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Using Flashbacks to Make 13th Age Stories Sing

It has been just over a year since I started GMing our optimized-for-play campaign of 13th Age, and it’s time that I take a look back at what has worked and what hasn’t, and what I’ve changed in the process. I’ve already talked about Cold Opens and why you want to start in the middle […]

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In Praise of Cold Opens

It has been just over a year since I started GMing our optimized-for-play campaign of 13th Age, and it’s time that I take a look back at what has worked and what hasn’t, and what I’ve changed in the process. Let’s start at the beginning, where I’m sitting all alone figuring out what comes next. […]

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Endless Waves in 13th Age

This week’s 13th Age game was a send off to Gabe, one of our players, who is moving out of state and refuses to accept a multi hour commute just to play with us. This particular player is great at the “story” part of our game, and consistently brings us all up a level in […]

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13th Age: The Lay of the Land

My ongoing 13th Age Campaign just finished “Season 2″, and as the GM I’ve been looking back over what we’ve done and thinking about what we should do next. Because our campaign is very freeform, what happens in each session/episode is very fluid; I come prepared with the first scene and the table fills in […]

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Life, of a Sort

They guys at Obsidian Portal posed a challenge on this week’s podcast: come up with a more interesting origin story for Dungeons & Dragons, in a paragraph or so. Here’s mine: Gary set the quill down eagerly, stretching his raw fingers and checking the folds of his skin for burn marks. When he was satisfied […]

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Breaking Up Is Unnecessary To Do

The Question of the Week on Haste this week was “How do you break up with your gaming group?” and while I normally like Micah and Jerry’s answers, I think they totally flubbed this one. The presumption of this question is that you have a person in your group that you’ve let ruin your Game […]

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Picking a “One Unique Thing” To Enable Awesome

Today I’m going to shift from GM advice to player advice, given from a GM perspective. One of the best parts of 13th Age’s character creation is the One Unique Thing (hereafter called simply a Unique). It is a free form field on the character sheet that lets the player create a bit or a […]

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13th Age Prep: The Roller Coaster Method

Knowing how much to prep for a game of 13th Age has been an issue I’ve seen crop up a few places lately, and so I figured I’d write up how I’ve been doing it for my weekly campaign, which has been a pretty fruitful approach. I’ve openly said that I’m liberally stealing ideas from […]

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Optimized for Play

At work when I program something I often have to choose which part to optimize: which aspect of this thing is expected to be used most, since that’s the part that should work the simplest, be the quickest, and ground the other pieces of the design. Databases are optimized for reading, because you read more […]

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Dungeon Games

There is a rash of new Dungeon Games coming to market right now: D&D Next is in playtesting, Dungeon World is emerging from a kickstarter, and 13th Age is lurching toward publication. Reading all of them in the past few months has made me realize both how broken Dungeons and Dragons’ Fourth Edition is, and […]

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