Author Archives: Rob Heinsoo

13th Sage: Icon Riffs for the Prince of Shadows and Dwarf King

The Icon Riffs series offers inspiration for adventure design and improvisation at the table. The ideas presented aren’t numbered, because numbered lists imply a certain consistency between results. These lists are evocative rather than consistent. They’re also not thorough. This isn’t an attempt to list all the things that could be associated with the icons. There are huge numbers […]

13th Sage: Too Forceful a Salvo?

When many people give you the same feedback about your game for years, it’s got to have some truth in it. Today’s probable truth: “The combination of the wizard’s Evocation talent and the force salvo spell is broken.” Some GMs even report that the combo skews their thinking as they set up battles, since they […]

13th Sage: Secret Origins of the Escalation Die

Jonathan and I usually agree on the mechanics of 13th Age, but our memories don’t always agree when it comes to how key mechanics were created.* The escalation die is a prime example. I remember using the escalation die in a bizarro 4e game, fighting minions of Torog, back before we started work on 13th Age. […]

13th Sage: Icon Riffs for the Crusader and High Druid

The Icon Riffs series offers inspiration for adventure design and improvisation at the table. The ideas presented aren’t numbered, because numbered lists imply a certain consistency between results. These lists are evocative rather than consistent. They’re also not thorough. This isn’t an attempt to list all the things that could be associated with the icons. There are huge numbers […]

13th Sage: Why 13th Age Is A Good Gateway RPG

An interviewer once asked us, “If someone has never played a tabletop RPG, why would 13th Age be a good game for them to try?” Well, that interview never ran, so we’re going to share our answers here. We designed 13th Age for experienced GMs, but it can be a great entry point into the hobby for new […]

Rob’s Playtest Feedback process

My Playtest Feedback Process by Rob Heinsoo I’m just about to start going through playtest feedback for 13th Age in Glorantha. I thought readers of this blog might be interested in how I process playtest feedback for 13th Age books. Sometimes I read playtest feedback right away. But usually I wait and read as much […]

The Coin Zombie

This newly arrived 13th Age zombie has two inspirations. First, I’ve been reading Jason Sholtis’ compilation of The Dungeon Dozen: Random-Tables for Fantasy RPGs. “Reading” may be the wrong word, but I’ve definitely been picking it up and allowing photons from its pages to slam into my eyeballs. Second, I like the way one of […]

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