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Wonders of Thedas Podcast Episode 78: Upper Crust Dwarves

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  • Parsival
    I've always thought it a shame that we didn't see much more of Dwarven culture after DA Origins. I remember in my first playthrough, all those years ago, that my Human Noble never even bothered meeting up with Bhaelen as it seemed obvious from the get-go that he was dishonest and had slain his brothers. As such, the idea he was also a great reformer completely passed me by.

    I certainly think that the strict caste system is a source of endless interesting plot hooks, though with our modern western values, it can be difficult to present many moral quandaries about it. The only real world society I can think of to use as a source of inspiration is perhaps that of India, with its Brahmins, 'Untouchables' and the like.

    One general point about Orzammar you raised on the podcast made me wonder - is it truly the case that merely venturing above ground effectively exiles a Dwarf, meaning they can never return? I would have thought it difficult for envoys to exist. What happened to the Legion of the Dead who may have sallied forth to help the Hero of Ferelden at Denerim? I think there may be exceptions to that rule.

    Regarding a question for a future episode, I still have one outstanding! It was form a couple of episodes back, and would be equally relevant to any AGE system game:

    It was very interesting to hear your thoughts on the new relationship rules contained within Faces of Thedas. I do like them myself, though am still pondering how the Intensity mechanics will work in practice. One aspect that I think is a little odd, is that the extra stunt points can, obviously, only ever be spent on a test that succeeds. What happens though when a PC wants to make sure they succeed on a critical test? Suppose the PC is facing a Blood Mage, who is attempting to force them to slit the throat of their Level 5 Intensity love interest? The way things stand, the mechanics give no benefit unless the PC has already triggered the I Swear to You stunt from a previously successful test. Free stunt points are in any case powerful things, and I note that other rules in the FA/DA worlds grant them.

    My questions for the next podcast therefore are: how would you house rule an effect whereby PCs can spend their intensity to succeed in critical tests? Also, are there any special ways you can think of to combine the Relationship Intensity rules with the optional Stunt Pool rules from the FA Companion? I like both concepts but am worried that too many free stunt points will unbalance the game.

    Oh, and it would be very interesting to hear your thoughts on the new rules Icarus came up with for spell combinations on this very forum:

    Anyway, good luck with the new podcast!

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  • Wonders of Thedas Podcast Episode 78: Upper Crust Dwarves

    Welcome to the Wonders of Thedas, your one-stop-shop for all your Dragon Age roleplaying game needs!

    You can hear the episode above, or you can listen on iTunes, Google Play, and Soundcloud!
    Leona joins us in this, our last show being exclusively about Dragon Age. While it is not truly the final episode of our AGE podcasts, Wonders of Thedas will be growing into a larger series of shows about all AGE games, including Dragon Age! More Dragon Age content is still coming in the future, but we also have some projects we hope to share with you folks very soon!

    We discuss one of Reyn’s favorite topics: life in Orzammar! We discuss the High-Born Dwarf background, and being a member of the Warrior, Smith, or Artisan castes in dwarven society. We work through Jamie’s backlog of questions, mourn Leona’s loss of a character (who actually took the background we are discussing) and Jessica brings the pun game yet again…

    If you like what we do, please support us on Patreon! You can get more valuable votes on episode topics, or even get episode early! The more support we get the bigger show becomes, perhaps even becoming new shows with enough support!

    If you would like to submit a question or some custom content for the Dragon Age RPG, you can send it to us through our Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Soundcloud, and WordPress blog accounts! You can email us at or send a private message to Kot the Protector or Healerpuff on the Green Ronin forums, or Kot or Lisse on the d20 Radio forums!

    Our new email is, and while we don’t have social media for it just yet, we will soon! Stay tuned, and spend your stunt points well!

    Thanks for listening, Thedosians!