13th Age: The Tinkerer, an Alternate Icon

All year long we are releasing alternate icons for 13th Age. Read previous entries in the series: the Usurper, Deposed Heir, Fleshcrafter, Herald, Wandering Spirit Guild Mistress, and the Mother. This month we delve into one of the racial powers of the world as we talk about the Tinkerer, the equal and opposite of the Dwarf King.

The Tinkerer is the champion of science and technology. With his natural gnomish curiosity, he wants to understand the world around him without getting involved in all this magic stuff. Since anyone can do science if they apply themselves, the Tinkerer calls it the magic for everyone.


“I have a new gadget! Let’s go try it out!”

Frequent Location

Laboratory of Wonders, this sprawling structure constantly has gears turning, wheels spinning, and colors changing. The one thing that most people are struck by when the approach is the enormous onion-shaped done with a stick pointing at the sky. The Tinkerer calls it a “Lenscope,” describing it as a way to view the stars in the sky. Each room in the Laboratory of Wonders is filled with different curiosities. Some have bubbling beakers. Others have flames shooting out of nozzles. Inside another room, every object within is colored red; only those either painted red or who’s skin tone is naturally of a red hue are permitted inside. Supposedly there is a spinning needle within the red room. If you remove a red object from the red room and take it out into the world, the needle will point it at the missing box and it will create an image of the missing item.

Common Knowledge

The Tinkerer loves to create new items and gadgets. He will travel the world looking for inspiration for new gadgets. Anyone seeking knowledge will find a friend in the Tinkerer.

The Icon and Adventurers

Young adventurers are frequently sent to investigate rumors of some new gadget or device and bring it back for the Tinkerer. Older, more experienced adventurers will be sent to get back some items that someone is abusing. Whenever a field digger is being used to destroy people’s homes or a portable ranged campfire maker is being used to burn people at the stake, the Tinkerer will hire adventurers to take that bit of technology away from them since they have proven to not use it responsibly.


The Tinkerer does not have allies per se, but he does have other icons that he gets along with will help out because they use his technology responsibly. The Tinkerer gets along best with the Guild Mistress. She takes the Tinkerer’s inventions far and wide, giving him the resources to continue his work unabated. The Usurper, after a few misunderstandings, has agreed to only use the Tinkerer’s non-magical items only for their intended purpose.


Much like the Tinkerer does not have allies, he also lacks enemies. There are only those that the Tinkerer does not get along with for one reason or another. The Herald and the Wandering Spirit have no use for such mundane items and consider the Tinkerer beneath their notice. The Tinkerer considers the Fleshcrafter’s golems to be an abhorrent use of such knowledge, preferring automata that help people, not suppress them. The Deposed Heir’s focus on regaining power has let those that follow him to use the Tinkerer’s devices irresponsibly. The two are currently not speaking over the incident.


Through a combination of hard work and more than a little good luck, the Tinkerer experimented on everything he could get his tiny hands upon and learned all he could. He started with a single field, wanting to understand why the land was no longer producing food. Where the locals saw only a curse, the Tinkerer saw a problem that needed to be solved. When he discovered that the animals were eating rotten food and their manure was poisoning the crops, he became famous. From there he took his intelligence and used it to help others throughout the world.

The Reason to Fear

It is said that the Tinkerer possesses enough gadgets and gizmos to take over the whole Realm if the Tinkerer so choose. No one wants to make the Tinkerer mad enough to look beyond the Laboratory of Wonders and intervene in the problems of the world.

One person that would love to get their hands on the Tinkerer’s items is the Beggar Queen, the equal and opposite of the Shadow Prince. Read about her next month when we detail this icon at the JBE Blog.

Looking to play 13th Age while social distancing, Download the 13 Class Options Bundle at the Fantasy Grounds Store. You can also find it at the JBE Shop, DriveThruRPG, and the Open Gaming Store.

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