Dragonlance sage edition

tsr1148_dragonlance_fifth_age

The dragon lance saga edition RPG was a decent product. it was unique in that thie rpg did not use dice, but instead used a custom card deck. the cards came in nine suits (moon,orb,helm,arrow,shield,sword, crown,heart and dragon) and had pictures of the various characters from the dragon lance novels on them. each suit of cards was tied to one of the nine stats except the dragon suit (moon=reason,orb=perception,helm=endurance,arrow=dexterity,shield=agility,sword=strength, crown=presence,heart=spirit and dragon=none). to create a character you drew cards and assigned a card to each stat. each card had a number from 1-9 on it. each stat also had a code A,B,C,D,X. if you matched the card suit with the ability score you got a A code ex: sword with strength, if you matched a pair you got B ex: helm to strength, if the suit matched the category of physical or mental it was a D and finally if you used a dragon card you got an X code.

the initial cards drawn also gave you your starting wealth, hand size and nature and demeanor. now this seems complex, but once you get the hand of it it actually becomes very fun and fast to create characters for this game. another nice thing about saga was the magic system. the magic system was very free form and allowed for a ton of variety within its limits.

there were two types of magic sorcery and mysticism. sorcery magic dealt with the natural world and did not affect living things. sorcery was devided into schools such as geomancy, pyromancy, electromancy, transmutation, enchantment, cryomancy, spectramancy, hydromancy, aeromancy, summoning and divination. mysticism on the other hand was the magic of life and affected the living world such as Healing, necromancy, spiritualism, mentalism, animism, alteration, meditation, channeling, and sensitivity. you could have access to both types of magic and even combine them with high enough stat codes. I honestly think the magic system is one of the best in any RPG, only ars magica and Mage: the ascension exceed this system in awesomeness.

one big flaw of this system is that by having the game depended on proprietor cards it makes the game hard to get into if you cannot find the cards. this is even worse now that the game has been out of print for over a decade and finding just the cards are very hard. the other flaw is the system is tied into the dragonlance setting so separating the system from the setting is tough. now if this was an age neutral dragonlance setting like the third edition version was it would not be as bad, but it is tied directory into the 5th age of dragonlance which has a lot of hate as they changed a ton in the setting in the 5th age. it is similar to the hate the forgotten realms received when wizards of the coast decided to eviscerate the realms for fourth edition dnd. note to companies do not eviscerate beloved settings it does not go well. slow gradual change is what people tend to want. even the avatar crisis in the realms  kept most of the setting in place.

overall if you can find this game with the cards for a decent price give it a try. it is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is unique and a good take on a diceless system

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