22 March 2019
The other D&D
A Swedish roleplaying classic is being re-released in English later this year.
Drakar och Demoner – which translates as Dragons and Demons – was first published in 1982. Initially heavily inspired by the Glorantha setting and percentile-based Basic Roleplaying system of Chaosium RPG RuneQuest, the game later evolved into having an original d20 ruleset and fantasy world over multiple editions. It’s claimed by its creators to still be one of the best-selling games of all time in Sweden decades later.
Ruin Masters is an updated remake of the original Drakar och Demoner currently up on Kickstarter and due for release this November. Boasting revised rules and revamped artwork, the upcoming book is being developed by RiotMinds, which produced the sixth edition of the game in 2000 and a seventh edition in 2006.
RiotMinds recently crowdfunded a new version of Trudvang Chronicles, a descendant of Drakar och Demoner set in an original setting inspired by Scandinavian myth. The RPG is currently being adapted as an ‘experimental’ storytelling board game by Rising Sun and Blood Rage designer Eric Lang.
Ruin Masters will include rules designed for playing the RPG in a format closer to a board game, including dungeon-crawling mechanics and hex-travel details. The core set comes with cardboard standees, combat markers, maps and a deck of cards used to enable the alternate play mode. The dungeon-crawl variant uses a list of challenges that can be generated by a GM figure or rolled randomly on a table to create procedural scenarios.
The RPG’s gameplay harkens back to Drakar och Demoner’s Basic Roleplaying roots, using 100-sided percentile dice to resolve tests and combat encounters, as well as an ‘open-ended’ damage system split across seven body parts.
While Ruin Masters’ ruleset can be translated to any fantasy setting, the book includes an introduction to the setting of Caldarow, a post-apocalyptic fantasy realm that combines legendary creatures such as minotaurs and dragons with other staples of fantasy roleplaying: goblins, orcs, mages and knights all get a mention.
Ruin Masters is live on Kickstarter, where it’s passed its £17,000 target in a matter of days. The campaign runs until April 19th.