Character Creation: 13th Age

Step 1: Choose Race

You can be: Human, Dwarf, Dark Elf, High Elf, Wood Elf, Gnome, Half-elf, Halfling or Half-orc. You get a +2 racial bonus to an ability, from  a list depending on your race.

I’m going to be a Half-orc.

As a half-orc, I can get +2 STR or +2 DEX. Also, I get the Racial Power Lethal, which lets me reroll a melee attack once per battle.

Step 2: Choose Class

You can be: Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer or Wizard. You get a +2 class bonus to one of the abilities favoured by your class, but this bonus can’t go to the same ability as the race bonus. There are no forbidden combinations of race and class.

I’m going to be a Cleric. As a cleric, I can get +2 to STR or +2 to WIS.

Step 3: Generate Ability Scores

You can generate your abilities rolling dice or with a point buy system.

I’m going to roll my abilities. I have to roll 4d6 drop the lowst and add the others together, for each ability, and then put the scores in the order I prefer.

I get: 7, 8, 9, 10, 12 and 13. Ouch. Well, I choose the following abilities:

  • Strength 9 (-1)
  • Constitution 10 (+0)
  • Dexterity 8 (-1)
  • Intelligence 7 (-2)
  • Wisdom 13 (+1)
  • Charisma 12 (+1)

I choose +2 STR for being a half-orc, and +2 WIS for being a Cleric. That gets me the following abilities:

  • Strength 10 (+0)
  • Constitution 10 (+0)
  • Dexterity 8 (-1)
  • Intelligence 7 (-2)
  • Wisdom 15 (+2)
  • Charisma 12 (+1)


Step 4: Class selections

First, some basic values for being a Cleric:

  • (7+CON mod)x3 = 21 hit points
  • 1 adventurer feat
  • 4 first level spells
  • Initiative: +0
  • Armor class (shield and heavy armor): 16
  • Physical defense: 12
  • Mental defense: 13
  • Recoveries: 8
  • Recovery dice: 1d8
  • Backgrounds: 8 points, max 5 in one background
  • Icon relationships: 3 points
  • Talents: 3

As a cleric, I get as class features the bonus spell Healing, and the feature Ritual Magic (I can cast my spells as rituals).

As a cleric, I have to choose 3 domains. Each domain gives me an Invocation I can use once per day, and a bonus that can be improved with feats.

I choose:

  • Vengeance: After being very hurt, I can bless an ally to reroll an attack. The invocation causes me and my allies to cause more damage with every missed attack.
  • Knowledge: I have 4 additional background points, to be used in something related to knowledge. The invocation lets me see a glimpse of the future of a battle, to give an ally a rerroll with a bonus.
  • Trickery: I can have a d20 result kept, and give it to anyone to make that the result of a roll. The invocation makes enemies miss more against me when they move to engage.

I have to choose four first level spells. I choose: BlessJavelin of FaithCure Wounds and Spirits of the Righteous.

Step 5: My One Unique Thing

Each character has some feature unique to them, something no one else is.

My one unique thing is that I am the only follower of my deity, a forgotten and forsaken deity of knowledge which now seeks revenge against everything… but cannot afford to lose me.

Step 6: Icon relationships

The world of 13th age has some very big movers and shakers, called Icons. Every character has some relationships to some of them, which works as something good or bad, depending of the moment. Each character starts with 3 relationship points, which can be spend in positive, conflicted or negative relationships with some of the icons (some of them are heroic, some are villainous, some are ambiguous). The default icons are:

  • The Archmage, guardian of the Empire, but user of forces far beyond common sense;
  • The Crusader, the armored fist of the Dark Gods;
  • The Diabolist, controller of fiends;
  • The Dwarf King, protector of the Empire from orcs and creatures of the deep;
  • The Elf Queen, ruler of the Court of Stars;
  • The Emperor, ruler of the human Dragon Empire;
  • The Great Gold Wyrm, protector of the world and sealer of the Abyss;
  • The High Druid, champion of the wild;
  • The Lich King, lord of the undead and would-be conqueror of the Empire;
  • The Orc Lord, aaarrrrgghh;
  • The Priestess, speaker for the gods of Light she favors;
  • The Prince of Shadows, a trickster who reshapes the world with his exploits; and
  • The Three, three of the first evil dragons.

I spend 1 point in a negative relationship with The Priestess (she would not let my god be in the Cathedral!), 1 in a conflicted relationship with the Crusader (maybe he is interested in fighting for my god, maybe not), and 1 in a negative relationship with the Orc Lord (who expelled me from my homeland).

Step 7: Backgrounds

I have 8 background points, plus 4 more to spend in knowledges. Background determine what I have done before, and what can I know now. There is no definitive list of backgrounds. I choose:

  • Forgotten knowledge whispered by a forgotten god +4
  • Visitor of many temples +3
  • Conman +3
  • Priest +2

Step 8: Feats

Now I have to choose a feat. As a level 1 character, it has to be an adventurer level feat. There are some general feats, and some racial-specific and class-specific ones that improve the racial power and the class powers.

I choose the Adventurer feat of the Knowledge domain, which lets me once per day change a knowledge skill roll to a natural 20.

Step 9: Gear

Each character starts with the basic gear of his class.