Saturday, 26 January 2013

Mini Review - Sleeping Gods campaign for Dragon Warriors


Sleeping Gods is a complete seven-adventure campaign in the Lands of Legend, the gaming world of the Dragon Warriors RPG. It’s designed for new Gamesmasters and players to the RPG hobby and this particular fantasy world and the level of difficulty increases as the adventures progress. In fact it has been designed so that groups can carry on from the adventure ‘The Darkness Before Dawn’, the adventure in the Dragon Warriors core rulebook, but this doesn’t need to be the case.

The book is split into eight chapters, Chapter 1 being the introduction and the next seven chapters being each individual adventure.

Chapter 1 covers the basics – it fills you in on the locations, how to use the book and other information pertinent to beginning the adventure.

I don’t want to go into story details as I don’t want to ruin it for any prospective players but the campaign starts proper with Chapter 2, ‘The King Under the Forest’. This is a simple beginning adventure for first rank characters. In fact, Chapter 3 ‘A Shadow On The Mist’, Chapter 4 ‘Hunter’s Moon’, Chapter 5 ‘The One-Eyed God’ and Chapter 6 ‘Sins of the Fathers’ are all of the same ilk. They are basic adventures set in an underworld location, with a series of rooms interlinked to build to a final face-off. It’s not until Chapter 7 ‘Mungonda Gold’ and Chapter 8 ‘The Greatest Prize’ that the adventures properly pit the players against some seriously good outdoor encounters but even then they return to the tried and tested underworld locations.

There’s nothing wrong with that but there is a danger of a lack of variety if the game progresses from one adventure to the other – experienced gamers might find the adventure far too linear. To help offset this the campaign allows for the player characters to travel away and go on other adventures between the ones in the book, allowing for breaks between the chapters. It’s a good idea that any of the adventures can be inserted into any other campaign quite easily, even independently of the rest of the campaign.

As the game unfolds the PCs come across all kinds of characters and beasts and there is a real sense of progress for players new to the game as they tumble from one adventure to the next. For experienced Dragon Warrior groups it’s a great adventure but there’s also plenty of material in here if you don’t intend to run the adventure as it is written, with maps, locations, characters and stats. There’s a wonderful Dragon encounter in ‘The King Under The Forest’ that I used in a game outside of the scenario, so in that respect you can even get this book for higher-rank adventurers. You can use the locations, single encounters and other bits of the adventures for your own game, or even change the difficulty of the adventures to suit.

All said it’s a nice, atmospheric publication with some fun encounters. It may be a little linear for experienced gamers, but as a first campaign book for the Dragon Warriors RPG it’s a good product.