Let’s Play The 13th Age: 00-09
“13th Age combines the best parts of traditional d20-rolling fantasy gaming with new story-focused rules, designed so you can run the kind of game you most want to play with your group. Created by Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet, 13th Age gives you all the tools you need to make unique characters who are immediately embedded in the setting in important ways; quickly prepare adventures based on the PCs’ backgrounds and goals; create your own monsters; fight exciting battles; and focus on what’s always been cool and fun about fantasy adventure gaming.”
- Pelgrane Press
Created by some of the designers behind D&D4e, 13th Age combines strategic turn-based combat with a new focus on roleplay and character development.
This is one of the longest-running actual play campaigns out there: it began back when 13th Age was still in development! This campaign stars the Rogue Elements, a bizarre band of troublemakers that have been tasked with saving the Dragon Empire.
The Playtest Adventure
Before they were heroes, they were beta-testers. The prologue to our campaign was originally a side-game to test the newly-release 13th Age playtest editions in the "Let's Play Dungeons and Dragons" thread on SomethingAwful. These episodes used the first public 13th Age playtest materials. Some of the players in these episodes didn’t stick around to the main campaign, and some characters from the main game aren’t here yet.
0A: Goblin Gore
On the edge of the mighty Elven Woods lies Boltstrike Pillar, a font of powerful lightning magic. A plucky band arrives and are recruited to clear out an infestation of nefarious goblins in the ruins to the north. They have been inseparable and insufferable ever since.
0B: Towers and Travels
Our heroes return just in time to witness a blue dragon attacking the tower! Zvegdar has betrayed Boltsrike, and escapes with vast reserves of stolen lightning magic. Giving chase with druidic aid, the party traces the betrayer and his draconic ally to Greenstand-- once a grand imperial palace, now a defunct den of undead power.
0C: A Dungeon and A Dragon
Arriving at Greenstand, the band battles through undead remnants, kobold sentinels, disguise-wise mercenaries, and one weird closet full of rats. In the deepest chamber of the ruined palace, the Betrayer Zvegdar waits, conducting a foul ritual in his bid for power.
0D: Playtest Roundtable
This concludes our 13th Age playtest. Be sure to check out this roundtable episode for playtest feedback and hopes for the future of the campaign!
The Story Begins
The Rogue Elements begin their adventures properly, as they travel to Axis, city of swords.
These episodes continued to use the playtest rules, but this marks the beginning of the campaign, and the end of the pre-made adventures.
01: The River Devil
Having successfully avenged Boltstrike Tower, the party decides to stick together just a bit longer to take a trip to Axis, City of Swords and capital of the Dragon Empire, to see the coronation of the new Dragon Emperor.
In a true bolt from the blue, the team gains one member and, as they are soon to discover, an infinite amount of great ideas.
02: The City of Swords
Having defeated the loathsome River Devil, the party continues on to Axis and, of course, find themselves wrapped up in the local bloodsport.
They must show their skills in the single deadliest, most serious game in the history of the Dragon Empire.
03: Kjess in the Big City
In the second round of the inauguration games, the party settles in for a more intellectual venue of bloody combat.
04: The Enclave
Hot off their victories in the arenas, the team finds themselves stumbling into an impossible meeting between envoys of nearly every icon to discuss the end of the world. The only way to prevent this calamity is to perform a ritual using thirteen relics of the ages... When the team agrees that the icons' plans are not urgent enough, they set off to save the world for themselves.
The age hides a secret
When Dragonspawn rise and the Emperor dies
Seek the great secret
All life will cease without the Keys
Collect them in secret
Thirteen to collect, you must resurrect.
Tell of the secret.
05: Trying Tusk
In the penultimate round of the young emperor’s inaugural games, the tough guys of the party face off against a pair of minotaur brutes in the squared circle. Team manager Bella and team dissenter Margaret help out from the sidelines.
06: Championship Round
After a brief but delicious diversion, our party enters the championship round for their most deadly (yet dazzling!) encounter yet.
07: Demons Have Weird Anatomies
Departing Axis with grim portents of the future, the party hitches a ride in the sky with some of the Crusader’s top brass. Of course, where the Crusader goes, vicious combat with their despised enemy demons cannot be far behind!
08: Devastating Despoilers
The sailors of Battle Bob's Battle Barge continue to... battle. With the first wave crushed, however, the lower decks of the Barge are revealed to not be as secure as you'd hope. Hey, aerial combat is hard! Who can deal with that third dimension?!
09: Demons Have Weird Eggs, Too
The Battle Barge burns out the last of the despicable creep spreading below decks– but not without consequences, as they, er, “land” on the northernmost edge of the barren Red Wastes.