Dragon Age RPG Set 1
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- Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWares rich fantasy world to the tabletop.
- This boxed set includes everything you need to get started
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Fantasy roleplaying goes back to its dark and gritty roots with the Dragon Age RPG, the latest game from the company that brought you A Song of Ice and Fire Roleplaying and Mutants & Masterminds. Based on the smash hit Dragon Age: Origins computer game, the Dragon Age RPG brings the excitement of BioWare's rich fantasy world to the tabletop. Make your own heroes and control your own destiny in the lands of Ferelden and beyond. Designed by award-winning author Chris Pramas (Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Freeport), Dragon Age features an all-new game system that's both easy to learn and exciting to play, the perfect portal to tabletop roleplaying. This classic style boxed set includes a Player's Guide, Game Master's Guide, poster map, and dice: everything you need to get started, from character creation and rules of play to GM advice and an introductory adventure. So gather your friends, grab some dice, and get ready to enter a world of heroes and villains, of knights and darkspawn, of gods and demons...the world of Dragon Age!
Top Customer Reviews
That being said, the game is reminiscent of the old Basic Set for D&D in the early 80s. These booklets cover character levels 1-5.
Character generation is likewise something of a throwback to the old days, at least as far as randomness is concerned. The game asks you to roll 3d6 for each attribute, in order, after which you can swap two of your scores. Character attributes, much like the True 20 system, are listed based on their bonus or penalty, rather than a raw score. So if you roll an 18 for your strength, your strength isn't an 18, it's a 4. This randomness means that your character concept may be mathematically nonviable, if, say, you wanted to play a warrior but you've got a Strength of -2 and a Magic of 4. I suspect this will be house-ruled out in most groups. The scale is weighted towards positives, so you'll only have a negative on an attribute if you rolled a 3 or 4 on 3d6. Average rolls will give you an attribute of 2. The only way to start with a pre-background/racial 4 is to roll an 18 (though you can get bonuses during character creation that could push a 3 up to a 4).
Then, you select your background. The background you pick is intertwined with the race and class you want to play. For example, if you select the Apostate background, you're going to be either an elf or a human, and your class must be mage. Each background gives you a set of bonuses, plus two random bonuses. Some of these are odd. Your City Elf, for example, has zero chance of speaking elvish, but might be a crack shot with a bow.
For backgrounds for which more than one race is possible (apostate and circle mage), there are separate tables for the random bonuses. So human and elven circle mages, for example, are equally likely to have a bonus to Cunning, but human circle mages are otherwise likely to have a bonus to heraldry or stamina, whereas elven circle mages are more likely to have a bonus to seeing or cultural lore.
There aren't a lot of backgrounds. They are: apostate, avvar, circle mage, city elf, dalish elf, ferelden freeman and surface dwarf. Yes, if you want to play a dwarf, you have zero choice of background. You're a surface dwarf, period. The brief nature of the 64-page book means there are no backgrounds for, say, Chantry initiates or Templar squires, nor nobles of any race. That can be overcome with role-playing or house-ruling things, but I think it's worth noting.
I haven't playtested combat yet, but it seems like it'll be reasonably fast. In general, your roll 3d6 plus your attribute (usually strength) against a target number for defense. If you hit, you roll damage. Damage is reduced by armor. If you rolled doubles on any two of your three dice, you can perform stunts (which could range for knocking a target prone to gaining a bonus to your defense, to sliding a target).
Magic works much the same way (3d6 versus target, with stunts on doubles). There are dire warnings about the risks of demons, possession and abominations, but no mechanics for this.
The bestiary is small but functional. Mostly a few natural animals, drakelings, giant spiders, and a couple of basic darkspawn (genlock and hurlock), ghouls, undead and blight wolves. The included adventure has a few more creatures.
Editing is generally good, without the glaring typos and grammar problems that plague a lot of products (I'm looking at you, Troll Lord). There are a couple of glitches, though. Combat is defined in yards - spell area of effects, forced movement, weapon range, etc is all in yards (generally in multiples of two yards, much like Pramas' previous game, Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, Second Edition). But the included adventure has a map with standard five-foot squares. It's a minor glitch, though.
Overall, the game is limited by its low-level scope and short page count. If it sells well, they will bring out another set to cover the next five levels (and add specializations).
As a light game, it's not bad. I look forward to playing it, and seeing what they publish next in the line.
The gaming system is very easy to use. Roll the dice and if your number is higher than the Target Number then you succeed. Simple. Or if you have a focus in a certain ability you can add a small bonus to your roll. Again, simple. What really caught my eye is the Stunt system. The game uses 3 6-sided die (3D6) which one of the die is a different color. Whenever doubles are rolled, you obtain stunt points based on the number on the different colored die. These one time use points can be used a number of ways, such as adding damage or making a second attack. This system does away with low chance criticals that appear in other rpgs and thus adds more options and excitement to the game.
The only fault I have with the book is that it is a little hard to find information. Most RPG books are like this so its not that bad. The bigger problem I have is that it only works for levels 1-5. So you can't see what your character can do past level 5 without buying the second set.
All in all I am very happy with this purchase. The system is fast and fun. And when you throw in the Stunt system it turns a simple system into something complex and exciting.
Tabletop Role-Playing Games started became popular with a certain simple and famous boxed set in the late 1970s. These games let players use their imaginations to go on exciting adventures to battle evil, save a kingdom, stop a curse, etc. Over the next 30 years they tended to become more and more complicated. Dragon Age brings back the simplicity for new and veteran players. The box contains a full set of rules for creating characters and a sample adventure.
The setting is a little darker than some other games in that your characters start and may struggle in an oppressive world, but like any RPG, the tone is really set by the style of the people playing the game.
The rules and mechanics of the game are similar to other older games with the new introduction of an extra yet simple randomizing rule called the dragon dice.
The game system itself is quite good. The combat system is very simple, and with the addition of 'stunts' becomes very dynamic.
At this point, my only criticism is that...as the game stands currently...the system is limited. The only cure here is for more material to be released to expand the scope of game play.
Other than that, you get a fair number of creatures to work with in the game masters guide, and fairly adaptable system to cover both combat and non combat situations. The creators also capture the dark feel of the pc/console game pretty well.