House Rule – Stances – 13th Age

by wolvercote66

I have been an admirer of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition since its release back in 2009.  However, I never actually had an opportunity to play it to my everlasting regret.  A glaring lack of an audience being the main factor but other things (personal) contributed to my inability to get anything going for this system.  I love the Warhammer setting and hopefully will game there someday with a 4th edition that appeals to a wider audience.

Since 2009 I’ve played D&D 4e, Pathfinder and Castles & Crusades, but now with the release of 13th Age I’m ready to start over with a new system.  As with every system I’ve ever played, house-rules are something I love to implement or experiment with.  I’ve already outlined on this blog, a Stress & Insanity system that I plan on working into my next 13th Age campaign.  I based this house-rule on Warhammer’s rules for the same.  The opportunities for role-playing one of these conditions can provide are fantastic.

Another rule that Warhammer has that I like is that of stances.  Briefly, in WFRP3e, stances are defined as “Reckless”, “Neutral” and “Conservative”.  A PC will favor one or the other based on their class.  A reckless stance provides more opportunities for a big payoff but also a greater chance of being on the receiving end of some misfortune.  A conservative stance naturally is a safer approach of low-risk, low-reward.

I have been tinkering with adding a similar type of approach to 13th Age’s combat.  13th Age’s combat is elegant in its simplicity so one must be careful in my opinion of layering on too much.  I think this house-rule meets that criteria of simplicity.

House Rule – Stances

Stances are declared at the start of your round and cannot be changed until your next round.

During combat a PC may declare a “stance” of either Neutral, Defensive or Aggressive each round.

Neutral provides no bonuses or negatives to your attacks or defenses.

Declaring an Aggressive stance provides a +2 to attack and damage rolls but a -2 to your defenses.

Declaring a Defensive stance provides a +2 to your defenses but you may not inflict crits, move or take a quick action..