Tuesday, May 23, 2023

WIR 13th Age #1

 We'll see how long this lasts. One thing that's been keeping me down is that I haven't been doing much reading to go into my writing. So I decided to take my writing club time and dedicate it to doing some reading. And now, book report style, I get to tell you what I read.

I decided to start alphabetically with 13 Age, because numbers come before letters apparently. While this is something I've read before, having purchased the core book at DunDraCon a number of years ago, I do have some supplements for it that I might get to as well.

The elevator pitch for 13th Age is pretty much: D&D, but cool, modern, and hip, like those indie games kids are playing these days.

The first chapter of the book introduces us to the setting via the Icons, the major iconic figures of the game. I just want to say that I appreciate this. Rather than bury you in history and detail, you're given these very evocative figures that you can have a relationship with. And I do mean that. One of the things you will write on your character sheet is your relationship with at least one of these Icons. That's not to say that the Lich King is your buddy or that there are embarrassing photos of you and the High Druid from that holiday party, but you're on each others' radar.

The next chapter is focused on character creation, and it mostly glosses over the tedious, mechanically necessary details like AC and hit points, while spending significant time on their big indie-style innovations: The One Unique Thing and Backgrounds.

Evey character has One Unique Thing that sets them apart. While this Thing can have some utility, they spend a lot of page space telling you that it shouldn't necessarily be a power that your character has and that it should have some story consequences, either positive or negative.

Backgrounds are more or less skills as they appear in D&D, but you're encouraged to make them up. And rather than describing one narrowly focused ability, a Background can be used for anything you can justify.

Less of a fan of this sort of thing. Not that it's bad. It's mostly with my limitations. I don't really do that whole "just make stuff up" bit. If I were to play this, I would probably just port over the skills and rename them to sound like a Background. "I'll take the History skill, but then I'll just call it the Historian Background and call it good."

Only about 40 pages in, but that's actually more reading than I do in a week, so I'm going to call that progress.

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