• Author: Michael Bielaczyc
  • Type of Game: Tabletop Roleplaying Game

In the years since release, we have had some errata, fixes, and clarifications. We decided it was time to work on an overhaul of the system book.

What are the big changes?

  • There were some math problems that became very evident as people reached higher levels that made characters overpowered (and not in a fun way). We have overhauled the character classes, adding some fun abilities and balancing the math.
  • Spells have been tweaked to fit the Dark Return world better, as well as fixing some issues with the spell system.
  • Abilities, conditions, and other terms have been better defined and outlined.

It is still compatible with the 1.0 Creature Compendium, as well as all adventures.

Game Description Titlebar

The SagaBorn Roleplaying System is a D20 system that encourages story driven play, cinematic combat, and great character customization.

* This 8 level system was created for the Dark Return, but can be used in almost any Fantasy Setting.

  • Seven playable species: elves, dworvs, dweran, elflings, feral elflings, fauns, and terans.
  • Three classes and 9 paths: fighter, berserker, archeon, luminar, wylder, bard, factor, ranger, and rogue.
  • Simplified skill system: only nine skills covering all the things an adventurer may need to know or be skilled in.
  • Talent system: a point based talent system for special abilities.
  • Heroic action: a simple system to resolve most conflicts. Each party rolls a D20, adds the coinciding bonus, and the highest roller wins!
  • A mana based magic system. Spells organized by mana cost with no level or class restrictions.
why Play Sagaborn Titlebar

SagaBorn is focused on two things: making great stories and making the rules accessible.

The Rules:

  • The rules are streamlined, getting players to the table quicker. Fewer than 100 pages of rules.
  • A short skill list makes skill use easier. Expertise gives specific bonuses and a way to reward players for using skills.
  • Magic is a Mana system, pulling energy from yourself and the world around you. This means no spell slots or juggling spell memorization. If you know the spell and have the mana, you can cast it.
  • The Saga Point. A simple mechanic to give the players a bonus for fun actions, as well as a way for the adventures to help guide their own story.
  • And the most popular: Heroic Actions. No complicated grapple checks. No tiny rules that you have to look up constantly. Most conflicting checks are simple. A Heroic Action is an opposed roll. Each opposing party rolls a d20, adds their bonuses, and the highest roll wins!

The Story:

  • The rules and the world are tied together, creating a cohesive setting. While the rules are simplified, they are done so to match the fiction of the Dark Return.
  • The world is in transition. Magic and monsters are returning. Old kingdoms are stirring, and conflict is arising. The world is ready for your stories to be added.
  • A more extended outlook for characters and their impact on the world makes for more agency for the players and often a more extended campaign.
  • The game is run by a Story Guide. Their job is to be a fan of the players and characters. Instead, the table works together to weave a story, creating a Saga for their heroes.
  • Old School vibe with New School ideas. Sagaborn has a classic feel without all those tired tropes that have tied down fantasy for so long.

Character Sheets

PDF Character Sheets


Latest SagaBorn 1.5 Books

  • Notes on Craven’s Hollow
    An in-character guide to the settlement of Craven’s Hollow. A Player’s Guide to Craven’s Hollow. While we have an online version over at DarkReturn.com, this … Read more
  • SagaBorn Starter Kit
    Welcome to Sagaborn 1.5, an indie d20 system built with an old school vibe, in-depth roleplaying, and streamlined tactical combat. This Starter Kit comes with … Read more
  • SagaBorn Character Gallery
    The SagaBorn Character Gallery is an easy reference for adding NPC’s to your game.  This book contains all of the base classes of characters, from … Read more
  • Free Adventure: Insatiable Habits
    An adventure for the Sagaborn Roleplaying System and other old-school RPGs. A SagaBorn RPG compatible Adventure  The Wanderers have delegated the task of investigating the most recent … Read more
  • SagaBorn 1.5 Errata
    Hello all! Well, I am so sorry to say that we have found a few mistakes in the SagaBorn 1.5 Core rulebook. The PDF books … Read more
  • The Cryptid from the River
    About the Adventure The Setting Pacov is a small village along the Weron River, northeast of the large city of Kowal and southeast of the … Read more
  • More Than a Gamble (Adventure)
    About the Adventure: A recently successful merchant in Kowal, Gregor Eliuska, has hired you to be his right-hand guards. This has been a very well-compensated … Read more
  • StoryGuide’s Screen
    The SagaBorn StoryGuide’s Screen is everything a game master needs to reference during a SagaBorn game session. Four 8.5×11 panels with all the core information (and 1 … Read more
  • Horror
    A rewrite of the 2018 SagaBorn Sanity book, Horror modernizes the wording and streamlines the mechanics for the SagaBorn 1.5 game system. If you want … Read more
  • Codex Dominum
    The Codex Dominum, Master Book of Stories, contains all the knowledge needed for a StoryGuide to run the best game of SagaBorn for their players. … Read more
  • Crafting
    A set of very simple crafting rules for D20 systems. Crafting is used to repair or make new items. Crafting is tied to skills from the Core … Read more
  • Strongholds
    Build your home, become part of your world. Strongholds is a system for helping the players build a home for the SagaBorn Roleplaying System. Wizard’s … Read more
  • Haunting of Eliuska Manor – A haunted house adventure
    Can you survive the horrors of the mysterious Eliuska Manor? The haunted house: a setting that has fascinated us since we first moved from the … Read more
  • The Pact
    A SagaBorn 1.5 Adventure ADVENTURE BACKGROUND A merchant in Kowal, Gregor Eliuska, has been extremely successful lately. Not only in his business dealings, but also … Read more
  • Creature Compendium
    Monsters have invaded our lands. People are scared. And it is our job to help them. I have compiled many notes throughout my years of … Read more

Update Log


SagaBorn 1.5.2

  • Changed Races to Species and Heritages
  • Tweaks to progression charts.
  • Added a mechanic for each class that allows a once per day healing action as a free action.
  • Redefined the Archeon Magic Sense ability. They can now use an Awareness check to determine if there are magic users nearby.
  • Defined limitations to the Spell Shield ability of Archeons.
  • Added a skill check for Rangers to determine if foes are their favored enemy type.
  • Added Expertise – A way to specialize in certain non combat skills.
  • Adjusted the wording in some Talents
  • Added descriptions and expertise bonuses to equipment.
  • Added Atheles specific mounts like sarap, orillot, and thrundrom.
  • Added a chart for climbing DC.
  • Edits and fixes to Spell list
  • Addition of the Game Masters Guide


SagaBorn 1.5

  • Moved Assign abilities above choosing character class.
  • Added Base mana to all Mage Path charts
  • Disperse Magic Talent is now a heroic action; Survival vs Spellcraft.
  • Multishot Talent is redefined as “Once per round”.
  • Equipment has been expanded and organized.
  • Treasure Added
  • Armor Class definition expanded.
  • Added unconscious to Conditions.


SagaBorn 1.5

  • Clarified rules on Archeon Magic Sense and ravagers.
  • Fixed all references to Elemental Foci using free actions.
  • Defined what Saves are.
  • Updated Equipment lists.
  • Updated definitions of rest including Long Rests and Short Rests.
  • Updated recommended Encounters/Landmarks per level.
  • Defined Encounter
  • Added Master levels (9-16)
  • Added and defined Disengage
  • Defined Difficult Terrain

Magic PDF

  • Fixed Short Spell Descriptions List
  • Changed wording for Saves.


  • Removed Spell AC, replaced with a bonus to Touch AC vs. Spells. This makes 1.5 backwards compatible with 3.5 creatures.
  • Added to Legacy items: A character does not have to choose a Legacy item at level 1, they can wait and choose a Legacy item when they see fit.
  • Fixed Carry Capacity to reflect the new Ability Scores
  • Renamed Combat Action to Standard Action
  • Added a description for a Surprise round.


  • Updated Class Charts to include +1HD
  • Added Focused Magic Description
  • Added elemental Foci to Luminar Magical Abilities
  • Crippling Strike is now DC 16
  • Point buy is now 19 points instead of 18.
  • Added Point Blank Shot Talent
  • Added language descriptions
  • Added some item descriptions
  • Added descriptions for Climbing and Swimming
  • Added a level bonus to Resting HP recovery
  • Added more Legacy Weapon descriptions
  • Add more Tiered abilities for Legacy Weapons
  • Added more descriptions for Combat Definitions
  • Added Ability Drain Explanation
  • Added the 1.5 Magic and Spells book.


  • Elves, elflings now are affected by Cold Iron, standard iron and steel have been combined.
  • Mage starting spells can be any mana
  • Added a Random Dice Roll method to assign ability scores.
  • Added new Talents
  • Added special materials, metals,  and rules concerning them.
  • Added rules for Saga Points
  • Removed Boons and Banes (Saga Point system is better)


Added the Beta PDF and Character sheet