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 Post subject: Dragon Age Mechanics
PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:40 pm 
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The Character Sheet
• Strength is your character’s physical brawn.
• Dexterity encompasses agility, hand-eye coordination, and quickness.
• Willpower encompasses mental toughness, discipline, and confidence.
• Cunning is a measure of your character’s intelligence, knowledge, and education.
• Magic determines your character’s innate arcane power.
• Constitution is your character’s fortitude and resistance to harm.
• Perception covers all the senses and the ability to interpret sensory data.
• Communication describes your character’s social skills, personal interactions, and ability to deal with others.

Each of the eight abilities is described by a single number, which can be negative or positive. A score of zero is the average for an average person—that is, a non-hero—in Thedas. The first six ability scores come from the video game, while Perception and Communication were added for the tabletop version.

If you look at the pregen character sheets, you'll notice something called focuses. These are areas of particular expertise that fall under that ability. These focuses are generally self-explanatory. For example, characters with the Persuasion focus are especially good at using their Communication ability to persuade someone. This focus is always a +2 to the roll.

It’s important to note that characters don’t need to have a focus to try something. For example, characters without Persuasion can still try to persuade people. They simply use their Communication score without an additional bonus. A focus is just an added benefit for characters with special aptitude or training.

When abilities and focuses are written out in the rules, or an adventure, the focus follows its ability. You might read “Communication (Persuasion)” or “Perception (Seeing),” for example.

Next, you’ll also notice some other numbers on your character sheet.

• Speed governs how fast your character can move. The Run and Move actions (see the Actions section) use Speed to determine how far you can go on your turn.
• Defense is the target number (TN) that your opponent needs to roll in order to hit your character in battle. (More on target numbers is coming soon.)
• Armor Rating measures your character’s physical protection. The Armor Rating is subtracted from any damage done to your character, including damage from spells, unless the attack somehow bypasses your armor.
• Health is the amount of damage that your character can take before he starts dying.

Each character has a background, a race, and a class. Each PC’s background is explained on their character sheet. It describes the character’s race and upbringing. One important benefit gained from a background is languages. The four languages present in this adventure include the Trade Tongue (which all characters know), Ancient Tevinter (a language used primarily by mages), Dwarven, and Orlesian. The last two are the home tongues of dwarves and Orlesians respectively, although most Orlesians use the Trade Tongue as or more often than they use Orlesian, even in Orlais. In Ferelden, the Trade Tongue is also called the King’s Tongue.

Each pre-generated character has two names, one male and one female. Each player can choose freely which gender they wish to play. You can also choose your own name, if you like, but it should be consist (Orlesians have French sounding names, Fereldans have English sounding names and Dwarves have somewhat Norse sounding names.) You can also expand on or even alter the backgrounds, but that will require DM approval.

The Dragon Age Roleplaying Game has three classes: mages, rogues, and warriors. A character’s class—their profession, essentially—determines their health, class powers, talents, and weapon groups, all of which are also explained on the character sheet.

• Mages are characters schooled in the use of magic. Circle Mages are members of the Circle of Magi, trained at a Circle Tower and licensed to practice magic. Those who practice magic outside the sanction of the Circle are known as apostates, and are mercilessly hunted by the templars. Mages use their spells to aid the party, using potent energies to blast enemies, heal allies, and offer protection.
• Rogues are those characters skilled in thievery, scouting, and spying, and are generally helpful in situations where a witty retort or a perceptive eye is necessary, rather than a strong sword arm or spell. Rogues generally wear light armor and prefer weapons that rely on finesse rather than brute strength.
• Warriors are characters trained in the art of battle who favor power over finesse. They have the widest range of weapons and armor available to them and are among the first in the party to engage the enemy.

Each class grants a character several class powers. Class powers differentiate each class and define their roles. A mage’s class powers grant access to magic spells, a rogue’s class powers grant the ability to backstab and ignore penalties for light armor, and a warrior’s class powers provide better fighting capabilities.

Characters also have talents that give them specific benefits that arise through natural aptitude or specialized training. You may note that talents appear to give different benefits to different PCs and NPCs. That’s because talents come in several grades (novice, journeyman, and master). To keep it simple, the descriptions of the talents in each case have simply been adjusted.

The pre-generated characters’ class powers and talents are explained on their character sheets and stat blocks. Mana points are more fully explained in the Magic section.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Age Mechanics
PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 2:39 am 
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Armor and Shields
Armor provides an Armor Rating that is subtracted from damage inflicted on the character. It also applies an Armor Penalty to Speed and Defense. Shields provide a bonus to Defense. Though several kinds of shields exist in Dragon Age, only medium shields are present in this adventure. If a character has the Weapon and Shield Style talent, then a medium shield gives a +2 bonus to Defense. Otherwise the bonus is +1. These bonuses and penalties are already figured into the pre-generated characters’ statistics.

Weapons and Weapon Groups
A character must be familiar with a weapon’s use to wield it effectively. A character can effectively use any weapon that belongs to a weapon group that he knows. The table shows which weapons belong to which weapon groups. A character using a weapon they are not trained in using suffers a –2 penalty on attack rolls and inflicts only half damage.

Each weapon is described by the weapon group it belongs to, the damage it inflicts, the minimum Strength ability required to wield it, and its typical cost in coin.

Missile weapons have three additional statistics: short range, long range, and reload. Short range is the distance in yards in which a character can fire that weapon with no penalties. At distances from short range up to long range, the character suffers a –2 penalty to attack rolls. Shots in excess of long range aren’t possible. Reload tells whether it requires a major or minor action to get ready to fire or throw. (For thrown weapons, the action listed is for pulling out another weapon, not retrieving the original one).

Weapons
Axes Group (Strength)
Battle Axe - 2d6 dmg, Min STR 1, cost 14 sp
Throwing Axe - 1d6+2 dmg, Min STR 1, cost 10 sp
Two-handed Axe - 3d6 dmg, Min STR 3, cost 20 sp

Bludgeons Group (Strength)
Mace - 2d6 dmg, Min STR 1, cost 12 sp
Maul - 1d6+3 dmg, Min STR 1, cost 14 sp
Two-handed Maul - 2d6+3d mg, Min STR 3, cost 19 sp

Bows Group (Dexterity)
Crossbow - 2d6+1 dmg, Min STR 1, cost 20 sp
Short Bow - 1d6+1 dmg, Min STR –1, cost 9 sp
Long Bow - 1d6+3 dmg, Min STR 1, cost 15 sp

Brawling Group (Dexterity)
Fist - 1d3 dmg
Gauntlet - 1d3+1 dmg, cost 4 sp
Improvised Weapon - 1d6–1

Heavy Blades Group (Strength)
Bastard Sword - 2d6+1 dmg, Min STR 2, cost 20 sp
Long Sword - 2d6 dmg, Min STR 1, cost 18 sp
Two-handed Sword - 3d6 dmg, Min STR 3, 23 sp

Light Blades Group (Dexterity)
Dagger - 1d6+1 dmg, cost 9 sp
Short Sword - 1d6+2 dmg, Min STR –1, cost 14 sp
Throwing Knife - 1d6 dmg, cost 10 sp

Spears Group (Strength)
Spear - 1d6+3 dmg, Min STR 0, cost 12 sp
Throwing Spear - 1d6+3 dmg, Min STR 0, cost 12 sp
Two-handed Spear - 2d6 dmg, Min STR 1, cost 20 sp

Staves Group (Dexterity)
Club - 1d6 dmg, cost 1 sp
Morningstar - 1d6+3 dmg, Min STR 1, cost 11 sp
Quarterstaff - 1d6+1, cost 3 sp

Missile Weapon Ranges
Crossbow - Short Range 30 yards, Long Range 60 yards, Major Action Reload
Long Bow - Short Range 26 yards, Long Range 52 yards, Minor Action Reload
Short Bow - Short Range 16 yards, Long Range 32 yards, Minor Action Reload
Throwing Axe - Short Range 4 yards, Long Range 8 yards, Minor Action Reload
Throwing Knife - Short Range 6 yards, Long Range 12 yards, Minor Action Reload
Throwing Spear - Short Range 8 yards, Long Range 16 yards, Minor Action Reload


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Age Mechanics
PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 4:36 pm 
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Tests
Dragon Age uses three standard six-sided dice (3d6) for tests. Two of the dice should be one color and the third die a different color. The different-colored die is known as the dragon die. You’ll make tests to find out whether you succeed or fail any time a chancy situation comes up in the game.

Since we play online, we can't use physical dice. So when rolling, the third dice will always be considered the dragon dice. So if you roll 3d6 and get 3, 1, 4, then the 4 is the dragon dice.

Simple Tests
To make simple tests, which are the most common kind, roll 3d6 and add the relevant ability. If you have an appropriate focus for that ability, add +2 more. For example, when attempting to stay in the saddle in a tricky situation you roll 3d6, add your Dexterity score, and add +2 if you have the Riding focus. A character may only add one ability score and one focus bonus per test. Always remember that you don’t need to have a focus to try a test.

Appropriate focuses for a given test are listed in parenthesis after the ability the test calls for. For example, "a Cunning (Navigation) test."

The sum of your die roll, ability, and focus are compared to a target number (TN) that represents the difficulty of the test. The harder it is to succeed, the higher the TN. If your sum matches or beats the TN then you have won the test.

3D6 + ABILITY SCORE + FOCUS BONUS (+2) VS. TARGET NUMBER

Sometimes the circumstances of a particular test will make it easier or more difficult than normal, giving a bonus or penalty to the total. Such bonuses are rarely greater than +3, and penalties rarely worse than –3. In some cases it’s helpful to know not just whether you succeed, but how well you do. The quality of a success is determined by the unmodified result on the roll’s dragon die. A dragon die’s result is never important if the test is failed, however.

For example, a character trying to blend in at an aristocratic ball must make a Communication (Etiquette) test. Assuming the character succeeds at the test in the first place, a dragon die result of 1 may mean that the character barely stammers out appropriate introductions and addresses, while a dragon die result of 5 or 6 might mean that the character conducts himself so gracefully that he impresses the hosts. In most cases the GM determines the precise effects of the dragon die. Combat and spellcasting are notable exceptions, where there are more complex rules for the dragon die.

Opposed Tests
Sometimes you must pit your character’s ability against another character’s ability. This is called an opposed test. In an opposed test all sides make simple tests simultaneously, but rather than comparing their results to a target number, the character with the highest total wins. If there’s a tie, the character with the highest dragon die wins. If it’s still a tie, the highest ability score wins.

The counterparts in an opposed test sometimes use different abilities. For example, a character attempting to sneak past a guard rolls his Dexterity (Stealth) against the guard’s Perception (Hearing).

If one character has a particular advantage over his opponent that’s not already reflected by his ability or focus, those circumstances may give him a bonus or penalty to his roll. Such modifiers are usually no worse than –3 or better than +3.

Advanced Tests
Sometimes a test is so complicated or time-consuming that it seems inappropriate to settle it with a single test. Examples might include researching esoteric facts in a library, navigating a ship through a storm to a far-off shore, or competing with another public speaker to win a crowd’s approval. Advanced tests are used in these situations.

Advanced tests are basic or opposed tests that require a series of rolls before success can be achieved. Each individual roll is carried out just like a basic or opposed test.

On a sufficient roll—one that meets the TN or exceeds the opponent’s result—the result of your dragon die is added to a running total. On an insufficient roll, nothing is added. (Or your opponent’s running total is increased, for an opposed advanced test.) Success at the advanced test is achieved when the running total meets or exceeds the advanced test’s success threshold.

Importantly, each roll takes a certain amount of time—a round, a minute, an hour, or any other increment—depending on the test, so an advanced test can be used to determine how long a task takes. Sometimes each roll also consumes some amount of resources. So, usually, an advanced test can only be failed if time or resources run out, or if—in an opposed advanced test—your opponent wins the test first.


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Age Mechanics
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2014 4:42 pm 
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Combat

Combat in Dragon Age is very easy to execute. An order of initiative is determined once, at the beginning of the fight, and then all combatants take turns in that order. Each cycle of all characters taking one turn each is called a round. When each round ends, a new round begins, using the same initiative order.

Initiative
At the beginning of combat, each combatant makes an initiative test using Dexterity (Initiative). This is a simple test, but rather than being compared to a target number, all combatants’ test results are ranked. Combatants will then act in that order, with higher results going before lower results. Ties are broken the same way as in opposed tests.

The GM will usually roll separately for each important NPC, but roll for minor NPCs in groups who all act at the same time, to keep things simple.

Actions
On their turns, characters take actions. There are two types of actions: major and minor.

On any given one of their turns a character takes one major action and one minor action. If the character wishes, however, he may take two minor actions instead. A character may also decline either or both actions and do nothing.

The most common major and minor actions are listed here. The GM can adjudicate other actions, using these as a guide. Actions even less substantial than the minor actions listed here are “free” actions. Examples might include shouting something simple or looking around. A character can take as many free actions as they wish as long as the GM agrees.

Major Actions
Melee Attack: You attack an enemy within 2 yards in hand-to-hand combat.
Ranged Attack: You attack an enemy by firing or throwing a missile weapon.
Run: You travel up to double your Speed in yards. You must be in a standing position to do this.
Defend: You gain a +2 bonus to your Defense until the beginning of your next turn.
Heal: You provide first aid to an injured ally. You must be within 2 yards of them and have bandages ready (per the ready action). Make a TN 11 Cunning (Healing) test. If successful, your ally gains Health equal to your Cunning plus your dragon die result; that ally can’t benefit from another heal action until he takes more damage.

Minor Actions
Ready: You unsheathe a weapon, pull out a tool, or otherwise get ready to use some stowed item on your person. As part of this action, you can also put away something you already had in hand.
Move: You travel up to your Speed in yards. If you limit your travel to half your Speed you can also fall prone, stand up, or mount or dismount a horse or vehicle.
Aim: You carefully plan your next strike. If your next action is a melee attack or ranged attack (even on your next turn), you gain a +1 bonus on that attack roll.
Activate: This action is used with certain powers or items whose descriptions say something like, “Use an activate action to…”

Making Attacks
When attacking an enemy, you make a simple test. The target number is your target’s Defense. On a success the attacker inflicts damage. On a failure the attack does nothing. Each pre-generated character and NPC stat block has a pre-calculated attack bonus that includes the appropriate ability score, focus bonus, and any other bonuses that always apply.

Inflicting Damage
Each pre-generated character and NPC stat block lists the damage each of their weapons inflicts. To inflict damage, simply make that roll and subtract the results from the target’s Health. If the target has armor, though, subtract their Armor Rating from the damage before reducing Health, unless the damage is “penetrating” damage, in which case armor is not helpful.

When a character has Health 0, he is dying. (There is no negative Health.) A dying character can talk, but otherwise take no actions. Unless he receives first aid to increase his Health, the character dies in a number of rounds equal to 2 + his Constitution. The GM may rule that NPCs simply die when their Health reaches 0, rather than bothering to wait the requisite number of turns. However, combatants can also always elect to incapacitate rather than kill their Health 0 enemies when they would otherwise inflict a killing blow.

Stunts
Stunts are one of the most exciting aspects of the Dragon Age RPG. Here’s how it works.

Whenever you make a successful attack and also get doubles on the roll, you get stunt points (SP) you can use to perform stunts. “Doubles” just means that two of the dice from your test show the same result. It doesn’t matter if one of the dice is the dragon die or not.

The number of stunt points you get is equal to the number showing on the dragon die. You must use your stunt points right away, or they’re wasted. You spend stunt points on the menu of stunts shown here. You can choose any combination of stunts as long as you don’t spend more stunt points than you have. You can only choose each stunt once per attack, though, with the exception of the skirmish stunt, which can be chosen as many times as you wish.

For clarity’s sake, NPCs can perform stunts just like Player Characters can.

Standard Stunts
(1+) Skirmish: You can move yourself or the target of your attack 2 yards in any direction for each 1 SP you spend.
(1) Rapid Reload: You can immediately reload a missile weapon.
(2) Knock Prone: You knock your enemy prone. Any character making a melee attack against a prone foe gains +1 bonus on the attack roll.
(2) Defensive Stance: Your attack sets you up for defense. You gain a +2 bonus to Defense until the beginning of your next turn.
(2) Disarm: You attempt to disarm the target with your melee attack. You and your opponent must make an opposed attack roll. These attack rolls do not generate stunt points. If you win the test, you knock your enemy’s weapon 1d6 + Strength yards away in a direction you nominate.
(2) Mighty Blow: You inflict an extra 1d6 damage on your attack.
(2) Pierce Armor: You find a chink in your enemy’s armor. His armor rating is halved (rounded down) vs. this attack.
(3) Lightning Attack: You can make a second attack against the same enemy or a different one within range and sight. You must have a loaded missile weapon to make a ranged attack. If you roll doubles on this attack roll, you do not get any more stunt points.
(4) Dual Strike: Your attack is so strong it affects two targets. First, pick a secondary target. He must be adjacent to you if you are using a melee weapon or within 6 yards of your primary target if you are using a missile weapon. Apply the test result of your original attack roll to the secondary target (in other words, you only make one attack roll and apply it to both opponents). If you hit the secondary target, inflict your normal damage on him.
(4) Seize the Initiative: Your attack changes the tempo of the battle. You move to the top of the initiative order. This means you may get to take another turn before some of the combatants get to act again. You remain at the top of the order until someone else seizes the initiative.

Health and Healing
There are three ways to recover lost Health.

The first is through the heal action, as described. The second is to be the target of a Heal spell. The third is to take a five-minute breather after a combat encounter. At the end of the breather you recover 6 + your Constitution in Health. But you can’t take a breather if you have Health 0. (There are also long-term ways to recover Health, but this adventure won’t last long enough to worry about them.)


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 Post subject: Re: Dragon Age Mechanics
PostPosted: Tue Dec 23, 2014 5:47 pm 
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Spellcasting
Casting spells in Dragon Age is straightforward.

A mage must know a spell (that is, have it listed on their sheet or in their stat block) to use it. The mage must then spend an action and expend mana points (MP) to cast it. Each spell’s description lists the type of action—major or minor—needed to cast it.

Once a mage has spent an action and MP to cast a spell, they must make a casting test to see what happens. This is a simple test whose target number depends on the spell, and is listed in each case. On a failure, nothing happens. On a success, the effects of the spell are carried out, with one important complication: Sometimes a spell’s target(s) are allowed a resistance test of some kind to avoid some or all of the spell’s effects. Instructions for these resistance tests are part of each spell’s description.

Mages regain 1d6+4 MPs for each full hour they rest. For simplicity’s sake, assume that mages can’t cast spells while wearing armor. In the full rules it’s a little more complicated than that, and the NPC in this adventure is able to do it, but the drawbacks are already factored into her stat block.

Spell Stunts
As with combat, rolling doubles when casting a spell lets you perform stunts. Also as with combat, you get SPs equal to the casting test’s dragon die result and can only choose a given stunt once per success. The stunts available when casting spells are listed here. “Spellpower” (a term used in the puissant casting stunt) is the target number of tests to resist a spell’s effects.

Spell Stunts
(1-3) Puissant Casting: Increase the Spellpower of your spell by 1 per stunt point spent, to a maximum of 3.
(2) Skillful Casting: Reduce the mana cost of the spell by 1. This can reduce the mana cost to 0.
(2) Mighty Spell: If the spell does damage, one target of the spell of your choice takes an extra 1d6 damage.
(3) Mana Shield: You use the residual mana of the spell casting to set up a temporary protective shield. You gain a +2 bonus to Defense until the beginning of your next turn.
(4) Fast Casting: After you resolve this spell, you can immediately cast another spell. The second spell must have a casting time of a major action or a minor action. If you roll doubles on this casting roll, you do not get any more stunt points.
(4) Imposing Spell: The effect of the spell is much more dramatic than usual. Until the beginning of your next turn, anyone attempting to make a melee attack against you must make a successful Willpower (Courage) test. The target number (TN) is 10 + your Magic ability. Those who fail must take a move or defend action instead.


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