The many names of spells and how to change them: Tenser’s Floating Disc. Bigby’s Crushing Hand. Mordenkainen’s Mansion. Named spells defined Dungeons & Dragons from its earliest days while hinting at a greater world. Jeremiah McCoy talks about how to bring the magic of[…]Read more
For those of us with kids, the answer’s easy: teach them how to play. I started teaching my son and his friends how to play three years ago during our annual summer vacation on Lake Champlain. Two years ago, our[…]Read more
After seven years away, I’m going back to GenCon. It’s been far too long since I was last there, and even longer since the late 1990s when GenCon was an annual pilgrimage for my gaming group. I’m looking forward to going back.Read more
The Dragon Age Role-Playing Game is a rules-light, fast-playing pen-and-paper game based on Bioware’s computer RPG of the same name. It’s published by Green Ronin. My lunchtime gaming group is currently running through “The Dalish Curse” introductory adventure from Set 1, and I’ve decided to assemble a list of resources for the game.Read more
We’re using Dragon Age RPG Set 1, which meant rolling up characters Old School-style rather than using the point buy system from Set 2.Read more
The 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.Read more
MEPACon Spring 2011 is being held Friday, April 8 through Sunday, April 10. It’s the 10th anniversary of the convention, and they’re going to be having a special reception Friday night. As always I’m looking forward to the convention, but[…]Read more
The Dragon Age RPG intrigues me. With a lightweight rules system, mana pool-based magic, and a killer background setting, it seems like the sort of game that could help pull me back into fantasy role-playing. After spending a night learning[…]Read more
The highest compliment I can give Dragons Age: Origins is that everyone who plays it wants to tell me about their character. In a pen-and-paper RPG, that’s a major social faux paus, but with Dragon Age I think it’s a[…]Read more
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.Read more