Fear in 13th Age

Discuss Pelgrane Press's 13th Age rules here. Discussion of the Dragon Empire campaign setting can also be held here.

Moderator: Blacky the Blackball

Post Reply
johnsonny
Orc
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:28 am
Gender: male
Contact:

Fear in 13th Age

Post by johnsonny »

We're starting something new this Season 3 of the Iconic Podcast; each month we're going to post a 13th Age topic and hope to drum up some conversations. This month's topic is Fear in 13th Age. How do you use it beyond just a mechanical effect?
https://iconicpodcast.com/2019/05/07/fear-in-13th-age/
Listen and subscribe to the Iconic Podcast, which is about all things 13th Age.

User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
Posts: 3355
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:51 am
Gender: male
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Fear in 13th Age

Post by Tim Baker »

I have a list of potential topics that I'll send to you when I get a chance. When I listen to episodes, they sometimes make me think, "this would make a good follow-up episode," and I'll take a note in my phone.

In regards to fear, I do my best to describe it as a supernatural force that washes over the PC. It's more than merely the effect of facing a powerful foe — 13th Age is about big heroes, after all, and fear effects are relatively rare among monster stat blocks. So there needs to be something that influences the PCs, making them less effective in combat, such as a spell-like effect. I'll sometimes ask a player to describe an event in their character's childhood that terrified them. After they share their character's memory, I tell them that the this memory is as fresh in their memory as the day it happened, and even though they know it took place some time ago, they can't shake the raw feeling of it.

johnsonny
Orc
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Aug 26, 2018 4:28 am
Gender: male
Contact:

Re: Fear in 13th Age

Post by johnsonny »

Definitely send us your list of topics! :D

I think asking for characters' memories is an excellent idea, and it accomplishes multiple things: creating that fearful, emotional connection, adding to characters' backstories, and further immerses the player into the character! Great idea!
Listen and subscribe to the Iconic Podcast, which is about all things 13th Age.

User avatar
Big Mac
Giant Space Hamster
Posts: 26483
Joined: Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:52 pm
Gender: male
Location: London UK
Contact:

Re: Fear in 13th Age

Post by Big Mac »

Becca's article on Fear was interesting.

I use 3e, so haven't ever used escalation dice at the gaming table, but this sounds similar to how 5e tries to handle things with it's Advantage and Disadvantage mechanic.

Has anyone looked at the maths behind escalation dice to see how much of an impact Fear would have on the PCs rolls? Off the top of my head it seems like it could be a major change in the probability.
David "Big Mac" Shepheard
Please join The Piazza's Facebook group, The Piazza's Facebook page and follow The Piazza's Twitter feed so that you can stay in touch.
Spelljammer 3E Conversion Project - Spelljammer Wiki - The Spelljammer Image Group.
Moderator of the Spelljammer forum (and administrator). My moderator voice is green.

User avatar
Tim Baker
Axe Beak
Posts: 3355
Joined: Tue Jan 19, 2016 7:51 am
Gender: male
Location: United States
Contact:

Re: Fear in 13th Age

Post by Tim Baker »

In 13th Age, when you're affected by fear, you take a -4 penalty to your attack rolls and can't use the escalation die. In my experience, the escalation die typically makes it to about +4 before the end of a battle. So the escalation die generally falls between 0 and 4, for an average of 2. So the total effect is an average of -6, which is a serious hit to a PC's effectiveness in combat (30% penalty).

Under this severe penalty, a PC would be wise to aid in the fight without attacking (assist teammates, affect circumstances such as traps), use an icon advantage to explain why they can shake off the effect of the fear, given GM buy-in, or do anything they can to somehow end the effect.

Post Reply

Return to “13th Age”