Monday, January 30, 2017

Backfire Table for Invested Spells

One of the features of the magic system in DragonQuest is the Backfire Table.  Attempt to cast a spell with too little skill and you may end up with a backfire which can have a variety of negative effects from the mildly irritating to the completely incapacitating.  It's not easy being an adept in DragonQuest but not just adepts can cast spells.  The non-adepts can loose magic spells that have been invested in items.  These can also backfire but, to me, many of the backfire results don't make much sense in the case where the spell is cast from an item.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Starting Language Skills in DragonQuest

DragonQuest incorporated languages better than many of the other RPGs around at the time of its release and it still compares favorably to those that came along later.  Though brief at 2/3 of a page, the rules section on spoken and written language still manages cover in sufficient detail what it means to have Ranks 0 thru 10 in a language, touches on dialectic differences, mentions changes to language over long periods of time and which creatures would be expected to have their own language.  Many of the other Skills available have minimum language skill requirements including Thief and Spy.  The rules also detail what language skills a player character starts with.  For humans and shape-changers, they start with Rank 8 in both Speak and Read/Write Common.  For non-humans they start with Rank 8 in Speaking in their native language and Rank 8 in Speak Common.  To me this is where the rules are a bit unfair to humans as well as a bit too restrictive and boring.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Some thoughts on the Mechanician

As written the DragonQuest rules provide little incentive for an adventurer to take up the Mechanician skill.  The brief description of the skill focuses largely on the making of traps, locks and safes.  Not things you might make outside of the Mechanician's workshop.  There are no abilities ascribed to the skill that might be regularly employed by the adventuring Mechanician.  Those devices described in the rules all require tools, materials and, in most cases, a workshop. The Mechanician's ability to create locks, traps and other mechanical devices should give them some insight into disabling or disarming the traditional pit and arrow traps found in dungeons but nothing is said of this in the rules.  The skill can definitely use some love in the form of more detailed abilities and some adventuring-targeted abilities.