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Subject: Dragon Quest by an RPGer rss

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Samuel Sol
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They year was 1994. I was 12 years old and had been playing roleplaying games for a few months, basically DnD 1st edition and Advanced Fighting Fantasy system (ah, the memories). On the Christmas of 1993 I got my box of HeroQuest together with 2 expansions. We had a blast. My group would create their own adventures and roleplay every encounter. It was awesome. But kind of limited unfortunately. We would keep trying to amend the rules with some DnD borrowed ideas. But the system was getting a lot convoluted this way.

It was then that a friend of mine (who didn't like this whole RPG thing, because it was too nerd), got on his birthday a box of Dragon Quest. Recognizing right there the DnD logo, I was eager to play, and invited him to the group so we could play together. The verdict we had a blast, him, not so much. I blame our Munchkness.

The Components
The box was big, even by today standards. It had

d10-1 Game board - Like HeroQuest, it came with a Dungeon-like game board with different rooms. No doors were printed on the map, instead you would use a counter to put it. The board was sturdy, better quality than HeroQuest's and colorful (which sometimes wasn't that good).



d10-2 booklets. One for rules and another with the pre-made adventures. The adventure book had, on the back, a blank copy of the map, designed for you to write down your own adventures. The rulebook had a copy of the character sheet to be copied when creating your characters.



d10-7 dice. The box came with each of a d4, 2d6, d8, d10, d12, d20. They were normal quality roleplaying dice. Everything you needed to play a DnD (or in this case Dragon Quest) game.

d10-6 hero figures. One for each class. There was a Rogue, Cleric, Wizard, Dwarf, Elf and Warrior. Yes both Elf and Dwarf were class, not races. Just like on DnD. The game didn't have the concept of race. There were 2 versions of the miniatures, if you were luck (and my friend was) you would have the special box with the cast-die figures, otherwise they were red plastic. Not a brilliant piece of work, but the miniatures had a lot of flavor and were well made.

d10-9d10-7 monster figures. This was the second best part of the game. It came with a myriad of different classic DnD monster figures. They were a strip of sturdy paper to be folded into a triangle. One side would have the monster from and the other its shadow. This was important both because the monster had a facing (so thieves could backstab) and because you could try surprising the players (all dragons were more or less alike). The figures were useful, and not only for the pre-made adventures. And even today, they are still good for DnD 4th games.



d10-1d10-8d10-0 beautiful cards. And I mean beautiful. Which card had a classic DnD drawing. Both from the supplements and novel covers. They were sturdy for the time (although we would say they are cheap by today standards). The cards represented most of the things in the game. Equipment, monster (with all the stats), traps, the spells, etc. They were practical with all you need on it, and again, very beautiful.



The Game
For now you must have realized that this was DnD-lite. A boardgame created to help introduce players into DnD and bring them to the game. In that scenario, it worked better for people who were already player. The boardgame was wonderful to play the fights in the dungeons, the components good to represent what you want to show the players. And the cards a good way to present the items you found.

About the game itself. It was a roll and move dungeon crawler. The characters and the monster had simplified version of the DnD sheet. You had the 6 attributes and worked with them more or less like on the table top game. Combat was resolved with the roll of a d20. You would roll, add your bonus from weapons and spells and check against the monster Armor Class to se if you hit.

Summary
It was a fun introduction to DnD. It felt like a RPG, at least on my group, but it was clear a boardgame, so it was a way to bring non-role players to the hobby. The cards were beautiful, and the rest of the components very useful. We ended mixing both Dragon Quest and Heroquest on our games. Making DnD stats for the Heroquest monsters, adapting the spells and mixing the boards together. It was a very fun thing to do. Even if you don't like the game, but do play tabletop fantasy RPG's, this is a great game to have in your collection. The pieces will help a lot if you are not rich enough to buy the most expensive miniatures.
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Witchfinder General
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Excellent review!
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Samuel Sol
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Thank you Fred. It is my first one, and most of it was from my memory. I played it when I was much younger, and don't have a copy.
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Donald Cleary
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I see lots of recycled dragons from DragonLance.
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Samuel Sol
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As I said, most of the pictures (I think all in fact) came from supplements and novels. The cover of the adventure book for example, is a classic cover of a Forgotten Realms novel. It doesn't change the fact that they are beautiful :)
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Antonio Rettore
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After having read this review I decided to buy a copy of the game, considering it a good compromise between real complex AD&D game and easier ones, without all the miniature stuff (monsters, furniture like Hero Quest, etc) that I don't like (it seems to me a little cheesy and childy) and with a good board and excellent cards that can be used for other games too.....

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Samuel Sol
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Glad to know you enjoyed the review mate and good luck finding one cheap.
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I've just bought a copy from a seller here on BGG.

I honestly hope this game plays more like a board game and less like an D&D session!
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Allen OConnor
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I found a sealed copy of this today. Great review!
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