I feel like there are some things missing in this box set

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

Postby Aldaris » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:19 pm

Hm. Then I am just going to assume that first-timer GMs will start off running the "Dalish Curse" adventure, and that has plenty of encounters. Once that one is through, the GM should have some kind of feel for combat and antagonists.
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Postby Saisei » Mon Dec 21, 2009 1:39 pm

Aldaris wrote:Hm. Then I am just going to assume that first-timer GMs will start off running the "Dalish Curse" adventure, and that has plenty of encounters. Once that one is through, the GM should have some kind of feel for combat and antagonists.


I actually keep referencing the Dalish Curse to help me build my new adventure. Most notably for a 'solo' monster I just checked out the stats at the end of the adventure.

Now this may come back to bite me in the ass because I have only run Part 1 of the Dalish Curse. For all I know my players might breeze through this 'solo' and then I'll just have to wing it with my next big bad
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Postby chameleonshin » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:09 pm

I, myself, am not that concerned about the purchase of magical items (with so many potential sentient enemies, potions and the like are an easy treasure) and, at this point, I only feel a moderate burn from the lack of skills outside of roleplay, exploration, and combat, but the lack of explanation on monster creation really bothers me.

I was under the impression that the DA pnp RPG business strategy was to release small chunks of accessible information to rope in people who find other RPGs too esoteric or rules-heavy. Let me ask, then - why not include an equivalent to a CR system for people who want to use it, and include a note saying that it is not necessary to use the CR to plan your encounters?

People who are curious about RPGs would probably appreciate the guidance, people who have experience (however limited) with DnD (because, let's face it, it is the most mainstream system) will enjoy the familiarity, and people who enjoy experimenting can continue experimenting with encounters by ignoring the ratings.

It's fine to sit back and tell me to experiment with encounters, but I'm curious and coming from another system, and myself and the people I play with have to budget their time between recreation and school or work. I would have loved some guidance in creating monsters, because time wasted (even as a learning experience) is time wasted. You know what I'm doing right now instead of writing up a fun adventure that I know the players and myself will enjoy? Homebrewing a CR system so that I can write encounters that I can depend on.

I find DA to be intriguing in its simplicity and brutality, but would it really have been that hard for the author to include some notes about his monster design method? I've seen a lot of discussion on the board about "balanced" character creation, and I can't imagine that those same people aren't just a little concerned about "balanced" combat.
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Postby danbuter1 » Mon Dec 21, 2009 4:20 pm

lordmalachdrim wrote:
zorblack wrote:To Lordmalachdrim: Wow, that's...really quite a list of less popular RPGs. When you were playing Shadowrun and GURPS, what edition were you playing? I basically think the idea in both of those RPGs (from experience and hearsay) was that pcs very quickly became ungodly powerful and so enemy difficulty was not as much of an issue. Shadowrun in particular mostly followed a "waves of enemies" type motto to keep the pcs busy.



Shadowrun 1st -3rd Ed (just don't like 4th ed)
GURPS on and off a bit with 3rd and 4th

My players are big fans of Shadowrun 3rd, HackMaster 4th (waiting on advanced), WFRP 2nd (disgusted by 3rd), Alternity, and they rolled up characters for Dragon Age and are trying to work it into our schedule.



Yeah, but none of THOSE games are DnD 3e or 4e! So they are unpopular and suck!

(Or they are a heck of a lot better than 3e, but if that's all you know...)
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Postby zorblack » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:22 pm

danbuter1 wrote:Yeah, but none of THOSE games are DnD 3e or 4e! So they are unpopular and suck!

(Or they are a heck of a lot better than 3e, but if that's all you know...)


Thanks a lot for not contributing to the thread in any constructive way whatsoever, thus exemplifying my problem with some other posters on this board. You're super great! :roll:

Also to Lordmalachim: If you're really waiting for a new version of Hackmaster, you're going to be waiting for a really long time (think Duke Nukem Forever). They lost the rights to the ruleset and setting :-?. If you're making a clever joke based on injokes from Hackmaster's fluff, then good on you! I love the references they make to the player's association lobbying for saving throws.

To contribute to the thread: Has there been any talk of adding crafting type talents/focuses to this game?

Furthermore, I'd like to mention how utterly odd it is to me that the next supplement slated to come out is a huge book of precon adventures. I've never actually bought even a single precon adventure, and the system is as of right now really no more than a preview (levels 1 through 5 aren't a lot to go on).

Honestly when I made my first character I was interested in all the progression from 1 to 20, I didn't make a decision based solely on the first 5, so it just feels weird that rather than start rounding out the system with a wealth of core information, the next release is going to be more adventures. I want more rules, monsters, levels, skills etc... to start making my own adventures (and to decide if I'm really going to continue this game), not a bunch of premade adventures to run my characters through.

Isn't anyone else feeling the itch to get more source material to start really creating some long running campaigns? I can see from the forums that about 90% of the posts are home-brewing some rule or another or even a bunch of monsters and new levels just to keep things going, so some of you must feel constrained with five levels and lacking monster stats...
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Postby lordmalachdrim » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:28 pm

zorblack wrote:Also to Lordmalachim: If you're really waiting for a new version of Hackmaster, you're going to be waiting for a really long time (think Duke Nukem Forever). They lost the rights to the ruleset and setting :-?. If you're making a clever joke based on injokes from Hackmaster's fluff, then good on you! I love the references they make to the player's association lobbying for saving throws.



I guess you haven't been keeping up with things. HackMaster Basic came out earlier this year. The new version of Frandor's Keep is up for preorder. And HackMaster Advanced is slotted for release in 2010.


And now getting back on track with DA. I my self would love to get my hands on the complete system. Kenzer released HMB which was just levels 1 - 5, 4 base races and 4 base classes to whet the appetites for people at a fairly low price. And is following up with the full system.


When I first heard about DA I was hoping for something similar. Box 1 basic stuff to get started and hook em. Then the full thing for us to tear into and really see what this baby has.
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Postby zorblack » Mon Dec 21, 2009 8:55 pm

lordmalachdrim wrote:I guess you haven't been keeping up with things. HackMaster Basic came out earlier this year. The new version of Frandor's Keep is up for preorder. And HackMaster Advanced is slotted for release in 2010.


And now getting back on track with DA. I my self would love to get my hands on the complete system. Kenzer released HMB which was just levels 1 - 5, 4 base races and 4 base classes to whet the appetites for people at a fairly low price. And is following up with the full system.


When I first heard about DA I was hoping for something similar. Box 1 basic stuff to get started and hook em. Then the full thing for us to tear into and really see what this baby has.


WHAT? Just two Gencons ago they were selling everything with the Hackmaster name on it and complaining about how much it sucked that they lost the licensing, and I heard no stories whatsoever from the kenzerco booth from my friends this year! Madness!
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Postby Riggswolfe » Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:33 pm

zorblack wrote:Furthermore, I'd like to mention how utterly odd it is to me that the next supplement slated to come out is a huge book of precon adventures. I've never actually bought even a single precon adventure, and the system is as of right now really no more than a preview (levels 1 through 5 aren't a lot to go on).


Well the blurb for the adventure at least implies that it will have more setting info. Thinking back to the red box d&d days this is pretty much the model they followed though I believe they also released a gazeteer.

From the blurb and my own hopeful thinking here is what I hope we'll have in the module besides adventures:

Info on the 3 main areas the adventures take place in, preferably with a Denerim ciy map.

Some new items, magic or not.

And maybe a few new monsters from the cRPG that are level appropriate.
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Postby Batgirl III » Tue Dec 22, 2009 4:46 am

If no one minds, I'm just going to quote one of my longer posts to address this "balanced encounter" point.

Batgirl III wrote:Step two of my GMing style involves throwing game balance out the window.

The Dragon Age game is a dark fantasy world, with all its perils, contradictions, and surprises: it shouldn't be thought of as a “game setting” where reality somehow twists to always produce challenges of just the right difficulty for the party’s level of experience. The party has no “right” only to encounter bad guys they can defeat, no “right” only to encounter traps they can disarm, no “right” to invoke a particular rule from the books, and no “right” to a die roll in every particular circumstance.

Sometimes you fight enemies far below your skill level (and get to look like a bad ass), sometimes you gith enemies who are your equal in every way (and get to look like a bad ass), and on occassion, you are faced with an impossible to overcome foe... (and get to look like a bad ass!)

These sorts of situations aren’t a mistake in the rules, or a failing by the Gamemaster. Game balance just isn’t terribly important in old-style gaming. It’s not a tournament where the players are against the GM. It’s a story with dice: the players describe their actions, acting in my storyteller role, I describe the results, and the story of the characters, epic or disastrous, grows out of the combined efforts of me and my players. If things go well, I will be just as surprised by the results as the players!

The rules aren’t fragile, and the game doesn’t collapse if someone makes a little mistake or one character is temporarily more powerful than the others, or an encounter is “too hard.” Sometimes the GM will make a bad call. These aren’t tragedies. A roleplaying game is like the Internet – it doesn’t break if you push the wrong buttons. Game balance just isn’t a critical matter.

Now, when I say game balance I don't mean throw out classes and levels, the stunt system, or any other aspect of the rules as written. I mean during actual gameplay, you shouldn't worry about making sure everything is in some sort of esoteric balance. Don't worry, let the players go their own way and do their own thing. If things get to rough, they'll let you know. If things get to easy, they'll let you know. Roleplaying is an art, not a science.
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Postby Zapp » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:44 am

I don't mind!
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Postby flyingcircus » Tue Dec 22, 2009 10:16 am

I'll tell you whats missing, the rest of the game, LOL. JK. :D
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Postby Zapp » Wed Dec 23, 2009 5:50 am

flyingcircus wrote:I'll tell you whats missing, the rest of the game, LOL.

At the risk of repeating information ad nauseam, you do realize there are three more box sets forthcoming? :)
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Postby angel_lord » Wed Dec 23, 2009 10:59 am

And adventure supplements, game master aids, and goodies galore.

:P
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Postby DocEldritch » Wed Dec 23, 2009 11:33 pm

Zapp wrote:I agree the pnp game will need a wealth of detailed information on the lands of the campaign base that the crpg doesn't need or give.

But allowing this to be its own product will allow GR to make it better.

Keep in mind that there will be lots of players who when they get their hands on the box will start to invent new lands for themselves.

I know I did that when I first got hold of my first rpgs, which like Dragon Age were boxed sets, back 25 years or so. :)

So believe me it is not a horrible omission from the first box set to not have complete details on Ferelden and surrounding lands.

Sure, its an inconvenience to lazy people like you and me. But we're not the #1 priority market group for this game, remember.


Bolded section for what I am really responding to here. This is something I am very likely to do myself! It seems like the DA world is one that is open enough to add and futz around with things, and not necessarily set them in the exact same locations as the video game. I mean, sure you could retell the video game with the rpg, but you could also explore other areas of the world (also likely suffering from Blight effects or other things). They might not be described (or even on the map we have seen so far), but so what? Back in the old red box DnD days, there were no maps of the world! Every DM made stuff up as they went. I like having the framework to build on, but creating stuff up out of whole cloth is quite a bit of fun. And can be entertaining for the players as well.
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Postby Warden-UK » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:57 am

Yeah who is to say the world doesn't have a few massive continents on it.

Faerun, Mystara, Greyhawk and Harn anyone?

Oooh the possibilities
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Postby Batgirl III » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:13 am

I'm also refuse to accept that I'm the only one who thought, "Gee, I wonder how I could make this work with Mass Effect." when they heard that BioWare was handing GR the DA license. :lol:
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Postby Ryngard » Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:28 am

Batgirl III wrote:I'm also refuse to accept that I'm the only one who thought, "Gee, I wonder how I could make this work with Mass Effect." when they heard that BioWare was handing GR the DA license. :lol:


You got that right! I'm dying for a ME:RPG! Then my fantasy and sci-fi needs are met with two unique and rich settings. Badabing!
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Postby Gairten » Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:41 am

With Mass Effect 2 coming out and the quality and popularity of the franchise (novels and all), I find it highly likely that a ME RPG won't be far behind. The only question is who will publish it and how long it will take (and I guess how well they would make it). I so love that game. :P
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Postby angel_lord » Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:28 pm

At this stage the possibilities are endless. It's nice to be able to build onto something like this.
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Postby lordmalachdrim » Thu Dec 24, 2009 2:12 pm

From Twitter:

"# Having a conference call with Hal, Steve, and Jon about an unannounced project. What we do is secret. #Pramas 4 days ago"


Who knows...
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Postby jc_madden » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:20 pm

Ooooh an A.G.E. ME game would be awesome!
Follow along with my PbP Dragon Age game here.
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Postby Zapp » Thu Dec 24, 2009 3:32 pm

Sure - but the resources and manpower of Green Ronin are limited...

I really hope they stick by Dragon Age for a few years before moving on to greener pastures! :)
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Postby Mezinger » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:37 pm

I must say that as a first time buyer of the set 1 type RPG I was a bit surprised at first, but now I quite appreciate the model with bite size pieces of investment rather than 5+ expensive hardcover books to get started... (AD&D 2nd ed D&D 3rd et al).

Overall I am pleased with what came in the set 1 box, that said you can't really ever get enough... Batgirl III did an awesome job on recording the codex entries from the CRPG

(Sorry insufficient (<2) posts to post a URL)

Is there a wiki project getting off the ground where the PNP community can share and collaborate on resources?

Looking forward to the forthcoming official materials and making and sharing our own!

PS. I like the lack of xp rating for monsters and challenge ratings et al, there's actually very little I would change so far in terms of the rules or implementing house rules.... instead I will be relying on "GM fiat" ;0)
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Postby Riggswolfe » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:16 pm

lordmalachdrim wrote:From Twitter:

"# Having a conference call with Hal, Steve, and Jon about an unannounced project. What we do is secret. #Pramas 4 days ago"


Who knows...


Who are Hal, Steve, and Jon? Are they Green Ronin employees? Bioware employees? Someone else?
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Postby Batgirl III » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:40 pm

Best guess? Hal Mangold, Steve Kenson, and Jon Leitheusser.

Hal Mangold, was Art Director and Grapaphic Designer for DARPG.
Steve Kenson, wrote Dalish Curse for DARPG but is best known as the creator of M&M.
Jon Leitheusser was a developer for DARPG and other Green Ronin projects.
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