Category Archives: Dragon Age

Some Thoughts on Fantasy AGE

I like Fantasy AGE a lot. I tremendously enjoyed the original game using the AGE system, the Dragon Age Roleplaying Game. It even was one of the inspirations for my own fantasy RPG Warrior, Rogue & Mage. Unfortunately I didn’t get to play it as often as I hoped.

Later, when Wil Wheaton created Titangsgrave for Fantasy AGE, I finally was able to run an AGE-powered game. But it quickly turned out that while the rules itself were solid, easy to learn, and fun to play, the adventure was not so great. It felt linear, very constraining, and there was just not enough material to easily flesh out the world. When I picked up Titansgrave I was hoping more for a proper setting book and not just the adventure Wil already ran for his YouTube show. I could have set down, fleshed out the setting myself, but instead I lost interest in running it.

Titansgrave plus Fantasy AGE sounded like a great combination, but without a proper setting book it’s actually not that great. I could go back to Dragon Age, but it’s too grimdark for my current tastes, and the latest Dragon Age computer game still left a bad taste in my mouth, so that’s not really an option right now.

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I’ve heard that Green Ronin recently released a new edition of their Blue Rose roleplaying game powered by Fantasy AGE, which might be worth a look. I don’t know much about the setting, aside from its inclusive nature (it’s supposedly very female and LGBT-friendly). From what I’ve read so far it’s praised by fans and critics alike and another full implementation of the AGE rules. Fantasy AGE, as a setting-agnostic ruleset, always felt a tad barebones.

Green Ronin is also working on a Modern AGE RPG which bring the rules to the … eh … modern age. This is another sign that the AGE System isn’t dead yet, but it’s definitely not getting as much support as I hoped it would get. I am still waiting for the Titansgrave setting book which has been hinted at, and I hoped there would be at least a couple setting for it by now.

Rules-wise there’s nothing wrong with Fantasy AGE: it shares some aspects with D&D in its various incarnations, but it’s also lighter than a lot of D&D editions and also different enough to be its own thing. But I would love to see more support for this systems: more settings, more magic schools, more options, etc. Let’s hope we’ll see more exciting AGE releases in the future.

What are your thoughts on this subject? Are there any Fantasy AGE supplements I missed? Should I check out Blue Rose? Please share your comments below!

What’s New?

I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather lately but today I pulled myself together to work on this post. Phew! A lot has been happening lately. And there are a couple of things I want to write about.

imageEarlier today I noticed that Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana has already been released on DriveThruRPG. Alas I failed my willpower check and bought it immediately. Luckily it’s an awesome-looking book for a reasonable price. The PDF contains some setting information, a couple of rules for Fantasy AGE, and the full campaign Wil Wheaton has run in his latest Youtube series. I would have hoped for more setting information, but I am sure Green Ronin will release more information in the future.

Apropos DriveThruRPG, they are celebrating their Xmas in July Sale again. So if you feel the need to spend your hard-earned cash on some roleplaying game stuff, you should check out what they have to offer.

In other news I am still struggling with my space opera setting. I’ve been working on various ideas for such a setting for ages now, but alas nothing seems to feel “right”. Everything either ends up being too generic or too close to an existing setting. Sometimes I come up with a great idea, but it just doesn’t work as a roleplaying-game setting. Perhaps I should keep some of those ideas in mind if I ever start writing short stories.

Recently I started rewatching the 1970s Captain Future anime series, and even though it didn’t really help me with my space opera project, it was at least entertaining. Yes, the dialogues are sometimes pretty horrible, and sometimes it’s pretty sexist, but that’s probably because the source material was created in less civilized times. By the way, you should definitely check out the soundtrack of the German version of the series, because it totally rocks!

150013-thumb140Recently I read about Worlds in Peril, a superhero game powered by the Apocalypse World rules. Has anyone of you already played this game? Obviously you can learn the rules by reading a comic included in the book. Neat!
I have to admit that while I enjoy these games from the player perspective, I haven’t really wrapped my head around the GM side of things. Do you have any advice for me?

Three Upcoming Games I’m Excited about

Although I already own quite a few roleplaying games (I stopped counting a while ago), I am usually excited about at least one or two upcoming games. At the moment there are three games which should be released this summer which keep me excited.

Cover-Mockup-2015-04-08-Opt2cThe first on the list is a game I’ve been writing about several times. It’s Monte Cook’s Cypher System Rulebook. The Cypher System was created for Numenera and was also put to great use in the more recent The Strange. What I like about the system is that it’s extremely easy to run, it breaks with a couple of roleplaying traditions and while being pretty easy it has enough depth to even convince players who prefer some crunch at the gaming table.

The upcoming Cypher System will hopefully provide us with enough material to use the system in almost every genre. From what I’ve read so far, the book will have almost 500 pages with no fluff. Since the rules themselves are pretty short, I expect countless descriptors and foci, a a whole lot of cyphers for our games. I already have a couple of ideas what I want to run with it, including a Cyberpunk game. Hopefully there will be support for cyberwear in the core book.

By the way, if you  preorder the hardcover book at Monte Cook Games, you get the PDF for free. The PDF version can also be preordered from DriveThruRPG.

Next in line is Fantasy AGE by Green Ronin. Fantasy AGE is basically the Dragon Age RPG without the setting and a new magic system. It’s the RPG for everyone who loves the rules behind the Dragon Age RPG but want to use it for other settings. While I have owned the rules for ages I just recently had the chance to play it. The AGE system is easy to learn, fast, and the stunt system is the cherry on top.

What excites me even more is the setting Green Ronin will release for Fantasy AGE later this year: Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana. Titansgrave is a Science Fantasy setting created by Wil Wheaton and Green Ronin. It’s also the game Wil is running for his new RPG show. If you haven’t watched it yet, I highly recommend you do so.

Savage_Rifts-234x300Last but not least is the Savage Worlds version of RIFTS. I still don’t think that Savage Worlds is the best fit for RIFTS, but I am cautiously optimistic. I like the RIFTS setting a lot. It’s my favorite kitchen-sink setting but alas it’s combined with a mess of a rules system. The Palladium System is playable but only barely so. From what I’ve heard not even Kevin Siembieda uses the rules-as-written, which says a lot. Savage Worlds is definitely not perfect but it fits the over-the-top style of RIFTS even though I doubt it can handle the scales. I still can’t imagine how a Rogue Scientist and a Glitter Boy pilot can coexist in the same party using SW rules. Let’s hope the guys working on it have figured a way out to make it possible.

These are the three games I am currently pretty excited about. What games are you looking forward to? Please share your thoughts below!