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.


In my last post I waxed poetic about backgrounds and what they can represent in your game beyond race/culture specifications, using my Tower of Druaga game as the example. Now it’s time to show you the finished product.

The basic backgrounds I came up for Tower of Druaga are Adventurer, Fated, Looter, Noble and Veteran. These five account for the vast majority of the main characters in the show (in fact, there are only two characters that don’t fit these backgrounds and I suspect they are special cases anyway, so I’ll cover those later on).

You will find the write-ups below or in my Tower of Druaga campaign at Obsidian Portal. Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Backgrounds

Adventurers gather in Meskia for fame and fortune, hailing from from all walks of life and all lands near and far. More than a place of origin, however, backgrounds represent the various kinds of people that decide to brave the mythical, demon-guarded tower.

Adventurer

The humdrum of daily life is not for everyone and certainly not for you. Waking up at dawn to work endlessly for a pittance is simply not the way you want to spend your life. You want fame, honor and recognition. You want to be more than the norm, more than faceless masses that make the world turn but never leave their mark. You know you want to leave your mark, and climbing the Tower of Druaga will surely lead to your name being immortalized next to such heroes as Gilgamesh and Jil. You cannot wait to take the first step.

  • Example: Jil

Playing an Adventurer If you choose to play an adventurer, modify your character as follows:

  • Add 1 to your Constitution ability.
  • Pick one of the following ability focuses: Constitution (Stamina) or Willpower (Courage).
  • You can speak and read the Trade Tongue.
  • Choose a class. You can play either a mage, rogue or warrior. Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the results together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.
2d6 Roll Benefit
2 +1 Communication
3-4 Focus: Willpower (Self-Discipline)
5 Focus: Communication (Animal Handling)
6 Focus: Cunning (Tower Lore)
7-8 +1 Willpower
9 Focus: Strength (Driving)
10-11 Focus: Constitution (Drinking)
12 +1 Strength

Fated

You have a destiny to fulfill. You have known it your entire life and it is now the time. Everything that has happened to you has led you to this point, prepared you for the task at hand. Perhaps you have embraced kismet as a loving mistress; perhaps you have rebelled against it in every way possible. Regardless, and probably frustratingly, the strands of fate have woven their pattern and now you stand at the foot of the Tower, knowing full well that whatever it is your life has been leading to lies here. It is time to take control of your destiny.

  • Example: Neeba

Playing a Fated If you choose to play a fated, modify your character as follows:

  • Add 1 to your Cunning ability.
  • Pick one of the following ability focuses: Perception (Empathy) or Willpower (Courage).
  • You can speak and read the Trade Tongue.
  • Choose a class. You can play either a mage, rogue or warrior. Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the results together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.
2d6 Roll Benefit
2 +1 Willpower
3-4 Focus: Communication (Persuasion)
5 Focus: Cunning (Cultural Lore)
6 Focus: Willpower (Self-Discipline)
7-8 +1 Communication
9 Focus: Communication (Deception)
10-11 Focus: Cunning (Religious Lore)
12 +1 Perception

Looter

Lofty ideals are for fools: money and treasures are what makes the world go round, and you want very much your share of it. Maybe even other people’s shares as well. The glint of gold, the treasures of heroes past, the might of magic untold, these are the things that make your heart pulse and get you out of bed. Perhaps you work well with others dividing equal shares of loot, or perhaps you are a loner that wants it absolutely all; not that you can’t be both depending on the treasure at hand. The Tower is teeming with treasures untold and you are just wondering, why aren’t you climbing yet?

  • Example: Fatina, Kally, Utu

Playing a Looter If you choose to play a looter, modify your character as follows:

  • Add 1 to your Perception ability.
  • Pick one of the following ability focuses: Cunning (Evaluation) or Perception (Searching).
  • You can speak and read the Trade Tongue.
  • Choose a class. You can play either a mage, rogue or warrior. Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the results together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.
2d6 Roll Benefit
2 +1 Dexterity
3-4 Focus: Perception (Seeing)
5 Focus: Cunning (Tower Lore)
6 Focus: Communication (Bargaining)
7-8 +1 Cunning
9 Focus: Cunning (Navigation)
10-11 Focus: Strength (Climbing)
12 +1 Strength

Noble

You are a member of one of the aristocratic families of Uruk or the former nations of Babylim and Sumer. You are pedantic and arrogant, or perhaps you show true concern for your vassals. What is certain is that even if you are a noble, that is of no help whatsoever to you anymore. You are a non-firstborn seeking your own fortune; a black-sheep banished due to some indiscretion; a destitute peer with little more than a title and fancy clothing to your name; or even be an idealist looking to escape the humdrum of the privileged life. By climbing the tower you will achieve your goal and restore your place among the nobility.

  • Example: Kaaya, Melt

Playing a Noble If you choose to play a noble, modify your character as follows:

  • Add 1 to your Communication ability.
  • Pick one of the following ability focuses: Communication (Performance) or Cunning (Heraldry).
  • You can speak and read the Trade Tongue.
  • Choose a class. You can play either a mage, rogue or warrior. Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the results together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.
2d6 Roll Benefit
2 +1 Cunning
3-4 Focus: Dexterity (Calligraphy)
5 Focus: Communication (Etiquette)
6 Focus: Cunning (Evaluation)
7-8 +1 Willpower
9 Focus: Perception (Empathy)
10-11 Focus: Cunning (Any Lore)
12 +1 Magic

Veteran

You were a member of the Uruk army or some other major military or mercenary force, but not anymore. Why you left is irrelevant, and probably something you don’t want to talk about. You’ve kept yourself busy with odd jobs but nothing compares to your time as a soldier. And maybe that’s just fine for you; but not for long. You long to grab your weapon once more and go into battle, just not under the command of an officer. This time it is your own intuition you seek to follow. There are many ill-prepared people trying to climb the Tower; your experience can be of use, so you have come back from “retirement” to brave new perils. Perhaps you will recapture the thrill of battle. Perhaps.

  • Example: Ahmey

Playing a Veteran If you choose to play a veteran, modify your character as follows:

  • Add 1 to your Cunning ability.
  • Pick one of the following ability focuses: Cunning (Military Lore) or Willpower (Self-Discipline).
  • You can speak and read the Trade Tongue.
  • Choose a class. You can play either a mage or warrior. Roll twice on the accompanying table for additional benefits. Roll 2d6 and add the results together. If you get the same result twice, re-roll until you get something different.
2d6 Roll Benefit
2 +1 Dexterity
3-4 Weapon Group: Heavy Blades OR Weapon Group: Staves~
5 Focus: Constitution (Stamina)
6 Focus: Perception (Searching)
7-8 +1 Perception
9 Focus: Communication (Leadership)
10-11 Weapon Group: Spears~
12 +1 Constitution

~ If the class you choose provides this already, you can take the focus Strength (Heavy Blades), Strength (Staves) or Strength (Spears) instead.

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