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Hc Svnt Dracones $3.00
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Hc Svnt Dracones
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Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Frank N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/07/2016 10:41:28

Word of Warning: I most use RPG sourcebooks as a pleasure reading material and rarely get to actually play games. With that said...

Hc Svnt Dracones was... well first thing poorly named, but not being able to actually name the product to friends and family when talking about what you've been reading up on is more a personal problem. More importantly, it's an interesting setting whose flaws can easilly be overlooked.

This is mostly because it's lore and backstory suffer from building an interesting world and then justifying it post execution. The further back you go, the worst it gets. One can look at the various MegaCorporations rising to power and justify them without even making a "susped disbielf role", but going back to the origin and trying to justify the actions that got us from our world to Vector world are... thin. Small things like why did they stick with a corporate structure rather than transitioning to a post money economy? And not just Mars; money is a human invention, so when faced with global bankruptcy against a coproations whose main power was just that they were rich, why wouldn't the goverment toss currency aside? And let's not forget China; they shouldn't have been lumped up with the 'other nations' as far as predictable behavior.

Thankfully, small problems are small, and the further one gets away from ancient issue the writers just wanted to sweep under the rug and into the real meat of the fururistic setting, the better things are. The MegaCorps serve their roles of being in the background unless you want them in the foreground, the morphs and implants and genetic modifications are well written out, and the slight touch of eldrich horror is interesting even to someone like me who normally isn't into that sort of thing. Additional grain of salt, the descriptions on the gear is less throughly fleshed out than the stuff being put into your character's body; push frames in particular were very difficult for me to envision, and with the existance of quadreped sentient animals in need of such tools to deal with their handicap. Descriptions of the families also leaves one wanting, particularly if one reads this book alongside the expansion where we not only got descriptions of families but engrossing details on the species as well.

The dice system is curious and personally I think it has a lot of potential for definining a character. But as said before I haven't actually played any game sessions yet and possibly never will. The idea of "get as many eights as possible" does scare me a little, so does the rather popular storyteller system as well. Friends and family I've talked to about the issue say it has a similar construction to the Marvel setting, only they use larger dice becasuse... well literal superheros.

Overall, I think this setting has a lot of potential with a Guide that is willing to write their own material. If it doesn't seem that way given what I've written, just remember that one can normally say a dozen things about how something is wrong, but most of the time descriptions how of something it good boils down to "it's good".



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Philip D. B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/28/2016 15:23:45

I've played Dracones for about 4-5 months, in the seat of a player. The group i was playing in was looking for a new game to play, and we enjoyed the first taste (a one-off) we played in this system. Unfortunately, the system and book aren't really as we originally thought. Allow me to list my primary grievances...

1: The book is poorly organized. Rules and lore flow together, with no clear end or beginning. If you're trying to find a specific rule, the chance is very real that you will have to read one or more paragraphs to find the single sentence you are looking for.

2: The rules are extremely dice-heavy. While this isn't bad in itself, it leads to a very complicated system of roll upon roll upon roll, with a different character stat used for each time and each roll having different results upon a bad roll. The crafting system is the perfect example of this. Combat is another, where large numbers of dices end up being rolled.

3: The setting is set in stone, and can not be altered. The introductory lore in the book reads a bit like the beginning of a novel, and this is the feeling the rest of the book gives as well. It's only a small number of pages however, and not a full-size novel; when it ends, dozens of questions have been asked and nothing answered. Normally i would assume the player and guide then work with that, but in this case the creator of the tabletop game has made it clear more story will be put out over time, in different adventures. This creates a situation where you can't add to the setting without later "canon" overriding it, or going apart from the canon and creating your own homebrew

4: Balance is in many regards rather poor. Transendent tech is a fine example: if you take a transcendent implant, it's entirely possible you won't be able to activate it without killing yourself. Even if it works out slightly better, it's liable to cause a TPK due to a poor roll from one PC, or even a single enemy. Nerves is another: an interesting idea, but in the end not used as nerve damage rarely/never happens by the rules

5, by far the biggest grievance with this product and its author: the consistent ignoring of feedback, ignoring issues and pushing the "one way to play" into the basic rules and system. When an actual improvement is attempted, it comes in the form of another product to buy. First the extended rulebook, and now today it has gotten even more ridicilous with the "guide screen info" being made available for the price of $2.5. When a rules index of 4 pages (which has been missing from the rulebook since the beginning) is sold separately you really are simply nickle and diming your customers.

In essence: Dracones is a tabletop RPG system that is largely unplayable in later stages of the game, especially if you enjoy making your own story and roleplaying. While it includes a good setting to start off from, you will find yourself disregarding and/or houseruling the majority of the rules to be able to enjoy it.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Cory S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/06/2015 18:33:51

Absolutely fantastic! I'm incredibly excited to start playing, the artwork looks great and the rules seem unique and very fun to play with..



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Christian L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/14/2015 12:34:33

Saw this on a ad of a site I visit frequently, and being big RPG Tabletop guy that I am, I had to check it out and it piqued my intrigue to just buy the $3.00 pdf version. You seriously can't complain too much when you get the core book for that price, I'm sorry.

Sure there a few things that should have been adjusted to make it more reasonable to think about (some of the surgeries that are required to increase stats beyond 3 yet their threshold is lower than some other games standards make these characters appear weak) but the thing that it does best is that it wants you be part of the game WORLD, not just be a character that kill things easily or be overly good at something. It makes you want to be invested in the Factions that it presents to you as to be part of something bigger than your character, rather than having the world revolve around what the character does.

I was very happy with what I saw and will continue to purchase the Add-Ons and the second Core book that started it's kickstater; more Vector Races, weapons, explanations for the previous rules and looks exciting!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by James F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/22/2015 14:07:55

I have both the PDF of this book and the hardcover of it and both are beautiful. The artwork is fantastic and everything has atleast some colour to it. Beyond the artwork the book is filled with lore and little details that really help flesh out the world that you're working with. Stereotypes from species to species, public reactions of the morphisms, details about the corporations and thier naming schemes. It's fantastic. The mechanics are incredibly flexible and it feels really polished. A great read and a great game!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by John B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/23/2015 18:27:40

Despite having a massive opening part that's merely history and setting information (you won't get to character creation until page 73 XD ), this is definitely a good buy. The game system seems solid enough, the character creation allows TONS of flexibility for making a unique Vector, and it's interesting enough to keep you coming back for more!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Tom N. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/21/2015 12:19:21

I saw a few promotional videos for Hc Svnt Dracones and I decided I was intrigued enough to take a look at the PDF. I don't care if this is a furry game, it's worth a look. But after seeing everything in this game, I can't say I was impressed at all.

The setting is nothing we haven't seen before: cyberpunk, megacorporations run everything, living on mars, all standard sci-fi fare. It does have a bit of Cthulhu mythos stuff in there, if you like that sort of thing, but that's not exactly new either. Something like 70 pages of the rulebook is spent on developing game lore and setting, much of which is just plain implausible, and I'm not talking about the existence of talking animals or the terraforming of Mars. I could not believe that people would be so willing to live in a company town, given their history, or that "going Galt" would be so successful despite the fact that every real attempt at this failed every time. I could not believe that the creation of Vectors would be done because one person still thought it was a good idea, even though their predecessors were widely hated (who would invest in that?). I could not believe that the existence of Vectors would lead to a nuclear war, especially one in which Earth was ruined but Mars remains inhabitable. I could not believe that the new corporatocracy is so much better than the old nation-state model that it would survive for 700 years essentially unchanged, and the game's insistence that this is actually entirely plausible is probably the most poorly written aspect of the lore.

The real issue is that the actual game content is pretty anemic. Most of the equipment is just standard tools and weapons like pistol, shotgun, machine gun etc. One of the most fun things about a cyberpunk game is shopping. Y'know, reading the books and looking at all the fun, creative equipment and imagining all the things I can do with it. The only thing that really stood out to me was a glove that shoots poison needles, which is kind of cool, but nothing that was as entertaining as all the fun things that we could find in games like Shadowrun or Cyberpunk 2020 (and with none of the fun flavour text either).

The player characters are called Vectors, essentially animal people. Species selection is some of the more obvious stuff. You got cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, and mustelids (weasels etc). That's it, though. If you want to play some other kind of animal that's not listed, like a bear or a rabbit or something, you can't do it. I kinda wanted to play as a bat. No rules for it. Owls are explicitly forbidden.

Speaking of rules, I felt that the way the game handles stats is a lot less intuitive and less elegant than a lot of established systems. There are four categories of stats and five different attributes for those categories arranged essentially in a 2D grid, some of which make more sense than others. Something like Body:Strength or Mind:Acuity is easy enough. But can you tell me, without looking it up, what is the difference between Community:Strength and Community:Presence? Also, there is an entire category of Economic stats. Because forget things like combat or character intrigue, I want to spend 25% of my game and skill points on the way my character handles money. There's a reason stuff like this is usually not included in the game.

The magic - excuse me, sufficiently advanced science powers have another weird mechanic. You have to jump through hoops to be allowed to get them (or have the DM fudge it, which the rulebook kinda-sorta encourages). Even then, your character can only have one spell, you can never change it, there's a 25% chance you won't get the spell you want, and if you're really unlucky your spell will be so powerful that it will kill you instantly if you try to use it. Also, the entire Cuil system is based on a meme from reddit. Just sayin'.

One more thing that bugged me was the morphism system. Honestly, The basic plantigrade/digitigrade option seems like the best by far, with little reason to take any of the others. This is especially true with laterals, who are essentially normal animals with human intelligence rather than a human with fur. They get a few advantages that come at the cost of having no thumbs and living in a world not designed for them. They can get some equipment that mitigates these drawbacks somewhat, but it still doesn't seem like you get much of an advantage for all the things you must compensate for, which most players will be able to take for granted.

I got the three dollar version on a whim and I was still disappointed. I don't see how you can justify spending fifty dollars on it.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Alex H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/05/2015 16:20:44

HSD is a very cool system, with an interesting setting - 700 years into the future, the "vectors" that replaced humanity after the great war have some technology that is so advanced as to seem god-like, but still haven't discovered any FTL technology to allow them to leave the Sol system. The result is Vector society is spread out over only a few planets, each one with its distinct personality and sense of "nationality".

However, you're not here for the setting rundown, so i'll give a few of my thoughts;

I really like the system and the setting. The White Wolf style "Roll of a pool of dice determined by your attributes" mechanic is present, and an old favourite of mine. Rather than adding more dice, skills act as a modifier on rolls, nudging you closer to the target number of "8". The game uses 3 different dice sizes, too - D8's are used to a stat players are weak in, D10's are used in a stat they are average at, and D12's used for a stat they excel in. When a player creates a character they assign 2 of the 4 stat blocks as "average", 1 as "weak" and 1 as "strong", meaning they'll need good skills to make up for any stats they're weak in. It sounds a little complicated, but after a learning period it's pretty straightforwards.

The combat system is pretty good too; players have a "Battle Pool", which is essentially Action Points they can spend on doing stuff in their turn. Various actions cost different things, and players are free to do as many actions as they can cram into their Battle Pool, which can lead for some cool, cinematic combat. It's also worth noting that combat is very, very deadly - a good roll on a single successful attack with an assault rifle is enough to kill starting players, which means that players need to think smart or risk being splattered over the surrounding terrain. That, or invest in good body armour.

The inventory and surgery system is very extensive. There's tons of equipment for your players to pick up, from the mundane like survival equipment and Digital Display Blankets - essentially a towel that can change pattern on demand - to the high tech and exciting, like a Voice - your plastic pal who's fun to be with. Well, less plastic, more "digital personal assistant", Cortana style. There's surgeries to give you more arms, wings, the ability to see in the dark or taste the air, and even freakish, eldritch powers granted by the transcendent technology, alongside the more "traditional" robot arms of a scifi setting. The armours are all given extensive backstory and can be upgraded with a variety of cool modifications to specialise or enhance them. My only complaint is that the weapons section is rather... disappointing. When it's not showcasing one of the special-made weird scifi weapons it's very vague and bland. Certain weapons are clearly better than other ones, with the lower level ones just being junk for the players to use until they can afford something decent, and a very common complaint from my players is that there's no proper Sniper Rifle or Auto-Shotgun analogue - at least, not one small enough to be used by anything other than an augmented macro monster. The author is releasing expansions to address this and add new weapons and items, but I'd rather they were there in the main book.

A few other minor complaints; despite being extensively mentioned in the Lore section, "Cogs" - the human-intelligence AI's who are granted Citizen status in Vector societies - are never mentioned after the background brief, and there are no rules for playing as them. Likewise, while the author has included 5 "Families" - essentially "races" - with each one having 5 sub-species, there are a bunch of Families and Species mentioned in the lore which are missing. Both are coming in an upcoming expansion, however, so all is not lost. Just be mindful that HSD isn't quite a complete product as is.

But hey, it's three bucks, and I would say the game as it is is definatley worth a lot, lot more than that. Very much recommended, as a diamond in the rough.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Stephen L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/29/2015 21:02:50

The Disclosure: Did not back this game on Kickstarter.

The TL:DR- In short, this is probably one of the best sci-fi RPGs I picked up in a long time, easily the best one since I was introduced to Eclipse Phase or Mongoose Traveller. At the very least it stands right next to Ironclaw under "furry RPGs I would recommend to nonfurry friends." It's not without flaws as I will list below but really, there are worse sci-fi RPGs on DrivethruRPG selling for much more then Hc Svnt Dracones. I mean come on, it's a good, almost three hundred page PDF selling for less then the price of a fast food combo meal.

The Rundown- As stated above, do not let the pseudo-intellectualism about "being human without being human" fool you, this is a furry RPG. That being said, there's a lot of fun things for everyone here, non-furries included, and no shortage of Stuff To Do. Since comparisons to Eclipse Phase are inevitable, here's where the two mostly overlap. Like in Eclipse Phase, humanity screwed up and lost Earth. Unlike Eclipse Phase, we kind of went extinct in the process (at least as far as anyone knows) and are survived by human-animal hybrids known as Vectors. Over the centuries that followed, the Vectors have explored the solar system and developed their own hyper-capitalist society, stirring up all manner of trouble in the process. It's this world of covert corporate warfare and cosmic horror that the players function in, one session could have the party involved in the conflict between Spyglass and the Inner Ring Police Force while the next could entail surviving a sudden Whisper outbreak on a remote colony (Whispers being monsters made of crystallized blood, one of the four (technically five) cosmic horrors mentioned in the setting.) The urban jungles of Mars and the living jungles of Venus are very well embellished; Earth, Luna, and the moons of Jupiter understandably less so (Earth and Luna are post-apocalyptic wastelands the Vectors have no real contact with while the moons of Jupiter are lightly colonized.) Curiously the asteroid belt is not mentioned at all, perhaps something the author is saving for later supplements. So there's plenty of places to go and things to see and do, from Pulse's gladiatorial arenas to the research stations on Io and Ganymede.

The Sticking Points- Let me begin by admitting I'm digging pretty deep here as this is a pretty fun game but, if I have to sit down and really think of one thing I don't like... besides the name being a bit of a mouthful that is. As mentioned, the game has an abundance of Stuff To Do but suffers from a shortage of Stuff To Do Things With. While the attribute system is surprisingly genius despite its complex initial appearance, options start to narrow further in. The equipment section is sparse but functional, disappointing considering how creative some of the items are (the Self-Assembly Module comes to my mind, a colony of programmable construction nanites stored in a hive the size of a softball.) The selection of Vectors are a similar story, five families each consisting of four specific species (except for the Avians who get three) plus one generic "uberspecies" like "dog", "cat", or "bird." But at least with the Vectors its easy to homebrew new families if you're particularly impatient. But then we get to the seven mega-corporations the players are supposed to start as the citizen-employees of. If the seven big corps have a flaw, it's that they're fairly narrow in focus, at least as far as character gen is concerned. Now, players get to pick two corps at character gen (the one that raised/educated you and the one that hired/trained you) and can broaden their skill selection that way but at the same time it seems odd that a corp like the Inner Ring Police Force (security company that produces PC storm troopers and police detectives basically) doesn't have a cybercrime division; especially considering their rival corporation is Spyglass, a corporation that appears to consist entirely of computer hackers and cyberninjas. Basically, if the system has a flaw, it doesn't reward you quite as much for doubling down with a corp as it does for spreading out. But on the plus side the creator seems to be a fairly responsive fellow and this complaint could very well become irrelevant in the next supplement or update of the core rules.

Overall, a solid game and a publisher I will be supporting in the future.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Zachary F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/06/2015 07:11:24

HC SVNT Dracones is by far one of my favorite table top systems that I have ever played. I have always been a big fan of Science Fiction and Fantasy so this system was right up my alley (Plus I might be a bit of a furry so there is that as well). I stumbled over Dracones about a month or so ago and was instantly intrigued. Back then you could pay what you wanted for the pdf so I dropped five dollars for it. I read through the book and was instantly hooked. It has great lore, easy to understand rules, and marvelous art. I have been running a campaign in Dracones for about three weeks now and my group loves it. I have never found a system that is so conducive to rp than Dracones. I am looking forward to the future books that will come out to expand upon this one!

TLDR: If you love rp and love science fiction then this system is perfect for you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Ryan G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/17/2015 17:51:44

I first joined in the kick starter for this item a while back, mostly interested in the system. I like a bit of number crunch, but I'm way more interested in doing cool things and telling interesting stories. The dice system HSD uses looked interesting, and I was curious to see how it performed. If it was as flexible as the system suggested, and allowed multiple ways to achieve a similar goal. The system did not disappoint, in the tests and games I've run and seen it run with.

But what really got me was the world itself. The setting for HSD is fantastically disturbing. It's a centuries old horror story, still on-going, with the Vector species caught in the middle unaware of its beginning and unable to see its end. Under the skin of normalcy, strange alien gods lurk, and danger hides in and out of the sunlight. This is a nightmare tale I feel no shame in comparing the the esteemed establishment of the Cthulhu mythos, as one of the more brilliantly creepy stories I've read in a while.

I also like how the history of the universe is presented. It's got a path it's going down, with a couple of obvious leanings here and there, but it's never unfair. Every step it takes, if you follow along from the beginning, makes sense. You can see how it got to where it is from where it came. If you agree with it, that's another story, but you can follow the train of logic even without agreeing to its conclusion.

There are some oddities with some of the skills and how you acquire them, but for a first run of a first RPG, this is an outstanding product. There's a lot of room to grow into, although the core book on its own is far from sparse. And since the expansions are more or less underway already, it won't be long to start getting the extra material to fill in any niche you might want.

Honestly, whether you like playing anthropomorphic or not, the system is solid and the setting is wonderful. Pick up the PDF (for a steal I might add), if nothing else than to read the history.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Nick L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/23/2015 14:52:50

Over all it is really well designed, I do have a suggestion.

-due to the permissions on the pdf format there is no easy way to print off the character sheet. It would be great if as an extra thing that came with the game book there was a separate file of a printable character sheet.

Other then that I love the direction this game is taking, and look forward to playing it as soon as I can get enough people with copies of their own!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Stephen W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/19/2015 19:34:04

The lore is engaging, leaves dozens of good plot hooks for careful readers, and all around well worth a read. Character creation is very noteworthy for it's flexibility to give players a solid framework for what they want to do and letting them do, and still giving enough solid substance to allow someone to dive in and start playing if they're so inclined. The rule system is surprisingly well designed, but I'm not sure why it should be surprising given the quality of the lore. (Have I sang the praised of the lore yet?)

The rule systems does what the video says it does. While not instantly apparent to your more grizzled RPGers that expect narrow paths and one-trick skill systems, Hc Svnt Dracones has a vast repertory of ways to approach and solve problems. It may take RPG vet a while to realize that "Yes, they can do that!". It does a fine job of encouraging people to stop and smell the roses and take the time to explore the world with the 'nerve' rules and subtly well designed stat system. Hack-and-slashers are still very welcome, but find they now have to applies them selves to challenges greater then "I trigger berserk rage, and mow down elite legions one through five as my first free action." There's still dangerous toys could potential destroy legions in skilled hands; However, Transcendent implants are just if not more potentially dangerous to the user when misused. Heavy role players will be hard press to not find a home here, as the options are -by design- many and manifold to approach and solve problems. With more on the way with expansion to the core roles.

The Novelty of the stat system can be a little hard to master at first glance, but once grasped it's has keys to many different doors. Overall, It's a shame there's no way to rate this gem higher then something so low as just "good".



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by William C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/13/2015 01:57:16

TL:DR at the bottom.

Hc Svnt Dracones. The name alone baffles me. When I first heard about this roleplaying game, it was illustrated as "Furries in Space". And in all honesty I could say the same, BUT WAIT BEFORE YOU STOP READING AND MOVE ON. There is so much more to this than that simple description.

I strongly, STRONGLY urge anyone even remotely curious about this game to read the lore before delving into character creation, as it creates a deeper facet from which you build your character. This game has some elements from other games (Shadowrun comes to mind the most), but in this day and age you will be hard pressed to find something that doesn't at least have a feel of another. But having played a lot of shadowrun, its a completely different game.

In much the same fashion as SR, there are no classes, only skills and stats to base checks and combat off of. You are free beyond that to build your character how you see fit. While the game is still in the early stages, and additional character customization has already been announced in future books, a wealth of options already exist. From picking your Species and Subspecies, Morphisms, Corporate Backround, as well as the umbrella of Skills (which skills cap out at 4, and in order to max them your character must devote themselves to the skill through a mission/quest type), it helps deepen your resolve to forge your character into something greater than a sheet of paper full of numbers.

While you can certainly min-max, youll find it difficult to do things outside your areas of expertise, the game promotes teamwork and often times synergy between players and character, or not. Either way you'll have fun doing it.

TL:DR= Read the lore first (cuz its epic, brutal, and very well written in its own right), Deep character customization and skill tree. Get it. Try it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Hc Svnt Dracones
Publisher: Weapons Grade Funk
by Ryan H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/01/2015 04:15:30

This game shows an AMAZING amount of promise! The creator has put some incredible thought into the rules and setting, and the amount of polish on it is astounding for a home-grown system. While right now the player options may feel a little bit limited, given time there is the potential for a lot of growth with expansion material!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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