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Dragon Warriors
by Customer Name Withheld [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/07/2016 05:27:09

Yes this is a reformatting of the game originally released in paperback by Corgi Books way back in the day. This system is fairly simple. What I love about this game is it's tone. I think another reviewer used the expression of "dark folklore" which is apt. It is a setting where there is a lot of superstition and fear of the unknown. Good set of monsters (you get more with the Bestiary). If you are looking for a lowish magic setting rules lite system, you could a lot worse than Dragon Warriors



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Warriors
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The Miller's Tale
by Asen G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/26/2015 08:23:12

That's how adventures should be written: a cast of NPCs that actually have characters and actually don't just tell you what you want to know...not outright. A mystery that needs resolving. An open license to deal with what's happening. And, if you want, a final confrontation.

Now add PCs tto the mix, shake well, serve while slightly warm, see what happens!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Miller's Tale
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Dragon Warriors Players Guide
by Lee B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2015 07:02:03

Dragon Warriors as a game has continued to survive against the multitude of high fantasy systems like D&D and Warhammer largely because of its unique low-fantasy atmosphere: blending folk lore, a gritty Dark Age setting, and a melancholic haze into a crucible of adventure in which the heroes must treat the supernatural with fear and superstitions with respect, and where an absolute social order can keep even the most chaotic and powerful adventurer in check. The Players' Guide amply reinforces this unique flavour with articles on social order, the role of the church, and a thoughtful and appropriate treatment of, and expansions to, Dragon Warriors magic that is even more in-keeping with the Dragon Warriors game than the original magic rules!

As if you still needed a reason to purchase this book, so much of it has been written to enable it to be easily transferred to other fantasy role playing systems. Horses, for example, are oft overlooked as a source of role-playing, treated little more than mediaeval versions of cars, but a thorough article in the Players' Book will add role-playing depth and richness to horses in any fantasy RPG. And it doesn't stop there - much of the book is devoted to organisations and aspects of the social landscape commensurate with a Dark Age milieu and whilst there is a definite Dragon Warriors bent to it all, it is discrete enough for anyone to easily adopt the principles in their fantasy RPG of choice. Whatever fantasy RPG you play, the Players' Book will enrich any evening's play.

There are areas in which the Players' Book doesn't quite deliver, though, and I can only lament the cumbersome attempt to introduce a much-needed skills system, which falls far short of what Dragon Warriors needs, but is forgivable given the exceptional quality of almost everything else within the pages of this supplement.

In short, any fantasy RPG gamer should consider purchasing this book, regardless of whether you play Dragon Warriors or not, and though the occasional page might not achieve the same high standard as the rest of the book, this supplement more than comfortably earns its five stars.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Warriors Players Guide
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Dragon Warriors
by Michael M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/28/2015 02:23:16

Dragon Warriors is a joy: a slick, fun system and a vivid fantasy world that keeps drawing me back, year after year. This gorgeous and long-awaited new edition is a rare second chance to get in on the best-kept secret in gaming.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Dragon Warriors
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Dragon Warriors
by Leonard O. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/16/2014 08:21:23

I'm a long time fan of Dragon Warriors from the days of the original Corgi paperbacks in the 1980's. This consolidated, streamlined edition is a wonderful addition to any gamer's library. In terms of system complexity, it's best described as occupying the space between Red Box D&D and AD&D and is very much a child of that era. That said, I have no hesitation in recommending this game for new players or casual gamers who want to go old school without a lot of number crunching. The default setting, The Lands of Legend, is the real motor under the hood of Dragon Warriors; being one of the earliest "dark folklore" settings to go back to the source material rather then sword and sorcery. TV shows like "Robin of Sherwood" and movies like "The Wicker Man" clearly informed the writers and give the game a robust, earthy feel. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Miller's Tale
by Lee B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/22/2013 10:23:31

It's always great to see a new Dragon Warriors publication and also refreshing to see a published adventure that doesn't rely on the obvious dungeon-bash or hack 'n' slash for its drama. This adventure really provides role-playing opportunities, rather than just an evening of dice rolling. It's also constructed such that any form of railroading is completely unnecessary - the PCs have total freedom (even to the point of ignoring the adventure hooks altogether!) as the adventure merely defines the locations, NPCs and plots involved in the tale, without putting together a series of linked events or encounters through which the adventurers need to be chaperoned.

Whilst this adventure is billed as a Dragon Warriors adventure, it refers to very few game mechanics, making it simple to port to another game system for anyone looking to introduce more of a role-playing challenge into their gaming sessions. There's also enough content in this adventure for creative GMs to build this into a much larger offering, shaping it around their existing campaign, with an additional opportunity to introduce a recurring villain to hound the players in a future adventure also ripe for the plucking within this book - something no GM should be able to resist!

It's a cheap, short adventure that I'm sure will provide a heated evening's entertainment for any gaming group and would heartily recommend anyone to buy this product.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Miller's Tale
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Prince of Darkness
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/04/2011 21:46:48

The beauty of this product is in how well it dovetails with the other Dragon Warriors mini-campaigns ('Elven Crystals' & 'Sleeping Gods'), but also that it is solid enough to stand alone if required.

The sidebars throughout the first section on the city of Glissom are a great addition and highly entertaining (especially the one on games played at one of the local tavern) and have been designed to give the GM a bit of insight into how the average day in the city could be played out. There are plenty of cultural quirks to make life interesting (for example, the section on the law should give rise to all sorts of roleplaying opportunities in this city), whilst there are also lots of memorable locations. For the latter, I'd highly recommend the very short section entitled 'Into the wild.' Next, we are treated to a range of one paragraph adventure hooks linked to the locations discussed previously. There is a good mix of ideas, but really these are only very small sparks for the imagination. In true 'hook' style, you'll need to put a lot of work in if you want to construct an adventure around them. The overall quality is good, with a mixture of seemingly mundane and overtly arcane ideas, so a GM will be able to find an idea that will appeal to their party.

The adventure provides a good mix of challenges and there are definitely some old-school flavoured encounters sprinkled throughout, such as the Inn, the Siren Wood and the City of Mimir. However, there is a clever, consistent design to most of them, which adds to the story and the goals of the NPCs. In fact, the entire section in the Woods could be lifted and placed into any campaign world for a full night of challenge - you'll never look at the terrain, or the inhabitants in the same light again. The final encounter has a number of surreal elements which give it a strong, mythic feel. Dragon Warriors authors have always been good at this - I often feel that when one relates the tale of one's adventure, the authors have given you the tools and experiences to make your story sound like legend.

On the note of terrain, this was the only part of the book which really needed a bit more work. As the weather was described evocatively, the scenery changing to delineate each scene, and the story hinging on a great thaw - I expected there to be a bit more interplay between the environment and the party. Alas this was not so. Whilst it would have been nice, it takes little effort to include some conditional effects and challenges, so this hasn't influenced my rating too much at all.

As a mid-level adventure (5th - 7th level), the combat encounters are appropriately pitched to give the characters pause, but unless they do something incredibly stupid, I can see consistently hard challenge as opposed to a total party kill. That said, the encounters are easily scalable, and the environment and encounter terrain can always be used to give critters an advantage.

The production values are up to usual Dragon Warriors standards in that they evoke the feeling of old school RPGs in the artwork and cartography - both of which are very pleasing to the eye. The layout of the book aids its usefulness, and all the information you need for an encounter or scene is usually on the same page - a welcome change from some other fantasy RPGs. I'd recommend this adventure book to any GM of fantasy RPGs, not just Dragon Warriors.

A top-notch product, and Serpent King should be applauded for keeping this classic game in print.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Prince of Darkness
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Sleeping Gods
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 09/18/2011 18:17:44

‘Sleeping Gods’ is another high-quality instalment to the newly reprinted ‘Dragon Warriors’ RPG, and once again the folk at Serpent King Games need to be commended (if only for bringing one of my favourite RPGs back in print). The title consists of seven interlocking adventures, but there is a true flexibility to the modules. A GM could run any of them as stand-alone quests (by simply rubbing off the serial numbers and inserting their own NPCs and locations), as a larger campaign, or as part of an epic campaign mixed with other modules. This scalability is the first aspect that really appealed to me.

The modules are designed primarily to introduce the world and the social and political structures and expectations which are part of the fabric of the world. It illustrates these through the actions taken by the PCs and also in the types of encounters each module offers. Anyone wanting a fine example of ‘show, don’t tell’ should look no further. New players will not feel overwhelmed, but (and I’ll cover this in more detail later) neither should a new GM.

The first module; ‘The King under the forest’ is a dungeon crawl, and an excellent ‘first quest’. The character of Odo (introduced quite early) is one that has stayed with me since my first reading of this module in the 80’s and crops up from time to time. He is an example of a simple concept that can be re-used in any campaign to add some roleplaying opportunities for the characters. This simplicity of design is a recurring element throughout this product, and even if you don’t play ‘Dragon Warriors’, you should buy any of their modules if you enjoy fantasy role-playing. There is a wry humour to some of the writing, which makes the text quite enjoyable and lends a sense of levity to some of the scenes (which is counterbalanced against the darkness and horror in some of the later modules). The humour also acts as a good icebreaker in some cases to encourage players to feel less inhibited about interacting with a scene. It was just more evidence that Dave Morris either had a lot of experience in dealing with new players, or simply has an excellent mind for designing for this group.

Each module in this series turns the spotlight onto the skills of a particular class, but not at the expense of anyone else. In doing so, it gives a well-rounded party equal opportunity to shine, and achieve goals that are directly tied to their own character. However, the absence of one of these classes in the party won’t overly detract from the play experience – it might just mean that some challenges are harder than others. On that note, the challenges faced by the party as they progress through each module vary greatly in difficulty. One skill all players will need to learn is how to approach problems intelligently, as some have quite lethal consequences. Additionally, the watchword of the title seems to be ‘simplicity’. ‘Hunter’s Moon’ and ‘Sins of the Fathers’ are prime examples, where the premise is incredibly simple and straightforward – but the actual adventure has quite a bit of depth, and offers some unexpected twists.

The structure of the campaign is actually quite clever. Whilst the players are building their familiarity with the world, the NPCs and also creating relationships through roleplaying (something well-supported by the plot and tone of the adventures), the modules also scaffold the GMs abilities. Each module introduces something new, or a new rule to learn that would allow a novice GM to start building their skills. Additionally, the modules progress from a linear-style plot to increasing complexity of choices. The last module is a very loose series of events that a GM could use to tell their own story. With the preceding six stories under their belt, a green GM shouldn’t find this daunting.

This is definitely a product that is much more than the sum of its parts. I’d run any of these modules separately, but it is the consistency, attention to character (and uniquely enough, the GMs) development and authentic feel to the world that transforms these modules from ‘stand-alone’ to stand-out’.

I’m moving on to ‘Prince of Darkness’ with high hopes now…



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Sleeping Gods
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The Elven Crystals
by Adrian S. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/22/2011 17:53:35

It has been happy times since the classic ‘Dragon Warriors’ game has seen the light of print once more, and the republishing of this 1986 classic is a fine addition to the product line. This module excels on a number of levels, especially as an introductory adventure, and I really can’t recommend it enough for any gamer who is either an ‘old school’ devotee, or simply newer gamers after something of that milieu.

The great strength of ‘Dragon Warriors’ has always been in that the world is recognisable enough as a quasi-European Dark Ages, but with strong points of differentiation. It has always had a sword and sorcery ambience to the environment, the characters and in the way that the world works (even down to the choices of monsters included in this world). The background story about the wizard Elvaron and the forging of the crystals has a strong mythic element, and this is carried forward throughout the encounters in the module (my favourite being the Lyre of Ornas – this feels like something straight from a folktale). Again the recognisable elements of a kingdom that has fallen from glory, and artefact that can save it, and three quests all play to the sense that this is a legend unfolding for the characters.

The adventure is essentially three interlocking modules that form one continuous story. The locations have been well-chosen (the first is a forest, the second a castle and then on to a seaside village) and each has a distinct flavour that really does well to set each chapter apart from the others. There is also a great blend of underlying genre, moving from an almost fairytale-like story, to one that is almost classic dungeon crawl and finally onto a very creepy horror story. Whilst there is a fourth instalment (the heroic conclusion), this doesn’t take too long to run, hence my focus on the other three parts.

The encounters in the modules are challenging, but well-balanced, and in a ‘Keep on the Borderlands’ style, there are some NPCs who can be hired to even the odds. There are plenty of opportunities for canny characters to take advantage of terrain and creatively approach encounters; rather than a simple ‘stand and fight’ approach to combat. Scattered throughout you’ll also find a few homages to earlier fantasy games.

Overall, this is a brilliant experience. I’m also looking at ‘Sleeping Gods’ and ‘Prince of Darkness’, but I have no reason to believe that they will be any less than excellent. Serpent King should be congratulated for allowing this adventure to see light of day again and also for faithfully staying true to the original ‘Dragon Warriors’ game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
The Elven Crystals
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