Chronicles of the Drenai

Chronicles of the Drenai is an RPG based on David Gemmell’s dark and gritty heroic fantasy novels.

In Chronicles of the Drenai you will play a character struggling to be a better person in a world that is cold, cruel and capricious. This is a game of desperate last stands, painful sacrifices for loyalty and honor, and overcoming your weaknesses to become worthy of legend.

The game is very rules-lite, with a system based on rolling d20’s vs. a weakness, or Passion, of your character in the spirit of Gemmell’s tales. For example, in combat you don’t test Strength or Dexterity, but roll against your character’s Fear (possibly with modifiers if you’re facing something really formidable). Freeform Traits may add bonus dice to your roll. You only need to beat the target number with one of your dice to succeed.

This PDF contains the basic rules for creating characters and running a game, plus brief descriptions of the Drenai world and its nations. This is a fan work made in homage to David Gemmell, and in no way meant to challenge the copyrights of the Gemmell estate.

Desperate last stands. Agonizing choices between two or more evils. Searing encounters with the worst in man. The fate of millions resting on a grim and scarred antihero. Valor and sacrifice in a dark, uncaring world, with only faith in a nebulous and rarely evident Source to guide your way. This is the world of David Gemmell’s gritty, pulse-pounding, dark yet uplifting series of heroic fantasy novels revolving around the unlikely heroes of the Drenai people. In this game, you will walk in the same troubled paths as Waylander and Druss, rising from an unknown or troubled past and into the halls of legend as you fight to save the Drenai.


3 Responses to “Chronicles of the Drenai”

  1. Kees Kalonick Says:

    I had never even heard of the Chronicles of Drenai until I saw this game. I’m working on a Robin Hood short story right now, and I often like to stat characters in my stories out in different systems because it looks like work even though it is crazy fun.

    I say all this to say that this is a very impressive game, and I think the system you have made, especially with the Passions, are exquisite. The passion tag, combined with the traits, forced me to make decisions about this character that I hadn’t expected.

    There is one slight discrepancy: on page 6 the Character Creation Guide stated that characters got 110 Passion point at creation, while page 7 says that player gets 100 points. I went with page 7, but that’s worth taking a look at.

    Again, excellent job!

  2. Dariel Quiogue Says:

    Hi Kees,

    Thanks for the comments! Yes I made a mistake there – you should follow p. 7, 110 points, because I split Fear into Fear of Harm and Fear of Loss.

  3. News! I’m a Dad, 24 Hour compo gets a People’s Choice and 2 lite bite RPGs | Future Gaming Says:

    […] Chronicles of the Drenai is a free fantasy roleplaying game based on David Gemmell’s fantasy novels. I’m not familiar with David Gemmell but I discovered that he writes heroic fantasy with a dark edge to it. Dariel’s RPG is admittedly lite but has enough roleplay material in there for a Gemmell fan to get a good game out of it. I’ve been a fan of Dariel’s work sinceLost in Smaragdis and although Chronicles of the Drenai contains less of Dariel’s fevered imagination (being a fan game, of course) it’s still worth a look and has gone in the towering review pile. […]