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[General Roleplaying Games] It is our Fate to Run the Shadows Bearing Torches

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Posts

  • NullzoneNullzone Registered User regular
    Capfalcon wrote: »
    Nullzone wrote: »
    And now for my own question, what's the deal with Cthulhutech? I saw it in passing at Origins and I'm a sucker for that mythos but I couldn't get a good read on the game itself.

    It really isn't very good. There is two interesting and potentially fun ideas in there: Giant Mechs vs. Monsters from Cthulhu and people who turn themselves into monsters (Tagers) in order to fight monsters.

    It's just... the system isn't that good, the setting is boring, and the books are really, really uncomfortable to read (rape camps? seriously?). Add into that that all the metaplot books and adventures seem to miss the what the CoC RPG understood pretty well (No chance of victory in the long run doesn't mean your battles are pointless. You can have small victories and successes, you just can't ever win forever.), and you get a depressing, clunky, and boring game that's more trouble than it's worth.

    Well that's disappointing :(

  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    The rolling in Cthulhutech is fun and gave a neat result for the little I played it.

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  • VanguardVanguard Je suis le savant au fauteuil sombre. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    My favorite game to roll characters in is DCC RPG. It's certainly not for everyone, but rolling an Elven Sage who can't speak Elven, read or write, whose only possessions are a quill pen and paper is a riot at the gaming table.

  • tzeentchlingtzeentchling Doctor of Rocks San DiegoRegistered User regular
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    I have never looked at MHR before. I did run a DC Universe game for a few months for my group. It started out fun, and we had some good times, but after a bit all of the characters started feeling the same due to the mechanics causing everything to feel...well, the same, just with a different flavor text to go with it.

    Currently, I am working on putting together a Legend of Five Rings campaign for my group. I've just started laying the ground work for it, putting together the over all plot structure and creating the major NPCs. I'm rather excited about it, as I've wanted to get an L5R game going for over a decade now. I'm also excited because its going to push me as a DM. The current game I'm running (Pathfinder) had ended up really more of a tactics game with a lose story tying it together. L5R, however, is heavy on the social interactions and relies a lot on character interaction. I am really looking forward to using it to grow as a DM.

    L5R is probably one of my favorite settings for an RPG. Personally, I love all the history and detail that they put into their setting. It really does depend on what edition you're playing, though, and possibly what time period. I somewhat refuse to move to 4e, simply because the rulebook stripped most of the background and fluff, but I hear it's better mechanically. The social interaction bit is definitely the most interesting part, and it's actually kind of nice that the combat is appropriately deadly.

    When/where are you planning on setting the campaign?

  • AspectVoidAspectVoid Registered User regular
    AspectVoid wrote: »
    I have never looked at MHR before. I did run a DC Universe game for a few months for my group. It started out fun, and we had some good times, but after a bit all of the characters started feeling the same due to the mechanics causing everything to feel...well, the same, just with a different flavor text to go with it.

    Currently, I am working on putting together a Legend of Five Rings campaign for my group. I've just started laying the ground work for it, putting together the over all plot structure and creating the major NPCs. I'm rather excited about it, as I've wanted to get an L5R game going for over a decade now. I'm also excited because its going to push me as a DM. The current game I'm running (Pathfinder) had ended up really more of a tactics game with a lose story tying it together. L5R, however, is heavy on the social interactions and relies a lot on character interaction. I am really looking forward to using it to grow as a DM.

    L5R is probably one of my favorite settings for an RPG. Personally, I love all the history and detail that they put into their setting. It really does depend on what edition you're playing, though, and possibly what time period. I somewhat refuse to move to 4e, simply because the rulebook stripped most of the background and fluff, but I hear it's better mechanically. The social interaction bit is definitely the most interesting part, and it's actually kind of nice that the combat is appropriately deadly.

    When/where are you planning on setting the campaign?

    For the edition, I'm going with 4e, as I would prefer to stay away from the d20 based third edition, and if my group decides to run the campaign long term, it'll be easier to find the 4e source books then the 2e source books. I actually do have the core 2e book as well. That's what I bought a decade ago and never got a chance to use.

    As for the timeline, I am planning on running it right after the ascension of Empress Iweko the First. The Empress has ordered that there is to be peace among the Great Clans and no more war. But still, as it is soon afterward, there is a lot of tension among the clans.

    My plan is to start the game with a small, multi-clan force being brought together by the Emerald Champion to promote cooperation among the clans by taking out a bandit army that has been causing havok. My players will be members of this force, thus different clan affiliations won't keep them apart, but the tension should cause some minor party conflict. The bandits will be armed with Gaijin Pepper, the players will be ordered to investigate, and I should be able to use that to lead into the War of Dark Fire. Of course, the Army of Fire will be framing everyone and anyone for it, so there should be lots of investigation and conflict going on before the war begins.

    PSN|AspectVoid
  • tzeentchlingtzeentchling Doctor of Rocks San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Neat. That's a pretty tumultuous time politically, if not direct warfare/confrontations. I would be interested to hear how it goes!

    Also, it's sufficiently far back that the Destroyer invasion and Spider Clan and all that stuff is coming, but you don't have to include it. Much as I enjoyed reading the stories, it's not the direction I would have taken the fluff in.

    tzeentchling on
  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    I want to run something with roll20 but I don't know what yet.

    Haven't been running any Maptool games or table D&D for a bit now.

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  • VanguardVanguard Je suis le savant au fauteuil sombre. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    I would use roll20, but I find that gridded combat slows things down a lot. That, and I've never been impressed by the tactical systems most tabletop RPGs use.

  • SUPERSUGASUPERSUGA Registered User regular
    SJ wrote: »
    SUPERSUGA wrote: »
    Played another playtest of my D&D variant (see signature) tonight, which was great fun. A two and a half hour session on Google Hangouts where the party managed to:

    Do you have your sig enabled? I can't see it with your posts.

    Also 13th age is going to be amazing because it is Rob Heinsoo's love letter to D&D.
    Go to soogagames.blogspot.com and click "Into the Odd".

  • InfidelInfidel Heretic Registered User regular
    Vanguard wrote: »
    I would use roll20, but I find that gridded combat slows things down a lot. That, and I've never been impressed by the tactical systems most tabletop RPGs use.

    "Maptools with cam/voice ala Google Hangouts but without the application headaches" is pretty appealing.

    I mean, if you're playing something that isn't grid based, you're still getting a good shared environment for play and rolling?

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  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    Rend wrote: »
    Athenor wrote: »
    Shadowrun, 4th ed benefits heavily from using 2 tools to help you: The Hero Labs product (even in demo mode) and the Runner's Toolkit. With that said? A lot of stuff is there as fluff that doesn't help all that much. Just don't spread yourself too thin, and remember that 2 is the human average in a stat or a skill.

    I had a 4th edition shadowrunner called lucky that got himself 8 edge at character creation. He used all the rest of his character points on stats of 3 and skills of 2. The idea was he wasn't really good at anything, at all, but he was incredibly lucky, so things just tended to fall into place. 8 times per session he could basically do literally whatever he wanted, since 13 dice with exploding 6's will rarely net you a failure.

    In combat he preferred fully automatic anything, so he could "spray and pray," (full auto, narrow burst). That tactic was supposed to be prohibitively inaccurate, but with a huge return in damage if you managed to hit. However, with the way of the mechanics in SR4, he would hit with the burst basically every time, which would typically instagib even something as tough as an armored troll.

    It sounded balanced on paper (only able to really do 8 things per session), but in practice it was incredibly overpowered.

    I didn't think you were allowed to take Exceptional Attribute on Edge? Though looking at it, it looks like you can take the attribute "Lucky" and get that high.

    ... Actually, looking at it closer, he should've started with a 7 (and paid 65 BP for it). Character creation does not let you buy more than 6 ranks in a skill or attribute, and Lucky only gives you the ability to buy an additional point of edge. Raising edge to 8 would've cost 40 karma. (Hero Lab lets you buy that 8th point for 25 build points, meaning he dumped 165 points of character gen into Edge. Which is insane.. but yeah).

    But hey. Every game system can be "broken." I once knew a gal who could make an Insight rank 5 starting character in L5R 5th edition. That's why "GM approval" is so important. Looking through Street Legends, I've only seen 1 character with an 8 edge: Richard Villers.

    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
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  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    RE: The earlier discussion, L5R 3rd edition was NOT d20 based. Oriental Adventures was D20 based, and then AEG released "Rokugan" to FIX the horrors that WotC blighted the system with. God damn, it's been 10 years and I'm still pissed at that travesty. Almost killed the game.

    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    Rarely-updated Collecting blog
    He/Him
  • bssbss Brostoyevsky Madison, WIRegistered User regular
    The 13th Age Escalation Edition PDF dropped today and I've been picking through it and hoping for a thread to crop up of read-throughs or whatever people do.

    3DS: 2466-2307-8384 PSN: bssteph Steam: bsstephan Twitch: bsstephan
    Tabletop:13th Age (mm-mmm), D&D 4e
    Occasional words about games: my site
  • bssbss Brostoyevsky Madison, WIRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Nullzone wrote: »
    Capfalcon wrote: »
    Nullzone wrote: »
    And now for my own question, what's the deal with Cthulhutech? I saw it in passing at Origins and I'm a sucker for that mythos but I couldn't get a good read on the game itself.

    It really isn't very good. There is two interesting and potentially fun ideas in there: Giant Mechs vs. Monsters from Cthulhu and people who turn themselves into monsters (Tagers) in order to fight monsters.

    It's just... the system isn't that good, the setting is boring, and the books are really, really uncomfortable to read (rape camps? seriously?). Add into that that all the metaplot books and adventures seem to miss the what the CoC RPG understood pretty well (No chance of victory in the long run doesn't mean your battles are pointless. You can have small victories and successes, you just can't ever win forever.), and you get a depressing, clunky, and boring game that's more trouble than it's worth.

    Well that's disappointing :(

    I wouldn't write it off that quickly. I've been following the guys (and their countless publisher woes) since they started with the core book and I've liked it, though my interest ebbs and flows. Capfalcon is right in that the giant mechs (and Engels) vs. monsters and Tagers are the two most interesting parts of the line, but there's a good amount there for the right group.

    For context, it's worth noting that the most prolific parts are obviously inspired by anime, especially Neon Genesis Evangelion for the Engels, and the Tagers are 100% The Guyver in inspiration. Take that as you may. But it's kind of unfair to compare it to CoC except in contrast, the game isn't much at all about pure Lovecraftian horror (at least not with Engels or Tagers) and much more along the lines of "there's some cool shit in the Mythos, let's meld it with a scifi anime plot". I mean, The Big Thing going on is a literal war with the Mi-go, who are invading because Man has finally walked with open eyes into the Mythos and that pisses off who used to be the only guys in the proverbial cosmic town. It has Lovecraftian tropes, but it's not Call of Cthulhu RPG.

    In any event, the game works best as taking the pieces of it that you like and will work for your game and running with it. I ran a mecha/Engel game for a while with some success, and have one-shotted X-Files send-ups. File the edges off the rest and you've got a good framework. The mechanics are a bit off but nothing that glaringly bad to my recollection, and indeed the actual rolling is fun.

    And this doesn't really matter much, but the guys who are creating the game are some of the nicest folks I've met in the industry. They have the shittiest luck with publishers though, for real.

    ---

    On the other hand, Eclipse Phase is pure hotness and I wish I could get a group together for that locally, even if I would do an absolutely fucking abysmal job of running it. EP does a lot right in game and as a product.

    bss on
    3DS: 2466-2307-8384 PSN: bssteph Steam: bsstephan Twitch: bsstephan
    Tabletop:13th Age (mm-mmm), D&D 4e
    Occasional words about games: my site
  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    Rape camps, man. That's the kind of creepiness that gives board gaming a bad name.

  • bssbss Brostoyevsky Madison, WIRegistered User regular
    Antimatter wrote: »
    Rape camps, man. That's the kind of creepiness that gives board gaming a bad name.

    I can wholly disagree with some of their decisions and still find the majority of the game interesting.

    3DS: 2466-2307-8384 PSN: bssteph Steam: bsstephan Twitch: bsstephan
    Tabletop:13th Age (mm-mmm), D&D 4e
    Occasional words about games: my site
  • SJSJ Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    You guys should definitely check out The Last Stand Kickstarter. (As an aside, Kickstarter owns because it means all these rad fucking RPG designs finally get to see the light of day). It's being designed by a few guys from a new studio, Fünhaver Industries, one of which is a goon and was the DM behind the internet-famous 36d20 rats 5e playtest document that got so wildly circulated. It's really shaping up to be awesome, and everyone who funds it will be getting not only The Last Stand but also two other games: Ragnarök and Düngeön.

    This thread is now also about rad RPG Kickstarters (or indiegogo's, or whatever) that you think deserve the time of day.

    SJ on
  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    bss wrote: »
    And this doesn't really matter much, but the guys who are creating the game are some of the nicest folks I've met in the industry. They have the shittiest luck with publishers though, for real.

    Don't mention Tagers piloting Engels to them.

    Hoo boy.

    zaku.png
    Steam PSN: DerWaffleMous Origin: DerWaffleMous Bnet: DerWaffle#1682
  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    Antimatter wrote: »
    Rape camps, man. That's the kind of creepiness that gives board gaming a bad name.

    So they had an AMA a while back...
    And about the whole rape issue, one of the introductory adventures in the corebook involves the PCs finding a large number of sexually abused pregnant women locked in crates, and explicitly railroads them so that not only does the guy responsible for it get away, but they cannot do anything to help the women. Can you understand why a lot of people object to this kind of portrayal of rape as a cheap shock device?
    he guy gets away because he's a recurring bad guy - check out Damnation View for Farouk Hassan's further villainy. As for not being able to help...
    ... the women are killed by the Gaunts and Bakhi because they're loose ends, and Hassan doesn't want any blowback


    I can absolutely understand why people would object to this, but I don't agree with the assessment that it's a cheap shock device. Here we get into opinion territory, so I'll leave it at that.

    And then you look at the sourcebooks they've released and realize that he is full of shit.

    zaku.png
    Steam PSN: DerWaffleMous Origin: DerWaffleMous Bnet: DerWaffle#1682
  • Mikey CTSMikey CTS Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    RE: The earlier discussion, L5R 3rd edition was NOT d20 based. Oriental Adventures was D20 based, and then AEG released "Rokugan" to FIX the horrors that WotC blighted the system with. God damn, it's been 10 years and I'm still pissed at that travesty. Almost killed the game.

    Umm... I think you might be remembering that a bit off. You could not use the material WotC released to one-shot the First Oni with Iaijutsu. You could, however, do that with the material AEG released. Oriental Adeventures was just bland and useless, but at least it wasn't horrifyingly broken. AEG did that to themselves.

    // PSN: wyrd_warrior // MHW Name: Josei //
  • Der Waffle MousDer Waffle Mous Blame this on the misfortune of your birth. New Yark, New Yark.Registered User regular
    It also had a bizarre amount of content that you couldn't actually use in Rokugan.

    I remember it having a neat world building section where you went through the basics of making a setting based on mythical India, though.

    zaku.png
    Steam PSN: DerWaffleMous Origin: DerWaffleMous Bnet: DerWaffle#1682
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    Mikey CTS wrote: »
    Athenor wrote: »
    RE: The earlier discussion, L5R 3rd edition was NOT d20 based. Oriental Adventures was D20 based, and then AEG released "Rokugan" to FIX the horrors that WotC blighted the system with. God damn, it's been 10 years and I'm still pissed at that travesty. Almost killed the game.

    Umm... I think you might be remembering that a bit off. You could not use the material WotC released to one-shot the First Oni with Iaijutsu. You could, however, do that with the material AEG released. Oriental Adeventures was just bland and useless, but at least it wasn't horrifyingly broken. AEG did that to themselves.

    I'm not just talking about the RPG - I'm talking about the card game as well. I do agree that after they got rid of the original writing staff for L5R/7th Sea, AEG's product definitely went down in quality. But I did not enjoy seeing the games I enjoyed shoehorned into a mechanics system that was designed for a radically different style of play.

    Ind Iaijutsu has always been broken and stupid. It's a fatal duel with 1 blow, it kinda throws things out of balance. :)

    Edit: OA was an "Eastern" themed sourcebook where you could craft a world using that kind of playstyle and tropes, sort of like d20 modern (from my understanding, never played d20 modern). The thing that torqued people was that Rokugan was slapped in there as an example theme, and fairly half baked.

    Athenor on
    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    Rarely-updated Collecting blog
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  • Mikey CTSMikey CTS Registered User regular
    That was definitely the period they went through a real rough patch. Even the CCG suffered. I hear they are better these days but I just haven't been able to put faith in anything they make since then. I had a number of really good years playing Scorpion and Mantis clan decks, though. A lot of my friends today and even my current playgroup are from playing the CCG together. I had a lot of good years and good friends from that time.

    // PSN: wyrd_warrior // MHW Name: Josei //
  • AthenorAthenor Battle Hardened Optimist Registered User regular
    I wish I could get players for the CCG. But that's for another thread. :)

    Honestly, I'm both excited and worried about the future of gaming. During the early part of last decade, it felt like everyone was jumping on the OGL, riding D&D's coattails. Then.. it all came apart. Things fractured. Hell, nowadays I don't even know where to go to find good games, let alone good gamers. On the other hand, the emergence of Print on Demand and PDF publishing is making it so smaller houses can get their product out there much easier. Hell, anymore half of Shadowrun's books are in PDF form only.

    I think the thing I lament the most is not having a local gaming shop. I know people have given me suggestions in the past, like meetup.com and other things, but.. I'd still like to have a gaming hub that wasn't 45 minutes away. I think I love teaching games even more than playing them.

    Official member of the Grilling Gentry
    "Brevity is the soul of getting your shit read." - Tube
    Rarely-updated Collecting blog
    He/Him
  • CapfalconCapfalcon Tunnel Snakes Rule Capital WastelandRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    bss wrote: »
    Nullzone wrote: »
    Capfalcon wrote: »
    Nullzone wrote: »
    And now for my own question, what's the deal with Cthulhutech? I saw it in passing at Origins and I'm a sucker for that mythos but I couldn't get a good read on the game itself.

    It really isn't very good. There is two interesting and potentially fun ideas in there: Giant Mechs vs. Monsters from Cthulhu and people who turn themselves into monsters (Tagers) in order to fight monsters.

    It's just... the system isn't that good, the setting is boring, and the books are really, really uncomfortable to read (rape camps? seriously?). Add into that that all the metaplot books and adventures seem to miss the what the CoC RPG understood pretty well (No chance of victory in the long run doesn't mean your battles are pointless. You can have small victories and successes, you just can't ever win forever.), and you get a depressing, clunky, and boring game that's more trouble than it's worth.

    Well that's disappointing :(

    I wouldn't write it off that quickly. I've been following the guys (and their countless publisher woes) since they started with the core book and I've liked it, though my interest ebbs and flows. Capfalcon is right in that the giant mechs (and Engels) vs. monsters and Tagers are the two most interesting parts of the line, but there's a good amount there for the right group.

    For context, it's worth noting that the most prolific parts are obviously inspired by anime, especially Neon Genesis Evangelion for the Engels, and the Tagers are 100% The Guyver in inspiration. Take that as you may. But it's kind of unfair to compare it to CoC except in contrast, the game isn't much at all about pure Lovecraftian horror (at least not with Engels or Tagers) and much more along the lines of "there's some cool shit in the Mythos, let's meld it with a scifi anime plot". I mean, The Big Thing going on is a literal war with the Mi-go, who are invading because Man has finally walked with open eyes into the Mythos and that pisses off who used to be the only guys in the proverbial cosmic town. It has Lovecraftian tropes, but it's not Call of Cthulhu RPG.

    In any event, the game works best as taking the pieces of it that you like and will work for your game and running with it. I ran a mecha/Engel game for a while with some success, and have one-shotted X-Files send-ups. File the edges off the rest and you've got a good framework. The mechanics are a bit off but nothing that glaringly bad to my recollection, and indeed the actual rolling is fun.

    And this doesn't really matter much, but the guys who are creating the game are some of the nicest folks I've met in the industry. They have the shittiest luck with publishers though, for real.

    ---

    On the other hand, Eclipse Phase is pure hotness and I wish I could get a group together for that locally, even if I would do an absolutely fucking abysmal job of running it. EP does a lot right in game and as a product.

    My comparison about CoC was more about the fact that Cthulhutech really finds it hard to make adventures that have the PCs actually doing anything that matters. Most of them end with the Bad Guys (TM) pop out at the end and say "Nope, you lose" or adventures where they try and hammer home that nothing you did really inconvenienced the Bad Guys in any way because you don't matter. CoC has investigations that can end with the Investigators winning. It's just that every battle you win just delays the inevitable. Cthulhu is going to wake up sooner or later, the world is going to burn, the living will envy the dead, etc etc. But you won a bit more time of ignorant safety for your friends and family, and that matters, damn it!

    On your second point, you are completely correct that Eclipse Phase is awesome, even if, like most point buy systems, it need a very strong hand from the GM (Reputation buying, I'm looking at you).

    Capfalcon on
  • CapfalconCapfalcon Tunnel Snakes Rule Capital WastelandRegistered User regular
    Be warned, that this has spoilers, so if you are going to be playing an Unknown Armies game on the Street level, you should probably avoid this.

    On the other hand, playing a street game and knowing this stuff is kind of like playing Call of Cthulhu while knowing the gist of the Cthulhu mythos. So, it won't damage the game beyond repair. Anyway here we go.


    Unknown Armies is... an odd game. It's the kind of game that you don't really need to explain a lot to get someone started, because most people just get it. Now, the rules have little tricks and quirks that you may not pick up on right away. But that doesn't really matter. Unknown Armies is about people. Because, in this grand, huge universe, it's just us. There's no one else around. The entire universe is made by and for people. YOU DID IT are the arc words of the entire game. It's about regular, messed up, wonderful people who have a brush with the unnatural and find they want more. If you believe in something hard enough, you can even learn to use magic. No, that's not quite right. It's not a question of believing; it's a question of knowing. In Unknown Armies, mages are crazy, but they're so crazy they make the world change to suit their needs. This right here is a perfect example of what a mage in Unknown Armies looks like.

    Now, those people who brush with the crazy may not want it enough to, say, ritualistically watch a particular television show or go on a semi-permanent drinking binge (which are the how adepts, one of the types of mages), but they still want that power. They soon realize that staying sane and avoiding obsessing over crazy things has it's own perks, I.E. you get to be a normal member of society with a good job, credit, and a circle of friends. This is something that most adepts find difficult, partially because of the taboos from their magic school (actions that are forbidden or you lose all of your mojo until you get your act together) and partially because they're crazy.

    The other type of magic is from Avatars. The universe is built on patterns and archetypes, and if you embody an archetype, the universe will treat you like that archetype.

    For example: The Masterless Man, the Ronin, the Gunslinger. All names for the force of chaos that fights for an order that he has no place in. He becomes a tough as nails bad-ass that can't stay in one place too long and can't own more than he can carry. And why? Because that's what a Masterless Man is! It's what everyone knows that kind of person is. Knowing makes something real.

    Other Archetypes include the Merchant, the Messenger, the MVP, the Demagogue, the True King, the Fool, and the Mother.

    Finally, Unknown Armies has karma and reincarnation. However, while PEOPLE matter, you are a person and not nearly important enough that the world can't get along without you. Karma and Reincarnation only happen on the universal scale. Avatars that come to truly embody a concept get to step up into the Statosphere, where you'll get to shape the reincarnation of the next universe.


    Now, there's tons of other cool ideas, like Mak Attack, the burger flippers who leave magic surprises in some of their meals to open peoples minds to the idea of magic, and all of that is cool. It's hard to point to anything in particular as the "default" campaign, but it's a pretty workable setting that has some nice juicy hooks.

    What separates Unknown Armies from other urban fantasy is that All things eventually become Unknown Armies. There are the kind of rumors that you hear from your crazier friends and paranoid wingnuts that sound just crazy enough to be true.

    There's a motel on Route 55 where all of the motel owners go for vacation
    This is just weird and silly and oh God why am I trying to figure out why they go there.

    The President is actually a clockwork machine under control of a cabal of seven teenagers.
    Never whistle Yankee Doodle Dandy just before the sun comes up outside the Alamo. Just... don't
    There's a prison in the midwest with no guards, but the prisoners are too scared to try and escape.
    The Dodo is still bred in secret by the Amish to use in their immortality potions
    The Golden Gate Bridge is laced together with yards of scar tissue. It's the only thing that's holding California together.

    And there's pages of these. Each one is the seed for a gloriously crazy adventure that bends the fabric of reality and pop culture.


    Also, it has the best sanity meter in any game ever, and I will internet fight anyone who says otherwise.

  • AssuranAssuran Is swinging on the Spiral Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    The Ender wrote: »
    Rfits was my first RPG.

    It is a terrible game, but for some reason I still love it. Or the ideas in it, anyway.


    Does Car Wars count as an RPG? Because Car Wars is fantastic, especially if you set-up a long-running campaign where players earn money for winning matches, expend their clones, build-up celebrity personalities, etc.

    Most people I've talked to love Rifts ideas, but think the system is a trainwreck (I include myself in that group).

    In other news, I've managed to drag my weekly group back into Deadlands: Hell on Earth with the campaign motto: Unity or Bust!

    If I can manage to not TPK the party, it should be a fun time as the party goes through all the canned adventures in the setting, culminating in the most important event in the settings storyline. Of course, accidently TPKing the party is pretty freaking easy to do in Hell on Earth. My solution: generous heapings of chips.

    Assuran on
  • Alistair HuttonAlistair Hutton Dr EdinburghRegistered User regular
    edited June 2012
    My problem, when I want to run something, is that, well, Feng Shui and Blue Planet are basically two of the most amazing games ever produced. What I mean is I've splurged a bunch of cash on GumShoe system games (Esoterrorists and Mutant City Blues) and whilst the investigation system is jaw droppingly genius and I love the police procedural in book and TV form I just can't seem to get any ideas for a campaign to run. I'd much rather my players be kung-fu fighting through time or exploring the mysterious frontier planet of Poseidon.

    Alistair Hutton on
    I have a thoughtful and infrequently updated blog about games http://whatithinkaboutwhenithinkaboutgames.wordpress.com/

    I made a game, it has penguins in it. It's pay what you like on Gumroad.

    Currently Ebaying Nothing at all but I might do in the future.
  • VanguardVanguard Je suis le savant au fauteuil sombre. Registered User, __BANNED USERS regular
    Since Kickstarter got mentioned, you guys should totally support this one: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1778492214/appendix-n-adventure-toolkits-dcc-rpg-modules?ref=card

    It's for Dungeon Crawl Classics. $20 gets you a print copy of everything they're putting out, which, as of this writing, is a total of six modules and an old-school gaming box. If it hits the final stretch goal, you'll also receive a campaign setting that the creator worked on under Gary Gygax's guidance.

    It's pretty much the best deal on the site at the moment.

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    Athenor wrote: »
    Rend wrote: »
    Athenor wrote: »
    Shadowrun, 4th ed benefits heavily from using 2 tools to help you: The Hero Labs product (even in demo mode) and the Runner's Toolkit. With that said? A lot of stuff is there as fluff that doesn't help all that much. Just don't spread yourself too thin, and remember that 2 is the human average in a stat or a skill.

    I had a 4th edition shadowrunner called lucky that got himself 8 edge at character creation. He used all the rest of his character points on stats of 3 and skills of 2. The idea was he wasn't really good at anything, at all, but he was incredibly lucky, so things just tended to fall into place. 8 times per session he could basically do literally whatever he wanted, since 13 dice with exploding 6's will rarely net you a failure.

    In combat he preferred fully automatic anything, so he could "spray and pray," (full auto, narrow burst). That tactic was supposed to be prohibitively inaccurate, but with a huge return in damage if you managed to hit. However, with the way of the mechanics in SR4, he would hit with the burst basically every time, which would typically instagib even something as tough as an armored troll.

    It sounded balanced on paper (only able to really do 8 things per session), but in practice it was incredibly overpowered.

    I didn't think you were allowed to take Exceptional Attribute on Edge? Though looking at it, it looks like you can take the attribute "Lucky" and get that high.

    ... Actually, looking at it closer, he should've started with a 7 (and paid 65 BP for it). Character creation does not let you buy more than 6 ranks in a skill or attribute, and Lucky only gives you the ability to buy an additional point of edge. Raising edge to 8 would've cost 40 karma. (Hero Lab lets you buy that 8th point for 25 build points, meaning he dumped 165 points of character gen into Edge. Which is insane.. but yeah).

    He was human, meaning he got an extra point for free. But yeah, I spent an exorbitant amount of build points on the edge, but that's because it fit the character. I didn't intend for it to be as broke as it was.

  • LochielLochiel Registered User regular
    bss wrote: »
    The 13th Age Escalation Edition PDF dropped today and I've been picking through it and hoping for a thread to crop up of read-throughs or whatever people do.

    Just finished reading through it. Trying to decide if I should just dump my thoughts (2kish words) into a post here or start a new thread.

  • ArcanisTheImpotentArcanisTheImpotent Registered User regular
    post it here

  • LochielLochiel Registered User regular
    edited June 2012
    13th Age is a new tabletop RPG system being written by Rob Heinsoo & Jonathan Tweet; whose names you would recognize if you had read the credits of 3rd Edition and 4th Edition D&D. They've done some other impressive stuff like Ars Magicka, but this post isn't about them.

    13th Age is supposed to be a "love letter to D&D". It has the goals of improving the flaws in both 3rd & 4th, while showing d20 how it can be a story based RPG. Some random commenter has called it "Pathfinder for 4th Edition", and while I don't agree with that, I do see his point.

    On to my Let's Read! What follows is my thoughts as I read through a pre-release version (Escalation 1, for those keeping score). I assume you are familiar with d20 RPGs, and have some idea of the core concepts being introduced by 13th Age.

    Spoiler'd cause words. Words love Spoilers.
    A lot of this feels like advice for running any game, not just 13th Age. Which is a good thing; they are helping to make the good DMs that certain other systems simply expect to appear magically. Perhaps that is something the Wizard can use his Wish Spell to get.

    Icons are supposed to be the Iconic Thing about 13th age. The idea looks like a great way to get PC's involved with the larger world. It has a lot of potential. But I really don't have anything to say that hasn't been said elsewhere.

    I like the idea of using backgrounds as a basis for skill checks. No longer do we need to play a game of "Wait, does dungeoneering apply if we are exploring the Engine decks of an Imperial Airship?". (The answer is Yes, of course). The way it works is that you build a background for your character. If you need to make a skill check for something, you decide which one of your backgrounds applies, come up with a lame reasoning for why your "Grew up Homeless" background means you know stuff about Winemaking and which region of the Fertile Basket this specific bottle comes from, your GM agrees, and now you have a clue for your investigations and a more fleshed out character background. 13th Age assumes that GM's might make a judgement call on how belivable your reasoning is but we all know that no GM is going to stall their campaign just because your Bull Shitting skills arn't up to par. As long as the GM requires some sort of justification that can turn into backstory and plot hooks, I think it will work out just fine.

    Need more about skill checks. Maybe there is a section later?

    Failing Forward is an amazing concept; part of the "Helping DM's be Good DMs" I mentioned earlier. My 4E DM has just started doing it. She swears she got the idea from an article on the internet but we know were it really came from. Failing Forward is the idea that just because you fail a skill check, it doesn't mean you failed the action. Maybe you did fail the action, and have to try another avenue. More likely you succeeded, but it alerted someone, or it caused some kind of complication that will come up later.

    Just call it a Healing Surge. I will never understand the need to reinvent terminology for pre-existing concepts.

    I've never seen races as anything more than basis for fluff; and as I expect my DM's to come up with their own world I'm going to skip this section. But I do see that races each get a racial feat or power. Things like "You might get extra standard actions each turn" or "Once per battle, as an immediate reaction to being hit, you can use a healing surge. Except healing surges are called Recoveries. So use a Recovery instead."

    I like how they handle weapons and armor. Basically, class determines the AC & dmg of each category of weapon. Example; Rogue simple One-handed weapons do 1d8. Cleric simple one-handed weapons do 1d6. I see this as seperation of fluff and mechanics, and is a good thing. Fluff says this is the mace that I took from the skull of my father after he was murdered by the Heritic's Inquisition. I wield it with furious recklessness as I seek revenge and to reestablish Behaumut as the Realm's god. Mechanics says its a Heavy Two-Handed weapon. Cleric Heavy Two-Handed weapons do more damage but take a penalty to attack rolls.

    This also means that when the party rogue picks up my mace, he is going to do more damage with it because he has higher dice.

    Each class looks to be very unique. Not just different powers list, with a prefernce to range or melee or AOE; but different mechanics of play. Class choice will have a lot to do with how you want to play the game, not just what kind of character you want to play. The Classes chapter opens up with an "Ease of Play" section that discusses the differences so you can help choose a play-style/class that works for you.

    Fighter's abilities are at-wills that trigger off of dice rolls. Things like "Even and a hit", "16+ and a hit", "escalation dice greater than +3", etc etc. Monk's have forms, with a beginning, middle, and end. Each ability does something different based on where in the Form you use it.

    Remember in 4E how monster abilities could recharge based on the roll of a dice? It's back. I didn't look into it, but it looks like it's a thing for sorcerers.

    I play a rogue and a cleric in 4E; so those are the only classes I'm going to look at.

    Cleric looks interesting. I espically like how the cleric can change the shape of the battle just by showing up. At the start of battle, the cleric can decide to place an effect over the battle. This effect affects the entire battle, regardless of duration or time.

    I think I'll have to play the Rogue to get a feel for it. If combats are short, then their momentum mechanic could be swingy. If I'm reading it right, as long as the Rogue has hit someone but hasn't been hit yet, they have more options and can do more damage. Once they get hit, they have to hit someone else to get back momentum. Basically, in some fights I think they will be unstoppable avatars of death; in others they will be punching bags. This isn't to say I don't like it; just saying I want to play a rogue (or see it played) a bit before I decide if I like it.

    Apparently you get an additional dmg dice each level. So our lvl 5 vengeful cleric of Bahamut is doing 5d10 + Stat dmg on a hit. Thankfully, lvl 10 is max, so you characters will be gods before your local dice shop runs out of dice. And, if you've ever played Shadowrun you can just choose a d6 weapon and put that brick you bought to use. If you dislike rolling large amounts of dice, (or, if you are like me and dislike hauling around large amounts of dice) they have plenty of suggestions for using averages to cut down the number of dice. Example: Use the Average damage unless it's a plot critical moment.

    The Escalation Die is a great idea for speeding up combat. It's also a great use for that novelty D6 the size of a housecat that your college girlfriend bought you. Basically, starting with the 2nd round of combat, add +1 for each round of combat that has passed this battle to attack and damage rolls. Caps at +6. Some abilities get better with the Escalation Die.

    Gridless Combat looks cool. I think it'll work and that most groups will pick it up quickly.

    They have this thing called "Fighting In Spirit" which is a way for non-present party members to contribute to the fight and still be involved. It isn't game breaking, it's just a nod to the party member whose character is passed out drunk from wenching all weekend.

    They have very generous rules for fleeing. "If the party decides to Flee, they do, and they take all their fallen comrades with them. But they suffer a campaign loss". I don't think I have /ever/ seen a group flee from battle. Even if they knew it was going to be TPK. I don't know if this rule will see use but it's existence might cause some parties to live longer.

    Second Wind is being renamed "Rally" cause common nomenclature is lame.

    OK, I think it is great that this system is so flexible, but when every rule could be run either this way or that way what ever you like yes I'll sleep with you please call me in the morning please... it feels less like a rule set and more like a desperate date. Tell me what you think is best. Should Crits be double damage, or should I roll twice the dmg dice? If I don't like it I'll change it. I don't need your permission, I need you to stand up for yourself and show some personality. Are you 13th Age or are you 5E?

    Extended Rest every four battles is the way to do it. I did it in my 4E campaign recently, and while I got a lot of pushback from players who value verisimilitude over story; in my opinion it lead to better fights. Tying Extended Rest to your characters sleep cycle only works in a campaign that is constantly fighting every day, and even then it can lead to the 5 minute work day. I'm glad to see 13th Age getting rid of that trope. And, of course, the players can choose to take an Extended Rest early, at the cost of a campaign failure which will only make the story more interesting.

    Oh hey, a section on Skill checks. DC's aren't based on Character level, they are based on "Environment". There are three levels of Environment. Basically, if your adventurers are sneaking into the Inquisitions Fortress of Truth; they get the DC's for highest teir, regardless of their level. Just because they may do something doesn't mean they can. Perhaps they should get more experience in the world, and then come back.

    The Environment system looks like it will help ease DM'ing, allowing parties to wander off into undefined areas.

    Impromtu damage table! Why doesn't every RPG have this? Your party cause the tunnel to collapse? No more looking for the "Cave Collapse" trap in one of those Monster Manuals (or was it in the DMG? Oh, Robert says it's in DMG2... does someone have that?). Just look up the Impromptu Damage for the appropriate environment, roll some dice, move on. Seriously, this thing needs to be printed on place mats for every player and DM. I think it will be that useful.

    No 13th Age; don't get all wibbly on me. Don't say that Extended Rest rules are optional and that if I really want to tie things to a 24hour clock then I can. Stand up for yourself dammit.

    Leveling up happens at DM fiat. No more tracking XP. Just level up after 12 to 16 encounters or when it feels right for the story. And the entire party levels up together. This is one time I think DM Fiat is excellent. Tracking XP is a chore and never leads to interesting character choices. If you think your under leveled ranger demanding a special session so they can grind woodland creatures to play catch up is interesting... it isn't.

    Leveling up happens less often but the power jump is pretty significant. More dmg dice, feats, increased tohit and defense, more HP, more powers and spells... every level. Every.

    Of course, wibby-wobbly 13th Age has an option if you think that waiting too long to level up isn't good enough for you.

    Magic Items in 13th Age are rare and powerful. Just like every other RPG that took a look at Torchlight and said "Man, I want loot like that". Actually; that isn't true. At all. 13th Age gives personalities to each of their magical items. Equip too many and their personalities start to influence your own actions. This will require a strong DM but it creates a story mechanic for limiting the number of magical items a player has.

    They also have rules for "No, you can only have one Magical Sword. There are many like it, but this one is yours".

    You want to make a magic item? 13th Age has rules for that. "Roleplay it bitch". That's it. And 13th Age is standing up for itself and not backing down. You want to make up crazy rules for it? Fine; but you are cheating on 13th Age. She understands though, because this is an open relationship and she just wants you to be happy. But she (and I) don't understand how anyone could want complex rules for item creation.

    Annnd that's it for rules. It has a couple of sections of Advice for players and DMs. The DM's section includes "How to build an encounter" which looks fairly straight forward; simplier than 4E's XP Budget system. There is also a chapter on Monsters, which I didn't read. But it does include rules for building your own monster from scratch; in case you wanted to know how challenging a Swarm for fire breathing ants the size of small cars would be for your party. (Disclaimer; I didn't see Swarm Rules. But then, I didn't look)

    There is also a chapter on the Fluff of the world. As I said earlier, I expect my DM's to build their own worlds so I skipped it.

    So, that's it. There are a couple of introductory adventures. One is a quick single session "Hi, my name is 13th Age" speed date kinda thing. The other will involve a few dates, some awkward moments introducing 13th age to your friends, perhaps a few late night phone calls, and a weekend 'vacation'.

    So, that's my read through of the 13th Age Escallation Pre-Release edition. Over all, I like what I saw. I think it's a good stepping stone from d20 systems to more story based systems. And any group that plays this and moves on will have some solid tools for any system they choose play.

    Lochiel on
  • bssbss Brostoyevsky Madison, WIRegistered User regular
    I'm still making my way through the 13th Age PDF so I don't have complete knowledge yet, but a couple comments...
    Lochiel wrote: »
    Icons are supposed to be the Iconic Thing about 13th age. The idea looks like a great way to get PC's involved with the larger world. It has a lot of potential. But I really don't have anything to say that hasn't been said elsewhere.

    I like the idea of using backgrounds as a basis for skill checks. No longer do we need to play a game of "Wait, does dungeoneering apply if we are exploring the Engine decks of an Imperial Airship?". (The answer is Yes, of course). The way it works is that you build a background for your character. If you need to make a skill check for something, you decide which one of your backgrounds applies, come up with a lame reasoning for why your "Grew up Homeless" background means you know stuff about Winemaking and which region of the Fertile Basket this specific bottle comes from, your GM agrees, and now you have a clue for your investigations and a more fleshed out character background. 13th Age assumes that GM's might make a judgement call on how belivable your reasoning is but we all know that no GM is going to stall their campaign just because your Bull Shitting skills arn't up to par. As long as the GM requires some sort of justification that can turn into backstory and plot hooks, I think it will work out just fine.

    There's a lot of cool shit in the game and so far this has been one of the overall coolest. I really hope my groups latch on to this.
    Lochiel wrote: »
    Just call it a Healing Surge. I will never understand the need to reinvent terminology for pre-existing concepts.

    ...

    Second Wind is being renamed "Rally" cause common nomenclature is lame.

    I don't really know, but I think this comes back to copyright on game rules and how 4e isn't under a permissive license. Probably easier to just dodge the issue entirely.
    Lochiel wrote: »
    Fighter's abilities are at-wills that trigger off of dice rolls. Things like "Even and a hit", "16+ and a hit", "escalation dice greater than +3", etc etc. Monk's have forms, with a beginning, middle, and end. Each ability does something different based on where in the Form you use it.

    I really like how they did bardsongs for (natch) the bards. You open the song, sustain it with saves each round, and when you end it or get interrupted there's one closing effect. I want to play one.
    Lochiel wrote: »
    They have this thing called "Fighting In Spirit" which is a way for non-present party members to contribute to the fight and still be involved. It isn't game breaking, it's just a nod to the party member whose character is passed out drunk from wenching all weekend.

    Hell, you can do it while you are dying.
    Lochiel wrote: »
    OK, I think it is great that this system is so flexible, but when every rule could be run either this way or that way what ever you like yes I'll sleep with you please call me in the morning please... it feels less like a rule set and more like a desperate date. Tell me what you think is best. Should Crits be double damage, or should I roll twice the dmg dice? If I don't like it I'll change it. I don't need your permission, I need you to stand up for yourself and show some personality. Are you 13th Age or are you 5E?

    It's a bunch of houserules, and I say that with a lot of respect for what I've seen of the PDF so far. It is evidence of being designed by two guys with sometimes differing opinions, which, by the way, leads to some pretty entertaining sidebars as Rob and Jonathan go back and forth about their preferences.
    Lochiel wrote: »
    Impromtu damage table! Why doesn't every RPG have this? Your party cause the tunnel to collapse? No more looking for the "Cave Collapse" trap in one of those Monster Manuals (or was it in the DMG? Oh, Robert says it's in DMG2... does someone have that?). Just look up the Impromptu Damage for the appropriate environment, roll some dice, move on. Seriously, this thing needs to be printed on place mats for every player and DM. I think it will be that useful.

    This is the coolest thing, in addition to the impromptu monster tables, and I hope they do a screen so they can put these tables front and center.

    3DS: 2466-2307-8384 PSN: bssteph Steam: bsstephan Twitch: bsstephan
    Tabletop:13th Age (mm-mmm), D&D 4e
    Occasional words about games: my site
  • LochielLochiel Registered User regular
    bss wrote: »
    Lochiel wrote: »
    Fighter's abilities are at-wills that trigger off of dice rolls. Things like "Even and a hit", "16+ and a hit", "escalation dice greater than +3", etc etc. Monk's have forms, with a beginning, middle, and end. Each ability does something different based on where in the Form you use it.

    I really like how they did bardsongs for (natch) the bards. You open the song, sustain it with saves each round, and when you end it or get interrupted there's one closing effect. I want to play one.
    I won't be surprised when class choice comes down to "How do you want to manage your resources". Future d20 games will be described as having resource management like 13th Age's [CLASS]. I have foreseen it.
    bss wrote: »
    Lochiel wrote: »
    OK, I think it is great that this system is so flexible, but when every rule could be run either this way or that way what ever you like yes I'll sleep with you please call me in the morning please... it feels less like a rule set and more like a desperate date. Tell me what you think is best. Should Crits be double damage, or should I roll twice the dmg dice? If I don't like it I'll change it. I don't need your permission, I need you to stand up for yourself and show some personality. Are you 13th Age or are you 5E?

    It's a bunch of houserules, and I say that with a lot of respect for what I've seen of the PDF so far. It is evidence of being designed by two guys with sometimes differing opinions, which, by the way, leads to some pretty entertaining sidebars as Rob and Jonathan go back and forth about their preferences.

    This is just an early look, and isn't close to being the final product. If the final product says "13th Age has this rule. Look at the sidebar for optional rules" it will work. If they leave it as it is, then the first thing you'll have to do is hand out a sheet detailing which versions of each rule this campaign is using. At that will suck. I think it's great that they are thinking outside the box and working to provide alternatives. A lot of those alternatives can be used as house rules in another system.

    I suspect the real goal of 13th Age is to provide alternative ways of doing things so that d20 players and DM's can improve their games regardless of what system they use. I'm just hoping the alternatives are presented in a way that makes it clear it's an alternative from the main rules.

    Regardless of my comments, I am excited about 13th Age. I've been talking with my 4E DM, and there is a very real chance that once 13th Age is released we will convert her current campaign to 13th Age. I'm looking forward to seeing your thoughts on it, @bss

  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    I wish someone would run an Eclipse Phase game here. I've been drooling over it since I saw some of the art work last year but I'm no GM and it does seem like one of those games where an experience GM is needed. I had thought of an adventure about a AR game that was starting to have RL consequences but I feel the story is weak at best right now.

  • RendRend Registered User regular
    I wish someone would run an Eclipse Phase game here. I've been drooling over it since I saw some of the art work last year but I'm no GM and it does seem like one of those games where an experience GM is needed. I had thought of an adventure about a AR game that was starting to have RL consequences but I feel the story is weak at best right now.

    I'm running an eclipse phase game IRL right now, and I am terrible at play-by-post.

    If you're looking for some assistance with adventure creation, we could compare notes if you want.

  • Grey_ChocolateGrey_Chocolate Registered User regular
    13th Age sounds cool, got the whole "Cinematic High Fantasy" mentality integrated into its ruleset.

    How does a Fighter in 13th Age play?

    And why do they call it 13th Age? In fact, do we have any official setting info for 13th Age?

    Hitting the broken computer does not fix the broken computer. Fixing the broken computer, fixes the broken computer.
  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    Rend wrote: »
    I wish someone would run an Eclipse Phase game here. I've been drooling over it since I saw some of the art work last year but I'm no GM and it does seem like one of those games where an experience GM is needed. I had thought of an adventure about a AR game that was starting to have RL consequences but I feel the story is weak at best right now.

    I'm running an eclipse phase game IRL right now, and I am terrible at play-by-post.

    If you're looking for some assistance with adventure creation, we could compare notes if you want.

    I'll take you up on that someday. Right now it's just thoughts in my head but I'll put them down on Google Drive soon and you can check it out.

  • bssbss Brostoyevsky Madison, WIRegistered User regular
    Lochiel wrote: »
    This is just an early look, and isn't close to being the final product. If the final product says "13th Age has this rule. Look at the sidebar for optional rules" it will work. If they leave it as it is, then the first thing you'll have to do is hand out a sheet detailing which versions of each rule this campaign is using. At that will suck. I think it's great that they are thinking outside the box and working to provide alternatives. A lot of those alternatives can be used as house rules in another system.

    I suspect the real goal of 13th Age is to provide alternative ways of doing things so that d20 players and DM's can improve their games regardless of what system they use. I'm just hoping the alternatives are presented in a way that makes it clear it's an alternative from the main rules.

    Yeah, they've been keen to highlight people saying "if nothing else there's stuff I can steal here" and there's an upcoming Kobold Quarterly which is about using the escalation die in other d20 games, so they are definitely shooting at that "alternate ways" approach. I just think that stuff like their note eschewing "required uniformity" and "a single agreed-upon format for organized play" means they'll stick with "here are two options, pick one". But you could as equally be right that they'll eventually pick one and sidebar the other.
    13th Age sounds cool, got the whole "Cinematic High Fantasy" mentality integrated into its ruleset.

    How does a Fighter in 13th Age play?

    The fighter is interesting. For starters, not a boring "improvise or you have bupkis to do" one like... certain other editions of recent note. You get class talents like the other classes, but its maneuvers change the manner in which one plays it: you choose a target, roll your attack, and then based on your attack roll result, choose the type of attack from your maneuvers. So I could roll a natural 18 plus modifiers, which hits, and get to choose from a maneuver which triggers on any hit with a natural 16+ or one which triggers on any natural even roll, because those are two of the three maneuvers I chose.

    (As a side note, somewhere in the PDF it fully recommends the playstyle of "let your players know they hit or miss, and then let them decide to use optional bonuses or rerolls or whatever", which is the right thing to do.)

    Really though, all the classes have something interesting to do, even the simplest class (the barbarian, which has rages and talents despite otherwise doing basic attacks).
    And why do they call it 13th Age? In fact, do we have any official setting info for 13th Age?

    There's 20 pages dedicated to setting in the PDF, and an absolutely gorgeous map. The chapter quickly breaks out into "if you choose this world" type language, but it seems solid, and the Icons are really nicely done and don't need to be messed around with.

    Anyway, the chapter has alphabetical (jesus christ yes) summaries of the hot locations in the setting, which include the major cities and huge dungeons and notable regions and whatnot. Nothing too shocking here, but a lot that's good; it's pretty much a ramped up Points of Light plus world-scale NPCs.

    What the 13th age is isn't in the EE PDF directly (at least not that I can find), but from what I remember of the press material and the pieces in the book, basically the world ebbs and flows throughout history as forces build up the world until some calamity or heralded success or whatever leads to big changes and the next age begins. The Icons represent those forces --- some have been around since the beginning, others are new players or changed since the previous ages --- and right now everyone's more or less locked in a zero-sum checks and balances type situation (meaning of course that your game could/should be about the end of this age as the PCs fuck up that balance for whatever reason).

    3DS: 2466-2307-8384 PSN: bssteph Steam: bsstephan Twitch: bsstephan
    Tabletop:13th Age (mm-mmm), D&D 4e
    Occasional words about games: my site
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