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Posts tagged ‘13th age’



RPGaDay 2015

17th: Favorite Fantasy RPG

Boy – that’s a rough one; I like different things about different systems. If I had to pick a rules-set to use right now, it’d probably be 13th Age; it is the simplest fantasy ruleset I know that still has a very easy buy-in and familiarity to any gamer who has played D&D or Pathfinder.

That said, here’s some systems I’ve been intrigued by lately. I have this Frankenstein-like homebrew I’m working on, and in the pursuit of that I have looked at a LOT of fantasy RPGs, to see what I like and don’t like in a rules system.

Simon Washbourne’s Barbarians of Lemuria.
Mostly I like the loosey-goosey magic system. The link above is to an early, free version, but there are many newer editions.

Gregory Phillpotts’ By a Throw of the Dice.
Another nice loosey-goosey magic system.


Gates & Gorgons, by Rafael Chandler and Kobayashi.
This game has attitude – ruthless, deadly attitude.

Tim Kirk’s High Valor.
I like a lot of how characters are built and how their traits get used.

Matthew M. Slepin’s Swords of Fortune.
For it’s “dark” pulp fantasy tone.




RPGaDay 2015

11th: Favorite RPG Writer

My favorite rpg writer is the 2-headed, 11th-level Leader that is Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet, for their work on Pelgrane PressOpen Gaming License role-playing game, 13th Age.

See, it’s not often that I’m motivated to give an rpg rules book a complete read-through. It’s a matter of time, personal preferences regarding genre, style, approach, mechanics, etc., and a matter of a game being brought to my attention when I’m itching for that kind of game.

All blame and/or credit goes to Lowell Francis for recommending 13th Age in the first place. Lowell is the relentless gaming guru responsible for the ENnie-nominated website Age of Ravens. He and I talk every week or two or three, to discuss life, gaming, movies, tv, comics, and to work on some joint creative projects (our Ghosts of Gotham pitch, for example!).

For a while I had been looking for a game system I could run a long-term game with – something that would feel familiar to players of D&D and Pathfinder. Since those are two of the most popular games out there, I figured I could attract enough players to maintain a long-term game, something that has been a problem for my loose-knit gaming group for the past couple of years. I have children who were ready for something of that complexity but I dislike cluttered rules systems, so I needed something D&Dish, but lighter on its feet. Lowell knows my gaming history and preferences pretty well, and so suggested 13th Age as something that might be what I was looking for.

He is wise.

For me, the best thing about the 13th Age Core Book is the writing. Not only do Heinsoo and Tweet write with a light touch in a very straightforward, accessible prose style, but the text includes explanations and insights into why the rules are the way they are, and into their decision-making process as they designed the game. This openness, combined with the robust simplicity of the game’s mechanics, make for a rules set that is strikingly easy to understand. This in turn makes the game easy to run, easy to tweak or hack, and easy to write new material for – which many fans have done.


So, thanks Rob & Jonathan! You helped reboot my gaming enthusiasm, and my kids and their friends keep asking me to run 13th Age again!


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ceci says

did I just say that? (adventures in stream-of-consciousness writing)

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