13th Age: Guild Mistress, An Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. Read previous entries in the series: the Usurper, Deposed Heir, Fleshcrafter, Herald, and the Wandering Spirit. This month we thought we would bring you a second icon, one that fights for better working conditions for crafters and artisans all the while taking a crippling cut of each sale: the Guild Mistress.

The Guild Mistress fights for better wages and better training for talented workers. From smiths to glass blowers, caravan masters to slave trainers, spellcasters to sellswords, they all have a guild to train them, hone their skills, and have a place to meet others of their kind. They all give a cut to the Guild Mistress whether they can afford it or not.

Quote

“Everything is for sale. The only question is what is the price.”

Frequent Location

Goldport, better knows as the Hub, sits where the largest river meets the ocean. It is the center of all trade traffic throughout the land.

Common Knowledge

The Guild Mistress controls all commerce in the land. The flow of good and services can be shut off at her whim.

The Icon and Adventurers

The Guild Mistress frequently works with adventurers, hiring them for additional security or as investigators to put down troublesome actors that threaten the guilds, even if they are guild members. However, she only goes so far with individual adventurers, cutting them off from guild employment if they do not join a guild themselves.

Allies

Allies is a strong word for Guild Mistress. As long as they do not disrupt business, she can work with them. While the Usurper’s actions caused business to come to a halt while seizing power, trade quickly returned once the political instability subsided. The Fleshcrafter relies on a constant flow of fresh spare parts. Both the Herald and the Deposed Heir’s forces need arms, armor, and supplies to address wounds.

Enemies

Today’s allies can be tomorrow’s enemies if the price is right or the other disrupts business. The Deposed Heir attacks trade caravans that supply the Usurper’s forces. The Usurper attacks crafter that harbor loyalties to the rightful monarch. The Herald attacks shop keepers that are secretly houses of worship for the Mad Cultist. All of these earn reprisals from the Guild Mistress, until these icons pay for their actions in gold.

Being insubstantial, the Wandering Spirit requires nothing from the Guild Mistress. Add to that a not-insignificant amount of the suffering the Wandering Spirit has returned to avenge has been caused by the Guild Mistress, and these two icons are forever enemies.

History

Starting her career as a slave trader, she organized the merchants into their own guild and got independent guilds to sign onto an organizing agreement. Through considerable blood, swear, and other people’s tears, she rose in power and influence throughout the known world.

The Reason to Fear

If you do not make the Guild Mistress enough money, she is only too happy to sell you to someone else.

Like the Wandering Spirit, one who has nothing to buy or sell to the Guild Mistress is the Mother, the equal and opposite of the Great Druid. Read all about this hag icon of the fey world next month at the JBE Blog.

Looking to play 13th Age while social distancing, Download Book of Heroic Races: Age of Races at the Fantasy Grounds Store. You can also find it at the JBE Shop and DriveThruRPG.

13th Age: Wandering Spirit, An Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. Read the first ones in the series: the Usurper, Deposed Heir, Fleshcrafter, and the Herald. So now we present to you the Wandering Spirit, is the equal and opposite of the of the Lich Queen.

The Wandering Spirit was a living icon in a previous age. They were thought to have been at peace over a century ago, but the cries of pain by the living roused them from their eternal slumber to wreak havoc among the living.

Quote

“Dealing out justice after death may have less timely but no less necessary.”

Frequent Location

The Ashen Fields, the scene of a terrible battle in a previous age. To this day, the ground is ash grey and plants still refuse to grow there. However, the Wandering Spirit can show up anywhere.

Common Knowledge

While it is said that the Wandering Spirit meters out justice, no one is exactly sure what draws their attention in the first place or how heavy-handed that justice will be. Even worse, no one knows how small of an injustice a person commits before the Wandering Spirit hands out justice. The question everyone is afraid to ask is if injustices committed by their ancestors will come back to haunt them.

The Icon and Adventurers

The Wandering Spirit frequently communicates with adventurers personally, showing up in dreams or in unperson and asks for certain jobs to be completed. These jobs range from carrying out the death sentence the Wandering Spirit has pronounced on someone to finding a lost toy for a child. Most often, the instruction are vague, requiring adventurers to investigate and find a hidden source of a problem and make a judgment call on what should be done. It is rare for adventurers to turn down the Wandering Spirit if for no other reason than the icon knows where ancient magic items are hidden away or entombed and is happy to share such knowledge for carrying out such assignments. If anything, adventurers are the only true ally the Wandering Spirit possesses.

Allies

Unlike most icons, the Wandering Spirit has no true allies. Emissaries from other icons frequently return, unable to find the Wandering Spirit. The few emissaries return having met the icon carrying a message to the icons warning them to stay away. Some simply do not return. Most believe them dead, their souls devoured by the Wandering Spirit. Other rumors about such missing emissaries tell of them serving the ghostly icon, willingly or otherwise.

Some icons that the Wandering Spirit would form alliances with see the Wandering Spirit as some sort of abomination. The Herald sees the Wandering Spirit as another unholy undead. The Deposed Heir has ordered the execution of enough of the Usurper’s agents to fear the wrath of the Wandering Spirit. While it is true that agents of these icons may have to work with the Wandering Spirit, that day has not yet come.

Enemies

While few icons are stupid enough to try a direct attack on a powerful spirit who can appear in dreams, that does not mean they do not work against the Wandering Spirit either. Waylaying someone working on behalf of the ghostly icon that is interfering in their plans may not earn a reprisal, one hopes. Of course, if the offending agent of the icon dies in their sleep or is killed by some adventurers, was it the Wandering Spirit’s doing?

In his quest for power, the Usurper has sought the aid of the Wandering Spirit; those emissaries seldom return. The Fleshcrafter is both afraid of a confrontation with the Wandering Spirit and hoping to trap them. A spirit that powerful under the Fleshcrafter’s control joined to a golem would make for an unstoppable creation.

History

All anyone knows for sure about the Wandering Spirit is that they appeared out of seemingly nowhere approximately 5 years ago, telling adventurers to handle situations that no one else will. In fact few would even know of the Wandering Spirit’s existence were it not for adventurers carrying out such acts in the Wandering Spirit’s name. Whether the Wandering Spirit has any agenda beyond sowing chaos in the name of justice is not something widely known or demonstrated.

The Reason to Fear

Every living person should fear the Wandering Spirit, never knowing if the next judgement the Wandering Spirit pronounces will be upon their head.

One who professes to fear nothing, not even the Wandering Spirit is the Guild Mistress. Read all about this leader of organized labor as the next alternate icon we will be describing right here on the JBE Blog.

Support the series by sharing it on social media and by downloading 13 Rogue Talents and Powers at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

13th Age: Beggar Thug

Personally, I consider myself a monster creator over any other part of roleplaying creation. I love making the perfect monster for the situation. It is something I enjoy more than anything else. Lately, I’ve been working on NPCs for Pathfinder in addition to the icons for 13th Age. So for today’s blog post, I decided to merge them and make an NPC for 13th Age themed to the alternate icons I’m working on. The Beggar Thug is a low-level henchman of the Queen of Beggars, one of the alternate icons I haven’t detailed yet. He’s one of those guys you see in movies where the hero punches him in the stomach, and he doesn’t flinch and then makes the hero regret getting into the fight. We’ve got that for you here.

Before we get to the stat block, I have to post my obligatory link to our 13th Age products at the JBE Shop, where the 40% off sale is ending soon. Download our products at our shop to support our 13th Age blog posts today. You can also find them at DriveThruRPG and the Open Gaming Store.

Beggar Thug

1st level wrecker [humanoid]
Initiative +4
C: Hammer Fists +6 vs PD—3 damage and the target is dazed until the start of the beggar thug’s next turn (normal save ends).
Natural 18+—The save is now a hard save ends.
R: Thrown Object +6 vs AC—2 damage
Natural 18+—The target is stunned until the start of the beggar thug’s next turn (normal save ends).
Tough as Nails: The beggar thug has resist weapons 12+.

Nastier Special

Pissed off: The beggar thug deals double damage for the rest of the battle if it survives a critical hit.
AC 17
PD 15
MD 11
HP 27

13th Age: The Herald, An Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. Read the first ones in the series: the Usurper, Deposed Heir, and Fleshcrafter. This month’s entry, the Herald, is the equal and opposite of the of the Diabloist.

The Herald wields the power of Heaven and the gods. Not only that, the Herald leads an army of paladins, fighting to keep an army of unspeakable horrors from entering our realm. Agents of the Herald move throughout the Empire, watching to see if some untold nastiness slips into our realm unnoticed.

Quote

“By the gods’ will, we live to fight another day. May we be so fortunate again tomorrow.”

Frequent Location

Fort Divinity, the last piece of inhabitable land before entering the Blighten Lands and the Rift beyond.

Common Knowledge

The Herald is one of pure heart. Those that bear her symbol and work in her name are believed to be one of pure heart, even if they are only mortals.

The Icon and Adventurers

The Herald frequently works with adventurers because those that would cause destruction and pain everywhere. The Herald gladly works with those she disagrees with when directed to do so by the gods, trusting the deities know more than she.

Allies

The Herald and the Deposed Heir are allies but have a complicated relationship since he frequently asks where was Heaven and the gods when his family was slain. The Great Gold Dragon and the Herald have their difference but put them aside and work together since they share common goals. The Usurper wants the support of the Herald since it will help secure his claim on the throne. As such he works with the Herald, even if the Herald does not trust him.

Enemies

The Fleshcrafter rejects the gods, believing that trust should be placed in mortals and in their eldritch studies, pitting himself against the Herald. The Great Druid feels that the Herald’s people take what they want from the land in their pursuit of their aims and that this disrespect has gone on too long.

History

There was only one survivor of an attack by unspeakable horrors that slithered out of the sea that devoured much of a small coastal town, the one later knows as the Herald. Since that day, the Herald has worked tirelessly to that that never happens again. While she doesn’t always succeed in rescuing everyone, she always saves some and drives the horrors away.

The Reason to Fear

Those that deal with things so terrible that they will shatter a person’s sanity should fear the Herald for all the justice she will bring down upon them.

The Deposed Heir is not the only one that has a complicated relationship with the Herald; the Wandering Spirit is one that would join the Herald’s side, if the forces of Heaven did not find his very existence repugnant. Read all about the equal and opposite of the Lich Queen soon.

Support the series by sharing it on social media and by downloading 13 Cleric Domains and Spells at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

13th Age: Fort Hope

In the same vein as Fort Strange and Watchtower Balleron, here we present for your enjoyment in your game a new location designed especially for 13th Age, Fort Hope.

Established as a joint venture of the Emperor and the Dwarf King as a way of blunting the influence of the Orc Warlord and the Diabloist in the region, these two powers have established a number of towers and fortresses to meet these forces with their own. Against small raiding bands and minor military incursions, Fort Hope is well equipped to handle themselves. Even a medium-sized army can be turned away by the facility’s jointly-trained dwarven fighters and imperial troops albeit costly. Should a demonic army and a full orc horde together march upon the region, however, Fort Hope will slow them down while messengers ride off to warn the larger army some distance away.

Nondrul Runemaker, the dwarven commander in charge of Fort Hope, knows his mission unofficially expends beyond the forces of the Orc Warlord and the Diabloist, but he keeps the troops out of the “little issues” the local people have. However, he does keep a board up in the courtyard area for the people to put up help wanted ads for those looking to hire adventurers. When sheep are torn to shreds or a person goes missing, Commander Runemaker will direct the petitioners to the adventurers’ board. While such adventures may not be requested by the Emperor or other icons, their agents will definitely hear about them and report the adventurers’ actions to those higher up. Current adventurer board postings include a request to help find missing sheep, someone asking for help locating their missing sibling’s corpse, and a reward to stop whatever is leaving dragon-sized filth every night in a massive pile on top of town’s crops.

Hardly a hotbed of magical items, the quartermaster at Fort Hope, Lieutenant Tinia Windflayer is willing to trade magic items of similar power. She believes that magic items in the hands of adventurers loyal to the Emperor will be put to better use than being in a warehouse waiting to be used. Her only requirement is that whatever item being gained by the joint forces must be, in her opinion, of a more obvious benefit to the military than the one she is relinquishing. She is certainly not about to give up a demon-wounding sword for a wand that causes laughter, for example. When she gets a lead on a powerful magic item, she will use her limited budget to hire adventurers to retrieve it for her.

The newest recruit at Fort Hope is Private Chester Tibbins. Chess, as everyone calls him, left the village he grew up in for the first time only last week when he left to serve at Fort Hope. With seven brothers and sisters, he knows he stands no chance to inherit the family farm. Dreaming of becoming a brave adventurer, his parents agreed to let him join the Empire’s forces as a way for him to get some training before striking out on his own. With less than a week’s worth of training, he is constantly pestering those going in and out of the fort’s gate with questions about the outside world. When not on duty, he will follow any adventurers around he can find with almost puppy-like admiration. His mother worries that something dreadful will happen to the youngest Tibbins family member and brings him food twice a week just to make sure he is still in one piece.

If you enjoyed this location and you want to see more like this for 13th Age, leave us a comment below. If you want to see places like this expanded upon greatly with more NPCs described, new magic items detailed, unique class options and spells that the people here know, and much more, definitely say so below. Your feedback helps us make more. While you are at it, check out our current 13th Age offerings in the JBE Shop.

13th Age: The Fleshcrafter, An Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. We started this series off with the Usurper and continued it with the Deposed Heir. This month we continue the series with the Fleshcrafter, the equal and opposite of the Archmage.

In some ways the Fleshcrafter is just like the Archmage: they both seek knowledge and arcane power and want their followers to learn and educate themselves. That is where the similarities end, however. Where the Archmage wants lift many up with magic, the Fleshcrafter wants to suppress the masses with magic. The Archmage’s power comes from the living mastering eldritch power, while the Fleshcrafter’s power comes from a few crafting an unthinking army of the dead and various constructs. Where the Archmage thinks of the good of the many, the Fleshcrafter thinks only of the desires of the few.

Quote

“You displease me. Run fast or my hoard will devour you.”

Frequent Location

Bone Hill, a city that built around the Fleshcrafter’s tower.

Common Knowledge

The Fleshcrafter’s source of power centers around his mounds of dead bodies that he turns into his undead hoard. Such creations unerringly and unquestionably follow his orders.

The Icon and Adventurers

New adventurers seeking missions from the Fleshcrafter receive missions frequently involving disruptions in the flow of dead bodies to Bone Hill. He has also been known to hire adventurers to retrieve some new type of undead creature so he can study it. He may disguise these for those with a conflicting relationship as helping the people bringing corpses to the tower or by helping the local population by ridding them of some uncontrolled undead and bring it back to study.

Adventurers that the Fleshcrafter knows better and has more experience with are sent to find unique and exotic components to craft new golems and undead.

Allies

The Usurper supports the Fleshcrafter’s experiments like no other. In return, his undead armies keep the masses from rising up against the unlawful successor to the throne.

Enemies

The Lich Queen sees the Fleshcrafter as competition, stealing bodies that she can use to create for her undead army.

While the Dwarf King respects the Fleshcrafter’s skill in golem crafting, he finds the use of dead bodies, especially dwarven bodies, to form his creations as utterly repugnant.

History

Few considered the Fleshcrafter a person of consequence until his army of undead and golems marched upon the land. Before then, he was an overlooked wizard that the Archmage ignored. He was chased from town to town when the locals discovered what his creations involved. Now he is looking for payback for perceived wrongs.

The Reason to Fear

The Fleshcrafter believes that anyone not subservient to him is against him. He sends his creations after them.

The icon that opposed the Fleshcrafter more than anyone is the Herald, the one that knows how to call upon the power of Heaven and even bring angels into a fight in desperate times. Read all about this alternate icon next month.

Support the series by sharing it on social media and by downloading 13 Wizard Cantrips and Spells at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

13th Age: The Deposed Heir, An Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. Last month we started this series off with the Usurper. This time we bring you the rightful heir to the throne. The Deposed Heir is a true force in the world and a worthy part of your game.

The Deposed Heir is the equal and opposite of the Crusadress. Where she is highly organized and fights for herself when she is not battling the Diabloist and their demonic forces, the Deposed Heir fights to for the good of all people. While his ultimate goal is to retake the throne, he worked in the interim to prevent the good people of his empire to not fall at the hands of monsters and those willing to inflict harm for their own personal gain.

Quote

“For the good of one. For the good of all. We stand together, or we fall together.”

Frequent Location

Hurstshire, a small village hidden in the Fangtree Forest. This location serves as a hideout and base of operations to conduct hit and fade operations in the Usurper’s forces.

Common Knowledge

The Deposed Heir is a symbol of hope throughout the Empire. When monsters and the Usurper’s thugs attack, the people hope the Deposed Heir’s band of heroes will rescue them from their grim fate.

The Icon and Adventurers

The Deposed Heir has little ability to pay adventurers. As such few that rally to his cause stay when their bellies grow hungry. Those that do believe in justice and honor. His rewards tend to be in things unrelated to material wealth.

Allies

The Deposed Heir has no official allies. Those that would side with him protect their own. Unofficially, the Archmage and High Priestess send those loyal to them on missions that will help the Deposed Heir, under the guise that they are helping the people and unaware of how their actions thwarted the Usurper’s plans. Trade missions from the Dwarf King and the High Elf get raided with mysterious frequency and en up in the Deposed Heir’s hands.

Enemies

Unfortunately, the list of the Deposed Heir’s enemies is not so short. While the Usurper is the icon that pursues this icon with the most gusto, the Orc Warlord is not far behind in being well motivated. The forces of the Deposed Heir’s now deceased parent gave chase to the Warlord’s troops and now the Orc and those forces are eager to return the favor.

Less of an enemy and more of opportunists attempting to seize some power are the Diabloist and the Lich Queen. Should the Deposed Heir fall, these two will have one less symbol of good being a perpetual thorn in their figurative sides.

History

The heir to the Empire’s throne was taught both statesmanship and military tactics. Instead of taking an easy assignment with the military, he served as a battlefield officer, fighting, eating, and sleeping alongside those he commanded. That was where he was when the capital was attacked. The assassin sent to kill him did not count on the loyalty of his comrads choosing to die in his stead. Now he uses that same training to survive and strike at those that would do the people harm.

The Reason to Fear

Attack the weak and powerless and the Deposed Heir will hunt you down and make you regret your cruelty, at least for a short while.

All this leads us to the equal and opposite of the Archmage, the Fleshcrafter.

Support the series by sharing it on social media and by downloading our 13th Age titles at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

13th Age: The Usurper, An Alternate Icon

Something I’ve thought about for years is a number of alternate icons for 13th Age games. Some are radical changes from the standard icons. Others are an equal and opposites from the norm. For too long I have kept them to myself. Today I am sharing the first of them with you.

The Usurper is the equal and opposite of the Emperor. Where the Emperor tries to be a unifying force for the good of all, the Usurper cares only for himself. He may have ousted the Emperor from power, but he does not have complete control over the land. He has the support of orcs, hobgoblins, and many other monstrous races that helped him attain power. The nobility are not entirely convinced supporting the Usurper is a great idea, but those that want to live pay lip service and taxes required of them.

The Usurper does not care for those that do not support him and is more than willing to let them succumb to the ravening hungers of his supporters. He wants to prove to everyone, especially himself and his long since dead and unloving parents, that he is just as important than those that came before him.

Quote

“Those disloyal to me shall not live to see the dawn.”

Frequent Location

Farenia, his makeshift capital and the center of his support.

Common Knowledge

The Usurper is the symbol of uncertainty throughout the Empire. No one knows which of his whims will win the day, law and order or pettiness and revenge.

The Icon and Adventurers

The Usurper frequently hires adventurers to keep peace throughout the Empire, but the best paying jobs go to those with a positive relationship towards him. Those higher paying jobs range from disposing of guards still loyal to the former monarch to rounding up villagers that spit at mention of the new ruler and bring them to the Usurper for reeducation.

Allies

The Usurper is supposed by the Orc Warlord. Without his armies, the Usurper would not have had the strength to sieze control. The Orc Warlord is allowed to terrorize a part of the Empire he has wanted for some time. The Three Dragons also supported the Usurper as they provided air support during the fight for control for the Empire. They were paid a considerable amount of gold from the Empire’s coffers for their assistance. Rumor has it they send a messenger with “requests” that the Usurper dare not refuse.

Enemies

Where the Emperor and the Great Druid held an uneasy truce, the Usurper blatently ignores That long held truce in an effort to prop up his government. The Great Druid sees the clear-cutting of forests and wholesale slaughter of animals as a declaration of war and is responding in kind. Both the Dwarf King and the High Elf have met with Usurper and have found him wanting; both have told their people to not support him. The Usurper takes such a stance as proof of hostility from these icons.

History

A former well-funded noble, the Usurper rose to power through a mix of cult of personality and paying others to support him. Few thought him truly dangerous until after he seized control and began executing detractors.

The Reason to Fear

All will be fine with the Usurper in charge until he decides that you are the enemy.

All of this leads us to the next in the series of Alternate Icons, The Deposed Heir, as a replacement for the Crusadress. But that is for next time.

Download all of JBE’s 13th Age products at JonBrazer.com, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

Treat Yourself After the Holidays Sale

Didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas? Trying to figure out if you got more ugly sweaters or socks? Another “World’s Greatest” mug just not doing it for you this year? We at JBE understand and figure it is time you give yourself a little Christmas present. Whether you play Pathfinder 1e, D&D 5e, 13th Age, or 1e Mongoose Traveller, we have RPG PDFs just for you at 25% off their regular price at the JBE Shop.

Head over to the JBE Shop now to get all the races, class options, spells, magic items, adventures, monsters and more for your game. Any PDF that we have to download that is normally $2 or more, you can grab right now for 25% off. That is an awesome deal that you should not pass up.

This lasts only until the new year so grab these deals now. Head over the JBE Shop today.

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