January 20, 2012
Dragon Age Origins, Green Ronin
In 2010, Green Ronin first released their Dragon Age RPG box, reminiscent of the old cardboard box sets released by TSR back in the early years of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. In Dragon Age RPG Set 1, we were introduced to the world of Thedas, the Blight, and the core system rules (the AGE System) for adventuring in Ferelden (for character level 1-5). One year later, Green Ronin released their second Dragon Age boxed product, Dragon Age RPG Set 2.
Like its predecessor, Set 2 ships in the same sturdy cardboard box and contains some familiar contents:
- A Game Master’s Guide (building on Set 1 lore and rules for adventuring in Thedas)
- A Player’s Guide (covering new options for characters levels 6-10)
- A poster map showing a much larger part of Thedas: Ferelden, Orlais, Nevarra, the Free Marches, Antiva, Rivain, Per Vollen, Seheron, the Tevinter Imperium, and the Anderfels.
New to this edition are the cardboard reference cards for your players containing access to the game’s Spell Stunts, Combat Actions List (Major / Minor), Combat Stunts, and the newly added Magical Mishaps, Exploration and Roleplaying Stunts tables.
The most anticipated addition to Set 2 is the inclusion of the Grey Wardens; something notably absent from Set 1, and lamented by players and fans of Bioware’s CRPG, which featured Grey Wardens prominently. Where the GM’s guide contains historical information regarding the Blights, and the rise of the Grey Wardens to combat them, the Player’s Guide will cover rules for creation and play of a Grey Warden character.
July 19, 2011
AGE System, Reviews
Midgard, Monsters, Open Design
Open Design has just released the Midgard Bestiary, a collection of 50 monsters from their own Midgard setting, brought into the AGE System.
Bestiary PDF bought and read. I shall now attempt a review.
First off the layout. It’s really nice and simple. Each creature has a nice chunky stat block which takes up usually around half a page, the other half being taken up with creature fluff and description and a nice piece of artwork. Apart from the great looking cover there’s only a spattering of colour within the book, which is fine because I assume those who would print it would print in black and white. So you won’t miss much.
The artwork itself is nice. Generally strong throughout. Some pieces have clearly had more time put into them than others but there is something fitting about the sketch-like look of the less complete pieces. That isn’t to say you’re looking at an unfinished stick man; all the pieces serve to give you a strong idea of how the creatures should look.
June 21, 2011
Download, Player Aid
The other day I sat down to think about how I could contribute to the Dragon Age community. My first thought was regarding a form-fillable character sheet for easy tracking, updating and printing of PCs for the game. Before beginning such an endeavor I thought it wise to check out the Dragon Age forums to see if someone had already started such a project. Lo and behold, someone already beat me to the punch and did me one better at that.
Forum poster Sync, from Melbourne, Australia, had started a thread regarding building an Excel spreadsheet character generator similar to the Heroforge project for D&D. This sounded really exciting. I’m a fan of the Heroforge sheets for 3.5 and found them a great help in keeping things up-to-date on my characters. Even thought the forum thread was from a couple of months ago, Sync had updated the first post with a link to the completed version for download. So I downloaded version 1.01 (apparently it had already gone through one revision) and started playing.
This file is an Excel spreadsheet of the 97-2003 variety. You will need Microsoft Excel to make use of this spreadsheet. I have not tried to upload it to Google Docs nor open it in OpenOffice (both freely available software) to see if they would see if the file would still work. I also did not try to convert it to a newer version of Excel, but ran it in compatibility mode. If you are running Excel 2007 or later, you may have to enable macros in order to get the full functionality of the character sheet.
How does the Dragon Age Forge do after playing with it for a while? Read on.
January 13, 2011
GM's Corner, Reviews
Campaign Setting, DnD
Hey everyone, this is my first article here at the Dragon Age Oracle, and I thought I’d write a bit about the game and running it versus the other game I run, D&D 4e. This isn’t a comprehensive comparison, just some general thoughts about the subject. I now have two Dragon Age sessions under my belt as a DM–pardon me–GM, and feel a lot more comfortable in the role, so I wanted to write about the experience so far.
First and foremost let me get this out of the way: I really like this game. Here’s the deal, do you like the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia? Well if the Rules Cyclopedia were to hit the gym for a few weeks before senior prom, it would be Dragon Age. It’s old school-ish, but with some meat on its bones. It’s got that old school vibe, where the DM gets to not necessarily be a rules repository and is instead a judge or referee of situations. I like that, it’s fun.