It has been two years since fans of The Dragon Prince last visited its world of strange magic and winged wonders. The Netflix animated series from US-based studio Wonderstorm spent three seasons building a world split between the elven and human realms and focused on a plucky band of youths before delaying its upcoming fourth set of episodes. Luckily, the official tabletop roleplaying game, Tales of Xadia, will slake that thirst when it launches on March 29th.
The team behind the Cortex Prime RPG system took responsibility for writing Tales of Xadia using their in-house, genre-agnostic rules. It is the latest iteration of mechanics constructed to be modular, easy to learn and widely applicable. Lead designer Cam Banks previously helmed the creation of the Cortex Prime Handbook - he now works as the Cortex creative director on Talex of Xadia and the upcoming Legends of Grayskull: The Masters of the Universe Roleplaying Game.
Fandom Tabletop is hoping for the launch of Tales of Xadia to deliver more than just a licensed tabletop RPG system. The company adapted the technology behind D&D Beyond to power stat sheets, relationships trackers and other character-specific information that players will be able to access on computers and mobile devices, easing the physical burden at the table.
“Tales of Xadia will give fans a way to participate in a new chapter of The Dragon Prince story,” Banks said in a press release. “The launch of this new game simultaneously with a bespoke digital toolset - tools made by the same company designing the game itself - is the first time tabletop gamers have been digitally equipped for a game launch, bringing the world of Xadia to life for fans at all touchpoints.”
The book will contain 300 pages of worldbuilding material, original artwork illustrated for Tales of Xadia and instructions for both running and playing the game. One person will act as the narrator, facilitating game for the rest of the player-controlled characters, which can be both human and elves. The characters themselves are composed of several traits that define core aspects that can be brought to bear during the game, whether that be in combat or conversations.
A character’s upbringing, training, personality, connections and values can affect the outcome of a contest through the die value attached to it. Higher dice reflect a mastery or innate acuity, along with increasing the chance of success in a pivotal moment. The narrator role is that of a conventional dungeon master, and they will play all of the creatures and Xadian denizens - including over forty types of dragons - the group encounters through the course of the adventures.
Cortex Prime courted controversy in December last year when a pair of licenses meant to empower the community and professional designers instead raised a number of red flags regarding ownership and copyright. Fandom Tabletop announced the licenses would go back to the drawing board and take public criticism into account before implementation. There hasn’t yet been any word about the next iteration of those licenses.
Cortex Prime’s previous versions have powered other licensed tabletop RPGS, such as Marvel, Firefly, Battlestar Galactica and Supernatural. Before creating Cortex Prime and then being brought into the Fandom Tabletop team, Banks worked on Marvel Heroic Roleplaying and the Smallville RPG, among other titles.
Talex of Xadia will be available to purchase from its official website on March 29th, though pre-orders are currently open ahead of the full release. Both a digital and physical edition of the handbook are available for $24.99 (£18.40) and $49.99 (£36.81), respectively.