[March Monster Madness] And The 2012 Winner Is…


March Monster Madness 2012 is over. This year I had 10 different monsters to choose from and the contestants did not disappoint. In the end, however, only one could be crowned winner.

Though a few critters really got me cackling with glee, three monsters tugged at my evil GM heartstrings the most: the Reaper, the One-Of-Many-Eyes, and the Flesh Legion.

The One-Of-Many-Eyes filled me with evil nostalgia, for who doesn’t love those floating orbs of multi-ocular death?

The Reaper was deceptive in its lethality until I caught on to its deadly versatility.

The Flesh Legion was just creepy to the core and I know I will have nightmares that will feature it.

So who was the winner?



Esoterica of Thedas Volumes 1, 2 and 3


We have posted before about the amazing fan work done by a group of Australian Dragon Age fans who created a series of books known as the Esoterica of Thedas. Since posting the initial links, they have finished all three volumes and revised them, then moved the files to a different location. I have received a number of emails about the broken links so I went ahead and contacted them to get new links for you.

You can now download all three volumes of the Esoterica of Thedas from these links below. Enjoy them for the great labor of love they are and for how much more of Thedas they bring to the Dragon Age RPG. All links are to PDF files.


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] The Night’s Watch


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

Improvised Magic in Dragon Age/AGE System [Revised]


Author’s Note: This is a revised version of my article on Improvised Magic (May 13, 2011). All costs have been playtested and run through a spreadsheet to number-crunch every official spell into this system. Consider this the final version.

In many games with magical power, it isn’t that mages codify the supernatural so much as they enforce their will on the world and the supernatural provides the effect. As they practice, they become able to generate the same or similar effects over and over, so often that they “learn” a spell. Still, sometimes in a game with a limited number of known spells you yearn to have the ability to improvise something off the cuff, even if you know it won’t be as easy as casting a spell you already know.

So, I present the following thoughts for the generic AGE system. I am not sure whether this fits Dragon Age specifically, but I don’t think it matters for canon. If it works for your table, use it, or modify it. These ideas were inspired by Shadowrun and the discontinued Dragonlance Fifth Age game.

Improvised Spell System

When a mage improvises a spell, he decides on a clear effect and then uses the following charts to place it into game terms. With that final context decided, the player can cast his spell. Each component of the spell adds to the total Value of the improvised effect. This value is important in determining the TN and the mana cost.


Rethinking Specializations: The Stance Warrior in Dragon Age/AGE


Iconic Warrior

A while ago I posted some thoughts over on my personal website on the idea of warrior stances as an alternative to specializations. I asked Daniel if I could revisit the subject here, with a little more attention paid to the balance between these homebrew elements and the tools that already exist in the game.

Stances for Dragon Age are not a new idea. Since Set 1, we’ve had the stunt Defensive Stance, which implies a martial readiness used to ward off follow-up attacks to the character’s actions. Other Dragon Age fans have taken the idea of stances farther by adding a bevy of stances that confer static bonuses on the character. But my goal was to devise a system that gave players another option to choose from during levels 6, 8, and 10 when the only class powers they receive are the advancements in their specialization talent. With only two boxed sets in print, each class only has three specializations to choose from at present, none of which may conform to a player’s chosen character concept.

The stances system presents five warrior stances of roughly equal power, allowing the character to pick and choose between them as the situation demands. From the five available, warrior characters pick the one they want to learn at 6th level instead of choosing an available specialization. Unlike a specialization talent, the chosen stance does not grow in power as the warrior gains in levels. Instead, the warrior perfects new combat maneuvers, gaining the use of a second choice of stance from those provided at 8th level, and adding a third stance to his or her repertoire at 10th level.

An obvious benefit of the stance system of warrior specialization is that players can change stances during a fight, allowing them to use the bonuses and abilities granted by a particular stance to meet the present challenge. A warrior must spend an activation action to enter or change stances, and can leave a stance as a free action.

The warrior can never gain more than three stances, but with the game master’s permission could retrain, or replace an existing stance with a different one. Warriors can only choose to retrain stances when they reach a new level. This last rule will have to be revisited after we see what’s in store for level advancement in box set 3.


Specializations in AGE


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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