Game: Dragonwizards Fantasy Graphic Story E-Book
Publisher: Lisa’s Antiquities
Review Dated: 11th, November 2003
Reviewer’s Rating: 1/10 [ Is this a joke? ]
Total Score: 1
Average Score: 1.00
It might be best to ignore the GameWyrd rating for this product. Why is it so low? GameWyrd’s review guidelines just aren’t designed to deal with this Dragonwizard’s e-book. They’re designed to deal with RPGs, supplements, splatbooks, accessories and paraphernalia. They’re not designed to deal with graphic fantasy novel.
What’s a graphic fantasy novel? In this case it’s a 171-paged PDF document that’s liberally pepped with trading card like graphics. Well. The graphics are trading cards – just electronic. You’ve the eye-catching illustrations, a decorative boarder and then some game stats. If you’re putting this Dragonwizards e-book into your shopping cart then you’ll be doing so for the artwork. It’s really rather good. Dragonwizards uses the 3D computer graphics that I always associated with the Bryce software.
These illustrated cards are good eye candy but, alas, you can’t actually use them. They’re here simply to tease you and wet (or is it whet?) your appetite for the forthcoming CD with 700 of these images on it. Although I’ve given Dragonwizards an embarrassingly low score here (blame the guidelines, not me) I can honestly say that I do fancy a look at these 700 images. I know they’ll be good.
The rest of Dragonwizards is a huge labour of love. If RPG products scored points by being brave, enthusiastic and wholehearted then Dragonwizards would be doing well. The story is the retelling of a year long play by email game. It’s a high fantasy game: demons and monsters around every dungeon corner. There are fairies, dragon mounts and demons called fellatio. Hmm.
Every gamer has their preferred style of play and its clear from the way the plot pans out in this Dragonwizards that the DM and author of the novel had found the right niche for his players. I think quite a few gamers are satisfied and proud of their accomplishments after a campaign and would be content to tell everyone willing to listen all about it. Very much fewer players or DMs would have the stamina to actually write a 171-paged story about it. Kudos goes to Jason Huges, the writer and primary artist, for doing so and leading by example. The problem is, I think, that although gamers are happy to go on about their own game and experiences they’ve little patience to hear about other games. As my GamingReport t-shirt says “Trust me, I don’t care about your character” Huges has a tricky problem to face in order to win our interest. I won’t try and do it here, there’s nothing worse than a review that spoils the plot.
The Dragonwizards e-book shines with enthusiasm, which is good, just not professionalism, which isn’t so good. There’s virtually no room for error in such a bold product and unfortunately the spelling and grammar is awful. I imagine that after putting this compendious story together after a years worth of game play that there wasn’t any energy left for editing and proof reading. They’re a chore but they need to be done.
Throughout the story you’ll find numbers in brackets (15). They represent the mechanics used in the RPG the story comes from. The mechanics aren’t explained. We just have this paragraph as an introduction. “Rolls written in parenthesis (3) are rolls done on a twenty sided dice. This number predicts the successful outcome of a characters actions. The higher the number the better the chance with rolls of 19 and 20 causing the greatest effect. Damage is also written in a similar way showing the impact of the struggle.” So the numbers flit between being the teasing insight that they’re designed to be and being an awkward distraction.
This is Lisa’s Antiquities’ first product. I think they’ll find the learning curve and head upwards quickly. There are some signs that the young company is grounded in solid thinking and forward planning. There’s a free demo of the e-book and this is handy. Downloading the full 170-paged book isn’t something you want to do on a dial-up connection and then decide you’re too busy to read it.