[AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Discuss our dark fantasy adventure tabletop roleplaying game based on BioWare's computer game, Dragon Age Origins.

[AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby La Cipolla » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:23 pm

Wow, nice. I just paid one euro something and got a whole d&d-like domain-subsystem, including some new backgrounds and nice illustrations. :green: To explain: The main content of this pdf contains a talent system which offers very subtle, low-level holy (or unholy) effects for 10 different dominions (being effectively domains).

This pdf is just great. Not only does it give the age system another edge which was seriously lacking, it also offers a nice alternative to specialisations in Dragon Age as it works with talents. Thumbs up!
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Saisei » Fri Apr 20, 2012 12:53 am

Does anyone who bought the original domains in Kobold Quarterly know how different this is to the article that appeared there?
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Elfie » Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:00 am

The ONLY difference between this PDF and the original KQ article is the addition of two backgrounds. I was kind of hoping based on the description that they had updated the talents to clarify some of the more confusing descriptions, but they didn't. Other than the backgrounds, it's an exact copy of the KQ article.
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Saisei » Fri Apr 20, 2012 2:55 am

Dang. That's a little disappointing. Perfect for people who didn't get the KQ issue.

Thanks!
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby La Cipolla » Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:10 am

Ok... didn't even know about this issue (too much stuff in KQ which I don't need). ^^
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Zapp » Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:45 am

Sorry but I got utterly fed up with "player goodies" with D&D4. I emphatically do not need moar stuff in the give-me-more-bonuses sense. In fact, I feel that any game that focuses on creating stuff whose main draw is to allow players to exchange real money for more powerful characters is actively sucking out the fun of tabletop rpgs.

I can understand GR wants to do more with their AGE engine than the glacial pace of Dragon Age supplements allow for, but I really wish they'd focus on stuff that actually is inspiring.

And I especially would like GR to take a particular care in making this stuff easily pluggable into my Dragon Age campaign. That is, to make sure any AGE products retain the dark mature fantasy aspects that set Dragon Age apart from "generic fantasy".

Products that just as well could have been D&D or GURPS Fantasy supplements (were it not for the AGE statistics) is essentially worthless to me. Generic fantasy we have all too much of already; the main difficulty isn't handling statistics - it's keeping to the atmosphere of a dark mature fantasy game: it's writing the compelling stories, the multilayered characters, the interesting fates I want from AGE just as I got them from BioWare.


TL;DR: I didn't come to AGE just to mindlessly slay skeletons and loot tombs. I sincerely hope Green Ronin doesn't view AGE as a way to release generic dreck that just so happens to retain the same stats as Dragon Age; I hope Green Ronin views AGE as a way to release more superior-quality fantasy stuff than their DA license can handle! :)
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby La Cipolla » Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:48 pm

Generally, I'm with you on the "too many player goodies suck" point.

But then I think Green Ronin has gone the best possible way for this one: First the AGE Exploration line is obviously NOT predominantly for the Dragon-Age-only-gamers out there (even the title clears that one up), so they decided to publish it apart from the Dragon Age products, for all the many players who like AGE ant actually WANT to play something else than DA with it. Second, it covers an area which is reaaaally lacking in the AGE system. Seriously, if you want to play clerics with working prayers and stuff, this pdf is not a goody, it's essential. Third, it's 1,50$ -- I claim this price for this number of pages with this amount of essential content (including some nice illustrations) is in no way a rip-off.

This being said, I can totally see why it's not for everyone.
the main difficulty isn't handling statistics - it's keeping to the atmosphere of a dark mature fantasy game: it's writing the compelling stories, the multilayered characters, the interesting fates I want from AGE just as I got them from BioWare.

That's one possible difference in preference. For me, telling those stories is no problem, but having a complete, nice system for everything else (AND those stories on top of it) really shines.
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Loswaith » Thu Apr 26, 2012 4:48 pm

Well that comes down to whether you realy think a Dark Fantasy setting needs clerics with some kind of working prayers (sure D&D does it, it doesnt make it the only path though).

Given dark fantasy is often gritty as well, not having faith healers can work quite well. It tends to lend the ambiguity that the gods are more a belief/properghanda style effect than any realy powerful otherworldly entities.

It still doesnt stop it from being an interesting product, however.
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Nikchick » Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:39 pm

Zapp wrote: I sincerely hope Green Ronin doesn't view AGE as a way to release generic dreck that just so happens to retain the same stats as Dragon Age; I hope Green Ronin views AGE as a way to release more superior-quality fantasy stuff than their DA license can handle! :)


I just checked the schedule and didn't see "generic dreck" listed anywhere. :P
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Zapp » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:22 am

Loswaith wrote:Given dark fantasy is often gritty as well, not having faith healers can work quite well. It tends to lend the ambiguity that the gods are more a belief/properghanda style effect than any realy powerful otherworldly entities.

+1

A product that details pantheons as irrefutably present and how you gain kewl stuff for min-maxing a particular god, that's not only utterly incompatible with Dragon Age on so many levels; I've also seen it been done dozens of times during the last thirty years of roleplaying.
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Zapp » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:24 am

Nikchick wrote::P

Thank you for reading.

Although the current products indicate it is not for me, I will keep an eye on future stuff. I wish you good luck with your line.
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby jameson » Tue May 15, 2012 8:59 am

I liked this quite a bit. I agree that it may not suit Dragon Age, nor every group's playstyle, but I think it is a very well put together product for the cost, and its utility for groups looking to use AGE for other settings cannot be understated. My full review is here.
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Deirain » Wed May 16, 2012 12:27 am

I'm a little bothered by the number of players I see complaining that GR isn't releasing angsty AGE material. The system isn't dark/mature fantasy, the Dragon Age license is. And it's not fair to expect the company to only release content fitting with the Dragon Age setting. To put it simply: Dragon Age uses the AGE system, not the other way around.

It's also not fair to expect the company to do all the work for you. If you want the content to fit easily into your dark fantasy game, make it fit the game. Tomb of the Seeress fit almost seamlessly into my current DA campaign. The Scorpion Warriors became Snake Warriors and the Seeress herself became a jungle-related chimeric being. And the limited back story given made it all the more fitting, I haven't run anything heavily using Gifts of the Gods yet, but from what I have read, it could easily fit into my Dragon Age game. Maybe not directly through Divine Power, but the experiments involving lyrium infusion with Fenris and the Blood Magic experiements conducted at Warden's Keep both jumped out as possible scenarios for "divine" powers.
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Zapp » Wed May 16, 2012 6:01 am

Deirain wrote:I'm a little bothered by the number of players I see complaining that GR isn't releasing angsty AGE material. The system isn't dark/mature fantasy, the Dragon Age license is.

The quality is in the dark and mature. Not in the Dragon Age license.

The Dragon Age license covers Dragon Age stuff. AGE stuff can be dark and mature without using the Dragon Age license.

I want dark and mature fantasy adventures. But I don't necessarily need licensed Dragon Age stuff. As long as it shares the same ambience and aestetic, I'm perfectly willing to exchange orcs for darkspawn, Sir for Ser, evocation spells for primal spells, and so on...

Generic fantasy, on the other hand, is worthless to me. Converting a bog-standard D&D module to AGE statistics is trivial, and there are literally thousands of 'em out there already - we don't need more.

It is the quality of the adventure story, injecting mature themes and morality decisions, that I want out of Green Ronin! :)

Deirain wrote:And it's not fair to expect the company to only release content fitting with the Dragon Age setting.

Oh. From where I come from, Green Ronin is already producing too many game lines, stuff for too many game worlds, with too many game systems. For every fantasy product they do half a dozen superpowers products, it seems.

So I would definitely want them to focus harder on the kind of themes that set their DA and GOT licenses apart, and stop trying to compete with the Paizos of generic adventures and the WotCs of system building.

Deirain wrote:To put it simply: Dragon Age uses the AGE system, not the other way around.

To put it simply, while the AGE system is nice, it certainly isn't the strength here. There's a gazillion systems to use for generic fantasy already - while AGE is one of the better ones, imo, it's not unique in any way.

The way Green Ronin have made a few "angsty" fantasy adventures, on the other hand, is! :)
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Deirain » Wed May 16, 2012 5:56 pm

I had a response post, but it seems the internet ate it, so I'll post the tl;dr version, instead.

Zapp, it really just seems like you're upset about the fact that Tomb of the Seeress and Gifts of the Gods didn't include the "Dark Fantasy" tagline that the Dragon Age sourcebooks have. Without sounding like a condescending jerk, I'd be happy to create a thread explaining the different ideas I've had to fit the released content into both the Dragon Age setting and a generic dark fantasy setting.
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Elfie » Thu May 17, 2012 5:58 am

I'll go ahead and give a short version of how I'm tying it into mine:

The Gifts of the Gods are actually a HUGE part of my campaign. The powers are granted by demons who have been manipulating the PCs toward the demons' goals and even sometimes taking direct control of them. The players have no idea that these powers come from demons or what actually happens when they "lose time," but they are beginning to suspect.

In our last session, I introduced Tomb of the Seeress by way of a dagger shaped like a sphynx. I didn't actually call it a sphynx, but I said "the handle is carved in the shape of a creature with a four-legged mammalian body, feathered wings, and a woman’s head. The jagged blade is the creature’s tail." How'd they find the dagger? A cultist stabbed them each with it before dying, cursing them so that they suffer terrible pain whenever they are apart from each other. They'll have to find someone to help them lift the curse, who will point them to the Tomb of the Seeress (in the Free Marches probably). The reward they will receive, hints of the future, will be quite simply "Fear leads to Anger. Anger leads to Hate. Hate... Leads to Suffering." Obvious Star Wars reference, but it's actually a HUGE clue. The "ghosts" that have been giving them hints about the source of their powers are named Raef and Regna. The next they meet will be Etah, and finally Gnireffus. These are actually all powerful rage demons in disguise. Get it? Eh eh? :wink:
Last edited by Elfie on Tue May 22, 2012 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [AGE Explorations] Gifts of the Gods

Postby Deirain » Mon May 21, 2012 4:09 pm

Elfie wrote:"I'm awesome!"


I approve of this, so hard.
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