ORACLE

4/19/2010

Dragons at Dawn: The First Fantasy Game System

Dragons at Dawn is a game that seems to have come out of nowhere, and one in which I am extremely interested in finding out more about. Author, Daniel H. Boggs, has pulled together Dave Arneson's original pre-D&D game rules and presented them into one self contained book. So far the game is getting some positive feedback, and it is causing quite a bit of chatter over at Original D&D Discussion. Dead-tree and PDF versions are available, and I hope to get a copy very soon. An expansion has already been announced, and will be titled Dragons at Twilight. If anyone has had experience with this system please take a moment to share your thoughts.

From the publisher, Southerwood Publishing:
Experience the thrill of the very first RPG adventures with Dragons at Dawn, the rule set that hearkens back to the early days of adventure gaming when everything was new and the possibilities endless. The result of years of careful historical research, Dragons at Dawn is entirely consistent with Arneson’s original, largely forgotten methods of play developed roughly in the period 1970-1973.

First debuted at the 2010 Dave Arneson Memorial Game Day in NYC, the 60 page rule book allows play in two formats; original game where players take on the role of either Warriors or Wizards, or an enhanced game where additional classes – Elf Mage, Thief Assassin, Merchant and Sage – are also available. The combat system is easy to master as it uses some very familiar statistics in some very unusual ways reminiscent of the early wargames from which role playing games developed. Upon this basic format, layers of complexity can be added as players desire. This same philosophy is found throughout the game. Dragons at Dawn approaches gaming with none of the assumptions and habits developed from later rules, allowing a return to a kind of free form and open style of interaction between players and referees to develop and play whatever aspects of adventure gaming the group likes best.
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