The Escalated Cleric is Now Available

The Escalated Cleric

Cover art and design by Liz Green

If you were just wishing that you could do more with your 13th Age cleric, we’ve got some great news for you. Today, we released the third book in our Escalation Series of class books for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game.

In The Escalated Cleric, you’ll find new domains, new backgrounds, and new spells to flash around. We’ve also introduced a new mechanic that functions similarly to the power or broad effect mechanic of the cleric spells in the core book. Some of your new spells now function differently depending on whether you cast them in a stressed or calm state (translating to in or out of combat).

Check out all that and more! Don’t play a cleric? The Escalated Bard and The Escalated Barbarian are also available, and next month we’re releasing the fourth book of our series, The Escalated Ranger!

The Escalated Bard Is Available Now

The Escalated Bard

Cover art and design by Liz Green

Last month, we revealed the first book in our new line of class books for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game, The Escalated Barbarian. This month, we’re excited to announce the next book of the series, The Escalated Bard!

In The Escalated Bard, you’ll find new talents, backgrounds, and uniques, plus the battle cries, songs, and spells you need to bring combat to a satisfying crescendo. Don’t be the comic relief—become a force to be reckoned with!

If you enjoy our work on this book, leave us a review! It’s reviews that help us stand out in the crowd, so please don’t be shy. Also be sure to keep an eye out for our next installment, The Escalated Cleric, coming next month!

The Escalated Barbarian Is Available Now!

The Escalated Barbarian

Cover art and design by Liz Green

A while back, we announced our upcoming series of class books compatible with the 13th Age Roleplaying Game. We worked very hard on them, arguing back and forth over mechanics and what to include or or not include, all the while trying to make sure we also kept up with the newfound demand for 5th edition D&D.

Now, we’re finally ready to start showing you the fruits of our efforts. Today we’re releasing The Escalated Barbarian, the first book of the series.  In it, you’ll find new talents, new magic items, and a new mechanic: Furies.

Furies are a variation on the barbarian rage mechanic—voluntarily end your rage early to deliver truly devastating blows to your enemies. Intrigued? Then snap up The Escalated Barbarian to find out more!
We’ll release a new book in the Escalation Series each month. Next up: The Escalated Bard. Get hype!

Fifth Edition and Beyond

Now that we’ve published “The Pristine City” for both 13th Age and Pathfinder, we’re working on converting it over to fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. The conversion is going well, and we expect it to be a relatively smooth process all the way through. It shouldn’t be too long before we’re able to announce that the conversion is available for sale.

Speaking of fifth edition, we’re also starting in on some other projects; particularly, we’re working on a short, one-session adventure and a small monster project. These are both in very early development, but expect an update soon with more.

Don’t worry, though—we’re still hard at work on the 13th Age class books, and we expect the barbarian book to be out and available before too long. We’ve got a lot of stuff on our plates right now, but we’re doing our best to give each project the attention it deserves.

Keep checking back for more updates on what we’ve got in store!

Spell and Ability Design in 13th Age

We’re designing some spells and other character abilities for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game, and I’m delighted—and maybe a little surprised—at what fertile ground d20 games continue to be for game designers.

The various branches that form the d20 tree (13th Age, Pathfinder, and oh yeah D&D) have a 15-year history, not counting the design time within WotC prior to 2000. Hundreds of game designers have been making new feats, spells, and other game elements for a decade and a half. Yet we’re still finding new mechanics—new ways to provide some game-structure interest to match the flavor and theme of the spell.

That speaks to how robust the third edition ruleset is. All of us—from indie game designers to the big crew at Paizo—are still happily making stuff up that’s genuinely new, not just retreads of previously explored game-design space. And for indie developers like us, 13th Age is a particularly good environment to explore the d20 tree…for two reasons.

First, there isn’t an overwhelming supply of content out there (as there is with Pathfinder and 3e/4e D&D). To put it in economic terms, the marginal utility of the 12th fireball variant or the 26th Two-Weapon Fighting feat is pretty lousy. 13th Age is still lean enough that you can make up new stuff and not feel like you’re just designing for corner cases.

Second, 13th Age does a good job of managing how often PCs change their game elements—how often they get new spells and feats and whatnot. That’s a hidden virtue of a 10-level game. With a few exceptions (wizard comes to mind), you’re only changing your “abilities loadout” when you milestone or level up. Back in my D&D days, I saw a lot of 3e spellcasters practically buried beneath a dozen different books, trying to figure out which spells to prepare for a given day. The rest of the table impatiently waits (no fun), and the spellcaster essentially plays “lightning-round rules referencing” (no fun). In the abstract, of course everyone says, “I like the flexibility of picking new spells/abilities/whatever each game day.” But in practice, it’s not always fun. And we often forget that what fun there is comes at the expense of bored or impatient friends.

I’m a firm believer in “playtest, then preview,” but soon we’ll have some examples to share.

Our Next Steps

Barbarian_Cover_FINAL

Cover art and design by Liz Green

The Pathfinder version of “The Pristine City” is well under way, and we’re planning to get that out sometime in November. Meanwhile, we wanted to share some of the plans we have once the adventure is released in both systems.

We’ve been working on class books for the 13th Age Roleplaying Game: the Escalation Series. Starting with The Escalated Barbarian, we’ll release each book digitally as we complete them, possibly collecting them into one book once they’re all finished. These books will have new spells and abilities, new uniques, new backgrounds, and new magic items specially designed to give more breadth to your 13th Age character.

For this series, we’ve acquired a very talented artist named Liz Green. We’ve already commissioned several covers, and we’re very pleased with the results. We expect the first book to be out by the end of the year.

Keep an eye out for both the Pathfinder version of “The Pristine City” and the new Escalation Series. We really look forward to sharing this with you! (Edit: The Pathfinder version is now available!)