Designers: Daniel Clark, Tim Flanders, Annie VanderMeer Mitsoda, Greg Spyridis, Nikki Valens
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
Play Time: 60+ Min
Rules Available Online: No
BGG: Legacy of Dragonholt
Using the brand-new Oracle system, Legacy of Dragonholt is a narrative adventure game that captures the feeling of a roleplaying game without the need for a game master. This is done by combining aspects of traditional roleplaying games, open world video games, and Choose Your Own Adventure games to create a truly unique, interactive fiction that allows players to create characters, explore the game’s world, make meaningful choices, and affect the game’s world with those choices.
The first thing players need to do in Legacy of Dragonholt is making a character. A lot of the info here is pure fluff, but the skills the players choose, and the amount of skill are what’s going to impact the game. When creating a character you must select a certain number of skills from your Race and Class, but others may be freely chosen. Just be aware that the more skills you have, the less Stamina you have makes you more susceptible to taking damage, thus losing the use of some abilities. Once done the game jumps right into The New Roads, the first adventure that will introduce you a majority of how the Oracle system works. After a very linear quest, the world opens up with Dragonholt Village. At this point, the players can choose where they want to go, what to do, and track everything using sheets provided in the box. Different choices will check off different boxes on the tracking sheets, as well as affect how much time passes on a particular day. Certain story options may open or close depending on current time, or on what boxes are checked/unchecked on the tracker. Players may even find items to help them along their way, or to open even more options when it comes time to make choices.
It’s a bit hard to detail without actually getting into the game a spoiler territory, but that’s a general overview.
- Box 👍
- Rules 👍
- Tokens 👍
- Cards 👍
- “In Game” items⭐
(👍 = Good, 👎 = Bad, ⭐ = Exceptional)
The first time you play Legacy of Dragonholt you may feel a bit let down. The introductory quest, while it excels at teaching you the system, isn’t very interesting and is very linear. A lot of choices don’t feel like they do much and all-in-all the quest reaches the same conclusion. It’s not a very good example of how good the game actually is. Once you reach Dragonholt Village you’re introduced to the open-world aspect of the game and the system’s concept of time. From here things pick up quite a bit since may things in the game’s world are affected by the date and time. Very little in the story waits around for you discover it, and things are happening throughout the area whether you’re there or not.
Players characters are a little disappointing in the game. Legacy of Dragonholt really doesn’t use much off the character sheets except Skills, Stamina, and Items. The game doesn’t really have any way to individual characters to shine other than opening up certain story options to those with the proper skills. Even then it can sometimes be a crap-shoot where you have an option to use a skill but the outcome isn’t any better, or is sometimes worse, than if you chose a different option. It doesn’t detract much from the game, but it certainly doesn’t add any personal feel to it other than the fact that you have a good picture in your head of what your character looks and acts like.
Overall Dragonholt is a solid narrative game that scales very well from 1-6 players, though I feel like playing it solo may be the best way to go. It’s certainly a different experience to play, and one that any RPG or narrative fan should give a shot. The actual writing is fantastic and is supported with some nice “in-game” items like letters, journals, a map, etc… If you’re having trouble getting a group together to play a traditional RPG and want something a bit more in-depth than a Choose Your Own Adventure book, Legacy of Dragonholt may just be what you’re looking for.,
A copy of Legacy of Dragonholt was provided free for review by Fantasy Flight Games
Media personality Rob Kalajian has been a staple in the board game world for many years. As a former writer for Purple Pawn and the owner of A Pawn’s Perspective, Rob focuses on board game reviews, events, and news. A self-proclaimed geek, Rob loves all things toys and games and even helps raise his four kids in his spare time.
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