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Spell Trees Order – Player Resource

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Thanks Craig Brown for whipping this one up for you guys. This will help you choose your spells more efficiently and quickly based on pre-requirements. Please note, this is designed with the older tiered books, which is why they are referred to additionally.

Blood Magic Spell Tree

Creation Magic Spell Tree

Entropy Spell Tree

Primal Magic Spell Tree

Spirit Magic Spell Tree v2

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[Beyond Dragon Age] AGE of Terror: Fallen Ones

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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.

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[Beyond Dragon Age] AGE of Terror: Spell Schools & Sorceress Background

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In my last post, I gave an overview of the changes I was planning to make to Dragon Age’s magic system in order to make it a better fit for Diablo’s setting. This post is meant to give more of the mechanics to support those changes: talents for the new schools of magic and a background for Diablo 2’s Sorceress character.

New Talents

Arcane Magic

Classes: Mage.

Requirement: You must have the Magic (Arcane) focus.

You have mastered the manipulation of raw arcane energy.

Novice: You can sense the presence of magic, such as lingering enchantments and magical items, within 3 yards of you as a minor action. This sense generally does not allow you to know the effects of the magical aura.

Journeyman: When you cast an Arcane spell, its cost in mana points is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1. You also gain one new Arcane spell.

Master: Your mastery of raw arcane energy allows you to regenerate mana much faster than other mages. When you roll to regain mana points, you can choose to re-roll the dice but must keep the results of the second roll. You also gain one new Arcane spell.

Death Magic

Classes: Mage.

Requirement: You must have the Magic (Death) focus.

You have learned to harness the power of death, decay, and poison.

Novice: You may channel latent necromantic energy into an armor of phantasmal bone without spending mana points. This requires a minor action and gives you an armor rating of 2 until the beginning of your next turn.

Journeyman: When you cast a Death spell, its cost in mana points is reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1. You also gain one new Death spell.

Master: The miasma of death and decay surrounding you weakens those who would attack you. Opponents making a melee attack against you suffer a -1 penalty to Strength. You also gain one new Death spell.

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Magic Via Stunts

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My mind has continued to dwell on the topic of Stunts and this time around it has turned to how magic interacts with this game mechanic. We already have Spell Stunts in the game that allow Mages to enhance their spellcasting as it happens with various effects (d20 players know these as metamagic feats) and those are really good. I mean, I have seen Mages cast Stunts-enhanced spells that have stopped entire combat encounters cold in one action. Given the flexibility of Stunts, however, I have kept wondering how these could further couple with magic to create interesting and neat effects for the game.

I have two people to blame for this post, Mark Miller (@mrkmllr) and contributor Josh Jarman (@joja_rpg). Every so often I see Mark and Josh chatting back and forth on Twitter about Dragon Age and the AGE System as they hash out ideas and mechanics for their games and for Josh’s project, Dragon Hack. One night I saw a tweet fly by that captured my attention, talking about having a kind of Stunt that allowed a character to cast a spell. Hmm… I chimed in, told them I liked that idea, and they went on. It’s a concept that has come up in conversation a couple times now, but none of us has done anything with it yet. I’d like to change that and Brian Molix’s recent update to the Improvised Magic rules for AGE gave me a great idea.

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Improvised Magic in Dragon Age/AGE System [Revised]

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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.

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Vancian Magic Redux

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Recently I took the time to read through the entirety of Dragon Age Set 1. I’m talking cover-to-cover. Not many games have read as easily as this one did. It fired me up to start talking DARPG again. So looking back at my first post and all the comments that resulted from it, I want to take another stab at the beast that is Vancian magic.

Before I go too far, let me be clear that this work is being done toward a home-brewed setting that I’ve been struggling to find a system for. This setting is steeped in the Elric stories of Michael Moorcock, seen through the lens of Jack Vance with a dash of H.P. Lovecraft thrown in for spice. I know that many gamers today are not into the fire-and-forget style of spells, but it is near and dear to my heart. So here it is…

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Tweet Treasures

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Treasure Chest

Every so often, something wonderful happens on Twitter: amidst the usual online sarcasm and pics of lunch dishes, a meme emerges that is actually cool and of lasting value (lasting meaning longer than it takes to read the tweet and chuckle). #TweetTreasure is one such meme.

Created by Daniel Solis, the meme entails tweeting a treasure in less than 140 characters (including the #TweetTreasure hashtag). The offerings so far have leaned towards the fantastic-but-with-a-small-price, which makes them fairly interesting. There’s no mechanics attached to them, so these could be adapted to any game.

I have included some Tweet Treasures below which I felt were thematically appropriate for the Dragon Age RPG setting and power level. Feel free to stat them up for your own games; it shouldn’t be too hard to assign mechanics to these words. And of course, take a look at the #TweetTreasure hashtag for many more treasures.

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