Dragon Raid Adventure Learning System

So, as Piet chronicled in his previous post, we played Dragon Raid over Easter. Despite Piet’s review of 6 out of 10, which I tend to agree with, Dragon Raid is worth playing as a curiosity in gaming history.

Dragon Raid is a game about very specific ideas surrounding a particular faith, and the mechanics and official adventures that I was exposed to seem to be designed to ensure that players are interacting with these ideas almost every time they are engaging the system.  The game includes Character Strengths like Joy, Love, Peace, etc., Character Abilities like Merciful Compassion, Hatred of Evil and Righteously Mingle with Evil,  and a “Word Rune” system where reciting bible verses has a defined mechanical effect in play.  This sort of clarity of focus reminds me of the discussions the came from the Forge that I am seeing a lot of in the modern indie games I’ve been picking up. However I feel like it drops the ball in the execution of these mechanics.  They were clunky, required a lot of calculation and charts and could use some refining when compared to something like Dogs in the Vineyard, which also touches on similar religious overtones, but asks the player different questions.

And questions is really what a game is all about.  Sadly if you came to Dragon Raid with questions about faith and Christianity and the whys and hows of it all.. Dragon Raid will not answer them. For a game designed in 1984 I think there are some ways in which it was conceptually ahead of its time.

If I have one recommendation to anyone who plans on trying out this game, don’t try to create the characters by hand. I’ve put together a quick spreadsheet that will have your Light Raider rolled up and ready to battle evil in no time!  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Dragon Raid Character Sheet


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