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D&D 3E
Whats up with Dragon Star? 
3rd-May-2003 01:26 pm
whats the deal with dragon star? Is that any good or does it suck? A friend wants me to play it with his group and when I went looking for it's core rule book every store I went to said that they no longer carried it and only a few were willing to special order anything under that title. When I asked each place why they didnt carry it I got the same answer more or less "Cause it sucks, nobody buys it and nobody plays it."

Ah, but my friend and his group play it and like it, and if I play it with them I can just use one of their books and so on and so forth.

My question is: "Does anyone else out there play this game, let alone like it? Why does it suck so bad, the premise as described to me wasent my cup of tea per say, but none the less it didnt sound terrible.

I duuno, maybe after I play or at least see the book Ill figure it out... untill then

Why does it suck, anybody know?
3rd-May-2003 11:28 am (UTC)
I played it once, wasn't thrilled with it. It's just D&D gone scifi, and the setting they give you is pretty lame as it goes. For space roleplay you're better off with Star Wars d20. The only really good thing is has to offer is the spellware, which is like cyber magic items. It tries to moosh two genres together and I think they get squished a bit in the process. Anyone who's a big fan of D&D will scratch their head at the setting, and anyone who's a fan of scifi will just wonder WTF.

In short it's . . . weird. Maybe it's your bag of chips, but it wasn't mine.
3rd-May-2003 11:33 am (UTC)
There's not so much "core setting" text in the books I've seen (only the two) - it's more of an uber-picture for the whole universe. It's the poor DM who has to come up with flavour for any given world or spaceship.
3rd-May-2003 11:31 am (UTC)
It's high fantasy - in space. It's your typical D&D game - in space. It's elves, dwarves, gnomes, human and halfings - in space.

Actually, it's not bad. You wouldn't think it would be possible to transplant such a solid chunk of cheese fantasy and pull it off in a Sci-Fi setting. The universe is ruled by the dragons. There was a huge war between the chromatic and metallic dragons and their halves of the universe and to get over it they agreed to take turns ruling; each colour/metal of dragon would have a thousand years or so to rule. The default Dragon Star is set just when the first evil (a nasty red) dragon is settling down on the throne. The Drow are a secret police like agency and very nicely done.

But it doesn't have to be. You could easily play the game on a plant where the Empire hasn't got to yet - and no doubt the DM will give you a hard time if and when the Empire's army does bother to land. In this example and in many other possibilities it's possible to ignore the sci-fi elements completely.

Another nice touch is the in-game laws on alignment. There's magic so it's easy to tell who's evil. Is it against the law to be evil? No. It's against the law to do evil. You're judged by your actions not by your alignment.

I think people might say it "It sucks!" because it's d20. Either you hate d20 with some insane passion or you're a converted D&D 3rd player. So many D&D players are interested only in high fantasy romps through dungeons and will recoil in horror if you suggest changing the script - let alone going out into space.

I don't know what the sales figures are like but in addition to the main company (Fantasy Flight) behind it a second d20 company (Mystic Eye Games is producing source books and adventures for it. I can't imagine it does that badly if a second company is interested in supporting it.

I suspect your local store might not carry it because the core rules have been out for a while now. They're were one of the first whole games to use the OGL. Here's a shameless link to my shopping database page for it and a bunch of just as shameless links to online stores that might stock it.

P.S. I'm glad you didn't accept "It sucks!" as any sort of valid comment on a book. I'm all for saying when an RPG sucks but in order to be taken seriously we need to say why it sucks. It's a worse crime to say a book sucks because no one else likes it.
4th-May-2003 11:57 am (UTC)
So...umm..is it like Starjammer...D20-style? Cause, I remember something similar to ti, called starjammer, that I played once...it got really annoying...
4th-May-2003 12:56 pm (UTC) - Re:
Spelljammer? Flying around on space going but old style ships?

Never played it.

Again, "It got really annoying" is a valid personal opinion, it doesn't help anyone else unless you can say why you found it really annoying, why it was the setting's fault, not the players, the GM or the mechanics.
6th-May-2003 03:53 am (UTC) - D&D in Space
I have to admit that I own the original Spelljammer boxed set and played it to death back in the day. It has some... quirky... rules governing ships and space "combat," but it filled the sci-fi niche quite nicely. Dragonstar is even... quirkier (if that's a word). I don't particularly care for the setting itself (evil dragons ruling over the entire universe isn't my thing), but the mechanics in the book are a lot more stable than the rules in the Spelljammer products. Don't get me wrong. The Dragonstar stuff has its fair share of "mistakes" and such, but I think it's a very solid product, if you discount the fluff text and dig into the mechanics. However, I do know some people that adore it as it is (fluff and all) and refuse to tinker with it as I have (I love to tinker with things anyways). In the end, it's all personal opinion anyway, so play it and tell us what you think after/if you've given it a try. :)

As far as special ordering goes, if you have access to electronic funds (IE: Credit Cards and the like), http://www.frpgames.com usually has really good, discounted prices on all their gaming books and accessories, and they carry the complete line of Fantasy Flight Games stuff (and most other d20 publishers' stuff) to boot.
13th-May-2003 10:31 am (UTC)
Feh. These people don't understand the power of mixing genres.

I suspect the real reason people aren't playing -- and the stores don't stock it -- is not because it sucks, but because the books are coming out at a very slow rate. And with the D20 glut, anything that isn't spewing out a book a week isn't considered to be worth the effort, regardless of actual quality.

I'm in a campaign of it right now, and loving every minute of it. I mean, a drow paladin with two guns and a trenchcoat... the game just oozes cool.

The setting does a great job of logically translating the general D&D fantasy tropes to a science fiction setting.

But to avoid repeating myself, here's a couple of reviews of it I wrote:

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