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1) An early review for 13th Age, the indie 3E & 4E mash up.

13th Age is, hands down, the most exciting modern D&D variant I have encountered. It sits at the nexus not just of 3E and 4E – which has engendered much discussion from D&D fans – but also of the “story games” movement. It brilliantly melds the approaches of these three games into a cohesive, and fascinating, whole.

Then, on top of all that, it adds a new and compelling take on an RPG setting – defined by the game’s 13 icons – that provides dramatic conflict, ample room for GM and player input to the story, and makes the PCs themselves prominent. This treatment turned what seemed (to me) a liability of the game – the baked-in setting – to a strength.

In this review, I aim to describe the ways in which 13th Age achieves these goals. I’ll assume at least a passing familiarity with the d20 approach – as the game also does – and focus mostly on the themes that 13th Age brings out in d20 games.

2) Shadowlands Kickstarter already brought on Forgotten Realms' Ed Greenwood, adds Planescape's Colin McComb to help with an "Inception" type region.

We're teaming up with gaming great Colin McComb who will join the Kickstarter to help us design the region known as Barzakh, the “Place that is No Place”!

Barzakh is a combination of alternate universes, different quantum states, dream realms and simulated realities. Barzakh takes its inspiration from films like Inception,The Thirteenth Floor, and Dark City; it will excite and delight fans familiar with (or fond of) the Planescape setting. Which is why we are so excited to have Colin on board!

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needs more Dark heresy love.

I played in a Dark Heresy campaign and it was alright, but lately we have been playing Rouge Trader, and it is fan-fucking-tastic. Probably my favorite campaign I've ever played in.

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Since we are on this topic I thought I would ask everyone's opinion. A couple of friends and I are organizing a Tabletop Gaming Convention. Think board games, rpgs, minitures, CCG's, etc. We are doing it on a shoestring budget but we want it to be awesome. To those of you that have been to gaming conventions what did you love/hate about them?

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Since we are on this topic I thought I would ask everyone's opinion. A couple of friends and I are organizing a Tabletop Gaming Convention. Think board games, rpgs, minitures, CCG's, etc. We are doing it on a shoestring budget but we want it to be awesome. To those of you that have been to gaming conventions what did you love/hate about them?

Haven't been to a gaming convention but my experience with comic book conventions is having a variety of offerings. Now, if you're trying to keep it small I'd suggest quality over quantity.

So some really well run games would be good. Also, do you plan to attract old school and/or new school players? You might run old setting stuff like Birthright or even a non-D&D game like Kult or Nobilis. Stuff people might not have much experience with but would want to try.

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13th Age: The New Tabletop Game From The Lead Designers Of 3rd And 4th Edition Dungeons And Dragons

This is an especially interesting game both in terms of its mechanics and its creators.

Tweet was the lead designer of 3rd Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Heinsoo was the lead designer of 4th Edition D&D.

The two men also happen to be close friends and have played tabletop games together for years. They’ve also played obviously important roles in the development of D&D over the past decade and a half.

13th Age represents the game these two designers wanted to play—the game they sit down to play at their own table rather than a game designed by a corporation. (Both Tweet and Heinsoo have quite a lot to say about this in the below video interview, actually.

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it definitely sounds interesting.

this escalating die could easily be implemented in d'n'd 3rd edition and i'll bring it up with my friends next time we play :D

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The Jail of Night

The Jail of Night was first published split up in several parts in the White Wolf: Inphobia magazines - with great success. This download however, also includes the fifth and final part which never saw print. All rolled up into one, this is the most complete Kult / World Of Darkness Crossover.

Dense with cosmological conversions and creature conversions. The Jail of Night also contains information on magic lores, spells, vampire clans and much more.

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I'll have to try to swing a 'review' copy of 13th Age. My best mate's brother is in charge of Pelgrane Press.

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I'll have to try to swing a 'review' copy of 13th Age. My best mate's brother is in charge of Pelgrane Press.

Would like to see a review of 13th age from your perspective Wert.

I'm actually curious about the setting, though I understand it's not a huge part of the rulebook.

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I had not heard much about 13th Age. It looks interesting. I'm curious to see how it compares with D&D Next, which claims to try being a blend of 3E and 4E tastes.

I'm honestly more curious about Monte Cook's Numenera RPG. It sounds like it has a more narrativist approach.

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My group of friends does a game night once a week, which was mostly board and card games (Cards Against Humanity, Munchkin, Fluxx, Complicated Monopoly Settlers of Catan, and others) until everyone decided we should play some D&D. Only, it turns out that I am the only one with any experience playing and that experience is essentially a flimsy grasp of the rules from when I played nearly a decade ago. I have learned two things from my experience having to DM for these people:

1) These people are so competitive and short-tempered that if I were to start finagling things in a certain way, I'm almost certain I could cause an actual fight.

2) I really fucking hate DM'ing.

I'm interested in World of Darkness and have considered starting a game, but I'm pretty certain it wouldn't be at all fun with this group.

Edited by Procrastimancer

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1) These people are so competitive and short-tempered that if I were to start finagling things in a certain way, I'm almost certain I could cause an actual fight.

2) I really fucking hate DM'ing.

I'm interested in World of Darkness and have considered starting a game, but I'm pretty certain it wouldn't be at all fun with this group.

I think one of the WoD games might work. You might try Nobilis which is diceless.

Another option is a game like Kult, Little Fears, or Call of Cthullu where you don't have much personal power, at least to start with, so you have to cooperate or die.

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I have learned two things from my experience having to DM for these people:

1) These people are so competitive and short-tempered that if I were to start finagling things in a certain way, I'm almost certain I could cause an actual fight.

2) I really fucking hate DM'ing.

try to explain to your friends that current state of affairs is not something you're comfortable with.

if id doesn't give wanted results, quit DM'ing. i don't see why you'd do something you hate because of people who are only making it more difficult for you.

before you quit DM'ing, try it with another group of people, if possible, so you can see if it is DM'ing you hate or is it DM'ing to THIS SPECIFIC GROUP.

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Numenera for Educators:

http://www.montecookgames.com/numenera-for-educators/

"As promised, Monte Cook Games, LLC, will donate up to 300 copies of Numenera to educators or librarians.

• To be eligible for this donation, the recipient must be a teacher or librarian. To the best of our ability, we will verify that each requestor is a teacher or librarian

• This offer is valid worldwide. The only cost to the recipients will be the cost of packaging and sending the book to them.

• Interested teachers and librarians must simply complete an online form."

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Since we are on this topic I thought I would ask everyone's opinion. A couple of friends and I are organizing a Tabletop Gaming Convention. Think board games, rpgs, minitures, CCG's, etc. We are doing it on a shoestring budget but we want it to be awesome. To those of you that have been to gaming conventions what did you love/hate about them?

Hey Ken, did this happen yet?

If so, how did it go?

=-=-=

In other news, I got the Numenera setting book yesterday. ($20 pdf from DriveThruRPG) It's essentially science fantasy, the idea being that characters are surrounded by technological wonders but most assume them to be magic items.

Initially impressions are favorable. I didn't even read the rules, just looked over the setting material. On an Earth that might be in our universe, there were 8 great civilizations that disappeared, collapsed, or were destroyed. No one really knows.

One billion years separates the new, Ninth World, from our present day.

A few things these civilizations did was have an intergalactic empire, alter the planet and the sun, traverse new dimensions, set up a satellite based data-web, and advance nanotechnology.

I'd say the setting's scifi is akin to the more fantastical aspects of Star Trek, along with comic book science. Psionics, dimensional rifts, rules of reality altered. It's not Hard SF, but I think this helps the setting rather than hurts it. The way the author describes it is that while most of the magic has a scientific basis, you could turn it around and say the tech foundations are rooted in magic.

For fans of the New Weird, comic book mutants, and Book of the New Sun - there's a lot of good stuff in there.

Might be awhile before I use the rules to play a game, but I think people looking for a new game should at least seek out playtest reviews. If anyone just collects settings like I do, I'd say it's worth reading.

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I have been enjoying the FATE system (Pay as you go from Evil Hat) and have been futzing with Spirit of the Century. I am looking at doing the Dresden Files which is set in the FATE system, but a little more complicated. I really recommend the read of the Dresden Files RPG, it has spoilers for the series, but it is well put together. (The book is written as if Billy wrote it and is getting feedback from Harry Dresden and Bob the Skull). I am hoping my current group gets the basic rules of FATE down playing Spirit of the Century and then we are ready can try out the Dresden Files RPG. (No paragraphs for me! FATE is nice because it really integrates the story telling with the mechanics from what I have seen. It does require more work from the players to be involved and less work from the GM though.)

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I also picked up the Numenera electronic copy. It's an interesting setting with some fun mechanics. It's somewhere between rules-lite and rules-medium. I'm in the midst of DMing a Pathfinder adventure, Rise of the Runelords, so I probably will not be able to get around to Numenera until we find a nice break between the chapters.

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Kickstarter for Dragon Kings, a new post-apocalyptic fantasy setting from the co-creator of Dark Sun. Apparently it will by fully compatible with 13th Age, Pathfinder and Savage Worlds, and if they hit the stretch goal (they're not far off) FATE as well. They're at $25,000 of a $29,000 goal with 30 days to go, so clearly they're going to blitz it.


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The Strange, a Tabletop RPG by Bruce Cordell & Monte Cook

"Monte Cook Games is thrilled to announce its next big tabletop roleplaying game: The Strange! Written and designed by Bruce Cordell and Monte Cook, The Strange is a game that crosses multiple worlds, called recursions, which player characters can explore and defend. In The Strange, your characters change with each world they travel to, taking on new aspects suited to help them function in that recursion's unique laws and structures. But dangers found in these recursions threaten not only characters, but also our very own Earth. If characters persevere, however, they can not only save themselves and Earth, they may even gain the ability to create a recursion of their own!"

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The more I have played the FATE rpg system. The more I have liked it. It is a lot less tactical and more story based. I liked that it feels petty "hackable." (It doesn't have a world right out of the box, but it is pretty easy to build a world around it. I have seen Mass Effect conversions for it, Superhero Conversions, and Fantasy Conversions.)



My own Spirit of the Century game has been going over pretty well, we have ended up a little Lovecraftian, but with Ninjas, so its all good.



I am finding that games like Pathfinder are just more work than I have time for to run. It just has too many rules to really get the hang of. I mean it worked out fine for the game I ran for three years, but our group was really good with ruling on the fly and moving forward. Systems like FATE and some of these more Indie games just seem easier to play out of the box. (FATE does require the front end investment in creating the world, but it is also easy enough to spread around the work if you group is flexible like that). The Strange sounds interesting.


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