Revisiting Dragon Warriors

So, a while back I did a review of Dragon Warriors, where I was rather dismissive about the game, but thanks in part to writing on the subject of the game on the Uncaring Cosmos blog I decided to give it another look and I think there’s more charm to it than I first gave credit.

First things first, I should admit that I was wrong about the combat system – specifically, I overlooked the fact that a critical hit allows you to bypass the armour penetration roll. (In my defence, they don’t actually give that rule in the armour penetration section itself – just the section on attack rolls – so it’s easier to miss than you’d think.)

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Dragon Meh-iors

Back in the height of the Fighting Fantasy craze there were a number of RPGs released in the UK market not as standard-format RPG rulebooks issued via game publishers to the gaming market but as small paperbacks released by book publishers to the book market. This provided a range of gateway drugs into the hobby marketed to young readers outside of the usual channels. Fighting Fantasy had its own RPG adaptations, of course, and the Corgi reprint of Tunnels & Trolls arguably falls into this category; there was also Maelstrom, whose rich historical flavour made up for many of its system quirks, and Dragon Warriors.

Penned by Dave Morris and Oliver Johnson, this is another one issued by Corgi, and originally came out as a series of small paperbacks which each added a little more wrinkle to the system – so the fighter-y classes were in the first book, the magic-y ones in the second book, and so on. This was neat enough, but the format did mean that it could become awkward to play as you flipped about between the different books to find the information you needed.

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