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Old 04-02-2010, 08:22 AM   #11
Delcar
 
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Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Good stuff, and good luck with this.

Has anyone looked at Green Ronins RPG for Dragon Age yet? I'm hoping it has a lot of background data.

A few thoughts:

Dwarves

I get the impression that if the dwarves live longer than humans, its not the hundreds of years that more Tolkien-esque dwarves live. Dagna makes a comment to the effect of "I've waited eighteen years, I can wait a little longer."

She acts like an enthusiastic young adult, and still has to worry about what her parents think. I'm guessing she wasn't born wanting to study magic so I'd guess she's probably about twenty-five.

It doesn't affect game play much at all, so if you cared about it, one level of Extended Lifespan is probably sufficient.

I also second the idea of Resistant to Lyrium or else they could potentially shrug off healing spells and other beneficial spells. (Which the game sort of models where potions are concerned etc. by their stats.)

Just an off-topicish observation, I assume the dwarves have access to decent healing of some sort, since they call for healers during the proving. Any thoughts about dwarven alchemy? (herbalism would be the DA:O skill, but I imagine they use as many or more mineral components)

Elves

A dexterity boost is huge, but not game-breaking, and I like that it makes the template nice and cheap.

If the Dalish elves live longer, its probably more due to nutrition and sanitation than any 'recovery of lost elvish ways'.

Warden: "Elves have strange powers."
Sten: "Being easily conquered does not constitute a 'power'."


Qunari

As was pointed out, Qunari are going to be tall by virtue of their high strength, you could always also assign a feature "Height determined by strength +X" to make them all tend to be large.

Reduced consumption is a nice touch, based on Sten's time in the cage, but he could just be a tough, hardy bastard; I'm not sure every Qunari could have survived it.

And since everyone in DA:O can trade armor at will, clearly they're all SM+0 :D

Runes and Enchanting

From a GM's point of view I'm torn on the way runes work; I'd try like hell to make it NPC only, or else the PC's could be juggling runes before every fight. I -like- the thought of upgrading a weapon as you 'level up', but it needs some controls.

Beat your players with a bat if they even approach Dragon Age: Awakening and want to runecraft.

Landwalker makes a great point about the tranquil being single minded and having excellent concentration, its not a trade off I'd make personally.

Another question, what about Mabari PCs? Here's what I've come up with:

Mabari (-7 points)
DX +1 [20]
IQ -2 [-40]
HT +2 [20]
Will +2 [10]
Per +4 [20]
SM 0
Discriminatory Smell [15]
Enhanced Move .5 [10]
Sharp Teeth [1]
Cannot Speak [-15]
Chummy [-5]
Hidebound [-5]
Horizontal [-10]
No Fine Manipulators [-30]
Social Stigma (Valuable Property) [-10]
Brawling DX+2 [4]
Tracking Per+2 [8]

You could make a case for taboo trait Fixed IQ, and all sorts of other disadvantages.

How many points are you going to start players with? The templates are fairly cheap so far.
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Old 04-02-2010, 10:40 AM   #12
Corlock Striker
 
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Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

The Dalish elves might also get a starting bonus to History (Elven). Learning their history is a pretty big deal after all. Possibly also an Obsession (Elven History).
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Old 04-02-2010, 01:42 PM   #13
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Interesting thread! I was kicking around the DA concept for a Gurps campaign myself. I have the hardcover collectors edition of the Prima Guide for Dragon Age, and it has a special section in the back with in depth campaign setting material. Pretty good stuff, really.

As to Green Ronin's pen and paper game, I was very surprised at how much I like it. It is very retro in it's feel, but incorporates some cool but simple mechanics. It's rules lite though, so if you want the crunch of Gurps, avoid getting this game. It's not worth buying for the background information either, because it is very brief. I have much more source material in the back of my Prima Guide than in my boxed rpg set. In all fairness though, this is set 1, geared toward people who are brand spanking new to tabletop rpgs, and covers only basics and levels 1-5. More boxed sets are coming out to expand on it, so we'll see how it evolves.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:00 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Piperdog View Post
Interesting thread! I was kicking around the DA concept for a Gurps campaign myself. I have the hardcover collectors edition of the Prima Guide for Dragon Age, and it has a special section in the back with in depth campaign setting material. Pretty good stuff, really.

As to Green Ronin's pen and paper game, I was very surprised at how much I like it. It is very retro in it's feel, but incorporates some cool but simple mechanics. It's rules lite though, so if you want the crunch of Gurps, avoid getting this game. It's not worth buying for the background information either, because it is very brief. I have much more source material in the back of my Prima Guide than in my boxed rpg set. In all fairness though, this is set 1, geared toward people who are brand spanking new to tabletop rpgs, and covers only basics and levels 1-5. More boxed sets are coming out to expand on it, so we'll see how it evolves.
Good to know Piper - I've been avoiding guidebooks for a while now, but may get the DAO one.
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Old 04-02-2010, 02:44 PM   #15
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Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Landwalker: seems you were right about the Tranquil. To quote their entry on the dragon age wiki: “The Tranquil use lyrium to enchant items, providing the Circle its main source of funding. They have no innate resistance to its effects, but they possess a level of concentration far beyond a normal person's and thus are less likely to make a mistake while handling it.”

Delcar: I bought the Green Ronin RPG and found it gave a lot of neat background on Fereldan society and politics, most of which seems to have been added to the wiki. Altogether I was not impressed with the game system though. I love that Mabari template! I am so using that, even though we’re unlikely to actually encounter any of those big, loveable wardogs (my campaign is not set in Fereldan, at least not yet). But hey, Ash warrior mercenaries encountered in the Free Marches are not totally impossible, they’re merely preposterous :P. I think I will give them that Fixed IQ trait though. I am starting my players with 125 points and so far I've got a veteran Tevinter soldier and an Avvar apostate mage in my group.

So now the racial templates look like this:

Elf 9 points
Attribute Modifiers: ST-1 [-10], DX+1 [20]
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: Will+1 [5]
Advantages: Attractive [4]
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Minority Group) [-10]

Still not sure what exactly to do with this one. The Dexterity bonus is more just to make them fit in with what people tend to expect from fantasy Elves. Giving them an IQ bonus seems just as unprecedented as the DX bonus. I was not led to believe by the game that Elves were more innately capable scholars, doctors and chess players than humans, but I suppose they could be.

Dwarf 16 points
Attribute Modifiers: HT+1 [10]
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: SM -1
Advantages: Magic Resistance 2 [4], Resistant to Lyrium (8) [2]

Perfect. Done. Big thank you to Landwalker for the Lyrium resistance.

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

A well modified Strength and a natural predisposition to great height is more than enough to reflect their bigness. Now I'm debating whether to leave them as is or to reduce their ST bonus to +1.

Mabari -9 points
Attribute Modifiers: DX +1 [20], IQ -2 [-40], HT +2 [20]
Secondary Characteristic Modifiers: Will +2 [10], Per +4 [20]
Advantages: Discriminatory Smell [15], Enhanced Move .5 [10], Extra Legs (Four Legs) [5], Teeth (Sharp) [1]
Disadvantages: Cannot Speak [-15], Chummy [-5], Hidebound [-5], Horizontal [-10], No Fine Manipulators [-30], Social Stigma (Valuable Property) [-10], Taboo Trait (Fixed IQ) [0]

My new favorite racial template. Thanks again, Delcar. IQ 8 seems reeeally smart for a Dog though. What would that be comparable to?

The Cultural Familiarities I've got so far are Dalish, Dwarven, Qunari and Thedosian (which is the dominant human culture of Thedas, the setting of Dragon Age). I am unsure whether to have a separate Cultural Familiarity for Alienages and isolated primitive groups like the Chasind and the Avvars.

The Languages that I was able to determine exist in the world are Dwarven, Elvish (whose comprehension I am considering limiting to Broken), Qunari and Arcanum (the language of the Tevinter Imperium, which I am considering making a lingua franca for the setting).

Thanks again to everyone and please, keep 'em coming.
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Old 04-02-2010, 08:08 PM   #16
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Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaximander View Post
The Dexterity bonus is more just to make them fit in with what people tend to expect from fantasy Elves. Giving them an IQ bonus seems just as unprecedented as the DX bonus. I was not led to believe by the game that Elves were more innately capable scholars, doctors and chess players than humans, but I suppose they could be.
Tossing the IQ bonus is certainly not a problem—despite the game-mechanic bonuses to magic, elves never tended to demonstrate any other remarkable level of what would constitute GURPS IQ (social finesse, scholarship, etc.). Unfortunately, I'm not sure how to give Elves the Dragon Age "edge" in magic otherwise. My best suggestion would be to key spellcasting to Will instead of IQ. I think that GURPS Thaumatology goes into "alternate ability spellcasting" (TH.29). The downside, as brought up in Thaumatology is that keying spellcasting to a five-point attribute instead of a 20-point attribute makes it awfully cheap, and there's not really a solution to it that doesn't involve house rules (like raising the cost of Will to 10 points per level, and disconnecting it from IQ).

On the other hand, if you're sold on the DX bonus on the basis of "just to make them fit in with what people tend to expect from fantasy Elves," then I suspect you don't really have a problem with ignoring the game's mechanical spellcasting affinity/bonuses for elves, either. I'd still caution against the DX bonus, though, at least as a racial characteristic, for exactly the reason you mention: "It's not supported in the game, it's just what people think about when they think of elves." If you follow that line of thought too far, then you'll start losing the things that make the Dragon Age setting different (albeit only minorly so) from every other fantasy setting.

Qunari: I'd leave +2 ST. They're big, tough (high-HP), powerful folk. Sten is build like a truck, but doesn't give any indication that he's significantly beyond the norm for his race. He does insinuate that the Qunari are a very militant people, though, and ST bonuses do make that more "natural." One of the things I'm wondering about the Qunari is if they shouldn't also have a +1 Will bonus—everything Sten reveals about their society is one of great discipline, but also of self-discipline. Since the game doesn't provide their bonuses, though, we can't know if they enjoy any such mechanical boons in the game, and that may be easily written off anyway as a product of society rather than of racial characteristic.


Now, as for my "templates and lenses" idea:

A route you may want to consider is to have core racial templates—"Dwarf" and "Elf" and "Qunari" and the like—as well as "Origin Templates." For example, somebody who picked Elf would take the Elf racial template, and then would have a different "lens" depending on whether they are a city elf, a dalish elf, circle elf, or none of the above.

So a City Elf lens might look something like:

City Elf [+0 points]
Advantages: 15 points chosen among: Contact Group (Home Alienage Elves, Effective Skill 12, Fairly Often, Somewhat Reliable) [+5]; Luck [+15]; Social Chameleon [+5]; Reputation (Alienage Elves only) [Varies]; and Talent: Smooth Operator [+15/level].
Disadvantages: Wealth: Struggling [-10] and -15 points chosen from among: Callous [-5]; Charitable [-15*]; Cowardice [-10]; Dependents [Varies]; Fearfulness [-2/level]; Selfish [-5*]; Selfless [-5*]; Sense of Duty (Family and Friends) [-5] or (Alienage) [-10]; or Wealth: Poor [-10 on top of the -10 for Struggling].
Skills: 10 points chosen from among the following skills: Area Knowledge (Alienage or City); Acting; Fast-Talk; Knife; Forced Entry; Intimidation; Lockpicking; Pickpocket; Public Speaking; Singing; and Urban Survival.

Obviously, this is just an example lens I threw together very quickly. You could easily add more options to it, but I wanted to keep it straight-forward and relatively in-line with my perception of most City Elves in the game. You might want to add "Social Stigma: Second-Class Citizen" as a mandatory disadvantage, for example, and I'm sure there are other advantages that might be appropriate for the list (like Increased Will [+5/level]).


You could have lenses for City Elves, Dalish Elves, Circle Elves, Orzammar Dwarves (and if you wanted, even different lenses for different castes), Casteless, Surface Dwarves (lower resistance to Lyrium would be a big difference, here), and miscellaneous human possibilities (Noble, Mage, maybe even Human Commoner or some such). Presumably, lenses would be entirely optional, to prevent you as a GM from having to create ones that cover every possibilities, but they would give you the chance to tailor certain subsets of the races in the directions you envision them. For example, I think a Dalish Elf lens would be the perfect place to put your +1 DX attribute bonus, while a Circle Elf might get that +1 IQ in full (particularly if you keep IQ as the key spellcasting attribute), and obviously Magery 1 (with additional levels in the "choose some" list). Casteless Dwarves would have a huge social stigma, probably as a much more severe variant on Second-Class Citizen. And so on.

Last edited by Landwalker; 04-02-2010 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 04-03-2010, 12:58 AM   #17
thedot
 
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Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

For the Elves, you could give them Magery 0 as a potenntial advantage. Potential advantages are described on B. 33, but basically require 50% of the advantage's CP to be paid at chargen and the other 50% to be paid whenever the player & GM determine it is the right time for the character to gain the advantage. So, you could tack on the potential advantage of Magery 0 to the racial template for +3 CP (50% of the Magery 0 full price of 5 CP rounded up).

I've never played Dragon Age, so I don't know how much more magical elves are than others. However, this could represent elves becoming mages in higher percentages compared to their population, as compared to other races.

The RAW on potential advantages also says that the GM may give the character access to part of the advantage's capability prior to the player paying off the rest of the advantage. If elves in Dragon Age have any ability to sense magic, you could represent this by giving them the ability to sense magic which is part of Magery 0 without giving them the part of Magery 0 which would give them the ability to cast spells. Only elves who spend the extra 2 CP to get the full advantage of Magery 0 (or better) could cast spells.

I hope this both makes sense and helps!
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Old 04-03-2010, 07:44 AM   #18
Delcar
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaximander View Post
Delcar: I bought the Green Ronin RPG and found it gave a lot of neat background on Fereldan society and politics, most of which seems to have been added to the wiki. Altogether I was not impressed with the game system though. I love that Mabari template! I am so using that, even though we’re unlikely to actually encounter any of those big, loveable wardogs (my campaign is not set in Fereldan, at least not yet). But hey, Ash warrior mercenaries encountered in the Free Marches are not totally impossible, they’re merely preposterous :P. I think I will give them that Fixed IQ trait though. I am starting my players with 125 points and so far I've got a veteran Tevinter soldier and an Avvar apostate mage in my group.

<snip>
Mabari <snip>
My new favorite racial template. Thanks again, Delcar. IQ 8 seems reeeally smart for a Dog though. What would that be comparable to?
Glad you liked it, it was certainly fun to put together.

IQ 8 is -playable- most NPC Mabari probably would hover around IQ 6. It's nothing official but I've always just used GURPS IQ x10 to guage well, IQ. (But in my campaigns, stats above 15 have been pretty rare.)
Lewis Terman (1916) developed the original notion of IQ and proposed this scale for classifying IQ scores:
Over 140 - Genius or near genius
120 - 140 - Very superior intelligence
110 - 119 - Superior intelligence
90 - 109 - Normal or average intelligence
80 - 89 - Dullness
70 - 79 - Borderline deficiency
Under 70 - Definite feeble-mindedness
I should have dug out Bio-Tech before doing it since essentially, the Mabari are uplifted dogs using magic instead of tech.

(I love the concept. I ran a campaign where the majority of the PCs were anthropomorphic animal slaves fighting for their freedom against a decadent magocracy.)
Anyway, as I was thumbing through Bio-Tech today for comparison:

The K-10 guard dog has IQ 6 and is capable of limited, albeit growling speech. (Stuttering disadvantage) They also have a 5 pt Extra Legs advantage, while the guard dog in GURPS Campaigns apparently is of the two legged variety. <shrug>

The Doolittle Dolphin template is IQ 8, as is the Jagrilla hound.

The Anthropithekos has IQ 9 and the quirk Dull, and ''Freed slaves and their offspring generally take up laboring or agricultural jobs, as their mentality is ill-suited to crafts or more lofty work.'' [p.219]

There are a few spells in Bio-Tech that could explain the genesis of the Mabari.

On Blood Magic

I was looking through my Pyramid e-zines and would like to point out that issue 3-14 has an excellent article by Mark Gellis: Red Diabolism.*

*IF you're willing to use Thaumatology and Ritual based magic.

Last edited by Delcar; 04-03-2010 at 07:49 AM. Reason: comment after re-reading Red Diabolism
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Old 04-03-2010, 12:39 PM   #19
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By now I've gotten comfortable with the DX bonus for elves so for my campaign that's where it's at. If anyone else runs a dragon age game and uses something else though, I'd love to hear about it!

The Qunari will keep the ST bonus, but I'd prefer to think their discipline is a product of their social background not of inherent predisposition to it. After all, the Qunari civilization is not perfect and not all Qunari seem to be able to live in the confines of their society the way Sten does. See "Tal Vashoth" for reference.

I suppose given the lore on Mabari an IQ 8 makes sense. Does this sound like an IQ 8 animal to you? "Mabari are magically bred by the Formari and they are not ordinary animals. Each Mabari chooses their master in a process called imprinting. Although fierce combatants, a Mabari companion is shown to be a highly sociable animal, and though not capable of speech, the Mabari can clearly respond to speech with growls, whines, barks and several other actions that demonstrate intelligent comprehension of any words that are spoken to it."

I dig that lens, thanks for that. While I would not elect to make one for every possible character background, it is an extremely useful idea and could totally be implemented in my campaign.

I will look into the Pyramid article you mentioned. As of now I am using Thaumatology and Ritual Magic in my game.
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Old 04-17-2011, 12:13 AM   #20
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Default Re: GURPS Dragon Age

having not had played gurps for awhile, I am in a fantasy game I am trying figure out how make a dog similar to the Mabari wardog. I am using the the character Asst. are the template / lens just off of a basic character or what. I found a pdf that gives the wardog almost a class in the game. and gives some more stat info. so i am trying to convert it from the DA RPG to GURPS.

Last edited by leovinous; 04-17-2011 at 12:21 AM.
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