I have an article in the 2nd to last (for now) issue of Dragon, and it’s a redone version of my most popular article on Critical Hits. It was also my first paid piece in my RPG designer career.
Last week, I was scrambling to prepare for my bimonthly 13th Age game session. We’d just completed the campaign’s first story arc, one I’d run with tight narrative control (That’s fancy jargon for “railroading”). I wanted the next arc to be more episodic in nature and allow players to chose where to the story would go. I am, however, well aware of the chaos and paralysis that can occur on both sides of the proverbial gaming screen if the GM opens up the world and waits for the players to do something. As I was brainstorming to find a good compromise, I stumbled on an idea.
It comes as little surprise to me, then, that when I look back on all the really good DM’s I’ve ever played with, I see a 10d6 fireball made out of people skills. These people manage to complete the cat-herding ritual that is holding a weekly game night. A lot of them work with their players individually to give each one something personal to enjoy in-game. They manage interpersonal conflicts, both in and out of game. They manage the expectations of their players. And they do it while running a game.
30 Second Summary 13th Age feels like the spiritual successor of 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons mixed with the storytelling mechanics of games like Fate and Fiasco. Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet give us a fully refined RPG mixed with a pile of house rules we can drop into any d20 game. While it’s great […]