Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve most likely surmised by now that I am a fan of Bioware‘s role playing game (RPG) Dragon Age.  I have both console games, all the downloadable content (DLC), all the printed strategy and walk through guides, so it only stands to reason that as soon as I heard that there was a tabletop version of the game, I jumped on it like a fat kid on a cheeseburger.

Okay that analogy is old and I’m sure it’s going to piss people off, but it’s bloody true.

Every week, my friends and I get together to play an RPG, which one of us usually runs.  Every night we get together is called a session.  Every game we play is called a campaign.  The one who runs the game is usually called the game master or GM.  He plans the adventures the players go on, sets up the adversaries, and adjudicates the rules of the game.  And we also play different systems, set in different worlds, with different rules, characters, and classes to play.

Now, I’ve had this kicking around my house for about a year or two, always intending to get around to reading it so I could maybe sub in for my weekly GM when our normal RPG session can’t run for whatever reason.  Well, I’ve finally got around to reading it, and for a whole different reason.

I have two younger sisters, aged 13 and 14 now, and they have long known about all the crazy geeky stuff I’m into, and now they’ve expressed explicit interest in tabletop RPGs so I finally had the kick in the pants I needed to take Dragon Age down, dust it off, and start to figure it out.  All so I can GM a campaign for my sisters.

I don’t know if that’s awesome or not…

Anyways!  While we haven’t run an actual session yet, I have had the opportunity to read through it and figure out the rules of engagement so to speak.  And so far I like it. It’s not much different than most RPGs that I’ve had the pleasure of playing over the years, but it is one of the more simple ones.

There are 3 sets out so far for this RPG, plus at least one supplemental campaign book called Blood in Fereldan, as well as a Game Master’s kit which includes one of those GM boards with cheat sheets for stats, stunts and the like plus another campaign supplement which I can’t remember the name of right now.

Now set 1 of course, deals with character creation, the rules of game play and leveling up in the Dragon Age world, along with a brief intro to the world that the game is set in, the races, and the classes. In Dragon Age you’re only allowed 3 races: human, dwarf, and elf; and three classes: rogue, warrior, and mage.  Each race and class has it’s bonuses and drawbacks and the book that outlines them is quite thorough in helping you decide which one to go with if you are undecided or new to playing.

It also comes with a GM guide for first timers like myself, with a starting adventure called the Dalish Curse as well as three six sided dice, or d6 for short.  The first set covers levels 1-5, while the subsequent sets cover levels 6-20 respectively.

The system is pretty simple as I said.  The player roles all three d6’s whenever they need to make an attack, figure out damage, or pass an attribute or skill check.  For example, are they strong enough to lift a boulder off the ground.  Two of the dice are one color, the third is different and is called the Dragon Die.  The DD only comes into play under special circumstances such as breaking a tie.  If two players are trying to do the same thing, they roll all three of the dice and add up the numbers.  If they both roll 12, whoever rolled the higher number on the DD wins the roll and the right to complete the action.

So once you’ve made the character and figured out how the rules work, it’s a really simple and easy system to play.  I haven’t run a real session with it yet,but I have run through a few scenarios and everything seems to flow pretty smoothly and it is something I would recommend for people either new to GMing like myself, or new to world of role playing as a whole like my sisters.

I’m really looking forward to getting in the trenches for the first time as a GM, and hopefully nurture the love of role playing in my sisters.

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