DragonQuest Rules

October 15, 2016

Monetary Matters (repost)

Filed under: Uncategorized — rthorm @ 11:08 pm

The old 7-400 Monetary Matters article link seems to be gone.  Fortunately, there was a backup on my hard drive, so I’m reposting this, particularly in response to the recent DragonQuest Economics post by Phergus.  The two seem more complementary than contradictory, and maybe a combination of the two would make a good replacement Monetary Matters rule section for Open DQ.

Somewhere along the way, this got renumbered from 7-400 to 7-810.  This numbering is from a proposed system that would allow category numbering and flexibility, in order to allow new rules to be added, and have like sections and subject areas able to be kept in proximity to one another.  But, for now, it is only notional, so it doesn’t matter that much.


The GM needs to maintain a balanced economy to provide an interesting environment for adventure. The following table provides an outline for the range of income levels and costs of living for various social classes:

Class *** Annual Income *** Monthly Upkeep
Peasant *** <500 Sp *** n/a
Subsistence *** 1000 Sp *** 100 Sp
Yeoman *** 1500 Sp *** 125 Sp
Soldier/Mercenary *** 4000 Sp *** 200 Sp
Tradesman *** 7500 Sp *** 300 Sp
Adventurer/Merchant *** 10000 Sp *** 500 Sp
Hero/Lesser Noble *** 50000 Sp *** 1000 Sp
Greater Noble/Royalty *** 100000 Sp *** 1500 Sp
Merch Prince *** 200000 Sp *** 2000 Sp

The upkeep listed for each class is the amount needed for a moderate lifestyle for that level. Typical income levels and monthy upkeep costs for Mercenary, Adventurer, and Hero level characters are also noted.

Monthly upkeep includes the costs for food and drink, shelter, clothing and other ordinary expenses. Costs for training, ability improvement, and the like are not included in these expenses. The included costs needed to maintain a Skill are also not included in upkeep costs (with some exceptions as noted below). All adventuring gear should be calculated separately from the upkeep costs. Likewise, the costs for the purchase of any specific item should be treated separately from upkeep costs.

Some characters may apply a portion of the cost of maintaining their skills towards their monthly upkeep costs. A Merchant can credit the value of one week per month of their appearance upkeep cost towards upgrading their lifestyle above the base level of moderate. Half of a Courtesan’s annual upkeep can be credited towards monthly upkeep and upgrading lifestyle.

[7-810.a] The Silver Penny (Sp) is the standard unit of money, with copper, gold, and truesilver currency also in circulation.

Coin Abbrev. Value Weight
Truesilver Guinea TsG =21 GS 1/2oz 14.2g
Gold Shilling GS =12 Sp 1/4oz 7.1g
Silver Penny Sp =4 cf 1/6oz 4.7g
Copper Farthing cf 1/8oz 3.5g

A Platinum Shilling (PS =1.5 GS or 18 Sp and weighing 1/4oz) may be found in some areas. There are also coins such as the ha’-penny (=2 cf; 1/12oz), threepence (=3 Sp; 1/2oz), and sixpence (=6 Sp; 1 oz). Cut coins are also commonly found in some areas, while in other regions, they are prohibited by law. Weights and values for these other coins can be extrapolated from the list above.

[7-810.b] The Adventurer’s Guild provides safe storage of valuables among their range of services for their members. Non-members typically will have to pay double the listed rate for any Guild service.

Safekeeping of money or valuables — 1 Sp/mo for up to 500oz (31.25 pounds)
Banking/letter of credit — 1 Sp/mo for up to 36000 Sp
Postal service (delivery to Guildhouse) — 1 Sp up to 500 miles
Guild preparation of contract — 10-100 Sp
Guild arbitration of contract — 50 Sp/hour

[7-810.c] Improved Basic Goods List (table)

1 Poor Trash = Peasant
2 Impoverished Gentlefolk = Subsistence
4 Burgher or Farmer = Yeoman
6 Merchant
10 Merchant Prince
5 Craftsman or Adventurer = Tradesman or Adventurer
8 Bandit or Pirate
5 Lesser Nobility
10 Greater Nobility

Note, also, that not every character will necessarily be living at the specified level their class normally affords. There are plenty of individuals of noble birth who are living at more modest levels than their station may call for.

Alternate text: “A comfortable lifestyle is 1.5 times the base cost. An expensive lifestyle is double the base cost, and an extravagant lifestyle is triple the base cost (or more).”

For reference and comparison, here is some information on ancient Roman coinage (looking at the silver denarius as a close approximation of the silver penny). Also, for comparison, information on current US coinage is included. Canadian coinage is close
enough in size to US coinage to serve as an example, too.

Roman Coinage
Gold Aureus 7.75g
Silver Denarius 4.5g
Silver Quinarius 2.25g
Silver Sestertius 1.125g
Brass Sestertius (2.5g)

1 aureus was equal to 25 denarii in value. The quinarius was worth half of a denarius. The sestertius was worth a quarter denarius.

US (and Canadian) Coinage
Quarter 5.675g
Dime 2.25g
Nickel 5g
Penny 2.5g

And remember that 28.35g = 1oz

A very interesting site (Historical Coinage Cheatsheet) for some additional reference information:

July 22, 2016

On the order of DragonQuest

Filed under: Uncategorized — rthorm @ 9:01 pm

Everyone’s campaign is unique, so this may not pertain to your experiences in the past, or your expectations for what a new edition of DragonQuest might be. But this is some explanation of my background with DragonQuest, which will certainly end up factoring into any adaptation or re-writing of DragonQuest that I work on.

The skills are of an era of greater knowledge and enlightenment. The Mechanician skill is, perhaps, the most telling of the skills in the DragonQuest lineup. It explicitly presents a world where clockwork mechanisms can be made.

And, close on its heels, there is also Alchemy, another skill of the period where the search for knowledge and understanding of the natural world was coming to the fore.

This is not the world of D&D, where everything is dark and mysterious and anything that needs to be figured out requires consultation with a sage. Or where mechanisms are high-tech exemplars of Clarke’s Law (“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”)

DragonQuest, on the other hand, presents a world that is rational, logical, and organized, even if some of its corners are still dark and mysterious.

Thinking about the idea of a “Renaissance Man,” what game system most readily lets you play someone with those characteristics? DQ allows for a single character who is a swordsman, a magical adept, an alchemist, and a thief.  And not as a cobbled together variant with special rules, but as an ordinary, rational part of the game system.

Other things are also part of this tendency. The magic system is organized into Colleges. There is a Guild for adventurers, as well as guild control exercised over some professions and skills. Although the world of DQ is not directly spelled out in any great detail in the rules, these implications are present and are a part of the game.

What this begins to suggest is that there might be a DQ World book, covering the hierarchies and social structures found in a Renaissance world, and then a DQ System book, which would be the updating and revision of the core rules for combat and magic.

Having an organizational system to better frame the new edition gives it some direction and focus, rather than simply being a retread of the existing game.  It provides a purpose for doing the revision and makes it a more useful resource, even for those who are playing other game systems to make use of the information it provides.

These are all just first thoughts, though, and I’d be very interested in your feedback on this. I’m going to be away this weekend, so I won’t have any access to the comments until Monday, or so. But I hope there is some conversation started, and I’ll have some further thoughts about this next week.

April 22, 2016

DragonQuest Combat Summary

Filed under: Rules — Tags: , , , , , — rthorm @ 8:33 pm

The following is an outline of the combat rules for DragonQuest, and a good starting point for retro-cloning.  It covers many of the essentials, as long as you are already familiar with the rules, but it may be a bit scant if you are trying to use it alone, or as a new player of the game.

This was (we believe) originally created by someone in a DQ group I was part of over a decade ago, but the couple people I’ve checked with aren’t sure whoactually created it; likely it was a collaborative effort.  The text is below the cut; and a PDF and a word-compatible version are linked at the bottom.


April 12, 2016

Open DQ Preliminary Organization

Filed under: Uncategorized — rthorm @ 8:51 pm

This is a preliminary outline for re-organizing DQ rules into a more open and expandable system (with spaces for new rules to fit in to appropriate sections).  Some parts are not yet assigned; this is just a pirst pass at beginning to assign places for the existing DQ rules, and a starting point for organizational discussion.

I thought this had been posted earlier, but perhaps it was lost in the transfer from Netfirms, so I’m reposting it here again for reference and to get the discussion going again.

0 – License
1 – How to Play the Game
2 – Character Generation
3 – Combat
4 – Magic
5 – Skills
6 – Monsters
7 – Adventure

Rule numbering:

Where the first number N corresponds to the section, NNN is the particular rule, and x is the rule paragraph letter.

0 Introduction, License, and Credits
0-001 Introduction
0-100 Creative Commons License
0-200 Acknowledgements
0-300 Contributors
The First Book: Character Generation, Combat
1 How to Play the Game
1-001 General Course of Events
1-002 Requirements for Play
1-200 Game Terms
2 Character Generation
2-001 Description of Characteristics
2-002 Effects of Characteristics
2-003 Characteristic Generation
2-004 Birthrights
2-005 Aspects
2-006 Heritage
3 Combat
3-001 Combat Terminology
3-005 Combat Equipment
3-010 Preparation for Combat
3-020 Combat Sequence
3-025 Actions of Engaged Figures
3-030 Actions of Non-Engaged Figures
3-035 Action Choice Restrictions
3-040 Attacking
3-045 Resolving Attempted Attacks
3-050 Damage
3-055 The Effects of Damage
3-060 Weapons
3-070 Unarmed Combat
3-080 Multi-Hex Monsters
3-075 Mounted Combat
3-090 Infection
The Second Book: Magic
4 Magic
4-010 Definition of Magical Terms
4-100 How Magic Works
4-120 How to Cast Spells
28. The Effects of Spells
29. Restrictions on Magic
30. Backfire from Spells and Rituals
31. Counterspells and Resisting Spells
32. Special Magical Preparations
33. Incorporating Magic into Combat
4-500 The Colleges of Magic
4-510 Magic Conventions
4-600 Thaumaturgies
4-610 The College of Ensorcelments and Enchantments
4-620 The College of Sorceries of the Mind
4-630 The College of Illusions
4-640 The College of Naming Incantations
4-700 Elementals
4-710 The College of Air Magics
4-720 The College of Water Magics
4-730 The College of Fire Magics
4-740 The College of Earth Magics
4-750 The College of Celestial Magics
4-800 Entities
4-810 The College of Necromantic Conjurations
4-820 The College of Black Magics
4-830 The College of Greater Summonings
The Third Book: Skills, Monsters, Adventure
5 Skills
5-010 Acquiring and Using Skills
5-100 Special Skills: Spoken and Written Languages
5-500 Alchemist
5-520 Assassin
5-300 Astrologer
53. Beast Master
54. Courtesan
55. Healer
56. Mechanician
57. Merchant
58. Military Scientist
59. Navigator
60. Ranger
61. Spy and Thief
62. Troubador
6 Monsters
6-010 Encountering Monsters and Non-Player Characters
6-050 Reactions to Encounters
6-080 How to Read the Monster Descriptions
6-100 Common Land Mammals
6-150 Avians
6-200 Aquatics
6-250 Lizards, Snakes, and Insects
6-300 Giants, Fairies, and Earth Dwellers
6-350 Fantastical Monsters
6-400 Creatures of Night and Shadow
6-450 Summonables
6-500 Undead
6-550 Dragons
6-600 Riding Animals
7 Adventure
77. Preparation for Adventure
78. Game Conventions
79. Organizing a Party
80. The Adventure Sequence
81. Monetary Matters
82. Fatigue Loss and Recovery
83. Adventure Actions
84. Consequences
85. Recuperation and Upkeep
86. How Experience Is Gained
87. How Experience Is Used

March 31, 2016

Thoughts on Counterspells

Filed under: Uncategorized — rthorm @ 8:58 pm

Rodger Thorm’s post about Thinning Down the Counterspells begins a series of posts to examine what form a set of DQ clone rules might take.  Is there a better way than the present 2-counterspells-per-college system?

August 5, 2015

DragonQuest Apsects

Filed under: Rules — Tags: — rthorm @ 9:00 am

This turned up while sorting through some old files.  It may also still be available in the Yahoo groups, but it wouldn’t hurt to have another copy of this available.

The attached PDF document is a set of extended rules for aspects in DQ written by Esko (Edi) Halttunen.


March 1, 2011

Migrating Open DQ

Filed under: Uncategorized — rthorm @ 4:30 am

Moving things from dragonslayer.netfirms.com  —  see further discussion here

November 2, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — rthorm @ 4:58 pm


I am the moderator for some websites and online discussion groups related to DragonQuest. There is a small but interested core of fans who still play this game. Print copies are becoming rarities because it has been out of print for so long, and attracting new players is more difficult because the rules are not readily available.

There are also a number of these players and fans of the game who would like to develop new rules and additional material for use with this game. However, because of the uncertain legal status of the game (the number of times that ownership of the rights has been transferred now makes it impossible to identify who owns the rights to the game, even if we posessed enough money to get the attention of the corporate rights attorneys who have the responsibility for this sort of thing. For them, unless there is enough money in it, it is simpler (and more economically sensible) to ignore the works than to deal with how the rights to this game have been transferred.)

Games that are still in print can continue to grow and attract new players by putting out new materials. As a community, our activity is essentially stifled because of the uncertain legal standing with regard to revising or rewriting the rules to make them more contemporary and up do date.

Because game rules are something that is more prone to revision over time than a work of fiction, this is a much more severe effect on the community of fans and players of this game than if the item in question were a novel or some other work of fiction.

(This refers to the DragonQuest role-playing game originally published by Simulations Publications, Inc. in 1980. A novel by Anne McCaffrey and a series of videogames share the same name but none are related to each other.)

June 23, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — rthorm @ 9:57 pm

5-600 RANGER

More heavily modified than Troubadour, it isn’t as much of a clone of the 2nd Ed. I found some other places to make changes and adjust things a bit more. Hopefully these are all positive changes.

June 22, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — rthorm @ 11:53 am

3-335 VISIBILITY from Arturo Algueiro Melo

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