Thursday, May 23, 2024

Update on the Ranger and the 13th Age 2E Gamma Playtest Doc

The 13th Age Second Edition Kickstarter is rolling strong! I’m working on finishing two pieces that weren’t in the document while Jonathan is refining monsters, cleaning up rules, and going through our long list of desired improvements.

Last night in my Spearpoint Dwarfoids playtest campaign, Jonathan played a 5th level ‘wood dwarf’ ranger. (That's not a wood-dwarf ranger above, that's a gnome ranger and her badger, a 2E illustration by Simone Bannach!) This new version of the ranger class had a great first playtest, no rules hassles and it held its own. I think the ranger’s major design issues are solved. Now I need to finish all the math and paragraphs that make a class fully playable.

When that’s done, and when we’ve finished revising the intro adventure, we’re going to release another version of the Playtest Packet. I believe that will happen shortly after the Kickstarter ends. Call it the Gamma Packet. Pelgrane will also update the current-draft that people who back the Kickstarter are getting.

The Gamma Packet will also have many corrections fixing typos, redundancies, errors, pratfalls, and ideas swiftly revealed as bad. We’ll put out a playtest questionnaire along with some pregen characters after the Gamma Packet when the draft has less static for people to cut through.

In other news, I've been getting interviewed by good people lately. Here's an interview by Teos Abadia from a couple days ago.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

A Live 13th Age 2E Kickstarter and a Correction to Ongoing Damage!

The 13th Age Second Edition Kickstarter kicked off yesterday and it's rolling. Blowing through stretch goals is a high-class problem! You can find the page here.

What do you do when a multi-year project hits the crowdfunding stage? We played! Last night Jonathan and I played a celebratory 13th Age game with our Wednesday night group pushed forward to Tuesday. I thought I would GM, but we had quorum for Paul's "Teachers of the Court" campaign, so I got to play my half-elf cleric, Esh.

It was nearly Esh's last dance. Both Esh and Sala, the high-elf bard, ended up with 4 Skulls. If you haven't been playing 13th Age 2E yet, that's one Skull from death, get knocked to 0 hit points again and it's curtains, time to start a new character. It was the closest-run battle we've ever had. I select the monstrous opponents for Paul's game, and if you want a tough synergistic group to throw against four third level heroes as part of a 3-battle arc, here's the roster: one troll, one orc berserker, one wight, one demon-touched ranger dropped a level to 4th.

Of course we also discovered several things we'd left out of the draft, and one of those things matters way more than the others. It's about what happens when an attack that deals ongoing damage scores a critical hit. Here's the text that should have been in the Critical Hits section and in the ongoing damage notes on page 278, and isn't. We tested what's currently in the book and it was too evil, these are the actual rules:

Ongoing damage is also doubled when you crit, but only for the first turn. For example, an attack that deals 5 ongoing damage scores a crit. At the end of the target’s next turn, they’ll take 10 ongoing damage, but if they fail the save, that ongoing damage drops back to 5. Ongoing damage is scary, and even Jonathan thinks that doubling it indefinitely is too much.

As a rule, other conditions and effects of damage are not doubled. GMs are free to break this rule for their favored monsters and make non-damage effects worse on a crit.