Dr. Greg Gillespie of Highfell and Barrowmaze fame has launched a Kickstarter to fund the old school influenced Dragonslayer roleplaying game. The RPG promises to be built on the B/X D&D rules system with the addition of AD&D chrome. The project is over 200% funded and you can reserve a copy of the Dragonslayer hardcover (with PDF) for a pledge of approximately $63.00 or just score the PDF for a pledge of approximately $26.00 through September 29th. Expected delivery is March 2024.
About the game:
What is Dragonslayer?
Dragonslayer is a classic fantasy role-playing game inspired from the intersection of Moldvay Basic and First Edition.
Dragonslayer is the codification of the homegame I have played for decades. This is the same game used to create and play my megadungeons: Barrowmaze, Archaia, HighFell, and Dwarrowdeep.
Why do we need another ruleset?
This is a fair question, but it doesn’t see the forest for the treants.
Second, I’ve always wanted to codify my homegame. Those of you who have or played my megadungeons know I never wrote for Moldvay Basic strictly defined. It was just the closest ruleset to my homegame. I was always pushing toward the interstice of BX and 1E. This gave me the opportunity to not only free myself from other rulesets, but also publish to the game that inspired my megadungeons. It’s time.
Third, I’m easily annoyed at digest-sized books, small print, unreasonable gaps in layout, and art that is internally inconsistent. I want to be inspired by my gamebooks. If I’m not inspired, and my players aren’t inspired, what’s the point? People often tell me how the art in my adventures makes them want to run the games – that’s what you can expect in Dragonslayer. The OSR has matured to a place where we don’t have to settle for anything less.
How is Dragonslayer different from other rulesets?
In its simplest form, Dragonslayer mimics BX in gameplay. Moldvay Basic is a finely tuned machine. It’s the best, most internally consistent edition ever created. However, Gary Gygax’s siren song of First Edition still echoes in our heads and the races, classes, magic items, monsters, and spells, drip with texture and flavour for fantasy campaigns.
Having said that, Dragonslayer uses the engine of BX with the chrome of First Edition. What does that mean? It means the combat engine, casting, and initiative reflect the former, and the cool stuff reflects the latter. There were also issues with 1E that needed to be addressed. For example, dragons were too weak, demon and devil types were internally inconsistent, druids were hosed, the monk was non-western, thrown weapon bonuses/damage was never really addressed to satisfaction. There were lots of lame rules that needed to go like weapon-speed factors and counting segments. Just because a rule existed to keep Arneson from getting royalties doesn’t make it a good rule.
At the end of the day, Dragonslayer presents like a honed version of 1E but with the firm commitment to the iterative elegance of Moldvay Basic.
Think of Dragonslayer as halfway between the two or .75.