Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Dragonbane Quickstart

Product– Dragonbane Quickstart

System- Dragonbane

Producer– Free League Publishing

Price– FREE here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/409397/Dragonbane-Quickstart?cPath=27806_43182?affiliate_id=658618 

TL; DR– DnD 5e, The Dark Eye, Call of Cthulhu, and for some reason Savage Words had an awesome baby! 91%

Basics–  Time for something different!  Dragonbane is a new edition of an older Scandinavian RPG.  Let’s look at this new yet old RPG!

Base mechanics-  This is the mix of 5e and The Dark Eye.  Everything is a d20 roll where you try to roll under a skill.  More skill ranks mean more likely to succeed.  The solid 5e parts are the notions of advantage/boon and disadvantage/bane.  It functions just like in 5e!  But even more fun is pushing the roll.  That’s exactly like Call of Cthulhu.  You failed a roll?  You can reroll, but things get worse if you fail. 

Combat, turns, and reactions-  Time for Savage Worlds to stride in!  Combat initiative is a deck of cards numbered 1 to 10, so not a perfect copy, but high card goes first instead of high roll goes first.  Players on their turn take an action and move like DnD, BUT you can instead interrupt another action to dodge or parry an attack.  You roll a d20 vs a skill level to attack or dodge and if you succeed, you deal damage or jump out of the way.  Damage is rolled like DnD, but armor reduces damage instead of adding to an AC.  When you act, you turn your card over until the next round starts.  When anything hits zero HP it’s down.

Willpower and magic- In addition to hit points, you also have will power.  Will power is kind of like MP in any other RPG.  You spend will power to cast spells and to do special abilities.  Some abilities and spells have levels where you spend more power you hit even harder.  And just like above, you roll vs your own skill to do the ability.

Ok, thats the basics!  Time for the review.

Mechanics or Crunch– The mechanics here are all the things I love.  Roll under is an amazing mechanic!  Advantage and disadvantage and d20 dice for fantasy are always a solid addition.  Cards are a fun way to do init that is not crazy hard to do, but different enough to be novel.  I love Final Fantasy and adding magic points in is a fun way for me to do something just a bit different.  I love what’s here for mechanics!  5/5

Theme or Fluff– This is the hard part for me about this book.  The pictures are good, the book has a simple adventure AND sample characters.  The worlds looks interesting, BUT there isnt any real discussion of the world and environment.  I like what I see, but I just wish I knew what it was about more.  3.75/5

Execution– This is a free, hypertext, PDF with an adventure, MAPS, characters, character art, and solid layout.  THIS IS WHAT I LOVE! 5/5

Summary-Just go get this.  It’s free and it’s well done.  This is all the toys I love in an RPG oneshot.  It’s got all the things I want in a solid book.  My one major issue is I want more worldbuilding.  That’s a problem I hope is solved in the complete book, so I can’t suggest this enough!    92%


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