No Pirate Session Due to Player Illness on Sunday… However We DID get to play ourselves some Dragon Age

So I FINALLY got to play Dragon Age. It’s system which I have been in love with for over two months now and have been crooning it to sleep at night, the box cradled in my arms, tenderly, like two lovers intertwined in an eternal embrace, much to my girlfriends disgust and dismay. She’s just jealous of our passion (God I really hope she doesn’t read this post or I’m in trouble)!

My girlfriend Angie, Elmer, and John were the only people who were able to play out of my 6 who will be playing in my Pirate Campaign. I didn’t want to lose the opportunity to role-play, especially since it had been 2 months since I had taken a short hiatus from GMing.

I figured this would be a perfect time to try Dragon Age.

I won’t go into the mechanics of Dragon Age because others have done so and they did it damned well. Check out NewbieDM here and here. Also here is some good posts from Daniel Perez (aka Highmoon’s Ponderings) here and here.

Character Creation

Dragon Age is probably the simplest and quickest character creation I’ve experienced in a long time. Total time for 3 people to create their characters was 10 minutes and that is because Elmer took a few to choose his spells.

In the end we had:

Elmer– Human Circle Mage who is traveling around looking for Magical and Historical Artifacts.

John– Fereldan Freeman Warrior who is seeking an old magical relic that was in his family for generations and recently stolen.

Angie– City Elf Rogue who was hired by Elmer incase they needed to procure a magical artifact in a not so legal manner.

I decided to try the Dalish Curse adventure that is at the back of the GM guide in box set 1. It is a good adventure and a pretty good introduction to Dragon Age. I will admit that I really do have a chip on my shoulder about running adventures that aren’t my own. I just feel, in some ways, I’m cheating… and I also just prefer to create my own stuff. However I was pressed for time because I didn’t find out till Saturday at 5pm that it would only be the 3 of us.

I was already familiar with Dalish Curse having read it when I bought the box set so it made sense to give it a go.

Play and Adventuring

Dragon Age really is a simple system and I could tell my players were really into it. The stunt mechanic, as many people have already doted, is simple yet amazing because it brings gratification and can give some cool cinematic moments.

My players generally liked combat because it was fairly quick, and simple. There was no getting bogged down due to feats, skills, etc or a plethora of rules for every situation that made us have to just toss a rule to keep going or pick up the book to look because the consequence of the action/rule mattered.

As far as the adventure goes we got to the end of part 2 of 4. It was getting late so we had to stop, even though I would have loved to keep going. Hopefully soon we’ll be able to finish it up.

Conclusions:

I really do love the system. I mentioned yesterday that I am thinking about creating a Firefly game using the AGE system. I’ve got some ideas in my head. We’ll see if they go anywhere.

I think the system has more potential that JUST being locked into Dragon Age, not that there is anything wrong with that.

I love the world and setting. I’m a huge fan of the video game as well. I am excited to get to know the AGE system better, and where it will take my players and I.

Also for anyone who is interested, Kobold Quarterly issue 13 has an AGE adaptation for Freeport done by Chris Pramas.

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About wrathofzombie

I am a History major attending a community college until I can get more financial aid and attend a four year school. I am living in NJ with my girlfriend who is currently wrapping up on obtaining her PhD in Toxicology. I love Star Wars, Role-playing, video games, working out, reading, writing, and hanging with my girlfriend, dog (Perfect), and two kittens (Birch and Brambles). My main focus on this site will be my discussion of Role-playing games and ideas and hopefully contribute something worth a damn. View all posts by wrathofzombie

4 responses to “No Pirate Session Due to Player Illness on Sunday… However We DID get to play ourselves some Dragon Age

  • Tom

    Sounds good – never heard of it before, but I’m always looking for new systems to run! …and as I’ve just popped back from reading the links, I’m even more intrigued. Thanks for the heads-up!

    Talking of Firefly RPGs, the Serenity one (using the equally intriguing CORTEX system) looks pretty nice – I don’t know if you’ve read it but it might give you some starters?

  • wrathofzombie

    Yeah I own the Cortex Serenity game. I’m just not a huge fan of Cortex, but that is just me. I’ll have a post up tomorrow with some ideas and whatnot about AGE system and Serenity. I’ve also got some work done today on using the system but I’m not gonna post it just yet. I want to nail some more stuff down.

    Dragon Age is a really great system. I love it! Easy to pick up, easy to learn, easy to run. Awesome!

  • Anarkeith

    Mike, any thoughts on DA as structure for a campaign? Enough monster variety and incentives to challenge players for a year?

    • wrathofzombie

      I think that DA will be able to last as a campaign. While I acknowledge that info is extremely limited as of right now with only Set 1 (levels 1-5 out) right now. However Box Set 2 is set to be released in March and hopefully Set 3, which will have levels 11-20 sometime in fall or winter of 2011, there will be a plethora of info for a campaign.

      As far as monsters go, there are quite a few in the GM Guide of Set 1. The important distinction of Dragon Age is the darkness and motivations of people. Darkspawn are a direct result of mans trifling with things that they should not. Blood Mages, desiring more power can transform into abominations and wreak havoc on people and settlements.

      DA emphasizes that your next door neighbor could be a potential enemy due to your characters decisions or the situations of the area. I think in DnD we tend to think of enemies as a challenge in the story, while they are tied into the history of whatever the character is doing, etc.. Encounters are kind of apart.

      In Dragon Age, I think that the encounters are shown to be a part of the story. Look at the adventure in the GM Guide, the Dalish Curse. The characters don’t hit it off so well with the local blacksmith and later he and a group of his chums attempt to jump the players. If the group kills them then during the climax then the plot is affected.

      In Dragon Age: Origins when you killed someone it had an effect on the people in your party and those around you. Make that part of the story. You throw a giant spider at your party and they think it is a random encounter and slay it. A couple weeks later you could have a Dalish Elf approach the party enraged at what they have done. That giant spider ate Darkspawn that wandered into its web and now the Dalish have been raided more frequently by the foul creatures.

      I think DA puts more of the situation and stage at the center of an encounter rather than having 2-3 books filled with tons of enemies. Just my philosophy though.

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