After converting or more precisely creating Ash as a second level 13th Age character it was time to play. Since I want to play one-shot adventures with Ash I decided to use a freeform modular approach, like I did to finish my Risus adventure, meaning I will decide on a fixed number of encounters that are played in order in the context of a backstory.

So I decided I will play a prelude which is used to obtain a quest and six encounters thereafter. The encounters will be generated using Mythic as a random idea generator and should relate somehow to the quest or, in the case of later encounters, to the encounters that happened before.

I played out the encounters mostly in my head, taking sketchy notes by hand. For the write-up I will use the I perspective I tried before, I kinda liked it. Also, notable game mechanics will be explained in a seperate section at the end.

The adventure begins…

PRELUDE

After the unpleasant turn of events during and after my last assignment I decided to stay away from corporations for a while and do a little independent work. In the past I heard a few spacers talk fondly about the Tamesh sector. According to spacer talk it is an out of the way sector on the edges of the Outer Rim, bordering the Unknown Regions. The imperial presence there is supposed to be light, most officials are thought of as receptive for monetary persuasion and one should be able to make a decent profit there without to much trouble. So I decided to check it out.

After some asking around I was pointed towards the planet Camil in the Camil system. The planet was known for being the religious enclave for an order of disciplined monks, the Servants of Zen. Even though the monks chose to live a simple life, forsaking most of modern technology to stay spiritually pure, they have a well-trained and well equipped security force that employs top-notch technology. Their primary mission is to safeguard the monks and ensure that they can lead their life of simplicity. Their secondary mission is to strictly enforce the planet’s laws and regulations. According to rumors the monks generate a fairly healthy profit by selling rare spices and “drugs”, substances that help in meditation, that they produce according to a recipe passed on over generations.

The trade in these substances is regulated and restricted, however, there seems to be a very large demand for it. This is where independent merchants like me come in. I had a contact in the beautiful costal city of Limra, located in the tropical region of the planet on the southern continent. The area around Limra was dominated by fertile plains and a tropical rainforest. Limra only had a landing pad and a limited service starport. I gently sat my ship down on the pad and headed for the Portside Cantina, where I was supposed to meet my contact.

After a few minutes I was approached by a Quarren. My contact.
“I was told you are in the transport business.” the Quarren said.
“That is correct. What do you need transported and where to?”
“Me? Nothing. I just happen to know somebody who does.”

“Fine with me. So whats the cargo and the destination.”

“A few tonnes of rare camilian spices that need to get to Aldere. Without going through customs first.”

“I figured that much. And I heard security here is pretty tight, even if it doesn’t look that way.”

I checked my datapad and realized, that it is also a pretty long trip.

“Also, Aldere is not exactly around the corner. My fee is 8000, 4000 in advance.”

The Quarren chuckled and looked at me slightly annoyed.

“Who do you think you are. You will be paid 5000 after the delivery.”

Alright, so the usual dance begins…so be it.

“I am someone who knows what he is doing. Do you think I am new in this business? I’ll settle for 7000.”

“Listen flyboy. I got a lot of people that I could call for the job. I decided to talk to you. So you better prove your worth first or I’ll call somebody else.”

Well, let’s book this one as a business establishing endavor.

“Allright, but you will pay 50% in advance.”

“Let’s make it 30% and we have a deal.”

“Agreed. So how does this go. Where do I load the cargo.”

The Quarren handed me a data chip and asked me to be at the stored coordinates at noon two days from now. I had just put away the chip as a group of four ruffians entered the cantina and headed straight towards our table. I immediately knew that trouble was coming our way.

“Hey you little stink. We told you to stay out of our turf. Looks like you need a little reminder. And if I don’t allow you here, we certainly don’t allow your friend here as well.”

The ruffian was addressing the Quarren, his followers eyed me carefully. I knew how to handle these local wannabee gangsters. They think they are big fish, however, they swim in a small pond. Probably none of them ever left this planet. They prey upon the fear of the common people and are probably not used to resistance. The best thing in a situation like this was to seize the initiative…

“Listen Uglyface. Didn’t your parents teach you to be quiet if two adults are talking to each other? You got exactly ten seconds to take your fellow Hollowbrains and get out of here or I will be forced to send you to your room.”

I stared at him, showing no sign of anxiety or emotion, my hand rested on the grip of my blaster. He seemed shocked and puzzled at the same time. I was right. He didn’t expect resistance. But he was probably to stupid and proud to just leave. So here we go…

“Ten!”

I used the table to propel myself towards him, hitting him square in the face. His nose broke, blood was everywhere. Before the guy next to him knew what hit him I smashed his kneecap with a short kick and brought my knee up in his face as he bent down from the pain in his knee. Then I was rushed by the remaining two and took some heavy hits. These guys knew how to throw a punch, I’ll give ‘em that! After my quick start the battle extended in a full-scale brawl. I got pretty roughed up but in the end I stared at four beaten and bloodied ruffians laying on the floor.

“Let’s get out of here.” I told the Quarren.

“I think we are done anyways. I’ll be at the coordinates in two days. Maybe you should keep a low profile for a while. I’ll do the same.”

I made a quick exit, hand on my blaster, ready for anything…

Game Mechanics:

The negotiation was handled with a Charisma modifier + Man of the Streets background + level (for a total of +9) roll vs. a DC of 20. 13th Age does not track skill modifier for NPCs or works with opposed rolls. All skill checks are made against a DC determined by the “environment” in which the character acts. A DC of 20 is a hard task in an adventurer tier environment (levels 1-3). I figured it would be hard for a new face to be able to get 8000 credits. I failed the first roll so I tried for 7000 and fumbled (natural 1) so I decided the negotiations were over. Take it or leave it so I took it.

The intimidation attempt against the thugs was a similar check against also a DC of 20 which I failed. However, with my initiative modifier of +10 I got the initiative as a sure thing. The opposition where 4 level 0 mooks for starters, to get a feel for the combat rules. The combat was played with generic pawns on a sketchy map, quickly scribbled onto an erasable battlemat. I used melee basic attacks (unarmed strikes). First impressions: I like everything. To just roll against DCs is liberating, no need to come up with NPC stats and the abstract positioning without counting squares speeds combat up a lot but still gives a good impression of who is where an doing what. The mooks combat stats are quickly generated by the tables in the monster generation section of the SRD which is basically D&D monster math:

AC is level + 16

Attack is level +5

HP and Damage are found in the table.

First verdict: Nice start.

Oh, I almost forgot: The encounter was generated by the Mythic result dominate/fears which I interpreted as a street gang is dominating this part of town because of the fears of the inhabitants. And of course they don’t like it if somebody is conducting business on their turf. And I survived the brawl with 2 HP left! I took a couple of critical hits. But thanks to my heroic approach all HP are restored after a short rest, meaning after an encounter. From what I have read so far, 13th Age is similar to D&D 4e and assumes that you basically go into an encounter fully healed (they also use healing surges, however, they call it “recoveries”) so the encounters are balanced against fully healed heroes, which means my approach does not break the system.

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