Dragon Age


Last weeks Dragon Age session went great. We had two players, though there will be three tonight. Last week the guy playing the fighter made his character in about 5 minutes and after the session he was really pleased with how effective his warrior was at being the tank. Right out of the box he had meaningful damage reduction and a good knock back effect.

It was a short session so we had 1 fight, an ambush on the way to the Keep. The combat was fast and interesting. The only thing that slowed it down was the lack of copies of the stunts for each player to see. I’ve got photocopies of the stunt chart so that should go faster this time.

The session ended with the party arranging with the Keeps Priest to go into the Caves of Caos to help him find a religious artifact that was stolen. I’m adding house rules to make a Priest class. It loses arcane lance, and gains a Lay on Hands type ability and the ability to vast in armor, along with some bludgeoning weapon proficiences. The other characters are a Thief and a Mage, so we’ve got the 4 basics covered. I’m really excited about running this old school adventure using the Dragon Age rules because they have an old school feel to them without having to mess with Basic D&D.

Greetings gamers!

Tonight I’m taking my seat back behind the screen and running an old Dungeons & Dragons adventure, Keep on the Borderlands.

Cover of Keep on the Borderlands

wikipedia.org

This adventure originally came in the Basic D&D Box Set. I found a copy of the box set (minus the number tokens) at a used book store a few months ago and the adventure was in good shape. Someone left in the box a 3×5 card with the stats for a young black dragon that supposedly lurked in Room 52. I wonder if they defeated the dragon?

I’m not going to use the old D&D rules for the game tonight thought. I picked up the Dragon Age RPG Box Set 1 a few weeks ago and I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to test out the rules. The rules system appears to be lean and friendly and after reading the Players Guide book once I was able to make a character in about 5 minutes. The bulk of my gaming experience is with 3rd Edition D&D, so being able to complete all the crunch for a character in 5 minutes and not be worried about making an unoptimized sack of crap was refreshing.

I’ve got 3 players for tonight’s session. One of the players is an experienced gamer, with many years of D&D and WoW under his belt and he’s playing a Dwarf Mage. Another is new to gaming and I made a City Elf Rogue for him. The third player is a veteran of 3rd Edition D&D and other RPG’s like Rifts, and he’ll be rolling up a Human Warrior. As someone familiar with the Dragon Age RPG might have noticed, Dwarves can’t be Mages according to the rules for the system. Well, we’re playing a D&D version of the game, so I’m relaxing the restrictions on what races can be which classes. The only other mechanical change that I’m making is to modify the short rest mechanic (or breather, as DARPG calls it). During a breather Mages will get back 1d6+Magic mana points. I’d rather not have the group rest for an hour just so the Mage can cast a few more spells.

One of the things that the DARPG Box Set is lacking is a wide selection of monsters. I’ve found some excellent fan material that I printed out and will use for the game. The 3 Volume free PDF’s are called Esoterica from Thedas and present new rules, materials, monsters, spells and more, all done in a very nice style that mimics that game’s original art. I also found some alternate versions of the maps that came with adventure and will use the updated map for 4th Editions Chaos Scar Keep (Thumbnail at the bottom for those without DDI).

I’m looking forward to the game tonight and think the DARPG rules, or AGE system, will work well with the Basic D&D style of play the Keep was meant for.