For those of you who don’t know what the ENnies are, they are awards handed out to outstanding games, websites, game supplements, programs, and even blogs that make strong contributions to the gaming industry! These awards a big deal, and are handed out at GenCon, the biggest gaming convention in the country! Dragon Age is competing against titans like Paizo and Wizards of the Coast, and while there are quite a lovely selection of products and games worthy of praise we all know why we are here. Dragon Age is an exemplary game that deserves a lot of love!
You can show that love by voting for the Dragon Age Core Rulebook in the the categories of Best Interior Art, Best Game, and Best Product! You can vote on the ENnie blog from July 11th to July 21st!
Let’s show this game some love and get it some ENnies to take home from GenCon!
Welcome to episode 3, where we talk all about the basics of the basics of the Dragon Age RPG! We are joined by another new local host who has a fresh perspective perfect for this episode!
We have fun with another animal friend, discuss the Ability Test, and the essential mechanics that build off of it. We are covering the game at its core; no complicated math, no game design theories, no equations, no problems here! If you can master everything in this episode you are well on your way to grand adventures in the world of Thedas!
In the episode we mention a large collection of fan-made content: the Esoterica From Thedas. This colossal collection of new rules for the Dragon Age RPG gives the game cavernous new depths to add new excitements to your campaigns! You can find it here!
Welcome to episode 2: the character creation process episode! In this episode we get a new host and talk about one of the most exciting aspects of any RPG, making brand new characters! With a loud collection of clacking dice we’ll make characters on the air to show you how making characters works in the exciting Dragon Age universe!
We write down concepts, generate Abilities, select Backgrounds, choose classes, calculate Speed and Defense, pick names, and determine Goals and Ties! It may sound like a lot but it should only take you a few minutes to do yourself!
We go through the process with sound, but below we include visual aids! Here are the character sheets we worked on during the episode so you can see how a filled out character sheet might look!
First is Jessica’s character, Nisha the Dalish rogue who is out for blood against the Templars!
The sheet looks a bit barren right now but that is okay, it should only be as full as you need it to be. They get a bit more full as they level up, so leave a bit of space!
Next is Jill’s knowledge-hungry mage!
You can see that she also picked out spells and placed them on the back of the sheet! Some of these are a tad blurry, as our camera is not as nice as our microphone…
Finally, you can see Khrane, Reyn’s starry-eyed dwarf duster warrior!
We also mentioned something called Session Zero in the podacst. We didn’t go very far into it, so we will elaborate what “Session Zero” is here.
Session Zero is actually the first session the players and Game Master sit down with each other. In this session it is common to chat about what characters everyone is making, what kind of campaign the GM plans on running, what themes may be appropriate to build character personalities around, help determine Ties that the Player Characters have with each other, construct Goals so they can be presented to the GM, and determine things like play times and venues where the games will take place. You’d be suprrised how much having everyone around to brainstorm can help!
Session Zero saves your GM and fellow players a lot of headache, so we highly recommend taking the time to schedule a Session Zero with your fellow players before you start your campaigns. Even if you have started, it never hurts to take a late Session Zero to sit donw with your fellows and discuss the direction of the campaign and your characters’ Goals!
We hope you enjoy the podcast and come back in two weeks when we release our third episode: How to Play the Dragon Age RPG!We’ll talk about the basic basics and get everyone’s feet wet with the most important aspects of the Dragon Age RPG!
If you have questions, comments, content to submit, or episode suggestions, feel free to leave them here, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org, Kot the Protector on the Green Ronin forums, or send your queries to the Facebook or Twitter accounts! Thank you for listening!
We realize that this whole project may have seemed shiny and exciting before and is now starting to look quiet and non-existent, and we do apologize.
Much is being done behind the scenes here at the Wonders of Thedas! Several episodes have been planned and recorded and are awaiting publishing! So why don’t we release them?
Once we release the next three episodes as a kind of “starting guide” for the podcast, we will be going full steam ahead with a new episode every two weeks! And to make sure you know how serious we are about this, I’d like to present to you the projected schedule for show topics that we hope to release sooner rather than later.
(This is a tentative list. If a particular topic is requested this list could easily change to fit what the listeners want.)
What is the Dragon Age RPG and Why Should You Play It?
How to Play the Dragon Age RPG
How to GM the Dragon Age RPG
The Warrior Class
The Rogue Class
The Mage Class
The Apostate Background
Constructing Compelling Goals
The Templar Specialization
Class and Goal Coordination
The Dalish Elf Background
Making Exciting Encounters
The Spirit Healer Specialization
Situations the Rules Don’t Cover and What to Do With Them
The Circle Mage Background
Stunts and How to Use Them
The Assassin Specialization
Being a Grey Warden
The Ferelden Freeman Background
Wealth, Magic Items, and Prestige in Your Dragon Age Game
The Beserker Specialization
How to Utilize the Video Games and Novels for Your Game
The City Elf Background
Putting Together Epic Mass Combats
The Arcane Warrior Specialization
Conversion Methods Between the Video Games and the RPG
The Ferelden Noble Background
How to Run Realms and Organizations
The Bard Specialization
The Differences Between Dragon Age and Fantasy Age
The Qunari Beresaad Background
Miniatures, Maps, Cards, Dice, and What Else to Use
The Reaver Specialization
A Primer on Attending Conventions
The Free Marcher Background
Epic Stories and Drama in Dragon Age
The Shapeshifter Background
Inquisition Book Speculations and Wish Lists
The Tal-Vashoth Background
The Fade and How to Use It
The Marksman Specialization
Making Compelling NPCs
The Escaped Elven Slave Background
A Primer on Roleplaying
The Champion Specialization
Making New Beasts and Other Threats
The Ferelden Craftsman Background
A Primer on Being a Good Player
The Shadow Specialization
A Primer on Being a Good GM
The Surface Dwarf Background
How to Introduce the Dragon Age RPG to New Players
The Keeper Specialization
Crafting in the Dragon Age RPG
The Nevarran Adventurer Background
Problem Players and What to Do With Them
The Guardian Specialization
Magic and Dragon Age and How You Can Use It
The Orlesian Commoner Background
The Creation School of Magic
The Legionnaire Scout Specialization
The Entropy Scholl of Magic
The Orlesian Noble Background
The Primal School of Magic
The Force Mage Specialization
The Spirit School of Magic
The Orlesian Exile Background
Campaigns Outside of Thedas
The Spirit Warrior Specialization
Inquisitions of Old and New in Your Campaigns
The Ander Survivor Background
The Qun and Its People in Your Campaigns
The Duelist Specialization
Campaign Frameworks for the Nine Ages
The Rivaini Merchant Background
Romance and Rivalry in Dragon Age
The Necromancer Specialization
Music and Sounds in Your Game
The Tevinter Altus Background
A Discussion About Talents
The Chevalier Specialization
A Discussion About Focuses
The Tevinter Laetan Background
Faces of Thedas Review
The Ranger Specialization
Advanced Topics in the Dragon Age RPG
The Tevinter Soporati Background
The Universalist Mage
The Blood Mage Specialization
The Seheron Convert Background
Joining the Seekers of Truth
The Chasind Stalker Background
Becoming Friend of Red Jenny
The High-Born Dwarf Background
Running with the Carta
The Low-Born Dwarf Background
Hiding with the Fog Warriors
The Waking Sea Raider Background
So, those are our ideas of what may be coming later for the Wonders of Thedas Podcast! As you can see, we have a LOT to talk about, and this list is just a suggestion. This is by no means a set schedule. If you’d like to hear us talk about something you should let us know!
Any episodes requests can be sent to the Facebook, Twitter, email@example.com, a personal message to Kot the Protector on the Green Ronin and Bioware forums, or you can leave a comment here on this blog!
So, last month, we released our first episode! The episode was very straightforward: why should you play Dragon Age?
We all had fun answering that question of questions. We covered most of the big points; the game is easy to pick up for new players and is fun to master for more seasoned players. If you like Dragon Age, then this game will be easy to slip into. The game creates strong emphasis on all aspects of adventuring rather than focusing most of the rules on a single aspect like combat. The Stunt System helps the game remain exciting and unpredictable. The world of Thedas is big enough to accommodate endless ideas and character concepts.
I feel like those were good things to say, but I wanted to go into more detail about the benefits of the 3d6 system, specifically. We’re gonna get into some math here; hold on to your silly hats!
The Dragon Age RPG came out about a year after Dragon Age: Origins did, and the game was meant to be a kind of companion to the video game. The Dragon Age RPG was made using much of the terminology of the video game Origins, but it was also made accessible to people who hadn’t played a tabletop RPG before.
Instead of making the game a d20 system like many of the other popular games of the time, the folks at Green Ronin decided to shake things up by making the game using three six-sided dice, or 3d6s. The primary benefit of this new system is that, when the dice are rolled, the statistical variation in outcomes is significantly lessened, making for more balanced play and increasing the relevance of static die roll bonuses. What does that mean? Well, for those of you who are gaming veterans: Remember that time (or those last fifty times) when you had a +20 bonus on a roll and still failed, because you rolled a 1? That happens much less often in a 3d6 system.
To elaborate, the dice create a kind of mathematical bell curve; the “average roll” of a six-sided die, assuming that all numbers are equally possible to roll, is 3.5. Sounds kind of weird, I know, but that’s how it’s supposed to add up. If you roll three of these dice, the average total number to roll falls around a 10.
Now, anyone who plays games with dice knows that you can’t always count on a die to do what you want it to, but this bell curve allows you to rely on the dice averaging out into a certain number range, meaning that the game has less chance of being noticeably affected by… well, chance. A d20 has the same possibility to roll a 1 and a 20 on any given roll, but with 3d6s you would be very lucky to get an 18 and very unlucky to get a 3. Because those two rolls require all the dice to roll the same number, you can still count on the dice rolling closer to 10.
What this translates to at the table is: you can do more stuff. If the dice are going to generally fall into a curve of possible rolls, then your character can try more things outside of their comfort zone with less fear of failure. If your character is good at something you can generally feel safe knowing that you will likely be able to succeed at what your character has worked very hard at. More success around the table means more heroism , more exciting stories to be told, more danger from the GM, and just more fun for everyone!
Now that we can rely more on those dice, we can just wait for those doubles to roll and choose how to spend those Stunt Points!
Welcome to the Wonders of Thedas, your one-stop-shop for all your Dragon Age RPG needs! Thank you so much for joining us!
As you can tell this is our first episode, and it is going to be a little short for what we expect down the line! We will give you a quick rundown of the most basic thing we could think of: “Why should you play this RPG at all?” We also include a bit of pre-recording shenanigans we had at the end of the show. This will be a regular thing too, we’ll call it “Post-Show” and it will likely involve more shem-antics like these!
We have many more things to talk about: classes, backgrounds, mechanics of the game, how to portray characters, statblocks for ready-made friends and foes, adventure ideas, and even boost content that you’ve made for the Dragon Age RPG! We are very excited to get started!
We don’t have a scheduled date for when the next episode will come out, but once we start releasing regularly you can expect the episodes to come out bi-weekly.
If you have comments you can leave them below, and if you have questions please send them to Kot the Protector on the Green Ronin forums, firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave them on the Facebook page or Twitter!
Thank you again, and we hope you enjoy listening to the podcast!