The Secret to Background Creation

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Do you enjoy the Dragon Age RPG? Wish you could invent your own Backgrounds? Do you think this is a short introductory paragraph? WHO CARES!? Here is my official “How To” on creating your own Backgrounds. More


[Beyond Dragon Age] AGE of Terror: Fallen Ones


In the Diablo games, the player’s character is often faced with large hordes of enemies that they need to quickly defeat before being overwhelmed. In order to help support that in the AGE system, I’ve been tinkering with monsters with low health that heroes should be able to easily defeat in 1 or 2 hits. The first set of monsters I’ve worked on using these ideas are the fallen ones which often appear in large groups early in both Diablo and Diablo II. The basic fallen one is a minion-type monster that is likely to fall to a single blow, but it can be paired with more powerful champions and shamans.

I’m interested to hear what other people think about this approach, so please leave comments with your opinion on the concept.

Fallen Ones

The fallen, impish terrors created by Baal, have emerged from beneath the monastery in Tristram and spread throughout the Western Kingdoms. The small demons, sometimes referred to as carvers or devilkin, are often encountered in large packs that roam the countryside seeking to murder and ransack. These packs are often led by shamans who have mastered several basic spells that allow them to hold sway over their less intelligent kin.


[Review] Dragon Age RPG Set 2

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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.


Green Ronin: Dragon Age & AGE System in 2012


Chris Pramas has posted his Green Ronin in 2012 overview and right off the bat we’re getting awesome news on the Dragon Age/AGE System front! I mean, check this out:

That’s the cover to the Dragon Age RPG Set 3, which is expected to be released sometime this year! Want more? How about this:

We are currently putting together Set 3, which covers levels 11-20 of play. As with Set 2, we’ll be doing a public playtest of the Set 3 mechanics (I hear those are all the rage these days!). [Dragon Age Line Developer] Will Hindmarch is preparing files for that as we speak, and that should begin by month’s end.

More? Okay!

We will be supporting Dragon Age with a series of short PDFs. They’ll feature new NPCs, monsters, treasure, and so on. The next one will be the Wyvern, a nasty monster for your game that’s a cool 99 cents.

Still want more?! Well, how about this slam!

We also plan to release some PDFs for the Adventure Game Engine (the system that power Dragon Age) with similar content but not tied to the Dragon Age setting. […] Speaking of AGE, I should mention that we are working on a new game that uses the Adventure Game Engine. […] We are working on a new game and a new world.

I am filled with raging joy by these news!

Drop by GreenRonin.com and read the entire post for the full story on these nuggets of Dragon Age-y awesomeness and learn what else the Ronins have in store this year for all their game lines.

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

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.


  • 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


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. 🙂

2011 in Review


On January 3rd, 2011, the Dragon Age Oracle launched officially. It has been a great year for this blog and for the Dragon Age RPG/AGE System.

Over the past year we have seen the spread in popularity of the Dragon Age RPG, the highly anticipated release of Set 2, the release of the Midgard Bestiary by Open Design–the first 3rd-party AGE System product–as well as the launch of the biggest 3rd-party project for AGE, the Midgard Campaign Setting by Open Design, which will include AGE stats. In addition to this blog, we have seen Dragon Age/AGE material pop up in blogs all over the gamer blogosphere, including a conversion to AGE of Firefly and Conan, as well as Eternal Shadows, a modern horror spin-off, not to mention the AGE version of Mystara, the venerable campaign setting for Dungeons & Dragons.

The coming year promises to be no less awesome.


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