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13th Age and 5ed

Chris J

Registered User
Validated User
I love me some 13th Age, it's what I call the 'fun buzz' factor. I'm almost all the way through running Lost Mine of Phandelver and I can't help but compare.

Why would i want to play 13th Age over 5ed?

I've not got any stubborn stance, I just want to get into the details of 5ed, the main rule book before I make a decision on which to run (I'll play either)

What I like about 13th Age is it really shakes d&d up and gives it a new shiny coat

Escalation Dice
Scaling Monsters
Free Form Spellcasters
Fixed Damage
Icon rolls
One Unique Things
Backgrounds (not lists of skills)
Incremental Advances (in my humble opinion, this is genius)
Small Monster blocks
Feats that are meaningful

But when I see 5ed, yes, it's functional, but it doesn't really do anything that makes me want to put aside my 13th Age and play 5ed.

What can I look forward to with 5ed, what makes it sing?
 

rakehell

Registered User
Validated User
It sounds like you're really happy with 13th Age, which is great.

I like 5e because, for me, it's exactly complicated enough. It doesn't have the mass of rules that Pathfinder does, it doesn't tie itself strongly to a setting I don't necessarily like the way 13th Age does, and it has the amount of structure I like, as opposed to "keyword" games like HeroQuest. If someone is already happy running or playing another game, I don't think there is a "killer app" in 5e that would make them switch.
 

Dweller in Darkness

Excelsior
Validated User
I haven't found 13th Age to be particularly tied to its setting, but then again I've been ignoring setting details since 1st edition.
 

rakehell

Registered User
Validated User
I haven't found 13th Age to be particularly tied to its setting, but then again I've been ignoring setting details since 1st edition.
I could certainly ignore or remove the Icons, but that seems kind of odd to me- on first reading, the Icons struck me as the major thing 13th Age does that other D&D-ish games don't. (Mileage varies, obviously.)
 

Dweller in Darkness

Excelsior
Validated User
I could certainly ignore or remove the Icons, but that seems kind of odd to me- on first reading, the Icons struck me as the major thing 13th Age does that other D&D-ish games don't. (Mileage varies, obviously.)
Oh, I still have Icons, I just have different ones.
 

romanov

gainsayer extraordinaire
Validated User
5e doesn't do anything that 13th Age does not already do, they just take different approaches. I like 5e because it's a rather modern version of my favorite game ever, AD&D 2e, without the stuff I found troublesome about it.
 
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Chris J

Registered User
Validated User
It sounds like you're really happy with 13th Age, which is great.

I like 5e because, for me, it's exactly complicated enough. It doesn't have the mass of rules that Pathfinder does, it doesn't tie itself strongly to a setting I don't necessarily like the way 13th Age does, and it has the amount of structure I like, as opposed to "keyword" games like HeroQuest. If someone is already happy running or playing another game, I don't think there is a "killer app" in 5e that would make them switch.
Thanks for that info

As it goes, I too dislike that 13th Age comes with its own setting. I guess it makes sense what with showing off the icons and all that.
 

Doctor Futurity

Camazotz the Death Bat
Validated User
You could do what I do and run both. I find each one to be a deliciously different flavor. 5E fills my much-needed "detailed campaign system designed for conventional D&D but with minimal fuss rules and lots of methodical character and story development" space and 13th Age fills my "cool as big damn heroes anything goes wahoo this is effin awesome space" rather neatly.

Seriously...I couldn't pick, so I went with both. I'm sort of a "why pick vanilla or chocolate when you can have both?" sort of guy. Helps that I have two groups that love both systems, too.

EDIT: 13th Age's setting is very high concept and broad-brushstrokes. It's there as an example of how to hang things off a framework, but you don't need to use it. The book talks in many places about how to make it your own...or to just ditch it and do your own thing. So the 13th Age expectation is that your personal exceptions will be the rule. Icons, however, do require some massaging if you move too far away from the default expectations, but its do-able.
 
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Vargold

AKA MalteseChangeling
Validated User
I actually like the Dragon Empire for the same reason that I liked PoLand in 4E: enough of a framework to hang my stuff on without massive amounts of canon to manage. I have learned through bitter experience that world-building is my Achilles' heel, a recipe for getting nothing done. So I want someone else's world, but I want it built around the assumption that I'll be adding my own material to it.

Also, beast masters rock in 13th Age and suck in 5E.*

* Which is bad for those who want their pets in 5E. I think I will only really be happy in 5E playing a warlock.
 

wheloc

He's trying real hard to be one of the good guys.
RPGnet Member
Validated User
D&D 5th edition seems to be more of a logical progression from 3rd edition, while 13th Age is more of a logical progression from 4th edition (or at least from the way we played 3rd vs 4th).

A lot of groups like to have freeform exploration but tight and tactical combat, and this is what 13th Age offers in spades. The exploration rules, like backgrounds and icons, are very loose and mostly amount to "do whatever seems fun". Combat is more robust, with specific rules to do combat-stuff, and classes mostly consisting of bundles of combat abilities. It does encourage combat "set-peices" and "everything looks like a nail" use of combat abilities, but for groups that enjoy this sort of thing this is a feature rather than a bug.

For groups that want more specific exploration rules, and maybe less specific combat rules (or at least different specific combat rules), D&D 5th edition might be a better choice. The classes and backgrounds (at least some of them) are a mix of combat and exploration abilities. Combat isn't exactly freeform, but there's more of a broad pool of combat options to draw from, and less of a restrictive list of combat abilities for each class.

Though who knows what the 5th edition Dungeon Master's Guide is going to bring to the mix?
 
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