[13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

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[13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Tim Baker » Fri Aug 31, 2018 7:15 am

A friend of mine opined that 13th Age is the best system he's come across for capturing the "Points of Light" feel that the 4th Edition D&D designers described during their initial discussions of the new edition. I haven't had the chance to dive deeper into that statement, so I thought I'd pick the community's collective brain.

Here's a quote from Rich Baker, talking about the design direction of 4th Edition. Given these key conceits, what does 13th Age do to embody them?
Rich Baker wrote: One of the first things we tackled . . . was the creation of a set of “key conceits”—things we knew we wanted to be true about the game. . . . [W]e hit upon the idea of a different core assumption about the world: Most of it is monster-haunted wilderness, and the centers of civilization are few and far between. Common people don’t venture into strange parts, and travel between towns or kingdoms sticks to a small number of lightly used roads. Commoners are scared of what’s in the old forest or beyond the barren hills at the end of the valley, because anything might be out there, and the vast majority of anything is probably hungry or hostile. Venturing away from the “base town” is something adventurers do.

I came up with the phrase “points of light in a dark world” to capture this concept. A point of light might be a border town, a remote village, a dwarf stronghold, the tribal lands of human barbarians, or a powerful city-state. But if you’re more than a few miles from that point of light, things get dark and dangerous quickly. The city-state might keep monsters and marauders at bay for a day’s ride in all directions, but at some point the law doesn’t stretch any farther. And the darkness might include brigands and bandits, orc tribes, goblin cities, vampire-haunted ruins, a dragon’s hunting grounds—anything you can imagine. . . . [I]t takes the steely nerves of real adventurers to venture from the light into the dark places of the world.
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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Zeromaru X » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:24 am

I'm not expert in 13th Age, but I don't think the Dragon Empire can really emulate the "Points of Light" feeling.

I mean, yes, you can have a frontier land in the Dragon Empire that is a monster-haunted wilderness, but in the end the Empire is there to protect the people if worst comes to happen. There are powerful NPCs (the Icons) that ensure a certain stability in the lands of the Empire regardless of danger.

While one of the key concepts of the "Points of Light" setting is that there are NO powers that get in the way of monsters. All powerful nations are destroyed, the remaining are weak and will rather subjugate the Point of Light instead of helping it, and NPCs are either all weak or, if powerful, are evil. So, the safety of the world depends enterily on the actions of the players.

If they do nothing to stop the orc horde or the evil priest breaching a rift from the Shadowfell, or the evil army conquering the barony, or the kobolds awakening the evil red dragon, Nentir Vale will be destroyed for sure. In the Dragon Empire, I'm sure one of the Icons, or even the Empire itself, will save the day if players cannot do it.

That's why the PoL concept didn't worked for the Forgotten Realms, either. The backstory ensured the existence of forces that can act if the players do nothing.

So, IMHO the real key concept of the Points of Light setting, is that players are special and the ones that define important events in the campaign; and will not be overshadowed by NPCs in that regard.

I mean, unless the Dragon Empire is in an state of decadence similar to that of the Galactic Empire in the Foundation Trilogy, that it is...

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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:29 am

You should bring your friend over here, so we can see where he wanted to go with this.

Ironically, the "Points of Light" thing being embedded into the core of 4th Edition was one of the things that turned me off of learning 4th Edition.

When I started playing D&D, 2nd Edition AD&D was just coming out and we got a large number of different campaign settings, each of which had a different vibe. I saw the "Points of Light" concept as a "restriction" that would make it harder to get the classic campaign settings I liked to fit with 4th Edition rules. When 4e Forgotten Realms came along and the designers decided to toss out the previous cosmology and radically reboot parts of the world, that made me feel that Forgotten Realms was being fitted to the Points of Light theme with a shoehorn (rather than having 4th Edition rules built around Forgotten Realms themes).

When Dark Sun and Eberron got converted to 4th Edition the chatter I heard made me think that they were also rebooting parts of those campaign settings too. There was a lot of nerd rage, back then, so it was often hard to get objective advice on converting older campaign settings to 4th Edition. So I'm not sure how much of that was connected to the 4e game engine and how much of that was down to Points of Light being a reboot goal for any settings that got brought back for 4e.

When the number of new settings coming along seemed to dry up (I seem to remember a "one setting per year promise" from someone) that kind of made me feel that WotC were struggling to find settings that were compatible with the "Points of Light" theme.

Then I saw things from another angle, where the Points of Light theme was being used to underpin a campaign based around something called Nentir Vale that was being heavily played down. And while I saw something like a Points of Light vibe as a barrier towards GM choice when 4e first came out, I saw it as an interesting concept to explore in a new world. A very interesting concept, because Nentir Vale could do this Points of Light thing to the max and not tell me I was "playing D&D wrong".

The main problem for me, then, was that Nentir Vale was played down and hidden inside core 4th Edition books and WotC had not put out a book for it that I could buy to take a look at the implementation of it. And then, just as there was supposed to be a Nentir Vale Gazeteer and a series of other gazetteers to give us a world that used the Points of Light theme to good effect WotC decided to pander to the nerd rage and take an about turn with D&D. Richard Baker (who apparantly came up with the Points of Light idea) got the boot, Nentir Vale got wound down.

I felt that Nentir Vale took the blame for anything that anyone didn't like about the 4e design. Because when it comes down to it RPG systems are just a bunch of mathematics. It is places, like Hammerfast, that people will remember their PCs visiting.

I know that you and DMSamuel had a brief chat about 13th Age Icons for Nentir Vale (as I recently put on my moderator hat and split the discussion into a separate 13th Age and Nentir Vale topic). So if your friend's argument is that 13th Age can do Points of Light so well that it would help Nentir Vale fans add stuff to their games, I'd be very interested. :cool:

But if the Dragon Empire is going to always be kept more vague than Nentir Vale was and "Points of Light" and "more simple maths than D&D" are the main selling points of 13th Age, that's much less interesting to me. ;(

I'll tell you something I'd like to see, if we are going to compare 4th Edition and 13th Age (and it might be too off topic for this discussion). After Richard Baker got pushed out of WotC he went off and set up Sasquatch Games with Stephen Schubert and David Noonan. They built a world, called Primeval Thule. And Primeval Thule has had full-blown campaign setting books published for both 4th Edition and 13th Age.

I don't know if Richard Baker had the Points of Light theme in mind, when he helped create Primeval Thule, but Sasquatch Games gave us a full-blown world new for 4e and they then gave us the same thing for 13th Age. We will never know how well Richard Baker would have converted Nentir Vale to 13th Age, as WotC are never going to let that happen. But I think that Primeval Thule could possibly be a good case study for doing a side-to-side comparison of a Richard Baker world and seeing how well 13th Age holds up against 4th Edition. :)
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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Big Mac » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:55 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:24 am
I'm not expert in 13th Age, but I don't think the Dragon Empire can really emulate the "Points of Light" feeling.

I mean, yes, you can have a frontier land in the Dragon Empire that is a monster-haunted wilderness, but in the end the Empire is there to protect the people if worst comes to happen. There are powerful NPCs (the Icons) that ensure a certain stability in the lands of the Empire regardless of danger.

While one of the key concepts of the "Points of Light" setting is that there are NO powers that get in the way of monsters. All powerful nations are destroyed, the remaining are weak and will rather subjugate the Point of Light instead of helping it, and NPCs are either all weak or, if powerful, are evil. So, the safety of the world depends enterily on the actions of the players.

If they do nothing to stop the orc horde or the evil priest breaching a rift from the Shadowfell, or the evil army conquering the barony, or the kobolds awakening the evil red dragon, Nentir Vale will be destroyed for sure. In the Dragon Empire, I'm sure one of the Icons, or even the Empire itself, will save the day if players cannot do it.

That's why the PoL concept didn't worked for the Forgotten Realms, either. The backstory ensured the existence of forces that can act if the players do nothing.

So, IMHO the real key concept of the Points of Light setting, is that players are special and the ones that define important events in the campaign; and will not be overshadowed by NPCs in that regard.

I mean, unless the Dragon Empire is in an state of decadence similar to that of the Galactic Empire in the Foundation Trilogy, that it is...
So far, I've gotten the impression that the Dragon Empire has as little nailed down in canon as possible. I think they are going for a "make it your own" vibe.

That seems closer (in some ways) to the vibe of Original D&D, where people running games were all supposed to build their own campaign worlds.

And if 13th Age is supposed to have more simple mathematics than 4th Edition D&D, it could be taking ideas from 4e and ideas form OD&D and aiming for a modern OGL system that does the sort of job that OD&D did.

Was the Points of Light theme totally original to 4e or did any of the designers ever say they were going right back to D&D's roots and being inspired by them? (I know that Nentir Vale recycles lots of adventure ideas from earlier editions.)
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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by agathokles » Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:49 am

Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:24 am
I'm not expert in 13th Age, but I don't think the Dragon Empire can really emulate the "Points of Light" feeling.

I mean, yes, you can have a frontier land in the Dragon Empire that is a monster-haunted wilderness, but in the end the Empire is there to protect the people if worst comes to happen. There are powerful NPCs (the Icons) that ensure a certain stability in the lands of the Empire regardless of danger.
Well, you don't need to use the Dragon Empire, obviously. The question is more whether the Icons system lends itself to the PoL style, which IMO is dubious at best.

On the other hand, 13th Age is designed along similar goals and mechanisms of 4e, which may be the rationale for using it for a PoL setting.

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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Zeromaru X » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:12 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:29 am
Ironically, the "Points of Light" thing being embedded into the core of 4th Edition was one of the things that turned me off of learning 4th Edition.

When I started playing D&D, 2nd Edition AD&D was just coming out and we got a large number of different campaign settings, each of which had a different vibe. I saw the "Points of Light" concept as a "restriction" that would make it harder to get the classic campaign settings I liked to fit with 4th Edition rules. When 4e Forgotten Realms came along and the designers decided to toss out the previous cosmology and radically reboot parts of the world, that made me feel that Forgotten Realms was being fitted to the Points of Light theme with a shoehorn (rather than having 4th Edition rules built around Forgotten Realms themes).
The fun part is that the World Axis cosmology was originally created specifically for the Forgotten Realms and later shoehorned into the PoL setting.
Big Mac wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:55 am
Was the Points of Light theme totally original to 4e or did any of the designers ever say they were going right back to D&D's roots and being inspired by them? (I know that Nentir Vale recycles lots of adventure ideas from earlier editions.)
I don't remember reading something about this in the Preview books or the development columns of Dragon Mag. However, something clear in "Worlds & Monsters" is that they wanted to stay away from classical fantasy tropes such as "humans are the most important race" or "the whole world is already explored and painstakingly mapped". They wanted to create a whole new fantastic world and that wasn't an expy of X culture from historical Earth.

My guess is that the latter was what baffled the most to those who hated the PoL concept (that did existed at the time), as the most popular D&D worlds are expies of historical Earth's cultures, while the world of Nentir Vale is more akin to Azeroth (from Warcraft), at least in essence. Both are truly fantasy worlds with no easily identifiable counterparts from historical Earth's cultures.

Paradoxically, what you say is true. The world of Nentir Vale uses a lot of ideas from older D&D worlds, so perhaps they did wanted to remain true to D&D's roots while walking away from the common cliches of modern fantasy.
agathokles wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:49 am
Well, you don't need to use the Dragon Empire, obviously. The question is more whether the Icons system lends itself to the PoL style, which IMO is dubious at best.

On the other hand, 13th Age is designed along similar goals and mechanisms of 4e, which may be the rationale for using it for a PoL setting.

GP
I doubt it as well, as the whole concept of Icons (that is ingrained in 13th Age rules) makes the PCs not as special as the PoL concept suggest.

Yet, I'm not a 13th Age expert, so I may be wrong.

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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Tim Baker » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:29 am

I don't have time for a long reply, unfortunately. But I wanted to jump in with a few comments.

It's sometimes hard to separate 13th Age the system from 13th Age the setting (Dragon Empire), and that makes this conversation a bit more challenging than it would otherwise be. I would agree that the Dragon Empire, including its icons, has several differences from the PoL feeling that the designers built Nentir Vale around. As Zeromaru X and agathokles pointed out, the Dragon Empire's icons are constantly working to secure the Empire against the largest threats (which are, themselves, icons). It's what keeps them locked in a careful balance with one another and requires that their agents (PCs and the big bads of the campaign) work to tip the balance. That doesn't feel like a typical Nentir Vale campaign.

However, when you look at the mechanisms that 13th Age the system (i.e., the Archmage Engine) provides, I see how it can support a Points of Light type setting, both by what it provides, and by what it omits. The latter part is important, as it means the system gets out of the way and PoL is one of many styles that are supported. For example, there are no tables of how races react to one another, which I've seen in other games. You can ignore those tables, but they're sometimes used to balance races against one another, which makes it complicated to remove certain elements. In other words, the mechanics are strongly pointing to a certain type of setting in cases like those. I'll have to think more about this and jot it down.

Regarding the OD&D feel, I would agree that 13th Age is looking back to the early D&D roots in some ways. Building a world of your own is one such way. But when I think of the earliest settings (e.g., Greyhawk), this doesn't strike me as a PoL world. So I don't think 4e was trying to emulate OD&D's earliest settings. Then again, I'm not very familiar with Blackmoor or Pelinore (another early setting, if I recall).

The most important aspect of icons is that they should influence the PCs and tie the characters to the setting. While the Dragon Empire's icons are powerful beings, if you view icons as factions that are more spread out, but also have allies and enemies in a setting, they still work well in the absence of any powerful NPCs. Speaking of Richard Baker, you see this kind of icon with more limited influence in the Primeval Thule setting.

Speaking of Primeval Thule, the differences between the 13th Age and the 4e versions of the book are contained in a 14-page appendix. The icons are included in the main part of the book (chapter 2), although they aren't labeled as such. They're called patrons and enemies, instead. But the conflict between them and the ties to the PCs is a core part of the setting. Given the dark Lovecraftian feel of Primeval Thule, I don't think it's much of a stretch to say it checks several of the "Points of Light" boxes.
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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Matchstick » Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:20 am

I'm not totally sure I understand exactly what a Points of Light feel is, but based on what I'm reading, couldn't the One Unique Thing provide a player with the potential to become an icon, and thus possibly make them a PoL?

If you're OUT is "Secret Heir to the Dragon Empire" or "Princess of Drakkenhall" or "Lich King of the 14th Age" you've added that PoL feel (if I'm understanding correctly). Even as I type that I think a campaign where every player had OUTs like those could be really compelling; perhaps the party are 14th Age iconic avatars ushering in the 14th Age and the relationships established within the party during the 13th age will rock that 14th age, as the 14th Age Lich King becomes a neutral or even good force because of a friendly relationship with the 14th Age Dragon Emperor, etc.

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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:51 am

Matchstick wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 1:20 am
I'm not totally sure I understand exactly what a Points of Light feel is, but based on what I'm reading, couldn't the One Unique Thing provide a player with the potential to become an icon, and thus possibly make them a PoL?

If you're OUT is "Secret Heir to the Dragon Empire" or "Princess of Drakkenhall" or "Lich King of the 14th Age" you've added that PoL feel (if I'm understanding correctly). Even as I type that I think a campaign where every player had OUTs like those could be really compelling; perhaps the party are 14th Age iconic avatars ushering in the 14th Age and the relationships established within the party during the 13th age will rock that 14th age, as the 14th Age Lich King becomes a neutral or even good force because of a friendly relationship with the 14th Age Dragon Emperor, etc.
This sounds like it would make a fantastic campaign! "Points of Light" is a term the 4th Edition D&D designers came up with to describe the default feel of the type of setting they wanted to capture in the edition's rules and implied setting. It refers to the world being a dark place, where populated villages and towns serve as points of light within the darkness. If you stray too far from one of these points of light, you're sure to encounter monsters. Thus, most people stick close to home, and only brave heroes travel. It's different from Greyhawk's clashing kingdoms or the Realms' various countries and regions, although these settings could have Points of Light areas within less populated corners of the world.
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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Matchstick » Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:14 pm

Great explanation, thanks! Sounds like the excellent "Accursed" setting for Savage Worlds. Someone looking for something like you describe could look at that setting for inspiration.

I think that could totally work with 13th Age. No one says the Dragon Empire has to be good right? It could be that (oddly enough, similar to my post above) the Emperor and Lich King are allies, twins, or even the same person! The Wild Wood could be hostile to humanoids, or at least someplace you have to be careful (Fangorn). The Queen's Wood could filled with malicious fey type elves. The Three in Drakkenhall have let the monsters from the Iron Sea spread into the Midland Sea. The "half baked" status of the 13th Age setting should be able to adapt to almost anything you want IMO. That's why they left it so unformed.

Here's another idea: set a campaign in the "Age of the Howling Moon" from the Book of Ages. What an amazing gothic setting that could be! Half-timbered houses, lycanthrope nobility.

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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:57 pm

Matchstick wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:14 pm
Great explanation, thanks! Sounds like the excellent "Accursed" setting for Savage Worlds. Someone looking for something like you describe could look at that setting for inspiration.

I think that could totally work with 13th Age. No one says the Dragon Empire has to be good right? It could be that (oddly enough, similar to my post above) the Emperor and Lich King are allies, twins, or even the same person! The Wild Wood could be hostile to humanoids, or at least someplace you have to be careful (Fangorn). The Queen's Wood could filled with malicious fey type elves. The Three in Drakkenhall have let the monsters from the Iron Sea spread into the Midland Sea. The "half baked" status of the 13th Age setting should be able to adapt to almost anything you want IMO. That's why they left it so unformed.
My friend was referring to the mechanics of 13th Age when he made his statement (in the original post). It's interesting to ponder how the Dragon Empire could also be run as a PoL setting. I don't think that's the way many people approach it by default, but as you said, the beauty of a half-baked setting is that you can fill in those details. I think the default Icons, run as written, make it a challenge to view the Dragon Empire in a "PoL state." The fact that we have an Empire with an Emperor, that the Archmage is constantly setting up wards to protect the citizens, that there are so many roads on the map, that there are high magic cities with floating castles and airships -- these elements tend to point toward a setting where it's probably safe to travel the roads (or the Midland Sea), at least in much of the Empire. Then again, I'm viewing it through my own filter of games that I've run/played over the past 6 years. :)
Matchstick wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 5:14 pm
Here's another idea: set a campaign in the "Age of the Howling Moon" from the Book of Ages. What an amazing gothic setting that could be! Half-timbered houses, lycanthrope nobility.
Age of the Howling Moon is a good candidate to be run as a PoL setting. Nice thought!
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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by agathokles » Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:33 pm

Tim Baker wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 7:57 pm
My friend was referring to the mechanics of 13th Age when he made his statement (in the original post). It's interesting to ponder how the Dragon Empire could also be run as a PoL setting. I don't think that's the way many people approach it by default, but as you said, the beauty of a half-baked setting is that you can fill in those details. I think the default Icons, run as written, make it a challenge to view the Dragon Empire in a "PoL state." The fact that we have an Empire with an Emperor, that the Archmage is constantly setting up wards to protect the citizens, that there are so many roads on the map, that there are high magic cities with floating castles and airships -- these elements tend to point toward a setting where it's probably safe to travel the roads (or the Midland Sea), at least in much of the Empire. Then again, I'm viewing it through my own filter of games that I've run/played over the past 6 years. :)
It would be possible to change a few aspects of the Icons, to tip the balance in favor of the forces of darkness. For one, interpreting the existing icons in the worst possible light, according to Icon Relationship Master Chart (i.e., the Prince of Shadows, the Crusader and the Three as villainous, and the Emperor, Dwarf King and Elf Queen as ambiguous) would already leave only the Great Gold Wyrm (tied down with the demons), the Priestess (a "vox clamans in deserto") and the Archmage (a powerful but overworked wizard) to deal with major threats such as the Orc Lord, the Diabolist, and the Lich King while uncaring, distant rulers (the Emperor, Elf Queen and Dwarf King) are obsessed only with their own self-preservation.
Even though the three rulers are still powerful, they focus on keeping power in the face of external (the Emperor vs the Orc Lord and Lich King) or internal challenges (the Elf Queen trying to keep together the light and dark elves), or on revenge quests (the Dwarf King).
The Crusader, the Prince of Shadows and Three are now explicitly forces of evil, keeping their own dominions under control with a thin veneer of civilization, making them somewhat less then points of light.

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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Tim Baker » Wed Sep 12, 2018 1:22 am

agathokles wrote:
Tue Sep 11, 2018 10:33 pm
It would be possible to change a few aspects of the Icons, to tip the balance in favor of the forces of darkness. For one, interpreting the existing icons in the worst possible light, according to Icon Relationship Master Chart (i.e., the Prince of Shadows, the Crusader and the Three as villainous, and the Emperor, Dwarf King and Elf Queen as ambiguous) would already leave only the Great Gold Wyrm (tied down with the demons), the Priestess (a "vox clamans in deserto") and the Archmage (a powerful but overworked wizard) to deal with major threats such as the Orc Lord, the Diabolist, and the Lich King while uncaring, distant rulers (the Emperor, Elf Queen and Dwarf King) are obsessed only with their own self-preservation.

Even though the three rulers are still powerful, they focus on keeping power in the face of external (the Emperor vs the Orc Lord and Lich King) or internal challenges (the Elf Queen trying to keep together the light and dark elves), or on revenge quests (the Dwarf King).
The Crusader, the Prince of Shadows and Three are now explicitly forces of evil, keeping their own dominions under control with a thin veneer of civilization, making them somewhat less then points of light.
Totally valid. Heck, I would play in this campaign!
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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Big Mac » Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:44 am

agathokles wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 11:49 am
Zeromaru X wrote:
Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:24 am
I'm not expert in 13th Age, but I don't think the Dragon Empire can really emulate the "Points of Light" feeling.

I mean, yes, you can have a frontier land in the Dragon Empire that is a monster-haunted wilderness, but in the end the Empire is there to protect the people if worst comes to happen. There are powerful NPCs (the Icons) that ensure a certain stability in the lands of the Empire regardless of danger.
Well, you don't need to use the Dragon Empire, obviously. The question is more whether the Icons system lends itself to the PoL style, which IMO is dubious at best.

On the other hand, 13th Age is designed along similar goals and mechanisms of 4e, which may be the rationale for using it for a PoL setting.
This is kind of an area where I really don't want a roleplaying rules system to hard-code a playstyle into the core rules.

I think the "Points of Light" theme is a very interesting one, and the Dragon Empire theme also sounds interesting, but these things really should be options, rather than defaults.

Having said that, if 13th Age is flexible enough to allow Nentir Vale games to work, that would be a good thing.
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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Tim Baker » Thu Sep 27, 2018 6:37 am

Big Mac wrote:
Wed Sep 26, 2018 8:44 am
I think the "Points of Light" theme is a very interesting one, and the Dragon Empire theme also sounds interesting, but these things really should be options, rather than defaults.

Having said that, if 13th Age is flexible enough to allow Nentir Vale games to work, that would be a good thing.
13th Age defaults to PCs acting as big heroes. There are house rules or optional rules to change that, but when you look at character progression and the assumptions made about how players will have agency during the game, I think it's fair to say that's the underlying assumption, regardless of the setting. In the Dragon Empire and in a PoL setting, PCs are big heroes, so 13th Age works well.

This can extend to larger-than-life Conan-like characters in Primeval Thule or wielders of incredible technology in Amethyst or monster hunters who dare face the forces of darkness in Nocturne (all 13th Age settings). But it's harder to run a gritty game without modifications to the rules.
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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Big Mac » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:37 am

Thanks for that clarification.

I think I get it now.

I can see this topic being repeated for other campaign settings, with people discussing how well 13th Age fits with their tropes (without modification). :-)
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Tim Baker
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Re: [13th Age] Conducive to PoL Feel?

Post by Tim Baker » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:15 am

Big Mac wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:37 am
I can see this topic being repeated for other campaign settings, with people discussing how well 13th Age fits with their tropes (without modification). :-)
You're probably right. :) With the game's flexibility and its refusal to be dogmatic about just about anything, there's a lot of room for interpretation. Thus, it can easily be molded and tweaked to fit many tropes -- some more easily than others.
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