Hazardous Duty: Midgard Hazards for the AGE System
Earlier this year, the Midgard Bestiary (Volume 1) for the AGE System came out. The book has monsters galore just waiting for you to use in your AGE game. Monsters, however, aren’t the only things that can challenge your characters. Take a look at some hazards that have been converted to the AGE system, and then see if your adventurers can handle fogs that hide the presence of zombies or live through a storm that could very well age them — forever! We’ll start you off with a stinging storm of boneshards, and more hazards await you beyond the jump. First, though, take a look at what Emmet has to say about his conversion.
Green Ronin’s AGE is a fantastic system and Bioware’s Dragon Age setting is a great place to adventure, full of all manner of monsters and dangers ready to slay the unwary adventurer.
In the realm of Midgard, however, you might find that the weather can be the death of an unprepared traveler. Shards of bone plummet from the sky or time twists and transforms a hearty young warrior into no more than a pile of dust. These are just some of the hazards that can be found in the world of Midgard, and this article brings these dangers to all AGE system players and GMs.
There are a number of hazards presented in Green Ronin’s Dragon Age Set 1 ranging from Minor (for 1d6 damage) to Murderous (for 6d6 damage). The hazards presented here work on more than simple flat damage for a hazard. There are a number of different factors — including area effects, test penalties, and others — that are used to determine the rank of the hazard. Below is a list of a number of new hazards. These hazards were created specifically for the Midgard setting but can be worked into almost any campaign world. The original hazards were not created by me — I simply converted them for the AGE system.
Boneshard Sleet (Moderate Hazard): A swirling torrent of sharp bone splinters, these storms typically disperse as quickly as they appear, lasting no longer than 1d6x10 minutes. Such storms do not reduce visibility, but the racket from the falling shards makes sound-based Perception checks more difficult (-2 Perception [Hearing]). The bone splinters inflict 2d6 damage per minute on creatures unable to find shelter.
Gravity Quake (Arduous Hazard): The ground shudders as dust and sand fly into the air, rocks and pebbles shoot into the sky, and victims fall upward. The effect lasts 1d6+1 rounds, and each round all creatures in a 2d6x5-yard radius suffer a sling stone attack (+5 to hit, 1d6 damage) and must pass a TN 11 Willpower (Self-Discipline) test or be distracted. Distracted characters take a -2 penalty to all checks until the end of their next turn. On the final round, all creatures must pass a TN 15 Willpower (Self-Discipline) check or suffer an effect similar to reverse gravity (save negates). Those who fail fly 1d6x10 yards into the air and hover there for 3 rounds before falling back down (1d6 penetrating damage per 10 yards fallen).
Heavy Air (Minor Hazard): These areas contain an abnormally bone-dry mist that smells thickly of ozone. The inhaled mist weighs heavily in the lungs. The first 100 feet, all creatures in the area must pass an Advanced Test with a Threshold of 10 (TN 11 Constitution [Stamina]). A character who fails two consecutive tests must stop to take a 5-minute rest to recover from the strain or take a -1 penalty to all tests until the threshold is met. Any progress the character has made toward passing the threshold is retained on his or her next attempt.
From 101 to 200 feet, all creatures must pass an Advanced Test with a Threshold of 12 (TN 13 Constitution [Stamina]). A character who fails two consecutive tests must stop and take a 5-minute rest to recover from the strain or take a -2 penalty to all tests until the threshold is met. Any progress the character has made toward passing the threshold is retained on his or her next attempt.
From 201 feet and farther, all creatures must pass an Advanced Test with a Threshold of 15 (TN 15 Constitution [Stamina]) test. A character who fails two consecutive tests must stop and take a 5-minute rest to recover from the strain or take a -2 penalty to all tests until the threshold is met and can move only at half speed. Characters who choose to stop and rest can move at full speed but still take a -1 penalty to all tests until the threshold is met. Any progress the character has made toward passing the threshold is retained on his or her next attempt.
Effects begin as soon as creatures enter the area, and they persist for 3 rounds after leaving the area. An area of heavy air usually extends 2D6x50 feet.
Magnetic Storm (Moderate Hazard): This unusual occurrence makes ferrous metals, including all steel, within the area highly magnetic for 1d6 hours. Swords can barely be drawn from scabbards, and metal weapons striking metal armor often stick. Separating any two pieces of magnetized metal requires a TN 13 Strength (Might) test. Attackers wearing metal armor add +4 to any attempt to maintain a grapple with metal armor-wearing opponents, and defenders wearing metal armor add +4 to any attempt to avoid being disarmed. As well as this, using the Skirmish Stunt to move another character (assuming both characters are wearing metal armor) away from you now moves them only 1 yard per Stunt Point spent. Conversely, using the Skirmish Stunt to force a character to move with you now costs 1 Stunt Point per 4 yards. Such storms typically last 3d6 minutes, though many mages are working to discover how to summon and prolong these events.
Time Storms (Harrowing Hazard): Green lightning, singing winds, and upward-falling water are all signs of a time storm. Lasting minutes to hours, the storm causes creatures that have died to live again, and those that live might age to dust. Affected creatures must succeed on a TN 19 Willpower (Self-Discipline) test or immediately suffer the detrimental effects of aging 1d6x10 years while caught in the storm. The time damage can be negated 24 hours later with an additional TN 19 Willpower (Self-Discipline) test. Otherwise, the added years become permanent. The spell Rejuvenation restores 10 years per casting, while Revival eliminates all aging. Additionally, all creatures already dead within the storm at the time of its onset are subject to effects matching the spell Revival as if they died the previous round. They can benefit from this effect only once during the course of the storm.
Zombie Fog (Moderate Hazard): These pervasive banks of corpse-gray fog usually extend 1d4x100 feet in diameter and rise from sites steeped in ancient necromancy. The mostly intact corpses of humanoids caught in the fog’s rotting fumes animate as putrid haunts (Midgard Bestiary, page 41) in 1d6 rounds and typically wander within the fog until drawn forth by the presence of the living. The concealment provided by the thick mists usually hides the approach of hordes of zombies until much too late.
About the Author
Saisei/Emmet is a freelance animator with a love for roleplaying and game design. He has been playing pen and paper RPGs since he reverse engineered the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons rules from the video-game Baldur’s Gate so that he could play with his friends (at the time he didn’t realize you could just buy the things).