DragonQuest, redux

RThorm

Retired User
Interesting that both Silver Gryphon and Red Brick are both contemplating something along these lines. I've been an active supporter of DragonQuest for many years, and I'm excited to see this idea being given some consideration.

Like some others have said already, I'm in the camp of those who would like to see some revision and updating to the rules, rather than simply reworking and rewording the existing rule set without really adding anything new. If nothing else, the additional information from Arcane Wisdom should be included in the new version, and additional colleges of magic, skills, and other rules created by other fans and players should be given consideration for inclusion, as well.

One of the great elements of DQ was that it was so modular, and it was possible to graft on new rules, and to change rules, adopt house rules, or even ignore sections (the College of Illusions simply didn't exist in my campaigns) without breaking the whole system. Keeping that character for the new game would serve both old school purists, who want their game to be the way they remember it, as well as newer players.

I agree with some others (though none of us are copyright lawyers) who have pointed out that copyright only extends to the expression of rules. You can't copyright the mechanic of Strike Chance = Base Chance + (4 x Weapon Rank) - Defense, so a rewritten rule book that accomplished the mechanics of DragonQuest should be legal. But "should be legal" has no more bearing than does right-of-way against an oncoming bus; no one wants to take on a project that is going to get them sued. On the other hand, DragonQuest, however dear it may be to our hearts, is small potatoes, and a scruffy retro-clone isn't likely to be worth the bother to WotC/Hasbro.

I also agree that the new game needs to be more than merely a re-wording of the Second Edition version. New materials should be added, existing mechanics revised, and other reworkings should be done to bring some vitality to the game. If you stay close enough to the existing game to be cross compatible, then there's 30 years of playtesting that can be tapped into and drawn upon for this. It would be exciting to make use of that resource.

I really was drawn to DQ at first, in part, because it was very setting neutral, and could be used with any kind of campaign setting. That said, I think that providing a campaign setting for the game could be an important part of the package.

The name and the trademark for DragonQuest are available, having been abandoned by WotC/Hasbro. However, there *is* the video-RPG which uses the same name. I think a new name would be appropriate (though also keeping a clear acknowledgment of the heritage of the proposed new game). It's probably going to be different enough that it should take on its own identity.

RedBrick has been in touch with Eric Goldberg. Someone else asked about contacting Chris Klug - he's currently on the faculty at Carnegie Mellon University:
(http://www.etc.cmu.edu/projects/experimentalgameplay/people.php)
(http://www.etc.cmu.edu/projects/improv/contact.htm)

As the author of an unofficial DragonQuest supplement ("Poor Brendan's Almanac"), I would be very happy to see that material find a home in whatever new DQ project goes forward. I think you will find a number of us who have played DQ for many years interested in participating in this project.

Those of you who are interested in DQ and who aren't already familiar with the community around it should look through the archives (Yahoo groups) of the DQ Newsletter, DQ-rules, and the dqn-list, as well as the DragonQuest Players Association:
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/dqn-list/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dqnewsletter/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dq-rules/
http://www.dragonquest.org/

Rodger Thorm
 

Lars Dangly

Registered User
Validated User
I think the thing it most needs in terms of rules revisions is a 'sprucing up' of the systems describing melee combat and weapon skills. There needs to be a stronger relationship between skill level and your ability to defend yourself, and some more dynamic elements. I would steal liberally from the recently released second edition Runequest by Mongoose.
 

Apollyon

Retired User
...I can't imagine there'd be TWO groups of guys in New Zealand, both crazy about DQ and putting all this effort in to keep it alive!
We're not crazy! Just slightly obsessed. Oh, crazy about DQ... ;) OK, guilty as charged.
(I guess I should add, I'm not a huge fan of piracy and will justify it by saying that I have two copies of the original stuff, 1st edition and 2nd edition hardback, as well as the Ares DQ stuff).
Yeah, I've got an old 2nd Ed softback that has been literally loved to bits... and a 3rd Ed (which didn't get loved nearly as much). :)

The Guild's version of the rules is based on 2nd Ed, and while the underlying mechanics haven't really changed almost every section, college, skill, etc has been altered. In some cases it's been because of the multi-GM nature of the campaign... which has had the unfortunate effect of pushing us towards more precise (read: longer and more legalese) writeups of spells and the like, and in other cases changes made to make the game / campaign work better.

RThorm mentions not using College of Illusions, the Guild has re-written Illusions (at least twice) to try and make it playable (which in this context means "can do defined things" rather than "anything I can think of"), other Colleges such as Lesser Summoning from Arcane Wisdom were tried and then dropped (we found that practitioners of that college became "dinner mages"; most often called upon to summon food. :) The Binder college was formed out of parts of Shaper, also from Arcane Wisdom, while Greater Summonings was relegated to NPC only after experience showed that PC summoners either got quickly dead or massively powerful with little space in-between, etc.

In some ways the Guild ruleset is already more "inspired by DQ" than actual original DQ... and there is probably some material there that would be desirable in a revamped "real" DQ -- I think our Necro college is much better for example. :)
 

Darklance

Author of Ingenium
Validated User
There are a great many factors playing into this. Our biggest issue here becomes a question of resources; Silver Gryphon Games has a grand total of three members. Our philosophy up until now has been to have a person as brand manager for each game system we produce.

Right now, we have three people, and three lines - AEther, Ingenium, and Savage Worlds (as supplemental licensee).

Were we to pursue this, I'd be handling both Ingenium and DragonQuest, two reasonably similar games.

What we're going to do as a kind of test operation is to produce an optional set of combat rules for Ingenium that brings it closer to DragonQuest in terms of feel.
 

Anunnaki

Registered User
Validated User
Hiya,

Interesting that both Silver Gryphon and Red Brick are both contemplating something along these lines. I've been an active supporter of DragonQuest for many years, and I'm excited to see this idea being given some consideration.
One of those "something in the water" moments going on. Or solar flares, or something else. :D

I've sent a PM via RPG.net to Ben at Silver Gryphon Games indicating if they are serious about doing this, I'll bow out (first come, first served; no point in two companies doing this, as it's just too divisive, from experience). Haven't had a response to that yet.

Otherwise, I'll be kicking this off in the next week or so, as I have had a lot of interest from members of the DQ community so far.

Kind regards,

James Sutton
Managing Director
 

Strange Visitor

Grumpy Grognard
Validated User
I'd think I'd at the least want some reexamination of magic success and failure, and particularly the frequency and degree of magical fumbles. The grind to actually be able to safely use your spells in some schools was not one of the more appealing features of the system, and 2e only helped so much.
 

Anunnaki

Registered User
Validated User
Hiya,

Just as an update, Ben from Silver Gryphon (wonderful, friendly fellow he is too) and myself have caught up via email/pm and sorted out a status.

I am in the middle of moving to a new city and starting a new job (well, my first job in the US), so I'm going to be out of action for a week or so.

More to come on this in the New Year, once my wife and I are settled in our new place.

Happy New Year to you all!

Kind regards,

James Sutton
Managing Director
 

TheShadow

found the shaved monkeys
Validated User
Hiya,

Just as an update, Ben from Silver Gryphon (wonderful, friendly fellow he is too) and myself have caught up via email/pm and sorted out a status.

I am in the middle of moving to a new city and starting a new job (well, my first job in the US), so I'm going to be out of action for a week or so.

More to come on this in the New Year, once my wife and I are settled in our new place.

Happy New Year to you all!

Kind regards,

James Sutton
Managing Director
Sounds promising.

For my two cents, it's unfortunate that the IP owner is just sitting on DQ and will never produce it again. I think that the unfortunate corporate history certainly outweighs any moral qualms about making a retro-clone or new version, sans the DQ name. The game essentially belongs to the fans, so we should keep it alive within legal boundaries.

That said, you are going to get a million opinions about how best to do a new game, so I think the best thing is to take people's opinions on board but then do it your way. You won't make everyone happy anyway.

But I'd love to see a new game with nice production values and some minor tweaks to the rules. You could do worse than emulating the Magnum Opus Dragon Warriors releases for what this might look like.
 

greipr

Registered User
Validated User
Is it done yet? ...

Sounds like a great idea to me. I'd throw money into a kickstarter for it. Unless my vote of moral support is enough. ;)

I still remember when I first saw the Grievous Injury table. I though it just might be the most amazing thing I've ever read.
 
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