The Two Thrones
People die, and so do characters. While Dragon Age is a ‘classic’ fantasy in the sense that characters will die, it is not meant to be a meat-grinder either. So, some custom rules apply to death.
A character ‘dies’ 2+ their constitution rounds after their health hits 0. At this point, characters have two options, either “Suffering an Injury” or “Going Out in a Blaze of Glory.”
Suffering an Injury
If a character chooses to suffer an injury rather than die, he rolls 1d6 dice and suffers the appropriate penalty
|1||Disfiguring Scar: -1 Communication|
|2||Torn Jugular: -1 to Constitution|
|3||Concussion: -1 to Cunning|
|4||Hobbled: -1 to Dexterity|
|5||Torn Ligament: -1 to Strength|
|6||Eye Injury: -1 to Perception|
Injured characters cannot be healed until the end of a combat encounter. Injuries stay with a character until the next time they level up, which represents them either giving enough time for the wound to heal completely, or learning to live and adapt to their injury. Injuries should be recorded on the character sheet next to the applicable attribute
Leiliana is felled by a darkspawn blade. She rolls a d6 and gets a 5, indicating a torn ligament. She is down for the count until The Warden heals her after the battle. Later on, she levels up, and has learned to deal with the slight weakness in her right arm by compensating with her left. Her penalty to Strength goes away.
Blaze of Glory
Sometimes, enough is enough. It’s time to let an old character go, preferably in a blaze of glory. If a player chooses to have their character ‘go out in a blaze of glory,’ combat stops, and the player takes over the scene completely. They can choose to do whatever they like to their enemies, hacking darkspawn to bits or plunging a dagger into the brain of an ogre just as it crushes them to death. Characters who die in this way are finished. Done. Deceased. Players roll up a new character, and get on with the game, knowing that their late character died a truly noble death.
Example: Riordan, trying to take on the Archdemon by himself, is killed. His player decides now would be a suitably dramatic time to die, and declares his intention to ‘go out in a blaze of glory.’ Play stops, as Riordan’s player relates his death. Riordan jumps onto the back of the archdemon, careens with it through the air, before finally slicing open it’s wing and plummeting to his death. The archdemon is severely weakened, and The Warden and his companions now have a shot at putting an end to The Blight.
Riordan’s player then decides to roll up a new character. Since Riordan was a Fereldan Warrior, he can make any character with any background besides that, such as a Dalish Rogue or a Circle Mage. The player’s new character has the same experience as Riordan, as well as comparable equipment as agreed between the player and GM.