Using Icons in Cloak & Coin

The following extract from Cloak & Coin provides additional guidelines and mechanics for using Icon relationship rolls in a 13th Age campaign.


Encounter Advantages

A player may spend an icon relationship die once per encounter. When the player spends the die, she can choose from one of the following advantages. As a reminder, if the player uses a 6, there is no complication; a roll of a 5, adds a complication:

Better Recovery: The player can reroll any or all of the dice when spending a recovery to heal.
Complication: One enemy in the encounter heals for ½ the hit points healed by the player.

Closing Death’s Door: Reroll a failed death save.
Complication: Permanently lose 1 recovery.

Gain Momentum: The player can advance the escalation die by 1.
Complication: One non-mook enemy in the encounter becomes an escalator and can also use the escalation die until the end of the battle. If the encounter only involves mooks, one additional mook joins the fight.

Make it Hurt: The player can reroll any damage dice of a 1.
Complication: At the end of the player’s turn, reduce the escalation die by 1.

Resilient Save: The player can reroll a failed saving throw with a +2 to the roll.
Complication: The player is vulnerable until the end of their next turn. No Save is needed.

Try Again: The player can reroll a failed attack roll with a +1 to the roll.
Complication: At the end of the player’s turn, reduce the escalation die by 1.

One of the key things to remember about icon relationship rolls – furthering the story! Even though the dice rolls might provide a mechanical benefit in combat, the player is only allowed to use the advantage if she provides a narrative explanation of how her relationship with the icon comes into play.
Resource Advantages

A player’s relationship to an icon makes various resources available. The 13th Age Core Rule Book already suggests using icon relationship dice to provide players with magical items. Sometimes, other resources can be just as a valuable. Using the influence and vast reach of icons, players can find allies in unexpected places. There are two types of allies available: companions and informants. Depending on the story being told, the game master should decide on an appropriate complication that drives the narrative forward. The complications provided are merely examples.

Companion: A player can spend a icon relationship die to get a temporary companion to join the party for an encounter. The ally joins the player for one encounter. As with any use of the icon relationship die, the player must provide a narrative explanation for the arrival of the ally. For example, if the player spends an icon die roll from a negative relationship, perhaps another enemy of the icon comes to the aid of the player.

The companion uses the rules from the Ranger’s Animal Companion with two exceptions. First, the player does not gain any additional recoveries. Second, the companion does not get any companion bonuses. And, of course, the companion does not have to be an animal.

Complication: The companion has value to the icon. The player is obligated to try and keep the companion alive during the encounter. If the companion dies, the player can no longer use the escalation die for the remainder of the battle.

Informant: Information is a valuable commodity in Cloak & Coin. The player can use an icon relationship die to gain access to someone who has information they need. This could be a scholar who helps them with research, or a guide who helps them locate the entrance to the villain’s lair. The player will need to provide the narrative explanation for the availability of the informant, but the game master controls the informant and provides the necessary information.

Complication: The informant has baggage. He brings his own history and draws the attention of enemies. The players will have to deal with these enemies.
Storytelling Advantages

An icon relationship die roll can be used to grant a player power over the story. Through luck or coincidence, fate intervenes to the benefit of the characters. For example, after a shipwreck, an important book is lost. A player could use an icon roll so that the most important page winds up on the same beach as the players. If there is a complication, the rest of the book falls into the enemy’s hands. Or, maybe a player spends a icon roll to find an address before getting lost in the dark warrens of Dobe. There are some caveats. First, the game master may veto any use of the icon dice if it would be too disruptive to the story. Second, the player must provide a narrative explanation. If you are going to take over the story, tell a good one! If the player can’t provide a good, narrative explanation, it doesn’t happen. Finally, an icon die cannot change what has already happened. A player can re-interpret history, but you can’t re-write it.

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