13 True Ways Update: The Smell of Dragonfire in The Morning

13 True Ways - Rolandby Rob Heinsoo

For this all-out push to finish 13 True Ways design, I’ve been channeling the man pictured here, a ruthless paladin/commander named Roland Abendroth. Roland is the creation of Davideogame, one of our high-level backers on 13 True Ways. Lee Moyer suggested creating portraits of the backer-created NPCs as full page art and Lee’s portrait of Roland opens Chapter 1: Classes.

This week, Jonathan is busy with the full write-ups of Roland and the other NPCs, crafting a format that blends useful story with player torment and eventual resolution.The NPC write-ups will appear in chapter 6, the Gamemasters’ Grimoire, where we indulge our ancient affection for grab-bag books like Arduin by including a bit of anything and everything wonderful that’s not long enough to merit a full chapter.

Before starting on the NPCs, Jonathan created a dozen or so truly twisted monsters, including specters that outright steal the escalation die and pixies that ensure that player characters who choose fights with pixies are going to regret it, even when the PCs win. I want to say it’s ‘high comedy’ but I’m pretty sure that’s just me being ironic and it’s actually low comedy.

My work lately has focused on the first two chapters, Classes and Play Character Options, notably the first draft of the necromancer. Comments from internal Fire Opal critique have been helpful and when revisions are complete and satisfactory the class will go out to wider testing. For those tracking earlier updates, I changed the initial design in which the necromancer was a multiclass. The necromancer is now a full class with summoning spells, skeletal minions, death priest options, and cackling soliloquies.

In other news, art for 13 True Ways is finished (unless I talk Lee into one more illustration that was his good idea but that falls outside the scope of his responsibilities). We haven’t been sharing huge amounts of the art yet but it’s in the wings. Just as Jonathan and I tried new things with game design in 13TW, Lee and Aaron pulled some stunts I did not expect and would never have demanded.


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