February 1st, 2021

marcus 2013

Another two RPG bundle offers - Green Ronin Games

Two repeat offers - one from the end of last year, the other from 2018 - of Green Ronin's AGE system and The Expanse RPG

Dragon Age and Fantasy AGE

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/DragonAge2021

"This is one of two revivals now in progress featuring the Adventure Game Engine (AGE) lines from Green Ronin Publishing. This Dragon Age - Fantasy AGE Bundle, originally presented in February 2018, has a companion Modern AGE & Expanse RPG Bundle -- itself revived from just a few weeks ago, December 2020.  Why so soon? That companion offer's first run marked the debut of Season 5 of The Expanse TV series (shown in North America on Amazon Prime TV), and now the revival marks the finale of the ten-episode season. It seems opportune to bring back our original AGE offer, a big hit three years back.

The AGE system debuted in the licensed Dragon Age RPG; designer Chris Pramas later genericized the system as Fantasy AGE, then pushed it forward as Modern AGE. The simple and fast-playing AGE rules make an ideal introduction for newcomers to roleplaying, as do the fantasy campaign settings Thedas (from the BioWare Dragon Age computer game) and Valkana (from the Geek & Sundry video series Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana hosted by TableTop star Wil Wheaton).

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these files have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.

Ten percent of each purchase of this offer (after gateway fees) goes to its pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief gets protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and to regional response agencies across the world.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$117. Customers who pay just US$9.95 get all six titles in this offer's Starter Collection (retail value $46) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook (retail price $16) and its Bestiary (retail $17), the Fantasy AGE Game Master's Kit (retail $4), and three Encounters (short side treks, total retail $9): Drive for Justice (character levels 1-3), Children's Crusade (levels 1-4), and Menace From the Mines (levels 5-8).

Those who pay more than this offer's threshold (average) price, which is set at $23.95 to start, also get this offer's entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $71:

  • Dragon Age Core Rulebook (retail $30): The comprehensive 440-page full-color rulebook that consolidates all previous Dragon Age RPG rules sets along with new material. Includes the free introductory adventure Duty Unto Death.
  • Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana (retail $14): The science-fantasy setting for Fantasy AGE where science and magic are both powerful forces. Includes the ten-page introductory adventure The Hermit's Road (retail $4).
  • Blood in Ferelden (retail $14): Three full-length adventures for Dragon Age, plus seeds for many more scenarios.
  • Dragon Age Game Master's Kit (retail $9): Useful reference charts plus a complete 36-page adventure, "Buried Pasts."

Modern AGE and The Expanse

https://bundleofholding.com/presents/2021Expanse

"You're not imagining it -- this Modern AGE & Expanse RPG Bundle originally ran just a couple of months ago, timed with the December 16, 2020 debut of Season 5 of The Expanse TV series (shown in North America on Amazon Prime TV). Now, just ten weeks later, we're bringing back this offer to mark the finale of Season 5 on February 3. (You may recall we pulled the same stunt with Green Ronin's Song of Ice and Fire RPG in April and May 2019, presenting the same offer twice to mark the beginning and end of Game of Thrones Season 8.)

As before, this revived Modern-Expanse offer presents two RPGs that use the Adventure Game Engine (AGE) from Green Ronin Publishing: Modern AGE, for high-power action from the Industrial Revolution onward (2018), and The Expanse Roleplaying Game (2019), based on James S. A. Corey's mega-popular science fiction novels of diplomacy, discovery, and danger in the future Solar System.

The AGE rules system also powers the Fantasy AGE and Dragon Age RPGs (both in our revived the February 2018 Dragon Age - Fantasy AGE Bundle now in progress) and Blue Rose (presented in March 2020). AGE is a traditional roll-high system where you roll 3D6, including an off-colored Stunt Die, against a target number. Each failed Challenge Test introduces a complication that pushes the narrative forward. The Stunt Die breaks ties and generates Stunt Points, which let you pull off special maneuvers or earn extra benefits in combat and social encounters. Every action type has a menu of Stunt effects.

Modern AGE characters have a Background (social class), any of two dozen Professions, and a Drive (motivation) like Achiever, Caregiver, Rebel, Visionary, or Ecstatic. Any d20 or 5E player should find the straightforward combat system comfortable, and you can tweak the damage rules for Cinematic, Pulpy, and Gritty campaign styles.

Funded in a stellar July 2018 Expanse RPG Kickstarter campaign, The Expanse RPG is a standalone adaptation of the Modern rules. Expanse characters have a Native Gravity, Income level, and Fortune points you can spend to reduce damage and change die results. Advanced Challenge Tests may have a Success Threshold with degrees of success. Combat inflicts damage as various conditions, including Hindered, Deafened, and Free Falling. The extensive chapter on space travel presents scientifically accurate travel between planets, communications times, and ship construction rules -- no warp drives or deflector shields here. Forty pages of the 260-page core rulebook cover the Expanse setting, and another 40 give gamemastering advice. The chapter on Threats is twice as long as the one on Rewards, which will sound right to Belters grousing about their low wages mining ice for Mao-Kwikowski Mercantile or Pur'N'Kleen.

The Expanse novels present wheels-within-wheels plots with dozens of characters doing lots of things everywhere. Likewise, the RPG supports many campaign frameworks: freelance traders, paramilitaries, Belter rebels, political operatives, or investigators tracking the mysterious Protomolecule. In a June 2019 Gnome Stew review of The Expanse RPG, Jared Rascher said, "I think this is my favorite iteration of the AGE System rules. There are so many useful tools, and enough bits to make a game interesting without adding in bells and whistles like powers or magic. [...] Not only is it a solid game for presenting The Expanse, but it is a good ruleset for hard sci-fi games in general."

We provide each ebook complete in .PDF (Portable Document Format). Like all Bundle of Holding titles, these books have NO DRM (Digital Restrictions Management), and our customers are entitled to move them freely among all their devices.

Ten percent of each purchase (after gateway fees) goes to these two AGE offers' pandemic-related charity, Direct Relief. Direct Relief sends protective gear and critical care medications to health workers, with emergency deliveries to medical facilities across the US and Canada and to regional response agencies around the world.

The total retail value of the titles in this offer is US$144. Customers who pay just US$19.95 get all six titles in this offer's Modern Collection (retail value $84) as DRM-free .PDF ebooks, including the complete Modern AGE Basic Rulebook (retail price $19); the Modern AGE Companion (retail $18); the cross-dimensional campaign setting Threefold (retail $20); Enemies & Allies (retail $18) for Threefold and other Modern AGE games; the short adventure Missions: Warflower (retail $5); and the Modern AGE Game Master's Kit (retail $4).

Those who pay more than the threshold (average) price, which is set at $29.95 to start, also get our entire Expanse Collection with much of The Expanse RPG line to date -- four more titles worth an additional $60, including the complete standalone The Expanse RPG core rulebook (retail $27), The Expanse Game Master's Kit (retail $10), the full-length six-scenario campaign Abzu's Bounty (retail $19), and the short adventure Salvage Op (retail $4).


Last time I said (of the fantasy offer)

My feelings on this one are that "simple and fast playing" are relative terms; while Fantasy AGE is a lot less complicated than some systems, it still requires a certain amount of messing around with tables to generate characters, and has all of the clutter of player races, character types, etc. etc. that seem to be an inevitable part of fantasy systems. It's as good a game as any for a non-specialised campaign, and it's quite pretty in terms of layout and illustrations, but it doesn't seem to offer anything particularly new. I get the feeling that a lot of Dragon AGE is aimed at players of Bioware's computer game, and since I don't play it that's largely wasted on me - since I don't know the look and feel of the game world I don't visualize it more vividly than any other game setting.

I think it's probably worth buying if you're a fan of the computer game and want to role-play the setting, and you do get a lot for your money, so I'm recommending it on that basis. But as usual YMMV.

and (of the Modern AGE / Expanse offer)

I'm slightly hampered here by lack of familiarity with the AGE system, but my impression on a quick look is a fairly playable game that for once doesn't need a huge variety of dice - everything is rolled with 6-siders. The combat rules don't seem to take up a ludicrously large portion of the system, and explanations seem to work reasonably well without going into impenetrable gamespeak. Presentation is good too, with nice artwork and a reasonable balance of male and female characters represented. I found that the font used for the rules is a little hard to read on screen - I had to up the magnification more than usual - but otherwise have no particular problems. The font size may be a consequence of the fairly high word count for these rules, and I suspect that it was the best compromise for the printed version - larger text would have upped the page count considerably. Unfortunately I don't feel that it's a particularly good font from a legibility viewpoint, which isn't helping.

My visual problems aside, this looks to be a pretty good bundle, and probably a must-buy for anyone liking The Expanse. Recommended!

I think I'm sticking to my original opinions here - they're worth getting if you're interested in the licensed settings or want a usefully playable games system.

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