13th Age
  • 13th Age

    I'm back from my holidays and playing catch-up with the New Releases that have hit stores in the last couple of weeks. Kicking off a two-part column this week we're looking at items that hit stores last week (week beginning 13th November). Board games, card games, RPGs, Miniatures and collectible games... hopefully something for everyone! In addition to the games hitting your local store we’ve also looked at a selection of RPG PDF releases that we hope may be of interest. For more information about any of the physical products please contact your local games store.

    A rundown of the New Releases that should be hitting games stores this coming week! Board games, card games, RPGs, Wargames, Miniatures and collectible games... hopefully something for everyone! In addition to the games hitting your local store we’re also now listing a few RPG PDF releases from the last week that we hope may be of interest. For more information about any of the physical products please contact your local games store.

    The kind folks over at Pelgrane Press have sent along a massive preview of their 300-page second official Bestiary for 13th Age (which you can buy from their website), which debuted at Gen Con as one of their best sellers. This enormous preview includes the table of contents, the introduction, and the Great Ghoul and its minions which were designed by Cthulhu Confidential's Ruth Tillman and developed by Rob Heinsoo. "More than 250 individual stat blocks appear in 51 entries, along with with story hooks, icon relationships, customizable campaign variants, and advice on creating exciting battles."

    Iconic set-piece battles have always been a staple of fantasy roleplaying games. Tactically interesting foes in carefully selected environments can make for the most memorable encounters in a gamers roleplaying career. I dare say we all have that one awesome encounter we all remember - mine was inside a giant clock as the cogs individually rotated. For 13th Age, Pelgrane Press has produces a book containing 40 carefully crafted "battle scenes", including maps, news monsters, story ideas, traps terrain, and scaling options. They've kindly sent along a preview of The Crown Commands - The Lich's King's Spire. Check it out below, find the book here.

    Wolfgang Baur and Kobold Press have set their sights to making their Midgard campaign setting an ‘Open World’, allowing anyone to design and publish their own material using the setting. They announced their intentions in their latest Midgard Campaign Setting: Dark Roads & Deep Magic Kickstarter Update.

    A rundown of the New Releases that should be hitting games stores this coming week! Board games, card games, RPGs, and a host of collectible games... hopefully something for everyone! For more information about any of the products please contact your local games store.

    The twenty most highly rated RPG products in EN World's database is an interesting list! D&D has 8 entries, the highest of which is the recent Volo's Guide to Monsters in 5th place. Pathfinder has a strong showing with two items in the top twenty, as does The One Ring roleplaying game and Monte Cook Games' Cypher System. The top item is Bruce Heard's setting, Calidar, which tells of the sky ship Star Phoenix and contains a fantasy setting inspired by Dragon Magazine's Voyages of the Princess Ark, by the same author. Note that an item needs 10 ratings before its overall score becomes certified and included in the chart.

    Today marks an incredibly important and special day in our hobby. Early on, it might be said it was something of a whim, but over the years, the RPG culture truly embraced the idea of celebrating our Game Masters on an annual basis. After all, no GM, no game! In 2008, the holiday took on an even greater and more powerful meaning, as one of the Godfathers of Gaming, Gary Gygax, went on to other realms of adventure. Sites like DriveThruRPG are holding massive sales for those wanting to celebrate by buying tons of gaming stuff (and maybe, you know, giving something nice to their favorite GMs). Here's a bunch of great Picks, as well as a link to the DriveThruRPG sale page at the end.

    An important skill in running a combat encounter in a tabletop roleplaying games is creating varied and interesting battles. To that end, Pelgrane Press has a new book coming out entitled High Magic and Low Cunning: Battle Scenes for Five Icons, which contains no less than 45 set piece battle encounters designed for various tiers of play. These battle scenes are connected to five of the setting's thirteen Icons: the Orc Lord, Prince of Shadows, Archmage, High Druid, and The Three. Pelgrane has very kindly sent me along a preview of the third battle in "Rafting Razoredge Gorge", the Orc Lord themed series of battles. The PCs have been rafting down a river while being attacked by orcs, and now they've come to a stop right beside the main orc camp. Take a look!

    My two favorite types of supplements for fantasy games are books of magic and bestiaries. Settings and adventures don’t really get me going, but I will get books of spells and monster manuals until the cows come home. Now that I am preparing for to start a new fantasy campaign (at least it will be a campaign by my standards, probably 2-3 months of play time) I am going through some of my newer bestiaries, looking for things to hit the players characters with during the game.

    Pelgrane Press has kindly sent along an awesome 7-page preview of their upcoming 13th Age Game Master's Screen and Resource Book (I love showing off previews!) The GM Screen contains, as you'd expect, various tables and reference material from 13th Age. The Resource Book (which is what the below previews are of) is a book of advice and rules for various aspects of play, including creating instant adventures, using terrain in battles, crafting interesting backgrounds and memorable NPCs, and more.

    This week has a heavy focus on ENnie Award Nominees, and there's a great teaser about a fantastic, hobby-changing development in the works.

    Pegrane Press has just launched 13th Age Monthly, which offers a 4,000+ word PDF each month containing rules, monster, character options, etc. for 13th Age. "The 13th Age Monthly is overseen and developed by Rob Heinsoo, with a stellar list of contributors that includes Jonathan Tweet, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan (Book of Loot, Eyes of the Stone Thief), ASH LAW (Tales of the 13th Age) and Cal Moore (Shadows of Eldolan)." It's a subscription ($24.95 for a year) or individual issues ($2.95). The first three months' installments include dragon riding, frog folk options and character rules, and some one-shot magical items.

    Sorry about missing my second week into this, Friends, but I was in the midsts of flying out to (and settling in at my hosts' home in) the greater San Francisco area. I'm here running a rather epic campaign mini-series in my own Shaintar epic high fantasy setting for some Kickstarter backers (and very dear friends). Thankfully, I'm pretty well set up with machine and wi-fi here, so we're back this week with the latest round of Picks.

    13th Age Monthly is a monthly subscription spearheaded by designer Rob Heinsoo which will provide 13th Age material... monthly. The content will take the form of 4000+ word PDFs with rules, monsters, player options, and more. It's not available yet, but more details will be coming very soon.

    13th Age Bestiaries should be arriving with pre-orderers around about now. I know this because mine just arrived!

    Pelgrane Press has sent along an exclusive preview of the 13th Age Bestiary! The book will be a 220-page hardcover book in early 2014, and the preview highlights the Naga: "Naga aren’t unreasoning monsters. They generally have perfectly sound reasons for wanting intruders dead. Interactions where they’re willing to talk with twolegged mortals are also troubled by the fact that the nagas’ arrogance and condescension mean you will soon want them dead." It's quite the extensive preview - 8 gorgeous full-colour pages detailing various naga types - the Swaysong Naga, Sparkscale Naga, Manafang Naga,

    13th AGE, the most anticipated RPG of 2013, will hit our store shelves very soon, and Pelgrane Press has very kindly provided us with an exclusive preview of the 13TH AGE BESTIARY! This sneak peak is the Redcap entry from that book - nasty little creeps just waiting to ambush you!

    I think that if there was ever a historian from the future looking back at the long evolution of fantasy role-playing games, and they wanted to find that first crucial node where Dungeons & Dragons became the “mother” of the genre, they would probably focus their attention on the creation of the OGL. The Open Gaming License was, in my opinion, one of those moments in the history of gaming that freed a new generation of game designers in what some called an open gaming movement to publish new games in every genre in the way that the open source movement affected software publishing.

    Welcome back to the second half of my pre-prelease review of 13th Age by Pelgrane Press! As I mentioned last week, there was far too much material to cover in a single review, and I split the review up to go over the Player Content in Part 1, and the Game Master Content in Part 2. This game is creating quite a buzz in the role-playing community, and rightly so, being the brain-child of veteran Dungeons & Dragons designers Jonathan Tweet and Rob Heinsoo.