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A Bann Too Many No More

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My wish came true and the group was able to get back together one more time in order to finish playing the Dragon Age adventure we had started, A Bann Too Many.

Where our first session went a bit slow while everyone got used to the game and system, this was not the case for the second session. The most time we took was right at the start of play when the GM awarded experience points for the first session and we all leveled up, so we spent about 15 minutes getting everyone’s character to level 2. Frankly, it only took that long because it was the very first time we’d gone through the process and because the apostate mage’s player took a while before deciding on the choice of his next spell. Then we were ready to play.

Unlike the report on session one, I want to get into some of the actual events from the story, so be warned, there be some spoilers ahead.

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The Dalish Curse: An Online Game

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I was sitting at home, very bored, when I decided to run an impromptu game of Dragon Age online. Sunday during the day I sent out invites to a few people who had expressed an interest when I mentioned it on Twitter, and managed to get four players. At 11 PM EST (and with players literally all across the US), we got on Skype to play The Dalish Curse, the introductory adventure included in the Dragon Age Game Master’s Guide (no spoilers below).

I have never hosted a game via an online virtual tabletop (VTT); I have played in games that have used MapTool, but someone else has done all the heavy lifting and I simply connected and played. Eventually I scrapped the VTT idea and decided to use good old Skype coupled with Google Docs for maps and info reference. I pulled the maps from the PDF copy of the GM’s Guide I have, pasted them onto individual Google Docs, and put together a Stunts reference sheet for the players, then shared the folder with everyone. For dice , we used an online dice rolled found at Catch Your Hare, which is especially neat as it displays the dice results graphically and by die, as opposed to the sum of all dice rolled. Each player picks a color for their dice, and I ruled that the middle die is always the Dragon Die, making it easy to see how many Stunt Points were generated on a roll of doubles. Easy peasy.

My four players were Tamara Deeny, Thomas Deeny, Ryan Macklin and Brennen Reece, and all four signed up for the game via my post on Twitter. We used When Is Good? to figure out a time when we could all play, and jumped on Skype at the appointed time for some dark fantasy adventuring. To save time, I had the players choose from the pre-generated characters available on the Dragon Age RPG website. The party consisted of Masarian, a Dalish Elf apostate mage (Ryan); Ackley, a Ferelden Freeman rogue (Thomas); Kedwalla, a Surface Dwarf warrior (Tamara); and Shinasha, a City Elf rogue (Brennen). We played using the rules in Set 1, though I added the Exploration and Roleplaying Stunts available on the Set 2 Playtest document so we could take them out for a spin.

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Prince of Midgard: An Interview with Wolfgang Baur

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Wolfgang Baur, Kobold-in-Chief at Kobold Quarterly magazine, has launched the newest Open Design project, the complete campaign setting of Midgard. Among the rules sets being considered for this massive undertaking we find the popular staples of Pathfinder and Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, and a scrappy newcomer to the scene, the AGE System, the engine which powers the Dragon Age RPG. Not only that, AGE has surprised everyone by becoming one of the most popular choices among the patrons!

I’ve been a fan of Open Design since their second project, Castle Shadowcrag (geek boast alert: my one contribution as a patron to that project? I was the one who suggested to Wolfgang the name of the Shadow Fey, scathsidhe), and Midgard had already called my attention even before I read that another of my favorite designers, Jeff Grubb, would be a part of it, and that the AGE System was a possibility in terms of rules for the game world.

With all this in mind, I shot Wolfgang an email with some questions and he was gracious enough to take the time to answer them for the readers of the Dragon Age Oracle. Let’s see what the Prince of Midgard has to say.
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[Beyond Dragon Age] The Tower of Druaga

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Beyond Dragon Age is a series exploring using the AGE System for anything other than the Dragon Age RPG, whether it is differing styles of fantasy, or other genres altogether.


Over the holiday break, I watched the anime series The Tower of Druaga, a fantasy action series set in a Babylonian/Sumerian-inspired world where a giant tower has risen from the land and adventurers set out to climb it to gain fame and fortune. Happy as I would’ve been with a popcorn sword & sorcery anime, what I got was a fairly complex dramatic story with a fantasy action backdrop. I liked the anime lots, and I’ve written a blog post about why I liked The Tower of Druaga.

As I keep watching the show, it was immediately evident that this could be an interesting setting for a roleplaying game, not surprising considering the anime is based on a Nintendo videogame from the 80s, so it has the tropes already built-in. Given that I’m lately enamored of Dragon Age and its basic approach, I knew this was the system I would want to use to create a Tower of Druaga game. Given that I have just started the new semester at the university and my time for roleplaying has now dwindled down to zero, I devised that I could still pull it off if I ran the game online via email or forum, which has since become my plan. I even went ahead and created a campaign for it at Obsidian Portal where I can keep all my notes together as I slowly develop it.

While I did talk about why I liked the anime as a series, I’d like to talk about the things that attracted me from it to want to devote time that I barely have to crafting a new world for one single game.

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Our First Adventure

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I finally had the chance to play a roleplaying game since coming back from Gen Con and the game on tap was Dragon Age from Green Ronin. Running the game was my friend Enrique, and joining us was his usual gaming group, plus me. Let me cut to the point right away: I had a ton of fun. A metric ton. Part of it was because the guys in the group were a fun bunch to hang out with and they welcomed me in immediately as one of their own, but also because the Dragon Age RPG simply rocks. I would dare say that, yes, it rocks you like a hurricane. We played for just shy of 5 hours and not once did I hear anyone complain about the game, not once; in fact, as the night progressed, the praises for it simply heaped up. The system was easy to grasp, quick to resolve and engaging for all at the table, especially during combat when the “Doubles Watch” went into full effect, everyone just chomping for a chance to yell out “Doubles!” and spend those Stunt Points for cool effects. Through the banter, the catching-up, the food and drinks, and the barrage of comments/taunts/insults in Spanglish, the game held our attention and interest, and delivered some solid old-school RPG fun. This is where I get wordy, as I wanna talk about the adventure
we played and why this game left me with a smile on my face.
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Dragon Age News Bonanza!

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Green Ronin President, Chris Pramas, has written a message to the fans talking about the year ahead for the company. In it we get a few juicy tidbits about Dragon Age that we simply have to share.

After talking briefly about the current releases for Dragon Age Dark Fantasy Roleplaying (Set 1, Game Master’s Kit and Blood in Ferelden) and the open playtest they held for material to be included in Set 2 (covering levels 6-10), he gets to the great news:

We know people are hungry for Set 2 and it is indeed on the way. We are trying to release it shortly after the debut of the Dragon Age 2 computer game, so we can take advantage of the new wave of DA enthusiasm.

Though BioWare has not mentioned an official release date for Dragon Age 2, it all seems to indicate a Spring 2011 release, so let’s hope that in a few months we’ll finally have the Dragon Age RPG Set 2!

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[Beyond Dragon Age] Mystara: The Known World

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Beyond Dragon Age is a series exploring using the AGE System for anything other than the Dragon Age RPG, whether it is differing styles of fantasy, or other genres altogether.


I admit it: from the moment I internalized enough of the Dragon Age rules to realize they had the just the right flavor of complexity I want in my games of late, I started thinking how to apply them to port over elements from that other fantasy roleplaying game, Dungeons & Dragons. Yes, D&D is a game in its own right, but it’s also its own genre almost, with its own tropes and conceits, settings and monsters that carry through editions in order to make the games “feel” like D&D. That is what I began to think about.

Frankly, the prospect seemed daunting the more I thought about it, and I simply filed it in the back of my mind. Checking out the Green Ronin Dragon Age forums quickly showed that many others had had the same thought as the “D&D via AGE” thread was one of the most popular. But where I, and others, simply gave up the task as being too onerous, one forum member by the name of Siroh tackled it with the zeal of a paladin in hell. The result: Mystara for AGE.

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