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“Classes” and “Races” Guide For New Players

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If you are a veteran of the system, this post will only be going over familiar ground. With that warning given, let us proceed.

One viewer recently wrote to me asking for a comprehensive list of Dragon Age races and classes. I made these videos to explain how things work in the tabletop version of the game.
Here I will explain that there are three classes, but the real choice of flavour comes from your specialisation or sub-class, as it were.
I then go on to list them by name.

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[Beyond Dragon Age] Star Wars: AGE of Rebellion – The Scoundrel

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Regular contributor Enrique, aka NewbieDM, has been threatening to do an AGE System conversion of Star Wars since we both got Set 1. He’s worked on it on and off for a few months, and I’ve very much enjoyed seeing where he’s taking things.

Enrique will be wrapping up his Dragon Age RPG home game based around the plot of Dragon Age: Origins soon, and his group decided they would play Star Wars next. While they have yet to decide which version of Star Wars to use, Enrique went back to his notes and continued doodling away at his conversion. I woke up to find a string of tweets from him on the subject, including what he is finally naming his project: Star Wars: AGE of Rebellion.

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[Beyond Dragon Age] AGE of Terror: Diablo with the AGE System

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As much as I enjoy the Dragon Age RPG and the AGE system, I’ve actually never played the video games and don’t have any particular interest in the Dragon Age setting. There is a computer game with a dark theme, though, that I’d love to use as inspiration for an AGE system campaign: Diablo.

Like Dragon Age, Diablo is set in a dark and dangerous world. The influence of the three Prime Evils is spreading throughout the world, with both civilization and nature being corrupted by their presence. Demons, undead, and foul beasts prowl in the wilderness and ancient ruins while corrupted priests and zealots roam city streets. Heroes must rise from throughout the world to confront the growing evil or all will be lost.

Because I feel that the Diablo setting is such a great fit for the AGE system, I’ve started writing conversions of material from the video games. I’m planning to translate each of the character classes from the computer games into a background option, as well as converting spells and monsters for use with the AGE system. I’m planning to share my progress here by posting new conversions at least once a month.

First up, backgrounds for two of the character classes from Diablo I – the Warrior and the Rogue.

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[Beyond Dragon Age] The Night’s Watch

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Jon Snow, by Guillem H. Pongiluppi

Wombat’s Gaming Den of Iniquity is running a blog carnival called Winter is Coming, dedicated to winter-themed gaming content across participating blogs. Wombat himself published a Night’s Watch themefor Dungeons & Dragons 4e based on George RR Martin’s A Game of Thrones novels/TV series. One cannot hear the phrase “Winter is coming” and not think of A Game of Thrones and I liked the idea behind Wombat’s theme, so I decided to join the carnival and create a Night’s Watch version for Dragon Age based on the mechanics for the Grey Wardens (Set 2, Player’s pg. 37).

 

The Night’s Watch

 

Founded over 8,000 year ago, the Night’s Watch has stood guard over the northern edge of the Seven Kingdoms, protecting it from the dangers on the other side of The Wall, the dreaded Others. Though believed to be only a rag-tag band of thieves, scoundrels, bastards and ne’er-do-wells, the brotherhood of the Night’s Watch is the first line of defense against dangers untold, even if they themselves have mostly forgotten. In their black armor, they stand against the stark white of the snow, guarding Westeros valiantly. More

Specializations in AGE

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The AGE system presented in Dragon Age Set 1 provided many ways to define your character.  Background, class, and Talents could be combined to create characters with a lot of diversity.  Set 2 brought us Specializations, which allowed players to go a step further in making their PCs stand out from the rest.  It provided three Specializations for each class, for a total of nine.  These allow for a variety of character types, especially for most small to medium-sized gaming groups. However, there is also plenty of room for additional specializations, whether for specific campaign settings or for more generic fantasy settings.

When I started writing Specializations, I was focused on Stunt Points.  I thought up a number of abilities that allowed characters to use Stunt Points in different ways and created Specializations around them.  But something seemed odd, and I made myself read through the Specializations in Set 2 again.  What I realized is that out of the 27 powers throughout the Specializations, only two of them rely on Stunt Points.  This made me sit back and think a little more about how new Specializations should work.

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The Fourth Class: However…

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In my last post, I discussed a possible fourth class for a generic fantasy AGE System. This came from one of Chris Pramas’ conversations with his Twitter followers, where he said that one of the reasons why he may consider a fourth class is the majority of gaming groups have four players and this should make it easier for these groups to just pick one character from each of the four classes and go. Putting aside the question of the size of the average gaming group, there were some interesting comments brought up in that Twitter discussion about what class that should be. I weighed in, arguing that what was missing in for a generic fantasy AGE-based game was a true ranged weapons archetype. If I want to play Dude With A Bow And Arrow, the Rogue class says it’s the one to go with (heck, even the image of the Rogue is the Dude), but to actually aspire to Legolasian heights, initially Warrior sounds better.

However, I think there is a better – and easier – way to achieve this character idea instead of creating a whole new class. Indeed, there is a simple way to get in both that Priest class and live up to the description of the Rogue as the one that’s supposed to be the archer: each class has paths.

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The Fourth Class

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Recently, Chris Pramas of Green Ronin asked the Twtitterverse if he were to add a fourth class to a generic fantasy game based on the AGE system, what should it be? The majority of respondents went with a Priest class. But is that the right way to go? Let’s take a look at the three classes that exist in Set 1, and see if what roles in a generic adventuring group aren’t being filled.

The Mage is the guy with magic: lightly armored, big magic spells. The magic in Dragon Age is broad enough, that even expanding the spell lists to a generic fantasy game, you can cover quite a lot with just the basic class. Even looking at the magic spells only in the first book, you’ll see that a priest class is already in there. With the description of the Mage and his first few class powers, all that’s needed is to change out the word “Arcane” for “Holy” in the Arcane Lance skill, and choose the Creation Mage suite of spells for a first level character, and bam! There’s your priest. (Actually, it’s your AD&D Cleric. You’ll be able to “turn undead” using the Horror or Repulsion Field spells in Set 2.)

Now the Rogue, she’s the dirty fighter of the group. Sneak in and stab is what this character is all about. She’s the one that “can launch devastating attacks with [her] backstab ability”, and a look at the class powers in Set 1 and in the beta Set 2 document all point to that. Backstab works with melee attacks, Bluff adds onto that, Dirty Fighting in Set 2 is all about melee.

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