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Sunday, 4 February 2018

How is Lion & Dragon "Medieval Authentic"?

Lion & Dragon adapts both the rules and the underlying 'inherent setting' to make it more Medieval-Authentic.

Among other things, here's how it does that:

-The magic system is completely changed, into a system that's based on  actual medieval ideas about magic based on historical medieval grimoires. Magisters (magicians) in L&D don't have vancian spells. Instead they get bonuses to a lot of knowledge skills (lore) and learn magical techniques like Astrology, Cures, Banishing, Battle Magic, Talismans and Alchemy.   You can also expand the magical abilities of Magisters in the various 'Grimoire' sourcebooks found in the RPGPundit Presents series!

-There's other significant innovations to the rules. Character advancement is unique (that is, different characters of the same class will end up having different abilities, because of random advancement tables - players also have the option to sometimes choose rather than roll). Characters in general are a bit more vulnerable to reflect a gritty medieval world.

-There's serious parrying rules so buckler-shields do what they were meant to do.

-Social Class is a very important part of the game. Unlike most other games, you can't play a peasant and tell off a king (at least not without getting hung).  Most RPG settings treat social class as if it doesn't exist, and peasants are just 'poor farmers' while nobles are just 'rich farmers'. But in Medieval society your class determined how law applied to you, how you were supposed to talk, where you were supposed to go, and even how you were allowed to dress!

-Monotheistic religion.  This is a pretty big deal, because the Medieval cultural construct just doesn't make much sense if you have competing/friendly pantheons of many different gods. Also, religion permeates every aspect of culture.  In the game, one of Cleric's greatest abilities has nothing to do with combat or with clerical magic; it's the social consequences of the fact that they're Living Saints.

-There's rules for determining details of a character's prior history based on social class and special events.  Even the name tables are based on the most popular English, Scottish and Welsh names of the 15th century!

-The equipment rules are based on medieval sources.

-Magic items and monsters are all  based on medieval legend and folklore. Everything from the types of talismans or alchemical concoctions a magician PC can construct, to the unique and legendary items that can usually only be found by adventuring.

-There's even rules for medieval law & justice. The book includes an appendix on how to resolve medieval trials (in both secular or ecclesiastical courts), which will tell you all you need to know about the laws of the land.

There's more beside, but those are just a few of the key points that makes Lion & Dragon different from S&W/LL/LotFP or other OSR rulesets.


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  1. You should, if you have not done, see what Skerples is doing over at Coins and Scrolls re: medieval gaming

  2. I still thing it'd be better with the real Catholic Church in there instead of a stand-in. But it's pretty cool and easy to swap in the real deal.