Thursday, 17 April 2014

13th Age - land sharks, rum and star fish

We carried on with 13th Age on Friday. In our first session, we used the adventure in the back of the rules book. I'm not going into that session in any great detail, for fear of spoiling it for others (although our GM has taken a rather dim view of it). Instead, let us continue with our second session, where we proceed to ski off-piste.

A quick summary of our party:

  • An Aasimar Cleric, now no longer with us after being mauled by a dragon (KIA and her player has gone to Germany for a fortnight, no doubt in protest!)
  • Rarity, a Tiefling Barbarian, a former barmaid who is now an investigator for the Priestess and a close ally of the Great Gold Wyrm. She remembers legends that everyone else has forgotten, and by that I mean EVERYONE.
  • Sartheen, a Dragonic Rogue, the only red Dragonic ever to be hatched. He was a member of the Shadow Port Thieves' Guild and is on good terms with the Prince of Shadows.
  • Jordan, a Human Bard and a former regimental bugler/trumpeter. He is the only survivor of a doomed piratical expedition which discovered some mysterious islands across the western ocean, where hidden treasure lies. Also likes rum.
  • Amras, an Elf Wizard. Plays his cards close to his chest, but could be possessed by a demon.
We picked up the adventure not long after the big battle that ended our last session, in which we lost our cleric (luckily not having one is not the major problem it can be in Pathfinder or 4e). Now tooled up with an elven magic battle axe, we needed to get it to the Court of the Elf Queen, which we knew was somewhere in the elf wood we were currently hiding in. It was obvious that the Three were currently after the axe (aka Glazentorg the Bloody), so we knew we needed to keep our heads down in case there were more of their lizard men minions lurking around.

We had picked up a number of MAGIC ITEMS after the last session. Magic items in 13th Age are a bit different - firstly, they are not standardised. Yes, Jordan has picked up an elf scimitar which gives him a +1 attack, but there is no standard magic items list per se, and hence no Ye Olde Magic Shoppe syndrome! Also, magic items can dick with your personality or appearence, for as long as you bear them. Hence, the elven axe has changed Rarity's voice, making it a lot deeper. I like this. It makes magic more individualistic, with each item having its own characteristics.

For this session, all the characters rolled their icon relationships at the start of the session. We got 6s for the Druid, the Diabolist, and the Gold Wyrm. We also had 5s (good, but with consequences) for Elf Queen (x2), Priestess (x2), and Prince of Shadows. Bearing in mind we were looking for the court of the Elf Queen, which is constantly on the move in the Dragon Empire setting, the involvement of the Elf Queen was no surprise.

On our way to the court (our elf compadre, Amras, knew where it was), we ran into a bullette / land shark, which prompted a fast and furious fight. Rarity came into her own, now that we have a better grip on her powers, and dealt a couple of heavy blows to the monster, although I think Amras also delivered a fair amount of damage to it (I was busy making tea at the time). We stopped to dismember the monster as we had heard they make good steaks (NB: Sartheen has taken the hand of the dead cleric, which he is munching on as he walks, as part of his ritual observances to the dead, a habit from his days as a swamp warrior with a barbaric Dragonic tribe).

While we camped and rested up from the battle, Rarity told us a forgotten legend about a city of benevolent sorcerors that was destroyed in a prehistoric cataclysm, and is now lost beneath the waters of the Middle Sea. They had a magic gem which may / may not now be in the possession of the Lich King. I used the Prince of Shadows' 5 to declare that the PoS has asked Sartheen to try to find out how all elves know where the court of the Elf Queen is.

We found the moving court of the Elf Queen, which thoughtfully stopped for the night to allow us to rest. We returned the axe to the Queen's courtiers (we didn't get to meet Her Highness ourselves). Another Elven Queen icon 5 got burned as the courtiers asked Amras to keep an eye on Sartheen, partly because of his potential occult importance as the only red Dragonic. Sartheen met a mysterious elven monk with tatoos but did not manage to find out who he was or what he wanted. This could have been another icon die being burned.

Jordan Young, Pirate Bard
Jordan drank far too much rum and passed out, but not before he was approached by elves who asked him to steal Glazentorg back from the Queen, for an unspecified 'mutual friend'. Sadly, Jordan was too drunk to really carry on with the conversation. We also heard rumours that the Diabolist has a spy in the court (that was the Diabolist icon 5 roll going in, I suspect), but noone seemed to know who it was (Sartheen suspects one of the dark elves, Amras keeps his own counsel).

We were then asked by the Queen's agents to investigate the appearence of strange, floating, starfish like entities in the eastern part of her domain (after we were reimbursed for returning the axe). The Queen's rangers had managed to kill one of them, and showed us its body. Accompanied by one of her rangers, we pressed on into the eastern woods, where we managed to ambush one of the creatures and slew it (some miscommunication occurred here, as Sartheen was trying to capture it using a net trap but Amras nuked it with his magic). We also started to encouter what looked like the ghost of an old man, appearing at night and seemingly warning us to turn back. We have no idea who this is, although there was some speculation from Jordan that he is a projection of the Arch Mage.

The forest started to get mistier and visibility dropped to less than 30 feet. Efforts to create more visibility by lighting our torches proved ineffective. We then encountered another monstrous floating starfish which we also managed to kill. By blundering around in the fog, we figured out that the mist lies in a roughly circular pattern and gets denser the further towards its heart you walk. Before long visibility was down to less than five feet. Feeling vulnerable, we roped the party together, with Rarity leading and Amras in the middle (our elven ranger ally brought up the rear). The ground started to rise, as if we were approaching some kind of large crater, but then turned to worked stone bricks under our feet.

Proceeding cautiously up what seemed to be a ramp, we came to the edge of a precipice. Rarity toppled over it, and ended up dangling over the precipice. She can see she is hanging over what looks like the top of a tower, which is slanting at an angle. We have not walked up a ramp, but the side of a tower that has toppled over. And there's another star fish lurking in the mist...


  1. "her player has gone to Germany for a fortnight, no doubt in protest!" huh!

    Well - it was a pre-arranged 'holiday' to my sister to help out (although I was too tired to do much) before having our very belated honeymoon in Prague.... :P Needless to say I am gutted to have missed out but c'est la vie!

    Am enjoying my stay in WFRP country - Prague should have been in it....a downside to WFRP is that it annihilates central Europe. Oh well.

    Looking forward to running a warforged sorcerer! ;)

    and why aren't I surprised Seb's pc got smashed again? ;)

    There is a great looking Argentine steak house/ tango bar we both think you would love 2 mins away!

    See you in a week!

  2. Good summary! Looking back over what happened in the session I'm a little surprised at how much content there was; the relationship dice and Unique Things do seem to work quite well in generating story.