no nastier specials, at least until you get used to the party dynamics. It gives your players time to figure out the ebb and flow of combat sans clerics.

Players, if you are going to play without a cleric remember that you need to be more on top of your own healing; instead of just yelling ‘cleric!!’ when your HP gets low. Keep an eye on the ebb and flow of the fight to figure out when to heal and when to flee. Keep these tips in mind and you should be able to survive without a cleric.

 

Are you playing in a group without a Cleric? Want to try out some of these ideas? Drop us a line and let us know how it goes.

Written by JM

S2-E26: The Occultist

This week, in another Class Acts segment, we take an in-depth look at The Occultist. This class is based on the idea of someone being able to bend reality to their will, and we talk about how that’s handled mechanically, as well as a number of ways to bring that in through One Unique Things and Backgrounds. And remember, there’s only ever one in the game at a time! This is truly an Unique class!

This topic was selected by our patrons, and one had commented that he doesn’t allow the Occultist to be played at his table. When asked for clarification, this is what he responded:

I think it is related to my take on the Occultist as a “world-breaker.” I don’t mind the class if it was a one-on-one game where the Occultist plays a solo campaign with a GM. But around a table I think it would risk being a spot-light-hogging machine. Every Hero is “unique” in some way, but the Occultist is doubly so, and it’s hard to NOT build the whole campaign around that one person and make everyone else feel like side-kicks.

And the caution to not let this become a ‘spotlight-hogging machine’ is excellent advice. If you have had a player play an Occultist or have played on yourself, leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts on it!


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And a special thank you to all of our awesome Patrons!

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!


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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-E16: Escalation!

This week we bring Tim and Sherm onto the show to talk with them about the 13th Age fanzine, Escalation! It’s a wonder publication that’s made by the fans for the fans, and if you have not yet read them, you really should!

You can access the five Escalation! volumes as well as their 13th Age Glorantha adventure, Skyfall, by going to https://escalationfanzine.blogspot.com

And if you are looking for other fan-created resources or are wondering how to share what you’ve made, head over to the Vault of the 13th Age!


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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.

 

 


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S2-E14: High Magic & Low Cunning Review

This week we take a look at the 13th Age book Battle Scenes: High Magic & Low Cunning. We talk about how the Battle Scenes books are useful to GMs and what our favorite bits of High Magic & Low Cunning are.

If you’re interested in picking up the books, you can do so at your FLGS (like Petrie’s Family Games) or Pelgrane Press, and you can purchase some of the individual adventures at DriveThruRPG.

And if you’re unfamiliar with Tucker’s Kobolds, you can read about them here. 


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S2-E13: Interview with Cat Tobin

This week we brought Cat Tobin, co-owner and managing director for Pelgrane Press, on the show. We had a great discussion ranging from how she was introduced to RPGs to how she became co-owner of Pelgrane Press to what sort of 13th Age products we can anticipate seeing!

It was a wonderful conversation, and if you want to hear more from Cat, follow her on Twitter! (https://twitter.com/CatTHM)

 

And just as a reminder, if you don’t have a copy of Book of Ages or Loot Harder yet, now would be a great time to pick up your copy of it! Through the end of September, you can receive a 10% discount off your pre-order of both Loot Harder: A Book of Treasures and The Book of Ages by using the promo code POD#ICON18LHBA 


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-E12: Book of Ages Review

This week we take an in-depth look at one of the new resources to 13th Age GMs – the Book of Ages!

It is natural for us play in the 13th Age, but what happened prior to that? How did the 12th Age end? What happened way back in the 3rd Age? This book is an excellent resource in how to answer those questions. Listen in as we discuss what all is included in the book and what Age we’d like to play in!

In the episode, we reference using a ‘Dirty Dungeon.’ That game mechanic was created by John Wick, though we’ve adapted it to 13th Age, which you can read here.

And if you don’t have a copy of this book yet, now would be a great time to pick up your copy of it! Through the end of September, you can receive a 10% discount off your pre-order of both Loot Harder: A Book of Treasures and The Book of Ages by using the promo code POD#ICON18LHBA 


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!


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