Thursday, October 4, 2012

AGE System - First Impressions

Yesterday my new Wednesday gaming group started playing. For our first foray we're entering Ferelden with the AGE system. These are the characters:

Reevus (City Elf Rogue): Reevus is the son of a pair of city elf adventurers. He was raised on a farm by his parents' human friends. Reevus left his village to join up with a group of bandits, but left them when he found that they didn't just rob their victims. He's hunted by a mysterious group that was searching for a relic that his temporary allies had. [Reevus is played by JC, who doesn't like the Dragon Age video games. JC's main roleplaying experience is with Mutants and Masterminsds 2E.]

Falos Brunwyn (Dalish Elf Rogue): Falos grew up in a Dalish tribe of "hunters." Most people just referred to them as knife ear assassins. Falos, an especially greedy elf, left his tribe and now sells his services to the highest bidder. [Falos is played by my friend's little brother Trevor. I think he's played the video games, but his only tabletop experience is a bit of 3.5 and Pathfinder]

Blake (Ferelden Freeman Warrior): At one time Blake was an up and coming templar-in-training. That was before his lyrium addiction took it's toll on his mind. Unstable, Blake left the group before the extent of his addiction was discovered. Despite his issues Blake thinks of himself as a noble and attempts to live by high standards. Though he's young, only 17, he looks much older and world-weary. [Blake is played by Stew, who like me is a big fan of the Dragon Age video games. Also like me, Stew's got 15+ years of rpg experience with various systems]

So yeah I ended up with two elven rogue archers and a human warrior. I'm running the group through the quickstart adventure,  An Arl's Ransom. It can be found here. We played for about 3-4 hours and made it halfway through the adventure. This was the first time any of us had played the system. These are my impressions of the system thus far:

  • Character creation is quick and simple. Pick a background and a class that can take it. Roll your stats, pick a focus or two, a couple of talents and you're done.
  • The action resolve mechanic feels natural. I've played a lot of d20, so rolling 3d6 and trying to get at least a certain number feels natural (AGE calls it TN instead of DC).
  • The Dragon Die mechanic is fun. The stunt points you get from them adds a nice little chaotic and descriptive element to the game.I was afraid the stunt mechanic would take up too much time but after a few rounds of combat, we had all picked "favored stunts."
  • Combat didn't take long to pick up, other than remember that Armor Rating is the equivalent of D&D damage reduction.
  • Combat can get deadly, really fast. The genlock alpha used the Lethal Blow stunt on Trevor's rogue and hit him hard (more than half his life total).
  • Bows suck against armored foes. The elves were barely doing any damage to the genlocks they fought.
  • Looking at monsters, it is a little bit rough not having a Challenge Rating system..
So far I really like the system. If it continues to be this fun I'm going to run an AGE of Freeport game using a plot line i was going to use for my eventual Freeport Pathfinder game.


  1. The AGE system is one of my favorites right now thanks to the game's relatively light-weight system and the fun of stunts in combat. The only thing I'm not sure about is your comment that bows are under-powered against armored opponents. The damage should be pretty comparable to melee weapons (1d6+3+Perception for a long bow versus 2d6+Strength for a long sword) and the Pierce Armor stunt can help a lot against well-armored foes. That said, archer character concepts unfortunately aren't well supported by any of the 3 character classes.

    1. I feel a bit goofy, but somehow we overlooked the Pierce Armor stunt. I'm still not positive we're doing everything right, but we are having a lot of fun.