OSR stuff that is catching my eye.

edited November 2013 in Story Games
OSR stuff is catching my eye lately.

I started with LotFP and that quickly led to finding links to Whitehack, Monsterparts and Into the Odd.

I'm playing LotFP set in the fantasy city of Marsui, where demons, monsters and wizards used to be allowed to live in the city as long as they had a city-appointed watcher but that law was revoked and the adventurer's union is having a field day. Fun stuff.

I'm digging the DIY spirit and energy of the OSR stuff.

Please share links or share AP about what you are reading/playing/writing in and around the OSR scene?
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Comments

  • I'm currently checking out Crypts-and-Things, with an eye towards getting a casual, show up when you feel like it on our regular game night, campaign together.

    The text needs another editing run desperately, but the game looks solid. It's an OD&D variant geared towards human centered, Cnan/Fafyrd+ Grey Mouser type game. Classes are Fighter/Barbarian/Thief/M-U, with a fair bit of survivability thrown in matching a bit better with SnS type settings. M-Us are a bit downplayed ( magic tends to be more costly the more offensive oriented it is, and clerics and MUs are blended into one class).

    The setting is a bit metal-riffic for my tastes, so I'll likely tone it down a bit. But only a little bit. Also, a bit Thooloo-ish.
  • edited November 2013
    I miss my Dungeon Crawl Classics game and would run it again if I could get a team of people together that were way into it (the last one failed because most of the players weren't really on board with the rules).

    I've also been looking at Small but Vicious Dog, which is a mutant hybrid of WFRP and D&D B/X.
  • Over the last year I've been drawn to Swords & Wizardry, discovering that I really enjoy the implicit call to tinker and customize the game to my own liking, that it amazingly manages to be light and open-ended while still being filled with enough cool toys and pre-packaged ideas to avoid blank-canvas paralysis, and that its both easy and robust enough to serve a satisfying pick-up-and-play experience. I used it to introduce five young folks to RPG's, and they grasped both the systems and the expectations behind those systems in minutes, and enthusiastically turned what was supposed to be a two-hour intro into a full evening's dungeon exploration.

    The interesting thing is, back when it first came out, I gave S&W a skim and a pass; I still had my original BXD&D books, so it just seemed redundant. What changed is the commuity that grew up around the game, and the OSR in general, produced really good discussion in the following years that clearly explicated how Old-School play was supposed to work, and in turn that discussion led to excellent publications with a deliberate focus on actual-play results. "D&D" ceased to mean bloated useless TSR campaign settings, but practical tools like random dungeon geomorphs, James Raggi's esoteric monster generator, Stars Without Number's planet generator, and the voluminous one-page-dungeon compilations.
  • I'm playing more old games than OSR games at the moment (I also miss Bret's DCC game, which was a ton of fun).

    I'm currently in a gloriously sim weekly Harnmaster Gold game. Dro has been posting about it on G+ if you're in his circles. There's some serious heft to the system (people who think BW is crunchy need not apply), but it's entertaining. Part of the fun is asking seemingly innocuous questions of Topi (the GM) that make him dive into the Harnic esoterica for an answer. Ex.: So today is [such and such a date], what's the weather like? What time does the sun set today? What's the cost of medium-quality silk from Melderyn at the market in Burzyn from the first caravan of the year?

    In almost every case, there's an answer printed somewhere in a supplement or zine. The best is when Topi sighs and says that he knows the answer is in such and such a zine, issue such and such, but he doesn't have it. Then Dro says, "I might have it," and returns 10 seconds later with the exact thing.

    Dro has also offered to run Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 1st edition, which played a similar role in Poland to what D&D played here in the US. I'm embarrassingly excited about this one. I played about two sessions of this in the 80s, but then my friend who owned it moved away.

    Dro posted a list of things he's excited about:
    - mutants
    - chaos
    - skaven
    - evil and backward villages
    - bad weather
    - mud
    - cold
    - necromancers
    - troll slayers
    - critical hit charts
    - chaos cults
    - protection from rain spell
    - fate points
    - career leveling system

    To which I have added:
    - mohawks


    As far as actual OSR stuff, there are a few things that I'm impatiently awaiting. One is Frog God Games' Lost Lands: Sword of Air Kickstarter. Sword of Air is a megadungeon/mega sandbox setting by Bill Webb, who brought us Rappan Athuk, The Crucible of Freya and Tomb of Abysthor under Necromancer Games in the D&D 3.x days. Backers get to choose whether they want a Swords & Wizardry version or a Pathfinder version. I'm obviously interested in the former. Already, as part of the Kickstarter, they have made the complete Swords & Wizardry rules (complete with art) available as a free PDF. Swords & Wizardry is an OD&D retroclone.

    I'm also excited to see what comes of Adventures in the East Mark, aka Aventuras en La Marca del Este. It's a translation of an old Spanish game that was essentially a BECMI retroclone, but with an added focus on mounted and aerial combat and seafaring.
  • Thanks for sharing, folks.

    I'm also excited to see what comes of Adventures in the East Mark, aka Aventuras en La Marca del Este. It's a translation of an old Spanish game that was essentially a BECMI retroclone, but with an added focus on mounted and aerial combat and seafaring.
    East Mark has aerial combat?

    Dammit, now I feel the need to have it.

  • Dammit, now I feel the need to have it.
    You brought this on yourself by starting this thread. ;)
  • Foreshadowing for wandering monsters/encounters
    http://retiredadventurer.blogspot.ie/2013/05/a-procedure-for-wandering-monsters.html

    Good list of OSR resources
    http://www.necropraxis.com/mandatory-reading/

    Strong opinions on OSR style
    http://tenfootpole.org/ironspike/?page_id=1201
    And how they are implemented
    http://tenfootpole.org/ironspike/?page_id=844

    The random trap/treasure generator thingy that I can't remember or find at the moment.
  • There have been some awesome map-making tutorials from Dyson Logos and Vulpinoid:

    Dysonize Your Dungeon

    Advanced Dyson Dungeons

    Draw Dungeons Like Dyson

    Map Drawing Tutorials (13 and counting!)
  • One of my faves has been Into the Odd. Super-minimal and cool.
  • It's not a realm that I usually find myself, unless there are some twists of some kind.

    A game that provides said twists, and that I love, is Owl Hoot Trail: OSR meets the Wild West. http://www.pelgranepress.com/?tag=owl-hoot-trail
  • One of my faves has been Into the Odd. Super-minimal and cool.
    I just read this on my commute home and it is very cool.

  • Possibly relevant: Bundle of Holding's next bundle is OSR-inspired, starts tomorrow morning.

    http://bundleofholding.com/index
  • We played Into the Odd and thought there were no to-hit rolls and it was great and Chris changed the game so it worked that way. So great.
  • Realm - totally relevant.

    John - How'd that work? I'd love to hear more, here or elsewhere.
  • @John_Harper: I thought there were no to-hit rolls either. The game keeps changing, though.
  • Ah yes, this is the trap/thingy generator I was thinking of: The Endless Bag of Tricks
  • The full pdf of Swords & Wizardry Complete is now available for free from the publisher. For those unaware of the distinction, Complete is the verison compiled just last year, incoorporating resources from all the original core books and supplements of OD&D (whereas S&W Core has just a few options from the supplemnts, and S&W Whitebox ignores the supplements entirely; all three versions are free now).
  • edited November 2013
    Anyone looking for something with a 1e vibe should check out Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea. The mix of classes and subclasses is terrific (particularly the berserker who is legitimately terrifying in a scrap, both to the party and their enemies). The setting is also a thoughtful mashup of Howard and Lovecraft's weird fantasy with a dash of Discworld (Hyperborea is a hex-shaped continental shelf floating the middle of a black void). If you can get your hands on the box set it's a handsome package.
  • @Clinton: We played the first alpha version and mis-read a rule, but we liked it so much that Chris adopted it and it's been in the game ever since. No to-hit rolls.

    @Judd: You just roll damage when you attack. it works great.
  • Thanks for mentioning the Bundle of Holding - I'm supposed to be signed up for email notices, but I never get them (not even in my spam folder...)
  • Huh, on that thought, neither do I...
  • I've grabbed a bunch of bundles but I also did not receive an e-mail.
  • edited November 2013
    In the same boat, which makes me sad, 'cos I'd forgotten about Bundle of Holding. I've missed all SORTS of bundles I would've snapped up. :(

    Edit: I got in touch with the guy and he made sure I was on the list. By request: "Please also pass along to the Story-Games forum that if anyone has had trouble receiving our mailings, they can contact me at this address, allenvarney (at) Gmail, and I'll manually add their name to the list."
  • The guy is the inimitable Allen Varney.
  • I float in the fringe. Mostly play non-D&D OSR variants. Stars Without Number for example.
  • There is Weird West which is a super compact western that has roots in the OSR

    rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=91122?affiliate_id=244071
  • edited November 2013
    Oh and Sword and Backpack is doing some really cool stuff

    swordandbackpack.tumblr.com/post/51113597170/the-dungeonpunk-manifesto-the-rothbard-gazpus

    But you need to hunt around for the rules and such. ;)
  • A friend of mine has Adventurer Conqueror King, probably the best retroclon I've seen. I want to grab the PDF when I can (you can find it here).

    I've also heard good things about the D&D Rules Cyclopedia (which has many OD&D books compiled into a single volume).
  • edited November 2013
    A friend of mine has Adventurer Conqueror King, probably the best retroclon I've seen. I want to grab the PDF when I can (you can find it here).

    I've also heard good things about the D&D Rules Cyclopedia (which has many OD&D books compiled into a single volume).
    The PDF of "Adventurer Conqueror King" is available as part of the bonus for the OSR package at the current Bundle of Holding. For a little over $15 (the price point for the bonus added material) you get a lot of OSR stuff! 2 days left and ticking. A mix of games and modules. Including a booklet of advice compiled by someone who still runs White Box D&D. A friend of mine highly recommended ACK, and I picked up the Bundle last night.

    Old School Revival bundle, a large collection of tabletop roleplaying games, supplements, and modules inspired by the do-it-yourself spirit of the earliest days of D&D.

    The Old School Revival offers tools, not plotlines -- rulings, not rules -- a gamemaster who doesn't railroad players onto a prearranged script but lets them sink or swim through their own actions. Encounters aren't necessarily "balanced" and outcomes are seldom scripted. Characters who don't use their heads usually wind up losing them. Many OSR games use 'retro-clone' versions of one or another early edition of D&D/AD&D.

    This OSR bundle focuses on supplements and modules for two leading OSR retro-clones, Swords & Wizardry (Original D&D) and Labyrinth Lord (Moldvay-Cook B/X D&D). For a price you set yourself (minimum US$3.95) you can get our core collection of four DRM-free .PDFs -- including the S&W 2012 rulebook and two supplements, along with S&W designer Matt Finch's amazing module Tomb of the Iron God -- plus an "OSR Toolkit," unique to this bundle, with plenty of handy resources. The base bundle also includes the free, no-art PDF of Lamentations of the Flame Princes - Player Core Book: Rules & Magics.

    Pay more than the current average to get nine bonus titles, including the complete game Adventurer Conqueror King; The God That Crawls and The Monolith From Beyond Space and Time by leading OSR designer James Raggi; Vornheim by Zak S.; Matt Finch's Demonspore and the first module in his Cyclopean Deeps campaign, Down to Ques Querax; and the acclaimed Stonehell Dungeon by Michael Curtis. Together these offer everything you need to start your own Old School fantasy campaign.


    [Edited to add: I started reading THE GOD THAT CRAWLS last night, and adventure I picked up in the Bundle. I just wanted to say James Edward Raggi IV (Lamentations of the Flaming Princess) is one solid writer.]
  • I'm interested in Tower of Adamant, after seeing a thread about it on Rpgnet. Trying to model fantasy fiction using roles like Naïve Hero, Leader Hero, Protector, Companion, Conflicted Hero and other neat touches.

  • Sky-Stone-River-Place is a great module for OSR-weirdness.

  • edited November 2013
    I've been digging around and found some reviews for Whitehack, which Judd mentioned above.

    The author says of his game: "It is not a retro-clone, but a thorough, modern hack of a retro-clone."

    There are three broad Classes (The Deft, The Strong, The Wise) which are broad groupings. Then there are Vocations, which you can mix and match with a character (A Strong Character might be a soldier, a gladiator, whatever.) Each character is also customized further with Species and Affiliations.

    More info on character creation at a review here.


    People who have played were chatting on a forum about the game:
    here are some initial thoughts:

    * This is a toolbox. Amost NOTHING is defined within the rules. FREX, you can make a Wise character; all this means mechanically is that they can perform "miracles". Miracles aren't defined other than as being some sort of special effect that costs HPs to use. So, a Wise character could be a Wizard, a Priest, a Psychic, a Scientist, a Superhero, a Mutant... etc. Concurrently, a miracle could then be a spell, a prayer, a mental power, the effect of a device or compound, an innate power, a mutation. This. Is. Cool.Even the HP cost is determined via negotiation between player and GM.

    * It accomplishes a LOT with the simple advantage/disadvantage double-d20 roll that I, anyhow, became familiar with through the first playtest iteration of DNDNext. I love that mechanic, so it's nice to see it in play in a different set of rules

    * There are many suggestionsin the text, and very few prescriptions. It puts me in mind of the text of T&T, not to mention the S&W Whitebox rules from whence came its inspiration.

    * As previously mentioned, it has a robust conflict-resolution system (outside of combat), ranging from straight ability checks, to opposed contests, to a bidding system. I really like this, though it's somewhat problematic to use it with monsters. These systems all rely on ability scores, and the monsters, defined only on a table, have no ability scores. It's possible, of course, to just make them up on the fly, but it would've been nice to see that mentioned in the text.

    * The introductory adventures, while both cool in their own way, well, I would rather have seen only one, with the remaing page space dedicated to a few more examples of WHITEHACK-unique things like Vocations and Affiliations.
    Someone else who has played it summarized the magic system like this:
    First off, the miracles mechanic is amazing. It's a superbly simple and incredibly powerful way of describing spells, magic abilities, mutations, special feats and higher tech as limiting or free as your gaming group sees fit. A specific miracle can take a few attempts to 'settle' - that is, you might go through two-three usage scenarios before the DM and player have reached a consensus and gut feeling about the power level and flexibility of it. I recommend that you take this time in character generation. When a player describes the miracles she wishes to use, just ask "can you tell me two or three circumstances in which you would use this and what effect it would have?" Then give your idea of how many hit points this would cost and if you'd like to limit, expand or balance it somehow. That's five minutes well spent. Don't feel like doing that? Just pick a spell from any other game, assign a hit point cost to it and go.
    And a longer review here.

    It's only available in print, and only from Lulu. $10 for a 32 page booklet. And yet... people seem to be thinking it's of value -- because it is compact and knows exactly how to pack so much in with so little.
  • edited November 2015
    I'm playing in a Whitehack game and can attest that the ruleset is Wise, Deft and Strong.
  • Geordie, I'd love to hear more about the Whitehack game your playing in.

  • edited November 2013
    Geordie, I'd love to hear more about the Whitehack game your playing in.
    It's the 18th Century and we're a bunch of English Aristo's and entourage bumming around Europe on The Grand Tour while carrying out missions for societies and academics. Last session ended with our Wise Gnome Cicerone and Deft Garduña Elf out drinking with Lord Byron (the poet's radgie great uncle) to celebrate stealing the manuscript for 'Foundations of Differential Calculus' . We've made extensive use of the auction mechanic* in trade, arguments in salons, and chases across rooftops and the Paris catacombs.

    *I reckon you could use it as a central mechanic for mostly everything to do with with a little tweaking.



  • Geordie, I'd love to hear more about the Whitehack game your playing in.
    It's the 18th Century and we're a bunch of English Aristo's and entourage bumming around Europe on The Grand Tour while carrying out missions for societies and academics. Last session ended with our Wise Gnome Cicerone and Deft Garduña Elf out drinking with Lord Byron (the poet's radgie great uncle) to celebrate stealing the manuscript for 'Foundations of Differential Calculus' . We've made extensive use of the auction mechanic* in trade, arguments in salons, and chases across rooftops and the Paris catacombs.

    *I reckon you could use it as a central mechanic for mostly everything to do with with a little tweaking.

    Nice. I spent my train commute today writing notes for a magic system for Whitehack.

    Could you give an example from play about how the action mechanic worked?
  • Judd,

    I only ordered my copy of Whitehack.

    Can you talk a bit about how the system works? What you find appealing about it? And then, what you're doing to tweak it?
  • edited November 2013
    Judd,

    I only ordered my copy of Whitehack.

    Can you talk a bit about how the system works? What you find appealing about it? And then, what you're doing to tweak it?
    On a quick read, what I like:

    They layout is nice and crisp, from the character sheet front cover to the pre-made characters, table of contents and list of names for the setting included in the pamphlet on the back cover.

    I like the bits of 3.0 and 4.0 it brings in, just a touch without getting convoluted.

    I like the way it uses groups (species, vocations and affiliations) to make some rolls skilled (roll 2d20 and keep the highest) in clever ways. If both d20's succeed it is a special success and if both fail, a special failure.

    The magic is kinda loosey-goosey; I want a touch more structure, so inspired by a recent blog or G+ post I can't put a hand on about there only being 9 spells (EDIT: FOUND IT), D&D, Dying Earth stories, Sorcerer and the Magic Burner, I'm making a few magic sub-systems: Summoning, Spells, and Enchanting.

    Casting Spell costs hit points, which is nifty.

    It has that descending Armor Class is better, which is the only real bummer for me.


  • Thanks!

    I think the HP cost is a lovely way to go for magic, tying magic into a core currency of the game.

    I think then the system can then be tweaked even further for stranger variety of magic, if desired. (What about using Other People's HP for ritual sacrifice and such, or making promises to creatures (gods, demons, whatever) for a side Pool of HP to be used for Magic alone, gained by doing services or quests or whatnot.)

    You think there's anyway to past in the ascending AC system from LotFP -- which I utterly loved.
  • edited November 2013
    You think there's anyway to past in the ascending AC system from LotFP -- which I utterly loved.
    Me too.

    I think I'm going to do that first thing. No, it wouldn't be hard to do at all.

  • Also, the auction mechanic is really slick and it is nice that they give examples of when they'd use that in the example adventures in the back.

  • edited November 2013
    Again, without having read it, it sounds like the auction mechanics, as well as several other features (the advantage/disadvantage), the magic system as tool kit and more, all make it sound like there's a lot to customize, not only for building setting specific rules but to make rulings in the moment for whatever comes up with rules that engender some tension.
  • Christopher, have you seen reviews for 13th Age yet? It's a more modern D20 game with a lot of the player-freeformy stuff (and negotiation between GM and player for character customization) that you seem to be getting excited about.
  • edited November 2013
    Well , I'm excited about the customization to the degree it's a simple game which isn't trapped in a faux-Tolkien world with Vance magic. Which is what D&D was supposed to offer up. (Most people kept the faux-Tolkien and Vance magic even as the rules bloated over time. A mystery as to why!)

    The charm of a game like Lamentation of the Flame Princess or Whitehack is that there aren't long skill lists and such. The rule cover matters of blunt survival (punching, stabbing, poison, fireballs) but everything else -- all other problem solving options concocted by the players are resolved through fictional positioning and rulings for the odds of success made up on the spot for that situation. (This is either charming to people... Or not.)

    In other words, as I phrased it elsewhere, the problems of the world engage the rules obliquely. The gears to engage are not always clear, or have to be invented on the spot. In some games the Players aren't pushed to come up with clever fictional positioning or ideas because the game system's gears can almost bypass the players -- if not the fiction!

    How does 13th Age stack up on that front? How detailed are the rules? How big are the rules?

    Significantly, how complicated is the Character Sheet? If you've seen the cover of a Whitehack, that's the character sheet. I like that character sheet. It's sparse and clear and it means a lot of the fun is going to come from all the players coming up with stuff that *isn't* on that character sheet.

    I'll look up reviews now!
  • Can anyone explain the Whitehack auction rules?
  • Players can bid to go first in a round by bidding the value they will get greater than on their d20 roll. The higher the bid, the earlier you go. But you still have to roll your target number or less to succeed at your roll, but now you also have to get above your bid.

    An example from the author on a G+ thread

    Let us say that the characters are trying to board a ship and rescue a prisoner before the ship leaves shore. The villain captain deploys some of his people to stop the characters on the shore, while the other crew members make ready for departure. I’d run the fight on the shore as an auction, but I’d run the consecutive fight with the captain and his best fighters using the regular combat rules.

    For the auction, I’d make one group of enemies for each player character, and decide on an approximate attribute for each group, using 10 as a base value (see p. 19). A group of eight goblin minions facing Kalynna (Paladin, back cover) might get 18, while the group of three human sailors facing Howl (Kobold Assassin, back cover) might get 13. If these minions have some special equipment, skills, advantage/disadvantage etc., I’d adjust those values a bit. But I never plan this ahead, and don’t use more than a few seconds for this decision. I don’t tell the numbers to the players.

    Next, I tell the players what is happening. Like "Kalynna, as the ship is starting to take off, eight goblin thugs spread out in a semi-circle, looking to overwhelm you on the shore. They’re armed with scimitars and knives, and one of them has a crossbow. No armor. What’s your plan?" Then I listen to Kalynna’s player. If she says she’s just gonna try and get past super fast without trying to defeat all of them, I’d let her use Dexterity. If she says she’s going to use Kalynna’s weapon skill and strength to kill them, I’d let her use her total attack bonus + 10 as a stand in "combat attribute." If she says she’s gonna rely mainly on her superior armor, letting this battle take its time, I’d let her use her AAC.

    Based on what she says, I’d also decide on what’s at stake. Like: "Each loser in this auction is gonna take 1d6 damage," or maybe "if you lose, you will still defeat the goblins, but you will be too late and you will take d6-2 damage."

    Once this is done (about 30 seconds), me and Kalynna’s player play out the auction using the regular auction rules, role-playing each bet:

    Me: "I bet 2. The goblins rush you!"
    Kalynna: "5. I charge their flank!"
    Me: "7. The crossbow goblin fires at you."
    Kalynna: "9. I raise my shield crash into them."
    Me: "10. Two of them manage to get up behind you."
    Kalynna: "No more bids. I stand and fight."
    Me: "[I roll to get above 10 but under 18.] Crap. 9. You win. [I roll damage for each goblin.] All die but two, who run away wounded. Wanna describe it?"
    Kalynna: "Sure. Their knifes are too weak to penetrate my armor, so I take out the scimitar fighters first. The sand is black with goblin blood, and I laugh as I let the remaining knife-fighters encircle me …"

    When you write this down like I’ve done above, it takes a lot words. But in reality, this scene would take maybe 2–3 minutes with zero planning, and the descriptions for each bid would likely be longer than what I've written above. There would still be some tactical choice involved in choosing strategy for the player characters and in placing the bids, but also room for free descriptions of cool scenes.
  • A 13th Age character is race, class, some special talents, and the six usual ability scores used in a D20 way, but with no defined skill list. Instead, they get freeform backgrounds that encourage the player to make up shit about the setting and have it be True. "Ex-leader of the Emperor's Elite Dragon Guard +4." When you need to make a skill check, you explain how a background applies and roll as normal. Fictional positioning is everything here. It's all negotiation between players and GM to determine how a background applies. Yes, there's a certain amount of "every background is useful for everything" going on, but who cares? The idea is that your character has an avenue for being effective that plays to the character's history.

    Characters also have built-in connections to the Icons, powerful non-deity NPCs in the world who are world-known by their role rather than their name. The Archmage. The Emperor. The Prince of Shadows. 13 icons and a default setting drawn in bold strokes are there for plundering by GM and player, but lots of GMs scrap that setting and create their own places and own Icons.

    The setting itself is sorta D&D but refuses to be normal. There are giant behemoths that wander in circles around the continent while people make homes on them. There is a Dwarf King who claims all treasures taken from underground belong to the dwarves. There is the suggestion that stars dock at a certain port in the Overworld. There are Living Dungeons that reconfigure and spawn monsters with evil, sentient purpose. Even if you scrap the setting and do your own thing, the text is encouraging you to be weird and do creative things.

    The rest of the character talent stuff is somewhere between 3E and 4E (and almost entirely combat focused). Miniatures (and a battle map) are not required. Combat uses loose positioning (engaged, adjacent, nearby, far away) and people sometimes use minis in a loose way to mark positioning. There are no movement distance rules. You move around as needed. Combats, as a result, are very fast (in my experience, a little slower than Basic D&D but faster than 3E and definitely faster than 4E).

    The various magic systems for wizards and clerics and bards etc. have baked into them leeway for players to make shit up about effects. For example, a wizard can take the Vancian Magic talent, and whenever they cast a spell, the GM makes up an additional minor effect for each of their spells, each time one is cast. And each is supposed to be unique to the situation. Bards are encouraged to rename battle chants and reskin things to make sense for their characters. There are rules for turning normal combat spells into rituals that let casters do huge, grand, freeform magic.

    There's a lot of text in the rules saying stuff like, "If you want to do something like steal a talent from another class, talk to your GM about it. GMs, don't let your players min-max and ruin the game, but let them do stuff if it's COOL."

    The rules aren't that big. Probably about the size of Basic+Expert, except for the Classes chapter that comprises a big chunk, but really, each player needs to know only the rules for her own class. I GMed a lot of 13th Age without really knowing all the class rules at all. I just handed each player a copy of the class rules for whatever she was playing and she had to grok it herself.

    The rules aren't too detailed, except in the class combat powers which give each class a unique flavor. Combat overall is streamlined compared to 3E or 4E. It reminds me a lot of Basic D&D, but with more customization within each class. More like when 2E started giving Weapon Proficiencies to classes and fighters would get 3/2 attacks at 5th level, or some other special powers as they advanced. It feels like Old School with the sensibilities of modern game design.

    (It's designed by Jonathan Tweet and Rob Heinsoo.)

    I can talk about 13th Age all day, but I'll wait for more questions.
  • I like that auction mechanic, I really do!
  • I put my thoughts here about Whitehack onto my blog, expanded just a touch.
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