Tag Archive for: fantasy age

Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Preview: Staying Classy

Last time around we chatted about ancestries in the new edition of Fantasy AGE, which is just going through final production tweaking ahead of its PDF and print preorder release—soon! This time, let’s talk about classes

Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook

Four Classes?

We took a long time to get the new edition of Fantasy AGE together, and people wondered whether we were going to stick with the three classes found in the original game, or go classless, like Modern AGE and The Expanse. Well, the answer is that we now have four character classes:

  • Envoy: Our new character class, a master of influence who rallies hearts and acts as the face of group of heroes.
  • Mage: Spiritualist, sorcerer, sage, theurgist—those who concentrate on magical power, no matter the doctrine.
  • Rogue: Sneaky experts and agile combatants.
  • Warrior: A tough-as-nails expert in direct combat using virtually any weapon.

Class Tune Ups

We’ve changed each individual class as well, to resolve some feedback from playtesting and developer experience, as well as to help you better individualize your character to set them apart from other members of the same class.

Class Stunts: The new edition of Fantasy AGE includes class stunts. These are acquired as characters gain levels. Each class has its own stunt list, consisting of stunts that are slightly more potent than the stunts available to all characters.

Damage Bonuses: Responding to concerns about how damage scales in Fantasy AGE, each class has features allowing them to inflict more damage when they use a class’s special purview.

First Specialization: Characters gain a free degree in a specialization at first level. Instead of being a bonus for perseverance, a specialization in the new edition is a way to make your character distinctive from the start. And best of all, the new edition has revised and entirely new specializations to choose from.

The Envoy is a new option for Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition classes!Introducing the Envoy

An envoy is a master of social situations, building or exploiting relationships and group interactions. The classic envoy is an agent of a ruling court or council who both carries out the orders of their superiors and works to increase their own influence and rank. You can also use the envoy to repre­sent anyone who is primarily concerned with deals, diplo­macy, leading, or deceiving others, from a noble captain of the guard to a scoundrel with a heart of gold or even a con artist.

As an envoy you aren’t the best fighter in combat, and don’t have the stealth and subterfuge a rogue uses to pick off foes from the shadows. You can hold your own in a fight, especially if you can find weaker-willed targets to cow or bamboozle, but you are much more in your element in social encounters. If you are playing an envoy you should expect to do a lot of the talking with patrons, friendly rivals, suspicious officials, and tight-fisted merchants.

Primary Abilities: Communication, Fighting, Intelligence, and Willpower

Secondary Abilities: Accuracy, Constitution, Dexterity, Perception, and Strength

Starting Health: 25 + Constitution + 1d6

Weapon Groups: Any three of the following: Black Powder, Bludgeons, Bows, Brawling, Light Blades, or Spears

Level 1 Class Powers

Coordinate

You create opportunities for your allies. Whenever you generate Stunt Points, you get an extra SP that you can give to another character. Alternately, you can give 2 of your SP from the stunt attack action to an ally (in which case you do not generate an additional extra SP). In either case, the given SP must be used on the character’s next turn, or it is lost.

Dazzle

Whether it is through charming patter, a dour glare, cutting remarks, or the performance of tricks and art you can dazzle a foe, leaving them unable to concentrate on attacking you. As a minor action select one foe, that can hear you, to dazzle. If your Communication is greater than their Will­power, you gain a +1 bonus to Defense against their attacks until the beginning of your next turn.

Social Chameleon

You have two social classes, and two backgrounds. Deter­mine your first social class and background normally. For your second social class and background, you may select any different social class and then select any background appropriate to that social class. You select a focus for each background, as normal (thus gaining one additional focus).

Select one social class and background that represent the circumstances you found yourself in as a child. The other represents a second society you successfully integrated yourself into, gaining a new class and background by the time you were a young adult. For example, you may have been born into the life of a criminal but fought your way up to be seen as a dilettante. Or you might have been raised as a guilder but spent enough time with soldiers to be able to move comfortably among them.

When using backgrounds to determine starting wealth, use the higher of your two backgrounds.

Want to Advance?

Next time we’ll talk about level improvements, including the revised and expanded set of talents and specializations available in the new edition.

Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Preview: Ancestries

Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook 2nd edition

Coming Soon! Pre-order begins in February.

Fantasy AGE’s new edition is coming soon—and we’ve been remiss when it comes to telling you about it! If you didn’t get involved in playtesting, you may not be aware of some of the revisions in store. One of those is revised and expanded ancestries. Let’s talk about it.

Ancestries?

In the last edition of Fantasy AGE, we used “race” instead of ancestry, following what was familiar to gamers at the time. However, there was always some internal unease. In the Threefold book for Modern AGE back in 2019 we standardized to “ancestry.” This removes some problematic implications and doesn’t make us drill down on the ultimate nature of these varied fantasy origins.

2nd Edition Ancestries

The original Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook presented a small number of classic fantasy ancestries. The new edition features a much wider set of options—the following ones, to be precise:

  • Draak
  • Dwarf
  • Elf
  • Gnome
  • Goblin
  • Halfling
  • Human
  • Orc
  • Wildfolk

Some of these have been revised from the old Fantasy AGE Companion, but all of them have been reexamined. In addition, guidelines to play characters of mixed ancestry are part of the core rules.

Ancestries in Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition

Ancestry Talents

In addition to the core benefits of an ancestry, characters can deepen their ancestral abilities through Ancestry Talents, a new addition to Fantasy AGE that provide further benefits if you want to epitomize a particular ancestry. Each ancestry has its own talent.


Example Ancestry Talent: Dwarven Secrets

Ancestries: Dwarf Classes: Any

You live for the stone-hearted ways of the dwarves.

Novice: Structures and natural caves tell you their secrets readily. You may use Intelligence (Engineering) tests to determine your direction indoors and underground, including whether you’re going up or down, at a TN determined by the Game Master. If someone without this degree could do the same, you gain a +2 bonus to your test on top of any provided by focuses and other advantages.

Expert: When besieged, a true dwarf takes up the axe. When using a weapon from the Axes group, you gain +1 SP whenever your attack roll scores doubles.

Master: You partake of the endurance of stones against foul magic—or you call upon secret teachings to counter sorcery with the power of certain runes. If you fail any test to resist or reduce the effects of a spell, you may make a second test using Constitution (Tolerance) against the same target for the same benefits if you succeed. In any case, you must keep the results of this second roll.


Next Time: Classes

In the next article in this series, we’ll talk about what character classes are like in the new edition of Fantasy AGE. Until then, be daring!

Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition Coming in February

Fantasy AGE 2nd edition Core Rulebook

If you are looking for a new fantasy roleplaying game, your timing couldn’t be better because the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook is almost here! It will be available as a PDF and go up for print pre-order next month. With our Pre-Order Plus Program, you can add the PDF for only $5 more when you pre-order the printed book, so you can start reading the game as soon as your order is in.

 

 

 

 


What does Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition have to offer? Glad you asked!

  • Fantasy AGE is easy to learn and fun to play. You can make a character in less than 30 minutes, and you only need three 6-sided dice to play.
  • Fantasy AGE is a class and level game so it’s easy to transition to from similar RPGs. The core classes are Envoy, Mage, Rogue, and Warrior (social, magic, sneaky, fighty). You can customize your character with specializations starting at level 1. Choose from duelist, diplomat, elementalist, mystic navigator, pirate, skald, sword mage, and many more.
  • The heart of the game is the stunt system, which brings dynamism and drama to the table. Roll doubles on 3d6 to pull off heroic maneuvers in combat, cast mightier spells, perform amazing feats of physical and mental prowess, or even cut a rival down to size with a few clever words.
  • Fantasy AGE is a toolkit you can use with the setting of your choice. Game Masters have many options to customize the rules for their campaigns. For example, the mage class represents all spellcasters and the game has no de facto stance on the nature of magic. In one campaign, all magic might come from ancestral spirits. In another, there might be a strict difference between arcane and divine magic with rules to reflect it.
  • Fantasy AGE features optional rules systems for Peril, which ramps up the challenges heroes face, and Daring, which allows those same heroes to pull off even more impressive feats.
  • The Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook is a complete game, with player and Game Master info and advice, an array of magical arcana and enchanted items, a selection of monsters and other adversaries, and an adventure so you can start right away.
  • The game is built with the Adventure Game Engine (AGE), which powers many other Green Ronin RPGs: Blue Rose, The Expanse, Modern AGE, and this year brings Cthulhu Awakens and The Fifth Season as well. Each game has some bespoke mechanics to reflect genre and setting (Blue Rose has psychic powers, Modern AGE has modes of play and forgoes classes, and The Expanse has rules for advanced weaponry and spaceship combat, for example) but they all share a common core of rules. If you play any AGE RPG, you already know the basics of the others.

If you are new to Fantasy AGE, you can see the game in just a few weeks. If you’d like to get a sense of the Adventure Game Engine in the meantime, check out the free Quickstart for our Blue Rose RPG.

 

Fantasy AGE: Origins

I designed the Adventure Game Engine in 2008 for our licensed Dragon Age RPG that came out the following year. This was a big hit for us, and it didn’t take long for fans to let us know that they loved the rules but wanted to see a more general version not tied to the world of Thedas. To coincide with Wil Wheaton’s RPG web series Titansgrave, which used the rules, we released the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook in 2015 to great acclaim. From there the Adventure Game Engine became our house system, with Blue Rose, Modern AGE, and The Expanse following. One reason we began work on the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook was to take some of the cool mechanical innovations of those games and implement them in the game’s next iteration. Like the churn in The Expanse? It forms the basis of the Peril system in Fantasy AGE 2nd Edition, for example.

 

What Does 2nd Edition Mean?

Current Fantasy AGE fans know we’ve been working on the Fantasy AGE Core Rulebook for several years. We have not previously called it 2nd Edition because one of the original design goals was to make it 99% compatible with the existing Fantasy AGE line. Two things happened along the way. First, it proved difficult to communicate that this was going to be a brand-new rulebook with some changes but mostly compatible with the Basic Rulebook. Second, during development and playtesting, we found more things that we wanted to update or expand, so now it’s more like 90% compatible. For these reasons, we decided that just calling it 2nd Edition would be best. Still, most of the 1st Edition line works just fine with 2nd Edition. You can use stat blocks from the Bestiary and adventures with little tweaking required. While much material from the Fantasy AGE Companion has been updated and incorporated into the new Core Rulebook, Lairs and the Campaign Builders Guide remain quite useful for the Game Master.

We know Fantasy AGE fans have been waiting for the Core Rulebook for a long time, but now the hour is nigh! Thanks for all your support over the years. Your patience will soon be rewarded.

 

The AGE System is a Map

Nothing quite starts off a new year like a cryptic blog post title, so here we go! Seriously though, I’d like to chat about how I feel about what the Adventure Game Engine is as it now powers a wider array of games than ever: Fantasy AGE, Modern AGE, Blue Rose, The Expanse, Cthulhu Awakens, and as per our recent announcement, The Fifth Season. And of course, it all goes back to its roots in the Dragon Age roleplaying game and Chris Pramas’s design.

Unfamiliar with the Adventure Game Engine? We’ve got you covered with our handy “What Is AGE?” primer!

The AGE System provides nearly infinite story opportunities and options!

I’m the Modern AGE developer, and that means taking an expansive view of the system that has come to be my default. This makes AGE something of a map: The system has “bare metal” mechanical features I can play with in a number of different ways. Very few things about the system are fundamental, but what is there—the fixed points on the map—help me answer questions about how a given instance of the game is supposed to work, and what the play experience should be like.

Are classes essential? Modern AGE proved they weren’t, but that protecting unique niches still mattered. Spending points on spells and other powers? Not essential, but a sign saying power should have some kind of cost.

The core of the AGE experience is something I like to call a “punctuated curve.” The core mechanics are 3d6 + modifiers versus a target number. 3d6 outputs a curve of results, where some numbers on the dice, in the middle of the range, are more likely than others. So, a character’s abilities are fairly reliable. But this sort of thing wouldn’t be especially cool without an additional element. In AGE, this is scoring doubles and generating stunt points. Thus, in the set of successful rolls there’s just under a 50% chance of a more interesting success.

This principle doesn’t tell us what a “more interesting success” is, and of course, that’s up to what stunts the player will pick—and stunts turn out to be something we can greatly customize by a game’s genre and setting. In Fantasy AGE Trojan War, divine stunts can be acquired with the help of the gods. In Cthulhu Awakens, certain stunts represent mind-melting insights won through exposure to the Mythos. The Expanse has stunts related to spacecraft.

But that point on the map can be zoomed in on, divided by area, and customized even further. Stunts represent exceptional results, but we can split them off from doubles. This is how we get the stunt attack mechanic in newer AGE rules sets, and how we use Bonds, where we add an opportunity to do amazing things because of a relationship or belief.

This is the kind of flexibility that lets AGE work for multiple games—we strip it down, see what remains, and it shows us what we can play with to address themes and play experience. While we sometimes do aim for cross-compatibility between games, we usually don’t fret that option A in one game contradicts B in another. You can pick and choose when crossing over. The point is to generate familiarity that lets you make your own crossovers and house rules, while presenting lots of readymade options to choose from.

What do you think is essential to the AGE system? What’s flexible? What should be one, not the other? Feel free to let us know!

A Few Words on Languages

Tabletop roleplaying games can give us some funny ideas about languages and linguistics. At least, I know they did for me in some regards. Starting with a certain Popular Fantasy Roleplaying Game comes the notion that player characters are all multi-lingual, speaking three, four—as many as seven or eight languages fluently! This is often compounded with the notion that entire species share the same language, or that there are special languages for fantastic creatures from dragons to elementals to the denizens of different planes of existence.

Later RPGs have taken a more nuanced, and certainly more detailed approach to languages, including various levels of fluency, and things like complex charts showing the relationships between “language families” of earthly or imaginary languages, which may grant some greater understanding or closely-related tongues.

understanding the Language can be very important

“I’m not sure what you just said, but I don’t care for your tone!” Art by James Ryman

The Modern AGE rules have a somewhat laissez-faire attitude about languages. The sidebar on page 16 of the Basic Rulebook says characters should “be able to speak, read, and write whatever languages” they “would pick up due to their cultural and social class” suggesting a limit of three. The Linguistic talent in the game handles learning additional languages and requires a fairly significant investment, since talent degrees aren’t easy to come by, and each degree in the talent grants only one additional language. It would take a new specialization to create the true polyglot character who speaks a dozen or more languages.

Fantasy AGE likewise offers a Linguistics talent, for characters truly dedicated to speaking other languages. The game’s ancestries follow the fantasy standard of an ancestral language (all elves speak Elvish, for example) along with a “Common tongue” used and understood by everyone, for the most part.

Mutants & Masterminds treats language fluency as an advantage, one rank grants an additional language the character can speak, but each additional rank doubles the number of languages, so it’s fairly cost effective to create someone who speaks a dozen or more of them. Of course, in M&M, the ability to speak and understand all languages is on the table for just 2 ranks of the Comprehend power, so there isn’t a lot of point in having more than a few ranks in the Languages advantage, other than to represent the character’s own skill and knowledge.

Individual Game Masters have to decide the role languages—particularly unknown languages—will play in their campaigns. In some cases, the language barrier can be an important element of adventures or the setting. Others prefer to generally ignore the problem in order to get on with things; the Threefold setting for Modern AGE, for example, includes magical “universal translators” for characters working for the world-spanning Sodality, so GMs don’t need to worry about whether or not the characters speak any of the local languages—at least not until their translators are lost or stolen! Likewise, the Cosmic Handbook for M&M recommends Comprehend as a “default” power for star-spanning campaigns, unless you want to institute some form of “Galactic Common” that all alien species speak and understand.

When building worlds of your own for RPGs, you might want to give some thought as to how people say things, and what languages they are saying them in.

Last Chance Warehouse Sale

Last Chance Warehouse Sale: 75% off select print books, while supplies last!

 

After 22 years in business, the Green Ronin warehouse is looking a little crowded. With reprints and new products incoming, it’s time to make more space! These deals are for print products only. With limited stock and priced to clear some pallets, this is a screaming deal (75% off!) you don’t want to miss. With that, we offer you the LAST CHANCE WAREHOUSE SALE!

Please note the sale does not extend to shipping, and shipping fees are determined by the carrier.

75% off on select titles

 

Fantasy AGE Lairs Pre-Order and PDF

Fantasy AGE LairsFantasy AGE Lairs is now available for pre-order in our Green Ronin Online Store. When you place the pre-order in your cart, you’ll be offered the PDF version of Lairs for just $5! To take advantage of the deal, make sure to press “Add To Cart” on the pop-up. If you’d rather support your local store, make sure they know about our GR Pre-Order Plus program, through which you can get a coupon code for the PDF when you pre-order the print book through the store.

Fantasy AGE Lairs: Into the belly of the beast!

In this collection from some of the finest writers in gaming, each chapter introduces a new powerful adversary, including their lair, minions, and recommendations for using these threats in your Fantasy AGE campaigns. Also included are the all-new location stunts, allowing enemies and heroes alike to better use their environment in play.

Just some of the menacing monsters and their lairs include:

  • The ravenous Ghoul Prince, who rules his army of flesh eaters from his crumbling keep.
  • The legendary Clockwork Dragon, terrorizing the skies from its mountain stronghold along with its army of mechanical monsters.
  • The corrupted Dark Druid, whose twisted magic threatens all who enter his cursed valley.
  • The blood crazed Sea Queen, bringing madness and slaughter with her berserker minions, blood magics, and deadly living island reef.

Each lair also includes an adventure framework for introducing the menace into Fantasy AGE campaigns, as well as numerous adventure seeds and ideas for further encounters.

Fantasy AGE Lairs requires a copy of the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook, and works hand in glove with the Fantasy AGE Bestiary.

Charitable Giving Sale: The Innocence Project

Each month, Green Ronin selects a worthy cause to support through raised awareness and financial donation. For a limited time, we’ve placed Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook and Fantasy AGE Companion on sale for 20% off, with 20% of proceeds to be donated to help the amazing work being done by the Innocence Project.

Support the Cause. Shop the Sale.


About The Innocence Project

Founded in 1992, the Innocence Project exonerates the wrongly convicted through DNA testing and spurs reform of the criminal justice system to prevent future injustice. After more than 25 years of tireless efforts, it now serves as the core of a worldwide network of similar organizations, all dedicated to assisting and seeking justice for the wrongly convicted.

A noticeable majority of the cases successfully challenged by the Innocence Project has involved innocent men of color, accused of rape or murder, who were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death. By reopening these cases and introducing DNA evidence (that could have acquitted these men at the time of their original trials) the Innocence Project was able to exonerate them.

 

Race, religion, and ethnicity have all been shown to affect arrest and conviction rates. But the one factor that determines a person’s ability to fight a wrongful conviction is wealth. Lack of financial resources denies so many innocent people access to the legal resources necessary to secure an exoneration.

Poverty should not doom an innocent person to years of incarceration and/or execution. That’s why the Innocence Project, and its partner organizations, provide their services and support pro bono—to help bring justice to those wrongly convicted without the means to fight back.

 

If you’re interested in learning or doing more for this noble cause, please visit the Innocence Project’s website, where you’ll find a wealth of information about their efforts, along with a list of other local and regional organizations working to help address the issue of justice for those wrongly incarcerated.

We also recommend picking up the book Just Mercy by Bryan Stevens, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative—another organization which does similar work with a focus on mass incarceration, children in prison, and death penalty cases.

Bundle of Holding: AGE System Deals In Support Of Puerto Rico

Age Bundle of Holding

Through Tuesday, March 13th, you can get a terrific deal on Dragon Age RPG and Fantasy AGE RPG PDFs at Bundle of Holding. For just $9.95 you can get the Starter Collection, but you might as well meet or exceed the threshold (level up) price of (currently) just $24.72, and unlock $75 more worth of AGE System PDFs. Even better, 10% of your payment (after payment gateway fees) goes to the Maria Fund, a charity “with a mission to support frontline efforts to fulfill immediate relief needs and to organize for an equitable Puerto Rico over the long term.”