elcome to Dragonraid! This is your "yearbook" from LightRaider Academy. It will tell you most of what you need to know to play the game, and tell you some basics about the world of Talania and my modifications to the original game. Here follows various facts and tables, "class notes" from your studies, a sample character sheet, a Letter from the Dean, and other stuff you need to understand Dragonraid, the ethical RPG! I suggest giving this long page as hardcopy to new players in place of the "official" Player's Manual that comes in the Dragonraid boxed set, which IMHO, just gives away too much information.
This site include massive fan-produced additional rules for Dick Wulf's
the Christian medieval role-playing game, designed to broaden the scope
of the game. These rules are weighted to give the original game more of
a Dungeons & Dragons feel for those who want that, without sacrificing
the faithful underpinnings of the game. Use what you want, or don't, based
upon what you want in your game. The additions detailed on this site carry
the official "Seal of Non-Disapproval" from Dick and the Lamb's
Bride Project, so they are not offensive to the creators of the game. I
DON'T include the formulas for figuring up your armor, secondary
stats, class and stuff because you really should buy the boxed set
from the game's author. Hey, do the Faithful a favor: go to the
Dragonraid Site and buy the boxed set!
Welcome, Lightraider!ou are a LightRaider, a professional hero or heroine, working for the OverLord of Many Names. It is your fourth year at the LightRaider Academy. You live in the Liberated Lands, a small part of Talania, one of the three main continents on Urth. (The original gamebook calls the world "EdenAgain". Subtle, eh?) You grew up in a strong, warm house. You attended the best schools when young, and have never gone hungry or slept in the cold unless you chose to. For a time, you probably studied some craft under your parents or a neighboring tradesman, until one day your love for the OverLord and your pity for the OnceBorn moved you to volunteer to become a LightRaider.
It is early spring at the Academy, and all the trees are in bloom. As you lay on your bunk and watch two of Talania's three moons over the Peretti Lecture Hall, you think of your studies...so much to learn!
Your Character in the Gameou will role-play, or act the part, of your character in an interactive adventure talked through by the AdventureMaster, the game referee. To begin, you roll a ten-sided die (a d10, known in the game as a "Starlot") to generate your "Primes." These 1-to-10 scores represent your Love, Joy, Peace, and other "Fruits of the Spirit." (See Galatians 5: 23-24.) You will strive to improve these scores in the game; the "AdventureMaster" (or "AM") will tell you when you may gain (or lose!) things called "Maturity Units" for each Prime. Get 20 MU on any one Prime, and you may trade them in for a Prime Point, refigure your skills, and maybe get better at stuff. (See "Ability Checks" section later on to see how these ratings affect what you can do in the game.)
Anyway, from these numbers are calculated all your other abilities,
and your Physical Vitality (PV, or "Hit Points.") Physical damage can be
healed by time, or by WordRune, or by special Flasks. The more PV you have,
the more damage you can take and survive. Thus, the better your "Primes"
get, the better a player you can be for the OverLord! PV may go as high
as 45 in a human or elf, 51 in a dwarf, or 48 in a gnome.
Sample Finished Character Sheet
Armorou wear the Armor of God: weightless, invisible protection designed to guard you from both physical damage and the various Dragon enchantments. It is the very Armor we are told about in Scripture! OnceBorn foes will see no armor upon you, but Dragons will see it and know you as TwiceBorn. (You may allow a Vision check for more powerfull monsters if you wish.) A physical attack deflected by the Armor of God gives a subtle blue shimmer in the shape of the armor. The ratings for your Armor are calculated from your Primes, and in addition to physical protection, the parts have special uses, as follows:
Optional Skillsou get to choose three of the following Skills, and choosing some of them will help you qualify for a special Character Class. Your scores will rate 1-10, and it is best to choose Skills where you have a high rating. If you do NOT choose a Skill, you automatically have a "1" in that Skill. (See player sheet above.)
Character Classour "class" is NOT the year you graduated! When your skills are high enough, you may qualify to join a special branch of the LightRaiders. Each requires special ratings and skills, but each has it's own special reqards. They are briefly reviewed below:
Starlotstarlots are the translucent, 10-sided stones carried by Light Raiders. Long ago, when the OverLord raised the Peaks of the New Beginning, the Dragons tried in vain to overfly the cold mountains and capture the TwiceBorn. It is said that their fiery breath was frozen by the stark cold, and the Starlot came to be. (Hold a d10 on end to see the OverLord's own birthmark.) Later, bands of LightRaiders began carrying the beautiful gems. If a Dark Creature or a OnceBorn so much as touches a Starlot, it decays and turns into a dark-colored, eight sided Shadow-Stone (d8).
In the Real World (whatever that is), the Starlot is used in rolling Ability Checks. If you are playing with my modified rules, you may need a d6 and a d4 as well.
Ability Checkshen you want to do something in the game--swim a brook or climb a rope, for example--you must roll an ABILITY CHECK. The success grid on the sample character sheet, above, shows the chance of succeeding with any task.
Your Skill or Ability rating (1 to 20) from your character sheet is
checked against the difficulty of the action (usually 1 to 10), and the
grid on the character sheet above shows the percentage chance that you
might accomplish the task. (Swimming a slow, small creek might be a DL
of 1, whereas a huge lake might be a DL of 5.) You then roll two Starlots
to generate a percentage number. If you meet or beat the required score,
you did it!
The OverLord of Many Namese is the OLMN, the High One, the master, the mighty counselor, the Prince of Peace. He stood with the Maker when the Glade was formed from the Flames of Chaos, He came to Talania as a man, in the flesh, and walked among the peoples, teaching them that the Dragons need not direct their lives, and that Shaitan was the "Father of Lies". To the elves, He is the Forrester, to the dwarves, the Master of the Deep Chambers, to the gnomes, He is the Great Playright.
He came to defeat the Dragons and their power, and gave up his life to create the Liberated Lands where you were born. It is said that He is the Master Lightraider, and that at sometime, His voice will be heard again in the world, and the Dragons themselves will tremble as they are thrown back in to the Flames of Chaos with their scaly master, and trapped there for all Eternity.
Even those who have not yet come to Him know Him as a great teacher, and a powerful leader, but we know that he loved us enough to die for those who would listen. We serve at his bidding, to reach out to the OnceBorn.
The OnceBorn (The Races of Men)he OnceBorn are the Unsaved of the world, who have yet to personally accept the OverLord as Savior (although they may have heard of Him.) They are fearful, worried and lost, and don't yet know of His love, or may have rejected it.
In my version of Dragonraid, I have expanded the specs of the game to include the other familiar "demi-humans" of myth and fiction, and these mythical men may be played as Non Player Characters by your AM, with complete stats for NPC's detailed in the Andros' Library and AM's Workshop sections of the site. Your AM will tell you if he is playing with my "demi-human" rules, and allowing these other Men as player charcaters, but here is a brief taste of how they function if allowed to enter the game as TwiceBorn Lightraiders:
For balance, a dwarf character's extremely dense body mass means that they have -2 to Water Movement, and any failed check means drowning unless rescued by another Raider. Also, the "as rolled" Agility is cut in half.
The Great Rescues detailed in the original game, you are forbidden to kill the OnceBorn, with severe penalties if this is done even by accident. You should be aware of your responsibility to tell them about the OverLord, and possibly win them to our side. There are said to be five Great WordRunes that break most enchantments, if the OnceBorn is willing. LightRaiders usually take a set of these Sacred Scrolls with them wherever they go. These "Spirtual Laws" make it easy for the real world gamer to learn about witnessing to other friends, and the game gives a safe place to learn how to be comfortable sharing our faith in the Real World.
The TwiceBorn (Including the Armies of Light)e venture into the horrible DragonLands, reaching out to save the OnceBorn, working to destroy the dragons, and turn back the forces of evil. Who is there to help? Who is on the Lord's side?
The "Raid Team"ou are matched with several other Raiders as you go on your missions. Each is an expert, and each a hero; Just as in life, everyone is "part of the body" and brings their own special mix of talents to the mission at hand. But some are called to special tasks:
Dragonshese are the Fallen Ones who war on the OverLord. Their leader is Shaitan, the Great Red Dragon, who is trapped in the Flames of Chaos, ever seeking to break through into the world. He is served by thousands of lesser Dragons, who roam the world seeking to corrupt and enslave whomever they can. They live to cause misery to the OnceBorn...the beloved creation of their old enemy, the OverLord. They love to control others, directly or in secret, and love treasure and the power it brings. They are wicked beyond belief, and are to be slain where possible, although the wise LightRaider chooses the right time to attack them.
There are 11 types of Dragon known to the Wise Ones at the Academy, and there may be more. Each has a special area of Power it controls, and uses this ability to plague the Races of Men. They all hatch from glowing Eggs, become Hatchlings (who may take the guise of men and walk the Urth), and grow through ever-larger forms. The largest is the Eldermost Dragon, a terrible sight indeed!
While Dragons are fierce and vain, huge of mouth and claw, the most dangerous of their powers is MindSpeech! This power will function within 300 feet of a mature Dragon, less for a younger one, more for an older Dragon. They can plant horrible thoughts and doubts in the minds of Men, causing them even to doubt the OverLord's power! (I swear this is true!) This Speech must be quickly refuted by the Raider or all may be lost! Also dangerous are the Dragon's vile breath and its wretched smoke, each of which may work foul magic on Men! And of course, they lead their followers, the horrible Armies of Darkness.
The Armies of Darkness (Including the UNDEAD)he Armies of Darkness are made up of goblins, orcs, trolls, assorted Abominations, and the enchanted monsters that the OnceBorn call the "undead". (Such creatures are merely illusions and lies animated by DragonPower to scare the OnceBorn and spread the lie that the OverLord did not conquer death. Vile brood!) These creatures are foul imitations of the OverLord's true work, and must be destroyed wherever they appear, and the lies they spread about the OverLord dispelled.
The goblins, orcs and trolls you know, as they are the stupid footsoldiers of the horrible force. The Abominations are strange, unnatural creatures, untaturally combined into mixed-up oddities like the BrainBurner or the Chimeria...you will find them on special missions for the dragons. But the gut-wrenching worst are the creatures that the OnceBorn call the "undead".
Dragons can use their power to animate the lifeless bodies of the OnceBorn to walk and scare the living, making a mockery of the OverLord's free gift of life. Unless the bodies of dead OnceBorn are blessed with holy water, they can be controlled like puppets by the Dragons, as they were in life. (Note that this blessing cannot allow the now dead OnceBorn to know the OverLord, or bring them from the torment of the Flames of Chaos into the Eternal Lands. It only prevents the Dragons from scaring the living with foul undead monsters.) The Dragons seek to mock the Overlord's triumph over death by animating these horrible monsters to walk the Talania spreading despair. Some known types are skeletons and zombies; there are others. All undead have special powers and weaknesses; make a KN check upon encountering specific creatures to recall your classwork, or else ask a local sage. Throwing holy water does d10 damage per flask upon direct hit in a 10' radius. (Roll d10 + Agility to beat the monster's Battle Ability + d8 roll.) There are some special WordRunes that damage undead as well.
Dark Creatureshis is a broad catagory that includes all remaining monsters on Urth. They tend to evil, but may possibly brought around to the Light. Remember, in the world of Talania, almost all creatures carry some form of Enchantment that will seek to corrupt and destroy you, although the effects may not be clearly visible. These monsters should only be fought if there if you are in danger; verbal battle from the Sacred Scrolls is often a more effective method of bending them to your will.
Dark Enchantments (Sin, Power and Death!)ach Dark Creature is given one special Enchantment that plagues the Races of Men. These can be passed by sight, by smell, by touch, by bite or even by handling things owned by a Dark One. The attack sequence functions like this:
One on hand, Dragonraid takes the biblical approach that anything that looks like magic is forbidden by God, and that there are Things Man Was Not Meant to Know. Fortune telling, horrorscopes, Tarot Cards, Ouija boards, etc. are by my mind (and by Deuteronomy) stuff that humans are not to mess with. The original Dragonraid usually ignores magic, but also drops in mysterious magic weapons and pills(!) for characters to use. I use a slightly different concept that lets bad-guy magic users into the game as NPC's, but still teaches players that in real life, we are not to even mess with the stuff. Here's how it works in my world:
All magic is forbidden to Men, as it only causes lust for power and
works for their own destruction. (Some claim to work "White Magic." LightRaiders
know there is no such thing.) The Dragons use forbidden magics to create
their Dark Creatures. Occasionally, the Dragons will allow magic items
to fall into the hands of the OnceBorn so that the Dragons might more easily
control them. (It is said that "the greatest of wizards is a puppet of
the Dragons.") These deadly magic items are called "Dragon Toys" in LightRaider
slang. We are sworn to destroy them whenever possible, either by throwing
water on them, or by high-level WordRune. (Note that either method is not
100% successful; any one item may require several tries.) In the case of
Enchantments on large, immobile objects, only WordRunes may work. Large
Magics worked by older Dragons might only be negated for a time, and might
need direct intervention by the OverLord to destroy them.
WordRuneshe Sacred Scrolls are the study of all TwiceBorn, and have amazing powers in the world of Urth. These impressive words, drawn up at the OverLord's will, can turn the tide of any battle, and give impressive powers to the Forces of Light. An example, the Raider says "Your words are a light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet" and a the AdventureMaster describes that a 3" ball of light comes into being ahead of the Party, and proceeds them until bidden away.
Each Raider may READ aloud from the Scrolls (any standard Bible) three times a day to invoke the Power of Light, but any number of WordRunes may be said FROM MEMORY. This memorization of Runes also adds bonus MU to various Primes, and special MU to the Sword of the Spirit score. As the SS goes up, the Raider may use more powerful WordRunes.
Also, you should choose a Scripture verse, 30 words or so, as a "LifeVerse" Rune. Saying it from memory can freeze game-time for five minutes, allowing you time to think (useful once per Game session.) Note that WordRunes are like prayers...humble REQUESTS of the OverLord. If a Raider begins to become drunk with self-importance and power, the needed humility factor is gone and the Rune will not function. The AM has wide latitude to determine any Rune outcome. This part of the game is a great life-tool in the real world, for it etches scripture in your memory.
New Runes may be found during the course of an adventure...someone should carry them. If everyone wants a copy of the Rune, you had better go find a scribe in down to copy them, else you must spend game time searching for them and handing them about to read them. And beware of false doctrine...you may find stuff that sounds like the Bible, but that just isn't in there!
RaidFlaskshe original Dragonraid includes "magic pills" for special effects; this is way too close to promoting drug use to me. So, here's a way to include the effect without the problem.
While forsworn magic, TwiceBorn are often granted special blessed elixirs
from the OverLord, that they might better war on His behalf. (A weak or
inexperienced party may be bolstered by a few well-chosen Flasks from the
AM.) These elixirs are called Raid Flasks, and there are several types,
distributed at the time of the OverLord's choosing. They are gifts provided
in love, not the dark traps laid by the Dragons, or the product of Men's
greed. Flasks last only from the moment of their discovery until midnight
that night, as do their effects when consumed, so don't be a foolish OnceBorn
and try to store them up! LightRaiders usually find such Flasks in the
morning before a Raid (like mana!)
Holy Waterhis fantasy fiction staple is not mentioned in the original game, so I added it in for dramatic purposes. I use it to attack evil and dispell magic, but if your sub-section of Christianity has a problem with including it, just leave it out of your game. Here's how it works in my world:
Flasks of holy water are sent by the OverLord when He deems fit. They are found as are RaidFlasks, but such flasks last one week. One Flask of holy water may be used to destroy one magic item, bless the dead innumerable times or attack undead monsters directly (see Undead section that follows.)
Holy Weaponshile we are sworn not to use magic, you recall the Wise Ones at the Academy speaking of certain ancient "holy weapons," forged in the heart of the Urth by dwarves for the OverLord at the Beginning. It is custom, it is said, never to reveal to other Raiders if you carry such a weapon, lest we become vain and arrogant. These powerful weapons usually appear perfectly normal; they may wait years for the Raider to acquire high Wisdom until they reveal their powers.
BattlePrayern the direst situations, there is BattlePrayer. The Raider who wishes to help others should hand a note to the AM saying that he/she wishes to do BattlePrayer, and the name of the Raider/Player they wish to help. The AM will make the rolls and inform the players what happens.
Deatheath is not to be feared, it is to be welcomed, for in it we meet the OverLord face-to-face. If your Raider is wounded from 0 to -5 points, the raider is in a coma. You will slip 1 PV per round until your wounds are bound with bandages. Unless Rune or Flask are used IMMEDIATELY, the character will soon die. However, if in this range, you may make a Hope check once per 10-minute Turn (Vs. the DL of the Turn) to cling-to-life. Hope someone here is a Healer! If you do die, do so in Joy! Your AM will take the character to the OverLord, and you may roll up a brother or sister (large families in the Liberated Lands!) to join the party ASAP. This character DOES get the Sword of the Spirit rating of the old LightRaider, because that's only fair.
ere are some special abilities and ideas to remember as you roleplay your LightRaider! The original game was a bit lacking in the general rules, and woud drop odd ability checks in here and there. To make things a bit simpler, here are some hard-and-fast rules I have created out of the ideas in the first few modules. If a Difficulty Level is not noted, the AM must decide in each case.
ou awake in the middle of the night in the dorm, and hear someone faintly call your name in a musical voice. ("What now? I've got weapons practice in the morning!") Through the window glows a blue-white light...
Thus ends the Beginning, and begins the quest!
you want to see about buying the original Dragonraid game, visit the Official
Dragonraid Site. To go back to the Inn's Homepage, then Return
to the Inn. Click the Guild
sign to go to the Player's Guild starter page. Go Back
to the History page, or go on ahead to the Next
& learn about the world of Urth in the Inn's impressive library!
This site is bravely maintained by Andros, the Aged Elf! This page is © 2009, Andrew Bartmess. DoubleClick on the Mystic Book to the right and Email me!
I last forged the mighty electrons of this page on 1/20/09!