Darklands is partially an historic game, but also partially a fantasy game based on the medieval myths of the christianism, of witches and of goblins. With your party of four adventurers you go around the 15th century german empire in search of fame. You will travel around the country, being asked for tasks or asking for them in cities, scouting pilgrims, freeing villages from the pillages of raubritters (robber knights), getting rid of paganic dangers and goblins or even, if you want bigger tasks, looking for the places the sabbats are celebrated and giving an end to them.
It is an open ended game, so you don't have really an aim except gaining fame. Even thought there is one long quest, you don't have to do it nor the game will end if you finish it. Also, it has an original and good game system.
First, the more similar thing to magic you will have are the alchemy and the saints. The alchemy allows you to make potions, if you have the required knowledge and reagents, that are useful in a range of situations, and not only combat. You can dissolve locks, or simply blow the door, or you can hide yourself or distract others with the gaseous ones. The saints give their help more cheaply than the alchemy, but they have limitations. Once you learn about them, and if you are virtous enough and have some divine favor points to spend, you can ask for their help, which is mainly useful in special situations. But your prays not always reach the heavens.
And second, the character development isn't based in levels, it is based in skills, in a little repertoire that goes from being more able to travel and escape through streets to reading and writing or religious knowledge, all of them with a numerical score that raises as you use them and/or receive training.
In general, it is a good game that makes you feel in medieval germany, where you have a country to explore and travel in search of fame, open ended and with diversity enough to last a good time.
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