13th Age v Pathfinder

I run Pathfinder on and off. I always start super excited and then get bored (thats all games actually). Here’s it’s because everything thing seems so samey – characters all roll d20 to hit, roll the same dice, do the same things. Throw some wizards in and then the opposite happens. Same with monsters. Start off as walking HP and then suddenly have too many abilities to count. I can never see a middle way.

13th Age seems to provide the middle way. Characters vary a lot, but never get too complex, monsters are all different but still fit on half a page. Combat is massively quicker thanks to 2 things – the often-discussed escalation dice and the damage dice increasing by level. The second thing for me is the clincher. In pathfinder you attack (mostly) goes up every level. At max level its ridiculous. But damage barely increases. The odd + here and there over 20 levels. To make up for this we have more attacks.

The thing is both games are missing bits the other game has. I like the option in Pathfinder, but it makes it hard to find the good stuff. Archetypes are great – i only need to look at them at start and then at level ups. But why are there a million feats. How i meant to remember them all!! and are half even any good? The world is pretty good and the APs are awesome.

So could i take all this into 13th Age? APs – probably, Flavouring – yes…but is that really the same. Wouldn’t it be easy to use the game with the content, and adapt it’s rules?

So into PF instead…Icons, easy. Escalation dice, sure. Damage dice progression…ah. the basic systems don’t work at this level. And then i look at the NPC Codex and think i want to use this, and messing around would break it. And then i look harder and go “How many feats and what do these spells do?” and change my  mind.

For the moment i need to continue my 13th Age game. And when i finish i’ll probably start on Star Wars EOE. After that it might be time for Mythic Pathfinder. And maybe by then i can work out how to take Everything i like from 13th Age into Pathfinder.


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