Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Dreams of Dragons

Just a mock up for the beta, the final version will have original artwork.


So I’ve alluded to an RPG project we are working on and I think it’s safe now to share at least a little bit more about it.

The project is titled Dreams of Dragons.

As a few of you guessed, the project is based off the venerable Swedish game Drakar och Demoner
BRP / Runequest derivative with some unique qualities of its own and its legs somewhat firmly planted in a kitchen sink fantasy with a sort of common-sense Nordic sensibility. 
That does not mean it will be a strict clone, but rather we are using it as a starting point to achieve our goals.

* * *

Thematically, this is a reach back to a gaming style that has become a bit over-looked, but which we believe still has adherents.
Roleplaying tends to be dominated now by either narrative-driven story-game experiences, survival-focused dungeon crawlers or meticulously balanced tactical systems.

We’re not setting out to create “gonzo” or “weird fantasy”.
There’ll be no endless dungeon levels or anime heroes. 
We’re not trying to be offend your grandma or to make you have a deep realization about interpersonal relations.

Instead we hope it will be a game where Tolkien’s Strider and Edding’s Sparhawk may feel at home, adventuring to the tune of a Blind Guardian song, while scenes from a Michael Whelan or Angus McBride painting play out.

Those are somewhat lofty aspirations and we hope we can achieve them with your help.

* * *

What is the game system going to look like then?

Mechanically, it’s a skill-driven system using a D20 roll-under system. 
There are no character classes. Instead once you have created your character (a fairly quick process) you are free to pursue any activities you are interested in.
Skills improve slowly as you use them, reflecting your characters actions. 
If you want to master something, you must train hard or seek out an instructor.

Combat is gritty without being excessively lethal.
A simple action system with attacks, parries and hit points that don’t escalate out of control.

Magic is skill driven with the ability to cast spells at increasing levels of power, granting players a lot of flexibility without endless lists of “cure tiny wounds”, “cure small wounds”, “cure somewhat bigger wounds” etc.

Miniatures will be catered for with simple but robust rules for their use, whether you prefer playing on a grid or wargaming style with a measuring tape.

Complexity wise, we’re aiming for something with more meat to it than something like OpenQuest or most OSR games, but without being as involved as Runequest or GURPS.
Most players should be able to pick up how to play in a single session.

More interesting features include a “Hero” system, allowing players to gain powerful abilities if they prove themselves, Orders and organizations to join from the mundane to the mystical and the chance to become a messenger of the gods with all that entails. 
Backing that up will be rules for overland travel, mass warfare so you can lead armies to save the kingdom, creating your own magical items and of course a huge array of creatures to role play as.

The rules should be sufficiently compatible with other BRP games that you can easily use creatures and monsters from games like OpenQuest or Runequest with very little difficulty. 

* * *

The aim is a one-book game, with the possibility of further books or later expansion down the road.
This book will include multiple magic systems and the sprawling campaign setting of Erehwesle to play in, with everything from degenerate lizard men, war torn battlefields and sea knights to crusading minotaurs and animal worshipping imperialists. 
There’s centaurs and cat people and… ducks? Yeah. Definitely ducks.

The setting will be supported with character creation options for the different people and critters of the world, allowing you to make characters that feel right at home immediately.

We will be doing a beta test for the game.
This will function the same way as past Nordic Weasel beta tests have worked:

The beta version will a fully playable game, though without a lot of the fancier stuff (mass combat f.x.) and some with some sections such as the bestiary heavily reduced.
When you buy the final game, you will then get a discount equal to the cost of the beta copy.
This way when you put money down, there’s a game to get stuck into right away instead of kickstarting for stuff that may never be finished.

As with any other Nordic Weasel title, updates, corrections and improvements will be added even after the final game is released.
We’ve all bought a game in PDF and been irritated that there’s obvious mistakes from years ago.

* * *

When will all this go down?
Hard to say because this has become a huge project, but hopefully very soon.
The version on my hard drive is fully playable right now, but needs more work to be presentable. 

2 comments:

  1. You had me at ducks. No, seriously, Runequest is my great unrealized RPG goal, and that's why I have skinned my Five Leagues games for Glorantha. I am very interested in what you will do as a BRP-compatible system.

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  2. I am so on board with this. "Common-sense Nordic sensibility" and Drakar och Demoner is very much my jam. Looking forward to learning more once it's out.

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