Monday, July 29, 2019

My GenCon Schedule

I'm going to be simpler to find this year. Many years I orbit the Pelgrane booth, but in the past it's been a loose orbit. This year the orbit tightens and I'll be working the Pelgrane booth most of the show. Find me and the rest of the Pelgranistas at booth #1417, where we'll have a couple new products for Night's Black Agents and one new sandbox adventure book for 13th Age: Shards of the Broken Sky.

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
Saturday 1:30
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

Guest Post: Jonathan Tweet's GenCon Schedule

In 1978, I went to Gen Con as a 12-year old and bought Cosmic Encounter. Nine years later, I returned as a vendor selling Whimsy Cards, and I’ve been back most years since. This year at Gen Con, I’ll mostly be promoting Over the Edge, the all-new rewrite of my influential 1992 RPG. Here’s my schedule of public events.  

Wednesday during the day, no plans, maybe I should make some. 

Wednesday night, Diana Jones Award party at the Slippery Noodle, game professionals welcome. Eager to see who wins from among the four worthy nominees.

Thursday, 11–1, Atlas Games booth, #1421. Talk to me about Over the Edge, Clades/Clades Prehistoric, Ars Magica, On the Edge, or anything. Yes, I’ll also sign whatever books of mine you bring.

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.

Friday, 3–4, Chaosium booth, #829, signing 13th Age Glorantha, or anything. With Rob Heinsoo. 

Friday, 7pm or so until much later, ENnies reception & silent auction (6pm) and awards (8pm). Union Station Grand Hall. Last year I had a fun time bidding at the silent auction and losing all my bids. 

Saturday, 11–4, Atlas Games booth, #1421. 

Sunday, 11–2, Atlas Games booth, #1421. 

Sunday, 3,, live interview. 

Then 24 hours until my flight out on Monday.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Three-Dragon Ante Preview: Copper Trickster & Gold Monarch

Unlike games with the original 70-card 3DA set, games with the Legendary Edition start with 70 cards made from the 10 standard dragon colors and add 10 unique cards chosen from 15 Legendary Dragons and 15 Mortals. You can customize your deck with the cards you enjoy playing with most or choose randomly for an unpredictable mix.

Today we’re introducing two of the new Legendary Dragons. The Copper Trickster is first, pictured alongside a standard Copper Dragon. 

Copper Trickster

As you can see, we’ve used the normal dragon art by Craig Phillips for the Legendary Dragons but set them apart with different card graphics. The Copper Trickster counts as a Copper Dragon for purposes of creating a color flight, though this may be a bad example to highlight, since Copper is arguably the most difficult color flight to attain!

Gambling with a Copper Dragon’s power when you don’t have any other good ideas is a time-honored method of inviting luck to solve your problems. As the legendary representative of its color, the Copper Trickster applies the luck to where you need it most. Unlike a normal Copper Dragon, the Copper Trickster discards a different card from your flight and replaces it with the top card of the deck. Unlike normal Copper Dragons, that can sometimes trigger powers that are actively bad for you, you can trigger your new card or not, as you choose.

The Copper Trickster has a way of shaking things up when your opponents thought they understood the probabilities. Your top deck card draw may fail you, but at least it’s going to put a scare into everyone else.


Gold Monarch

Timed correctly, Gold Dragons are a huge helping of awesome. Win the gambit with high cards? Check. Draw lots of cards? Check. Search for a color flight of Gold Dragons while drawing those cards? Triple-check.

Therefore, I felt fine about giving the golden Legendary Dragon a touch of noblesse oblige!

The Gold Monarch’s drawback doesn’t kick in unless you win the gambit. If you’re going to whine about it, you’re whining as the winner, so try roleplaying draconic majesty instead. You've carved a slice of high moral ground covered in treasure! 

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Legendary Marvel Deckbuilding Fun

The photo is from playtesting the first of the two new Legendary: Marvel Deckbuilding expansions that Devin Low is designing at the moment. Lisa has just identified the troubling details of the Faustian bargain that one of Devin's new game mechanics has offered her. She is turning the bargain down, hard.

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

Three Dragon Ante Preview: The Dracolich & the Dragonrider

Three-Dragon Ante: Legendary Edition aims to replace the long out-of-print core set originally released by WotC in 2005. As explained in my previous post  on the contents of the new set, Legendary Edition is a mix of the original cards, a handful of Mortals from Emperor’s Gambit, updates of a few cards from the original set that have been revised with more interesting mechanics, and 17 entirely new cards.

Today I’ll show off an update of one of the original cards and one of the new Mortals.


Back in 2005, the Dracolich’s power read: Copy the power of an evil dragon in any flight.

That wasn’t the game’s worst power, but it wasn’t great. Occasionally you could pull off a combo with evil dragons you’d played earlier in a gambit. But not often. Usually you were somewhat reliant on the cards that your opponents had played. That type of reactive play wasn’t all that interesting, especially since a couple of the evil dragons in the core set had weak powers that have been slightly improved in Legendary Edition!

I didn’t think it was worth trying to hold on to the original ability. Instead, the new Dracolich, pictured above, wants to trigger its power when it’s played alongside other evil dragons. A bit like the Emperor from the Emperor’s Gambit set, the Dracolich is capable of boosting your flight’s Strength without giving the foe to your left a better chance of triggering their own powers. It’s obviously not much use alongside good dragons and Mortals, but if you can hold on to the Dracolich until you’ve got two other powerful evil dragons you should be capable of fighting above the evil dragons’ normal weight class.

It’s also worth considering as an opening bluff. Convince opponents it’s not worth fighting you this gambit and you may be able to take the stakes with middling cards.


Illustrated by the wonderful Craig Phillips, who has now created all the illustrations for the game, this new Mortal can also play for Strength or for misdirection. If you can trigger its power in a flight with two strong dragons, you’re riding a winner. Played early in a gambit it can let you feel out the opposition. Is anyone going to rise to challenge? Or is an opponent clearly setting up a Druid, at which point you might even be able to challenge for the weakest flight!

In fact, one of the sneakiest uses of the Dragonrider is to team up with a Druid! Trigger the Druid and the Dragonrider alongside another Mortal and your 0-Strength Dragonrider can win through weakness!

The Rules

For more on Three-Dragon Ante: Legendary Edition, see the rulebook that WizKids has put up on Boardgame Geek.