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Thread: New GM - Looking for advice

  1. #11
    Keeper of Secrets Parsival's Avatar
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    Re: New GM - Looking for advice

    The Dragon Age wikia online has all the codex entries from all the games - just cut and paste your handouts!

  2. #12
    Inceptor
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    Re: New GM - Looking for advice

    We are actually doing this, to an extent (all of the relevant codexes came out to be 80 something pages in large enough print for all my players).

    About to give up on the glossary... hoping I can give them something like that though so that common conversation doesn't confuse them. But I might just give them a "learn IC" instead.

  3. #13
    Keeper of Secrets Kot the Protector's Avatar
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    Re: New GM - Looking for advice

    I must apologize Steelybran, I did not get your question onto my notes for the show. We already recorded last night so going back and adding them could sound a bit forced. I will not be able to give an answer on the podcast just yet.

    I have your question on my notes for the next show, which should come out the 28th.
    If you like the Dragon Age RPG, please consider listening to my podcast: The Wonders of Thedas! We discuss classes, backgrounds, GMing techniques, specializations, play styles, and much more!
    You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or Soundlcoud!

    If you have a question about the Dragon Age RPG, have custom content you'd like to share with the world, or any other contribution, send a message to wondersofthedaspodcast@gmail.com, or through our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Tumblr accounts!

  4. #14
    Keeper of Secrets Kot the Protector's Avatar
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    Re: New GM - Looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelybran View Post
    We are actually doing this, to an extent (all of the relevant codexes came out to be 80 something pages in large enough print for all my players).

    About to give up on the glossary... hoping I can give them something like that though so that common conversation doesn't confuse them. But I might just give them a "learn IC" instead.
    I would recommend that your notes be tailored for your campaign, specifically, instead of giving them everything at once.

    Since it seems to be involving the Blight, you should include a simple paragraph about how the Magisters of old Tevinter stepped into the Golden City and were thrown down by the Maker as the first darkspawn. Mention that the world nearly ended four times already because of the Blights, and some whisper that another Blight is coming to Ostagar.

    There should probably be a line or two about the Maker and Andraste, as they are rather important. Letthem know that magic is feared in Thedas, elves are second-class citizens, and the qunari are tall horned invaders from the north.

    You could also give them an intro kind of like how the video game starts for each Origin story. They are usually written from the perspective of someone from Thedas itself, but whether or not you do that is your call.

    You can always get them more lore if they ask for it or introduce it as you go along!
    If you like the Dragon Age RPG, please consider listening to my podcast: The Wonders of Thedas! We discuss classes, backgrounds, GMing techniques, specializations, play styles, and much more!
    You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or Soundlcoud!

    If you have a question about the Dragon Age RPG, have custom content you'd like to share with the world, or any other contribution, send a message to wondersofthedaspodcast@gmail.com, or through our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Tumblr accounts!

  5. #15
    Inceptor
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    Re: New GM - Looking for advice

    The intro would be nice, but I have 7 players - all with different backgrounds.

    Apostate - Mage
    Circle Mage - Mage
    Duster Dwarf - Rogue
    Escaped Elven Slave - Rogue
    Dalish Elf - Mage
    Avvar - Warrior
    Chasind Wilder - Warrior

    I think we'll be okay at this stage. They're all experienced RPers, so flowing into a new world isn't a new experience for them.

  6. #16
    Inceptor
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    Re: New GM - Looking for advice

    On a side note, are magical items common at low levels? I was looking at the items that are rewarded for the "starter" adventure in the game.

    Boots of the Outlaw
    Handmaidenís Necklace
    Helm of the Eagle
    Hunterís Bane
    Ring of Shielding
    Smithís Targe
    Spawn Cleaver
    Spidersilk Cloak
    Stalwart Mail
    Viperís Blade

  7. #17
    Keeper of Secrets Kot the Protector's Avatar
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    Re: New GM - Looking for advice

    It very much depends on your game. The system itself does not make any assumptions about how many magic items your PCs have at a given level, so it really up to how you feel about rewarding your PCs.

    Giving them more toys to players with can be fun for the players, and it can give you the chance to throw more powerful threats at the PCs.

    We have a few resources for rewarding PCs if you're interested. Our Wonders of Thedas Back Shelves collection has items I've converted from the video games. We also recently had an episode about rewarding PCs if you'd like to hear it!
    If you like the Dragon Age RPG, please consider listening to my podcast: The Wonders of Thedas! We discuss classes, backgrounds, GMing techniques, specializations, play styles, and much more!
    You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, or Soundlcoud!

    If you have a question about the Dragon Age RPG, have custom content you'd like to share with the world, or any other contribution, send a message to wondersofthedaspodcast@gmail.com, or through our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Tumblr accounts!

  8. #18
    Inceptor
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    Re: New GM - Looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Kot the Protector View Post
    It very much depends on your game. The system itself does not make any assumptions about how many magic items your PCs have at a given level, so it really up to how you feel about rewarding your PCs.

    Giving them more toys to players with can be fun for the players, and it can give you the chance to throw more powerful threats at the PCs.

    We have a few resources for rewarding PCs if you're interested. Our Wonders of Thedas Back Shelves collection has items I've converted from the video games. We also recently had an episode about rewarding PCs if you'd like to hear it!
    I'm more looking at the expectations of group wealth vs the abilities and stats of the monsters in the book. There's no CR, just the level of difficulty like "hard", "easy", etc. That's not very telling - like, what level and type of gear should they have before fighting an ogre? I'm not familiar enough with the system to make on-the-fly adjustments to stats.

  9. #19
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    Re: New GM - Looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelybran View Post
    On a side note, are magical items common at low levels? I was looking at the items that are rewarded for the "starter" adventure in the game.

    Boots of the Outlaw
    Handmaidenís Necklace
    Helm of the Eagle
    Hunterís Bane
    Ring of Shielding
    Smithís Targe
    Spawn Cleaver
    Spidersilk Cloak
    Stalwart Mail
    Viperís Blade
    I would advise against combat items for several levels... maybe disposables, like magic arrows or potions. If one of your PCs is an archer I might give them a quiver early on to make arrow recovery less of a thing - but not at the outset.

  10. #20
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    Re: New GM - Looking for advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelybran View Post
    On a side note, are magical items common at low levels? I was looking at the items that are rewarded for the "starter" adventure in the game.

    Boots of the Outlaw
    Handmaiden’s Necklace
    Helm of the Eagle
    Hunter’s Bane
    Ring of Shielding
    Smith’s Targe
    Spawn Cleaver
    Spidersilk Cloak
    Stalwart Mail
    Viper’s Blade
    The question is: how common do YOU want them to be?
    The main advice I'd give here is: be consistent but err on the stingy side. It's not D&D where there are set pricelists and loads of monsters that pretty much can't be defeated without magical items. And the more generous you are with loot, the less special any subsequent magical items will seem, not to mention the risk of detracting your players from less tangible resources they gain access to like, say, precious contacts and reputation. The players might even start expecting that as they level they will be surely given better and better loot - which can lead to balancing problems (if you comply and end up with huge bonuses) or disappointed players (if you don't).

    So, if you want to keep your magic loot special and lore friendly, my advice would be:
    1. Don't give out too much.
    2. When you give them out, focus on trinkets and consumables. That's the kind of items that are in biggest supply because they're mainly supplied by the Circle and Circle wants to earn money and keep earning money. Persistent magical items are, well, persistent. Through combination of high quality and magic they last long - so Circle doesn't produce many of them and the prices can be expected to be exuberant. Consumables are another matter entirely: they are used up so they can be made relatively cheap (since the market won't get saturated so easily). The most common non-consumable items should be trinkets, various charms that might last a long time or indefinitely, but with quite limited, combat-unrelated and/or narrow effects. Maybe a container that keeps food fresh or something giving a focus-specific rather than ability-specific bonus - something like +Communication(deception) rather than +Communication.
    3. Give each non-consumable item some backstory. It might be very basic, especially for minor items, like who was it created for or something like that, but it both makes an item more special than just a number on character sheet AND it helps you keep track and stop yourself from giving them out like candies.
    4. Even powerful items (as long as powerful isn't too common) can be made even more special through qualities that don't affect their primary function much (or even that are a flaw). A Mighty Sword +3 damage is a bit boring. A Sword Of The Penitent that gives the same +3 damage, but also makes you feel a fraction of the pain it inflicts (non-cumulative -1 to Willpower tests until the beginning of your next round each time you deal damage) is a lot more special, despite being strictly worse (since the bonus is the same but it has a drawback).

    If you start by sparingly giving very minor items and avoid escalating the spoils too quickly, you will always have something better and more awesome to give out if need arises - and the truly great loot will remain truly great until the end, giving you more options for SPECIAL rewards (say, a magical sword the party actually needs to go on another adventure to acquire).
    Last edited by eliastion; 09-18-2017 at 06:44 PM.

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