Thursday, 25 February 2010

Dragon Warriors - When worlds collide!!!!!

I've been running my Dragon Warriors campaign for three sessions, now. I started the game during the Third Crusade whilst Prince John was regent of England. There was magic in the land but it was receding and the player characters, who all knew that magic existed and that fell creatures stalked the shadows, were trying to survive in a dangerous land.

The game took a slight change of direction in the last session. They had been hunting a Knight named Chevalier de Languille who had killed one of the PC's brother in the Holy Land to get hold of an old Roman gladius. He then fled to England, where the PC followed and the other PCs joined him in his quest to avenge his brother - and at the same time escape from an Icelandic trader who had betrayed them to some local Lords on the south coast. The trader figured the PCs would die in a handover of useless goods the Lords had bought from him as supplies for their pilgrimage to the Holy Land, or at least take the blame, but they escaped. Now the Lords and the trader are hunting the PCs. The trader wants them silenced, the Lords want their gold back.

Now, it seems, that the reason that much of the magic and Fey creatures and races have left the world is because they have found another world where they can live in relative peace, where the power of the one God has not driven out the many and they have space and power to dwell. The way to get to this land, this Land of Legend, is by allowing yourself to be cut by a Roman gladius forged by the great sorcerer Agrippa a thousand years before, weapons he designed so that entire races could travel to Legend where they might find peace. Once your blood touches the blade a bloodspell takes effect and sends you to Legend (the land as detailed in the Dragon Warriors books).

In the last game a decision was made by the PCs. It was obvious that Chevalier de Languille was going to use the Roman sword for his own purposes and possibly travel to Legend. The PCs decided to use three swords they had found - after a dungeon crawl through the crypt of a local Baron (a friend of Languille) who was obviously planning to travel to Legend himself - to travel to Legend to see what was there, to find out what Languille might have in mind. So, at the end of the last session they cut themselves on the Roman blades and travelled to Lands of Legend.

They awoke on a beach south of the Pagan Mountains. The Roman swords were gone. They have no idea where they are and have no visible way of getting back home.

Now, I never intended to bait and switch the players - the use of the swords was an option not a requirement, and if they did decide to use them later in the game that was their choice - but now the game has suddenly changed from 'chase Chevalier de Languille across England' to 'find a way back to the real world from the Lands of Legend and then chase Chevalier de Languille across England, that is if he hasn't already come to Legend for his own purposes'.

Cool!

The Dragon Warriors system handled the game perfectly as far as dice rolls, mechanics and pacing is concerned. I will be using the variable damage system from now on as the set damage for weapons was somewhat dull. I would also love to see some variance on the careers as I have two assassins and a Knight in the group and, apart from some skills, they're pretty much the same. If the makers of the game could create outlines, skills and level increase details for other careers - such as Ranger, Soldier, Brigand, Bard, that sort of thing - it would open up the world even more. In fact, a book with a layout like the recent 'Friends or Foes' would be perfect if they had twenty-odd careers, each one two-three pages long with descriptions, initial stats, skills and rank advancement details.

Up to yet, though, the system works fine and has a wonderful old-school feel to it. All of us playing, me and my three players, are experienced gamers and we're having lots of fun with it.