As mentioned in my other post, I finally bought a copy of the DragonRaid boxed set. I am going to use some posts to take a closer look at this game. This is not a review but just thoughts and observations about the contents of this boxed set.
There is a ton of material inside this box! There are seven manuals of various lengths (New Player Briefing, LightRaider Handbook, Adventure Master Manual, Rulebook, and three Adventures), Character Sheet pad, LightRaider Worksheets, a laminated Battle Worksheet, a set of StarLot dice, a Shadow Stone die, maps, counters, and some fluff (bookmark, discount coupon, and an ink pen). The only thing not included is the old cassette tape that serves as an introduction to the game but the recording is available on their website. I am pretty impressed by how much stuff they have crammed into the box. If you replace the cassette tape pictured below with another adventure manual then you have an accurate representation of the non-fluff material inside the box.
The New Player Briefing seemed like a logical choice on where to begin my observations so that is what I did. New Player Briefing is a slim volume of 15 pages divided into 8 small chapters serving as an introduction to DragonRaid.
The opening chapter, The Great Rescue on Eden Again, sets up the basic premise of the game. There will be much that is familiar to someone with basic knowledge of Christianity or the Bible. This section touches on the act of creation, the war in heaven, the rise of evil, enslavement of chosen people, and the coming of the rescuer is all here but adapted to a fantasy role-playing setting. It made me interested in playing.
What is Dragonraid? explains that the game is "an action adventure story for spiritual learning and fun.". While a player can expect the typical activities of most fantasy role-playing games two things set them apart from characters in other games. First, the use of WordRunes in play. WordRunes are pieces of scripture used in small prayers for aid. Second, the characters are Lightraiders. As a Lightraider, their main purpose is to serve the Rescuer - a representation of Jesus Christ - the son of the High One.
There are also the typical chapters included in most games scattered throughout the book. Definitions covers nine terms and their meaning in DragonRaid. Your Character is a brief synopsis of your characters' place in the game. The Adventure Master serves the same role as a Dungeon Master or Game Master in other games. Role Playing is a brief explanation of how to play. DragonRaid Tools explains how to use the dice and gives some basic information each character is expected to know at the start of play. The Lightraider Test serves as the first adventure for new characters.
The rulebook is the next book I read. It is another slim volume of only 24 pages split up into 15 chapters. The first four chapters expand on typical subjects such as game definitions, game equipment (contents of the DragonRaid box), using the starlot and shadow stone (included dice), and success or ability checks. The biggest deviation from the standard game expectations is that the players us the crystalline d10 (the starlot) while the adversaries use the dark d8 (the shadow stone) when determining success on ability checks.
Creating a Character is the next chapter of the rulebook. It is recommended that you use a LightRaider (player character) Worksheet while creating your character. You will roll the starlot to determine the score of nine Character Strengths: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. In addition, there are also eight Character Abilities such as Courage, Hope, and Wisdom. You will round out your character with information on Weapon Abilities, Armor, Physical Vitality, equipment, etc.
Continued in Part Two...