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Das Schwarze Auge

Posted at 23:32 on October 24th, 2009 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I know this game due to the computer games (Realms of Arkania, not the new ones. But still I didn't play them much) and was curious about it.

I´ve heard it's popular in germany. The big national pen and paper RPG, but not being german the only thing I know is that it translates into an obscene name in spanish.

Anybody can tell me about the game? I feel a bit curious about it, probably due to the popularity the computer games got.
Posted at 14:24 on February 23rd, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Actually I did play "Das Schwarze Auge" a lot as teenager.

Image a german AD&D: Medieval setting with fantasy races and all those stereotypes and cliches about orcs and elves and dwarfs and different types of human societies. Nomads, Vikings and Feudal empires.

The german part of it: Everything is defined in source books. The vegetation, the flowers, the animals in different areas, the climate, the languages, the spells... Magic itself is justified in (pseudo)-scientific ways.

Short: The whole continent is defined in every aspect possible. Every city has its own history. History itself is completely defined for thousands of years and is actually written today. Every real year are two years in Aventuria, the main continent.

Every aspect of possibility has its own table with own dice-rules.

There are dozens of predefined skills on a separate character-sheet (There are always two at minimum per character!). Today even so called meta-skills, as I heard.

Well, to summarize quickly: It became a complicated and bureaucratic monster of its own, but started very promising and has still a loyal fanbase in Germany. But a declining one.

Me personally, I always loved the details all over, but disliked the slow, repetitive and cumbersome battle-rules.
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Edited by dregenrocks at 17:02 on February 23rd, 2010
Posted at 22:27 on February 23rd, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Here in Spain the popular fantasy roleplaying game was Aquelarre (from the vasque akelarre, a place of reunion for witches and their sabbaths), which is based on middle-ages mythology. But never played it, I always preferred Call of Cthulhu, and nowadays I play Pendragon or a few sessions to any random game. But there are still a bunch of interesting national games, including one based on Roman age (with magic based on their vision on magic, for what I know).

And by the way, "the black eye" on Spanish will make everybody think you are talking about somebody's anus.
Posted at 07:35 on February 24th, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Wandrell at 22:27 on February 23rd, 2010:
And by the way, "the black eye" on Spanish will make everybody think you are talking about somebody's anus.

Wouldn't be surprising, if the current "Das Schwarze Auge"-revision added some anus-related skills and dice-tables. ;)
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Posted at 11:39 on February 24th, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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You are thinking on FATAL.
Posted at 12:58 on February 24th, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Never played DSA myself, but a friend told me it's pretty much only the collector's market these days. So it's not the cheap paperbacks of the 80s and 90s anymore, but any new publication is expensive, but very high-quality.
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Posted at 13:19 on February 24th, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I'm not sure there are cheap RPGs nowadays. At much small ones, but those are made by small editorials. They are all on the 20€-40€ range, a national game like Anima (one of the few exported ones) is around 30€. The RPG market is small, and so the editions can't be too cheap (and I suppose there are lots of people who want to sell old game like relics, Falkenstein Castle probably can reach big prices, but I'm not so sure how many people buy for that high).

Anyway, I prefer buying miniatures (one day I'll have to try a dungeon bash game with miniatures). The guy who is the main master has a big games collection already also.
Posted at 00:00 on March 11th, 2010 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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I have been playing DSA for 13 years, and still play it today. It really has become a bureaucratic mess over the years, but after saving (or as a game master dooming) the world so many times... well one actually grows fond of it's silly quirkiness, stupid metaphors, restricting metaplot (heroes are very limited in their actions, for there is a grand story arc, that defines all major adventure modules and world events), whining fandom, sloppy publishing times... because, you know, beyond all that crap there is this image of a world you helped to define, a dream you share with your friends. And face to face with salvation or devastation, who cares if you actually have to look up the haircolor of your victim in order to shoot it with Teenobal's arrows (which game data are written in a game book that is going to be published next month [at least the publisher assures us]). For all it's faults it is a very detailed setting and can, used with a little bit of intuition, result in very intense gameplay, for you don't have to make everything up along the way...

The fanbase has been declining in recent years, and it's definitely loosing the big national P&P status and hasn't been beginner friendly since the release of the fourth edition (around 1000 pages of rules, basic rules around 150 pages, character generation takes around 3 hours). I think there is some kind of increase after the release of two new computer games, which are relatively good: Drakensang and Drakensang: Am Fluss der Zeit. The first got an international release, the second one was released this month in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The actual english translation isn't The Black Eye, for this means something rather unpleasend in english too, it's "The Dark Eye". But the english edition was treated even worse than the german one... I think outside of Germany it's just some obscure collectors goodie.

Besides DSA I've also been playing Call of Cthulhu (some very intense sessions there, too bad this game master left the group), World of Darkness (the new one as a Mage), a quite nice Homebrew System and one or two others.
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Posted at 02:35 on February 6th, 2011 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Quote:
Anyway, I prefer buying miniatures (one day I'll have to try a dungeon bash game with miniatures). The guy who is the main master has a big games collection already also.


not necessarily focused on the miniature part, but have you played "Descent: Journeys in the Dark"? it's like the inofficial sequel to heroquest. pretty cool!
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Posted at 10:25 on February 6th, 2011 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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That's a board game?
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Posted at 15:33 on February 9th, 2011 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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yea it is - but it's pretty cool for people who aren't too deep into p&p or miniatures - saying you can broaden the horizon of gaming partners and drink more beer with different people.
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Posted at 17:57 on February 9th, 2011 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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What I liked about Hero Quest was that there was a simple board of regular size (too many "tabletops" are too true to that name), that the rules are very simple (easy to learn and understand) and the figures were articulated and individual enough to look good without painting them. For example, not every Orc was the same. So it was neither too abstract (like, for example, Battletech) nor too detailed (like Warhammer). Both the latter types will only ever be accessible for "extreme" fans. Any game in the vein of Hero Quest has got the potential to reach a much wider audience, but it will also never have said extreme fans which will buy anything related for insane prices. So what's the perfect tradeoff? No idea ;)
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 18:00 on February 9th, 2011
Posted at 16:24 on February 11th, 2011 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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On the other side of the tabletops are the expensive modulated dungeons, to play with miniatures. There where somewhere photos from a German miniatures fair (for what I know Germany has one of the biggest markets for these things) with impressive modular models, which are also impressively expensive.
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