My Wednesday group decided that it was time to return to Pathfinder, so 13th Age is out for now and Pathfinder is back in 100%. However we're going for low-powered gritty Pathfinder, which is being done by starting at level 1, with a 15 point attribute spread instead of rolling or doing 20 point buy. Everyone used the Background path generator from the Ultimate Campaign book; that's a nice extra feature that I have at last seen in action and I liked it, as the random generation of a background history created some interesting story potential.
The game feels different....really different, actually, since playing 13th Age for a few months has created a strong sense of contrast between what we left off on last week and what we're doing now. 13th Age is a game about Big Damn Heroes who are Really Important. Pathfinder down-dirty-and-gritty like this is about the peons that 13th Age heroes use as stepping stones to greatness. While there's something to be said for a system that cuts to the chase and starts everyone off with cool stuff and amazing connections to the icons, there's an entirely different and meaningful feel to a campaign where you know you're going to earn every damn bit of power, every conection through blood, sweat and tears: and mortality is an ever-looming terminus to your success.
Yes, you could say we're going old school on this one, or more accurately we're going back to old school. Pathfinder may be a modern edition of the game, but you can still run it hardcore classic style if everyone is on board with the notion.