Well, those neighborhood boys that I ran through a quick tutorial with are all gung-ho ready to play 13th Age! They’ve started reading the rules, and I was amazed when they came back with really good One Unique Things (“Uniques” for short), Icon Relationships, and Backgrounds. They both added things to the world, and gave me juicy hooks to play with. The whole exercise of coming up with a Unique and the Backgrounds seems to have really captured their imaginations, and made them really invest in their characters.
Oh, and they recruited their other brother and their dad to play too, so we’ll have a nice group of 4 people. This will be an interesting experiment, since the other brother is 9, and really wanted to play a wizard (not the easiest class in 13th Age). He’s quite a bit more immature than the other two, but with the support of the older brother’s and their dad, I think it will work.
Check out their work!
The Cast So Far
Malek Freeborn – Half-Elven Fighter
- Unique – The last remaining descendant of the Elf Lord who ruled prior to the current Elf Queen. We’re totally adding stuff to the setting at this point. We’re saying that the current Elf Queen received aid from the Wizard Emperor (now the Lich King) in her coup to rule the Elves. Long ago, the Lich King stole an amulet that belongs to Malek’s lineage, and has undefined “amazing powers,” which can’t work for him as long as the line persists. Malek has only recently become fully aware of his lineage, but now the Lich King also knows about him, and wants him dead. The Elf Queen thinks the line is dead, and doesn’t know about Malek, but would probably feel threatened if she did, but he doesn’t have a personal beef with her. This development plays well into my campaign plans because I was also creating some conspiratorial ties between the Elf Queen and the Lich King, and was going to use the Lich King as one of the major antagonists. This is great stuff!
- Icon Relationships – Lich King (Negative 2), Elf Queen (Conflicted 1)
- Backgrounds – Lone Survivor +5 (very ranger-ish, wilderness survivalist, etc.) and Acrobat +3 (circus performer)
Sorin Markov – Dark Elf Sorceror
- Unique – The most accomplished historian in the world, custodian of THE library in Drakkenhall. Gave himself status without giving himself power, and added a distinct object to the world. There is now a exquisite library in Drakkenhall, which he is responsible for. He’s an Indiana Jones style adventuring archaeologist, with a particular passion for studying dragons. In fact, he’s acquired a mysterious patron that keeps funding his research into distant dragon lineages, in exchange for passing on a copy of all his findings. Sorin is 90% sure this patron is the Prince of Shadows. Sorin is also in hot water with the Three, as he delves deeper into things they don’t want him poking around in about draconic history and nature. They have actively destroyed his works recording his draconic studies, but luckily he had backup copies (since he had to provide duplicates to his sponsor anyhow). So now is a good time to lay low, and leave Drakkenhall on another expedition with this young half-elf, Malek. This is great because I was already planning on using the Three as my other major antagonist, with the Prince of Shadows being a side force complicating things for all of the other icons. I normally wouldn’t have been okay with a positive relationship with the Prince, but the way he’s worked it, I can totally go with it.
- Icon Relationships – The Three (Negative 2), Prince of Shadows (Positive 1)
- Backgrounds – Historian +5 (All scholarly mundane knowledges, very little magical), and Archaeologist +3 (the adventuring, dungeon-crawling kind)
Squilly Sponsor – Dwarf Wizard (this is the 9 year old’s character)
- Unique – Son of the Dwarven King’s High Wizard. This is a good connection. I was planning on the Dwarf King being a secondary, but involved, icon. His character will be out in the world, his services “on loan” from his father and the King to the Archmage, as a show of diplomacy to the Humans. I have plans for a major dwarven element later in the campaign, so his connections with the Dwarf King will not matter as much for a while. But his position allows him to carry a strong bit of political clout out in the world.
- Icon Relationships – Dwarf King (Positive 2), Archmage (Positive 1)
- Backgrounds – We need to do some reworking here….
What’s really interesting is that while the boys aren’t disinterested in their mechanical abilities, they are much more interested in their stories and place in the world. It’s pretty cool to see.
Deities and Drawers…
I’m still waiting to do character generation with the dad, but I hear he wants to play a dwarven cleric. What’s more, apparently he wants to be devoted to Anoia, a goddess from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series. Confession, I’ve never read Pratchett (I know, I know, take away my geek cred card…) but I looked it up on Wikipedia. The overall tone is rather comedic, and at first I was like, “How the hell am I going to fit this in?” In the default 13th Age setting, which I’m using for this, the gods are very vague and distant, so I don’t have a problem with the idea of inserting this goddess, but it was more a question of themes. However, I saw this note on the wiki entry that Anoia is “making a move into becoming the Goddess of Hopeless Causes.” That’s a theme I feel I can work with! I’ll be asking him to focus on that a little more than drawers.
We should get started this week, so I’m excited to share how things go! I’m planning on using the intro adventure in the 13th Age book, Blood & Lightning, as a jumping off point for the campaign, but I have a much larger plan in mind, which I’ll share later.