Posted in Preview

Dragonbane – Preview #2 “Characters”

In the second part of my preview I would like to take a look at the player characters and their creation. Many elements are already known from Forbidden Lands, although there are of course some differences.

Characters are built according to the well-known principle of kin and profession. Humans are the most common in the Misty Vale, but the choice is yours. In addition to humans, you can also play as halflings, dwarfs, elves, mallards and wolfkin. Unlike in Forbidden Lands, goblins and orcs are not playable, this time the orcs only serve as enemies. Each kin provides an ability (talent), which can usually be used through willpower points.

As professions you have the choice between the artisan (craftsman), bard, fighter, hunter, knight, mage, mariner, merchant, scholar and thief. Each profession has a key attribute, specifies the most important skills (more on that later), and suggests heroic abilities. You also roll for your equipment.

As in Forbidden Lands, age has an impact. The older you are, the more skills you can choose at the beginning in which you are trained. In old age, however, strength, agility and constitution decrease, while intelligence and willpower increase. For the six attributes (strength, constitution, agility, intelligence, willpower and charisma) you roll four D6 each and remove the worst die. Then the value must be assigned directly to an attribute and you roll again. At the end two values can be exchanged.

As in Call of Cthulhu, skills have a base chance and you must roll equal to or under the skill value. However, the base chance in Dragonbane is determined by the level of the appropriate attribute. With the starting skills (the number depends on the starting age as described above) the base chance doubles, an attribute value of 13-15 gives a base chance of 6, a starting skill would then have a base chance of 12.

There are twenty skills and another ten weapon skills. The number of skills has been increased after feedback from the community, Free League had planned significantly fewer skills, but that was too broad for most. There are also secondary skills, such as magic. However, the basic game does not contain any further secondary skills and they will only follow in expansions.

If you roll a dragon (1) or a demon (20) in the game, you can mark the skill, at the end of the game session you check with a roll whether the skill is increased. As in Forbidden Lands, there are a few questions (significantly fewer than in FL) about the session and for each “yes” you can also check an unmarked skill.

Talents are not split into tiers like in Forbidden Lands. However, the talents also cost willpower points to use them.

You get equipment that matches your profession, many things, especially armor and better weapons, seem relatively expensive and so you usually start your adventure life with just a few items.

If you want to be surprised, you can leave most of the character creation to chance, but you still have to choose the skills and talents yourself.


There are also many similarities to Forbidden Lands in character creation. I think there will be significantly more talents and secondary skills in later publications. I rolled a character for testing purposes and was done within ten minutes, which I see as positive. However, there are some talents that are significantly stronger than others.


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