Monday, April 25, 2011

Writing the World into Existence - Dragon Age

My first Dragon Age advenure, the introduction scenario The Dalish Curse found in the first box set, went really well, and I got a lot of positive feedback from my players about how much they enjoyed the challenges of the story and the mechanics of the game. It was probably my single biggest success as a GM, and it definitely was my best experience GM'ing a fantasy game. Naturally, I wanted to immediately run the next adventure in my planned campaign, the adventure A Bann Too Many that comes with the GM screen. One of my players, Keegan put together an amazing piece of terrain for the first game and wanted to build a center piece for the next adventure. It's something amazing that will be one of most intricate pieces of tabletop scenery I'll ever have the pleasure of using once it's completed, but alas, the masterpiece means we must be patient and hold off a bit before our next game.

In the mean time, and with another one of our players wanting to get in on the fantasy action of Feraldun, I've decided to try my hand at writing a full-fledged one-shot adventure for the game. Of course I've planned and run a bunch of games but never before have I gone beyond some simple notes and outlines in a random notebook to actually try to write something someone else might actually want to use. Dragon Age has gotten a lot of love recently in the gamer blogosphere (a word I hate, but find appropriate), and so I think it's a good time to be producing original material for the game. My overall intent is to write three adventures that are interconnected but can easily be ran on their own in isolation in a four or five hour period (potentially in a con game setting). So to steal a favorite phrase of Chuck Wendig, I'm going to be writing about my experiences with "writing the world into existence" - in this case the world of Dragon Age.

Of course Bioware has done a great job of exploring the setting of Dragon Age, but in my short time writing my own little corner of Thedas I've come to really appreciate how much space there is to create within the world. I'm really excited to move forward and hopefully produce a full-fledged downloadable pdf adventure to share with my fellow Dragon Age fans out there. In the coming weeks I'm going to be taking some posts to write about my own personal design process and experiences writing the adventure and to discuss some of the particulars of trying to make an interesting, compelling story that fits the tone and challenges unique to Dragon Age. I'm very excited about this project and if anyone has any questions about the adventure or has ideas for what they'd like to see in my posts (or is willing to do some free black-and-white sketches for the adventure :D) feel free to leave a comment here or drop me a line at

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