Some Thoughts on the Dragon Age RPG

On Saturday I had the chance to play the Dragon Age RPG by Green Ronin at a local convention. Initially I planned to run two sessions of Into The Odd, but we didn’t find enough players for the second game, so I decided to play some Dragon Age instead.

I’ve owned the rules pretty much since it has been released, but alas I never had the chance to give it a try. So I was pretty excited when I was given the chance to actually play it. The GM had prepared six characters: two rogues, two mages, and two warriors. I picked one of the mages, who turned out to be a human circle mage with a focus on primal magic.

Playing a mage is a lot of fun in Dragon Age, especially because there’s a chance that things can get terribly wrong. My most powerful spell had a slight chance of miscasting. During the game this spell misfired once, but luckily it just damaged my Marbari warhound instead of turning my character into an abomination.

The rules are extremely easy to understand. You roll 3d6, one of those is the dragon die, and if your roll result is equal or higher than the target number you succeed. The dragon die comes into play each time you roll doubles when making an attack roll. In that case the dragon die shows the number of stunt points you can use for that action. Stunt points allow you to move yourself or your enemy, add additional damage, ignore armor, reduce the spell cost of the spell casted, and more. Because of this, the combat rules can be kept simple, but you get additional option from time to time, which make things more dramatic and exciting.

Recently Green Ronin has released the Dragon Age RPG rulebook, which combines the rules found in all the three boxes and adds a new adventure. The PDF is available right now, the hardcover book is still in its preorder phase. I’ve put the PDF on my wishlist, and I am determined to get a copy of the hardcover book as soon as it reaches Germany. Now I just need to find a couple of people who want to play the game with me. Smiley

Reports of my unfortunate Demise have been greatly exaggerated!

Yes, I am still alive. I haven’t posted in a while because I was busy with other stuff and not feeling particularly inspired to write something. But I noticed that a lot of people are still regularly checking the blog, probably in hopes of new content. Fret not!

This saturday I’ll be running two sessions of Into the Odd at a local con I helped to organize. At the moment I am designing the badges our GMs and organizers will wear. Alas this is not working as smoothly as I anticipated, because I am having some trouble with my right upper arm and shoulder. For a while now I am having pretty bad pains when using the mouse or typing for longer than a few minutes at a time. I guess I’ll have to see my physician in the next days. Sigh.

I also became the victim of a pickpocket yesterday. I was riding a particularly overcrowded bus and suddenly my smartphone was gone. Someone actually stole it from my jacket pocket without me noticing. Bummer! So instead of enjoying the afternoon with my girlfriend I had to go to the police, call my carrier to have my SIM card blocked, change my passwords. etc.

Luckily not everything has been that bad recently. My Numenera game is still a lot of fun for everyone involved, I still play Shadowrun and Earthdawn irregulary and I have plans running a Traveller game set into the Chthonian Stars setting for a couple of friends in the near future! So, what have you been up to during the last few weeks? Please share your comments below!

Gen Con’s Letter to the Indiana Governor

Just two days ago Gen Con’s owner and CEO Adrian Swartout sent a letter to Indiana’s governor Mike Pence and basically threatened that Gen Con will leave Indianapolis in the future if SB 101 becomes law.

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So what is SB 101 all about? It’s called an “religious freedom” bill but in my opinion it’s not about freedom at all. Basically it prevents the state from taking any measures that “burdens” a person’s exercise of religion unless it’s proven that there’s compelling interest and the measures taken are as restrictive as possible. Critics fear that the bill will basically allow citizens and businesses to discriminate against people particularly against gays and lesbians among others.

In my opinion a state should strive for equal rights for all people and provide equal grounds for everyone. But Indiana wants to create a law that limits its abilities to create that open ground because religious people get special rights.  In my opinion such a law is against the US constitution, but I am neither a lawyer nor an American citizen, so that’s for other people to decide.

But I was very pleased when I read that Gen Con LLC openly speaks out against such legislations. As I was in Indianapolis in 2010 I was welcomed with open arms and I enjoyed the “warm Hoosier hospitality” everywhere I went. But I would think twice about going there again, if I felt that Indiana business and citizens are basically allowed to discriminate against people based on their religion. And I always thought Christianity was based on tolerance. But as soon as you’re merely feel “burdened”, your precious faith is more important than the rights of your fellow man? That’s bullshit. Religious freedom includes the freedom from religion as well. Equal ground is non-existent if everyone got their way based on their world views.

In my opinion Indianapolis was a perfect fit for Gen Con. The convention thrived there for many years and I felt welcome there. I really hope governor Pence does the right thing and puts this bill into the place it belongs: the recyle bin! Gen Con is a convention where people from all over the world meet to play games, talk about their hobby, make business deals, and spent their hard-earned cash on gaming products, and of course in business all over the city and beyond. And I can fully understand if Gen Con moves to another city if it fears that some of it attendents are not welcome anymore.

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