I got to play Dragon Heresy in a game run by a young lady my own system on Friday. She’d either never or rarely GM’d before. She decided to run in my book, as her dad was a supporter of both the original Lost Hall as well as Dragon Heresy. My take-aways?
- The world is compelling and immersive. She grabbed on to the details and hooks provided by the map of Torengar every bit as much as I’d hoped.
- Northwatch really is a compelling spot on that map, and I’m glad my upcoming release will detail the heck out of it
- The grappling system, also available as a stand-alone in Dungeon Grappling, really is that good. Everyone got it, everyone used it, no complaints. Seamless.
- It was amenable to fast play in a two hour session by a new GM. So very accessible.
- The final confrontation was not combat; she ran a nifty scenario where we had to play against Loki himself. I showed her the flyting rules after the fact, and she really liked them.
To be Improved
- The real area that stuck out as a stumbling point was a stumbling point on remembering that a swift attack (like an arrow from a bow) is quite nasty: it only has to meet the lower Threat DC unless the target has a shield.
- It didn’t come up much, but the decision to employ a Frantic Defense to avoid taking wounds if a target is attacked and its Hit DC is exceeded happens before armor is subtracted.
- The ranged combat tweaks in general are more extensive than melee.
There’s an obvious fix for this: a short flowchart. Ideally something that fits on a 3×5 or playing card. Once you get the system, it’s very smooth. But a quick reference for ranged and melee combat that would fit on the back of a playing card is now on my radar.
All in all, she designed and executed a two-hour scenario that finished in two hours, which is amazing for a new GM, so well done to her on that.
As for my part, I kept my promise. I answered questions where prompted, she ran the game, and I shut up and played my character.