With Lion & Dragon, the rules of the original tabletop RPG have been adapted to create a more historically authentic medieval experience, to reflect the grittier and yet more mythic world of a magical medieval Europe.L&D includes new rules governing social class and materials on culture to help a GM craft a world that feels closer to the world of the 100-years war or the War of the Roses. It has a grittier and more dangerous feel to reflect the cheapness of life at the time. Also included are sections on medieval economics, law & justice, and chapters with monsters and magical items based on authentic medieval legends. Finally, a completely revamped magic system is based on actual grimoire-magic as the medieval magicians really envisioned it."
Last night out came my copy of Lion & Dragon by Rpg Pundit which is a complete table top rpg unto itself. The game takes place within a dark fantasy Europe of the War of the Roses & its really more of a neo OSR game. While it takes the spirit of Dungeons & Dragons Lion & Dragon is more of its own beast even though its modular OSR system as its publisher has stated; "Publisher’s note : Lion & Dragon is a complete OSR game in itself. However, even if you prefer to stick with traditional fantasy RPGs featuring dwarves, elves, spellcasters, and the like, L&D can still provide a lot of options that will help you give much flavor to a more usual campain world. For example, the sections on alchemy, herbal medicines, poisons, or law & justice, could be imported in any other fantasy game."
Now I'm not the only one whose noticed this modular approach to the design of Lion & Dragon. A great unboxing video was done by Kenny Johnson & pay attention to the bit about the retro clone Swords & Wizardry.
At this point Lion & Dragon is criminally underappreciated & after speaking with one of my players & DM Steve we all feel that its a shame. Both DM Steve & I used Lion & Dragon along with its OSR original companion setting Dark Albion to flesh out rival Cymirol bards for both of our campaigns. Steve got into using the seventeen maps that came with Dark Albion to flesh out parts of his Rose War campaign. I used Lion & Dragon to flesh out some of the herbalism, occult, and other PC areas of my player's bard along with familial history etc. all through actual play. Questwise put out a similar review of the Lion & Dragon rpg that made this same observation.
The Lion & Dragon rpg vs Dark Albion can summed up easily. Dark Albion works well with the Lion & Dragon rpg but Dark Albion is an OSR setting book through & through with tons of research. I have both books but its not necessary. Lion & Dragon is its own rpg that's designed to stand on its own.
This brings me to what I'm using Lion & Dragon for & that's as an OSR campaign resource. At the center for this rpg is the main reason that I got it & that's the War of the Roses; "The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, associated with a red rose, and the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. Eventually, the wars eliminated the male lines of both families. The conflict lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting before and after this period between the parties. The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years' War, unfolding the structural problems of feudalism, combined with the mental infirmity and weak rule of King Henry VI which revived interest in Richard of York's claim to the throne. Historians disagree on which of these factors to identify as the main reason for the wars"
The War of the Roses is legendary as well as historical. This is the actual history that inspired the Game of Thrones books & TV show. To me its so much more interesting then the pop culture creations. There were royal personages that were erased from history in the blink of an eye. Families scattered to the four winds & the threat of chaos lurking at the edges of England during the events of history. Those all have their fantasy equivalent in both Dark Albion & Lion & Dragon. In my campaigns those adventure elements appear in the most unexpected places.
Framed print, "Plucking the Red and White Roses in the Old Temple Gardens" after the original 1910 fresco painting by Henry Albert Payne (British, 1868-1940) based upon a scene in Shakespeare's Henry VI, the original in the Palace of Westminster and a later similar painting by Payne in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, this print marked "copyright 1912 in London & Washington by "The Fine Art Publishing Co., Ltd. London", sight: 20.25"h, 21"w, overall: 27"h, 27.5"w, 9.25lbs.
In the past I've used many elements from both Lion & Dragon & Dark Albion. I'm dusting off some of those to use once again. As DM Steve reminded me on Sunday,"No adventure element is ever completely done if the player's feel its unresolved". The Lion & Dragon rpg stands on its own merits & system. You don't need anything else to use it for table top play. That being said I'm going to be using it coming up OSR game play.
Lion & Dragon is available right here.