[5:13] D&D 5E + 13th Age

edited July 2014 in Story Games
"For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." -- Galatians 5:13*

I love me some 13th Age. I love each character having One Unique Thing. I love the backgrounds instead of skills. I love the escalation die. I love the Icons and relationship rolls. I love all the quirky flavor that the default setting has. I love simplified combat with fixed monster damage. I love magic items with personalities. HOWEVER: I do not love the character classes, though they're fun. I do not love the complexity of the game, though it's only slightly more baroque than I am seeking. I do not love the math behind the skill system, or the actual mechanics for icon relationship rolls. I do not actually love the 13th Age setting (though it's growing on me).

So far, I am really liking D&D 5e, though I haven't played it yet. I'm playing it two or three times this weekend. Based on my own analysis and that of others smarter about such things (like Rob Donoghue), I think this system is exactly what I'm seeking. Except it's missing all the cool stuff I love about 13th Age.

No problem! The 13th Age rules themselves tell you, hey, even if you don't play this game, steal its ideas for your other game. So I'll probably play 5e for a while to give it a chance as-is and then start grafting on 13th Age ideas.

Ideas that are easily transported from 13th Age in to D&D 5:

* One Unique Thing. Is there any reason each D&D character can't just have One Unique Thing, as long as it isn't an explicit combat ability?
* Backgrounds. The skill system in 5e isn't all that interesting. It really doesn't hurt that much, I think, to drop in backgrounds instead. They're far more /interesting/.
* Icons. Any setting can have icons. Characters are the main tool for Icons to break out of their equilibrium. Now PCs make a difference. Now PCs have relationships to the setting in a tangible way. Just import some kind of a Success/Success with Trouble/Failure roll, even if it's the same, weird 1d6 roll 13th Age uses.
* Quirky Magic Items. Every magic item has a personality. You attune to the magic item, and that makes you take on some of its personality traits.
* Escalation Die. At the very least, just use it as a straight-up combat accelerator. There won't be any D&D tricks that use the escalation die, but that's okay. Much faster combats.
* Fixed Monster Damage. I think this might already be a 5e rule (maybe optional). Just average damage (5d6 damage becomes 18 damage) and use that number. Much faster combats.
* Zones / Ranges / Engagement. 13th Age has some elegant rules for engagement, adjacency, and zoned ranges. Movement is freeform and mostly Theater of the Mind. I think this is pretty compatible with 5e. The 13th Age classes are built pretty heavily around this stuff, so who knows how well this transports without those class talents. I'll need to play around with this one.

Here are some house rules I'll probably use, too. They are not actually from 13th Age, but I wouldn't have come up with them without 13th Age suggesting certain ideas:

* Simplified Damage for PCs. Fighters do 1d10 (1d8 ranged) with their main weapon. Clerics do 1d8 (1d6 ranged). Rogues do 1d6 (1d8 ranged, 1d8 with a dagger). Wizards do 1d4 (1d6 ranged). Want to play a wizard with a sword? Fine, 1d4 damage. Want to be a fighter with a knife? 1d10 damage. Actual choices for dice need to be playtested and tweaked.
* Activating Magic Items. As you level up, if you get more than a couple magic items, it's hard to play all their personalities. Each magical power comes with a personality quirk and has a checkbox next to it. Role-play that quirk, check the box. At the end of an adventure session (or maybe long rest), uncheck all the boxes.

What things do you want to transport from 13th Age into D&D 5th Edition?


* I'm really not religious. This just amused me. Also, if you're transporting 5e ideas back into 13th Age, I think we should call that NextAge.
«1

Comments

  • edited July 2014
    5:13 eh? Cool name. Quite apart from the Biblical reference, there's the similarity to the hilarious 40K spoof 3:16, which I love to pieces. I am also a fan of 13th Age: despite-or maybe because of- not being hugely drawn to D&D in any of its iterations (whether Next or Previous), I find it an engaging romp through d20 territory, with none of the baggage (of holding) of D&D, but with all of the fun. (Goodness, I really should work in marketing!).
  • edited July 2014
    Yeah, the 3:16 connection was in my mind when I did that. <=)

    In some ways, I suppose, we could have called D&D 4e "4:20." Ahem. Oh no, I have just derailed my own thread.

    So, what bits of 13th Age do you want to steal for your D&D 5E game?
  • Do allow archery fighters to swap the d8 and d10 tho.
  • I'm a little disappointed that it's not a 3:16 hack too. :-P

    You certainly pulled out a bunch of neat tricks from 13th Age, and I think you'd wind up with a solid game.
  • You should totally use 3:16 Flashbacks. Maybe the way the armor works, only make that for every single piece of the armor or just give it more ticks.
  • Adam -- here you are hitting the nail on the head.

    Ran 5e for the first time this weekend. Terrific stuff! Found that it allowed me to give my imagination free range within the confines of a product labeled Dungeons & Dragons.

    Anyway, I'm totally using some 13th Age-isms with 5e. Certainly these:

    - Icons (not exactly sure on the mechanism yet)
    - One Unique Thing

    I like 13th Age's Backgrounds but... but...5e has their own versions of Backgrounds which does two things: gives me some degree of crunch with regards to skill use (it dictates proficiencies which I like and it keeps that D&D flavor for me) but also allows for further narrative implication. That is, I'm more than willing to allow Advantage on other rolls (skills or not) if the influence of the character's Background can be justified by the player. In other words, for me, it's not broke and I don't want to fix it.

    Escalation Die -- hmm. Not sure. 5e does a nice job of minimizing bonuses and penalties you have to add up; while I like the notion of the ED as a pacing mechanic, it also gives adds another (tiny) bit of math to combat. And 5e combat is already feeling quick and fluid to me. Without all the PC and Monster abilities that are tied to ED, I'm not sure if ED gives me all that much.

    Fixed Monster Damage -- yea, love it. Not sure if 5e officially has this as an option but all the monster stat blocks in the Starter Set give fixed damage (and hp) as an option.

    Zones -- I would love to try to make these work with 5e. If there's one thing about 5e that I'm not impressed with, it's that movement and ranges aren't all that different from how they've been done in the past.

    Anyway, that's all my 3 cents.
  • Anyway, that's all my 3 cents.
    Power creep!!!! :-)

    In seriousness:

    Agree with you about the ED not being a good fit for 5E, and about 5E's Backgrounds seeming neat in their own right. Fixed damage would be great, and I've been mostly successfully using zone-based movement in my Pathfinder-based Advanced Wizards and Wizards game for awhile, so I don't see why it couldn't be used in 5E.
  • Is the escalation die mechanic really gonna slow down 5e combat that much? If so, I'm super impressed with how streamlined 5e combat must be! I can't wait to play this weekend.

    In terms of points of contact, it's just a +1 or whatever. Everyone can see it on the table, so it's not hard to apply or reference. It's not like a player will be hunting over her character sheet looking for feat bonuses.

    Skill systems are generally broken for me because they don't cover everything and can't. I want a way for a player to say, "Hey, I am not an expert in diplomacy in any way, but I'm actually really good at making deals with thieves, because I spent a lot of time as a merchant in Drakkenhall and that's how deals get done there." Backgrounds do that pretty handily. (At the same time, smart players make characters good at everything and you need to curb that gently.)

    How 'bout One Unique Thing? Any reason not to port that into 5e?
  • I feel like you could easily port One Unique Thing into most games.

    Hmm. I could fit that into my loosely-inspired-by-Apocalypse-World game...
  • All my D&D characters have had One Unique Thing for decades now. Though it wasn't ever called out as a thing before 13th Age gave us the mental framework. You can easily put it into D&D (any edition).

    13th Age Backgrounds replace skills, whereas 5th edition Backgrounds are something totally different. There is probably room for both (with one renamed in some way). Possibly, each 5th edition Background gives a free 13th Age Background at some rating (+2? +3? +5?), along with other benefits.
  • Yeah, One Unique Thing (OUT!!!) seems fine, especially since it's largely a setting-control thing anyway.
  • All my D&D characters have had One Unique Thing for decades now. Though it wasn't ever called out as a thing before 13th Age gave us the mental framework. You can easily put it into D&D (any edition).

    13th Age Backgrounds replace skills, whereas 5th edition Backgrounds are something totally different. There is probably room for both (with one renamed in some way). Possibly, each 5th edition Background gives a free 13th Age Background at some rating (+2? +3? +5?), along with other benefits.
    Y'know, Riddle of Steel and... some other game? gave characters two packets, one for your "background" and one for your "profession" / adventuring life. That could work to mix the two ideas.
  • Nick, is your Unique truly unique in all the game world? That's how I play 13th Age. In one of my games, someone asked about infravision and I told them that elves didn't have it in 13th Age. They said that they wanted their elf's Unique to be that they could see in the dark. Now they were the only elf--really, the only non-monster creature, I suppose--that could see in the dark! All of a sudden, infravision goes from being this ho-hum thing players take for granted and it became this cool thing that only one character had.
  • Nick, is your Unique truly unique in all the game world?
    Generally, yeah. the last couple D&D characters I played had "I'm a cowboy from the Old West that accidentally fell through an interdimensional portal and wound up in D&D-land", "I have the ghost of a dragon living in my mind and whispering secrets to me" and "I was an angel fighting a never-ending war I didn't understand, until I decided to desert the army and lay low here on Earth for a while." Each of those were true of that PC and that PC alone. All of those were D&D PCs created before 13th Age codified the Unique Thing idea. None had combat level effects, but they affected the game's story and occasionally the noncombat mechanics in various ways.
  • Am I the only one who doesn't like the one unique thing rules?

    Saying, there's one cool important thing that defines your character, oh but by the way it doesn't interact at all with the game's mechanics flies in the face of what I know about what makes a good and interesting game.

    I get that there's a potential for the OUT to be the fruitful void, but most of the time I think it's just an abandonment of system matters.
  • edited July 2014
    It's a rule that engages with the fiction, though. By having a One Unique Thing, you directly affect the fiction, which--ultimately, isn't that what story-based games are about? You get to say "this thing is cool, important, nobody else has it, and it defines something about my character and about the world."
  • OUT engages with all kinds of mechanics. Skill checks, combat, race and class, etc. Just not explicitly. Otherwise, it's really difficult to use your Unique in play. Once you (players & GM) start bringing it into the fiction, it starts smashing into mechanics all over the place.

    Look at my dude who was the only one with infravision. There are mechanics for fighting in the dark. Can't remember what they are, but basically, none of the line of sight stuff works, obviously, and it's harder to kill enemies and easier to fall into pit traps. Infravision dude can ignore all those problems. He doesn't fall into pit traps automatically, and he doesn't suffer a penalty to notice the wereleopard sneaking up on him, and he doesn't suffer a penalty to attack the goblin in the dark.

    Look at Nick's cowboy. That's pure fiction and color, but it's no different than "My fighter is a veteran of the last great war" in style, which is basically backstory. I wouldn't criticize the idea of backstory because it doesn't directly interact with mechanics. As a GM, if the cowboy found some fantasy equivalent of a pistol (maybe a magic wand or flame-throwing blunderbuss), then I'd give him automatic proficiency with it or not require him to figure out how it works. Instant fiction-to-mechanics.

    I'm not sure how we'd even "fix" this problem. Don't let PCs have a cool backstory? I guess Fate handles this stuff just fine, though, via Aspects.
  • Yeah; the mechanical engagement is stated outright in the rules (which I don't have on me, but I do recall). They explicitly call out something like mechanical benefit, and even discuss ways to build up a more powerful OUT (like "I'm an elf with wings") by substituting upgrades for higher-level class features.
  • Yeah, I sorta recalled that, but I couldn't remember the specifics off the top of my head. Basically, it's left in the GM's hand to attach mechanics to the OUT, but there are some guidelines, and they really are recommending doing it, if that matters.
  • So to bring things back to 5:13 with an example:

    Player: "Because of my demonic heritage, I have an extra arm growing out of my back!"
    DM: "Wow, that's weird. Okay. So, mechanically, what are you thinking?"
    Player: "I can't be backstabbed?"
    DM: "It's not like you have eyes in the back of your head, too, right? Are there backstab mechanics in 5e?"
    Player: "I dunno. Hrm. How about an extra attack every round? Let's say the arm grows out of my chest, then."
    DM: "That seems a little too much."
    Player: "Maybe an extra attack occasionally?"
    DM: "Like 1 in 6? I could live with that, as long as it doesn't slow down combat too much."
    Player: "Cool. I'll just roll an extra d6 with every melee attack, and if it's a 6, I'll roll a second attack roll."
    DM: "I'm still a little uncomfortable. How about, if you roll a 6, you have advantage on your existing attack roll?"
    Player: "I like that. It gives me a reroll, basically, if my first hit sucks."
    DM: "Cool."
  • Is the escalation die mechanic really gonna slow down 5e combat that much?
    Nah. It's just another mod to remember but not a big deal obviously.

    Let us know how it went!
  • OUT engages with all kinds of mechanics. Skill checks, combat, race and class, etc. Just not explicitly. Otherwise, it's really difficult to use your Unique in play. Once you (players & GM) start bringing it into the fiction, it starts smashing into mechanics all over the place.

    Look at my dude who was the only one with infravision. There are mechanics for fighting in the dark. Can't remember what they are, but basically, none of the line of sight stuff works, obviously, and it's harder to kill enemies and easier to fall into pit traps. Infravision dude can ignore all those problems. He doesn't fall into pit traps automatically, and he doesn't suffer a penalty to notice the wereleopard sneaking up on him, and he doesn't suffer a penalty to attack the goblin in the dark.

    Look at Nick's cowboy. That's pure fiction and color, but it's no different than "My fighter is a veteran of the last great war" in style, which is basically backstory. I wouldn't criticize the idea of backstory because it doesn't directly interact with mechanics. As a GM, if the cowboy found some fantasy equivalent of a pistol (maybe a magic wand or flame-throwing blunderbuss), then I'd give him automatic proficiency with it or not require him to figure out how it works. Instant fiction-to-mechanics.

    I'm not sure how we'd even "fix" this problem. Don't let PCs have a cool backstory? I guess Fate handles this stuff just fine, though, via Aspects.
    Well, per the rules, the one unique thing isn't supposed to provide any kind of mechanical combat benefit, or if it does it's supposed to come in place of other mechanical character abilities. I'd say the Infravision is a borderline rules violation.

    But as I see it, the OUT works in one of three unique ways: as a mechancial benefit or change that's poorly designed and not well integrated into the game system; as a story aspect that is already represented by other more concrete choices such as class, background, and icon relationships; or as a story aspect that isn't represented by those other more concrete choices.

    I feel like that third way is the most common, and it's a big part of why I said the mechanic felt like a rejection of system matters: You compare it to an aspect in your post, but it's an aspect that can't ever be tagged, which half-defeats the purpose. More broadly, I think it's a rejection of system matters because it presents these three different choices under the umbrella of a single rule without any attempt to clarify or differentiate.

    The game is saying "your character should be cool, so make it cool, but don't worry about how that coolness is supported by the rules. To my that's a half-step from "don't really worry about the rules, you can have fun with terrible rules as long as you have a good players and/or GM"
  • "Combat" is the key here. Any other sort of benefit is absolutely on the table. The One Unique Thing is practically identical to the Fate concept of "Aspects are always true". It can't be tagged like an Aspect, but otherwise it works exactly the same--and the "true" part of Aspects is definitely the more important part, anyhow.
  • But the tagging is incredibly important. Fate mechanics (and, for that matter, the descriptive mechanics from a lot of other story games) say "Here is a thing that is important to the character, and here are a set of mechanical incentives for the players and gms to focus on that important thing in the game fiction". OUT is "Here is a thing that is important to the character, and meh."
  • I disagree completely, but this thread is probably not the place for that.
  • I'm with @arscott : there are a few things in 13th Age that reek of not really understanding System Matters (the bit that got me was the handwavey-ness of leveling up). But that's why taking its best ideas and forging them with 5E seems cool!

    Matt
  • OUT seems to be like rule zero, it may make the game better or worse depending on who uses it for what. I like it in the sense that supports player's input to make their characters different to any other character with the same options and stats. If you as a GM consider a third arm or free darkvision too much, it's up to you to say no to the player. But then if the player asks if his character can be the only survival royal guard of a lost elven kingdom in search of his king's son, that's a unique that actually tells me a story.

    Again, it's up to the GM to allow that and see how ot fit into the setting and use it once and again to pull the player into certain situations. And also, any unique ability can be turned against the player. You've got a third arm? Ok, now tell me from what kind of freakshow are you running from. You see in the dark? Why haven't the rest of the elves burned you alive yet?
  • Yeah, in my experience, OUT is just a codified version of "have a background for your character." However, it's explicit instruction to make that background fucking awesome and maybe even a bit over the top. It's "really now, you might be a peasant farmer gone adventuring, but surely there's something much more interesting about you, something that makes you unique, right?" That's a pretty powerful instruction to a player. It's explicit permission to be special.

    Maybe some players never felt they needed that permission. Maybe your GM never gave you a hard time about it. For some, I suspect, this will be eye-opening or liberating.
  • I like the idea of OUT as something in the setting that one player (not GM) has unique authorial authority over.
  • edited July 2014
    Oh yes, that.

    Though the couch that authority with all kinds of qualifiers about getting the GM's okay and stuff like that, if I recall correctly.
  • edited August 2014
    So I'll probably play 5e for a while to give it a chance as-is and then start grafting on 13th Age ideas.
    I think that’s the right order, because:

    * Backgrounds.
    * Much faster combats.
    * Fixed Monster Damage.
    * Ranges / Engagement.
    are already in 5e.

    The two big things you need to know about a fight is “Are they in the range listed for that attack” and “Are they in ‘reach’? [i.e. are they mêlée range]”. Things happen when you leave someone’s reach. Things also happen if a monster is in the reach of several people at the same time (if one of those people is the thief).
    It’s already great for TotM.
    And Adv/Disadv make other weird environmental things also matter.
    * Activating Magic Items. As you level up, if you get more than a couple magic items,
    You can only be attuned to three items.
    What things do you want to transport from 13th Age into D&D 5th Edition?
    Nothing, but the fact that I heard good things from 13th Age players about the fixed monster damage made me embrace it in 5e.
    In 5e, the monster damage is listed like this: “5 (1d6+2)”. So the average (sometimes rounded up, sometimes down) is listed first and then a dicey alternative. The rule is that the DM can choose at anytime which of the two to use.
    For example if players are metagaming against the number 5, like “I have 6 hitpoints, I’ll engage with it” then the DM can say “Well, actually...” and use the 1d6+2. And if the monster crits, there’s no shortcut. It’s 2d6+2.
    But I think the static damages work great! Good idea, 13th Age inventors!

    My three suggestions are:
    if you like 5e, play 5e. It’s good.
    If you like the Icons (I don’t), bring only them into 5e.
    If you like 13th Age, play it. It works and is good, and sets the expectations that you want, with icons and escalation dice.
  • Am I the only one who doesn't like the one unique thing rules?

    Saying, there's one cool important thing that defines your character, oh but by the way it doesn't interact at all with the game's mechanics flies in the face of what I know about what makes a good and interesting game.

    I get that there's a potential for the OUT to be the fruitful void, but most of the time I think it's just an abandonment of system matters.
    To be honest we aren't much into most 'roleplaying' rules. We focus on roleplaying and story as the fundamental core of the game, and always have. Don't need rules or rewards for it, it's already why we're playing. If anything general experience/karma/whatever rewards for characterization and roleplaying work fine in most games (at least traditional ones) as an encouragement to train in the craft. When it forms the entire basis of the game (BW/MG for instance) I have no problem with it. Otherwise it feels like an 'add-on', and detracts from otherwise focused systems.

    That being said I'm all for sections of a book that describe and/or guide people through the 'how to' of character creation, storytelling, etc...you know, roleplaying. I think offering the advice of starting with at least one identifying feature, background element or mannerism to help people learn is pretty solid.

    In this case I'm definitely opposed to a strict adherence/interpretation as its limiting (just one thing) and self-defeating (you're unique...just like everybody else). What's more, it's unrealistic. We are NOT one thing. What makes us unique is the specific combination, not any single element. In my opinion the 'one unique thing' is the roleplaying equivalent of a soundbyte/ten-word-answer, which (to me) epitomizes the erosion of intellect and civilization. Once the training wheels are off it's nothing but a lazy crutch.


  • Oof, harsh words. I've found the OUT to be really colorful and a great way to add to the mix of components that make a character who they are. If you're strictly interpreting that word, I think you've missed out on the other opportunities to personalize a character, like Backgrounds or character class or magic items.
  • edited August 2014
    Like I said I love the idea of having it in a new player section, or offering it as advice to begin creating a character. I just think beyond that it's detrimental to the game, not additive. At least if taken literally as often written.

    As long as people know that it's merely a starting point in the journey of characterization and roleplaying, and that it doesn't let them off the hook to making deeper and broader characters, I'm fine with it. Training wheels, or simplification...but with more there once people are ready.
  • I'll be over here with my laser-eyed Elf. :-P
  • edited August 2014
    In this case I'm definitely opposed to a strict adherence/interpretation as its limiting (just one thing) and self-defeating (you're unique...just like everybody else). What's more, it's unrealistic. We are NOT one thing. What makes us unique is the specific combination, not any single element. In my opinion the 'one unique thing' is the roleplaying equivalent of a soundbyte/ten-word-answer, which (to me) epitomizes the erosion of intellect and civilization. Once the training wheels are off it's nothing but a lazy crutch.
    Yeah, I like the One Unique Thing and I don't think that's because I need training wheels or because I'm the epitome of the erosion of intellect and civilization. Maybe, just maybe, we get different things out of gaming and have different play styles and we can both be happy with our own rules without getting incredibly judgy about people who play differently. <=)

    * Backgrounds.
    * Much faster combats.
    * Fixed Monster Damage.
    * Ranges / Engagement.
    are already in 5e.
    Sorta!

    Backgrounds as they exist in 13th Age aren't in 5e at all. I like the open-ended backgrounds without a skill list. I think there are some issues with those rules, but they're a lot of fun.

    Ranges as implemented in 13th Age aren't in 5e, either. They're still listed in feet and stuff. I just want adjacent / nearby / short range / long range or whatever 13th Age does. Forget measuring distance in feet, for the most part. Maybe take it further towards Fate zones even.

    The rest I agree with. I haven't really seen the 5e magic item attunement rules. I want all magic items to have personalities, like in 13th Age. =)
  • I've ran a half-dozen or so sessions of Fate and I am very happy with the 5e ranges as written.
    Works great for TotM -- I'd say at least as good as zones -- but is also the most flexible way for other playstyles that they could've made it.
  • Do you use a grid and minis/tokens when you play? I am a pretty firm TotM GM. I'll only go to a quick drawing of the surrounds when players start getting confused about where stuff is.

    I found the bow ranges and the like a little distracting. In pure TotM with zones, I can be all like, "Yeah, so you're a good ways away from the cart. Let's say long range." In D&D 5e, I have to say, "Yeah, so you're a good ways away from the cart. Let's say, 100 feet." And what I really meant to say was, "just outside easy bow range" because my mind doesn't firmly differentiate between 100 feet and 200 feet in any intuitive way. Maybe if I'd played football as a kid, I'd have better distance sense, but I spent my Friday nights eating pizza and killing orcs. ;) But now 100 feet is established, and the ranger is saying there's no disadvantage for that shot at that range, and it's not the encounter I meant to set up, because the brigands hiding behind the cart would have started firing at long range before the party got that close. (And not because of any railroading thing, really.)
  • I'm using pure TotM, no grid, no tokens, and so far not even a player-facing map. The DM has a map for some areas, though.

    Well, I'll update it when I've run it some more. So far, it's been working great and my biggest points of comparisons are B/X and Fate.
  • In this case I'm definitely opposed to a strict adherence/interpretation as its limiting (just one thing) and self-defeating (you're unique...just like everybody else). What's more, it's unrealistic. We are NOT one thing. What makes us unique is the specific combination, not any single element. In my opinion the 'one unique thing' is the roleplaying equivalent of a soundbyte/ten-word-answer, which (to me) epitomizes the erosion of intellect and civilization. Once the training wheels are off it's nothing but a lazy crutch.
    Yeah, I like the One Unique Thing and I don't think that's because I need training wheels or because I'm the epitome of the erosion of intellect and civilization. Maybe, just maybe, we get different things out of gaming and have different play styles and we can both be happy with our own rules without getting incredibly judgy about people who play differently. <=)

    I have no issues with people who play differently. I don't judge them.

    I do, however, judge systems and theories from my own viewpoint, same as everyone else. If someone is allowed to like a thing and have reasons then someone else is allowed to dislike it for reasons. It's up to the individual to not be offended when someone feels some way about something they also feel about.

    For instance, people on the intrawebz frequently disparage traditional gaming elements. I don't take it personally. I realize some don't jibe with that style, and their words are about the systems for them and not me.
  • A large part of my disparaging of these game systems, if by traditional you mean the post-sandbox, pre-story-games "middle" era, is that I didn't understand them and feel resentful that I spent so much time trying with them but not understanding them.
  • A large part of my disparaging of these game systems, if by traditional you mean the post-sandbox, pre-story-games "middle" era, is that I didn't understand them and feel resentful that I spent so much time trying with them but not understanding them.
    I mostly see people ripping pre-3rd D&D (especially 1st) and other games popular in the 80s-early 90s (Shadowrun, Vampire:TM, etc), or at least the styles frequently associated with them. Sometimes their points (when they bother to make them) are objectively true, but often it comes down to nothing more than subjective preferences.
  • I love rulings over rules as an idea, but I want the game to help me figure out how to make good rulings. Apocalypse World does this marvelously. Basic D&D does not. Doesn't mean I don't love B/X. It's one of my favorite games ever. I just don't think its design is better than AW. (Of course, on top of his design genius, Vincent stands on the shoulders of giants.)

    A lot of the issues I've had with that era of gaming was due to rules drifting that was occurring at a time when people were trying to get different things out of the same RPGs, and the rules just weren't supporting it well. I saw a lot of "GM calls for repeated skill checks till the player gets the result the GM wanted" railroading techniques, for example, often in the interest of "Story."
  • Anyhow, about that 5E/13A mashup... ;-)
  • I'm developing an "invasion" setting for 5e play at home. So far, the only firm 13th Age thing I have pulled in is Icons.
  • What do you mean specifically by "invasion"? Interested to see how Icons work into that.
  • I should start a new thread for my setting stuff, or you can PM me your FB identity and I can add you to my private FB group for it.

    In a nutshell, elves and dwarves riding giant flying ships separately invade a magic-less medieval world of humans, but get into a major war with each other and are forced to close their gates to protect their homeworlds. The portals and resulting spellwar let a flood of magic into the world, though, and the new generation of people born there have all these cool magical abilities (read: levels).
  • I too actually spend a lot of time thinking, "Do I want to import the things I love from 5E into 13th Age? Or do I want to import the things I love from 13th Age into 5E???"

    There's a lot I love about both, a little that I could go hang on on both.

    But first, I want to play at least 5-10 games of 5E as-is before I start digging under the hood.
  • Yeah, I have three games under my belt now, plus one convention game that was a playtest version. A few more and I'll feel like I am starting to understand all the parts. Also, I feel like the PHB is going to change everyone's idea of what the game is, when it comes out (soon! And Matt already has his copy, that jerk!).
Sign In or Register to comment.