Free League announces Dragonbane, the translation of Swedish RPG classic Drakar och Demoner

Today Free League announced an English version of Drakar och Demoner, the seminal fantasy RPG in Sweden. The original dwarfed D&D in the Scandinavian market during the 80s and remains massively popular still in this day.
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A new edition of Sweden's first RPG Drakar och Demoner, finally in English after 40 years – the Kickstarter begins August 30
We are thrilled to announce the Dragonbane RPG, a brand new edition of Sweden's first and biggest tabletop roleplaying game Drakar och Demoner, now to be published in English for the first time.

Dragonbane / Drakar och Demoner is coming to Kickstarter August 30.
Sign up here to be notified the moment the campaign starts:

Drakar och Demoner was originally launched in Sweden in 1982. Now, we celebrate its 40th anniversary with a brand new and reimagined edition, with one foot firmly planted in the heritage of decades of Swedish gaming and the other in the modern and innovative game design for which Free League is known worldwide.

There has been talk about the "Swedish invasion" in the RPG world in the last few years, with award-winning titles like Mutant: Year Zero, Tales From the Loop, Symbaroum, Forbidden Lands, and MÖRK BORG. Drakar och Demoner is the game that started it all. And now, for the first time, the game will also be available to an international audience, under the English title Dragonbane.

Drakar och Demoner / Dragonbane has art by acclaimed illustrator Johan Egerkrans (Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying and art books Vaesen, Norse Gods, The Undead, Dragons) and lead game design by Tomas Härenstam (Mutant: Year Zero, Forbidden Lands, ALIEN RPG, Twilight: 2000 4th Edition, and the upcoming Blade Runner RPG). The team of contributing writers include the elite of the Swedish tabletop RPG industry as well as acclaimed historical fiction author Niklas Natt och Dag (1793 The Wolf and the Watchman).

For a glimpse at the fantasy odyssey to come, check out the artwork from the upcoming core boxed set in this newsletter. More details about Drakar och Demoner / Dragonbane will be shared via our social media accounts throughout the weeks leading up to launch.

Drakar och Demoner / Dragonbane is a classic fantasy RPG full of magic, mystery, and adventure. This new edition is designed from the ground up to facilitate fast and furious play, with very little prep time and adventures that are a breeze to run.

Although a toolbox allowing you to tell fantasy stories of all kinds, Drakar och Demoner / Dragonbane is a game with room for laughs at the table and even a pinch of sillyness at times – while at the same time offering brutal challenges for your adventurers.

We call this playstyle "mirth and mayhem roleplaying" – great for long campaigns but also perfect for a one-shot if you just want to have some quick fun at the table for a night. The core set will include at least one complete adventure and we hope to unlock many more as stretch goals, offering a complete campaign to play even in the core game set.
 

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Yora

Legend
I'm also not a fan of card mechanics. Of any kind.
Yeah. While I approve Free League dropping the idea of proprietary funky dice, they still have this weird obsession with proprietary cards. Though from what I can tell, the initiative system of Dragonbane should just work the same if you simply roll a d20 for everyone and go in order. Switching cards is the effectively the same as just waiting until the next combatant's turn. (Though the ability to trivially fix the card mechanic doesn't make it a bad mechanic.)

Monsters being different from NPCs isn't that weird to me, though. I am assuming that normal animals are treated as NPCs as well instead of monsters. Monsters are meant to be supernatural horrors different from ordinary creatures. (Which is why they don't roll for attack and automatically get a success.)
 

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aramis erak

Legend
Yeah. While I approve Free League dropping the idea of proprietary funky dice, they still have this weird obsession with proprietary cards. Though from what I can tell, the initiative system of Dragonbane should just work the same if you simply roll a d20 for everyone and go in order. Switching cards is the effectively the same as just waiting until the next combatant's turn. (Though the ability to trivially fix the card mechanic doesn't make it a bad mechanic.)
No, cards instead of dice for initiative means never having a reroll, as cards have memory and dice don't.

Also, the proprietary cards needed are merely numbered 1 to 10 in most Free League games; if you have an expendable bridge/jass/poker deck (like one missing a few cards), pull aside a run of A - 10 to use as your initiative cards. The ones that aren't just numbers have the actions economy on the periphery.
 


Yeah. While I approve Free League dropping the idea of proprietary funky dice, they still have this weird obsession with proprietary cards. Though from what I can tell, the initiative system of Dragonbane should just work the same if you simply roll a d20 for everyone and go in order. Switching cards is the effectively the same as just waiting until the next combatant's turn. (Though the ability to trivially fix the card mechanic doesn't make it a bad mechanic.)

Monsters being different from NPCs isn't that weird to me, though. I am assuming that normal animals are treated as NPCs as well instead of monsters. Monsters are meant to be supernatural horrors different from ordinary creatures. (Which is why they don't roll for attack and automatically get a success.)
None of the dice or cards are proprietary on any of their systems. Although I do agree they should just use dice rolls for initiative.
 

Staffan

Legend
None of the dice or cards are proprietary on any of their systems. Although I do agree they should just use dice rolls for initiative.
For MYZ, I'll agree. The special dice are just a convenient way of highlighting ones and sixes. You could just as easily use regular d6es, as long as you have them in three different colors.

For Forbidden Lands it might be a slightly different matter, as you also have Artifact Dice which are d8s, d10s, and d12s, and which give multiple successes on higher numbers. For those, using the official dice would be preferred so you don't have to check a table.

But neither of them is Star Wars/Genesys levels of dice weirdness. Or even 2d20 levels.
 

aramis erak

Legend
For Forbidden Lands it might be a slightly different matter, as you also have Artifact Dice which are d8s, d10s, and d12s, and which give multiple successes on higher numbers. For those, using the official dice would be preferred so you don't have to check a table.
The progression is so simple that one should never need to look at the table more than a handful of times...
12 4s
10-11 3s
8-9 2S
6-7 1S
2-5 0s
1 potential attribute damage on push.

It's not the same table as T2K 4e nor Blade Runner; they use...
10-12 2S
6-9 1S
2-5 0S
1 damage/stress on push.
 

S'mon

Legend
I absolutely love Dragonbane, as do my players. The BRP/5e mashup works great for me and for them - they've told me they greatly prefer it to D&D. The YZE derived stuff, notably the Pushing rolls, takes some getting used to but also works well. The initiative card system is fantastic & along with the action economy helps make combat far more exciting than D&D for us.

I currently have two Dragonbane games running, and it looks like being my primary go-to game in future.

Tabletop Misty Vale game page Dragonbane My player Kimberly Pauley has fun ongoing session accounts at Dragonbane Adventures

NSFW Roll20 Dragonbane: Xoth S&S game page Xoth Sword & Sorcery for Dragonbane
 
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S'mon

Legend
The game is pretty lethal; after 6 sessions of Misty Vale they've lost three PCs, two in the last two sessions. Only one PC lost in the Xoth game so far after 6 online sessions, in the first session - I think in the S&S genre the combats tend to be treated more seriously, which helps. The Xoth PCs may soon be going up against the avatar of a Great Old One though!
 

S'mon

Legend
More a toolkit of mechanics than an out of the box game in my impression.

I think it's both. It works fine out the (virtual) box in my Misty Vale game. With replacements for the Kin it works great tweaked slightly in my Xoth sword & sorcery game, and I've been working on a Mutant Future mashup Dragonbane 10KYAD (Mutant Future Mashup)

It only has a minimal setting in the box with Misty Vale. I've been adding Rob Conley's Blackmarsh & Points of Light stuff, as well as my own maps and even the Mystara Known World. There is a kind of '80s vibe to Dragonbane that cries out for B/X and BECMI adaptations. :D
 

S'mon

Legend
The game is pretty lethal; after 6 sessions of Misty Vale they've lost three PCs, two in the last two sessions. Only one PC lost in the Xoth game so far after 6 online sessions, in the first session - I think in the S&S genre the combats tend to be treated more seriously, which helps. The Xoth PCs may soon be going up against the avatar of a Great Old One though!
They fought the avatar on Friday and indeed lose a PC! Severos the Executioner, last remaining of the PCs from Session 1.
 

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