Friday, August 4, 2017

Dragon Warriors RPG, Part 1: An Introduction and Early Impressions

The Dragon Warriors role-playing game was a British publication that came out in 1985 by Dave Morris and Oliver Johnson that I was recently turned on to, and that has been rocking my world since I first started reading it. Unlike more modern games that tend to provide players with everything they'll need in three, relatively, well organized books Dragon Warriors spreads its rules out across six books. Now these are relatively short things with beautiful art crammed throughout. Comic strips are even sporadically placed within to help illustrate the rules in a better way. The early impression all of this creates is that it's really brilliant stuff; but is it? 

That's the thing that I want to figure out about this game because so often when you read a review of a game you have some loud mouthed son of a bitch haranguing you with how wonderful it is and the whole time that they're lecturing you they're not actually saying anything but the usual platitudes. The game mechanics are inventive and groundbreaking. The art is inspired. Combat plays quick, and is done in a streamlined format that makes playing a breeze.

It's a fucking bore that tells none of us anything important or meaningful. So instead of just telling you what I've gleaned from it in the first few hours of reading through the books I'm going to learn how to play the damned thing. If I wasn't a role-playing game blogger that would mean that I'd sit back in my room and read the books while I dreamed of convincing my players to try it one day - but that ain't me. Instead I'm going to be working my way through the books, learning the game as I go, and blogging about it along the way. I'll be highlighting things that I think are interesting and discussing the rules like I often do with Dungeons & Dragons. But more than any thing else I'm going to be working towards the goal of running an actual game on roll 20. This isn't me calling out in the void hoping that someone hears me. This is me getting my shit together so that we can play a game. 

You up for this, kids? 'Cause I am.

The Dragon Warriors RPG project will be publishing once each week. My goal is to start off each week with Dragon Warriors because these books really make me excited about role-playing games and I find that writing about them puts me in a good place. You can look forward to Dragon Warriors each Monday as I work my way through. 

Dragon Warriors RPG
Part 1: An Introduction and Early Impressions
Part 3: Combat





Note 1: I began this project using a copy of the first book, Dragon Warriors, that I picked up from Amazon after I had been reading a copy of the game on SCRIBD. Since that time I have purchased a collected volume of the game from Drive Thru RPG. At the time of this writing getting a copy in both print and PDF, which I'm using currently while I wait on my print copy, is only $35.03 that will give you both a PDF of the game and a hardback printout. I receive no money from you clicking on that link and purchasing the game so you don't have to worry about me pushing the game because I'm getting something from it. I just genuinely like the hell out of this game.

Note 2: While it should go without saying I feel like in this modern climate where every Tom, Mary, and Joaquin is attempting to get your cash without disclosing that they're doing so that I should make it clear that I did not receive any compensation for doing this series. I just genuinely want to play it and would love to get some other people excited to play it with me.

Note 3: I contacted Serpent King Games, the current license holder for Dragon Warriors, before I launched this project as I wanted to ensure that I wasn't crossing any lines that would get me in trouble with them. They have given me the go ahead to proceed with this project and I wanted to take a moment to publicly thank them for giving me their blessings.

Enough notes, let's get on with this project!

14 comments:

  1. I have the Mongoose ("Flaming Cobra") edition, which like SWN was made during the brief period when they put together solid books that didn't warp or fall apart. I like the game and the attitude, although I haven't run it for a group. I'll be interested to see where this series goes.

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    1. Cool!

      How is the print quality of the Mongoose version?

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    2. I have the first Mongoose edition, which was a non-POD edition and of good print quality.

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  2. I love Dragon Warriors, and was able to run a few players through two of the published scenarios before that group broke up. Love the art, love the world setting, love the rules. Very happy you are giving it some attention. Thanks!

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    1. I'm loving it too! Everything about it so far is just fantastic!

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  3. Dave Morris is probably the best RPG writer I can think of, in terms of evocative prose. I do think DW was a bit of a 'Fantasy Heartbreaker', in that it was too close to D&D (keeping all those dice was a mistake), and that it didn't distinguish itself sufficiently. Morris' 'Legend' was a brilliantly-described, haunting medieval-fantasy setting, and it's a pity he didn't come up with it first and build the ruleset to fit it. Unfortunately he left the really good stuff to the last book.

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    1. Oh! Now I'm excited to get to that book!

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  4. As a long time DW player/GM (and contributor to the current edition) I'll be reading this with great interest. Wonderful to see it through fresh eyes.

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    1. And I'm excited for your input! It's always great to have someone with a greater mastery of the game helping to correct your errors when you're learning a game. Saves so many headaches!

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    2. Feel free to ask any questions about anything in the rules that might not seem clear. :)

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    3. I absolutely will! Thank you for the offer!

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