AGE Dragon Age Fantasy Age

Fantasy Age of Terror

I started work on modifying the Dragon Age RPG to run a campaign set in the world of Diablo years ago (apparently 7 years ago…). I never managed to run the campaign, but I had a lot of fun writing the conversions and thinking through how to use one of my favorite role-playing game systems to explore the setting of some of my favorite games.

Recently, I decided to restart work on Age of Terror. Fantasy Age has now been out a few years offering a more generic variant of the same Age system used in the Dragon Age RPG, so one thing I wanted to do was rebase Age of Terror on it rather than the less generic Dragon Age rules.

Characters in the world of Diablo are less varied than the options provided in Fantasy Age. All heroes for Age of Terror are humans with different cultures rather than beings from different fantasy races. That means that I want to stick closer to Dragon Age’s concept of backgrounds rather than the race and backgrounds of Fantasy Age.

Fantasy Age has the same three character classes as Dragon Age: Mage, Rogue, and Warrior. The Mage has some big changes due to the changes in the magic system, that I’ll talk about in a bit, but altogether the Fantasy Age classes don’t need to change. Because the Fantasy Age Rogue has more archery-related abilities than the Dragon Age version of the class, Age of Terror won’t need to include an alternate version of the class any more.

The set of abilities is different between Dragon Age and Fantasy Age. Fantasy Age removes the Magic ability and splits Accuracy and Fighting off from Dexterity and Strength. This has meant that I’ve been going through backgrounds and adjusting them to drop bonuses to Magic and start taking advantage of the new abilities.

The spell system got a big overhaul between Dragon Age and Fantasy Age. In Dragon Age, spells were grouped into broad schools of magic: Creation, Entropy, Primal, and Spirit. These groupings didn’t map well to the spell options presented for character classes in the Diablo games, so I ended up re-organizing the spells when I first worked on Age of Terror. Fantasy Age instead splits spells into more focused groups called arcanas. The available arcanas include options like Beast, Death, Fire, and Lightning. These are much closer to how spells are grouped for Diablo, so I think I can use the arcanas as written rather than feeling the need to customize them. I like the idea of spellcasting being risky for Age of Terror though, so I think I will carry over a version of Dragon Age’s magical mishaps. I also might still introduce some custom arcanas – one for spells like Holy Bolt and Flash, and one for the set of dark magic spells used by cultists, fallen shaman, and other monsters.

Monsters from Fantasy Age map better in Diablo than the monsters of Dragon Age, but I still want to customize them for Age of Terror. In general, I want minion monsters in Age of Terror to go down faster than default for Age system adversaries while also customizing them to better match the monsters from the computer games.

I’ve started updating the hack, but still have a lot of work ahead of me to finish converting everything in Age of Terror. I’m planning to share progress here as I work, so let me know if there is anything that you’d be particularly interested in seeing.

By Scott Boehmer

A game enthusiast and software engineer.

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