March 15, 2018 by brennon
We turned to the team at Burning Games to fill us in on just what this game is all about…
Dragons Conquer America is a classic role-playing game set in the 16th Century Mesoamerica. It’s a Mexican-Spanish co-production that aims to draw an honest portrayal of Prehispanic cultures and nations without the usual Western trappings. As the title of the game may suggest, the game has a big fantastical element at its core: dragons and other mythological creatures are real, and terrorize local populations across the globe.
The background of the game tells the tale of the Mexica Empire – one of the mightiest civilizations on Earth – who have ruled over the land of the Fifth Sun unchallenged for nearly a hundred years. They’ve been backed by their Mixcoatl dragon allies (also known as feathered serpents) which equally terrorise and astonish the peoples under Mexica’s domain.
Meanwhile, in Europe, the Christian Faith prospered after Saint George managed to tame the scalebound dragons and convert them to Christianity.
DCA is set right after the first Europeans arrived on American shores. Too few to pose a danger, many of them are actively working with the Native populations to vanquish evil from the world.
Monsters make up the core of the gameplay. Players will be able to form hunting parties that will explore the Mesoamerican lands in their search, finding a fair share of gold and glory in the process. Discovering ancient ruins, unravelling old, long forgotten secrets and finding awe-inspiring vistas are other possible gameplay avenues.
The playable classes are unique to the setting and reflect historically accurate peoples while adding a layer of magic to them. For example, Jaguar and Eagle Warriors can transform into actual jaguars and eagles. European Dragon Riders are battle-ready nuns with a drive to bring evil monsters back to the netherworld. Sages, tomb raiders, aristocrats, priests, courtesans, temple guards, pochteca merchant spies, conquistadors, and hidalgos round off the available classes, with more coming in the form of stretch goals.
The main mechanics are based on the RPC engine, a system created for FAITH: The Sci-Fi RPG. This time around, the card-based mechanic gets an update to bring in a choice of dice, so players can decide whether they use dice or cards depending on their personal preferences. In both variants, the rules are tight, narrative-oriented and tactically engaging.
Each player will get a hand of cards (or a pool of dice) at the beginning of the game, representing their stamina. During confrontations, they’ll be able to use a number of cards/dice determined by their skill focus to increase their chances of success. This means that luck is exchanged in favour of player agency: they’ll be able to decide which values (higher or lower) they want to use from their hand or pool depending on the situation.
Secondary systems such as tolerance/prejudice system and a faith-based spirit/corruption mechanic are intended to make players feel the intensity of the setting while creating a natural arc towards tolerance and magical prowess.
As for the Kickstarter campaign itself, it offers a healthy amount of goodies for all kinds of players, from the basic PDF collection to an all-encompassing pledge level that includes not only the core book itself but also an adventure book, a GM screen with immersive artwork, custom playing cards, and more.
This is certainly a fascinating and diverse looking role-playing game which takes some great ideas and moulds them into an interactive and dynamic system. It rewards players as they are focusing on narrative and purposeful actions rather than simply ‘hitting stuff’.
Make sure to watch the Gameplay Overview for more information on the game and let us know if you’re going to be backing this.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
"Let's delve into this original and vibrant role-playing game..."