Friday, December 14, 2012


Sometimes you'd want a sort of mish-mash of concepts that mechanically speaking a single class simply can't offer you, but swapping one talent/power for another doesn't seem like it's enough.  While 13th Age will be releasing multiclassing rules in 13 True Ways, I'd like to offer an alternative, based partially on how D&D 4E does it.

Simple Dabbler

Special: You cannot take this talent if you already chose Complex Dabbler

Choose between Barbarian, Paladin, or Ranger (must not be the same class as your current class).  You count as this class when choosing talents.
Champion Feat: If you chose Barbarian, you gain the Barbarian Rage talent. If you chose Paladin, you gain the Smite Evil talent. If you chose the Ranger, you gain a free talent.

Complex Dabbler

Special: You cannot take this talent if you already chose Simple Dabbler

Choose between any class except Barbarian, Paladin, and Ranger (must not be the same class as your current class). You count as this class when choosing talents.
Adventurer Feat: You gain one power (flexible attack, spell, prayer, shout, etc.) from your chosen class. At higher levels you can replace your chosen power with a new power from your chosen class.
Champion Feat: You can replace any or all the powers you currently know with powers from your chosen class. The new powers must be at least two levels lower than your current level.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Genasi (4E, 3.5E)

The Genasi are a collection of near-human races that are said to be a result of the Archmage's experiments with the elements**.  Also called Element-Touched, or sometimes Elementborn, the common thing going on with them is that an element -- or for hybrids (called Para-Genasi), a multitude of elements -- not only affects their appearance, but also their personalities, to some degree:  Air-Touched tend to be as light-hearted and fickle as the wind, Earthborn are as stubborn and blunt as stone, Fire-Touched tend to be as rash and hot-headed as an blazing campfire, and Waterborn tend to be gentle and calm like a stream.  That doesn't mean that you can't have Air-Touched that act like a furious gale, Earthborn that are as shifty as the sand, Fire-Touched as gentle and warm as a candle's flame, and Waterborn with the wrath of a flood, but people tend to be a bit stereotypical on the matter.

Genasi can often be found in areas where the element they're associated with have the greatest influence (e.g. Waterborn in rainforests, Fire-Touched near volcanoes and hellholes, Earthborn in caverns and crevasses along the mountains, and Wind-Touched in arid deserts and rocky mountains where the wind blows strongest).

** plane(s) may or may not be involved with these experiments.

Simple Reflavoring

For GMs who want a quick and dirty conversion that doesn't require the features below, feel free to reflavor the Dragonspawn into the Fire Genasi, the Dwarf into the Earth Genasi, the Wood Elf as the Wind Genasi, and High Elves as the Water Genasi.  For those who want more distinct mechanical differences, see below.

Common Genasi Racial Feats

(Champion Feat): You gain resistance to the element you're associated with equal to 1 + half your level.  If your mix of two elements, the resistance you gain to both elements is one third your level. Any more, and you're getting only a fifth of your level in resistance, or none at all if the GM would consider your bloodline too thin to benefit from this feat.

GM Note: If you think the bloodline is too thin for the PC to benefit from it, don't let him get this at all (if he already took it, allow him to retrain it out without any hassles); also, while it's tempting to add a flaw with this feat that would render PCs vulnerable to damage of an opposing element, run that first with the players and see if they're alright with it (and maybe downgrade it to an adventurer feat if the rest of the group is fine with the flaw), otherwise assume that because the PCs are exceptional for their race, they have no downsides to taking this feat.


+2 DEX or CHA
Wind Dancer: Once per battle, you can roll 2d20 for any mobility-related stunt (such as leaping over pits) and pick either one as a result.
(Champion Feat): Once per battle as an interrupt, when a ranged attack is made against you, you can gain a +4 to AC and PD for that attack.


+2 STR or CON
Stone's Endurance: Once per battle as a quick action, you can spend a recovery to roll your recovery dice and gain temporary hit points equal to the result.
(Champion Feat): Once per day as a quick action, you gain resistance to normal weapons equal to your level until the end of your next turn.
Author's Note: I recommend that GMs who wish to introduce 4E Half-Giants/Goliaths in their campaign take this Genasi sub-race and reflavor them into Goliaths.


+2 DEX or INT
Burning Vengeance: Once per battle as a free action after taking damage from a melee attack, deal fire damage equal to your level to the attacker.  This damage increases to twice your level at champion tier, and thrice your level at epic tier.
(Champion Feat): Each engaged creature takes damage from this ability, instead of just the attacker.


+2 DEX or WIS
Gentle Flow: Once per battle, you can pop free from any opponent as part of a move action and roll a normal save to avoid one attempt to engage you during your movement.
(Champion Feat): Once per day as a quick action, you can cause either yourself or an ally engaged with you to either spend a recovery or make a save against a save ends effect (but not both).

Stormborn and other Para-Genasi

+2 in any stat
Born of the Elements: Choose one of the racial powers associated with your parent Genasi races.  You get that power. For example, a Stormborn is the child of a Wind-Touched and a Waterborn, so as a Stormborn you gain either Wind Dancer and Gentle Flow, but not both.  Feel free to refluff the selected racial power to match the desired "hybrid" element (e.g. Stormbringer would be a refluffed Wind Dancer that is accompanied by peals of thunder and perhaps some rain water too, instead of just a gust of wind).
(Champion Feat): Once per day as a quick action, as long as you are able to use the racial power you've chosen, you can temporarily switch to a different racial power and use that power.  This feat will allow you access to the feats of your second heritage's power.
Author's Note: The Champion feat basically allows you to switch racial powers, but does not allow you to use two racial powers in the same battle.

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Personal Conversion Guidelines

As a way of explaining how and why I converted the way I converted stuff (instead of the easier route of "tell the players to pick from 4E's power lists and then translate the distances, damage and conditions appropriately"), I'd like to re-post here what I've posted over at Pelgrane Press' forum.

Personally, I use the following guidelines for converting classes to 13th Age.
  1. Does it have a different enough mechanics/feel to warrant a new class? If not, choose an existing class and reflavor.
  2. When using an existing class, do any of the existing talents, maneuvers, spells, etc. work similar to what you're trying to convert? If so, reflavor instead of convert.
    • When using an existing class, keep in theme! For instance, a Fighter is likely to have more triggered effects and is a Strength-based weapon combatant. Encounter powers would likely require either a 16+ on the roll, or 3+ on the escalation die, if not some other trigger (or combination of triggers), and daily powers could be either talents or triggered on a 3+ on the escalation die as well as either a 16+ or an odd/even hit on the attack roll. A Rogue-like class could be ported from 4E to 13th Age with less issue; heck, I've used the Rogue class almost in its entirety to convert the Warlock into 13th Age, utilizing the power of refluffing, changing DEX into CHA (or CON) as the primary stat for attacks, as well as taking at least one spell and converting it to 13th Age almost directly.
    • Does a class feature, spell or maneuver already exist (more or less) in a different class in 13th Age? Steal it and refluff it! Or at least just mention "this class uses the ______ talent/spell/maneuver, as found in Page XX of 13th Age/13 Ways/etc."
  3. Does a class feature seem too powerful as it stands? If so, break it down to something more in-line with existing talents, and add the other parts as feats.
  4. When it comes to at-will, encounter (or X/day), and daily powers, my basic approach to it is:
    • For 4E implement-based powers that do not automatically scale, look for powers of the same type with the same theme going on; usually there'd be one version for each tier, resulting in three different powers that function almost the same (but increasing in complexity or capability). Group them into one spell, use the Wizard or Sorcerer spells for inspiration on how reformat and convert them, and feel free to utilize feats for particular customizations on a particular spell
    • For 4E weapon-based powers that do not automatically scale, ignore the [W] and instead focus on what each power is supposed to do at a given level. Group powers that, just like the implement-based powers, function almost the same, and utilize feats or natural power progression to customize the power
    • 4E weapon-based powers do not need to scale in [W] due to the fact that 13th Age already scales weapon damage on a per-level basis (no need to reinvent the wheel on this one).
    • Adventurer tier (13th Age) = 1-4, Heroic tier (4E) = 1-10. Champion tier (13th Age) = 5-7, Paragon tier (4E) = 11-20. Epic tier (13th Age) = 8-10, Epic tier (4E) = 21-30. Feel free to convert player resources using that as a basis.
  5. Prestige classes, Paragon paths, and equivalent are far more likely to be talents than anything.
  6. Epic destinies and equivalent I would not want to touch mechanically, as I prefer them to be story-driven elements that, alongside with their Relationship Dice, One Unique Thing, motives and backgrounds, eventually become the pinnacle of character development, with story-based and rulings-based benefits.