Actual Play – Dragonlance Saga (3/20/2010)

GM: Travis Lindquist
Players: Steve, Alec, Eric and Sean
System: Dragonlance Fifth (5th) Age – Advanced Dungeon & Dragons: SAGA System [BOX SET]

Long enough name? Well, what it makes up for in length names it lacks in crunchy rules. This little game gives you fast character creation and play with a fun and relatively simple deck. Cards are numbered 1-9 and have seven different suits (swords, helms, hearts, etc) and three colors per suit (black, white and red). You draw a hand of cards to create your character with, spend them on attributes like strength, but also wealth, demeanor and reputation.

Travis added in some burning wheel elements, specifically beliefs and circles (maybe some other bits too) and then we got to the adventure from the book, which was kind of lame.

What rocked

I liked the system. It had a little crunch to it, making elves good with swords and the strategic playing of cards important (for instance dumping a low card to try and do an insignificant task was usually a good idea… unless the card you got back was a Dragon card (which are worse than just low, they are like critical failures). For being written in 1996, it’s these kind of games that make we wonder how I missed the origins of story games.

Character creation was also fun, especially with the addition of beliefs.

For a beer and pretzels kind of game, the adventure was perfect. We weren’t stone cold sociopaths, but we were making a joke of our characters, the NPCs and the adventure as a whole. It was good old camp.

What could have been improved

I think if we had a real adventure, one that was suffused with our beliefs and challenged things our characters cared about we would have had a more serious session, of a game we’d probably want to continue. As is, I’d play again but not with that character and not in that module.

Nine of Swords… in your face!