For those of you who have been living in a different reality for the last few months, Dragon Age: Origins will be an unknown. If you as much as have spoken to anyone into games, you will have heard the name. If you are into games, you know only so well what game I am talking about.
Still… lets assume there are some of you who haven’t heard of Dragon Age: Origins. That game brought to your console or computer Ferelden and a once in a lifetime chance to save the world as we know it. Dragon Age: Origins unveiled a wonderfully rich world in a dark fantasy setting where an order of outstanding individuals, the Grey Wardens, who dedicate their lives to fight the Darkspawn. The Darkspawn are threatening the land again with a second blight that will put the first blight to shame and you and your band of merry companions will have to stop it. To add salt to injury, you will also have to deal with politics and brave your way through palacial intrigue, dwarven traditions, elfic curses and a great deal more. All in all, the game provided some 80 hours of terrific fun and great depth of storytelling, characters and environments.
Dragon Age: Origins the video game erupted in the world of table top Role Playing Games with a terrific box set that would set you off very nicely to live adventures outside your computer or console. Jeff Tidball made a great job in bringing the world to the tables with three lovely books in a box that would allow you to play characters up to level 5. With the immense amount of information online and in printed books and novels, you simply can’t go wrong.
Here now comes this GM’s Kit. At £13.50, it does sound like a good buy. Well… it is. To some degree.
With this so called “kit” comes the GM’s screen and a 32 pages adventure written by the skilful Mr. Tidball. Unfortunately that’s where it all ends.
Sorry Green Ronin… an adventure and a screen doesn’t make a “kit”, specially for the GM. Some information on Ferelden, new classes or monsters, maps, adventure hooks, etc… that makes a GM’s Kit.
Also, the adventure is great fun. A very good, yet simple, story and a very well crafted sub plots that give the adventure enough “sandbox” element to make it last longer and give more depth. Save a village and the region from some thugs. There is more to it, but I am not going to spoil it.
The thing that disappointed me the most was the terrible presentation of the adventure. The GM’s screen is terrific. Good quality, well illustrated and the reference tables are very useful. The adventure? not even a soft-cover and the whole thing printed in black and white with rudimentary illustrations and dodgy cartography. Would it have been that expensive to add some cardboard colour covers with properly printed maps?
A real shame that a product line that started so well and following such illustrious origin has fallen short in the production values area. Having said that, it is a well worth having product and a really good fun adventure. Should have been £10.99, but we will forgive Green Ronin this time…