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Dragon Age RPG, Set 1 $17.50 $13.13
Average Rating:4.0 / 5
Ratings Reviews Total
4 3
6 2
3 2
1 0
0 0
Dragon Age RPG, Set 1
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Dragon Age RPG, Set 1
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 02/10/2013 16:10:53
WHAT WORKS: The stunt system is very fun in play, and character generation is optimized to be fast and easy, while still allowing for customization. The production values are top notch, and fans of the Dragon Age setting will find a lot to get excited about. We had a first time roleplayer play it, “get” the system quickly and have a blast. Did I mention I love boxed sets?

WHAT DOESN’T WORK: The “this will be included in later sets” thing can get annoying, especially if you were dying to play as a Grey Warden. As with any system that uses randomization in character generation, it can be easy to wind up with a character that just doesn’t work, which happened with one of ours. It could use a random adventure generator. EVERY book could use a random adventure generator.

CONCLUSION: The proof is in the fun and my first Dragon Age session was an incredible amount of fun. The four of us that sat down to play this had never played or ran it before, and it ran nearly as fast and smooth as Savage Worlds does for us now, which is really impressive for being our first time with the AGE system. The stunt system was HUGE for us, with everyone eagerly awaiting rolls of doubles. If I had to do it over again, I would have used maps and minis, as some of the tactical options would just work better with some kind of concrete imagery, I think. It IS worth noting that when we played, we also had access to Set 2, which includes three sets of handout cards, featuring the rules and Stunt Tables, and I would say those are almost invaluable in play, ESPECIALLY for the first time running the game.

Dragon Age gets picked on by some for being “incomplete”, but the tiered releases was done by Dungeons and Dragons first, and Dragon Age actually has character creation rules, unlike the new Star Wars RPG, which has had a Beta and a Quickstart and still doesn’t. The combat CAN get a little “swingy”, as stunts can make a huge impact on how quickly an enemy is defeated, an Dragon Age doesn’t have a Drama Point or Benny style mechanic in place to save PCs from great rolls by the bad guys.

As a Dragon Age setting fan and a pen and paper gamer, I’m incredibly pleased with my purchase and I dearly, dearly hope to run Dragon Age again soon.

For my full review, please visit http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2013/02/tommys-take-o-
n-dragon-age-set-1.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Age RPG, Set 1
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Jonathan C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/10/2010 20:42:24
I'm getting tired of reading reviewers bagging on Dragon Age the pen and paper RPG just because it is based upon a video game and associated with a big company like Bioware. From this vantage point, if you don't like the video game you can complain about it (saying that CRPGs and RPGs are different animals and never the tween shall meet), or if you liked the video game you can complain that it's NOT ENOUGH like the video game.

Also, people are complaining that the rules are incomplete. Duh. It's for levels 1-5... an introductory set. I think this is a brilliant marketing tactic that we are seeing other companies doing in order to attract both nostaligic and new gamers. Kudos! I can get a a working game for half the cost of just one book in another system. I don't need 300 spells and 400 monsters to get started having fun.

Gimme a break.

I come from an old school background and dislike having too many rules and too many books. I'd rather spend my time actually playing than reading, organizing, and collecting vast arrays of adventures, skills, and splat books that I will never actually get around to using. I adore the Dragon Age tabletop pen and paper RPG and here is why:

- I've played it, unlike many of the reviewers with real live gamers, most of them experienced and sophisticated.

- We just have played Labyrinth Lord, Savage Worlds and 3.5 for years and I have to say, so far the reaction if extremely positive. By comparison to Labyrinth Lord, this is rules light with an actual world and a unified system that doesn't seek to recreate the past but instead seeks to streamline the advances in the hobby. Compared to Savage Worlds it has much greater flavor, is not a generic system, and has something that was a deal-breaker for us: Health points. Savage World soured on us because of it's wound system and how Bennies always just were used for soaking damage. Finally, compared to 3.5 it has about 1/10th of the rules to keep track of, and the world feels more "old school" / European rather than high fantasy bordering on science fiction.

- It hits the sweet spot with rules lite - with stunts and the dragon die concept it it elegant without being overly simple. With just the three classes and several backgrounds, combined with Talents and Weapons Choices, you can create a great variety of characters.

- The magic system is mana based, which I like. No more fire and forget!

- The world of Ferelden is full of very interesting takes on the classic races of Dwarves and Elves. There is a rich, detailed history of the cataclysm known as The Blight and how it shaped empires, religions, and cultures. This is probably the greatest connection it has to the video game. To me it feels like the Celtic culture during the dark ages.

- The tone is dark, gritty fantasy. This seems to be the trendy flavor we've seen in other products and I can say that it seems to work here very well.

- The 3d6 dice mechanic works great and with the curve is much more interesting than d20. Add in the dragon die concept and you've got something new and exciting, where each roll actually contains three levels: total score, if there are doubles, and how strong the dragon die is.

- The stunts system just rocks. SOOO much less complicated than feats, edges or other similar mechanics.

- The layout and art are strikingly good. I don't feel like I'm playing a generic system somebody whipped up in their basement, nor do I feel like I have a glamorous coffee-table book that is too pretty to get pizza grease on.

That's it. For the price of admission, this game will appeal to people looking for an elegant, rules-lite system that contains a deep, compelling world. If that's the sort of thing that you're after, than you'd be missing out if you didn't give it a shot.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Age RPG, Set 1
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Tyler C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/30/2010 10:14:09
I was fortunate enough to playtest this game, and I feel it's a solid game that I believe should have some longevity. Licensed products are often catch as catch can, and going in with my prejudices along those lines, I was quite surprised to see how effectively the rules set was defined as its own entity - not just an extension of "here's something you can do in the video game, and here's how it works on pen and paper." While I like playing World of Warcraft occasionally, that's something I saw as an issue with its pen and paper incarnation.

Dragon Age succeeds primarily based upon its core mechanic - the dragon die. I haven't played too many games where the roll of the dice was anticipated quite as heavily as in Dragon Age. Due to the dragon die mechanic, a roll doesn't define just success vs. failure - it also defines side effects based on the value of one of the dice - think of it as critical hits with a higher chance of success but with effects that further the narrative of an encounter.

The setting itself seems to have greater depth to me through the way it's presented in this boxed set, as compared to the video game which I find fun but inconsistent throughout.

The PDF version of this does the game justice, but I look forward to the now-releasing boxed set itself. There's a tremendous nostalgia kick to a box containing adventures within. Even with the more serious subject matter of Dragon Age compared to say the old Red Box, it ignites the kid-sized gamer in me all over again!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Age RPG, Set 1
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Nathan R. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/23/2009 20:33:25
This virtual box set consists of the Players Guide, Game Masters Guide, and a map of the campaign setting. Both books are 66 pages and cover everything you need to know to get started roleplaying in the Dragon Age setting. Both the Players Guide and Game Master’s Guide have excellent indexes, though neither has a table of contents. They are well laid out, with clear legible font and bold headings that make it easy to find information. As PDF documents they are easy to read, but they are full colour with tons of beautiful art (often covering more than half a page) which will put real pressure on your printer! Both documents are bookmarked, but that is the extent of the PDF technology used (no hyperlinks in the index or the like).
The moment I began reading the Player’s Guide I was overcome with a sense of nostalgia, finding within the virtual covers the kind of game I have been hoping for. The Dragon Age RPG reminds me of the simple games that I first learnt to roleplay with, without any of the odd, redundant or strange mechanisms that the infancy of roleplaying was sometimes afflicted with. I am looking forward to running my twelve-year-old nephews through their first adventure these holidays, and they will be doing it in the Dragon Age.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Age RPG, Set 1
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Geoffrey G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/15/2009 16:52:11
The reviews by Misters Collins and Semmes seem to be accurate in extremes. The amount of fluff in this game makes it an excellent purchase to add additional information to any homebrew or other system inport that you would want.

However, if your wish is to use the system as present, I'm afraid that I can not recommend this purchase. The system removes too much of what made Origins a great game, all in the name of super-simplicity. Gone are the abilities and spells from Origins. A level 1 two-handed warrior in this game is mechanically the same as a level 1 dual wield warrior and a level 1 sword and board warrior, with nothing to differentiate them. No more shield slams, no more heavy hits or sweeps. Even the spells are also slim, with only 18 spells total listed, taken seemingly randomly from the spell trees of Origins.

In conclusion, if you're buying this for fluff, its almost worth the buy. If you're buying this to actually play this game, avoid it. Its lack of the stuff that made Origins such a great game. Maybe when they've released set 2 and 3 and made it a complete game it can be recommended, but until then avoid the game.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Age RPG, Set 1
Publisher: Green Ronin
by David B. S. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/15/2009 14:53:47
In what seemingly is becoming a popular trend, the Dragon Age RPG- Set One, is based upon the Dragon Age video game. Having played the video game, I must admit that I had pretty high standards for this RPG, created by Green Ronin.

Set One comes with 3 PDF files; a Player's Guide; a GM's guide; and a map of the Ferelden area. The map is beautifully drawn, in color, with just enough detail to draw player's into the setting, and lacking just enough detail to give a GM plenty of room to add his or her own creative touches.

The Player's Guide gives a nicely done overview of the different cultures populating the game world, along with solid historical flavoring. There are plenty of names and places to make players feel as though they are travelling in a well-thought-out world. The layout of the PDF makes it a pleasure to read, with nice artwork throughout. And I must add that the bookmark feature is nicely implemented.

Character creation is typically done, with a few twists to make things interesting for gamers who aren't new to this sort of thing. The 3d6 system is something we all have seen before, but is, in my opinion, a solid choice. It shouldn't take players too long to make characters and get a game up and running. There aren't a TON of choices to make, when creating a character, but I get think that is the point. While reading through the Player's Guide, I saw opportunities to add 'House Rules' for GM's wanting abit more detail. But then again, this is just Set One! (Hopefully we will see, along with other things, MANY more spells made available in the future!)

The Gm's Guide is fairly straight foreward, in that it gives various tips on creating adventures, interpreting rules, treasure, and creatures. I will say that the 'tone' of both the GM Guide, and the Player's Guide are very conversational and easy to read. And that is a big plus! Nothing is worse than having a book or PDF that you hate to read because of horrible layout and organization!

In closing, the Dragon Age RPG is a solid system, ripe for additional modules, classes, races, and magic (including Blood Magic!). The 3d6 system it uses is simple and gets the job done. Even if you are using another gaming system, the rich history and culture of Ferelden is fantastic.

Good gaming!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Age RPG, Set 1
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Nathan C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 12/14/2009 21:56:07
You have to really like Dragon Age the video game/computer game to want to play Dragon Age the tabletop RPG.

Dragon Age, the video game, is a great role playing game that captures the old school feel of party based games. Dragon Age, the tabletop game, published by Green Ronin, takes the epic tale of Dragon Age and bastardizes your intense memories of battling the darkspawn with system that feels very uneven.

Video games just do not equate into tabletop RPGs too well. Rarely is it successful, and Chris Pramas, of Warhammer RPG fame, tried to recreate his miracle with Dragon Age, which fails more miserably than most adaptations.

Dragon Age: the First Set contains two PDFs, a players guide and a dungeon masters guide, and a map of Ferelden, the world of Dragon Age. The two PDFs are less than 70 pages. If you think this is small for a complete system, you are absolutely correct, it is too small. The game is greatly undeveloped.

But lets start with the good. If there is a savior for this system, it’s that the story of Dragon Age and the artwork are simply amazing. The story of the blight, at its surface, is a strong homage to Lord of the Rings. But the world is very detailed and the history can inspire adventures for some time. The artwork feels as if it was lifted from the amazing graphics in the game.

However, most people will not buy a game based on its story and artwork, and this is where Dragon Age falters. I get a feeling that Green Ronin were given specific orders from Bioware to make this game as unDungeons and Dragons as possible. It is too faithful to a video game. As with most RPGs games for Video Game systems, the statistic element is made fairly simple. After all, there are only so many buttons on a controller. Characters do not have any more options than the buttons of the game system allow. The limitations of a videogame are counteracted by the video game’s ability to produce intense combat after intense combat with spectacular graphics. Oddly enough, there are some places in character creation where you have more control over how your character is created in the video game than in the tabletop RPG.

It amazes me that anyone with experience in tabletop RPGs thought it was a good idea to give this same limited number of options to the player. The limitations begin when you roll your ability scores, and there’s not provided option of getting rid of low scores. According to the rules, if you rolled a character with 8 stats below 5 you keep that character. You then choose from one of the seven backgrounds, some of which have an option to play as elf or human. Your background gives you a set number of abilities and focuses and 2 absolutely random abilities based off of your race. Why you are not able to choose these abilities is never explained. You then are allowed to choose from three classes. There is some slight variety in the focuses you choose, but for the most part, one rogue will probably be designed fairly similarly to another. At various levels, the three different classes can choose a different talent, spell or focus. Talents are special abilities similar to feats, and focuses are skills the player has that are based on one of the eight abilities. Characters are finalized when they choose their equipment, or, actually they are assigned their equipment based on your character class.

As stated, the system is based on a 3d6 system. That means your roll can range from 3 to 18, however, unlike most systems that have a wide range, you do not have skill ranks or points to greatly enhance this roll. You simply receive a +2 if you choose a focus that relates to the reason you are making a particular skill test. Combat is pretty straight forward, and also relies on rolling 3d6’s. Players will need one of the dice to be a different color as it represents the dragon dice. If you both succeed on an attack roll and roll doubles the third dice is checked against a chart and a stunt happens. Magic uses a mana point system where players pick spells and roll a stress test when they cast the spell to see if their armor or other equipment interferes.

The Dungeon Guide is pretty basic material for what you would expect in a dungeon Guide. There’s information on how to make a plot, how to run a campaign, a few creatures and how to reward your party. There’s also a few charts for easy reference of system material and an adventure called the Dalish Curse, a very nice intro adventure designed by RPG Designer Steve Kenson.


For the Player
The system is very simple, and if you are looking at playing a video game like role-playing game, even more of one than Dungeons and Dragons 4e is, Dragon Age is an easy system to build a character and play. Building a character will take no more than 10 minutes.

For the Dungeon Masters
It’s nice to have goodies included. A complete adventure makes for an easy time your first go around. The charts are also a nice touch, as they prevent the need to make or buy an additional DM screen.

The Iron Word
If you loved the story that the video game Dragon Age presented, this is an obvious no brainer buy. The additional fluff of the book would go great when designing a campaign for any other system. For this material alone, fans will find their money well spent. However, as presented, the actual system drops the ball. Gone from the video game are the cool class tree system of the game and the ability to be unique characters such as dogs, golems and foreigners. Character options are few and far between and produce too many similar characters. Instead of going into more detail of the unique locales of the countryside, the Dungeon Book reprints basic Role Playing advice that an eight-year old who has played pretend should know. It also does not take advantage of being a tabletop RPG. As a person who is going through their second go around in the game, there are obvious flaws that could have been fixed. Classes could have been greatly expanded on, races from the other country could have been fleshed out and places where you only spend a little time could have been expounded on. Thank goodness the designers at Bioware created a fantastic story and game, because the crunch material alone would easily be well below a 3 star.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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