Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

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Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby Superior1200 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 9:49 am

Ok, I'm still a new GM with the Dragon Age system, but I'm curious about doing a Space oriented game using the system and wanted to get some pointers.

I have Firefly and Star Wars net books made for the system, but I'm wanting something unique...


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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby zanwot » Mon Sep 03, 2012 12:04 pm

You would need to explain what you need more specifically. Are you looking for another setting? Why are you not happy with Star Wars or Firefly? Are you looking for alternate rules adapting for the AGE system to science fiction?
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby shonuff » Mon Sep 03, 2012 4:39 pm

The Mass Effect conversion here might help.
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby Superior1200 » Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:51 pm

Well, both of those net books are great, but I guess I'm looking for Background ideas and at least some variant on classes, that would be helpful.

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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby zanwot » Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:46 pm

Well in a generic Space Opera game using AGE system, you would quite naturally have a soldier class (all forms of combat), a tech/pilot class, and a civilian (merchant, scientific, diplomat, drifter) class (speciality skill and bonus to contacts and such). Obviously the specific spin of Firefly and the jedis in Star Wars could probably change this basic disctribution of classes.
Backgrounds would need to cover groundside army, space fleet, space marines, merchants, scouts/pilots, law enforcer, pirate, reporter, scientific, thug, drifter, corporate, barbarian, bounty hunter, etc etc ontop of the various aliens.
I would advise you use Traveller to inspire yourself.
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby Superior1200 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:22 pm

I don't have access to Traveller, but I do have Star Hero if you think that would help...

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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby shonuff » Tue Sep 04, 2012 3:31 pm

It really depends on the type of campaign you are wanting to run. What zanwot described are the basic archetypes, but space operas can be more western, more cyber punk, more mecha, more apocalyptic...
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby Superior1200 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:21 pm

Its going to be a setting with a little bit of Star Trek meets Star Wars meets Firefly in it.

The group consists of two former members of the Federated Commonwealth who have a transport ship and a crew.

Captain Chase Fate, former member of the High Guard
Adrian Crisp, Diplomatic Scoundrel
Grizzled Vet Pilot, Genoa Goodfire
Engineer, Hope (secret Android)
Donovan Reese, Active Doctor / Security

So any thoughts...

The Backgrounds (Career Paths), Development Picks and Classes I'm thinking are from Eternal Shadows by Byron Molix, but Modified for a Space theme
Expert
Scoundrel
Warrior (changing to Soldier)
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby shonuff » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:04 pm

I would probably use something like the following classes:

1. soldier (brawlers, snipers, soldiers, etc.)
2. scoundrels (thieves, con artists, gamblers, hackers, etc.)
3. science (doctors, engineers, mechanics, etc.)
4. pilots (pilots & drivers)

And then break the classes down via specializations. Offhand, I have no idea how you would work in piloting, though. To be honest I'm not that familiar with space conversions here on the site.
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby Superior1200 » Tue Sep 04, 2012 7:48 pm

Me either, I do like some of your ideas though..

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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby shonuff » Wed Sep 05, 2012 3:59 am

And actually, gambler might be a better background than a specialization.

Other backgrounds could include things like:

Settler
Core World Slum Dweller
Born in Space
Core World Educated
Noble
Alien
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby Superior1200 » Wed Sep 05, 2012 4:13 pm

Hmm, you've given me something to think about.

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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby pensamento_coletivo » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:30 am

I don't really see why you should have an entire CLASS for pilots when a talent can handle it.

I ran a Phantasy Star inspired game, a space-opera with magic and used only three classes:

Adept (magic-using specialists)
Expert (scoundrels, diplomats, etc)
Warrior (combat specialists)

After creating a couple of talents for gunslinger characters and pilot characters I had a game without the need to balance/create a whole new class. And I even had magic! :P But, see, I turned the classes to generic ones you could customize to your liking. And we used a few house rules on spells and

Adept
Health: 20, gain 2+Con each level (retroactive)
Mana: 10, gain 3+Mag each level (retroactive)
-> Weapon groups: brawling plus one.
-> Talents: start with Arcane Lance (novice) and Magic Training (novice), plus any other two. Gain one more each level.
-> Spells: start with 3 spells, gain one every even-numbered level (2, 4, 6, and so on).
-> Favored stunts: gain one favored stunt (only magic stunts) at levels 3, 6 and 9.

Expert
Health: 25, gain 3+Con each level (retroactive)
Mana: 5, gain 2+Mag each level (retroactive)
-> Weapon groups: brawling plus two.
-> Talents: start with any three, only novice rank. Gain one more each level.
-> Spells: start with 0 spells, gain one every even-numbered level (2, 4, 6, and so on).
-> Favored stunts: gain one favored stunt (any type) at levels 3, 6 and 9.

Warrior
Health: 30, gain 4+Con each level (retroactive)
Mana: 0, gain 1+Mag each level (retroactive)
-> Weapon groups: brawling plus three.
-> Talents: start with any three, but at least two must be weapon style talents. Only novice rank. Gain one more each level.
-> Spells: start with 0 spells, gain one every fourth level (4 and 8).
-> Favored stunts: gain one favored stunt (only combat stunts) at levels 3, 6 and 9.


I turned many class abilities in talents, as Sneak Attack (for the rogue abilities) and Veteran (for the warrior abilities). Arcane lance is a talent and Magic Training is a exclusive talent that gives adepts a boost to spellpower, new magic options and more spells (since all class can cast spells, this is their edge).

After taht I just added equipment, a cool setting history and a few backgrounds, including rules for droid heroes. and ships. Bam, we had a magic-space-opera game.
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby Superior1200 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 11:07 am

Could I get access to your rules?

You may be my savior! I'd like to see more...

I've got my setting ready to go, just hammering out a few rough details, but your info would be a plus.
My idea is Game of Thrones in a far future, I'll post more on my setting if interested...

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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby pensamento_coletivo » Wed Sep 12, 2012 7:34 pm

Superior1200 wrote:Could I get access to your rules?

You may be my savior! I'd like to see more...

I've got my setting ready to go, just hammering out a few rough details, but your info would be a plus.
My idea is Game of Thrones in a far future, I'll post more on my setting if interested...

Ron


I'd be happy to help, but I wrote it in portuguese (I'm from Brazil) =]
Most of the basic ideas I can give you here. I'll try to make a new post discussing it soon!
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby Superior1200 » Wed Sep 12, 2012 8:08 pm

Cool, I really look forwards to it..

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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby shonuff » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:30 am

pensamento_coletivo wrote:I don't really see why you should have an entire CLASS for pilots when a talent can handle it.


I could see that; however, I think it would depend on how much emphasis you wanted to have on getting from here to there. I'm not sure one talent would cover piloting, either, even under the most general of circumstances -- you have ground vehicles, atmospheric craft and VTOLs, and then space-based fighters and transports (all of which I would place in different categories). I would also throw jury-rigging and vehicle-mounted weapons abilities in this separate category.

Of course, this all depends on the campaign. A more Firefly/Star Wars campaign, I would definitely say pilots should be their own class ( well, maybe not Star Wars because those pilots were all members of the commando/diplomat multi-class). But a campaign closer to Phantasy Star would definitely have less emphasis on piloting.
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby zanwot » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:17 am

Superior1200 wrote:I've got my setting ready to go, just hammering out a few rough details, but your info would be a plus.
My idea is Game of Thrones in a far future, I'll post more on my setting if interested...

How close to Game of Thrones? Because for insipration I would recommend you check out the Fading Suns RPG and the Dune books/movie, which have the same atmosphere of noble houses fighting each other with armies and devious schemes.

Adept (magic-using specialists)
Expert (scoundrels, diplomats, etc)
Warrior (combat specialists)

Concerning Magic users and Pilots, there are a few questions to be answered:
Will there be magic ? If yes will magic be limited to selected few (mages). If yes, then obviously you need a magician class.
Piloting can indeed be a class of it's own or evenb something everyone can do, depending on your choices.
I think what you really need is to think what the roles in your groups of PCs will be, what must everyone be able to do and how many players there are even. In DA the warrior is the obvious fighter, specialised, the Rogue is the one with alternate skills who avoid face on conflict, and the Mage is the "odd one out" dedicated to Magic, which all fits teh setting and the game. All classes can fight, but Rogues are really the only "open" class, because fighting and magic are so important.

In a Game of Thrones in space, I would imagine all classes can use small guns and pilot small vehicules, and access to some form of negociation. A fighter/leader, a spy/infiltrator/diplomat, and a civilian/specialist (pilot, science, tech, etc etc, i.e. the open class).
I tend to dismiss magic in SciFi, but if you have magic users then you need to choose if they are a class of their own or if everyone has access to it. 'Nor do you really have to limit yourself to 3 classes.
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby Superior1200 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 8:49 am

As far as classes are concerned I thought about taking the roles from A Song of Ice and Fire, such as Expert, Fighter, Leader, Rogue and Schemer.

I'm not sure how to develop the alternative classes (Expert, Leader, and Schemer)..

As far as Pilot goes, I thought it would be best as a Talent because all of the classes could be a pilot of some sort, bit I'm not sure.

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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby pensamento_coletivo » Thu Sep 13, 2012 9:20 am

shonuff wrote:
pensamento_coletivo wrote:I don't really see why you should have an entire CLASS for pilots when a talent can handle it.


I could see that; however, I think it would depend on how much emphasis you wanted to have on getting from here to there. I'm not sure one talent would cover piloting, either, even under the most general of circumstances -- you have ground vehicles, atmospheric craft and VTOLs, and then space-based fighters and transports (all of which I would place in different categories). I would also throw jury-rigging and vehicle-mounted weapons abilities in this separate category.

Of course, this all depends on the campaign. A more Firefly/Star Wars campaign, I would definitely say pilots should be their own class ( well, maybe not Star Wars because those pilots were all members of the commando/diplomat multi-class). But a campaign closer to Phantasy Star would definitely have less emphasis on piloting.


Ok, but why turn it into a whole new class and get a simple and fun game more complicated? It's possible to handle all this with FOCUSES and TALENTS, maybe?

Jury-rigging? It looks like the same as the healing action (and the associated talent and focus), applied to objects. Vehicle-mounted weapons? A simple weapon group, maybe an Artillery Style talent to cover. And if you really need "special" pilots, throw in a Specialization and that's it... it looks easier than write a full class. At least that's how I'd do it ;)

I use these lines for my Star Wars campaign too. I use three simple classes (always trying to keep my HR in line with the book): Soldier, Expert and Adept (force-user). Drumped the Magic stat, included a "Force" ability and that's it. All classes have access to the Force with the right choice of talents, but Adepts are way better. Jedi (Consular, Shadow and Guardian) are backgrounds, as Sith Apprentice and other Force traditions. Pilot is a background for Soldiers and Experts. Jedi Knight is a specialization, as is Jedi Master.
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby shonuff » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:06 am

pensamento_coletivo wrote: Ok, but why turn it into a whole new class and get a simple and fun game more complicated? It's possible to handle all this with FOCUSES and TALENTS, maybe?


True. However, I think when you're making a conversion, you have to take your players into account. If one wants to be a hot-shot pilot like Wash or Rick Hunter or whoever, then you should prolly make it a class. If your players just want to get from place to place like Mass Effect, then you're right -- pilot as a class isn't really needed.

pensamento_coletivo wrote:Jury-rigging? It looks like the same as the healing action (and the associated talent and focus), applied to objects. Vehicle-mounted weapons? A simple weapon group, maybe an Artillery Style talent to cover. And if you really need "special" pilots, throw in a Specialization and that's it... it looks easier than write a full class. At least that's how I'd do it ;)


I'd put jury-rigging as a cross between a healing and technical ability. It's not really healing to supe up your ride. :) And I agree with you that it's probably easier to make a generic piloting specialization, but then again, it's also easier to not make a conversion! :) (and I'm notoriously lazy so that is my option - lol)

Superior1200 wrote:As far as classes are concerned I thought about taking the roles from A Song of Ice and Fire, such as Expert, Fighter, Leader, Rogue and Schemer.


One concern is the use of specializations. I would assume doctor and technician would fall under Expert. I would suggest keeping the specializations organic and evolving, as an Expert -- Doctor/Engineer might be difficult to rationalize. I would suggest creating 3 or so medic specializations and 3 or so science specializations, so a PC isn't pigeon-holed. Schemer and Rogue might be able to be combined.... or Leader and Schemer.... or elements of Schemer could be put into Leader and Rogue.
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby zanwot » Thu Sep 13, 2012 11:21 am

Superior1200 wrote:As far as classes are concerned I thought about taking the roles from A Song of Ice and Fire, such as Expert, Fighter, Leader, Rogue and Schemer.
I'm not sure how to develop the alternative classes (Expert, Leader, and Schemer)..
As far as Pilot goes, I thought it would be best as a Talent because all of the classes could be a pilot of some sort, bit I'm not sure.
Ron

I was not very clear actually in my previous email, what I meant is I think you should bundle Leader with Fighter, and Schemer with Rogue. The advantage, other than simplification, is to give everyone one "micro" and one "macro" leverage, and two different intepretations, while still being specialised in one philosophy. Expert can cover all the rest.

I will have a shot at possible abilities:'
Primary abilities for Leader/Fighter:
Constitution (all physical)
Precision (shooting + piloting)
Intelligence (used for battles and quick thinking)

Primary abilities for Rogue/Diplomat (and noble/dueler)
Charisma
Dexterity (stealth and close combat)
Technical (repairs and all technical stuff)

Primary abilitis for civilian/specialists:
Technical
Precision (because of the piloting, gives civilians a decent shot at some fighting ability)
Education

All Piloting, Medic and such can be both focuses and Talents, mostly accessible to civilian(specialists. The specializations can further expand specific domains.
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby kronovan » Thu Sep 13, 2012 1:43 pm

This may seem like a weird recommendation, but because a great deal of the design/structure of AGE was influenced by Green Ronin's earlier True20, you migh consider checking out the True20 Adventure Roleplaying Revised Edition core rules book. It has a 30 pg chapter solely dedicated to space campaigns (including the Space Opera subgenre) and interesting enough a fair amount of it could be borrowed and adapted to AGE. I think if you looked at it you'd see that you can get by with the 3 classes (Roles in T20) of Adept, Expert and Warrior that some folks have already suggested here. The 13 backgrounds in that chapter could be converted to AGE with not much effort. The skills could be reworked to focuses (fair number already exist in AGE) and the some of the approprite Feats could even be tranlasted to Talents.

Of course for it to be useful you'd need to have some rudimentary understanding of T20, but like AGE its fairly simple and easy to learn.
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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby Superior1200 » Thu Sep 13, 2012 2:04 pm

I'll check it out...

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Re: Running a Space Opera Game with AGE

Postby AdvocateJack » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:43 pm

In the realm of related but of no immediate help (sorry!), I'd love to do a sci-fi AGE game in the future. I think you could keep it to three base classes and such as well (like Mass Effect), though I admit I see some appeal in hybridizing the way ME did to basically create six.

Just looking at small bits of the overall system I think things like exploration based stunts alone would be really awesome in a space-faring setting.

Again, that's a ways off and in no way certain, but I love me some space opera... :D
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