Friday, December 6, 2019
Monday, November 18, 2019
I thought a bit about how the current roleplaying rules would work in a casual-but-still-competitive tournament. My feeling is that the Ante Manipulation abilities (page 26 of the rulebook) aren't right for tournament play. They're OK in a home setting where players are accustomed to picking on each other week after week, but they're both vindictive and distinct from the way the game usually takes players' money, so no Ante Manipulation abilities in this tournament.
To help the fighter/barbarian types who are most likely to have the Threats & Promises ability we just ruled out of the tournament, here's a new Card Draw ability that's for characters with muscles. Like the other Card Draw abilities, Getting Angry Now lets you draw two cards when it triggers.
If you bring your own character, the folks running the tournament will help you you select abilities that are right for the tournament. If you're showing up to play and you don't have a character ready, here's the short list of possible character archetypes I put together for WizKids to work from. These archetypes use the abilities as printed in the rulebook, with one exception: the Desperation ability is fine, but could get irritating if used too many times in a game, so for tournament play I'm suggesting that each player with the ability can only use Desperation once per game. Since it's therefore one of the weaker abilities, characters with Desperation will also have another ability that's on the weaker side, so they'll never be entirely out of options.
Tuesday, September 17, 2019
Monday, September 9, 2019
Thursday, August 15, 2019
First: The Mortal Tax
Second: Oddly Weak Power
Monday, July 29, 2019
13th Age Monster Workshop
Friday, 11:00 am to noon. Stadium Meeting Room 12
This panel is a team-up between 13th Age designers and audience members who end up as 13th Age designers! Previous workshops' creatures that we polished and published include three entries in Bestiary 2: the shadow mongoose, the salamander (originally designed as the lava moth), and the Koruku, the avatar of the Iron Sea's hatred for the Dragon Empire. That's Rich Longmore's illustration of the Koruku above. Its brainstorm melted my brain cells. Bring your brain and help distribute the meltage.
13th Age Glorantha Signing
Friday, 3-4 p.m. Chaosium booth #829
Jonathan Tweet and I will be scribing runes into books. Also autographs.
BGG Interview about Shards
Digital discussion for on-line viewing.
Swords, Spies, & Shoggoths: the Pelgrane Press Panel
Saturday, 2-3 p.m., Crowne Plaza: Pennsylvania Station A
This is one of our Ken & Others Talk About Stuff panels. Happily the stuff includes some mostly-unannounced 13th Age books!
Sunday, July 28, 2019
Thursday, 2–3, Crowne Plaza: Pennsylvania Stn A. Basics of finding players, getting a campaign started, and taking the gamemaster role. With Darcy Ross, Robin Laws, and Justin Alexander. Crowne Plaza is the place with the creepy white statues, so that’s good. https://www.gencon.com/
Friday, July 26, 2019
Wednesday, July 24, 2019
Devin, meanwhile, is still chortling over the fact that so many players *will* accept the bargain, rubbing his hands together evil-mastermind-style to try and get Lisa excited about the possibilities.
Lisa said, "I read Faust in the original German. I'm not falling for this." And Devin/Mephistopheles had to be content with future souls.
I obviously can't provide details or even the names on the two expansions, but I can say we loved them both. The new mechanics provide a couple different assessment/achievement levels that are separate from the usual rubrics of Victory Points and slimmed-down decks. Trash-talking and roleplaying around the new mechanics is fun and fits the storylines that the expansions are based on. Fun new mechanics that are also funny? A big win.
Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Tuesday, May 28, 2019
So here's a note on on a product that people may not have realized works for both games: the set of RuneQuest expansion dice from Q-Workshop.
The hit location die and the twelve-sided strike-rank die aren't going to do much for 13th Age Glorantha players, but the runes on the 20-sided die are the runes used by 13G in exactly the right order to replace a glance at the random rune table.
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Little Bits: The new edition isn't just cards and a rulebook: it also includes enough gold and platinum pieces for up to six players, along with six 3DA Ability disks for to use for playing a 3DA game as your D&D characters.
100 Cards . . . : This Legendary Edition contains 100 cards. This includes 70 cards for the same ten colors of dragon that were in the original Three-Dragon Ante game, the five familiar chromatic and five traditional metallic dragons of D&D. Seven cards per dragon color is a bump up from the original game's six-per-color. I've noticed that people enjoy playing 3DA with big groups, and in the biggest groups it was possible to *almost* run out of cards and have to shuffle small discard piles too often. Adding a new intermediate-strength dragon card for each color means less shuffling for everyone.
. . . including 30 Special Cards: You don't play with just the seventy-card deck. The standard rule is that you play with 80 cards each game. The extra ten cards are selected from a pool of thirty special cards, split into two types. Half the special cards are Legendary Dragons, either powered-up versions of the ten familiar dragon colors or something special like Bahamut, Tiamat, and the Dracolich. As an example of what I mean by 'powered-up versions of the familiar dragons,' take the Legendary Dragon named the Red Destroyer. The Red Destroyer can be part of a color flight of Red Dragons. A normal Red Dragon steals a card and 1 gold from the strongest opponent; the Red Destroyer steals a card and 10 gold.
The other 15 special cards are Mortals. Yes, there are several new Mortals in this set, with new art by the original 3DA artist, Craig Phillips!
The standard way to play is to randomly select ten of the thirty special cards to add to a game, but the rulebook contains other sample deck configurations. You can customize or randomize each game.
Strengthening the Fun: There were a few cards in the original game that I thought were weak or not enough fun. I'm not going to detail all the changes, yet. But I will say that cards like the White Dragon and Black Dragon have stronger powers than they did in the original card set. Meanwhile, cards like The Priest and the Dracolich are no longer kind of meh; now they have interesting powers that can be worth planning around.
Brutal Self-Promotion: As I'm posting this blog, the Kickstarter for my new game, Wrestlenomicon, designed with Shane Ivey & Dennis Detwiller of Arc Dream Publishing, has 18 hours to run. Check it out for fun whiskey-and-pretzel gameplay, wonderful art by Kurt Komoda, and grievous Lovecraft puns from Shane and Dennis.
The Wrestlenomicon Kickstarter is in its final 25 hours. We've kicked, and now we're stretching towards the goal that will add the third elder god to the game, Nyarlathotep, who in Wrestlenomicon terms is less a crawling chaos and more the Chaos that performs an Elder Ollie On Your Head.
Tuesday, March 26, 2019
If you're not familiar with Three-Dragon Ante, it's a card game of luck and skill that I designed to be something like Hearts in terms of complexity and playtime, though not in technique. In some respects, 3DA is the opposite of poker, since instead of folding out of hands, savvy players milk their cards for as many micro-rewards as possible, setting up later success. As an in-world game based on the iconic chromatic and metallic dragons, it's what heroes and other tavern-goers play for gold in the worlds of D&D, and you'll find it referenced a few places in the D&D Players Handbook.
Friday, March 22, 2019
We've played soccer together for 33 years and card games for 30, so really, I should have known that Lisa's favorite card art wasn't going to be something subtle! Her favorite Wrestlenomicon move is Squishyface, a Combo for Hastur that will enter the deck when we hit our first stretch goal and expand to 70 card decks.
Back the Kickstarter! Summon the Squishyface!
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Arc Dream has announced our targets for adding new elder gods to the Wrestlenomicon Kickstarter! Actually Arc Dream announced a whole bunch of new stuff, including playmats, wallpapers and even a special card illustrated by John Kovalic!
Perhaps the biggest piece of the announcement is the plan for adding new elder god decks to the game. Cthulhu & Hastur made sense as the first to engage, but what's a cosmic battle between elder gods without the Crawling Chaos? The new gods will also come with rules for three and four player games. Battle Royale is grand melee style, every god for itself, or fight as a team. If fighting as a team feels too goody-two-shoes for you, there is of course an option for fighting each other after you've wiped out your rivals.
I've already designed the first draft of the Nyarlathotep deck. Same system that we used for Hastur and Cthulhu: Dennis and Shane supplied the names and I'm coming up with mechanics, though obviously we need the Kickstarter to fund and push through to the stretch goals before Kurt handles the art. Yog-Sothoth isn't as far along as Nyarlathotep but the first draft is in progress.
Here's how I summarize the new-elder gods.
Nyarlathotep messes with opponents by using Mastery cards that slam their own type of attack as well as their usual target. For example, Nyarlathotep's Bizarre Mastery card, Nyarly Don't Surf, slams Bizarre as well as Dominance. And while Nyarly's attacks and permanents slow the enemy down, Nyarly is busy building a pyramid of cards! Each attack that hits Ground Zero adds another block to Nyarly's pyramid. Cap the pyramid off, power Nyarly up, and your enemy is gonna get capped.
Yog-Sothoth plays from two angles with twister cards that can use their Momentum to move its cards backwards on the track, looping all the way around to the lowest spaces near Ground Zero. Meanwhile, Yog-Sothoth has 'Groove Thang' cards (like When a Singularity & Matter Love Each Other Very Much, or Let's Smoke a Bowl of Antimatter) that mess with the enemy all the way down the track. Groove Thang cards generate random aggressions that are printed on Yog-Sothoth's Cultist cards. Trigger a Groove thang ability higher up the track (not at Ground Zero), draw a random YS Cultist, and find out what grooved.
Tuesday, March 12, 2019
Three of the card games I’ve designed are somewhat similar to Wrestlenomicon’s style, play time, or ambition. Here are notes on fun elements of Three-Dragon Ante, Inn-Fighting, and Epic Spell Wars and how those elements compare to what’s going on in Wrestlenomicon.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
The campaign is structured so that most pledges add to either Cthulhu's coterie or Hastur's entourage. You'll find that Cthulhu is accepting allegiance on Twitter at @TentacleNecktie, with Hastur slightly in the lead at the moment at @EatYellowSign!
This Cthulhu vs. Hastur grudgematch has been playing out in my house for a couple years now, because my wife Lisa . . .
a) loves the game
b) was therefore willing to playtest it again and again and again during time when we were having fun hanging out instead of working
c) loves the art on the Hastur cards so much that she has a hard time playing Cthulhu, even though the straightforward Cthulhu mechanics are more her personal style. She plays Red/Black in M:tG, and Hastur is a bit more Blue/Black if we're gonna break it down like that. Lisa's Sense-of-Hastur helped keep the design on track when things got a bit too convoluted.
So Kurt Komoda's amazing Hastur art easily claimed its first victim. Lisa had never heard of the Yellow Sign, but she's an artist and a writer and Hastur had her number from the first stroke of its giant paintbrush.
Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Monday, March 4, 2019
At some point I decided to sponsor a driver in the game, paying a bit of support money and naming him Ole Tubli. Like my name, it ain't pronounced like you'd expect, which is fine. If you're not pronouncing it American style, this driver's name is Estonian for 'fare forward bravely,' my Dad's usual telephone sign-off, pronounced o-lay tube-lee.
After getting Ole Tubli into the races, I realized this was probably my life's one chance to sponsor a racing team. So Ole Tubli is part of the Archmage Engines team. Yes, the team will use something like the symbol of the Archmage from 13th Age, though I haven't worked out with Jeff which image will work better for his game. Maybe something like this . . .
the post involving the Archmage Engines just went up. If you feel like racing alongside Ole Tubli (plays mean guitar), Gid Zornes (grinder), and Sargon "The Winged Bull" Ashur (master metalworker) by sponsoring/naming a driver on the (extremely eclectic) Archmage Engines team, Jeff's blog has notes on how to join!
As the blog mentions, the game has reached the magic 500 pre-orders threshold, so GMT is going to start production and publish. The game is still available for the lower pre-order price through its GMT Project 500 page.
Tuesday, February 26, 2019
These four cards are still probably the best cards in the game. They might still benefit from a 2-point cost increase, or limit each player to buying only one of the two copies of each BBFM card. My wife Lisa likes the idea of avoiding a type of deckbuilding dominance that feels wrong for this game by forbidding players from owning both copies of a specific BBFM card. You bought Fruit once? You don’t get to buy the other copy.