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AGE: What's the Draw?

Jan van Leyden

[MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION] asks whether Green Ronin's AGE could be *the* release of 2015, a lot of people are speculating about which world might be used for it, and here I am, thumbing through my set 1 of Dragon Age and wondering.

I've bought the game shortly after its release on the off chance that I might use it to draw computer gamers to the table (didn't happen). I only read through it and don't have any at-the-table experience. It reads pretty much like oh so many FRPs out there, with the stunt system sounding a bit weird (buying special effects after a successful attack).

So pray tell me: what are AGEs strong points, what does it do better, cooler, more elegant than other games? Why should I run it when I have - as point of reference - nearly evry version of (A)D&D at my disposal?

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Well, that was fun
Staff member
[MENTION=1]Morrus[/MENTION] asks whether Green Ronin's AGE could be *the* release of 2015,

That's not quite what I asked. The first *setting book* for Fantasy AGE is - according to Chris Pramas - maybe [part of] the biggest RPG news of the year.


To answer the other question, DArpg was great for its simplicity and speed, along with a setting video gamers knew and others could quickly be drawn into.

I started two sets of workmates on lunchtime games of DArpg when the only alternative I had was Impossible-To-Play-In-Under-An-Hour-4eD&D. Now those groups are playing 5e and Dungeon World, but some of them still ask, years later, if we can go back to DArpg for a while.

It's a great little system, and the only thing I found difficult was keeping the players challenged as they levelled. They always seemed to TROUNCE whatever I threw at them.


Guide of Modos
To answer the other question, DArpg was great for its simplicity and speed, along with a setting video gamers knew and others could quickly be drawn into.

Good answer. I'd say, after having only watched TableTop, that Dragon Age's strong points were the stunt system and bell-curve rolls. The latter, though, is also a hindrance, since it's much easier to read a d20 than to add 3d6.

Why run Dragon Age? Because you have a video game that can jog the imaginations of your players if you need it.

For the record, I think Mr. Pramas was misinterpreted - it's not the setting that will be the big thing. It's that Fantasy Age will have its own show on Geek and Sundry...(c'mon crystal ball)


I like the DA dice mechanic and stunt system but i was interested in the setting so I never tried it out. I am interested in seeing with AGE system core book.


It’s neat and simple, captures all the expected tropes of the fantasy genre, and you can imagine Will Wheaton and Felicia Day playing it.


I really don't know why it is still popular after so many years, since it is one of the most broken Systems I have ever played. :(

At first level it plays great. It's fast, intuitive, the stunts are really fun and the books are gorgeous (Art always helps to get across the feeling of the setting). But very soon it all breaks apart.

The biggest Problem is luckily one that can be fixed quite easily with a new setting .. the Spells. After several first and second Level Adventures we tried a 6th Level one and encountered a level 20+ Dragon (just to test combat against one of the hardest Enemies). And surprisingly it had no chance!

The mage just easily paralised it and the Dragon had nearly no chance to come ever out of it (and then the Mage could just cast it again)! And I just talking about a standard Spell, not an advanced one or some kind of combo, the GM even gave it a very high Bonus to it's saves and still just failed round after round. Healing Spells are also very powerful, a group without a healer is MUCH, MUCH weaker than with one.

Then there is a completely different kind of problem with the spells .. there are nearly no non-combat spells. Nearly all Spells are just Attack, Heal, Buff and Debuff Spells.

Also there are only three Classes and still the balance is way of. The Rogue is worse than a warrior in every way. The warrior is far better in combat (toughness AND damage) and the Rogue cannot even shine out of combat.

Then there are problems with the Attributes (some are more important than others) and how quickly they rise (which makes it very hard to make good challenges for the whole group).

I was really hyped about the game when it came out, since I love Dragon Age and had good Experiences with Green Ronin Books, but this one was really disappointing (besides the mayor problems with the staggered Release Model).

Jan van Leyden

So even disregarding Baumi's slating review I'm still missing strong arguments in favour of the system. Well, let's wait for the big announcement...

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