This is a blog about the development of the Dragon In Ninth Heaven role playing game. This is a game based on Hong Kong kung fu comics, specifically “Dragon Tiger Gate”, aka “Oriental Heroes” in the English translations. The game aims to capture the feel of these comics in a Chinese cultural environment, staying away from anything Japanese.

The current development will be using the Dungeons and Dragons 4E Game System License.

It has gone through several iterations now, starting back in 1992 when it existed as a standalone system written during university lectures. It later evolved into a d20 game when the 3rd Edition of Dungeons and Dragons was released, and was tested with a couple of adventures in a small campaign. After that I discovered True20, and have updated the d20 version of the game to work with that system. The True20 version was never completed, but came pretty close.

During the development of the True20 version of the game, the d20 version was almost published. A small publisher in the UK took interest in it, but this deal ended up falling through.

There have been unresolved problems with the way the game worked in the earlier editions:

  • The first edition did not scale at all, and characters who chose some options would always win over others in any combat
  • the d20 version was pretty good, but combat was really a little too complicated for me to be happy – I wanted a better flow to the game. It also suffered from the power imbalance a little – there were one or two particular combinations of kung fu powers that were very powerful
  • the True20 version works well but has not been completed, and requires too many dice rolls for combat for my liking.

When the new 4th edition of Dungeons and Dragons was released, I realised that this new system was perfect for the type of game I was trying to create with Dragon In Ninth Heaven. The new power system that names special attacks and allows growth and learning of new abilities works much better than the way I had subverted feats in previous editions. The only problem is the redesign of the system and a total rewrite of a pretty much completed rules book. This blog will be used to document that process.

Here are the older versions of the game:

  1. d20 Dragon In 9th Heaven
  2. True20 Dragon In 9th Heaven
  3. Supplement for the d20 version of the game

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August 2009
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