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Dark Pacts & Ancient Secrets (13th Age Compatible)
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Dark Pacts & Ancient Secrets (13th Age Compatible)

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Dark Pacts & Ancient Secrets introduces six new classes that are compatible with the 13th Age Roleplaying Game: the monstrous Abomination, the destiny-shaping Fateweaver, the mind-bending Psion, the berserking Savage, the dashing Swordmage and the dark-souled Warlock.

You can listen to the Iconic Podcast Dark Pacts & Ancient Secrets Review to learn more.

The Abomination

Characters that turn into a monster are a staple in gothic novels, superhero comics and fighting games, but in fantasy RPGs they’ve never quite made it from the monster handbook to the player manual. This class allowed me to showcase everything that is great about the 13th Age Roleplaying Game, the class features, talents, and flexible attacks. Each abomination is literally a One Unique thing, whether it’s a living torch, a walking plant thing, or a lightning-charged brawler from the jungle.

The Fateweaver

In a tabletop RPG, your character can try anything, but they are always slave to the luck of the dice. What if you could break that wall and manipulate the dice directly? What if your spells didn’t just affect the game world, but the narrative? With the fateweaver, you stay two steps ahead, always in control, moving your allies like pawns on a chessboard. At epic levels, you can rewrite the story as it unfolds. You can see the future, mend the past and even discover a version of yourself that never was.

The Psion

Ask any old-school gamer, and they will tell you that they either love or hate psionics. It’s always been that other, different magic system that is rooted in science fiction and cyberpunk as much as fantasy. The version presented in this book tries to stay close to the roots, with the six classic disciplines and a power point system. It’s a complex class that offers a wide variety of ways to build your character, with 12 talents and over 80 powers. The flexibility also translates into play, with the ability to augment each power as you manifest it.

The Savage

You love RPGs because you can blow off steam and smash things? With the savage, you get angrier and smash harder. You have some additional tricks like rushing head first into battle and shouting at people and shaking off wounds. The core message is: You carry a big sword. You attack, and when you hit, you roll damage. Then you attack again and when you hit, you roll more damage. Then you level up, and you roll more dice and bigger dice.

The Swordmage

Swing a sword with one hand, fling spells with the other. The class in this book is a dedicated defender, combining a high armor class with a sigil power that punishes enemies for ignoring you and attacking your squishier allies. Your spells add fire and lightning to your melee attacks, or block incoming strikes. As a frontline fighter, the swordmage is not quite as tough as the fighter or the paladin, but you’ll have many tricks up your sleeve that more than make up for it. Also, you have a flaming sword.

The Warlock

Warlocks gain their power through a pact with a powerful entity, represented in this game through the icons. Your spells come in three flavors: curses that weaken your enemies, blasts that melt their faces, and hexes that protect you. It’s a tremendous power that never runs out, but it comes with the risk that one day, your pact lord will come to collect the debt. As the old saying goes: the wizard memorizes the textbook, the sorcerer naps in class but still aces the test, and the warlock pays off the teacher. over 100 magic items for the new classes, snazzy character sheets, and talents for the core classes to access the spells and powers in this book.

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Reviews (3)
Discussions (9)
Customer avatar
Martin K June 06, 2020 7:30 pm UTC
Reviews from R’lyeh on Dark Pacts:
Customer avatar
Travis P April 25, 2019 12:15 am UTC
Martin, do you have a rough timeline on when "Dark Alleys & Twisted Paths" will be released?
Customer avatar
Martin K January 09, 2020 12:28 pm UTC
It took a long time but It’s out!
(PDF and hardcover right now, softcover hopefully before the end of the month)
Customer avatar
Travis P January 10, 2020 12:44 am UTC
Thank you for the update. I will pick it up today.
Customer avatar
Ellen H April 23, 2019 1:18 pm UTC
Hi Martin,

1) I'm going to be playing an abomination in our next campaign and so far the class looks awesome!
2) Quick question: what resources did you use to make your document look so much like the core books? I'm looking to make some of my own home brew stuff, but can't find anything super useful regarding document format and design. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!
Customer avatar
Martin K April 24, 2019 12:51 am UTC
That credit goes to Nathan Paoletta. He did all the layout.
I can tell you that the 13th Age fonts are Warnock Pro for main text and a modified Mason Serif for headlines, which should go a long way to make things look 13th Age-y.
Customer avatar
Ellen H April 24, 2019 1:04 am UTC
Thank you so much! That helps immensely.
Customer avatar
Brandon M March 11, 2019 12:57 am UTC
I have a question regarding the Skull Blade Talent for the Swordmage -

The Swordmage has an "Access to Wizardry" Class Feature and an "Academy Training" talent.

The "Skull Blade" talent says you learn necromancer instead of wizard spell with your "Wizard Training Talent". Which of the above two is this talent referring to?

I assume it is Access to Wizardry and this talent is sort of like Academy Training, but for necromancers instead, but I wanted to be sure.

Love the book!

Customer avatar
Martin K March 11, 2019 4:05 am UTC
That’s a typo that somehow slipped through. Your assumption is correct, it should refer to the Access to Wizardry class feature. Thanks for catching it.
Customer avatar
Brandon M March 12, 2019 4:10 am UTC

I have another question/point of clarification for the Sigil of Shielding's adventurer tier feat. How does that work exactly. Does this feat bypass the requirement that the swordmage not be targeted by an attack for an ally to receive the benefit?

Thanks again for the quick response.
Customer avatar
Martin K March 12, 2019 5:23 am UTC
The feat is applied to the effect, not the trigger.

So with the feat, the sigil now reads:

Trigger: The marked enemy makes an attack against an ally, and that attack does not also target you.
Effect: Your ally takes half damage from _all attacks during the enemy's turn_.

In other words, without the feat, if the enemy has 5 attacks, you can only shield against one. With the feat, if you trigger the sigil on the first attack and the enemy keeps attacking that ally, the ally takes half damage on all of them.
Customer avatar
Martin K November 14, 2018 1:47 pm UTC
Almost 1 year passed since the last rules update for this book, so here are some smaller changes and clarifications based on player feedback. Since they are rather minor, I'll leave them here for reference, but I won't be updating the PDF for now.


(1) Force Punch (p. 50): Change the epic feat to "Epic Feat: Increase all damage dice to d10s." -- The original feat slipped through playtest, and ended up too good.

(2) Mental Cleansing (p. 56): Add "Augmentation: (1 PP) Use this power as a quick action." -- Adding this as an option to make the power more useful in the thick of combat.


No changes. Just a note that the multiclassing rules on page 81 should be followed. You don't gain FRENZY dice for attacks that aren't savage attacks or powers, and you don't add your FRENZY pool to damage with attacks from your other class either.


(1) Reduce the base AC in heavy armor from 16 to 15. --...See more
Customer avatar
Martin K December 13, 2019 6:13 pm UTC
Quick note: The errata above have been updated in the file. Please re-download.
(Mental Cleansing is simply a quick action now)
Customer avatar
Travis P August 17, 2018 1:18 am UTC
Should the Swordmage spell Elemental Warding on page 90 have additional level entries? The wording of the spell states that the damage is reduced by the spell level but there it is only listed as a 1st level spell.
Customer avatar
Martin K August 17, 2018 9:59 am UTC
The spell doesn‘t have entries for higher levels to save space.
As a 3rd level spell, you reduce the damage by 3*5 = 15 and gain resist 10+3 = 13 against the damage type, and so on.
Customer avatar
Travis P August 17, 2018 10:57 am UTC
Thank you for the reply. This is an amazing book.
Customer avatar
Martin K March 14, 2018 3:25 pm UTC
By the way, if you're looking for pregenerated characters for the six Dark Pacts classes, you can find them on the Vault of the 13th Age. <- This comment sections doesn't do URLs, so please copy & paste.
Customer avatar
Joshua V January 20, 2018 2:18 am UTC
Any deals for this coming up? It's a bit pricy...
Customer avatar
Martin K January 20, 2018 3:49 am UTC
I'm participating in DrivethruRPG sales, so whenever there's a site-wide sale that applies here, the PDF will be cheaper. If Pelgrane does another "Friday the 13th Age" sale, I'll join that too.

As for the printed books, there's not much I can do. The price difference is pretty much the printing cost, and I'm earning the same as with the PDF.
Customer avatar
Martin K November 18, 2017 2:37 pm UTC
Here is the list of known errata (as of 11/18/2017).

P12, Bestial Agility: Ignore the champion feat. Abominations can choose to use Dexterity for melee attack damage by default.

P34, Hand of Fate: This is a daily spell. (Entry is missing)

P44, Psionic Powers: You start with five psionic powers and five power points. The level advancement table is correct, the text is wrong.

P57, Sapped Strength: Correct is "Hit: 2d10 + Constitution + Intelligence damage" (Psychometabolism uses Constitution, not Strength)

P105, Brutal Blaster, Champion Feat: Correct is "You treat staggered enemies as cursed. This allows you to use your Malediction class feature, and gain the bonus effects of spells and powers versus cursed enemies against them." (First sentence missing)

Apologies for letting those slip through.
Customer avatar
Vsevolod N January 06, 2018 12:05 pm UTC
Hello! Great book!
Will we see updated pdf in the future?
Customer avatar
Martin K January 07, 2018 1:37 am UTC
Yes, I'd like to do that at some point but I don't have a date on that yet.
Customer avatar
Martin K January 27, 2018 2:28 am UTC
The updated PDF version is now up. The printer is working on the print version, this should be up in a few days.
Customer avatar
mark A July 08, 2018 7:30 am UTC
is the current print version fully errata'ed?
Customer avatar
Martin K July 08, 2018 8:43 am UTC
Yes, every book printed since Feb 2018 is the final, errata‘d version.
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This title was added to our catalog on August 28, 2017.