Rob Heinsoo Archive

  • 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: 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: 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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  • 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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  • The Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design is an intimidating and healthy 244 pages of collected musings, thoughts, insights and essays from a collection of industry names that should prove familiar to most gamers or would be designers looking to sit down and read through this book. At first glance, and yes by the assumption made from the books title, it would appear this book is strictly for the designers out there, a how to guide if you will, on how to make a successful game and thereby put your name on the map when it comes to the gaming industry. But looking through the chapters and essays contained within one discovers very quickly there is so much more to […]

    Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design

    The Complete Kobold Guide to Game Design is an intimidating and healthy 244 pages of collected musings, thoughts, insights and essays from a collection of industry names that should prove familiar to most gamers or would be designers looking to sit down and read through this book. At first glance, and yes by the assumption made from the books title, it would appear this book is strictly for the designers out there, a how to guide if you will, on how to make a successful game and thereby put your name on the map when it comes to the gaming industry. But looking through the chapters and essays contained within one discovers very quickly there is so much more to […]

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