Delve into action with Dragon Age Stunts

 Dragon Age, Set 2The dwarven warrior D’klar Ironforge stood on the Deep Roads bridge eying the darkspawn before him. Spittle from the creature’s mongrel face glistened in the reflected light of the lava far below. Covering its black-furred hide were the crudely-arranged castoffs of dwarven chain and planted, while its obsidian-clawed hands held a short sword wet with the blood of Ironforge’s kin.

With a guttural shout, he charged the creature, bringing his battle axe down in a killing arc that sliced through the cracks in darkspawn’s armor, cleaving its spine and sending it crumbling to the stone. The dwarf hefted the axe from the corpse and looked up. The rest of the darkspawn horde stood at the other end of the bridge. He grinned. “Who’s next?”

Scenes like this one are something we love to recreate in fantasy pen-and-paper role-playing games. How you do it depends: it could be an improved critical feat in Pathfinder or an armor-piercing daily power in Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, or it could just be flavor text added afterwards. It works well enough, but the game mechanic geek in me finds the feat/power option too limiting. Sure, I want to bury my axe into the darkspawn scum … but when fighting a dragon, I just might rather hit and run instead of going toe-to-toe with the beast.

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Anticipating Bioware’s Dragon Age

When it comes to western-style Computer RPGs, the single best designers around have to be Bioware. They created the fantastic high magic, D&D-spawned Balder’s Gate, the Star Wars-themed Knights of the Old Republic, the Oriental adventure Jade Empire and the space opera Mass Effect.

This fall they’re returning to their fantasy roots with Dragon Age: Origins, a surprisingly blood-drenched sword-and-sorcery RPG. I say “surprisingly” because although my friends have been talking about it for months, I hadn’t actually gone looking for any of the promotional videos. After being approached about reviewing the game at Nuketown, I decided to go and browse YouTube for Dragon Age: Origins videos, and found a small horde of them.

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