Hold the Presses: Fantasy AGE

Apparently, as in many things, I’m a bit late on my game. We interrupt this series of Numenera reviews to take a brief look at the Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook, the setting-free version of the rules for the Dragon Age RPG, by Green Ronin Publishing. I just heard about its release a couple of hours ago, and made acquisition.

Pre-order the hardcover here for $29.95.

Buy the PDF here for $15.99.

First read-through completed, and it’s worth a lot of tots. I didn’t include a cover with this review, because I didn’t have time to ask permission to do so as I really wanted to write this up and post it, and I am crawling out of my cave tonight to visit an old friend. I’m exceedingly pleased, because I’ve been waiting for this for some time. Ever since Box 1 came out, I’ve been wanting a setting-free version of these rules.

There are some differences between the Fantasy AGE setup and the Dragon Age setup. The largest ones were noted in an article on Green Ronin’s site some time ago.

The races covered in Fantasy AGE include dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, humans, and orcs. Their benefits are along the same lines as those in Dragon Age, but without Box 1 open in front of me right now, I can’t detail them completely.

Backgrounds are divorced from race, and presented along the division of social classes.

Classes are very similar to the Mage, Rogue, and Warrior you’d find in DARPG.

Focuses and talents read very much the same as DARPG.

The basic rules will play much the same as DARPG, and the stunt rules (as they did in DARPG) thrill me.

Magic rules I am going to have to read over again, but it is very similar to that of DARPG. There are 12 Arcana, or schools of magic, presented: Air, Divination, Earth, Fate, Fire, Healing, Heroic, Lightning, Power, Shadow, Water, and Wood. These divisions govern different types of magical effects. Magic Points are still the order of the day, but the Magic Ability is no more (having been replaced by Accuracy and Fighting, reducing the Abilities to eight instead of DARPG’s 9).

A number of sample generic Specializations appear, many of which would fit well in any standard fantasy setting.

The equipment section lays out rather standard fare for a fantasy RPG, but clothing and fashion gets more of a nod than most current RPGs give. It might seem strange, but I like that part.

The GM advice that is given is pretty solid, and standard, stuff. I love the hazards section, it was part of what sold me on DARPG as well. The NPCs, adversaries, and rewards sections are rather sparse, with a few good examples and a section on beefing up adversaries and creating treasures.

The sample adventure and setting are decent enough. I may integrate some of it with the setting I’ve been wanting to throw together for AGE for some time now. I’ll be working on some Swords of Ashara very soon.

So now I’ve got to get myself ready and leave the den for a while. I’m looking forward to a second read through, which I’ll start before I hightail it out of here, but I find from the first quick read this book is already

Dropbear Approved!

Edit: Just caught on thing, and it made me laugh a little. The character sheet included in the PDF lists an “Interrligence” Ability. Ah well, I will likely be creating a new character sheet soon, as well as revamping my old DARPG Hazard, Spell, and Treasure Cards. I’ll post them here eventually.

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