Ronin Round Table: Threats of Thedas

Hey folks, Jack here. I wanted to take my next few Ronin Round Tables to talk about some of the concepts and new content we’ll be seeing the new collected Dragon Age Core Rulebook. In the spirit of the most recent holiday, I wanted to talk about monsters, spirits, and demons, and how they’ll be presented in the book.

Most of the adversaries in the new core book are the same as those in Sets 1–3 of the Dragon Age RPG. Dragons, demons, and other monsters that have already appeared are collected and compiled in their own chapter. However, there are a few new features, creatures, and changes.

The first change is organization. All the adversaries have been reorganized by type. All the demons are together, all the dragons are in one place, and so on. This is in contrast to the Sets, which presented level appropriate threats in each set. It’s not a major change, but it’s one that makes the book more usable in a collected format.

The second change is practical. Without Sets to roughly divide up adversaries we’re including a new statistic for adversaries, a Threat Rating. This divides monsters up into four categories of Threats based on rough level ranges. Note this is a range, so it’s not an exact ranking. For example, Genlocks and Hurlocks are both Minor threats despite Genlocks being a bit weaker than Hurlocks. Adjustments like presenting foes in large numbers or making upgraded (Elite, Heroic, Epic) versions of them can adjust this rating, but it presents a baseline to assist GMs in determining if a given foe is challenging or overpowered for their PCs.

The third change is new content. We will be introducing new monsters from Dragon Age: Inquisition in an upcoming product but we’d realized to bring the bestiary of bad guys up to date with Inquisition we needed to add some particular adversaries, particularly those from Dragon Age: Awakening. Yep, the Mother and her creepy creepy Children will be showing up. So will the Architect and a few other threats.

I’m going to wrap up here with a shoutout: One of our new freelancers, Matt Miller, helped me bring these creatures to life. I’ve known Matt for some time now and worked with him on Trinity Continuum Core for Onyx Path. He’s one of several new freelancers who answered our tryouts and because we had serious time pressures to get this done, having him help was a real boon. We’re going to be seeing work from others who answered our tryouts in upcoming works—I’m still reviewing and putting together lists of other writers to work with and will be contacting more folks soon now that the core book is in layout and approvals.

Anyway, that’s the news of adversaries and threats in the new collected Core Book. I’ll be back soon to talk about some of the other things we’ll see as well as news on some upcoming products.

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...