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13th Age: Core Rulebook (OGL)

***** (based on 2 ratings)

Add Hardcover: $52.60 $47.34

Add PDF: $24.95

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Discover the d20-rolling fantasy roleplaying game from legendary designers Jonathan Tweet and Rob Heinsoo! This bookmarked PDF gives you everything you need to play epic adventures in a world where mighty Icons war and scheme in a tense balance of power. Here, a small band of adventurers could be heroes that save the ancient Dragon Empire—or set in motion the catastrophe that ends the Age.

Designed for experienced GMs and any type of player, 13th Age offers a fresh take on a familiar tabletop experience. Pelgrane Press gave Rob and Jonathan total freedom to create the game they most wanted to play. They brought the best parts of the great d20-rolling fantasy tradition together with innovative new rules, resulting in a game that EN World readers named “2013’s Most Anticipated RPG”.

Play 13th Age as a standalone game, or use it as a source of cool ideas and add-on rules for make your favorite RPG. This 320-page core rulebook features:

  • Character creation that gives your adventurer a place in the world (and the GM dozens of adventure hooks) through Icon relationships and your One Unique Things
  • A simple, flexible skill system through Backgrounds that bring your character’s personal history into the game with every dice roll
  • Streamlined, free-form combat with new rules that make battles fast, fun and dramatic
  • DIY monster and encounter building sections so GMs can create adventures with little or no preparation
  • Notes from Rob and Jonathan on how they approach their own games—and where they disagree

“13th Age RPG delivers an incredible fantasy storytelling experience.” —io9
“One of the best systems I’ve encountered—and I’ve either played or read the rules to countless d20 systems at this point—is 13th Age… It’s fun, fast and accessible.” —

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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Wonderful blend of past and future


When I first saw the Kickstarter for 13th Age, I was intrigued. But I didn't purchase. I don't tend to try new systems outside of D&D (put Pathfinder under that umbrella as well). When I do, I rarely (re: never) like them.

This book is quite different.

The format is well-laid out and clean. It jumps straight into the book and forsakes the "What is roleplaying" introductions some RPGs contain. They assume experienced or at least mildly experienced gamers.

The game uses the basic six stats used in D&D, but does a good job of encouraging spread out points. Armor, magical and physical defenses are calculated by taking a mid-point. For example, for mental defense you take the middle value of Charisma, Wisdom and Intelligence. A wizard may cast using intelligence, but will be basing their magical defense off of charisma or wisdom, depending on which is higher.

The core book contains the fighter, cleric, ranger, rogue, wizard, sorcerer, barbarian and bard. Each class plays significantly different from one another. Fighters have an interesting mechanic giving them various buffs or effects based on their die roll. Wizards gain daily, at-will and cyclic powers that are usable at different times. Rangers rely mainly on talents, but can be made more complex by picking up limited spellcasting and animal companions. I could go on. Essentially, each class is designed differently. The magic system does avoid the Vancian casting that is common in D&D and its derivatives while not conforming to the At-will/Encounter/Daily repetition that is 4th edition D&D.

Feats, instead of providing numerical bonuses, often exist to open up options. You pick up feats to alter the way certain abilities work or to open up more options with those abilities.

The game uses Backgrounds as its skill system. Backgrounds are a very open way of allocating points to specific concepts. For example, your wizard may have three points in "Member of the Thule Necromantic School." At first, I was somewhat skeptical of this. However, after over 6+ sessions of play, I am a huge fan. Rather than asking for a knowledge (nobility) check, I would ask for an intelligence check using any backgrounds that relate to nobility or history. This might include being the bastard son of a noble, the ambassador to a foreign court or the legitimate heir of a minor banner house.

Many others point to the One Unique Thing as a key element of 13th age as well. The OUT is something about your PC that is relatively unique in the world. Perhaps you are a daughter of Baba Yaga or the reincarnation of an ancient hero. These are designed to make PC's feel special and unique and can be slowly developed during play.

The best part of this system is the ease of play and DMing. No more do you spend 20+ minutes creating a level 5+ NPC or monster. No more do you have vague CR values that give ranges as opposed to expected statistical values. 13th Age makes creating monsters a breeze. Check the chart, grab the AC/Magic defense/ physical defense and then (if desired) apply one or more keywords that modify those stats. For example, a Brute may gain a % in hp but lose 1 or 2 from its defenses.

Overall, I was tentative about 13th Age but can't imagine running any other game. The ease of Dming this system combined with how much fun the combat is makes it ideal for my style of game.

A good blend of 3rd Ed & 4th Ed. concepts


I really enjoyed this book. We've only play tested 3 combats so far, just to get a feel for the mechanics, but seems promising.
If nothing else, there are MANY GREAT ideas to steal for other game systems.

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