The Dark Eye TDE for short has grown into the best-known and most successful German role-playing game in the more than 30 years of its existence. Our active fan community weaves and enlivens the majestic monsters, sunken treasures and quarreling gods of the fantastic game world Aventuria and we give them all the means to do so. Because every corner of this world demands glorious heroes who dare to experience adventure in shining cities and untouched wilderness. Come and be part of this success story, because only your own imagination limits the possibilities that await you here! First released in , the fantasy role-playing game was one of the first representatives of this genre in German-speaking countries.
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Many years of work on the game have led to a detailed and extensively-described game world. Since the game's launch, the game has gone through five editions, making the rules and background more complex. The basic rules of the fourth edition of The Dark Eye were published in , and was the first edition to be released in English in October The fifth edition of the game was released in August , with an English translation released in November Aventuria the continent on which the game is set was first introduced to the English-language market through a series of computer games and novels and later under the name Realms of Arkania.
It has a very simple class and level system. The player can choose five different character types or classes : adventurer, warrior, dwarf, elf and mage. All characters can be adventurers, but there are attribute conditions to access the other types for example, a warrior must have at least 12 in both courage and strength. During the adventures, the character gains adventure points; with a sufficient number of adventure points, they can go to the next level.
When attaining a new level the character can increase an attribute by one point, and either the attack or parry value by one point; they also win vitality points equal to one dice roll, or vitality or astral energy points equal to one dice roll for elves and mages.
The extended rules add a sixth quality to the hero's definition: stamina. The initial stamina is the sum of the force and vitality points. Stamina represents resistance to exhaustion; it decreases when the hero makes physical efforts such as running, swimming and fighting. The extended rules also provide four more classes that can be chosen during the creation of the character, or sometimes as an evolution of an adventurer or dwarf: rider, druid, priest or wood elf.
It introduces the aptitudes skills that are chances to manage definite actions such as horseback riding or camouflage , whereas the qualities are generic indicators.
The aptitudes range between 0 and 18 and are tested with a d20 in dice notation. They have a base value some are part of the culture, or are simple tasks. When the character reaches a new level, the player can distribute 10 points to raise the aptitudes. The base value and the cost to increase depend on the type of hero riding is easier for a warrior than for a mage ; the cost also depends on the current aptitude level. The character type determines the starting value of vitality points from 20 for a mage to 35 for a dwarf.
In the extended rules, stamina plays a role in the healing of diseases such as a fever ; when it is 20 or more spontaneous healing is possible, and it is faster when stamina is above The modifier is positive when the action is difficult, and negative when it is easy.
The extended rules introduce the aptitudes, which are tested in the same way as the qualities. In fights, the characters act in decreasing order of initiative the character with the highest initiative acts first.
Characters have attack and parry values determined by various other values. When the attack test of the attacker is successful and the defender misses the parry test, the defender loses the number of vitality points equal to the damage of the weapon minus the protection rating of the armor chain mail has a protection rating of four, and knight armour has six.
When the attacker rolls one or two on the die, they make a master hit; the maximum damage is inflicted, and the armour does not protect. The extended rules provide for miniature figures which allow a finer representation of movement, with for example the possibility to push back an enemy. They also offer various possibilities such as fleeing, charging and successive attacks from the same fighter assault.
They replace the master hit with the notions of good attack the attacker makes a throw equal to or less than the good attack score, as shown on a table in relation to her attack score and good parry five points less than the parry score with the d20 in dice notation.
A good attack not parried by a good parry implies a serious or critical impact throw 1d20 and read the result on a table. When the attack or parry-test die shows 20, this can lead to a fumble. The extended rules also allow dodging thrown weapons, introduce specific rules for empty-hand and horseback fighting and infection fever for wounds.
Elves, druids, shamans, witches and mages can cast spells and have astral energy points; the starting value of astral energy points depends on the attribute values the hero has when created. The system is based on the memory of the player; the player must speak the formula without reading it during the game. When the formula is correct the spell is cast, and the character loses astral energy points corresponding to the spell.
The extended rules introduce new spells. From the fifth level on, it is no longer necessary to speak the words to cast the spell.
These rules also describe spells for the druids and wood elves, and priests' miracles: manifestations of the priest's god, which are similar to magic spells. The priests do not have astral energy but karma, which works the same way. This edition was published as advanced rules for the first edition, but is sometimes erroneously considered the second edition. Combat rules are much more elaborate, introducing a hit-location system. It was written for advanced-level characters typically level The sets describe a new world: Tharun pronounced "taroon" , a hollow world.
It is the inside of Ethra, lightened by a central sun. Nine archipelagos constitute the realm of this world. A pantheon of nine deities rules over the inhabitants. Divine runes one of the only sources of magic which can be used by magicians and druids are scattered all over the world. The sets also provide a divine quest.
A third set of campaigns was planned, but has not been released. The Tharun setting was abandoned, but it is said that the world and its pantheon still exist; some deities are worshiped in Myranor. The second edition was published in The player can choose from over 40 different character types classes. Again, there are attributes conditions to access the types.
The fourth edition of The Dark Eye supports a great variety of character choices. Where the older editions forced the player to create a character along very strict lines, the fourth edition is flexible and the player can choose from hundreds of different character classes and cultural backgrounds. One reason for this development is the large community of professional authors and enthusiastic players, which have helped to define the continent of Aventuria over the last 20 years.
The points are also used for attributes and other skills. Consequently, the systems intends to balance power levels of different character classes.
The fourth edition was also translated into English. Three books are available in English all published :. Ulisses started development of the fifth edition in the beginning of Its development involved a players poll and parts of the publishers internet forum are dedicated to that topic.
The beta version in German was released 10 May and can be freely downloaded. The Dark Eye is set in the fantasy realm of Aventuria. During the s, it was first translated as "Arkania", but the name was later changed to one closer to the original German name. Aventuria is a continent of the planet Ethra an anagram of "Earth", as the planet's name in the German edition, Dere, is an anagram of Erde , the German word for "Earth".
Tharun was envisioned as the inner side of Ethra, which was supposed to be a hollow world. It is lit by a central sun which also annihilates the usual magic. The original sun, Glost, was the work of Guerimm, the god of fire. New gods appeared and started to oppose the twelve gods of Aventuria. One of them, Arkan'Zim, destroyed Glost, and another new god, Sindayri, created a new sun, aiming to reduce the influence of the twelve gods in the hollow world.
The splinters of Glost were spread everywhere. The inhabitants picked them and drew runes on them. They thus became runestones; the combination of three runestones can lead to the liberation of the energy of Glost, allowing a new magic.
Tharun is linked to the surface of Ethra by a double-sided volcano. The society is a military dictatorship, with a caste of Sword Masters ruling the rest of the population. It was first described in and released as a separate RPG in Initially, it was used to play-test an early version of what came to be The Dark Eye 4th edition rules.
In contrast to Aventuria, the setting is high fantasy. The continent is huge and parts of it still are unexplored.
One notable political structure is a huge empire that has been in degeneration for millennia. At its height, it had been the origin of modern civilization in Aventuria, and the area it still controls is larger than Aventuria itself. In its early years, the empire was controlled by mighty three-eyed wizards called "the old ones", who disappeared thousands of years ago.
After its initial release in , only one additional rule book, one regional description and six adventures were released. After those, nothing further was released for Myranor. Two fans, however, revised Myranor to be played with the "final" 4th edition rules with FanPro's permission. These new rules were released as a hardcover book in January On 20 January Ulisses Spiele announced that they would be handling future publications related to Myranor.
The Elves are indigenous cultures, and generally do not believe in gods. A board game and two expansion games were released based on the Dark Eye gaming system:.
The games are three-dimensional , where features and structures were built on top of the board, and could also be interacted with the character pieces. The games revolve around a group of Heroes battle against a snake sorcerer named Korak and his minions. The original Dark World game has the Heroes fight through Korak's castle.
The Village of Fear expansion game requires the Heroes to rescue two townsfolk to retrieve the keys to enter the castle. In the Dragon's Gate expansion, the heroes must get past the Dragon Golgorath before they can enter the town.
Four players can play each game as the Heroes, while a fifth player plays the role of Korak and controls all his monsters. The Heroes have a corresponding color on their bases. Each game has a shaker or tokens which determine the order of play for each player for each round.
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