[Beyond Dragon Age] Star Wars: Age of Rebellion playtest document

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I’ve been working on this AGE conversion of Star Wars for what seems like an eternity, and finally I’m comfortable enough with it to release a play test document.  My goal is that people play the game and send me some feedback on it.  I want to know what you like about it, what doesn’t work, what you think it needs, etc.  This is not the final document, it will change depending on what feedback I get, along with other stuff I’m still writing for it.

There are a few things to point out about it:

  • It goes up to level 10 (mirroring the Dragon Age releases)
  • Certain rules are incomplete (space combat and scales primarily)
  • There are no vehicles other than spaceships right now
  • Enemies are limited to just a few for now (reskin some Dragon Age ones if you want)
  • It assumes familiarity with AGE rules, I’m not giving them away in the document
Other than that, you should get some nice playtime out of it.
Leave feedback here, or shoot me an email at newbiedm @ newbiedm.com

EDIT:

I’ve updated the document to fix some errors that went by unnoticed:
- The Scoundrel now lists Force as a secondary ability.
- The Soldier now list Willpower as a secondary ability.
- The Soldier now has starting equipment.
- Removed the Lightsaber Style talent, which was there as a talent from an older version of the document (it is now part of a Jedi specialization).
- And I changed the “blaster style” talent to “Gunslinger” and it applies only to pistols, instead of pistols and rifles.

Species of SW: Age of Rebellion

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Art by Mike Vilardi

Progress is coming along quite nicely in my fan conversion of Star Wars for Dragon Age, “Age of Rebellion”, so I thought I would share the backgrounds I’ve put in the game.

They are really species, but they serve the same mechanical function as backgrounds do in the Dragon Age RPG.  Included in the game will be two different types of humans, Sullustan, Twi’lek, Rodian, and Wookie.

I am almost done writing set one, but I am playtesting my latest space combat design a bit more in depth before I release the conversion because I want to get it right.

So here they are, my backgrounds/species from Set 1 of Star Wars:  Age of Rebellion!

Download it here

Videogame to Tabletop: Campaign Journal 2

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With this series I’m continuing to chronicle my Dragon Age RPG conversion of the Origins storyline.  This is a recap of our second session of that storyline.  Unfortunately, the game was cut short due to a small fire breaking out in my bathroom (everyone is okay).  Here is a link to part 1 of the series.   We pick up our recap in the Korkari Wilds…

Campaign Journal 2

Having defeated the darkspawn and collected their blood, the party next wanted to see if they could find their horses.  Some tracking and searching led them to the corpse of one of the horses, it seemed to have been eaten by blight wolves.  The wounds were fresh enough to  scare party into thinking the pack of wolves may be nearby, so they marched on deep within the Wilds. While searching for the horses, the party’s rogue spotted what looked like a small tower or ruin off in the distance, and they figured that would be as good a place as any to search.

Game bit:  The horses were never meant to be found, they were spooked and for me that was the last of that.  They insisted on finding them, so I indulged them in some rolling for searching. This led to high rolls and the opportunity to have them find the ruins.

They arrived at the ruins, and started searching and looking around.  The Avvarian caught something from the corner of his eye, he said it looked like a pony sized spider that stopped to look at them and quickly went into the trees and out of sight.  The party decided to remain vigilant, but weren’t going to go searching for spiders, as they had a job to do.  They found a trap door and a set of stairs that went down into the ground, so the mage lit a small light in his hand and down they went.

Game bit:  The spider was my way of introducing Morrigan, she knew that they were here and was watching them.

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Videogame to Tabletop: Campaign Journal 1

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So I’ve decided that my Dragon Age campaign will switch to following the story line (albeit a bit altered) of the videogame.  My 5 players are level 5, and we’ve gone through most of the published adventures, which I believe springboard nicely into getting noticed by the Grey Wardens.  I wanted to chronicle my conversion of the video game unto the tabletop, so I’m going to do it here at the Dragon Age Oracle, the web’s best place for Dragon Age content outside of Green Ronin’s site.

I’ll pick up the story after finishing the adventure included in Set 2, “The Autumn Falls”.  There, they caught the attention of the Nevarran Grey Warden Commander, who instructed them to go to Ostagar and meet The Ferelden Commander, Duncan.  Behind the scenes, Duncan already knew about this group of people because they had helped stop a Darkspawn assault on the Avvarian village of Redhold, and had defeated a Desire Demon in Denerim.  Duncan was waiting.  The party’s journey towards their fate would begin in the port city of Amaranthine, where the ship bringing them from Nevarra back to Ferelden docked….

Campaign Journal 1

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Get Adventure Ideas from the Dragon Age Wiki

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One of the challenges I’ve had as a Dragon Age GM is coming up with adventures to run in the world of Thedas.  I wasn’t fortunate enough to finish the video game, and I never played the second one, so my knowledge of the world of Dragon Age is very limited.  One of the biggest obstacles I’ll face when I run out of published adventures to use in my home game will be coming up with story ideas.  I am currently running the adventure in the GM’s book of Set 2, but soon we’ll be doen with it.

I found a neat way to maybe help me generate more adventures and quests, and I thought I’d share it.   I’ve written before about how I used the expansive Dragon Age wiki to create a document outlining the basic points about the setting for my players, since none of them had any real Dragon Age experience before we played the tabletop game.  It turns out that the wiki has a fantastic resource for GM’s in the same predicament as me… the entire quest library of both games and the downloadable content!  You can find that here.

So for example, your party is adventuring in the Korkari Wilds, you can go to the Korkari quests part of the wiki and get some side quests to keep you busy for a few sessions.  The neat part is that the wiki divides quests by tons of categories, including locations.

So for example, here’s a quest called “Last Will and Testament”, that takes place in the Korkari Wilds:

Last Will and Testament

Quest
Last Will and Testament
Last Will and Testament.png
Location: Korcari Wilds
Start: Corpse of Missionary Rigby
End: Redcliffe Village
Next: Chasind Trail Signs
Appearances: Dragon Age: Origins

The Warden will discover a note on the body of Missionary Rigby in the depths of the Korcari Wilds. His last request is that a lockbox hidden elsewhere be taken to Jetta inRedcliffe Village.

Walkthrough

  • As you’re looking at the dead men hung from the fallen tree, go left and after engaging some darkspawn you should see a fight between a pack of wolves and a few darkspawn.
  • You should now see a corpse of Missionary Rigby. As you pick up Codex entry: Rigby’s Last Will and Testament, you will be given the quest.
  • Head as far west as you can, then proceed northward and you should see some ruins. At the base, there is a chest containing Codex entry: Signs of the Chasind and a Hidden Cache (in the bonfire). Note that the area will be guarded by darkspawn when first discovered.
  • Now you have two options:
  1. Take the lockbox to give to Jetta, who is located in the chantry.
  2. Open the lockbox and keep the contents, which includes: fluorsparemeraldmalachite, a note, and theBeloved Amulet, a plot-item amulet that has no particular use.
  • The first part of this quest has to be completed before leaving the Korcari Wilds because after that the Korcari Wilds are no longer available

Result

If you chose to take the lockbox, bring it to Jetta in the chantry in Redcliffe. Upon giving the lockbox to her, she assumes the fate of her husband, and kindly thanks you.

Giving Jetta the lockbox grants you no money or XP, so keeping the contents is the most profitable choice. You can still inform her about her husband’s and son’s fate at the chantry, but you can’t give her the Beloved Amulet. Presumably, the decision of keeping the contents of the lockbox for yourself includes that item.

So you see, you can easily adapt this adventure to your game and run it on the tabletop.  It just takes a little work, but you’ll be following one of the main rules of GMing… stealing and borrowing from whatever you can find… only in this case, it’s from the source that inspired our favorite 3d6 game. :)

Our Own Helm’s Deep II

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Last night saw the end of the PC’s role as the Heroes of Redhold, an Avvarian settlement in the Frostback Mountains of Ferelden, and it ended on a kick ass note that truly showed how much stunts can turn the tide of battle in the Dragon Age RPG.  First, a quick recap, and be warned, there are spoilers here for the “Where Eagles Lair” adventure from the Blood in Ferelden supplement.

The party was tasked with defending the settlement from a horde of Darkspawn, in exchange for information about a kidnapped noble’s daughter.  The siege was designed as a series of three phases, with the first phase having them face three times as many genlocks as PCs before  moving on the to the following phase.  You can read about that here.

Last night’s game saw the PCs involved in phases two and three of the siege.  Here’s a quick recap of how it went, and what I took from it.

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Our Own Helm’s Deep

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I ran a real neat encounter in my Dragon Age game, and I thought I’d share it here, along with some ideas you could steal from it for your game.  The encounter isn’t mine, it’s part of a published adventure found in the excellent Blood in Ferelden supplement for the Dragon Age RPG.

The encounter has the party becoming the main defense against an army of invading darkspawn who are about to attack an Avaarian camp.  The party has to defend the wall, and keep the darkspawn from overrunning the defenses.

Warning: From here on, there are spoilers for “Where Eagles Lair.”

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Moral Conundrums & Tough Choices in Your Game

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One of the things I’ve learned since I began GM-ing Dragon Age is just how good placing moral conundrums in front of your players is.  The Dragon Age adventure philosophy, by design, encourages this approach to story-telling, and I’ve found that it really makes players become more involved in the story you are all trying to tell.

So as I’ve been trying to develop adventures and stories in this fashion, I’ve thought of ways to introduce these concepts at the table.  It requires you to put on a storyteller cap, rather than an “encounter designer” one, but it’s a pretty rewarding thing to see players scratching their heads trying to figure out what the right course of action is in certain situations, or what the moral thing to do would be.

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Adventure Prep Sheets for the Dragon Age GM

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I recently got my hands on the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Dungeon Master’s Design Kit, which comes loaded with advice on building adventures, chases and scenes.  It also comes with a ton of useful handouts, specific to AD&D.  I found it to be a great tool, even now so many years later, as the advice it gives is universal.

I liked the handouts so much, that I thought it would be cool to create some for the Dragon Age game, since it’s such an old-school flavored game anyway.  I made them to sort of look like handouts from the era of the Design Kit, but I think they are useful regardless of how they look.

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It’s All In The Presentation

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“We haven’t seen a Dungeon yet, all we’re doing is talking to people, bringing down corrupt political figures, and killing monsters out in the wilderness.  This is really different.”

My D&D 4e campaign consisted of my homebrew storyline, which was the backdrop for the published adventures I hacked a bit to fit my storyline. By the published adventures, I mean the ones that were the first set of modules put out for 4e by Wizards of the Coast.  Now, let me say, I enjoyed running those modules.  Sure, some people had massive problems with Keep on the Shadowfell for example, but I found it as a nice way to get into 4e, for both DM’s and PC’s.  I had no big issues with it.  Sure, they were combat focused with some roleplaying sprinkled in, but we had a good time with them.  The Dungeon Delve book also served a part in my campaign, as a source of ready-made encounters I could re-skin and shoehorn into my game as well.

All was fine and dandy, until we hit Paragon, as character options got too unwieldy for my players, combats took forever, and the game ended… If you read my blog (NewbieDM.com) regularly you know the story… So now here we are with Dragon Age.

Dragon Age has a completely different published adventure philosophy than 4e has, or at least had upon its release (the later 4e adventures written by Logan Bonner are pretty good).  Right now there are only 5 published adventures (officially) available for the Dragon Age game: one comes included in the boxed set as an introductory adventure (“The Dalish Curse”), another comes in the GM Screen (“A Bann Too Many”), and three come in an adventure supplement called “Blood in Ferelden”.  Since the boxed set only covers levels 1-5, all these are low-level adventures meant to give you a clue as to how adventures for Dragon Age should be presented and run.  I’ve already run the one in the GM Screen, and the first one in Blood in Ferelden, “Amber Rage”.

Warning, there are spoilers ahead.

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