Gaming Articles

Terrific 13th Age Character: Icon Relationships

Step 1: Choose a Race
Step 2: Choose a Class
Step 3: Generate Ability Scores
Step 4: Fill in Combat Stats
Step 5: Choose a Unique Trait
Step 6: Icon Relationships

To further bring you into the game world, 13th Age’s system uses concepts called Icons who represent 13 powerful beings in the world. The 13 icons include:

  1. The Archmage
  2. The Emperor
  3. The Great Gold Wyrm
  4. The Priestess
  5. The Dwarf King
  6. The Elf Queen
  7. The Crusader
  8. The High Druid
  9. The Prince of Shadows
  10. The Three
  11. The Lich King
  12. The Diabolist
  13. The Orc Lord

Really they can be any icons your GM comes up with, so be sure to double check with them and work with them to make your character

Of these icons, they are divided into Heroic Icons, Ambiguous Icons, and Villainous Icons. Ask your GM for more information when setting this up.

You get 3 points to put into choosing 1-3 relationships. Each represents on d6 when you try to leverage your connection to the icon. The more points, the more you can leverage that relationship. The points are applied in the table below.

Heroic Icon Spend 1, 2, or 3 points. Spend 1, 2, or 3 points. Spend 1 point
As far as this icon is concerned, you’re one of the good guys. Good authorities often help you, and civilians often trust you. On the down side, you may be called upon to serve representatives of the icon even when you have other plans. You might also be a target of villainous icons or this heroic icon’s rivals. You’re probably one of the good guys, but for some reason, you’re suspect to this icon. Maybe you’re a convict who has served his time, or an imperial soldier who was too good and got drummed out of his legion. You have insider knowledge and allies who are in good with the icon, but you also have enemies associated with the icon. In the icon’s eyes, you’re a dissident, opponent, rival, or foe. You may have contacts or inside knowledge that you can use to your advantage, but some form of trouble waits for you wherever this heroic icon has influence.
Ambiguous Icon Spend 1, 2, or 3 points. Spend 1, 2, or 3 points. Spend 1 or 2 points.
Thanks to your relationship with the icon, you are a hero to some, a villain to others, and possibly even a monster to a few. The enemies of your friends may turn out to be your friends, and vice versa. Advantages and complications will come from all sides. Your relationship with the icon is complex, an uneven relationship with an icon who’s a hero to some and a villain to others. One way or another, you can find help or hostility anywhere. You don’t just live in interesting times—you create them. Your enmity with this icon makes you some enemies, but it also makes you some useful friends. You may be a dissenter, unwanted family member, or even a traitor in some way.
Villainous Icon Spend 1 point. Spend 1 or 2 points. Spend 1 or 2 points.
You are able to gain secrets or secretive allies, but your connection to this icon brings trouble from people associated with the heroic icons who oppose the villain. Be prepared to justify why you’re not imprisoned, interrogated, or otherwise harassed by the heroic icons and their representatives whenever they encounter you. Or for that matter, by the other PCs. You mostly work against the icon, but you’re also connected to the icon in a way you can’t deny. Your connection sometimes gives you special knowledge or contacts, but it also makes you suspect in the eyes of many right-minded would-be heroes. You mostly work against the icon, but you’re also connected to the icon in a way you can’t deny. Your connection sometimes gives you special knowledge or contacts, but it also makes you suspect in the eyes of many right-minded would-be heroes.

This chart above assumes a heroic character. In the case of a villain, swap the maximums between heroic and villainous ones.

Relationship Check

To check your icon relationship (your relationship with a particular icon) and leverage the relationship, roll a d6 for each point you have in the relationship. Multiple points result in multiple dice.

If any die is a 6, you get some meaningful advantage from the relationship without having complications. If two or three dice come up 6, that’s even better!If any die is a 5, your connection to the icon is going to work out as well as a 6 would, but with some unexpected complication. If it’s a good icon, you might be drawn into some obligation. If it’s a villainous icon, you might attract unwanted attention. Rolling 5s when you also rolled 6s should make life both interesting and advantageous!

Whelp, that’s it. That’s the character generation process. Hopefully we’ve helped you along.

Please remember to check out the 13th Age RPG. It’s a worthwhile investment in your gaming career and will allow you to fact check and ensure you’re getting the most out of your character.

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