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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

Quest
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.

Walkthrough

  • 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

Result

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. 🙂

Cards, Cards, and More Cards

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Greetings from a new fan of the Dragon Age RPG! I’m Icharbezol, or Ed for short.

In this post I’ll be presenting to the community some gaming aids I have created for my upcoming campaign. Inspired by Green Ronin’s Combat Cards and Quick Reference Sheets,  and ingrained habits from thirty plus years of gaming, I’ve gone back in my time machine to a day when I tracked almost every detail about my campaigns on index cards.

Each of these items is based upon a 3×5 index card template created in Microsoft Word, with three cards to a page. Each has a front, to be filled out by player or GM, detailing the specific subject matter of the card. Each also has a back, with a Dragon Age image and the stamp of whatever sort of specific item or event the card is meant to track. Printed on card stock and kept in a meticulously organized recipe box, I’m certain they will help me get everything organized for the reign of terror I intend to inflict upon my hapless gaming group. I’m only too happy to share with others, in the hopes that these cards can assist you, the reader, in beginning (or continuing, or surviving) your own campaign of shock and awe.

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[Tower of Druaga] Lessons From A Play-by-Post

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As I have mentioned before, I am running a play-by-post (PbP) game of Dragon Age set in the world of the Tower of Druaga anime series. I have only one player, my friend JJ Lanza (who wrote the Vancian Magic post for the Oracle), as I originally made a prerequisite to joining the game having to watch a certain amount of episodes from the show and JJ was the only one to rise to the challenge. Neither of us had ever played in a PbP game before, only in play-by-email (PbEm) games, but we figured we’d just hit the ground running and pick it up as we went along.

We have been playing for a couple of months now and I have learned a few important lessons that are worthy of sharing. In many ways these are applicable to roleplaying games in general, not just to Dragon Age, though there’s one lesson specific to this game as well. My hope is that our hard-earned lessons can help others run smoother games online or face-to-face and create a more enjoyable gaming experience.

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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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[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] Esoterica of Thedas, Volume 2: Bestiary

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Mike Evans (aka WrathOfZombie) sent me a link to this page via email and I was floored, both due to the quality of the work and to the simple fact that this awesome document was out there online and I didn’t know about it!

Behold the Esoterica of Thedas, Volume 2: Bestiary, a 76-page tome of Dragon Age monster goodness. The Esoterica covers all manner of creatures based on Dragon Age: Origins, presented for use in the tabletop roleplaying game. It also includes an 8-page Creature Creation section with tips and charts (including Size rules!), as well as nine new spells based on the videogame.

If that wasn’t enough, it then goes into a comprehensive bestiary ranging from domesticated animals to wild creatures, darkspawn to demons, constructs to dragons. Basically, if you saw it in Dragon Age: Origins, it’s probably in here.

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Stunt Man

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Well I don’t know about you fine people but one of the things I immediately fell in love with when I first ran the Dragon Age RPG for my group was the stunt mechanic. Those first Blight Wolves outside Vintiver in The Dalish Curse nearly decimated my players, but then the tide of battle flowed back their way and they swiftly cut down the snarling beasts. I’ve heard a few players say that this first encounter nearly turned them off the RPG as a whole but for me anyway this is when I decided that Unisystem had been knocked off it’s perch as my favourite RPG and Dragon Age now reigned supreme.

Of course the stunts aren’t the only reason I love Dragon Age. I could go on about the intriguing world Bioware have created with it’s dark fantasy edge, or the simplicity and retro feel that Green Ronin gave us in their ruleset. But then I’d be babbling and keeping you fine people from the purpose of this post.

Within a week or two of playing the pen and paper RPG and still heavily enamoured with the CRPG I decided to expand on the stunt list. I looked to the CRPG for inspiration and went about transferring as many as the abilities from the Dragon Age: Origins game to be used as stunts in GR’s RPG. They seemed to go down a treat as a year later I got messages of support from people and requests for more.

So here we are. I’ve readdressed some issues with the original stunts I created and clarified some points, and I’ve also added a whole page of new stunts: Mage, Unarmed and Special. I hope everyone enjoys them and they bring more fun and excitement to the fast paced combat of Dragon Age.

Download:

Dragon Age New Stunts by Saisei (PDF; 6.8 MB)

 

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