During Gen Con, I discussed the Dragon Age RPG a bit with my brother and Scott Rehm (The Angry DM). I had mentioned how I liked the stunt mechanics, but both of them had reasons why they didn’t like the stunt mechanics in AGE. They felt that the random post-action declaration nature of stunts made it hard to be tactical during a game. My brother and I had played Iron Kingdoms earlier in the weekend, and he said that he really preferred how that system used feat points to the stunt points of AGE. Since that conversation, I’ve been brainstorming a bit about how to tweak the stunt system to allow for more tactical options. Next time I run a game using AGE, I’m going to give the players the following two options.
One easy way to provide more tactical options is to offer some of the things that are normally only available as stunts as standalone major actions. These actions allow a character to reliably use a combat stunt as a major action at the cost of not making a normal attack.
Push: When you use the push action, make an opposed Strength (Might) test against an adjacent target’s choice of either Strength (Might) or Dexterity (Acrobatics). If you win the test, then the target is pushed away a number of yards equal to twice your dragon die.
Trip: When you use the trip action, make an opposed Dexterity (Brawling) test against an adjacent target’s choice of either Dexterity (Acrobatics) or Dexterity (Brawling). If you win the test, then the target is knocked prone.
Disarm: When you use the disarm action, make an opposed attack roll against a target in range. If you win the test, then the target’s weapon, or another item it is holding, is knocked out of its hands.
Holding Stunt Points
This rule allows characters to hold stunt points for later use instead of spending them right away. When a player makes a roll that generates stunt points, he or she has the option to either spend them normally or hold half of them (round down) in reserve. A character can have up to 3 stunt points held at any time. If a character is holding stunt points, then the player can choose to spend them on any roll (including a roll that generates its own stunt points). Held stunt points are lost if a character sleeps or is knocked unconscious.