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[Review] Midgard Bestiary for AGE

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Open Design has just released the Midgard Bestiary, a collection of 50 monsters from their own Midgard setting, brought into the AGE System.

Bestiary PDF bought and read. I shall now attempt a review.

First off the layout. It’s really nice and simple. Each creature has a nice chunky stat block which takes up usually around half a page, the other half being taken up with creature fluff and description and a nice piece of artwork. Apart from the great looking cover there’s only a spattering of colour within the book, which is fine because I assume those who would print it would print in black and white. So you won’t miss much.

The artwork itself is nice. Generally strong throughout. Some pieces have clearly had more time put into them than others but there is something fitting about the sketch-like look of the less complete pieces. That isn’t to say you’re looking at an unfinished stick man; all the pieces serve to give you a strong idea of how the creatures should look.

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[Beyond Dragon Age] Hammer of Thunder

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I saw Thor this weekend, and though I have a few nitpicks, overall I liked it. I mean, I got exactly what I went in expecting to see: the god of thunder being boisterous and arrogant, hammering his way through problems and letting fly mighty Mjolnir all around. All that plus frost giants, Asgardian deities and Hawkeye? Yeah, I can forgive the rest.

Naturally, as I watched the movie, I thought about how some of those elements could be brought into a game. d20 and all its derivatives, from 4e to Pathfinder, have tons of published and fan material out there to emulate a lot of what the movie showed, but given the newness of Dragon Age/AGE we still have the opportunity to create new stuff. And in keeping with the simple and elegant design stylistics of AGE, rather than create complicated and exhaustive designs, I’m choosing to highlight only two elements here. Perhaps you will create some other elements and share them as well.

Note:There are minor movie spoilers ahead. Nothing major, just some cool scenes, but be warned.

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Eaten By A Dragon: Lessons From A Playtest

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Late last night I couldn’t sleep so I got on Twitter and checked if my pal, NewbieDM, was around. We had talked about maybe doing some late night Dragon Age gaming but really, I would be happy with just some monster bashing for a bit. Newbie was around, but didn’t have anything planned, so we decided to run a combat encounter against one of the playtest Midgard creatures designed by Josh Jarman, the Young Cave Dragon (also one of the winners of March Monster Madness). Another one of our mutual Tweeps, Edwin (@TheRealEdwin) saw the exchange and wanted in, so off to Skype we went to fight a dragon.

It went exactly as you would think a fight against a dragon would go. And it was glorious. It also revealed a few lessons worth noting down both as playtest feedback but also as general information for other Dragon Age/AGE Game Masters.

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Midgard Patrons to Playtest 50 New AGE System Monsters

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When the patrons of the ongoing Midgard Campaign Setting project from Open Design were asked to pick what game systems they wanted to see supported, many of us involved hoped but never really believed one of those systems would be the Dragon Age Role Playing Game. It was chosen, however, and since that happened project patrons who play the game have been working overtime to make the Midgard campaign a welcome home for our DA games. New backgrounds have been drafted and new monsters have been brought into the AGE system. A lot of the buzz about the project has been about opening up a new world to AGE system gaming, which most of the visitors to this site probably agree is a fun, fast paced system that blends old school sensibilities with modern mechanics, but not everyone is as excited by the lack of options in game worlds.

The latest side project to have developed out of this quest to provide game masters and players everything they need to run AGE system games in Midgard is the development of a new book of monsters native to the setting. A playtest of 50 new AGE system monsters launched last week only for Midgard patrons. The book collects five years of Open Design creatures, drawn from both adventures and gazetteers. One of the winning monsters from last month’s March Monster Madness contest right here at the Dragon Age Oracle, the Young Cave Dragon, is a perfect example of a brute that had long lived within the Midgard world but only recently was made available to AGE players. Patrons are even now testing their mettle against foes such as the Eye Golem, Bonepowder Ghoul, Weaving Spider and Gypsosphinx. The playtest will only be open for a short time so that we can get the book into your hands as quickly as possible.

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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] And The Winner Is…

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March has come and gone. Eleven monsters entered the arena and now two are crowned kings in the March Monster Madness challenge.

Classic Monster

It was a close battle between the blood-sucking Stirge and the fire-breathing Dragon, but at the end, the iconic winged lizard easily claimed the top spot with 29.87% of the votes.

See Poll results: http://poll.fm/2vikt

Creator JesterOC wins a $10.00 gift certificate to RPGnow/DriveThruRPG!

Midgard Monster

The battle here was between the Clockwork Myrmidon and the Young Cave Dragon, but in the end, once again, the iconic dragon claimed the top spot to be crowned king with 34.38% of the votes.

See Poll results: http://poll.fm/2vilo

Creator Josh Jarman wins a 1-year PDF subscription to Kobold Quarterly courtesy of Open Design!

The winning monsters will be edited and presented for your use later this week, and all other monsters will shortly follow in a small bestiary.

Congratulations to the winners, and many thanks to all participants. I thought all entries were very well done and displayed a good grasp of the basics of the AGE System (with a few, very interesting surprises, like the kobold).

[March Monster Madness] The AGE Monster Design Challenge

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Get ready to channel your inner Dr. Frankenstein as we launch March Monster Madness: the AGE System Monster Design Challenge!

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