Fire Opal Media Archive

  • Eyes of the Stone Thief (13th Age) Eyes of the Stone Thief (13th Age) This massive mega-adventure clocks in at 364 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 7 pages EXTREMELY detailed ToC, 3 pages index (useful), 1 page magic item index (even more useful), 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 347 pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy. While we haven’t yet finished this massive monster, quite a bit of playtesting went into this review.   We begin this book with an interesting explanation – while […]

    Eyes of the Stone Thief (13th Age)

    Eyes of the Stone Thief (13th Age) Eyes of the Stone Thief (13th Age) This massive mega-adventure clocks in at 364 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside of front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 7 pages EXTREMELY detailed ToC, 3 pages index (useful), 1 page magic item index (even more useful), 1 page inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 347 pages of raw content, so let’s take a look!   This book was moved up in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy. While we haven’t yet finished this massive monster, quite a bit of playtesting went into this review.   We begin this book with an interesting explanation – while […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: 7 Icon Campaign (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, 7 icons, hmm? Concept-wise, the following have been combined: Dwarf king and crusader (=Dwarf King), emperor and gold wyrm )=Golden One), archmage and priestess (=Hierophant), diabolist and lich king (=Queen of Hell), the three and prince of shadows (= The Three), elf queen and high druid (=The Wild Queen). The Orc lord is still just the orc lord – no combination there.   The new icons do come with new sample options – the servants of the Dwarf King may […]

    13th Age Monthly: 7 Icon Campaign (13th Age)

    13th Age Monthly: 7 Icon Campaign (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, 7 icons, hmm? Concept-wise, the following have been combined: Dwarf king and crusader (=Dwarf King), emperor and gold wyrm )=Golden One), archmage and priestess (=Hierophant), diabolist and lich king (=Queen of Hell), the three and prince of shadows (= The Three), elf queen and high druid (=The Wild Queen). The Orc lord is still just the orc lord – no combination there.   The new icons do come with new sample options – the servants of the Dwarf King may […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: Echo and Gauntlet (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, what do we get this time around? Well, it is no secret that demonic corruption spreads like a plague across the Dragon Empire, held in check by the dubious methods of the Crusader – herein, we are introduced to two of his more refined weapons, the first of which is the eponymous Echo: A bleak hellscape of post-apocalyptic ruins, this desolate place allows for the sifting through time, adding a tangible 4th dimensional element to narrative structure, one further developed […]

    13th Age Monthly: Echo and Gauntlet (13th Age)

    13th Age Monthly: Echo and Gauntlet (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, what do we get this time around? Well, it is no secret that demonic corruption spreads like a plague across the Dragon Empire, held in check by the dubious methods of the Crusader – herein, we are introduced to two of his more refined weapons, the first of which is the eponymous Echo: A bleak hellscape of post-apocalyptic ruins, this desolate place allows for the sifting through time, adding a tangible 4th dimensional element to narrative structure, one further developed […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: Kroma Draconics This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   All right, so, personal antipathy aside, there seem to be a lot of players who enjoy playing dragon-people and the variant race introduced back in the day, so here, we actually get chromatic draconics fully depicted – though their moniker, “kroma”, obvious is shorter…and hence the one most widely used. The cool thing in this installment of 13th Age Monthly, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that the race now is no afterthought-option anymore: With evocative 13 things that might be true […]

    13th Age Monthly: Kroma Draconics (13th Age)

    13th Age Monthly: Kroma Draconics This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   All right, so, personal antipathy aside, there seem to be a lot of players who enjoy playing dragon-people and the variant race introduced back in the day, so here, we actually get chromatic draconics fully depicted – though their moniker, “kroma”, obvious is shorter…and hence the one most widely used. The cool thing in this installment of 13th Age Monthly, at least as far as I’m concerned, is that the race now is no afterthought-option anymore: With evocative 13 things that might be true […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: Sharpe Initiatives: Earthgouger (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let’s…wait.   Wait a second. This is actually a small module, so from here on out reign the SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion. … .. . All right, only GMs here? Great! Remember my review of “The Strangling Sea“? Well, the PCs may have made the acquaintance of notoriously unreliable and downright nasty inventor genius Inigo Sharpe. Well, the dwarven explorer Greta Silvervein has found something – a massive construct, but none of the regular folks knows how to get it going. Enter […]

    13th Age Monthly: Sharpe Initiatives: Earthgouger (13th Age)

    13th Age Monthly: Sharpe Initiatives: Earthgouger (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 9 pages of content, so let’s…wait.   Wait a second. This is actually a small module, so from here on out reign the SPOILERS. Potential players should jump to the conclusion. … .. . All right, only GMs here? Great! Remember my review of “The Strangling Sea“? Well, the PCs may have made the acquaintance of notoriously unreliable and downright nasty inventor genius Inigo Sharpe. Well, the dwarven explorer Greta Silvervein has found something – a massive construct, but none of the regular folks knows how to get it going. Enter […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: Summoning Spells (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   13 True Ways introduced summoning for two new classes – druid and necromancer, and now, we get rules for the core-classes as well – but can they stand up? Do they maintain balance? Let’s take a look! Summoning creatures is a standard action and they take their action immediately after the summoner in the initiative order. Summoned creatures fight until the end of the battle or until reduced to 0 hp – if they are defeated, you take psychic damage equal to […]

    13th Age Monthly: Summoning Spells (13th Age)

    13th Age Monthly: Summoning Spells (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 13 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD/editorial, leaving us with 11 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   13 True Ways introduced summoning for two new classes – druid and necromancer, and now, we get rules for the core-classes as well – but can they stand up? Do they maintain balance? Let’s take a look! Summoning creatures is a standard action and they take their action immediately after the summoner in the initiative order. Summoned creatures fight until the end of the battle or until reduced to 0 hp – if they are defeated, you take psychic damage equal to […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: Eidolons (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, where an eidolon, named night, on a black throne reigns upright, I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime, Out of space – out of time.   Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. It’s my immediate association whenever I hear the word “eidolon” – and no, in 13th Age, they are not the customizable pets of summoners. Instead, eidolons are pretty […]

    13th Age Monthly: Eidolons (13th Age)

    13th Age Monthly: Eidolons (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   By a route obscure and lonely, Haunted by ill angels only, where an eidolon, named night, on a black throne reigns upright, I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule From a wild weird clime that lieth, sublime, Out of space – out of time.   Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. It’s my immediate association whenever I hear the word “eidolon” – and no, in 13th Age, they are not the customizable pets of summoners. Instead, eidolons are pretty […]

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  • The Strangling Sea (13th Age) This module for 13th Age clocks in at 44 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page blank inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 34 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This was moved ahead in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a critical, honest review.   We begin this module with a briefing and a selection of the icon patron for the PCs – and, let me state this from the beginning, this section is very detailed: Each of the patron icons and also, each […]

    The Strangling Sea (13th Age)

    The Strangling Sea (13th Age) This module for 13th Age clocks in at 44 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page inside front cover, 2 pages of editorial, 1 page ToC, 3 pages of advertisement, 1 page blank inside of back cover, 1 page back cover, leaving us with 34 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This was moved ahead in my review-queue due to me receiving a print copy in exchange for a critical, honest review.   We begin this module with a briefing and a selection of the icon patron for the PCs – and, let me state this from the beginning, this section is very detailed: Each of the patron icons and also, each […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: Children of the Icons This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The most common (and imho boring) unique thing imaginable – you’re a child of an icon! Congrats! Bet you’ve never seen that one before, right? Sorry, but when the icons themselves are basically archetypes, being kin to one is an archetype of its own. The fluff-only write-ups of the respective icon-parentages are pretty solid, with different pieces of advice each: A child of the archmage may be grow in a vat or a living seal of an elemental pact…or he may have […]

    13th Age Monthly: Children of the Icons (13th Age)

    13th Age Monthly: Children of the Icons This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   The most common (and imho boring) unique thing imaginable – you’re a child of an icon! Congrats! Bet you’ve never seen that one before, right? Sorry, but when the icons themselves are basically archetypes, being kin to one is an archetype of its own. The fluff-only write-ups of the respective icon-parentages are pretty solid, with different pieces of advice each: A child of the archmage may be grow in a vat or a living seal of an elemental pact…or he may have […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: Candles, Clay and Dancing Shoes (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, what this pdf provides is interesting – we get items that are obviously the result of the craftsmanship of minor sorcerors, here called alchemists and talismancers – basically, everyday items. However, beyond the basic concept provided, each item sports 13 rumors related to it, some of which may be true, some of which may be false…all depending on the GM. This customization option is something I truly cherish here…so what do the items do?   The first item […]

    13th Age Monthly: Candles, Clay and Dancing Shoes (13th Age)

    13th Age Monthly: Candles, Clay and Dancing Shoes (13th Age) This installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   So, what this pdf provides is interesting – we get items that are obviously the result of the craftsmanship of minor sorcerors, here called alchemists and talismancers – basically, everyday items. However, beyond the basic concept provided, each item sports 13 rumors related to it, some of which may be true, some of which may be false…all depending on the GM. This customization option is something I truly cherish here…so what do the items do?   The first item […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: Temples of the Frog Folk This installment in 13th Age’s monthly series of supplemental pdfs clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf portrays basically an ecology on frog folk – but why did no one write about them? Well, there is this odd phenomenon – all who write about the frog folk seem to experience unpleasant accidents…and 13 reasons for the paranoia exhibited by and surrounding the frog folk are given: For example, what if ALL gods hate the frog folk, as they are a cosmic mishap? Or what if their skulls contain the fables toadstones?   […]

    13th Age Monthly: Temples of the Frog Folk (13th Age)

    13th Age Monthly: Temples of the Frog Folk This installment in 13th Age’s monthly series of supplemental pdfs clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 8 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   This pdf portrays basically an ecology on frog folk – but why did no one write about them? Well, there is this odd phenomenon – all who write about the frog folk seem to experience unpleasant accidents…and 13 reasons for the paranoia exhibited by and surrounding the frog folk are given: For example, what if ALL gods hate the frog folk, as they are a cosmic mishap? Or what if their skulls contain the fables toadstones?   […]

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  • 13th Age Monthly: Dragonriding The first installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   There are few images so iconic in fantasy, there are few things as contended as the act of dragonriding. As such, it should come as no surprise that this pdf opens with a kind of disclaimer: Whether this happens often or not, ultimately is up to the GM – and that’s a good thing, at least in my book. Why? Because this is one of those reviews, where I sit down and swallow my personal preferences: Basically, I think dragonriding should be something that […]

    13th Age Monthly: Dragonriding

    13th Age Monthly: Dragonriding The first installment of 13th Age Monthly clocks in at 8 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 6 pages of content, so let’s take a look!   There are few images so iconic in fantasy, there are few things as contended as the act of dragonriding. As such, it should come as no surprise that this pdf opens with a kind of disclaimer: Whether this happens often or not, ultimately is up to the GM – and that’s a good thing, at least in my book. Why? Because this is one of those reviews, where I sit down and swallow my personal preferences: Basically, I think dragonriding should be something that […]

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  • Shadows of Eldolan (13th Age) This adventure clocks in at 72 pages – since I only have the softcover, I can make no qualified statements on the pdf’s electronic features.   This book was moved up my reviewing queue due to me receiving the softcover of the book for the purposes of a fair, critical review.   First of all, this begins as a kind of gazetteer – the city of Eldolan, depicted with a nice b/w-map, comes fully detailed herein – and it is a n interesting backdrop: Situated near the Archmage’s metropolis of Horizon, but far enough away to be a sovereign entity, we still have, obviously, a magocarcy on our hands – with 3 different wizard schools, […]

    Shadows of Eldolan (13th Age)

    Shadows of Eldolan (13th Age) This adventure clocks in at 72 pages – since I only have the softcover, I can make no qualified statements on the pdf’s electronic features.   This book was moved up my reviewing queue due to me receiving the softcover of the book for the purposes of a fair, critical review.   First of all, this begins as a kind of gazetteer – the city of Eldolan, depicted with a nice b/w-map, comes fully detailed herein – and it is a n interesting backdrop: Situated near the Archmage’s metropolis of Horizon, but far enough away to be a sovereign entity, we still have, obviously, a magocarcy on our hands – with 3 different wizard schools, […]

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  • The Book of Loot (13th Age) This book clocks in at 72 pages. I received this book in print for the purpose of an unbiased, critical review and it thus was moved up in my reviewing queue. Even if you are not interested in 13th Age, please read this review. Finally: I do not own the pdf version of this book, so I can’t comment on it.   All right, so if you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you’ll know what my introductory spiel will be here: If there is one thing I loathe about d20-based systems, it would be that they wrecked magic. What do I mean by this? The massive rules-interaction possibilities and mathematical crafting rules […]

    The Book of Loot (13th Age)

    The Book of Loot (13th Age) This book clocks in at 72 pages. I received this book in print for the purpose of an unbiased, critical review and it thus was moved up in my reviewing queue. Even if you are not interested in 13th Age, please read this review. Finally: I do not own the pdf version of this book, so I can’t comment on it.   All right, so if you’ve been reading my reviews for a while, you’ll know what my introductory spiel will be here: If there is one thing I loathe about d20-based systems, it would be that they wrecked magic. What do I mean by this? The massive rules-interaction possibilities and mathematical crafting rules […]

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  • 13th Age Bestiary (13th Age) This massive book clocks in at 240 pages. I have received the color hardcover version of this book for the purpose of providing an unbiased, critical review.   A task that has been harder than I thought at first. Why? Because it’s a “first bestiary/monster manual”-type of book. I mean, come on, how many ways can you say: “This book contains orcs, ogres, etc.” To me, as a reviewer, there is NOTHING more boring than the first bestiary, ESPECIALLY since the advent of 3.X.   Let me ramble for a second: When I began playing, bestiaries were actually that – they were fashioned after the medieval catalogues of fantastic creatures and thus provides stats, yes, […]

    13th Age Bestiary (13th Age)

    13th Age Bestiary (13th Age) This massive book clocks in at 240 pages. I have received the color hardcover version of this book for the purpose of providing an unbiased, critical review.   A task that has been harder than I thought at first. Why? Because it’s a “first bestiary/monster manual”-type of book. I mean, come on, how many ways can you say: “This book contains orcs, ogres, etc.” To me, as a reviewer, there is NOTHING more boring than the first bestiary, ESPECIALLY since the advent of 3.X.   Let me ramble for a second: When I began playing, bestiaries were actually that – they were fashioned after the medieval catalogues of fantastic creatures and thus provides stats, yes, […]

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  • 13 True Ways (13th Age) Disclaimer: I received the hardcover of this book for the purposes of an unbiased, critical review, which I hereby provide. This review is based on the 256-page hardcover and not on the pdf –hence, I can’t judge electronic qualities etc. The material herein underwent playtsting for the purposes of this review.   13 True Ways, much like the 13th Age Core-rule-book, is a combination of crunch-book and setting material, though this one is focused slightly more on the setting aspect. I have already discussed in length and depth my stance on just about all rules-decisions of 13th Age in my review of the core book, so this review will NOT focus on those; Instead, I […]

    13 True Ways (13th Age)

    13 True Ways (13th Age) Disclaimer: I received the hardcover of this book for the purposes of an unbiased, critical review, which I hereby provide. This review is based on the 256-page hardcover and not on the pdf –hence, I can’t judge electronic qualities etc. The material herein underwent playtsting for the purposes of this review.   13 True Ways, much like the 13th Age Core-rule-book, is a combination of crunch-book and setting material, though this one is focused slightly more on the setting aspect. I have already discussed in length and depth my stance on just about all rules-decisions of 13th Age in my review of the core book, so this review will NOT focus on those; Instead, I […]

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  • 13th Age Core Book Disclaimer: I received the hardcover for 13th Age for the purposes of writing an unbiased, critical review. This following review reflects my endeavor to do so. The review is based on the hardcover of the 320 page book – I do not own the Pdf, so I can’t comment on that format. In order to review this book, I have playtested this system, though I did so with the expansion 13 True Ways as well – when appropriate, I will comment on that and yes, said book’s review is coming soon as well.   Without further ado – this is a d20-based system and as such, you will see a lot of familiar AND unfamiliar ground. […]

    13th Age Core Book

    13th Age Core Book Disclaimer: I received the hardcover for 13th Age for the purposes of writing an unbiased, critical review. This following review reflects my endeavor to do so. The review is based on the hardcover of the 320 page book – I do not own the Pdf, so I can’t comment on that format. In order to review this book, I have playtested this system, though I did so with the expansion 13 True Ways as well – when appropriate, I will comment on that and yes, said book’s review is coming soon as well.   Without further ado – this is a d20-based system and as such, you will see a lot of familiar AND unfamiliar ground. […]

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