Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-01-2010, 02:50 PM   #1
Anaximander
 
Anaximander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Augusta, GA
Default GURPS Dragon Age

I will soon begin running a game set in the world of the Dragon Age video games/ novels/ whatever other media they've got. As a relatively inexperienced gm I am asking for help and suggestions coming up with setting appropriate mechanics that utilizes GURPS. So far I have created a few racial templates, which I will post here, and settled on the magic system that we will use (normal mana, ritual magic based on Thaumatology).

the Racial Templates I have created for the game are as follows

Elf 4 points
Attribute Modifiers: ST-1 [-10], DX+1 [20]
Advantages: Attractive [4]
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Minority Group) [-10]

The video game gives bonuses to being of Elven Race that don't translate well to GURPS, but the lore surrounding them made it relatively easy to make up balanced new ones. The only feature I could not work in was their higher level of "attunement" to Magic, whatever that means. The game lore is non-specific as to what that means, and granting them a level of Magery would make them an entire race of potential mages, which they're not. The Social Stigma they suffer from ought to be familiar to anyone who has played the game, but I was unsure whether to label them as a Minority Group or as Second-Class Citizens. I eventually went with the Minority-Group application because I felt it applied more universally for Elven characters of both Alienage and Dalish background.

Dwarf 14 points
Attribute Modifiers: HT+1[10]
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: SM -1
Advantages: Magic Resistance 2 [4]

I am pretty satisfied with the Dwarf template as it is, but I am open to suggestions on how to improve it. The only thing I'm unsure of is how to represent their immunity to the worst effects of Lyrium and their ability to craft magic arms and armor.

Qunari 24 points
Attribute Modifiers: ST +2 [20]
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: SM 1
Advantages: Reduced Consumption 2 [4]

This one took the most imagination on my part. Since they were not a race you could choose for your own character their abilities are unclear. All that I had to go on was that they are big, can live for weeks without food and water if necessary, and are a rigidly split society between those who follow their philosophy and those who don't. I thought about making their religious devotion a racial quirk, but it seems that there are Qunari who are not a part of it.

Some remaining mechanics I need to work out are Blood Magic, Lyrium and stats for monsters (especially Darkspawn). The current sourcebooks I'm using are GURPS Fantasy, Magic and Thaumatology and for reference on the game world I am mostly using http://dragonage.wikia.com/

Thanks again to anyone who takes the time to read this and offer suggestions.
Anaximander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 03:18 PM   #2
Sam Baughn
 
Sam Baughn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: United Kingdom of Great Britain and some other bits.
Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaximander View Post
Dwarf 14 points
Attribute Modifiers: HT+1[10]
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: SM -1
Advantages: Magic Resistance 2 [4]

I am pretty satisfied with the Dwarf template as it is, but I am open to suggestions on how to improve it. The only thing I'm unsure of is how to represent their immunity to the worst effects of Lyrium and their ability to craft magic arms and armor.
I'd say their resistance to Lyrium is probably just part of their magic resistance.

Enchantment seems to be totally different to normal GURPS enchantment. You don't need to be a mage to do it and it's all apparently based on craftsmanship and materials. I'd just define the effects of the runes and work out a price for them.
Sam Baughn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 04:24 PM   #3
Phantasm
 
Phantasm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaximander View Post
Elf 4 points
Attribute Modifiers: ST-1 [-10], DX+1 [20]
Advantages: Attractive [4]
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Minority Group) [-10]

The video game gives bonuses to being of Elven Race that don't translate well to GURPS, but the lore surrounding them made it relatively easy to make up balanced new ones. The only feature I could not work in was their higher level of "attunement" to Magic, whatever that means. The game lore is non-specific as to what that means, and granting them a level of Magery would make them an entire race of potential mages, which they're not. The Social Stigma they suffer from ought to be familiar to anyone who has played the game, but I was unsure whether to label them as a Minority Group or as Second-Class Citizens. I eventually went with the Minority-Group application because I felt it applied more universally for Elven characters of both Alienage and Dalish background.
In Power-Ups 2: Perks, there's a Racial Gifts Perk, which are one-point Unusual Backgrounds for traits that some members of races may buy. You could call it "Racial Gifts: Magery up to X"
__________________
"But mom, I don't wanna go back in the dungeon!"

The GURPS Marvel Universe Reboot Project and its not-a-wiki-really web adaptation.
Ranoc, a Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy Setting
Phantasm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 08:08 PM   #4
lachimba
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Sydney
Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaximander View Post

Qunari 24 points
Attribute Modifiers: ST +2 [20]
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: SM 1
Advantages: Reduced Consumption 2 [4]

This one took the most imagination on my part. Since they were not a race you could choose for your own character their abilities are unclear. All that I had to go on was that they are big, can live for weeks without food and water if necessary, and are a rigidly split society between those who follow their philosophy and those who don't. I thought about making their religious devotion a racial quirk, but it seems that there are Qunari who are not a part of it.
.
From the way that you have done it here the strength should have a -10% size limitation on it.

ST +2 (Size, -10%) [ 18]
lachimba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2010, 08:41 PM   #5
Landwalker
 
Landwalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cumberland, ME
Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by lachimba View Post
From the way that you have done it here the strength should have a -10% size limitation on it.

ST +2 (Size, -10%) [ 18]
I'd just remove the size modifier altogether, really. Qunari are tall, but not huge. Sten is probably no more than 6'10", and probably less.

If I may pose some questions about the racial templates above:

Considering the racial bonuses of the game, why are elves -1 ST? Is this just to try to establish the differences in Strength in the game caused by humans and dwarves having a bonus?

Why give elves +1 DX? The game doesn't give them a Dexterity bonus, and they're actually less dexterous than humans and dwarves. I'd suggest scrapping that, and giving them +1 IQ instead (to reflect their +2 Willpower and +2 Magic in the game).

As far as Dwarves' resistance to Lyrium, I'd suggest one or both of two approaches: First, you can simply say "Their Magic Resistance applies to resisting the effects of Lyrium." There's nothing really wrong with this, except that a MR 2 bonus might not do their resistance justice—dwarves are very resistance to lyrium. After all, the shopkeeper in Orzammar actually got Lyrium in his blood, and he's still mostly functional, whereas it would outright kill (and horribly so) a human. Sandal is a bit worse off, but still alive and healthy (if simple-minded). I'd suggest giving them Resistance to Lyrium (+8).

You might consider giving Dalish Elves one level of Extended Lifespan or Longevity, but those might be a stretch. I don't think it's ever mentioned how long dwarves live, though.

Just some thoughts. Good luck!
Landwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2010, 02:16 AM   #6
Anaximander
 
Anaximander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Augusta, GA
Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perfect Organism View Post
Enchantment seems to be totally different to normal GURPS enchantment. You don't need to be a mage to do it and it's all apparently based on craftsmanship and materials. I'd just define the effects of the runes and work out a price for them.
I agree that it seems very different from normal GURPS, but at certain points in the game they refer to Dwarves and Tranquil mages as the only people able to "weave lyrium" into the metalwork and thus create innately magic items. The runes were a neat part of the video game but I wasn't sure how well they'd translate over to my game, and even so it begs the question as to who makes them and how.
Anaximander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2010, 02:22 AM   #7
Anaximander
 
Anaximander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Augusta, GA
Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrock1031 View Post
In Power-Ups 2: Perks, there's a Racial Gifts Perk, which are one-point Unusual Backgrounds for traits that some members of races may buy. You could call it "Racial Gifts: Magery up to X"
That's interesting, but what would it do exactly? Make the Magery advantage cost as much as a perk for Elves who wished to take it?
Anaximander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2010, 02:37 AM   #8
Phantasm
 
Phantasm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: On the road again...
Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaximander View Post
That's interesting, but what would it do exactly? Make the Magery advantage cost as much as a perk for Elves who wished to take it?
No, it doesn't reduce the actual cost of Magery, but can be used to justify elves taking a higher level of Magery than other races might have access to.
__________________
"But mom, I don't wanna go back in the dungeon!"

The GURPS Marvel Universe Reboot Project and its not-a-wiki-really web adaptation.
Ranoc, a Muskets-and-Magery Renaissance Fantasy Setting
Phantasm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2010, 02:43 AM   #9
Anaximander
 
Anaximander's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Augusta, GA
Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
I'd just remove the size modifier altogether, really. Qunari are tall, but not huge. Sten is probably no more than 6'10", and probably less.
I'm still not quite sure if their brand of big warrants the Size Modifier or not. The rulebook lists the longest dimension for SM+1 as 9 feet which Sten is certainly not, but where's the low end of that spectrum? Would the GURPS version of Yao Ming justify a size modifier? Even so, it's hard to say just how big the Qunari are, but my rough guess was a Qunari adult male is about seven feet tall.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
Considering the racial bonuses of the game, why are elves -1 ST? Is this just to try to establish the differences in Strength in the game caused by humans and dwarves having a bonus?

Why give elves +1 DX? The game doesn't give them a Dexterity bonus, and they're actually less dexterous than humans and dwarves. I'd suggest scrapping that, and giving them +1 IQ instead (to reflect their +2 Willpower and +2 Magic in the game).
That was one of my reasons for doing so, but not the deciding one. The game bonuses for being an Elf were just not all that useful to me when I was creating the template, the -1 ST was as much a product of their small and weak appearance relative to humans and dwarves as it was the video game mechanics.As for my decision to grant them the DX bonus, that was of course, not motivated by the game mechanic at all. In the game you saw quite a lot of Elves with Bows and Elves Dual-Wielding, and the only Elf NPC to join your party is a Rogue (unless we consider Awakening). I was drawing on that element of their portrayal when I chose to assign the DX bonus. Of course, now that you mention it, an IQ bonus wouldn't be totally unjustified, but I might feel more comfortable with a Will or FP bonus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
As far as Dwarves' resistance to Lyrium, I'd suggest one or both of two approaches: First, you can simply say "Their Magic Resistance applies to resisting the effects of Lyrium." There's nothing really wrong with this, except that a MR 2 bonus might not do their resistance justice—dwarves are very resistance to lyrium. After all, the shopkeeper in Orzammar actually got Lyrium in his blood, and he's still mostly functional, whereas it would outright kill (and horribly so) a human. Sandal is a bit worse off, but still alive and healthy (if simple-minded). I'd suggest giving them Resistance to Lyrium (+8).
That's an excellent suggestion, thank you. I wonder if the Tranquil would similarly be resistant to Lyrium? Not that I believe I'll have any Tranquil PCs. (although...)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Landwalker View Post
You might consider giving Dalish Elves one level of Extended Lifespan or Longevity, but those might be a stretch. I don't think it's ever mentioned how long dwarves live, though.
I thought Zatharain (sp?) was the only Dalish who had the abnormally long lifespan and that turned out to be because of nasty Demon related crap. And no, they never do mention the lifespan of Dwarves and that's annoying to me now. I'm just assuming all races to have similar to human lifespan until I hear otherwise.

Thanks for all the help everyone! Keep 'em coming!
Anaximander is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-02-2010, 06:15 AM   #10
Landwalker
 
Landwalker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Cumberland, ME
Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Zathrian is certainly an exceptional case, but he's been alive for something like five centuries—he seems to have Unaging, tied to his use of what more or less amounts to Blood Magic to curse the werewolves. I believe it is mentioned, or at least implied, that the Dalish have slightly longer lifespans than City Elves, although their longevity pales in comparison to the agelessness of their ancestors. Whether or not you feel it's noteworthy enough to warrant a subracial attribute is largely a matter of taste, as all of the age-related flavor-traits have a pretty minimal impact on most games.

"Longest Dimension" on B.19 doesn't mean "the upper limit of the size modifier," but rather "The greatest length of a creature, whatever its anatomical structure." For me, the "Longest Dimension" would be about 6'4", because that is how much distance I cover vertically when standing up. Sten's longest dimension is probably no more than 6'10" (which would make him pretty comparable to a run-of-the-mill professional basketball forward). Now, you certainly can say that Qunari are SM+1—First, because you're the GM, second, because being seven feet tall is something of a gray area in terms of SM, and third, because Reptilemen in Banestorm are considered SM+1 even though they aren't much taller than humans (I believe it's justified by they're being very heavily-build, broad and thick as well as slightly tall). Ultimately, just go with what feels right on this. Remember that a Qunari's increased racial strength will mean that he is going to be taller anyway (as per the table on B.18), and you can always say that they're even taller than their ST would otherwise indicate.

As far as the elven attributes, I would go so far as to say that the game's racial templates aren't that useful at all, given that one point of Strength (or whatever) in Dragon Age is far more insignificant than one point of ST in GURPS. The one-point Strength difference between elves and their fellow races is pretty insignificant in the long run. You're welcome to give them a ST penalty in GURPS (it would also fit with their shorter stature), and write it off as "well they're slightly weaker and this is the smallest increment difference I can have."

I still would be care with the DX bonus, though, mostly because it's an even more extreme (to the extent that such things can be extreme) case: The game actually supporting the opposite. Now, you can obviously say "The game doesn't know what it's talking about," but that isn't really the point. Like you said, elves are generally portrayed as a weaker race, and I think that, rather than any inherent dexterity, would explain why they tend to favor ranged and light-melee weapons. If you want to reflect their equipment preferences, just give them a small racial bonus to Bow.

I think a point of Will, and maybe a point of Per, if you weren't willing to go all the way with a full +1 IQ, would be perfectly fine, although neither of those attributes impact the use of magic (UNLESS you decide to key spellcasting to Will instead of IQ, eh?). I wouldn't go with the +FP, though, because FP is keyed to HT in GURPS (whereas it is basically keyed to Willpower in Dragon Age, with the HT analog of Constitution keying to HP), and HT is really the province of dwarves. Elves get a +2 Willpower bonus in Dragon Age because it's trying to push you towards a mage, and that's what Willpower is really for—it never suggests that non-spellcasting elves are really capable of impressive endurance or exertions of great effort. Ultimately, that's a judgment/flavor call, though, and +1 FP probably wouldn't break anything.

Last thing: The tranquil are not resistant to Lyrium. However, their... condition... means that they are practically immune to distraction, thus enabling them to work with processed Lyrium with much less vulnerability to accidents than a normal person. Exposure to raw lyrium affects them the same way as it does other humans and elves—resistance to that substance is a uniquely dwarven characteristic. I'd say that Tranquil have Single-Minded and other concentration/crafting enhancing characteristics.


Edit: Now that I've thought about it in the shower, I have some ideas about how to handle the races uses base templates and situational lenses, but I don't have time to write it all up since I'm heading out the door to work. I'll think about it some more and see what I can come up this evening, maybe.

Last edited by Landwalker; 04-02-2010 at 06:30 AM.
Landwalker is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
dragon age, dungeon fantasy, fantasy

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:15 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.