Tuesday, August 19, 2014

[13th Age] Gnome Ranger Mim and Her Woolly Rhino Loth



Back when I played World of Warcraft, my character was a dwarf hunter—primarily because of my penchant for woodsy characters. I soon discovered the charms of pets, though, an enchantment that has reached the point of RPG evaluation criterion. (Seriously! I find myself judging games based on how easily they integrate pets among other companion NPCs.) Although my character had many pets, including a six-legged alligator named Crocostimpy, his favorite was the woolly white rhino he picked up from the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. Said rhino was named Alexei (after Marvel Comic's Rhino), and his most charming feature was the nearly subsonic thundering sound made by his feet as he charged around Azeroth.

So I was thrilled to realize, while making a Ranger for a 13th Age game at my FLGS, that I could reskin the Boar Animal Companion as a Woolly Rhino. (All Animal Companions in 13th Age share the same base stats, being differentiated only by a single trait; this makes diversifying one's pet beyond the six book options extremely simple.) Because the only thing cooler than having a rhino as a pet is riding one's rhino pet, I opted to make my character a gnome. Here are the current stats for Mim the ranger and her rhino Loth:

MIM, GNOME RANGER

Level 4

STR 13 (+1), CON 15 (+2), DEX 18 (+4), INT 10 (+0), WIS 15 (+2), CHA 10 (+0)

AC 20 (22 vs. OA b/c Small), PD 17, MD 14

HP 72, Recoveries 10 @ 4d8+2 per recovery

One Unique Thing: I know what the North Wind is saying

Icon Relationships: Archmage +/–1, Dwarf King +1, Orc Lord –1

Backgrounds: Woolly rhino wrangler +4, Frost Range guide +4, Flunked out of illusionist school in Horizon +2

Racial Powers: Confounding, Minor Illusions, Small

Class Talents: Animal Companion x2 (woolly rhino), Lethal Hunter, Two-Weapon Mastery

Feats: Animal Companion x3 (rhino adds Escalation Die to attacks, rhino can attack 2x in a round 1x per day, rhino has +1 to PD and MD), Extra Backgrounding (increases to "Woolly rhino wrangler" and "Frost Range guide") Two-Weapon Mastery (adds level to miss damage)

Basic Melee Attack: +9 attack, 4d6+2 damage, 8 miss damage (2 hand axes)

Basic Ranged Attack: +8 attack, 4d6+4 damage, 4 miss damage (thrown hand axe)

LOTH, MIM'S WOOLLY RHINO

Level 3

AC 19, PD 18, MD 14

HP 45

Companion Power: +1 attack when Loth moves before attacking

Basic Melee Attack: +9 attack, 3d6 damage

Mim has had three Incremental Advances since she began play, adding both a feat and a talent as well as increasing her hit points. She also has a few magic items she's never really used in play (they're objects the other players/characters didn't want, and they don't fit Mim's theme); I didn't bother including them as a result.

I'm really happy with the combined effect of Mim's One Unique Thing and her Backgrounds: they give her the wintry effect I was after as well as defining how she differs from the stereotypical gnome. Finally, it's quite clear to me that animal companions are one area where 13th Age has it all over Dungeons & Dragons: the latter game's CR 1/4 limit on a Beastmaster Ranger's companion choices has really undermined what's cool about animal companions in what appears to be the name of game balance.

4 comments:

  1. To be fair to D&D, I should note that 5E paladins are one area where the game beats 13th Age. (It's not that 13th Age paladins are bad--they're awesome. But they lack the mechanical and thematic flexibility of 5E's oath-centered paladins.)

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  2. I've been liking 5th Edition quite a bit, and it scratches a different itch that 13th Age, but 5th Edition Rangers are a conglomeration of random bits that doesn't quite ever work, no matter how I try and twist and turn the pieces. I want my freaking Aragorn simulator!

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  3. There's no question that the 13th Age Ranger beats the pants off the 5E Ranger (although I appreciate the care taken to give the Ranger a unique spell list). You can be an Aragorn simulation in 13th Age.

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  4. One Unique Thing: Isildur's Heir.

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