Saturday, May 25, 2013

Changes in Dragonquest

Greetings all,
         For the less than .01% of Dragonquest players out there I have some thoughts and gaming ideas to share. Most of these are being incorporated into my test campaign of Blood Moon, but if viable will be used in the main game should I return to a traditional fantasy setting. Here are a few ideas that I am kicking around.

      Typically in the game I been following a rule of experience based on kills, appropriate use of skills and completion of adventures. In Dragonquest the completion of adventures was the big boost in exp for character development.  The game only had two levels of advancement.  One started life as a mercenary, became an adventurer and finished up as a hero.  Not a bad system, been following it for 30+ years.  In order for one to advance from one level to the next it was necessary to complete ranks in various skills.  8 ranks 4 was needed to become an adventurer.  For most players this was an easy enough feat.  The real challenge was becoming a hero. 8 rank 8's was not an easy accomplishment. Mages had a distinct advantage in gaining ranks in spells which as a whole require less experience than skills and weapons.  I have also had occasional players over the years try to take a cheap route and learn things like languages or other skills that rarely contributed to character development.

       My suggestion is to borrow from D & D a system of advancement based on accumulation of experience points.  Here is the rough draft so far.

Mercenary 0 - 7,200 (Roughly 6 adventures)
Adventurer 7,201 - 21,600 (Roughly 6 adventures at 2400 a pop)
Hero 21,601 - 51,600 (Roughly 10 adventures at 3000)
Champion 51,601  4500 exp per adventure

       Experience  points will only be award at the end of an adventurer or a playing session.  Points would not longer be awarded for kills, skills or other rolls in the game. I am also hoping that this change would encourage development of characters that is not centered around the quickest advancement to the next stage.  While that is not often a problem, over the years some player seem to have more of a video gaming attitude that the game is often about "leveling."  While character advancement is important, the game is really not about that.

       One of the unique things about Dragonquest was various skills that characters developed. It was one of the things that set it in contrast to D & D and the classes that one had to take. One of the frustrating issues with the skills was weapons. A character had to get rank in each weapon they planned on using.  So even with weapons that were very similar, one had to get rank in that weapons in order to use it with any proficiency.  Classifying the weapons has been one of the issues I hope to resolve for Blood Moon and further editions of Dragonquest.

       One of the things I want to test with Blood Moon is the elimination of Magic Colleges into larger grouping of spells. Right now I am thinking of 5 magical specialist. The 5 specialist would be Thaumaturgist, Psionicist, Elementalist, Necromancer and Diabolist. Characters are still limited in the number of spells they can learn as determined by their magical aptitude. I am not certain what I want to do with the College of Naming Incantations. As a College in the base game it has the potential to be the most powerful or the lamest college depending on its placement in a campaign. I may add it if I end up playing with Blood Moon enough.

       While Dragonquest caught the tail end of the Golden age of RPG's, most of my additions to the game came during the late 80's from the 2nd Edition of the AD & D. What really changed the game for me was the advent of AD & D 3.X.  I have borrowed from many of the volumes of books that came out in support of that incarnation of the D & D. I often find myself stuck between the simplicity of the OSR games and the more detailed mechanics of the 3.X system. I doubt I will ever resolve that tug, but it doesn't concern me too much. The bottom line for any game and group is the enjoyment of the game. Wasting words or brain wattage on "better systems" and "role playing vs roll playing" isn't worth my time much anymore. Perhaps its the old fart taking over my soul, but arguing about hobbies like I would when I was younger doesn't interest me.

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Of Ireland and the Irish