13th Age isn’t super innovative. Let’s get that out of the way ahead of time. In terms of mechanics, there’s nothing that hasn’t been seen before. The setting is good, but not really anything that we haven’t seen. Where 13th Age succeeds, however, is in its balance of elements. 13th Age is the sort of thing that I love; it takes a game and tears it down to its basics, then reconstructs it. I’m not sure that the d20 system was the best place to apply that, but it’s certainly an interesting take.
Cheating in games is considered one of the prime misbehaviors to occur in a roleplaying experience. As a long-time GM, I’ve seen all sorts of cheating, and there’s probably more that I didn’t see going on. However, as a GM, I’ve learned that the solution to cheating is not necessarily just going and cracking down on players who fudge stuff, but rather to make sure that you create an environment where cheating is not a naturally desirable behavior.
One of the greatest issues that I’ve seen when novices start roleplaying is the fact that they don’t understand some of the basics about creating a character. Most frequently, they’re used to video games or stories that either have very powerful protagonists or even if they’re used to video games that utilize characters similar to those in tabletops (games meant for playing in a cooperative group often take this path), they don’t really know how to create one of these characters from the ground-up in a tabletop system. Continue reading
Tobiah Q. Panshin’s The Game Master is an interesting book from front to back, one which is both wonderful and cringe-worthy at the same time. Of all things, perhaps its worst is its inconsistency; verging from academic-styled formal writing to wonderfully light informal prose, it does few things explicitly wrong but doesn’t seem to know where it is. Nonetheless, it’s something that I would recommend, with a caveat. Continue reading
I know I’ve been doing a lot of reviews recently, but I’ve had a lot of family issues going on and I’ve been reading in the downtime between stuff going on, so I’ve just been voraciously going at anything that I can get my hands on that looks interesting. The Void looked pretty interesting to me when I first saw it, and it wasn’t disappointing. The fact that it’s Creative Commons licensed and available as pay-what-you want was particularly interesting, as I’ve always been a fan of open licensing, and even though in the past such games as Eclipse Phase have done major releases in CC they haven’t made themselves widely available for free. Continue reading
Orchestra is really at heart an experimental game; I’m working with a system that has a fair deal of intentional quirks to see how it works; such as the probability curve-based system 2d20 core roll system, which means that there’s a number of things that I can take into account as a difference between Orchestra’s unique mechanics and some more mainstream mechanics such as linear dice or multiple dice. Continue reading
Yeah, I’m not writing about Defender of Azekal today, because I’m still working on some system design stuff (namely how to handle loading of enemy data) that isn’t terribly interesting. For those interested, I’m working on arrays through a number of separate files that determine the enemies’ statistics and the animation they use for the battle. As I mentioned, trying to figure that out is probably not that interesting, unless you want to learn more about loading up lists in Stencyl, which I kind of doubt. Continue reading
There are seven core tenets of game design that are equally applicable to both tabletop and video game creation. Over the course of the next few weeks, I’ll be writing on all of these, which are:
- Difficulty and Complexity
- Player Accessible Mechanics
- Player Inaccessible Mechanics
- Player Role
- Market Continue reading
I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of games, and as such every once in a while I like to make a quick list of things that I like. I’ll be splitting this list into tabletop and video games. For the video games, I intentionally stray away from just saying the “best” games, and instead look at games that are unique or interesting. There’s no particular order to the list, and I’ll include both commercial and freely available games in separate sections. Continue reading
That’s something you never thought you would hear about a game that attempts to replicate stuff made for the lowest common denominator.
1-800 Regime Change, however, is class based, but not in the ways one would think. The Secret World is a major inspiration for my class system, despite itself having only cosmetic classes (called Decks). 1-800 RC uses a slightly more complex system and one that has two stages; Starter Classes and Professional Classes. Continue reading