Make Your Own Luck

So this is a couple years over due, no? Make Your Own Luck was 2014’s Free RPG Day offering from Pelgrane Press, foreshadowing the upcoming supplement at the time Eyes of the Stone Thief. It’s a prequel adventure to the massive campaign book that Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan so masterfully put together. Last night, for my Tuesday gaming group, I had the honor of GMing a game for once. It’s rather rare I do that, since that group is mainly comprised of veteran gamers that have been playing since the dawn of the RPG. It was both exciting and nerve wracking, and since I’ll be running this adventure at Gen Con 50, it was a learning experience.

The bad part? Well, I was pretty ill-prepared. The past week had been, well, interesting to say the least. I had only read half of the adventure, reading the other half while sitting behind the screen before game amongst the chatter of my three (a typically low number for this group) players. Thankfully, this adventure is straightforward enough that I was able to get away with it. By the end of it, I was nagging my players continually, trying to figure out if they genuinely had a good time or not. My performance was received positively, and my players had come up with really interesting characters to waltz through the horrors of Harrowdale.

Overall, the adventure seemed to be lacking depth. Not because of the content written on the page, gods no! But because I subconsciously rushed it along to reach the satisfying end. There’s three combats throughout the adventure, the last one being very tough. 13th Age has always excelled at keeping combat on the move, and this further solidifies that. Our game lasted about 4 hours, a little shy. Combat greedily consumed the bulk of the session. Dice rolls were rough, which certainly contributed to it. The role playing that did occur amidst play was very rewarding, albeit short. My PCs took one of the goblins scaling the wall and demanded he show them where the nightcandle was. They couldn’t see it (duh), so our water genasi bard use an Icon relationship point with the arch mage to make an elixir from his blood, in an attempt to attune herself to the nightcandle. The downside was that she was -2 to all defenses on the next combat for two rounds. Not a bad trade off to keep things moving.

With the bard, we had a necromancer and a paladin, Quite a strange bunch to be traversing through this adventure but it was certainly a blast. Stripping away all the personal touches that made this adventure fun, what about as it stands? Make Your Own Luck is solid, to say the least. The combats are interesting, there’s many avenues to take to solve the issue at hand and the GMPCs/enemies have just enough info for you to run them but put your own personal twist on them. The adventure has the potential to be very dark and horrific, though the Tuesday group doesn’t carry that atmosphere along so well. For that reason, I very much like it for what it is. The combat tables, as always, are immensely helpful and the rules tips sprinkled throughout make this a very easy adventure to run.

I honestly think it could benefit from being used as a vignette before you run your group through the entirety of Eyes of the Stone Thief. That probably seems a little obvious because, well, that’s what it is. However, not doing this as a one shot could give this dimensions that likely weren’t intended when written. This could easily be a two session game, giving your players a huge amount of personal investment in Harrowdale and the people within. This adventure is awesome, no matter which way you run it and I’m excited as hell to take some of you through it at Gen Con 50!


Stay Metal \m/

2 Comments on “Make Your Own Luck

  1. Interesting. I’ve run this 3 times in the past month. I ran it at a convention and also over Roll20 prior to the convention to iron out any creases. I liked it so much I then ran it as a one-shot for those new to 13th Age just last weekend.

    However, it’s not without it’s problems. The regenerating trolls at the start make the initial combat drag out too long. If you are time constrained then it leaves you having to miss out the battle with Marrowbreath at the end. Not a massive problem because the battle with Jaleh feels like the completion of a story arc in itself, but still, it’s disappointing.

    I also found the whole “Nightcandle” plot hook too difficult to run well. Each time I ran this the hunt for the Slaughterhouse and by extension, the nightcandle seemed too forced and hurried – mostly due to the need to hurry the story along to make up for time lost in the initial troll encounter. Jaleh is also painfully weak. If the players take out Alik before entering the slaughterhouse then Jaleh and the slime guards don’t put up much of a fight.

    Of course, all of this could be as a result of my self-critical GM eye. My players seemed to have fun. This adventure seemed like a great introduction to the Stone Thief but I think it’s a minor failing that the Eyes of the Stone Thief doesn’t just follow on directly from there. Instead you kind of need to fill the gap yourself until such time as the characters level up two more levels. A missed marketing opportunity in my eyes. Pelgrane should really have been using MYOL as the hook to pull in prospective GMs and players and then “BLAM” – a straight sell of EOTST to continue the adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You pose a lot of really valid points here. In the initial battle, the troll runt was confused the entire time, smacking his friends around. The siege troll was the first to go. Because of that, the first combat was lightning fast. Alik made his way to the basement to help Jaleh so that fight was pretty balanced. Marrowbreath was a harrow foe for my party, he actually killed one of the PCs. Amazing how two people running the same adventure can have such different results. Thanks for the input!!


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