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Tabletop Game / Dragonlance: Fifth Age Dramatic Adventure Game

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The Dragonlance: Fifth Age Dramatic Adventure Game using the SAGA game system made its debut in 1996. One of the most notable things about the system was that it used a special deck of cards called the “SAGA Fate Deck” that had artwork depicting various Dragonlance characters instead of dice. The other very notable feature was that the magic system was freeform compared to AD&Ds spell lists. So a spellcaster could create whatever effect they could think of as long it was within a School of Sorcery or Sphere of Mysticism they knew. The game was made to move Krynn into a new age, one in which the gods are gone, and the Dragon Overlords have taken over most of Ansalon, but there is still hope, as mortals have discovered a new kind of magic, the magic of Primal Sorcery and Mysticism. The game was also released around the same time as the Dragons of a New Age Trilogy by Jean Rabe; the trilogy told the first tale of the Fifth Age.

The game system was very controversial, as it not only moved Dragonlance away from being based on Dungeons & Dragons, but it also drastically changed the setting. There was a lot of fan backlash against the game itself, as well as the author of the Dragons of a New Age Trilogy Jean Rabe. It was not to last. Game supplements were produced for the ruleset, and it did have its share of fans, but eventually it was decided that the line should be cancelled. Dragonlance was eventually revived as a game setting under the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 ruleset, which contained rules for running games in either the Fifth Age or the classic War of the Lance era.

Tropes that apply to the Dragonlance Fifth Age RPG include:

  • Combo Platter Powers: Due to the way that the magic system works, a character who gets an "A" in both their Reason and Spirit codes could end up with access to three Schools of Sorcery and three Spheres of Mysticism, none of which have to be even slightly related to each other.
  • Critical Hit: Playing a card that has the related suite to what you are trying to do is called drawing a trump card. So a character who draws the seven of swords card when trying to physically attack an enemy considers that card a trump card, so they get to pull another card from the Fate Deck and add that cards value to their action attempt.
  • Magic Knight: There are no character classes, and unlike in Dungeons & Dragons, a character can cast spells with armor on and suffer no penalties for it. So a character could be an excellent warrior in addition to being able to cast spells from the Schools of Sorcery and Spheres of Mysticism.
  • Mana: Spellcasters have spell points that they cast their spells with.
  • Necromancer: Necromancy is a sphere of Mysticism. It should be noted that the Necromancy sphere only lets a character make Corporeal undead, to make Incorporeal undead requires that they know the sphere of Spiritualism.
  • Rules Conversions: The main boxed set comes with a little sheet of cardstock that tells how to convert AD&D 2nd Edition characters to the SAGA system.
  • Saved by the Platform Below: Referred to in the original "obscure death" rule - where for the first several modules in the series named player characters and plot important non player characters literally could not die until after a prescribed time - if they fell off a thousand foot cliff to certain doom, they'd always get saved by a convenient hidden tree/ledge out of view.
  • The Undead: PCs can face them as enemies, and a Mystic with the Necromancy or Spiritualism (Necromancy creates corporeal undead, and Spiritualism incorporeal undead) spheres can make them.
  • Whatevermancy: Aeromancy, Cryomancy, Geomancy, Hydromancy, Pyromancy, and Spectramancy are all Schools of Sorcery. Oh, and of course the Sphere of Necromancy for Mysticism.