Undead Clerics in 13th Age

I don’t mind stealing flesh
From the hides of decadence.

–Temple of the Darakhul, “Hunger Strike”

You can thank MTV Live for infecting my brain while I was sick, if you like the horrible mashup in the epigram.

But my musings on sickness were for last post. This time around, I want to focus on player-characters in 13th Age who were living, died, and live again. Not in a warboy way, but in the way of the living dead. As part of the 12 Days of Cleric-mas, I thought it important to muse on how to accommodate the possibility of an undead cleric in 13th Age.

The Midgard setting that I’ve been mining introduces a couple of PC race options that are not among the living: the darakhul and some goblins of the Ghost Goblin tribe. In both cases, a living individual either contracted a disease (darakhul fever) or took part in a ritual (Ghost Goblins), and were reborn after death with their faculties still fully in place. It’s a type of character that has become prominent in pop culture of late — iZombie being the most recent I can think of — where the trope of the mindless and terrifying undead character is portrayed in a way that subverts their traditional role.
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That was a month, I’ll give it that.

Some of my Twitter circles have been talking about folks getting hit with a “super-bug” of sorts lately. Turns out I’m apparently an early adopter, because something of that sort wiped out most of my March. The last Saturday of February is the last time I felt fully healthy — I’m still less than 100%. I got sick for a week, got better, got a different kind of sick for another week… With meds and tea, I got “better enough” to be a semi-functional human being, but it’s still rough.

As a result, I’m still hit-or-miss on my focus and energy levels, and my voice hasn’t fully recovered. Because of my background in speech, acting, and GMing, this last one is what bothers me the most.

The one silver lining is that I suddenly found a lot more time to read and scribble words, even if I didn’t have the energy for revision. Besides resuming the ’12 Days of Cleric-mas,’ I put out feelers for a future Midgard game using the Archmage Engine (13th Age). One of my friends had mentioned playing a campaign there the PCs are more monstrous than the average character, so I picked up the Kobold Press Advanced Races Compendium and asked what looked interesting. So I’ll have more “13 Age in Midgard” hacks upcoming.

I also spent much of my illness coming up with an Alchemist class for 13th Age, since another friend was looking to play a tinkerer/artificer type of character. After some initial frustration, I feel I’ve got a decent concept that I’d want to playtest/run in a game. And after re-reading some of the 13th Age in Glorantha playtest docs, I had the idea to do an Oracle class that was a “transformation” of the existing Cleric class.

Now that I’m at least back to being functional, it’s finally time to revise and post the “Undead Clerics in 13th Age” piece. And make more tea.