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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Bilharzia

Fish Priest
Ducks are very much part of RuneQuest from the beginning in 1978, they are in the rules as a creature and intelligent playable character.
 

Based on this quickstart, there is nothing to do in combat but roll to hit? None of the pregens has an active ability to do something with (just reactions, or sneak attack you always want to use anyway)...

Why is pushing marked as an optional rule? That just seems like they don't trust their own design.

And they have halflings even though they already have ducks? Why
 
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Banesfinger

Explorer
The quickstart looks like a 'lite' version of D&D 5e (right down to the 'death saves' rule), but using roll-under d20. I like some of the interesting differences (pushing rolls seems to be a better version of 5e's inspiration; Armor acts as DR, active defenses like Dodge/Parry). Magic looks skill-based and powered by Willpower points.
Somewhat like a mash-up of 5e and GURPS Fantasy.
What is not apparent in the quickstart is how advancement is handled? Is this a skill-based, level-less game? How is experience handled? Do skills improve through use (i.e. RuneQuest) or through session points (i.e. GURPS)?
 

Fenhorn

Explorer
The quickstart looks like a 'lite' version of D&D 5e (right down to the 'death saves' rule), but using roll-under d20. I like some of the interesting differences (pushing rolls seems to be a better version of 5e's inspiration; Armor acts as DR, active defenses like Dodge/Parry). Magic looks skill-based and powered by Willpower points.
Somewhat like a mash-up of 5e and GURPS Fantasy.
What is not apparent in the quickstart is how advancement is handled? Is this a skill-based, level-less game? How is experience handled? Do skills improve through use (i.e. RuneQuest) or through session points (i.e. GURPS)?
It is a BRP d20 roll under system, not a 5E system. Some rules have been inspired by other games, like the push mechanics obviously comes from FLs own YZE-games. There are things that has been inspired by d&d of course (like the death saves, although they are not the only one using that), but the the roots of the game is based on the early (80s and 90s) editions of the game (and they where based on Chaosium BRP and Magic World). It is a skill-driven system, not a level-system so you increase skill levels and you could also learn new abilities, most likely with some sort of points that you earn throughout your adventures.
 




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