Thursday, November 24, 2016

13th Age Rides Again (more unabashed praise)

I've been playing lots of 13th Age, which has become the default Wednesday game for now (which is in some ways amazing considering there are a lot of D&D 5E books out now I want to be using), but it's really hard to think about not playing it. 13th Age is just such a smooth, friendly game experience and it accomplishes a great "D&D" experience while also allowing for some excellent flexibility in play style, narration and just an overall "customized/modded-out" feel, thanks to its interesting improv-style rules on stuff like One Unique Things, backgrounds, rituals and the fact that most powers and spells are meant to be evocative but leave the descriptiveness to the GM and players.

It is, in many ways, delivering the stuff I liked about 4E D&D without all the baggage 4E came with, and in a Theatre of the Mind style approach to combat that bakes in abstract measurements so successfully that no one in my group gets tripped up in distances and positioning while playing 13th Age.....which is pretty cool. Even D&D 5E, which we usually do TotM and crib a few notes from 13th Age for has us trying to figure out relative distance and positioning on occasion, but these worries never, ever come to 13th Age.

Not much more to this post than another gushing round of praise for the system. We're on a level 1-10 campaign arc over five plots, and we're wrapping the first major plot (probably next week) to start the second. Everyone has gone from level 1 to 3 so far, and will hit level 4 probably after their milestone next session....with a planned 4 or so sessions advancement between levels, we might wrap this campaign late Summer in 2017.

I've been using my Keepers of Lingusia campaign setting for 13th Age pretty consistently now, and am impressed that such a contemporary system feels so right in my most venerable old school setting, the one I started as a kid in 1980. I've accumulated enough adapted material for Lingusia's Era of Strife that I'm tempted to look in to what it takes to do 3PP work for 13th Age, and maybe release it as a book....I'm waaaaay behind the curve on my self-publishing efforts, and at the rate I'm going by the time my 5E edition of Realms of Chirak is ready D&D 6E will be out, so I'd better get cracking!

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