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13th Age

Sorcerer's Skull - Mon, 02/06/2023 - 12:00

 


I've had the 13th Age core book for sometime, but after picking up most of the rest of the publications for the game in a recent Bundle of Holding, I decided to give it a try. My online group was willing to give it a try. 

For the unfamiliar, 13th Age is sort of an "alternate evolution" of D&D. Debuting in 2013, it sort sort of took D&D 4e and stepped in a rules lighter direction, adding some freeform elements, quite different from the specification of 3e versions of the game. It's roughly equivalent in crunch, I would say, to 5e, but lighter than 5e in some areas.

We spent the first session in character creation. It took perhaps a little longer than 5e because the freeform elements required a little more thought. What are these elements? Well, the biggest is that every character has "One Unique Thing" some (noncombat) thing that sets them apart from perhaps everyone else. Not only does this serve as a character hook, but it allows the player to define something about the world. 

Then there are backgrounds. Unlike 5e backgrounds which are essentially packages of skills and accoutrements, 13th Age backgrounds are player defined (and presumably GM negotiated) broad skills. You could do something simple like "Miner," but it could also be something like (one my wife picked) "Gnomish Debutante." Like the One Unique Thing, backgrounds have the effect of fleshing out the world to a degree. The only downside I see to them is that characters might not be as "well-rounded" in the arena of adventure related tasks as their 5e counterparts. Still, that just means that (like older versions of D&D) skills are likely of less importance.

One final element not found in typical D&D is that every character has a relationship to one of the settings Icons, vaguely defined (so the GM can flesh them out more) beings of great power and importance in the setting. Characters can have a positive, conflicted, or negative relationship with one or more Icons. These are meant to be adventure hooks. You roll to see when they might come into play.

Anyway, the group seem to like what they've seen of the system so far and are interested in giving it a go.

Arath the... Daring?

The Splintered Realm - Sat, 02/04/2023 - 02:00


Making a character to do some play testing, and I decided to draw him up as I was creating stats for him. He seemed to be very familiar... and as I was finishing the drawing, I realized that he was pretty close to Dirk the Daring from Dragonslayer... I am going to chalk that up to either 1) great minds thinking alike, or - and far more likely - 2) the power of my subconscious.

So, here he is, Arath the ... not daring. Not at all. Decidedly un-daring.

Arath, Stalwart Human Warrior 1

Armor +4; Hits 9; Greatsword (1d12);

Check level for second attack

Intuition +2; Might +6; Reason +1;

Persona +4; Reflex +3; Stamina +4

Chainmail (+4), Great Sword, Adventurer’s Pack, 6 gp


DOCTOR DOOM GOES TO UNSPEAKABLE LENGTHS TO UNDO THE FANTASTIC FOUR’S TRAGIC MISTAKE IN MILESTONE 700TH ISSUE!

First Comics News - Fri, 02/03/2023 - 20:47
This May, Ryan North and Iban Coello’s FANTASTIC FOUR #7 will mark the 700th issue of the title!   New York, NY— February 3, 2023 — In May, Ryan North…
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DARK HORSE MANGA PRESENTS: “MOB PSYCHO 100 VOLUME 12”

First Comics News - Fri, 02/03/2023 - 20:29
Mob confronts Claw’s leader, with the fate of the city in the balance! MILWAUKIE, Ore., (February 3, 2023)— New from Dark Horse Manga, psychic middle school student “Mob” returns in  Mob…
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TEAM AVATAR RETURNS IN THE “AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER—IMBALANCE OMNIBUS”

First Comics News - Fri, 02/03/2023 - 19:24
Aang faces a decision from which there is no return! MILWAUKIE, Ore., (February 3, 2022)— Avatar Aang and friends return in Avatar: The Last Airbender—Imbalance Omnibus in partnership with Paramount Consumer Products,…
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RELIVE THE EPIC PHASE THREE FILMS OF THE INFINITY SAGA WITH MORE MCU VARIANT COVERS!

First Comics News - Fri, 02/03/2023 - 18:24
Check out the remaining INFINITY SAGA PHASE 3 covers, on sale starting in March!   New York, NY— February 3, 2023 — This year, Marvel Comics continues its popular line…
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Suggestions on How to Have Fun in Your Free Time

First Comics News - Fri, 02/03/2023 - 18:05
Between working, taking care of their families, and doing different choices, the average person has around five hours of free time each day. Having at least two hours to do…
Categories: Comic Book Blogs

MARVEL INSIDERS ARE NOW ELIGIBLE TO ENTER THE DRAWN INTO X-MEN HELLFIRE GALA 2023 SWEEPSTAKES

First Comics News - Fri, 02/03/2023 - 16:52
Cast your X-Men election vote at marvel.com/xmenvote until 11:59pmEST on February 3 Marvel Insider Drawn into X-Men Hellfire Gala 2023 Sweepstakes starts today at 12:00pmEST! New York, NY— February 3,…
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GlobalComix Announces Open-enrollment for App Beta Testing

First Comics News - Fri, 02/03/2023 - 15:28
FEB. 3, 2023, (PITTSBURGH, PA) — Join the next generation of making comics global—from anywhere, at any time. Be the first to experience the forthcoming GlobalComix App! The team is excited to…
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ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: LOST AND FOUND INFINITY COMIC #1

First Comics News - Fri, 02/03/2023 - 14:09
ANT-MAN AND THE WASP: LOST AND FOUND INFINITY COMIC #1 Ten-part series launches on Friday, February 3 Writer: Mark Waid Artist: Javier Garron Colorist: Israel Silva Editor: Jeff Youngquist The…
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The Age of the Wizard Kings

Sorcerer's Skull - Fri, 02/03/2023 - 12:00

 


Millennia after the technological civilization of humankind was cast in ruins, a strange, new world had risen from the old. This time was known as the Age of the Wizard Kings as it was dominated by practitioners of magic. While the most of humanity had reverted to primitivism, the smaller, near human folk that are the ancestors of elves, dwarfs, and halflings, dominated the eastern part of the continent through their mastery of magic.

The Wizard Kings at earlier times had been ranked according to power, but by the time of the Orc Incursions that ravaged the land and threatened the stability of their rule, they were more or less equal in power. They held a magical contest to see who would possess a mystic tome of great power. Details have been lost to time, but someone that contest resulted in the ascendance of the Dark Lord, whose ultimate defeat came at a terrible cost. The city-states never recovered and were easy conquests for the human tribes entering the region.

Despite the millennia since it's fall, the influence of the Age of Wizard Kings can be felt in the present day. Many of the spell formulae known by human mages in the present day and many half-buried ruins and subterranean treasure vaults current adventurers seek to plunder date from this period.

LANNY POFFO PASSES AWAY

First Comics News - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 23:42
The wrestling world is mourning the loss of legend Lanny Poffo, who passed away at 68. Poffo was known to fans as “The Genius” and “Leaping” Lanny Poffo in WWE.…
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DC To Celebrate International Women’s Day With Variant Cover Program

First Comics News - Thu, 02/02/2023 - 23:30
DC is celebrating International Women’s Day, March 8, with eight variant covers honoring some of the most powerful women in the DC Universe. Artist Eleonora Carlini drew a touching scene…
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Wednesday Comics: DC, May 1982 (week 1)

Sorcerer's Skull - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 12:00
I'm reading DC Comics' output from January 1980 (cover date) to Crisis! Today, I'm looking at the comics at newsstands on the week of February 4, 1982. 

Arak Son of Thunder #9: Thomas and Colon/Rodriquez are following the Conan playbook and have Arak and Valda head out to sea, trying to get to Constantinople. The sailing is of course not smooth as they must fight back against piractical types. In the Viking Prince backup by Kanigher and Duursema, the Prince loses an arm saving a woman from druidic sacrifice, but she knows a place he may be able to get it magically reattached!

DC Comics Presents #45: A freak accident while stealing tech secrets for the Soviets turns a Kristopher Kross (not that one) into Kriss-Kross (not the other ones) into a lame, one-off villain for Superman and Firestorm. But Conway does get to plug his upcoming Firestorm series.

Ghosts #112: This title gives up the ghost with this issue, but they saved some not bad stories for it. Also of interest is the editorial that thanks the writers and artists and plugs some new/upcoming DC titles. It particularly spends time on the titles in what it calls the "mystery genre" which include Saga of the Swamp Thing (premiering later this month) and the upcoming The Dark Force--which will see print as Night Force.  
In the stories, Harris and Texeira have a kid named Joey who is allowed to join the bigger kids pirate club rise to lead it after being possessed by the spirit in an old pirate's skull. Kanigher and Bender send John Wilkes Booth to hell where he has to live out the assassination he committed over and over--in Lincoln's place. Finally, in a proto-Death Note, a cop gets ahold of a page from Death's book and uses it to extort money from people looking to prevent their death or the death of a loved one. When Death comes to get it back, he extorts immortality from Death, too! The Grim Reaper tricks him though, and he gets eternal life--buried alive!

Justice League #202: I don't know what Conway and Heck were thinking on this one. It's like a Space: 1999 plot or something. Batman's injured while doing repairs on the outside of the JLA satellite. Before his teammates can get to him, he's picked up by an alien medical ship, whose automated systems heal him--but in the image of its presumably long-dead creator, Ursak. The process leaves Batman deranged. His teammates have to defeat him, before they can get the ship to heal him again, then Hawkman reprograms it and sends it on its way.

Weird War Tales #111: I had this issue as a kid. Kanigher and Spiegle do the sensible thing and team-up G.I. Robot and the Creature Commandos on an island with dinosaurs and survivors from Lemuria. Well, technically they are Atlanteans from an Atlantide colony in the Pacific--and they are survivors, but instead their robot descendants. Due to the Doctor's snaky tresses the Atlanteans decide to attack, but the Creature Commandos dispatch them. The Atlantean leader appeals to a fellow robot for help, but as with all G.I. Robot stories, the robot's humanity shows through, and J.A.K.E sacrifices himself to save the Commandos.

Wonder Woman #291: This is probably Thomas' Marvel roots showing. A gigantic and ultra-powerful alien, The Adjudicator, arrives to judge the Earth, as he has countless planets before. He discovers all the parallel Earths and plans to judge a number of them, too. Wonder Woman calls in the assistance of the JLA. Black Canary heads to Earth-2 to warn the JSA, Green Lantern heads to Oa to see what the Guardians know about the alien, and Superman goes to the Fortress of Solitude to search its archives. Wonder Woman and Zatanna are left to challenge Adjudicators physical manifestations: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The two battle the Horseman Famine in India and manage to defeat it.

MARK RUFFALO JOINS EMERALD CITY COMIC CON 2023 LINEUP AS HEADLINER

First Comics News - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 03:17
The Hulk Smashes Into Seattle for Photo Ops, Autographing, and Main Stage Panel SEATTLE, WA – Mark Ruffalo is joining the Emerald City Comic Con (ECCC) lineup as a headlining…
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And Now For Something Completely Different

The Splintered Realm - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 01:56
Have I ever told you about my strange side fascination with RPGs to simulate pro wrestling?
Yeah. It's been a thing.
I remember back in the 80s, there was a wrestling RPG that was advertised in PWI (Pro Wrestling Illustrated - I was as fixated on this as I was on Dragon Magazine and GI Joe comics). I was always interested in it, but never actually bought it. However, I decided to devise my own game, which I called PowerSlam, and which I tried to sell but failed spectcularly. I remember sitting in the family room at maybe fourteen years old, listening to REM's Automatic for the People on infinite loop, and writing this game. It was maybe 40 pages long, but I worked on it really, really hard for about a month.
It was pretty bad, but I worked on it like a madman.
Anyhow, I get a lot of wrestling stuff on my phone's news feed. I don't watch wrestling, but I'm always interested in throwback articles about Brett Hart, The British Bulldogs (my all-time-favorites), or the Macho Man.
I saw an article today, and it caused dominoes to start falling in my brain.
A few hours later, I had a draft for a wrestling RPG. I wanted to get the whole thing into two pages, and I think it works. It also seems to emulate wrestling matches as I remember them (not sure if they are still like this - but I have to imagine that there's not a lot new under the sun in the world of pro wrestling). 
You can read it here.
I'll probably post it on DrivethruRPG at some point just to get some more eyeballs on it, but I'll tinker with it a bit before then. I like how it feels. I like the idea that I can put an entire promotion (with a roster of fifteen or twenty wrestlers, the titles they have, and their regular events) on a single sheet of paper. I definitely will create my WWF as of 1986 roster just to do it at some point. 

‘THE HORROR’, A GRAPHIC NOVEL PREQUEL TO JOSEPH CONRAD’S ‘HEART OF DARKNESS’ ARRIVES OCTOBER 2023

First Comics News - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 00:44
Were Kurtz’s final words a confession–or perhaps, a warning? MILWAUKIE, Ore., (January 31, 2022)— Dark Horse Books presents The Horror, a graphic novel prequel to Joseph Conrad’s classic Heart of Darkness.…
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Your First Look at Justin Jordan and Brahm Revel’s Terrifying HARROWER #1

First Comics News - Wed, 02/01/2023 - 00:42
Discover a Brand New Slasher Series from the Writer of ‘Luther Strode’ and ‘Spread’ in February 2023 LOS ANGELES, CA (January 31, 2023) – BOOM! Studios today revealed a first look…
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Dark Horse Comics Celebrates Five Years of Berger Books with Editor Karen Berger!

First Comics News - Tue, 01/31/2023 - 20:35
MILWAUKIE, Ore., (January 31, 2022)— In 2017, Dark Horse first announced that Karen Berger, the legendary, award-winning comic book editor and founder of DC Comics’ influential imprint Vertigo, would be acquiring,…
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THIS JUST IN: DIRECTOR STANLEY BOWMAN FAKED THE MOON LANDING

First Comics News - Tue, 01/31/2023 - 19:30
From the award-winning co-creators of Powers and Netflix’s Polar MILWAUKIE, Ore., (January 31, 2022)— Eisner Award winner Michael Avon Oeming (Powers) and Victor Santos (Polar) are ready to get you to believe in…
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