Dragonbane Bestiary Release Date Announced

60+ new monsters coming later this month

Free League announced the release date for the Dragonbane Bestiary: February 24, 2024


From the press release:

Oh, will no good deed go unpunished? I suppose time will tell, but right now things are looking bleak indeed. I have wandered, ridden, climbed, crawled, and swum all over this earth; I have spoken with all manners of creatures, observed, analyzed, and recorded almost everything worth knowing about the people and beings of the world. And yet here I am, unthanked and crouched in a godforsaken crevice, hunted by several of the creatures that I’ve graciously included in my catalog. How astoundingly rude!
– Theodora Sneezewort, one of a kind

From cat people to chimeras, fairies to frog people, hippogriffs to hydras, and many more – creatures both wondrous and horrifying are crawling, slithering, climbing and flying closer towards us all! We are happy to announce that our upcoming Bestiary for our critically acclaimed fantasy RPG Dragonbane is set to release on February 27.

The Dragonbane Bestiary includes no less than 63 creatures, each brought to life in text and art, as well as a random encounter and a seed for a complete adventure. Among these fantastic beings, there are nine new playable kin included, each with their own unique ability.





The hardcover is available for pre-order for 483.00 kr (about US$46.58) and the collector’s edition for 768.00 kr (about US$74.06). Both pre-orders will give immediate access to a PDF of the book provided through DriveThruRPG. A set of 64 cardboard standee pawns is also available for pre-order for 258.00 kr (US$24.87).

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Darryl Mott

Darryl Mott

aramis erak

Great account. I've heard that a previous iteration of DoD was already using D20, like Pendragon, but I don't have a source. The single die opens up a lot of design space with the excellent Boons/Banes system, pretty clearly a refinement of 5e D&D Advantage/Disadvantage. I also find that the extreme granularity of the d100 isn't really necessary, though it can be somewhat useful for very high skill levels where a 93 and a 98 have significantly different failure chances.
I can ammend one element - there's a copyright 1981 Chaosium in the 1982 release of DoD 1e... So they got sent Magic World before it was released. (I'd skipped reading the copyright notices until today.)
There ARE very minor mechanical differences - in the calculations.
Just to note that a Dragonbane Troll has Ferocity 2, giving 2 actions per round, some of which can affect multiple PCs. Still not as bad as 8 goblins though.
Most monsters (vs NPCs such as goblins) have 2 attacks, A few have more.

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Paragon Lost

Terminally Lost
No. It's not part of the D&D arm of the old school games. The lineage goes

D&D including Supplement 1: GreyhawkRuneQuest 1E → Basic Roleplay 1980 → Magic World and Drakar och Demoner 1e → Drakar och Demoner 2e → Drakar och Demoner 3e → Drakar och Demoner 4e aka Dragonbane...

See, the perecentile skills for thieves came from the Greyhawk influence; OE alone lacks anything with percentile skills.
Greg Stafford was blending his Glorantha setting with D&D mechanics. And assigning percentiles to skills other than thievery.¹

Steve Perrin and Ray Tourney took Greg's D&D houserules and warped them into a discrete ruleset: RuneQuest. They removed the d20 and the class and level...
Later, 1979-1980, Greg Stafford and Lynn Willis combined forces to reduce the complexity of RQ into a lighter game, which was released as Basic Roleplay. It was sold as a standalone booklet copyrighted in 1980. It has 4 classes, but they're BROAD strokes, and have some limits on maxima of certain skills.
The following year, a boxed set called Worlds of Wonder was released, including the 1980 BRP and 3 worldbooks. One of which was Magic World. I don't know the direction for certain, but going through and looking at Drakkar och Demoner 1e, the two are super close. There are minor differences, and both were released in 1982.
I don't know the details of DoD 2 and 3 - but Drakar och Demoner 4e is the Swedish and Dragonbane the English title. It's a re-engining of an older setting and tropeset. I do know DoD 3 was still a percentile roll, not a d20 one...

I've heard, but not seen any direct accounts, that Magic World was licensed to help make Magic World...
For reference, DoD 1E, Part 1 is essentially the BRP 1e book. Parts 2 and 3 are the Magic World book.

Most Old School types see BRP as not a direct child of D&D, but I've read that much typed by Greg himself - in discussion of the origins of Pendragon. He just broadened the use...
DoD4/DB is doing the same kind of swap of BRP from 1d100 to 1d20 as Greg did with Pendragon. It's also made a few changes to be less deadly... heal all HP and WP if you get a full night's rest in a safe place. Or 1d once per shift by taking a stretch rest (which doesn't require a safe space). So, if you're not going anywhere, and have no encounters, it's possible to get 4d6 HP back per day... and 4d6 WP, as well.
Comparing this: BRP 1e had a 1 HP per week healing rate... but each wound, each poison, or "fast acting disease" can be treated with first aid - on a success, it's reduced by 1d3 to a minimum of 0. And in Magic World, Spent Power is recovered at 1 point per half hour. That's actually a little faster than in DoD4/DB.
DoD 1e has the same 1 HP ("SP" in Svensk) and MP ("KRA") per half hour.

¹: Greg wasn't the only one to latch on to the percentiles from Sup 1 and broaden them a lot... Kevin Siembieda, Frank Chadwick, and a number of others from that generation did so. Siembieda's Palladium of Desires campaign was doing 3d6 stats, 1d20 combat, and 1d100 ≤ skill for non-combat. Chadwick's 1983 1st edition Twilight 2000 was a 3d6 stats, roll 1d100 ≤ skill, game, too.
Shouldn't Traveller, Tunnels & Trolls and Empire of the Petal Throne be listed in the lineage of old school games? Regardless, great post and break down.

Edit: Picture of my shelf for kicks and giggles.
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Paragon Lost

Terminally Lost
I'd also like to point out that the "more weak enemies are harder than one strong one" is also an issue in D&D because of the action economy. Unless you've got a system like Shadowrun which allows for multiple actions per initiative pass, the side with the higher numbers is going to be more dangerous until the numbers get thinned.

8 goblins get 8 attacks per round while 1 troll only gets 1 attack per round. This is also why D&D has spent two editions straight trying to sort out boss encounters with 4e and 5e both giving them special powers and abilities other monsters don't have - an entire party attacking with their best stuff can punch way above their weight class against a single enemy especially if they land anything that locks the enemy down, often taking them out without the enemy ever getting a chance to fight back. If you have multiple smaller enemies, they may go down a lot faster, but at least some of them will likely get a chance to attack somebody (barring good timing with area-of-effect spells). And if they're monsters that can use strategy, they're likely to focus on a single target. The goblins probably won't win, but they might be able to take out the wizard/sorcerer/warlock/bard trying to hide in the back before they're done...
Yeah, I should have been more clear on my post when I mentioned goblins and the near tkp. Multiple weaker foes in games like BRP/RuneQuest, GURPs etc tend to be more dangerous.

Paragon Lost

Terminally Lost
They are definitely old-school games, but they are not part of Dragonbane's lineage.
True. I just felt that the poster was listing "old school games" in the overall sort of way and then breaking down the actual lineage of Dragonbane. Reading comprehension failure on my part most likely, a part of getting old combined with a need for a good strong cup of coffee. heh


So between the core rule book having 15 individual creatures and another entry for common animals, then this having 63 more entries, is the game more about humanoids heroes versus humanoid villains and less about monsters being the more common challenge heroes face or can face in D&D game? Will there be more bestiaries for the game or was the original similar? Also thanks in advance for people taking the time to reply with their experience from the new game as well as the original DB.

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