Free League Announce Dragonbane RPG Upcoming Kickstarter

August 5, 2022 by avernos

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Free League Publishing has announced a new Kickstarter campaign launching on August 30. The original Scandinavian tabletop RPG reimagined 40 years after its original launch – for the first time also in English. Draker och Demoner will be hitting the tables as Dragonbane and you can sign up now.

Dragonbane Sign Up// Free League Publishing

If like me you have never heard of DoD before then here is a quick history of the game courtesy of the interwebz. Like many other early role-playing games, Drakar och Demoner started out without a fully developed campaign setting. The first edition was basically a translation of Steve Perrin's Basic Role-Playing (which in turn is based on RuneQuest) combined with the Magic World booklet. The second edition was published in 1984, rewriting the text from scratch, fixing many translation errors and glitches in the rules although no other major changes were made. One of the available player races, the anthropomorphic ducks, was incorporated from Glorantha.

Races // Drakar och Demoner

The first campaign setting of Drakar och Demoner was called Ereb Altor (Ereb being the name of the continent where most - if not all - official adventures take place, Altor being the name of the planet on which Ereb is located). It was created bit by bit by different writers through adventures and sourcebooks creating a somewhat haphazard world; medieval feudal states exist side-by-side with comparably advanced Renaissance-styled nations.

With the fifth version, Target Games decided to introduce a new, darker campaign setting named Chronopia, thereby ceasing the publication of new material for Ereb. After an outcry among fans of Ereb ensued, Target Games decided that Ereb and Chronopia both existed on Altor but on different hemispheres. At this time, a tabletop miniatures game line was also started; see Chronopia below. In 2015, Cabinet Holdings acquired Paradox Entertainment Inc. and all subsidiaries and their properties, including Chronopia.

Classes // Drakar och Demoner

RiotMinds created a brand-new campaign setting called Trudvang, which utilized cultures, creatures and monsters based on Scandinavian folklore instead of the standard fantasy creatures. Which brought in illustrator Johan Egerkrans who will be familiar to anyone who has looked at Free League's Vaesen RPG and with the license moving to Free League last year Johan will continue to work on the new edition of the game under the name Dragonbane in English but still DoD in Swedish.

Free League Is Best League

Little is currently known about the upcoming edition. Drakar och Demoner / Dragonbane has art by acclaimed illustrator Johan Egerkrans - Illustrator (Vaesen – Nordic Horror Roleplaying and art books Vaesen, Norse Gods, The Undead, Dragons) and lead game design by Tomas Härenstam (Mutant: Year Zero, Forbidden Lands, ALIEN RPG, Twilight: 2000 4th Edition, and the upcoming Blade Runner RPG). The team of contributing writers include the elite of the Swedish tabletop RPG industry as well as acclaimed historical fiction author Niklas Natt och Dag (1793 The Wolf and the Watchman).

With Johan onboard, the art direction will obviously be amazing, there is no word yet on whether he will be joined by any other illustrators but what has been previewed so far is fantastic in every sense of the word. Also if you're in Sweden then Johan will be at Gotland Medieval Week from 7th - 14th of August and will be getting involved in loads of fantasy and DoD-related activities.

Rules wise DoD has had a variety of systems during its lifespan, from d100 percentile to a d20 variant. The fact that Tomas Härenstam is leading the project I wouldn't be surprised if they lean into the Year Zero engine that has proved very successful for them in various guises. But Free League don't find themselves tied to it and if a more bespoke system would be better then they have form for writing those also.

Time will tell which direction they take and Free League Publishing has said more details will be revealed over the coming weeks in the lead up to the launch on August 30th, until then I shall leave you with a duck assassin!

duck assassin

Duck Assassin // Johan Egerkrans

Have you played a duck assassin in DoD before?

"The fact that Tomas Härenstam is leading the project I wouldn't be surprised if they lean into the Year Zero engine that has proved very successful for them in various guises."

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