Tag Archives: RPG

Magic in A&A FAE

Here is how I’m treating magic in my campaigns I’m playing with my A&A FAE method. This includes my Deadlands Fate game, as well a few others I haven’t written about yet. I’m treating this as the standard Extra for most all of the Campaign Special Ability XYZ’s that I left an open slot for in my Ability spreads. I will probably tweak this as I deal with more specific stuff, but this will always serve as my common starting place. I see this being used easily for magic of all stripes, but also for things like Net-Running in a Cyberpunk game, or Vampiric Blood Power, or Werewolf Gnosis, or the like.

Magic (or other Campaign Special Ability)

Permission: At least one Aspect that references your special Ability

Cost: Investing points in an Ability appropriately named for your campaign (Arcane, Alchemy, Psychic, Shamanic, Mysticism, etc). Sometimes a player may opt to not invest any skill points, and simply rely on Approaches, or perhaps an Ability Swap stunt. The aspect is granting permission.

Actions: Without any investment of stunts, this ability can be used to Overcome, or Create Advantage. It can also be used to Defend against Attacks of it’s type (in a campaign featuring a variety of magics, I’d allow them all to defend against each other). It cannot be used to Attack without investment of stunts. My default, the assumption is that this Ability can be used at range, up to whatever distance you and the DM agree is appropriate.

Stunts: Beyond these two standard stunts, additional stunts can be added following the normally proscribed patterns for the A&A method.

Defend: Use this Ability combined with an Approach to Defend against any type of Attack, not simply Attacks of similar type.

Attack: Use this Ability combined with an Approach to Attack.

Ability Swap: Use another ability instead of the main ability for certain applications. Example – “Use Social instead of Druidic Magic when Creating Advantages to inflict curses on your targets.”

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Simon Baltar

NOTE – This is an updated version of this character based on the playtest version of my A&A FAE Method. You can find the original HERE.

Simon Baltar

High Concept: Umbral Inquisitor Detective

Trouble: Can’t Stop When I’m On to Something
Raised by the Glitterhaegen Mean-Streets
A Loyal Servant
Graduated from the Academae with Flying Colors
Approaches
Careful +2
Clever
Flashy
Forceful +1
Quick
Sneaky +1
Abilities
Athletic +1
Combative
Influential
Skilled +1
Social
Arcane +2
Stunts:
Occult Forensics – Because I am a highly trained magical investigator, when I am Carefully Skilled and attempt to Overcome or Create Advantage while studying a scene for clues, I can add my Arcane as an additional bonus. In addition to mundane clues, this also allows him to perceive magical paraphernalia, signatures, residues, and auras.
Abjuration – Because I specialized in Abjuration magic at the Academae, I can use Carefully Arcane to Defend against any attack, not just other magical attacks.
Evocation (-2) – Because I studied Evocation combat magic at the Academae, I can Forcefully Attack with Arcane, and I gain +2 when I forcefully Overcome or Create Advantage with the same.
Extras:
Arcane Magic – Simon uses my standard Magic Extra rules. His relevant Ability is Arcane.
FAE METHOD
Approaches
Careful +3
Clever
Flashy
Forceful +2
Quick
Sneaky +2

FATE CORE METHOD

Skills
Investigate +4
Will +3
Lore +3
Stealth +2
Notice +2
Athletics +2
Deceive +1
Burglary +1
Forceful +1
Provoke +1

Playtest version of Approaches & Abilities

After a bunch of feedback, I am locking down this version of my Fate Accelerated (FAE) A&A method for a little while to give it a chance in play. I have a few groups that are playing with this now, so we can see it in action. Initial feedback is looking good. Feel free to use these documents if you want to use this method in your games:

Approaches & Abilities FAE

A&A FAE Character Sheet

Approaches & Abilities

Approaches define how your character tends to solve problems. What types of solutions are they drawn to, and what their style is. These Approaches can be applied across any type of action, regardless of your expertise in that type of action (which is defined by Abilities). This method uses the standard FAE approaches, though it could conceivably work with other custom approaches for your campaign.

Abilities define your character’s area of expertise. They are broad, but should be heavily “fleshed out” and informed by your Aspects. These Abilities can only be used for appropriate tasks, but your expertise applies regardless of the method (ie – Approach). I have presented what I feel is the best arrangement of Abilities, but the same idea could be used with an alternate list of Abilities for your campaign.

Your character is at their best at the intersection of their highest Approach, and highest Ability. However, they are is still quite effective at the other combinations of their Approaches and Abilities, and even still average or fair when only able to use a relevant Approach without an Ability, or vice versa.

Approaches

Careful – A Careful action is when you pay close attention to detail and take your time to do the job right. Lining up a long-range arrow shot. Attentively standing watch. Disarming a bank’s alarm system.

Clever – A Clever action requires that you think fast, solve problems, or account for complex variables. Finding the weakness in an enemy swordsman’s style. Finding the weak point in a fortress wall. Fixing a computer.

Flashy – A Flashy action draws attention to you; it’s full of style and panache. Delivering an inspiring speech to your army. Embarrassing your opponent in a duel. Producing a magical fireworks display.

Forceful – A Forceful action isn’t subtle—it’s brute strength. Wrestling a bear. Staring down a thug. Casting a big, powerful magic spell.

Quick – A Quick action requires that you move quickly and with dexterity. Dodging an arrow. Getting in the first punch. Disarming a bomb as it ticks 3… 2… 1…

Sneaky – A Sneaky action is done with an emphasis on misdirection, stealth, or deceit. Talking your way out of getting arrested. Picking a pocket. Feinting in a sword fight.

Abilities

Athletic – Your ability to control your body. This includes acts of strength, agility, and endurance, any sort of movement actions, but also includes more niche applications, like stealth. It also represents situational awareness for physical events. Approaches heavily alter the style of these actions. A high score reflects broad physical prowess, while stunts and aspects define specific areas of virtuosity, such as raw strength, acrobatics, speed, stealth, wrestling, etc.

Combative – Your ability to fight, whether hand to hand, or with melee or ranged weapons. It also represents combat awareness, and readiness (initiative). Approaches alter the style of your action. A high score reflects a broad ability to hurt others in any situation, while stunts and aspects define areas of training or talent, such as kung-fu, brawling, weapon styles, shooting, etc.

Influential – Your ability to leverage your influence, authority, connections, and resources to make things happen in the world. This can take the form of favors, wealth, investments, contacts, street savvy. It also reflects your ability to discover information through your networks and informants. Stunts reflect specific areas of advantage, while a high score reflects a broad network of various resources one can leverage.

Skilled – Your ability to leverage skills and knowledge to solve problems. This covers broad areas of training and competence such as crafts, mechanics (relative to the settings technology level), common sense, academic studies, driving, piloting, riding. It also reflects a characters ability to discover information through research, forensics, deduction, etc. Aspects heavily color what this Ability covers for a character, but a high score reflects being skillful in many broad areas. Even without a bonus in this ability, stunts can be used to reflect less commonplace areas of specialty, such as burglary, academia, occult lore, computer hacking, stunt driving, tracking, survival, etc.

Social – Your ability to influence and interact with people, and generally get them to do what you want. It also represents your social awareness and insight. Different Approaches alter the style of the influence or manipulation. A high score reflects a broad ability to influence others in any situation, while stunts reflect specific areas of talent, such as intimidation, deception, fast talk, diplomatic arguments, etc.

Campaign Special Ability XYZ – Feel free to add an extra Ability for characters that covers special abilities not covered by those presented. In my mind, this will usually be used for things like, Magic, Psionics, Vampirism, etc. The important thing is that the Ability should be of suitably broad utility in your campaign as to “hold its weight” with the others, and also conceivably be able to be paired with most of the Approaches. Note that this doesn’t have to be the same special ability for all players. For example, one player might have Druidic Magic, while another player might have Faithful as their special slots. Frankly, feel free to allow a player to have more than one special ability if it makes sense. It shouldn’t break the game at all. 

Performing Actions

Declare what you want to accomplish, and how you are doing it. If a roll is necessary, the GM will tell you. In that case, you define a combination of an Approach and an Ability appropriate to the action you described. Your bonus on your roll is the total of those two bonuses.

Examples:

  • Kicking in a door (Forcefully Athletic)
  • Moving silently down a hallway (Sneakily Athletic)
  • Diving for cover (Quickly Athletic)
  • Assaulting an opponent with a barrage of strikes (Quickly Combative)
  • Feinting to throw your opponent off-balance and then striking (Cleverly Combative)
  • Cautiously lining up the your attack only when they give you the opening (Carefully Combative)
  • Bribing an city official (Sneakily Influential)
  • Working a web of street contacts to hunt someone down (Cleverly Influential)
  • Pulling rank on a subordinate (Forcefully Influential)
  • Observing a target in conversation to read their motives (Carefully Social)
  • Fast-talking your way past a bouncer (Quickly Social)
  • Subtly blackmailing someone in conversation without others realizing it (Cleverly Social)
  • Examining a crime scene for clues (Carefully Skilled)
  • Running another car off the road in a high-speed chase (Forcefully Skilled)
  • Picking a lock (Cleverly Skilled)

Related Rules

Character Creation

Distribute a +2/1/1/0/0/0 pyramid among the 6 Approaches.
Distribute a +2/1/1/0/0/0 pyramid among the Abilities.

Aspects

Build Aspects exactly as you would for any other FAE/Fate game. They are unaffected in any way by this methodology. The only thing to take into account is that your Aspects should naturally bring more clarity to what your Abilities represent in the context of your character.

Refresh and Fate Points

Characters start with the same Refresh values as they would have in any other game of FAE/Fate. The standard starting value is 3, but you may adjust as appropriate for the level of advancement in your campaign.

Building Stunts

You build stunts as normal, except that in most cases, a stunt should be specific to a combination of an Approach + Ability.

The standard format of stunts should be:
“Because I [describe some way that you are exceptional, have a cool bit of gear, or are otherwise awesome], I get a +2 while I am [pick one: Carefully, Cleverly, Flashily, Forcefully, Quickly, Sneakily] [pick one: Athletic, Combative, Influential, Skilled, Social, Special XYZ] and [pick one: attack, defend, create advantage or overcome] when [describe a circumstance].”

There are, of course, many other possibilities when constructing stunts, but this should be used as the baseline. For an extremely good library of stunt creation options, I suggest referring to Ed Hastings Pathfinder FAE hack. It uses an extremely similar methodology to my A&A method, and everything in his stunt creation options is equally appropriate and valid with this method. I also generally agree with his philosophy that Create Advantage and Overcome should be considered one and the same for purposes of stunts.

Stress and Consequences

I am using the standard FAE rules for Stress and Consequences. Feel free to adjust these as normal for your campaign, they are not impacted in any way by this methodology.

Advancement

When a character advances through appropriate milestones, they can either add a point to an Ability (getting better at all applications of that Ability, regardless of the Approach used) or an Approach (getting better at all applications of that Approach, regardless of the Ability used).

Initiative

Everyone rolls for Initiative using a Quick approach combined with the ability appropriate to the conflict. For combat (the most common example) players may use either Athletic or Combative (their choice).

 

Extras

Sample Characters

I will rebuild all of the characters I’ve presented thus far using this new method, and when I do, I’ll link them here.

-Razorstorm

 Change Log

12/30/13 – Updated with rule for Initiative, and some minor clarifications to Campaign Special Abilities, and addition of Ability Swap stunt option to the Magic Extra.


Deadlands Fate – Session 1

Deadlands Fate
This session was recorded and can be found at theRPGAcademy.com.
Me and a few friends just started up an online game of FAE, using Roll20.net as our virtual tabletop. The game is set in Deadlands, a “Weird West” alternative history of the United States, produced for the Savage Worlds system. We did a campaign creation session which started as a modern fantasy zombie apocalypse game, and then morphed its way to the “Weird West” genre. At that point we were like, “You know, this would work great in Deadlands, how about we just use that?” From there it was easy.

We have three players, across the US, my buddies Michael, Caleb, and Scott. The three PC’s are:
  • A silver-tongued Rascal, running from the law after he was framed by the Wichita Witches.
  • A gentleman Bounty Hunter chasing the Rascal all the way out West from Kansas City.
  • A tribeless Jesuit mystic, previously of the Yaqui people, until his tribe was destroyed and he ran, now doomed to wander.

The game began on a train heading from Dead End Arizona (where the bounty hunter arrested the rascal pre-game starting), on it’s way back East towards Roswell, New Mexico. The area is notorious for being truly in controlled by the local Apache. Our Indian Mystic hopped on in Phoenix, and then a whole bunch of other folks hopped on in Despair. Our Rascal was chained up in the conductor car, since the train lacked a jail. He was being watched over by the Bounty Hunter, of course. Unfortunately, the crowd in the passenger car had a nice line of sight through the windows between cars to see the fugitive chained up, and couldn’t resist gawking. Our Mystic was seated in that passenger car, and noticed that the crowd seemed to be rather sickly, coughing and hacking a lot.

Things got tense when the Mystic noticed an Apache scout on a hill, and a rider. He immediately alerted the conductor, who gathered up the few guards on the train, as well as a few capable looking fellows. The Rascal swore to not run if the Bounty Hunter unchained him, and gave him his guns so he could protect himself and the train. As the train passed by a rocky outcrop, a party of Apache warriors jumped on the train, and we ended up with battles happening at two ends of the train, with the Mystic at one end, and the other two at the other. The Mystic saw the guard he was with cut down, and then managed to throw the attacker off the train, after taking advantage of a floor covered in glass, and nearly getting thrown off himself. At the other end, a squad of Apache started slaughtering the passenger car, while the Rascal and Bounty Hunter started shooting from the conductor car, taking a few out with some fabulous shooting. As the warriors closed with the conductor car, there was a tense melee that ended with the last warrior also flying off the train. For a moment, every one took a few tense breaths, and then the passengers that had died started shambling to their feet, with a terrifying moan coming from their lips, “BRRRAAAAIIIINNNNSSS!” We ended the session on that cliffhanger.

Next session we’ll begin with the onslaught of walking dead on the train. There’s an additional loose end that the players aren’t yet sure what about. There was a mysterious cow-girl subtly watching the bounty hunter through the glass without him noticing, but the Rascal did. The Mystic also caught a flash of some sort of arcane symbol on a turning page in the book she was reading. What is she all about? They have no idea…

I’ll do more posts about the character builds, and the setting conversion, but I wanted to get this play session written up. Some quick notes about game-play:

  • We’re using FAE, with my Approaches & Abilities method. So far, I’m pleased with the latest iteration.
  • Play was very brisk, but I felt a little more “on top of” the mechanics this time around.
  • Fate Points changed hands a few times. Awesomeness ensued. At the cliffhanger, I offered the players a compel on our campaign aspect, “The Zombies are Coming.”
  • We saw every action type used in this first session, including Create Advantage, which was nice. Each player used at 2 of their three bonused Approaches, and two of their three bonused Abilities. I think that’s an appropriate amount of variation to keep things interesting. There were times where I did have to step in and say, “I’m sorry, but what you described really isn’t a Careful action.”
  • I’m trying really hard to take a lesson to heart from the AngryDM that is very in line with Fate, and push the players to first describe what what they are doing in the story, and then we decide how to roll it (if rolling is even necessary). We weren’t 100% on this, but we did pretty well.

-Razorstorm


Next Iteration of Approaches & Abilities

I’ve been working on trying to further flesh out my Approaches & Abilities (or A&A) method for Fate Accelerated Edition (FAE), which combines the traditional Approaches with broad skills called Abilities. I wanted to get some feedback on this next iteration before I write it up into a full rules-style format. One big change is that I gave up worrying about trying to make the Abilities list match the same 6 items that the Approaches use. I have added a few new Abilities, and clarified the descriptions of others. I also changed the Abilities so that they are all worded as adjectives. This allows them to be combined with the Approaches in a more natural way, “When I am Flashily Competent, I can…” If you want to see where this started, see this post here. Big thanks has to be given to Ed Hastings for his significant advice on this ongoing project. If you haven’t seen his Pathfinder FAE hack, which takes a similar tack on combining Approaches and Skills, go take a look at it at his site, and his many awesome sample characters he’s posted. This list of Abilities may require some mild tweaking to properly capture the focus and flavor of particular settings, but I feel like this is getting close to universal.

For a quick recap, here’s how it works:

At creation, Characters distribute a +2/+1/+1 pyramid among the 6 Approaches, and then do the same among the Abilities. When they perform an action, they describe a combination of both Approach and Ability that is appropriate to the action being taken. This means that for a character’s best Ability and best Approach combination, they get a maximum of +4 (just like in Fate Core). For other combinations, the character gets anywhere from +3 to +0, depending on the combination of Approach and Ability. The use of this blended method retains the narrative brilliance and broad competence that traditional Approaches provide in FAE, while grounding characters in certain competencies, regardless of the Approach they can appropriately use in that situation.

Approaches

Careful – A Careful action is when you pay close attention to detail and take your time to do the job right. Lining up a long-range arrow shot. Attentively standing watch. Disarming a bank’s alarm system.
Clever – A Clever action requires that you think fast, solve problems, or account for complex variables. Finding the weakness in an enemy swordsman’s style. Finding the weak point in a fortress wall. Fixing a computer.
Flashy – A Flashy action draws attention to you; it’s full of style and panache. Delivering an inspiring speech to your army. Embarrassing your opponent in a duel. Producing a magical fireworks display.
Forceful – A Forceful action isn’t subtle—it’s brute strength. Wrestling a bear. Staring down a thug. Casting a big, powerful magic spell.
Quick – A Quick action requires that you move quickly and with dexterity. Dodging an arrow. Getting in the first punch. Disarming a bomb as it ticks 3… 2… 1…
Sneaky – A Sneaky action is done with an emphasis on misdirection, stealth, or deceit. Talking your way out of getting arrested. Picking a pocket. Feinting in a sword fight.

Abilities

Athletic – Your ability to control your body. This includes acts of strength, agility, and endurance, any sort of movement actions, but also includes more niche applications, like stealth. Approaches heavily alter the style of these actions. A high score reflects broad physical prowess, while stunts define specific areas of virtuosity, such as raw strength, acrobatics, speed, stealth, wrestling, etc.

Combative – Your ability to fight, whether hand to hand, or with melee or ranged weapons. Approaches alter the style of your action. A high score reflects a broad ability to hurt others in any situation, while stunts define areas of training or talent, such as kung-fu, brawling, weapon styles, shooting, etc.

Competent – Your ability at what are often viewed as commonplace skills and knowledges for your setting, such as crafts, mechanics (relative to the settings technology level), common sense, education, driving, piloting, or riding. A high score in this Ability reflects being skillful in many broad areas. Even without a bonus in this ability, stunts can be used to reflect less commonplace areas of specialty, such as burglary, academia, occult lore, computer hacking, stunt driving, tracking, etc.

Investigative – Your ability to find out information, about things, people, scenes, or anything. The Approach establishes the style of your discovery. A high score reflects a broad ability to discover information in any situation, while stunts reflect a specific talent for a type of investigation, such as passive awareness, forensics, research, empathy, etc.

Social – Your ability to influence and interact with people, and generally get them to do what you want. Different Approaches alter the style of the influence or manipulation. A high score reflects a broad ability to influence others in any situation, while stunts reflect specific areas of talent, such as intimidation, deception, fast talk, diplomatic arguments, etc.

Willful – Your ability to withstand mental punishment, and your force of will. Also a measure of your personal discipline or conviction. Because this stat is more “narrow” than the others, it can be empowered for Extra’s like Magic, Psionics, etc, with nothing more than an aspect for permission. Without such an aspect, this Ability generally can’t be used to Attack, but it can be used for the other action types when appropriate. Stunts designate specialties within that area, or an exceptional mental fortitude.

Worldly – Your ability to leverage your influence, connections and resources to make things happen in the world. This can take the form of favors, wealth, investments, contacts, street savvy. Stunts reflect specific areas of advantage, while a high score reflects a broad network of various resources one can leverage.

Advancement

When a character advances through appropriate milestones, they can either add a point to an Ability (getting better at all applications of that Ability, regardless of the Approach used) or an Approach (getting better at all applications of that Approach, regardless of the Ability used).

I’d appreciate any feedback you have on this latest iteration.

-Razorstorm


Night of the Ghoul – Quick FAE one-shot

I mentioned in a recent post, “Fate takes all my money.”  that I had started playing through a FAE conversion of a one-shot adventure called Night of the Ghoul. I got to play with my twitter buddies Michael and Caleb of DnD Academy. Tonight we got to finish that adventure. Short version: We had a blast! The game was fast and extremely fun, and naturally lead to some wild and pulpy action scenes. We played over Roll20.net, which I highly recommend!
Night of the Ghoul was originally written by Grant Erswell as a World of Darkness introductory adventure. It was delightfully easy to convert it for use as a FAE/Fate adventure. In our first session, we took about 20 minutes to do some quick character building. Our heroes were Peter Flynn, a middle-aged college professor and cricket coach turned monster hunter when his family was eaten by ghouls, and Mason, aka “Ace”, a college all-star cricket player who followed Flynn into a double-life of monster hunting. They were one part Sam & Dean, two parts Buffy & Giles. We used the quick character creation as presented in FAE, where you just come up with the essentials (High Concept, Trouble, one other aspect, Approaches, one stunt) and then started playing. From just that simple start, we had colorful cricket-bat-wielding characters that everyone was excited about, and started playing. Additional elements, like each characters approach to cover stories, were discovered and added during play.

We started out with them getting tipped off by a suspicious newspaper article about a freshly buried body being exhumed from church graveyard, supposedly by “animals.” This immediately set off Flynn’s “ghoul-alarms” and they did some clever investigating. This led to some great starting social scenes at a police department, and then with a Reverend at the church where the body was disturbed. That led to a great great fight scene with a drug dealer named Big Al, where they hilariously stumbled into the aspect I’d built for him “No one calls me Fat Albert!”. Mason slammed the drug dealer with their van door, while hopped out of the van door brandishing his bat and layed him low, scaring away his thugs.

This led to a stake-out at a convenience store with an clerk who bore a startling resemblance to Apu, which was great fun for all.

When their targets, some trouble-making teens, showed up, I had the perfect chance for a compel on Mason’s Trouble of being stuck between worlds, and had his girlfriend call his cell phone and demand his attention at the absolute worst moment. The next scene led to Mason hanging onto their car bumper while skate-boarding, a la Marty McFly, in a sort-of car chase. This gave Mason the chance to really shine and we were all laughing our heads off.

There were a couple investigation rabbit-holes we would have kinda liked to explore, but we were limited on time, so I steered them in the right direction, which led to our final encounter with the “fake-ghoul” of the story, Bill Chester, in a cramped tunnel. I compelled Flynn’s hatred of ghouls to cause him to charge ahead into the lair throwing all caution to the wind, and basically begging to get ambushed, which I was happy to oblige. Flynn quickly realized that Bill wasn’t a ghoul at all, but they still had to subdue the wild man before he took a bite out of Mason. It ended with them hogtying him with zip-ties, and calling in an anonymous tip to the police, and a heart-warming epilogue where they learned the guy got the mental health treatment that he so desperately needed.
I feel like we got a really good feel for how FAE plays. I really enjoyed DMing it. There were a lot of cases where I simply didn’t ask for rolls (investigation, knowledges, etc), and just gave them the info and kept moving. When rolls were needed, the system felt extremely easy to manage and adjudicate. The characters were very easy to latch onto. Combats were fast and fun, and lent themselves to very exciting descriptions. The use of FAE’s Approaches constantly kept me asking them, “Tell me what you’re doing, and HOW you’re doing it.” Things were easy and fun. But we did have some mixed feelings about Approaches. Things felt fast and loose, but they also felt fast and loose. Next time we play we’re going to try out the Approaches & Abilities method that I’ve been exploring lately, and see how that feels. Who knows, we may decide that we like the original Approaches method better. I certainly had fun with them.
All in all – GMing with the FAE system was delightful. It felt extremely liberating to not worry so much about whether things were possible, but to instead focus on how entertaining they could be for all involved.
Next week I’ll post their PC’s and several of the NPC’s I statted up, just for illustration purposes.
-Razorstorm

The Boys RP for the first time in 13th Age!

I finally got to continue my game with the neighbor boys. As a refresher, I’m running them through the Blood & Lightning sample adventure from the back of the 13th Age book. Our last session was spent getting the game started, and the first fight with the goblins, who they discovered were quite ominously in the service of the Lich King. This was especially significant for the Half-Elf Fighter, who has earned the Lich King as a special enemy in his back story.

This session the group reached Boltstrike Pillar, and got introduced to the residents. In this version, Boltstrike is an outpost of the Elf Queen. I prepared some image handouts for the two major NPC’s at Bolt Strike, and had a 3×5 card for myself for each of them with attitudes, motivations, appearance, and mannerisms. The kids really respond well to anything physical I can give them, so finding character portraits for NPC’s will definitely be a priority.
Quellis, the High Wizard at Boltstrike Pillar
Zanj, Quellis’ right hand man, commander of the non-wizard staff
This session didn’t move forward nearly as much as I expected because the boys started roleplaying the hell out of this place! I was shocked. One of the boys got hung up on studying a secret tome that he was bringing with him, and keeping it secret from the other PC’s (but not from the other players). Well this naturally led to one of the other PC’s getting suspicious of what the Dark Elf is doing while  he keeps sneaking off from the group. It turned into some good-natured cat & mouse RP, and was a hoot for all at the table. They also took a lot more joy in exploring the outpost and chatting with the staff.
The two spellcasters got oddly fixated on asking about whether the place had a library they could study. No real purpose, but they were definitely trying to play to their characters’ motivations as they imagined them. I was kinda surprised by it, honestly, but it brought back memories of myself doing the same thing when I was a kid playing wizards.
Oh, and their dad got to join us this time! He spent his time spreading the good word of the goddess Anoia to the residents of Boltstrike Pillar. It was fun having the whole family (not mine, but hey, still cool!) playing together. We’re having a rough time getting together, especially since I’m knee deep training for my fight, so I’m not sure when we’ll play next.
Nothing really peculiar to 13th Age came into play this session, other than the odd background roll for skill checks (which I freaking love, BTW!). But it was really the boys first experience with the non-combat side of an RPG, and I consider it a total victory!
-Razorstorm