Sunday, January 15, 2017

Actual Play Report - Dragon Age

I had a good time today. I ended up running a Dragon Age game for my son's 20th birthday with two of his friends. Daegan has a pretty good knowledge of DA, his friend Basil had played DA:O and DA:I a while ago so he was rusty and Saiden has no knowledge what so ever.

Because it's Dragon Age, I got to have fun putting it somewhere. I decided that I had put it 30 years after the Inquisition in Fereldan. Alistair had two children who were of age, and decided that he was going to give the throne to his younger daughter, because she viewed it more as a responsibility than a right. He was also having the nightmares so he was going to voluntarily leave the throne.

With that little bit of information, they made their character.

We had Marden Macoda a Fereldan Freeman, who was looking to get money to buy back his land from the Arl of West Hills. There was Oerik Gundaar, a surface dwarf who wanted to explore based on the stories he had heard. He wanted to travel to all the important places that those who defeated the last blight had visited. He also wanted to display the value of surface dwarves and help raise them up in the caste system. They joined forces because they would end up helping each other. Finally there was Alistair with no last name. He was a city elf from the alienage in West Hills whose family had been wrongfully accused of a crime and were executed for it. Alistair (named after the King) wanted to advance elven freedom regardless of the cost. He had signed on as their servant, because it would give him access to various places he normally wouldn't appear and he would have an excuse.

Game started, and they ended up in Redcliffe looking for adventure. Tried to show that it was a bit better than it had been before. There's no alienage (like in DA:I) and things were fairly integrated. It wasn't as if all people treated all elves fairly, but it was better than most. I gave Alistair an option to mess around with a rich merchant who had berated an elf for dropping a package, but he just helped her pick up the packages and deliver them to the house. The whole kitchen staff would have covered anything up, but he just tipped his hat and then met them in the tavern.

They had heard that the Arl was taking petitions with the Future Queen (Elizabeth Theirin) who was visiting. They split up and one of them decided to wait in line, while the others listened to what was happening in the tavern to see if there were any jobs available. Oerik was in line, and he decided to pass the time by telling a story about a great monster hunter named Martin (he kept getting Marden's name wrong, it was a great thing that came up a few times and every time it was a different name) who had just come to town. While Marden and Alistair heard about a pack of giant spiders who kept coming back year after year and they needed to get someone to clean out the nest.

I figured that was "Dragon Age'y enough for a "let's figure this out" kind of game.

Anyway, they went in and fought the spiders (who have a minor challenge rating but ... yeah ... no. Armor is a pain if you're not swinging a big sword) and they discovered that the reason they kept coming back was that there was a crack further down that led to the deep roads. That was because 3 Genlocks showed up and started fighting the spiders. Eventually only the players were left standing, which is when they discovered the hole in the wall.

They stuck their heads in and Oerik saw something shiny on a statue down the rock slide and across the path to a statue. To help raise money he ended up running down to get it, which is when a Hurlock and two other Genlocks showed up. They managed to get the ring, run away and kill the Hurlock, having the two Genlocks run away in cowardice.

They end up covering the hole as best as possible, and make it back to town. Their efforts led the Captain of the town watch, Captain Carvella, to provide them with an introduction to the Arl. It allowed them to skip the line and get directly to the Arl. They get brought into a nice room, and wait for a bit and then Arl Connor Guerrin (the boy you can rescue in DA:O, I decide that you did and he managed to take over with a Templar companion, named Maeghan. I had an idea of how that worked but we didn't get into it really) showed up to thank them and pay them for their time.

That's when the Future Queen showed up to complain about being cooped up all day, and about this ridiculous story she heard from the cook about a new monster hunter in the city. That's when Marden mumbled his greeting, Oerik took the opportunity to try to spin a yarn, and Alistair was like 'this is the person I need to attack for elven freedom.'

It was a great moment. Mainly for the potential drama that would ensue.

Anyway, the next day they go to the chantry where the celebration is being held. Oriek is busy wowing the crowd with a story about their battle with the spiders. Marden was talking to the captain about what work they could be doing and for what price. That left the Arl, his Templar companion, and the Future Queen herself. There was a moment when Alistair was tempted to try to assassinate the queen. I would have let him try too, but he decided against it. So I decided to continue with my plot of having a guard run in and tell everyone that they needed to get to the castle because there were people invading.

Marden and Oerik stayed while Alistair followed the Arl and the Future Queen to the castle. They stayed and discovered that the Arl of West Hill was there representing Duncan Thierin as the true King of Fereldan. They had declared Redcliffe to be treasonous and would now be under the sway of West Hill. Marden tried to sneak away and Oerik stood up and tried to lie about how there was a way to Redcliff castle, and he knew of a secret way. I asked Basil if he was going to lead them towards the Deep Roads. It was awesome, but they had found that there was a Tevinter mage there who ended up using blood magic to pull the truth from Oerik who then threw the ring he had found at them so he could try to escape. They ran from some guards, found some horses and fled the city because someone should know abou tit.

Inside the castle, Connor said that he and Maeghan (the Templar) could hold off the mage, and the castle could hold off a siege but they needed to get Elizabeth (the Future Queen) out of the castle. The only person there was Alistair. There was that moment where he was alone with the Queen, in full armor and equipped with her weapons, that he could have tried something. Everyone else was holding his breath but he said he wasn't going to do anything and they all met up to take Elizabeth to Denerim.

So thoughts on the system! Character creation is fun, though it has a "buying phase" part that I could always do without in any game. The mechanics were fun! I think stunts are something that should apply all the time, and there were a few moments when we had to kind of come up with our own stunts, which were fun. They had a great time, which is always the goal.

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