Secrets Revealed

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

Secrets Revealed

Postby Pramas » Tue May 05, 2009 10:33 pm

I wrote this for my blog and thought I'd repost it here, as it answers some of the questions that have popped up.

As you likely have read already, we announced our mystery license today and it is Dragon Age: Origins, BioWare's upcoming fantasy CRPG. I will be talking more about the game over the coming months, but I thought I'd start by going through the clues I sent out over the past week via Twitter and Facebook. They certainly led to some lively discussion, but here's what I had in mind when I came up with them.

"Next week we herald the beginning of a new age."
The new age is the Dragon Age, of course. I even thought about adding a second sentence to this with the word dragon in it, but I didn't want to give the game away on the first clue. "New Age" is also a song by punk legends D.O.A. and both the band and BioWare are Canadianbut that's just a coincidence.

"Something old, something new, something needed, something overdue."
Here I was getting at the nature of the game and what I'm trying to do with it. The pen & paper game shares some structure with the computer game, but uses its own system. "Something old" refers to the class and level nature of the game, which go back to the dawn of RPGs. "Something new" is the system I buit using it and other structural elements of the computer game. As for "something needed," I was talking about a really good intro game for new roleplayers. I don't think D&D has had that since the early 80s (hence "something overdue") and the tabletop roleplaying hobby needs new blood. It is not a coincidence that the first release is a boxed set.

"You'll find great adventure beyond the gate."
Here I was referring to BioWare's Baldur's Gate, one of the best CRPGs of all time. Dragon Age: Origins is the "spiritual successor" of Baldur's Gate, with all that implies. It is the next step, a journey beyond the gate.

"If you want to be a knight, you better be prepared to earn it."
You get two clues for the price of one here. First, knights in the realm of Ferelden (where Dragon Age: Origins takes place) can win the title through their deeds. In the tabletop game you will not start as a knight, but you can strive to become one. Second, this is an oblique reference to Knights of the Old Republic, another classic BioWare game for meatbags like you.

"No time for a day or rest when the world is imperiled."
Another reference to the Dragon Age setting. There are those who do not believe that the threat to Ferelden is so serious, and they of course are gravely mistaken. I posted this on a Sunday, and meant to type "day of rest." I realized later I had actually typed "day or rest" but I let it stand that way. Figured it couldn't hurt to be more mysterious!

"Few believe the threat is real. Will there be mass hysteria when the truth can no longer be denied?"
This is similar to the previous clue, but allowed me to use the phrase "mass hysteria." The pertinent reference is Mass Effect, yet another awesome BioWare game. "Mass Hysteria" is also a classic old punk rock song by Social Distortion, which has nothing to do with Dragon Age but it made me smile.

Now all the secrets have been revealed, I need to get back to finishing the game!
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Postby Pete Whalley » Wed May 06, 2009 6:08 am

Well played sir, well played.

It was fun speculating over each and every clue, and although the final reveal was a surprise, I'm looking forward to it.

I say this not as a CRPG fan, but as a class/level, boxed set RPG lover. Now back to work, and make us happy!
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Re: Secrets Revealed

Postby Galadrin » Wed May 06, 2009 4:23 pm

Pramas wrote:As for "something needed," I was talking about a really good intro game for new roleplayers. I don't think D&D has had that since the early 80s (hence "something overdue") and the tabletop roleplaying hobby needs new blood. It is not a coincidence that the first release is a boxed set.


Chris, you have an exactly right opinion towards the RPG industry. Kudos.
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Postby Jer_LRR » Wed May 06, 2009 8:30 pm

Hey, I even got 1.5 of your clues :). Social Distortion are also in town Friday Night -- the Universe -- it's caving in :o!
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Postby peteyrock » Wed May 20, 2009 8:18 am

Well, here's a minor worry.

I would imagine that most of the beginning roleplayers in the world are children. Dragon Age will be featuring lots of blood and some sex - as well anything else that helps it earn that Mature rating. See the Dragon Age: Origins Violence Trailer, and you'll know what I'm talking about. Warning: it features the aforementioned blood and sex (no nudity), as well as some no-no words in the music.

Will there be a need for a little warning towards parents in the new rules coming out? Or, do you feel that the book's actual content will be clean and how the game is played would be left completely up to the players and GM? I understand it's always that way, but surely rulesbooks hold some creative sway on what goes on in the players' minds.

Extra warning about the trailer: It has some spoilers in there if you've been following the game's thus far released information.
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Re: Secrets Revealed

Postby Lester » Sun May 31, 2009 4:11 pm

Pramas wrote:"Something old, something new, something needed, something overdue."
Here I was getting at the nature of the game and what I'm trying to do with it. The pen & paper game shares some structure with the computer game, but uses its own system. "Something old" refers to the class and level nature of the game, which go back to the dawn of RPGs. "Something new" is the system I buit using it and other structural elements of the computer game. As for "something needed," I was talking about a really good intro game for new roleplayers. I don't think D&D has had that since the early 80s (hence "something overdue") and the tabletop roleplaying hobby needs new blood. It is not a coincidence that the first release is a boxed set.


I am extremely pleased by this. I entered the hobby on Christmas morning when I was a boy of ten, and it was with the D&D red boxed set. Now my nephew's Christmas morning as a boy of ten is approaching, so I'd be very happy if I could give him the Dragon Age boxed set when that day comes.
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Postby Ars Mysteriorum » Sat Jul 18, 2009 5:05 am

peteyrock wrote:Well, here's a minor worry.

I would imagine that most of the beginning roleplayers in the world are children. Dragon Age will be featuring lots of blood and some sex - as well anything else that helps it earn that Mature rating. See the Dragon Age: Origins Violence Trailer, and you'll know what I'm talking about. Warning: it features the aforementioned blood and sex (no nudity), as well as some no-no words in the music.


Really? I remember a time when I played AD&D2e in secret because it was heavily regarded as Satanic and thus made people go absolutely insane and/or kill themselves.

Funny thing, the more Satanic game of the time (if you can use such an adjective) was Vampire: the Masquerade, which I thought was rather boring, even at the age of 12. It had nudity, blood, sex, and by that point no-no words were a fleeting concern.

That was the environment under which I became a new gamer, and I have an inkling which leads me to think I wasn't the only one.
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Postby Skunkeen » Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:27 pm

Is the Dragon Age RPG setting here going to be a more mellow nurfed down version then the video game will be visually and story wise?

Or will it depend more on the story teller to create the same atmosphere as the Video game setting?
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Postby Pramas » Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:30 am

Skunkeen wrote:Is the Dragon Age RPG setting here going to be a more mellow nurfed down version then the video game will be visually and story wise?

Or will it depend more on the story teller to create the same atmosphere as the Video game setting?


More mellow? No, the world is the world. A GM, of course, has the freedom to plan the campaign as desired.
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Postby Strand0 » Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:55 pm

What will the name of the first Dragon Age boxed set?

Will you be able to post a DA Character Sheet soon?
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Postby Strand0 » Fri Aug 07, 2009 7:45 pm

Could not find Dragon Age on Amazon Books. Hum?
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Postby Strand0 » Sun Aug 23, 2009 7:05 pm

I saw that the video game is being delayed... will you delay?
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The Adventure Begins Again

Postby Iltsuger » Fri Nov 06, 2009 8:56 am

It's funny, but according to a book I read recently, the 5th revision of D&D, called "the Basic Dungeons and Dragons" complete with rules cards, was actually one of TSR's best-selling products (which happened not to offset their mounting debt).

I always associated the old red box Basic set with the easy rules, but here's something that came out a lot later that was still trying to hit that basic mark, and seemed to do it. It's just by then, folks like me were already keen on ignoring the basic rules in favor of adding weird stuff like gnome automata and hopping planes! :)

As a long time D&D player I'm intrigued with getting to start over with a basic system. I'm frankly exhausted with complex systems and want to start from scratch with a new one that I can build a bunch of house rules on top of. Not enough games let players exercise their creativity now. Looks like Dragon Age will let me hang my hat there and even let me put in a new throw rug...

I'm pretty much guaranteed to start making up classes, magic, and talents when I get a hold of this. I'm not big on sticking to established rules, not anymore. D&D taught me that! :)
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