Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Monk, necromancer, occultist

The monk and the necromancer are definitely in 13 True Ways. The occultist is more of a Hail Mary stretch goal (well, the diabolic equivalent of the Hail Mary).

The monk: Early 13th Age playtests and various versions of the Escalation Edition showed the over-the-top direction we’re taking the monk. Once or twice Jonathan has argued for a less flamboyant version of the monk, something more like a martial artist, which would certainly be possible but not as much fun as what I’m headed for. I’ve won the argument by pointing out that JoT never plays monks, no matter what type of story/mechanics they have. I am always drawn towards the monk but often frustrated by mechanics. So our monk unapologetically feels like a character from a different tradition, using opening attacks, flow attacks, and finishing attacks in sequences that build in power and compose (barely passable) haikus. We’ll get the balance right in 13 True Ways. The fun is already there.

The necromancer: Here is another class summoned by the story of 13th Age. The Lich King used to be the Wizard King. He’s got a whole lot of arcana-jitsu and these days it’s all tied up in dead things. Maybe PC necromancers can siphon away the Lich King’s power and use it for their own ends.  

I’ve wanted to do a necromancer class for awhile. It’s good to be able to approach the necromancer in a system that lets classes diverge, since I’m not certain of all the places the design will lead.

The necromancer will also affect the monsters that appear in 13 True Ways. So when y’all ponied up $37,500 as a stretch goal for an RPG that hasn’t been published yet, well, you brought some undead monsters aboard along with the necromancer.

The occultist: This is the top-line stretch goal at the moment and would represent a stretch for both the backers and the designers. It will be interesting design work to make a class that lives up to connections with the Diabolist while playing differently than the wizard, sorcerer, necromancer and chaos shaman. Handling it now when we’ve got the team of me and Jonathan and Lee and Aaron would be a great thing, we could accomplish some design and artistic maneuvers that aren’t as likely later on. Given the amazing support we’ve been getting from increased pledges, new pledges, new dungeon backers, new legendary bard backers… we’re certainly stretching a pseudopod toward the figure on top of the pyramid.    

[[Art/Minis: The blue-robed necromancer and the red-robed occultist were painted by Richard Bark. I believe they are both old Ral Partha minis. The monk with his back to the camera appears to be an old Shang-Chi figure, I bought it from the WotC library when it sold off many of its old minis. Maybe Steve Winter knows who painted it....]]

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