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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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