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Dragon Age RPG Set 2 Available for Pre-Order

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The wait is over! Green Ronin Publishing has put up the Dragon Age Dark Fantasy Roleplaying Set 2: Levels 6 to 10 boxed set for pre-order.

The $40 boxed set comes with two 80-page books (Player’s Guide and Game Master’s Guide), a poster-sized map of Thedas and seven cardboard reference sheets, and it includes rules for character levels 6th through 10th, plus more information on Thedas as well as on playing and running the game.

When you pre-order your boxed set from Green Ronin, you can get the PDF for an extra $5.00 at check-out, which means you can start digging into the new material right away! They are also selling the Dragon Age RPG Set 2 PDF on its own for $20.

I already pre-ordered mine and got the PDF as well. After quickly going over the PDFs I can tell you this set delivers on all its promises and I cannot wait to dig in and start using all this great material in play.

And before I’m asked: I have yet to compare it to the Set 2 playtest document, but on first glance I did not notice any major discrepancies. If you notice anything, let us know in the comments.

What are you waiting for? Go get your copy of Dragon Age RPG Set 2 now!

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Goodbye Binary

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For the 15 years I’ve been GM-ing RPGs, it has mostly been a binary world – Did my heroes manage to find the clues they needed? Yes! Did their last-minute dive to stop the hail of arrows raining down towards the king succeed? No!

This is all well and good but when it comes down to how successful they are, the binary world I’ve been playing in does not compute. These games of 1s and 0s only tell me yes or no, on or off, hit and miss. How many clues did the heroes uncover? I dunno, the dice only tell me Success or Fail. How many arrows did the group’s heroic dive to save the king stop? Uhhh 5-ish, maybe but I’m just making it up because the roll of my d20 only tells me that I hit, or that I missed.

D&D has implemented a couple of mechanics (Climb checks come to mind) that allow me to know if I fall or stay put depending on how poorly I roll, but that sort of “story within the die roll” is the exception, and is hardly consistent throughout the rules. Natural 20s provide the only real context as to measure of success, and even then its still fairly binary in the sense of it being a massively good hit – there’s no variation to add layers of success and story to my dice rolls.

Admittedly, what initially drew me into Dragon Age RPG was the Stunt system (and the constant Twitter endorsements from @newbieDM and @DragonAgeOracle), but I’ve found myself more pleased with the Dragon Die mechanic as a whole. Every roll can tell a story – it doesn’t have to – but it can. In fact, storytelling dice is what drew me into Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (By Fantasy Flight Games), which is a slick albeit complicated game where pools of dice indicate degrees of success and failure. This concept is put into a more elegant practice with the AGE system, and below are some of the storytelling mechanics I’ve applied to my initial Dragon Age games (or plan to in the future).

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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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ENnies 2011: We Need Your Help

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We have decided to enter the Dragon Age Oracle into the ENnies for 2011 in the category of Best Blog. For that, however, we need your help.

We need to submit to the panel of judges what we think is one post that encapsulates the essence of what this blog is about. We would like you, the readers, to tell us which is your favorite post from the Dragon Age Oracle, the one you feel represents the blog above all others.

Any post from our launch in January is fair game, so take a look through the archive and let us know in the comment your favorite. We will consider feedback until next Friday, April 29.

Thanks for your help!

Midgard Patrons to Playtest 50 New AGE System Monsters

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When the patrons of the ongoing Midgard Campaign Setting project from Open Design were asked to pick what game systems they wanted to see supported, many of us involved hoped but never really believed one of those systems would be the Dragon Age Role Playing Game. It was chosen, however, and since that happened project patrons who play the game have been working overtime to make the Midgard campaign a welcome home for our DA games. New backgrounds have been drafted and new monsters have been brought into the AGE system. A lot of the buzz about the project has been about opening up a new world to AGE system gaming, which most of the visitors to this site probably agree is a fun, fast paced system that blends old school sensibilities with modern mechanics, but not everyone is as excited by the lack of options in game worlds.

The latest side project to have developed out of this quest to provide game masters and players everything they need to run AGE system games in Midgard is the development of a new book of monsters native to the setting. A playtest of 50 new AGE system monsters launched last week only for Midgard patrons. The book collects five years of Open Design creatures, drawn from both adventures and gazetteers. One of the winning monsters from last month’s March Monster Madness contest right here at the Dragon Age Oracle, the Young Cave Dragon, is a perfect example of a brute that had long lived within the Midgard world but only recently was made available to AGE players. Patrons are even now testing their mettle against foes such as the Eye Golem, Bonepowder Ghoul, Weaving Spider and Gypsosphinx. The playtest will only be open for a short time so that we can get the book into your hands as quickly as possible.

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[March Monster Madness] Dragon and Young Cave Dragon

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As promised, here are the entries for the winners of the March Monster Madness AGE Monster Design Challenge.

Dragon

Dragon’s are huge, powerful and intelligent creatures whose territory spans about the same area powerful human lord. Dragons prefer to dwell in the mountains, far away from large human cities. They have been known to demand tribute from any small human communities it considers within its domain.

It combat the dragon has the fighting strength of a small army. With its terrible swiftness and superior size and strength, the dragon dominates the battlefield. With its armor impregnable to nearly all forms of archery, it can fly across the battlefield searching for the leaders of the opposing army. The dragon snatches the leaders, flies high and drops the lifeless burnt bodies back onto the troops. Soon even the most fervent army’s moral breaks and they rout.

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[March Monster Madness] And The Winner Is…

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March has come and gone. Eleven monsters entered the arena and now two are crowned kings in the March Monster Madness challenge.

Classic Monster

It was a close battle between the blood-sucking Stirge and the fire-breathing Dragon, but at the end, the iconic winged lizard easily claimed the top spot with 29.87% of the votes.

See Poll results: http://poll.fm/2vikt

Creator JesterOC wins a $10.00 gift certificate to RPGnow/DriveThruRPG!

Midgard Monster

The battle here was between the Clockwork Myrmidon and the Young Cave Dragon, but in the end, once again, the iconic dragon claimed the top spot to be crowned king with 34.38% of the votes.

See Poll results: http://poll.fm/2vilo

Creator Josh Jarman wins a 1-year PDF subscription to Kobold Quarterly courtesy of Open Design!

The winning monsters will be edited and presented for your use later this week, and all other monsters will shortly follow in a small bestiary.

Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to all participants. I thought all entries were very well done and displayed a good grasp of the basics of the AGE System (with a few, very interesting surprises, like the kobold).

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