This was posted over at Dragon Age Oracle a couple of days ago, but I thought it would be silly not to crosspost considering this is the roadmap for the future posts here on the site. This way folks who have enjoyed what has been posted so far can dive right in with playing Pathfinder-type characters in Dragon Age.
Ready for some over the top, high-fantasy adventure? Readers of joshjarman.net know that I’ve been building a sort of Pathfinder conversion for the Dragon Age game. I say Pathfinder because that seems to be the most popular fantasy game available right now that’s built on the old d20 System Reference Document engine. But the point of my little side project is really only to port the race and class paradigm most gamers are familiar with from that and similar games over to the Dragon Age system, resulting in a project I called Dragon Hack. Whether I call it a Pathfinder, 3.5 conversion, or something else entirely, isn’t important. What is important is it gives players who are hesitant to play a game without a variety of customizable race and class choices an option to do so while playing the AGE system by Green Ronin.
Dragon Hack High Fantasy Adventures (PDF; 4.0 MB)
The AGE system presents some of the most fun gaming I’ve had in decades, and I’m having a great time not only running, but also playing games using the Dragon Age rules. Because my players were unfamiliar with the Dragon Age game from BioWare, and were transitioning from Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition, I wanted to develop a conversion kit, so to speak, that would let them play the characters they were familiar with while still using the AGE system I had fallen in love with. Make no mistake, my players love, love, love the Dragon Age rules set. We had a blast playing one-off adventures in the world of Thedas whenever we were on breaks from our long-running 4E game. But when it came time to jump to the AGE system wholesale for an entire campaign, I wanted to allow my players the chance to play the half-elves, halfling and dwarf characters they were familiar with from our Dungeons & Dragons days, and I already had decided that the next campaign would not take place in the world of Thedas.
So I started developing new backgrounds for stock fantasy adventurers when I realized I had an opportunity to develop a new system that would allow players to mix and match race and class options the way they do in Dungeons & Dragons games, so they could play whatever race they wanted while matching that with the class archetypes they were familiar with (Bards, Clerics, Paladins, Rangers and so forth). My original intent was to develop the new class backgrounds and race traits slowly over time and feature each as a new entry on my blog. I still intend to do that, but as it got closer to that launch date for our new campaign, I knew I needed a starting reference document that would help my players make their characters for the new campaign. So over the course of the last few weeks I threw together a reference document which presents a whole slew of classic races and class backgrounds, all taken from the Pathfinder game. Included are the rules for playing halfling bards, half-orc barbarians, dwarf alchemists and drow witches through the 3rd level.
The system is definitely intended to allow players to adventure in a more high-fantasy type setting than the dark fantasy setting of the Dragon Age game. I can say that character creation is a snap using the system, and only presents a few more decision points than the regular Dragon Age game before characters are ready to play. Once I had the document drafted for my players I realized two things: One it was a roadmap for the future posts I plan to make on my blog, and two, there was no reason not to release it and let other game masters and players toy around with using a Pathfinder-style race and class system with the Dragon Age game.
Give it a spin and tell me what you think of it. Feedback, questions, concerns, etc, can be left in the comments here, or directed to me over at joshjarman.net. I hope some of you have fun with it, and please let me know what you think.
One thing to note, however, is that this system very much represents power creep over the Dragon Age game rules-as-written. Each of the race and class backgrounds present unique abilities and powers that are added on top of everything the players get from their standard Dragon Age class choices. I haven’t had any trouble presenting my players a challenge so far, but they are only first level. The material presented in the Dragon Hack document is being playtested every week at my home game, so Game Masters keep this in mind when using this new system.
Have fun with it.