Welcome once more to Heroes on Demand, your weekly source of ready-to-play PCs for a number of different RPGs. For this installment, we’ll be venturing into the realm of Thedas, setting of BioWare’s popular Dragon Age series of video games and adapted into a simple yet flexible tabletop RPG by Green Ronin. While the first two Dragon Age games focus on one particular individual doing great deeds, there are those of similar adventurous spirit who are not likely to have such a chance to drastically impact the world around them, and must instead settle for the ability to alter the course of their future, to embrace a heritage that is all but lost. So join us as we trek out into the wilds of Thedas and introduce…
Game: Dragon Age RPG
Background: City Elf
Dexterity 4 (Focus: Bows, Stealth)
Backstab, Rogue’s Armor, Weapon Groups (Bows, Brawling, Light Blades, Staves)
Speed: 16 yards
Armor Rating: 3
Health Points: 29
Equipment: Longbow (1d6+6), short sword (1d6+3), light leather armor, backpack, quiver with 20 arrows, traveler’s garb, waterskin, 60 silver pieces
Background: Though born in one of the many elven alienages, Marall always sought to escape the gloomy prospects of a life of crushing poverty and despair that came with such places; to join one of the many traveling bands of the Dalish and regain some measure of pride in his racial legacy. After seeing his uncle whipped by a Fereldan noble for no other crime than accidentally splashing some mud on the man’s boots, Marall took his chance that night and fled the city, sneaking past the guards and out into the wilds. It was several weeks before he came upon a group of Dalish, and though suspicious at first, they eventually welcomed the outcast into their ranks. Though Marall still has some trouble with speaking the Elven tongue, he’s otherwise managed to fit in quite well, serving the band as an able scout and hunter, leading a few of the elders to remark that while he was born to the city, in his heart Marall has always been one of the Dalish.
Design Notes: Marall was a character notion I came up with way back when I purchased the initial Dragon Age box set, a city-born elf that’s “gone native” and taken up a lifestyle that’s wilder but no less fraught with danger than living as a second-class citizen.
For those not familiar with the Dragon Age video game and Green Ronin’s RPG adaptation of the same, elves in Thedas are not the glamorous or idealized creatures that they are in many other settings. Those born into the city are treated as second-class citizens at best, much the same way immigrants into other nations have been treated; required or forced to live within a single area that could rightly be called a slum compared to the rest of the city. These elves are also not immortal, and most of their original culture has been lost to the ravages of time and humans. The only exception to this are the Dalish Elves, bands of travelers not too unlike the popular concept of the Roma, who struggle to retain what little bits of elven culture they have and rediscover what was lost.
In terms of game mechanics, Marall is a fairly typical elf sniper, being incredibly adept with a bow in addition to being very sneaky thanks to his Stealth focus and the Scouting talent. He’s definitely more of a “hit and fade” type of combatant, though he can at least hold his own in melee for a short while. Sadly, the Rogue class in Dragon Age pretty much forces such characters to be engaged in melee in order to make use of their Backstab ability by default, though it probably wouldn’t be too game-breaking to alter it to enable the Rogue to use it with ranged weapons, but only out to a certain distance, sort of like how Sneak Attack damage worked in D&D 3rd Edition.
Image is taken from the Dragon Age Wiki.
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