Ronin Round Table: Encounters, Faces, and Beasts: What’s New with Dragon Age

By Jack Norris

Hello everyone, hope the holidays are treating you well! Jack here to give you some news about two new PDF series we’ll be releasing for Dragon Age in the new year and a continuation of an existing series.

First up, let’s talk about the one we’ve already got. The AGE Bestiary series has been going well, and providing Dragon Age and AGE groups with new monsters for their games. We’re continuing this line into 2014 and to do that I’ve got some help. Writing most of the Bestiaries in the first half of the year and hopefully beyond is Byron Molix. Byron’s a relative newcomer in the freelancer scene but he’s done some frankly amazing fan content since the early 2000s and has some existing new original releases planned soon. He’s a big superhero fan and takes the time to consume various media as well as produce it, which means he and I speak the same language and understands the role monsters and antagonists play in stories, games, etc… beyond just "that thing we beat up last week." I’m super excited to see what he’s coming up with. You can check out some of Byron’s stuff at his website.

Next is our new adventure series currently titled Encounters in Thedas, though we’re considering other titles. These are a series of short encounter-style adventures designed to pick up and get a group rolling into adventure right away. Unlike our other adventures like Blood in Ferelden and the upcoming Deep Roads, these are focused on a single or short series of encounters that GMs can then spin off into new and exciting adventures. Given their length, most of these will rely on established resources fairly heavily, but we’re going to be trying to work in one or two new cool things into each (a new monster, item, etc…). I’ve written the first one already and have brought on John Rossomangno to help with the first half of next year. John’s done some really great adventure writing for D&D and has decades of experience with fantasy gaming in particular. He also admits to consuming a lot more "non-geek" media than "geek" these days, which I take as a huge plus since there’s a ton of wonderful stories and ideas from history, classic literature, and such that provide wonderful inspiration for games.

I have a lot of confidence in these two and want to welcome to them to the team! I’ll be talking with others freelancers soon about other projects (both folks you’ve probably heard of and some maybe you haven’t), but I wanted to introduce these guys now.

So that leaves the last new PDF series. Well, okay, technically we’re returning to an older series but with a new format and schedule. Yep, we’re bringing back Faces of Thedas. A series of PDF releases, each entry will focus on one important character in the Dragon Age setting. Mostly these will be the companions that fans of the Dragon Age games will know well, but other important personas are definitely a possibility. I’ll be handling the writing on this one for the moment. I’ve done a lot of writing on licensed characters over the past few years (Smallville, Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, DC Adventures) and I’d like to think I’ve got a decent handle on how to balance being faithful to canon and focusing on what’s most useful in play.

All of these series are planned to kick off at the beginning of next year. The Bestiary will get one more release this year as well, but then a short break while we gear up for taking it monthly in 2014. While these are going, Chris Pramas will be putting the finishing touches on Set 3, and I’ll be working with Bioware to figure out the best way to develop an upcoming project I can’t say much about yet but I’m looking forward to returning to discuss as soon as I can. Hope everyone else is as excited as I am to see more content for AGE and Dragon Age in 2014. It’s gonna be a great year!

Jack Norris

A writer and game designer since the mid 1990s, Jack Norris has worked on numerous award winning and critically acclaimed publications over the last two decades, including products for Marvel Heroic Roleplaying, DC Adventures, Scion, Mutants and Masterminds, and Feng Shui.He is currently working at Green Ronin developing Dragon Age, as well as co-developing other projects such as Blue Rose. Outside of his work for Green Ronin and others, Jack also designs and writes Tianxia, his own line of wu xia/kung fu action rpg products published through Vigilance Press. When not writing and designing, Jack is an attorney and consultant at the Vidar Law Group, a small Chicago-based litigation firm.

Jack also hates writing bios...