• The Infractions Forum is available for public view. Please note that if you have been suspended you will need to open a private/incognito browser window to view it.

[5E or 13th Age] Which is easier to run? Which is easier to play?

Enlightened

.........................
Validated User
Which is easier to run, taking into account everything from initially picking up the book, reading and digesting it, trying to teach it to someone and helping them make a character, and then prepping and running it?

Which is easier to play, taking into account understanding an explanation of how it works, working with the DM to make a character, and playing it?

My favorite D&D is Labyrinth Lord (which I love for its simplicity in class design and game rules), but I am looking to try to get into one of these more modern versions.

I still like and value simplicity, though, so from the point of view of simplicity in initially grokking and then running/playing, which would you say is easier and why?
 

Dionysos

Registered User
Validated User
In my opinion, as somebody currently running campaigns in both systems, 5th edition far simpler to play and to run. The rules are easy and straightforward. 13th Age, while much simpler than 3e or 4e, is a strange fusion of traditional adventure game and artsy storygame, and so it will naturally be a little tougher to get your head around.

Having said that, 13th Age is the more interesting of the two. By, like, an order of magnitude. I much prefer it.

But I enjoy both systems, so I don't think you can go wrong with either.

Actually, no. You can go wrong. If your players are passive receivers of information who lack the initiative to take setting elements and make them their own, 13th Age will probably fall flat for them.
 

HomegrownHydra

Registered User
Validated User
I'd say that 13th Age is more streamlined but 5e is more like old school D&D, so people who haven't played D&D before will probably pick up 13th Age faster while people familiar with pre-4e D&D will probably find 5e more intuitive. Overall, I'd say they're close enough in this regard that you should just go with whichever you think is cooler.

I personally prefer 13th Age because I find it to be more innovative, I like most of the classes better, the encounter design system is more reliable, and the monster stat blocks have the right balance between simplicity and fun, distinctive abilities.
 

DisgruntleFairy

Active member
Validated User
I would say that I think 5e is somewhat simpler to play and run, but its a pretty slim edge it has. That said 5e can be a bit dull at times. Despite being easier to run it can also be at times be a real pain. I'm constantly concerned that I will break something or wander off the map and get myself in trouble. 13th Age I really don't have that particular concern because (at least to me) it feels more robust and like it gives me more room to play around without breaking anything.

I also find the classes more interesting and engaging. I also think they work better. 5e still feels very rough to me when I run it.

That said I've run 5e more and my players like it.

Ultimately I think its more a matter of what works for you because each has their strengths and relatively few weaknesses. The difference in complexity aren't particularly significant in my opinion.
 

HomegrownHydra

Registered User
Validated User
Actually, no. You can go wrong. If your players are passive receivers of information who lack the initiative to take setting elements and make them their own, 13th Age will probably fall flat for them.
While 13th Age is intended to be played in a collaborative manner, it would be easy to run it in a traditional way. Pretty much all of the narrative stuff could be ignored without messing anything up.
 

Mengtzu

Another Kill Team...
Staff member
Moderator
RPGnet Member
I've found 13th Age much, much easier to run, with the difference in monster design probably being the biggest factor.

Playing? Probably depends on class really. Both have a fair variety of complexity in classes.
 

Enlightened

.........................
Validated User
If you haven't already, you can check out the 13th Age SRD and the 5e basic rules for free. That should allow you to figure out which one is right for you.
I actually own the full versions and have basically read them (and promptly shelved them both for being more than I wanted to handle at the time).

I am mainly asking about people's actual experieces running and playing them at the table.
 
Last edited:

Enlightened

.........................
Validated User
I'm reading through 13th Age again, and I am noticing that Wizards only have access to like forty spells total in the book.

That's ....interesting.

Do you not feel the lack in play?
 

DisgruntleFairy

Active member
Validated User
I'm reading through 13th Age again, and I am noticing that Wizards only have access to like forty spells total in the book.

That's ....interesting.

Do you not feel the lack in play?
It never seemed particularly lacking to me. But then again I haven't had anyone play a wizard.
 
Top Bottom