I recently cracked open the beautiful hardback edition of Dragon Warriors produced by James Wallis’s Magnum Opus Press. As a matter of fact there are some copies on sale on DriveThruRPG at the moment – not at all cheap compared to the fiver my Tirikelu rules will set you back, but definitely worth it.
In the preface I talked a bit about my and Oliver Johnson’s thinking when designing the game:
“Our aim was to put something dark, spooky and magical back into fantasy role-playing. Loathing the medieval Disneyland of Dungeons & Dragons, with its theme park taverns, comedy dwarves, and cannon-fodder profusion of monsters, we made Legend as vividly dreamlike as the Middle Ages seem in stories, a place dripping with a European folktale sensibility. The flavor of what fantasy ought to be.It’s nice to see old work you did getting some love. Normally when that happens people are heaping praise on the land of Legend. The Dragon Warriors rules themselves get overlooked, even by me. (Especially by me, in fact, since I’m forever kicking myself for not listening to Oliver when he said we should dispense with the polyhedral dice.) But then I came across this in-depth review by Charles Akins in which it’s the DW system as much as the world that grabs him. If I ever get around to finishing Jewelspider for publication it’s going to have a new D6-driven system, but Mr Akins’ comments still give me a warm glow inside. As does this mini-review on Legacy Game Mastering:
“In Legend, faerie creatures are as amoral as cats and as heartless as children. A goblin in the rafters can spoil a whole night’s sleep, while a troll under the bridge ahead is reason to change your travel plans. And these creatures are rare. Walking into a tavern in Legend and finding an elf at the bar would be like strolling into your real-life local and seeing a polar bear.
“In the world of Dragon Warriors, human emotion is just as strong as magic. The scenario ‘A Box of Old Bones’ makes it clear that the miracles associated with holy relics are sufficiently rare and vaguely manifested that a fake relic can go unnoticed for years, getting by on the strength of its placebo effect and the willingness of clergy and believers to collude in seeing evidence where they want to see it. Our rule was never to evoke magic if a non-supernatural plot point would do.”
And if you should feel like a return to the lands of Legend, Serpent King Games have made the core Dragon Warriors rulebook available free as a PDF until the end of this month. That's better than a dragon spitting in your eye. (Although I should add that in all my time in Legend, the nearest we've yet got to a dragon is hearing an ominous slithering in a ditch in the forest one time. Gotta love that low fantasy.)