Publisher: Custom Modification
Series: Dragon Warriors
Reviewer: Faren Heit
Review Dated: 31st, January 2005
Reviewer’s Rating: 8/10 [ Really good ]
Total Score: 8
Average Score: 8.00
Shangoria is a modification for the 6 book RPG series “Dragon Warriors” by Dave Morris and Oliver Johnson. It is written by Alex Yeoh, and contains what appears to be a reinterpretation of the Dragon Warriors rules to suit his/her personal preference.
The blurb for Shangoria begins with an explanation that the author wishes to capture the essence of classic fantasy novels, elements of which were not possible under the original Dragon Warriors rules. Why he/she chose to use Dragon Warriors in particular to build his/her modification is unknown except a hinting of his/her preference for Dragon Warriors’ core rule structure which he/she felt lent itself to modifications easily.
Shangoria certainly is different to other RPGs that I have seen, in that the rules are both general and detailed in a way unusual to the direction of most table-top RPGs. Rules were made general or detailed depending on how fantasy novellists prioritized the element in their stories. If for example novellists did not think encumbrance was worthy of writing much about, Shangoria contained only a very general and simple system for encumbrance.
This emphasis is felt most in its innovative take on emotions and personality rules. The author felt these rules were necessary to recreate the character development and interaction necessary in good story plots. In a sense, interacting with NPCs became like a mini-game which the author hopes will make the game session play like a novel rather than an arcade game.
I have not played the game, however the game mechanics seem well thought out and fast. The author has expanded in a lot of other areas especially combat, respecting the real-life handling of weapons. There were also a lot of rules which seem quite complex, but were cleverly executed because they could be “switched off” if the GM did not required the extra details.
Shangoria also contains a brief introduction to the Shangoria campaign world, and the author has managed to acquire permission from a Disney artist to illustrate it with beautiful and colourful pictures of flying castles. The world is far from complete however, only serving as a introduction, and it did not contain a map of the world.
The game can be found as a free download on some Dragon Warriors fan sites.