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Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Where goblins screech across the moors

That post last month about the realities of medieval warfare (nasty, brutish and not nearly short enough) set me to thinking about Jon Hodgson's excellent piece about the grim, fey world of Dragon Warriors. Jon's article was referenced a while back among some comments on this blog but could easily have been missed, so I'm linking to it here on the Serpent King Games site. And if that strikes a chord, take a look at SKG chief Ian Sturrock's companion piece here.

Fabled Lands players sometimes ask me what makes Legend different from Harkuna. Read what Jon and Ian have to say and you'll know. And you'll also see why I believe that Dragon Warriors has found its dream team, a group of guys with the passion, talent and sensibility to run with the torch, and can now look forward to its brightest (or should that be darkest?) days of all.


  1. Reminds me of the writings of Glen Cook!

  2. I only know Glen Cook's work from his very earliest material in the pages of Witchcraft & Sorcery magazine. Something I should check out?

  3. By the way Dave, which Dragon Warriors book is it that has the description and stats of automata?

  4. Of the new edition books, Hamza, I would guess The Bestiary. In the original set it was Book Four:

    Automata are artificial warriors of metal, constructed long ago by the scholars of the Emphidian Empire, who were themselves drawing on immeasurably older lore from the secret books of Kaikuhuru. Automata have humanoid form and can move with as much speed and grace as any flesh-and-blood fighter.

    They appear to wear elaborately ornate armour
    (actually part of the automaton's body), and the artistically fashioned limbs are often gilded or bejewelled. Fancifully, their faces were made to resemble the serene masks used in classical theatre. Many adventurers have spoken of the eeriness of battling a foe whose countenance remains calm and emotionless even at the moment of destruction.

    Automata possess considerable intelligence, but have no free will and are bound to follow with relentless logic the commands of their long-dead masters. A few were gifted with the power of speech; these have clear, resonant voices and use only the Emphidian tongue - incomprehensible to the average, barely literate adventurer, of course. The learned monk Emric of Cornumbria, who once held an automaton in disputation throughout a whole night while waiting for his friends to come to his aid, apparently found its conversation inhumanly didactic and unimaginative. Farouk the Slayer, on the other hand, told that he once fought an automaton which recited marvellous poems as the battle raged, so that in the end he had no heart to destroy it and was forced to retreat from the tomb he was trying to rob.

    Automata fight with swords and shields, apparently having no skill with other weapons. An automaton cannot be affected by direct-attack spells, and so no MAGICAL DEFENCE score is applicable.

    ATTACK 25
    DEFENCE 19
    Sword (d8 + 1, 5)
    Armour Factor 5
    Movement: 10m (20m)
    Health Points 2d6 + 25
    Rank-equivalent: 13th

  5. The basic Automaton stats are in the Rulebook, with the full description and stats (above) in the Bestiary.

  6. Nothing that would give a 4th rank Elementalist any cause for concern, then?

  7. Anon, we rule that the maximum power of raw elemental blast an Elementalist can do is 3 points. Your automata, dragons and hellions can breathe easy again :)

  8. I chuckled at the mention of adventurers being "barely literate". Which they realistically would be of course (something that many other games seem to forget).

  9. I only know Glen Cook's work from his very earliest material in the pages of Witchcraft & Sorcery magazine. Something I should check out?

    Yes, I think you should:
    Black Company

    It's dark and good reading too. :)