Commandeer Other Mechanics: Escalation Die (13th Age)

When playing different games, you might come across a feature and think “man, this would be cool to use in a different game.”

13th Age has a ton of great mechanics, but today I want to focus on the Escalation Die.

In 13th Age, during combat you put aside a special d6. Each round, you increase the number showing on the die by one. Each player in the combat gets a bonus to their attack rolls equal to the escalation die, maxing out at a +6.

Kazekami's  photocube escalation  die templates

Kazekami's photocube escalation die templates

 This mechanic ratchets up the intensity of a fight the longer it goes on. Sometimes combat can be a drag if the players get a series of bad rolls. The escalation die helps avoid this problem and speeds up combats as they go.

This is a really easy mechanic to implement into existing games, and can be done with little to no modification. You can use it in some fights or all fights, your choice.

You can play around with the escalation die a bit as well. Perhaps the deadly boss monster also can utilize the benefits of the escalation die. Maybe a trap goes off when it hits a certain number, or arcane casters gain a boost when the die is odd.

13th Age’s escalation die is a great mechanic to use and is super easy to incorporate. Let me know how it works for you!