In Harm's Way: Dragons! is set in an alternate Naploeonic era, where dragons and men fight together against the enemy. In Harm's Way: Dragons uses the air-to-air combat system pioneered in In Harm's Way: Aces in Spades and developed in In Harm's Way: Aces And Angels and In Harm's Way: Wild Blue.
In Harm's Way: Dragons! uses the StarCluster 2.5 System, with some significant differences:
* Play British, American, or French characters - humans and/or dragons.
* Design your own Breeds or use the included examples.
* Play wingmen, lieutenants, commander and lieutenants, captain and lieutenants, or even air commodore or admiral and captains - or you can start as wingmen and play all the way through to your retirement as an admiral.
* Troupe Play: Players play more than one character
* Honor/Practicality Mechanic: Adds to your chance of success due to your reputation.
* Interest and Notice: You have to accumulate Notice - the approval of your superiors - and add your Interest - your family's political clout - to advance in rank. You are born with Interest, but in order to get Notice, you have to burn with zeal and throw yourself headlong in harm's way.
* Competitive Play: There can be only one Captain. One hero. Is it going to be you, or the guy sitting next to you?
* Voluntary Wounds: You are face to face with the Captain of the French dragon. He's a master of the blade, and after a long duel, cuts you down. Instead of taking damage from it now, you can turn some or all of the damage into a permanent wound, and deal with it later. You stay on your feet, and slash him in return. He drops to your feet, dazed and bleeding. The ship is yours - but that left arm is going to have to come off...
* Avocations: You're a Dragoneer officer, sure - so are all your fellow officers - but you are also an intelligence agent. Breckenridge over there is an avid naturalist, always cutting things up. Williams is a gambler and a bit of a sharp, you suspect, and Horton and Woolrich are both passionate amateur musicians, on violin and cello respectively.