Dragon: The Hoarding
Preview 1 – Basic Principles
So, what’s this whole Dragon game about, anyway? In essence, we wanted to mix the things we like about Vampire and Changeling along with something new and fresh – the chance to play a new type of creature. Most of the game will feel familiar to players who are familiar with other World of Darkness settings. Specific information is forthcoming, but here are the basic principles:
* Long ago, the Mythic World and the Mortal World existed together, and dragons walked the earth in their true forms. At some point there was a terrible Sundering, and a barrier of disbelief called the Firmament separated the worlds of Myth and Man. While inhabiting the Mortal World, it is impossible for dragons to show their true forms, so they’ve taken mortal shapes in order to live among humans.
* Every dragon is driven by an overwhelming urge to hoard. Some dragons hoard wealth and power, and these have become the hidden masters of mortal society. Others might hoard social connections, priceless treasures, knowledge, riddles, or even Bob Dylan albums, depending on the dragon’s individual temperament. Regardless, every dragon protects its hoard jealously and seeks to expand it whenever possible!
* The most common dragons in our setting are European dragons, who are divided into ten breeds (these are the equivalent of clans or kiths). There are metallic dragons (gold, silver, bronze, brass, and copper) who are essentially “seelie” in nature and who uphold lawful values. There are also chromatic dragons (red, blue, green, white, and black) who are essentially “unseelie” in nature and who follow a chaotic path. These are not “good/evil” distinctions – it’s better to think of them as “seelie/unseelie” differences. Each dragon has both sides to its personality. There are also other “neutral” dragons (Eastern, Mezoamerican, etc.) but these rare breeds are unusual in our setting at the beginning of the game.
* Draconic society exists to protect the Firmament (dragons must remain hidden, lest the dreaded Slayers discover them and wage deadly war against dragonkind) and to protect the wealth of the domain’s collective hoard. In each domain, dragons select a Prince or Highlord twice per year. In the summer months, the metallic dragons rule, and in the winter months, the chromatic dragons are in charge. The Prince and her Officers rule in conjunction with the elders of the five Major Houses of the domain.
* Dragons are essentially immortal. In most cases, when a dragon “dies” it will eventually regenerate and recover. The only way to fully kill a dragon is to simultaneously defeat its mythic, mortal, and astral bodies all at once (something that only the Slayers are regularly able to do!) While recovering from a mundane death, dragons can still interact with other dragons as astral “ghosts.”
* Dragons hold court in special locations called “Bastions.” In a Bastion (the equivalent of a freehold), the Firmament that divides the worlds of myth and men is thin, and dragons appear more “draconic” in their human forms. (This is an excuse for creative costumes and makeup, if you like that sort of thing!) Also, from a Bastion a dragon may enter the Mythic world, where she may choose to assume her true dragon form, and where various adventures and excitement await!
* Draconic power and status is based on the size of one’s hoard. Hoard is determined by background traits (now known as Hoard traits). These include Allies, Collection, Contacts, Fame, Influence (all types), Library, Resources, Retainers, and Treasure. The greater one’s hoard, the more power one has in the political process. (Note that you don’t need ANY hoard in order to become Prince – but you must win the support of other dragons who possess hoard in order to gain the title!)
* Dragons may pool their wealth to form Houses or Orders. Houses and Orders are associations of mutual interest that cross breed lines. The Order Oroborous, for example, is a society of dragons who share an interest in philosophy and the occult, while House Grendel tends to view humans as inferior creatures who should be forced to serve draconic whims. Any given House or Order is usually composed of both metallic and chromatic members. A distinction is typically made between Major and Minor Houses in a given domain – the five wealthiest Houses are the Major Houses, and they will each have a seat on the Council of Orders (similar to a primogen council, but with specific differences). All other recognized houses are Minor Houses, who often compete to gain wealth and improve their standing.
* We will provide a few sample houses (like the Order Oroborous and House Grendel), players are also encouraged to design their own houses! Houses are a great way to build your own faction and factional interests in the game.
* Dragons have many unusual allies and antagonists, such as Slayers (the dragons’ dreaded archenemies), Scions (the children of the Gods and Demigods who populate the mythic world), the Avatars of the Heavens (unusual Exalted beings from the Mythic realms), and the Imoogi (creatures that resembles a dragons but suffer a curse that renders them monstrous and outcast).
* The game is designed to have three major modes, depending on your RPG preferences. For those who enjoy social interaction and interpersonal roleplaying, Dragons are passionate creatures with wild temperaments leading them to all forms of companionship, intrigue, romance, and conflict. For those who enjoy adventure, Dragon is designed to offer various exciting adventures (and quests) in the mortal and mythic worlds – you can do everything from stopping gang wars (either from the good of your heart or to consolidate your own power on the streets) to fighting exotic beasts within the Mythic realm. Finally, for those who enjoy politics, Dragon offers an intricate new political system tied to the gain and loss of influences and backgrounds (now known as Horde traits).
Those are just some of the basics! We will have more information on specific breeds (as well as character creation guidelines) soon. Stay tuned!
Friday, February 22: Character Creation I (7pm at the IMU)
Friday, March 28: Character Creation II (7pm at the IMU)
Sunday, April 6: Dragon: The Hoarding Premiere
Friday, April 11: Interlude
Sunday, April 20: Dragon Game
Interludes will then continue on the Second Friday, and Games will play on the Third Sunday. Thanks again to Mark Ridge for making these dates available for us!
Let the Hoarding Begin…
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