At long last, the fey roads have opened! The gods don their masks, the Northern reavers sound their horns, and the dwarven forges burn like suns. The emperor of the ghouls rises from his dark throne, the wild elves leave the earth behind and ride the wind, and the mercenary armies of the Seven Cities march to war. Midgard Campaign Setting is here.
Wolfgang Baur, along with Jeff Grubb, Brandon Hodge, Christina Stiles, Dan Voyce and the always-astounding community of Midgard patrons, have created a book that culminates years of Open Design adventures and sourcebooks, KQ articles, convention games, and the campaigns of countless GMs who took their players on epic adventures in this dark world of deep magic.
Some people hate to fail. Others relish complicating their lives. Below, you’ll find options for mitigating failure for those who want the chance to recover somewhat and options for those who want to make their lives as difficult as possible. These two options for using stunts in your game aren’t meant to be used in the same session, though you might want to use them both in different sessions of the same campaign. In either case, these stunts come into play on a failed attack roll that get doubles on any of the dice.
The gods of the North tremble! The Great Old Ones stir in their sleep! All of Midgard looks to the skies in wonder, for the long-awaited Midgard Campaign Setting is now available for pre-order in the Kobold Store . By popular demand you can ensure that you’ll receive the gorgeous, full color 296-page hardcover or softcover(plus PDF) when it arrives this October.
We’re also making a special offer on theKobold Quarterly Facebook page through August 10: if you Like the page you’ll get a discount code for $5.00 off any purchase of the Midgard Campaign Setting, Midgard Bestiary or Zobeck Gazetteer.
The Midgard Campaign Setting brings to life a dark world of deep magic, with seven regions flavored by the folklore of Central and Eastern Europe plus a heady dose of weird fantasy. Lead designers Wolfgang Baur, Jeff Grubb and Brandon Hodge led the Open Design community in a two-year project to build a sprawling setting supported by adventures and sourcebooks compatible with Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Dungeons & Dragons, AGE System and more.
Midgard is ley line magic and warped alchemical experiments; the Western Waste’s giant, shambling horrors and magic-blasted landscapes; diabolical gnomes and the schemes of immortal Baba Yaga; wild, wind-riding elves and swashbuckling minotaur corsairs; the Mharoti Empire’s lethal assassins and exotic splendors; and the dragon-haunted crags of the icy Northlands.
The Midgard Campaign Setting includes:
Pathfinder and AGE System rules for gearforged, kobold and minotaur PCs
26 new backgrounds, 3 new schools of magic and new specialties for AGE System
New clerical domains including clockwork, moon, hunger and beer
More than 50 kingdom write-ups, with new feats and traits for each region of Midgard
New spells, magical items, and incantations
New gear and weapons unique to the setting
Ley line magic and the secrets of the shadow roads
In the last post, we covered how the Threat Level system works to provide Dragon Age and AGE system game masters with a base score for deciding if a group of adversaries would make an appropriate challenge for their player characters.
This post expands on those rules by providing the Threat Level system for the adversaries found in Open Design’s Midgard Bestiary Vol. 1, which presents fifty new monsters for use with the Adventure Game Engine—the system that powers the Dragon Age RPG. But first, a quick recap is in order.
Combat encounters are a staple of most tabletop roleplaying games, and that is certainly the case in the Dragon Age RPG from Green Ronin. Combat in Dragon Age is fun, fast, and cinematic, with both heroes and villains using the game’s unique stunt system to perform daring feats of skill to quickly turn the tide of battle. Creating balanced combat encounters can be one of the hardest tasks for a Dragon Age game master, however, as the game lacks a simple system to gauge the relative power level of any given NPC or monster.
One reason for this is that despite the game’s simple mechanics and easy action-resolution system, there are a lot of moving parts during a combat encounter: from each opponent’s average attack roll and Defense, to Health totals, unique powers and abilities, and lastly Armor Rating, which is subtracted from the damage done on almost every successful hit in combat. When these factors are added to the wide degree of variation between different groups of player characters, it’s certainly understandable why Chris Pramas, the game’s lead designer, has gone on record to say the game’s designers do not plan to release a static formula that can be used to determine whether a fight between a certain group of PCs and adversaries is balanced.
That hasn’t stopped fans from wanting such a system, however.
When Open Design released its Midgard Bestiary Vol. 1 last year for the Adventure Game Engine, the system that powers the Dragon Age RPG, it did so to some pretty good reviews. After all, the book provided 50 new monsters for game masters to use with the system, all drawn from more than five years of Open Design products. One of the consistent critiques, though, was that the book did not include a rating system for the monsters, even though such a mechanic is not part of AGE system.
Taking all this into account, earlier this year I started working on a way to give game masters a very rough scoring system to determine the average strength of published adversaries for the game and how they rated against the typical power level of a group of player characters. What I’ve come up with is a “Threat Level” system that while it cannot replace the good judgment of an experienced game master, should provide a starting point for designing combat encounters.