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  • Writer's pictureDennis Weigt

Character Creation in the Dark Eye, not as intimidating as it might look.

Character generation in The Dark Eye might feel a bit intimidating at the first look. And truth be told, the game is a bit frontloaded and offers an enormous amount of options, which can be expended even further with rules supplements. But, similar tot he concept of focus rules explained HERE, character generation can be tackled with as little or much complexity as you like as a player. And just as focus rules, each person at the table can choose for themselves which way to go, without it affecting the mechanical balance in a significant way. If you want to get started with as little complexity and prep as possible, you can choose one of the many archetypes given in each TDE rulebook. Almost every profession mentioned in the books is represented by a fully built character you can choose, name and get on playing. Especially useful for oneshots, con games and to test the waters before you decide what it is you want to play. The Archetypes are all built using the standard of 1100 Points and are ready to go.

The second way to create a character is the modular one. This is how CharGen worked in the last, fourth edition of the game as well. You choose a species for your character, a culture where they are from and a profession that describes what they did until they embark on their first adventure. This usually leaves you with a few points left to use on (dis)advantages, special abilities or to improve a few skills.

Finally there is my prefered way to create a character. Imagine what you want your character should be and do and build it from scratch. I usually just take a piece of paper and write down all stats i think are approrpriate for the character i have in mind, then i calculate the cost and adjust them to the point limit. Others calculate each step and „go shopping“ for stats. Either way it will be a unique character, that represents whats in your mind as closely as rpg mechanics can depict it.

TDE doesnt force you to use predetermined cultures, classes or professions, they are offered as examples but can be altered or ignored, as long as you calculate the cost on your way. Which sounds harder than it is, the cost tables have been streamlined a lot since the last edition and once you understood the concept, you wont even have to look them up most of the time. Looking at the professions that are offered in the core rules (or one of the supplements), you might find a few that arent what you could be used to from other popular rpgs. There sure are a plethora of martial professions, mages, witches, druids, bards and priests, but at least as many artisans, shepherds, pharmacists, courtiers, merchants and performers. To make it short: if it exists in the world, it is probably a player option. And a viable one as well. Since TDE is basically a classless system, your mundane young shepherd can become almost everything you can imagine on his way. A skilled fighter, a savy diplomat, a blessed one performing miracles. The only thing that is restricted in the rules as written, ist hat the ability to be a spellcaster must be chosen at characer generation as an advantage. But of course there is always a way to get around that. Apart from a rare certain way to still achieve magical abilities later on, the shunned borbardianism, there is the option of intuitive spellcasters. People that have no training in their magical abilities and might discover them late in their life, giving them limited casting options.

The Core Rules offer the well known fantasy species of human, dwarf and (half)elf. But of course that is not everything Aventuria has to offer. (Half)Orcs, Goblins and Lizardmen are also common inhabitants oft he continent and are very much playable, if not in the core rules and not in every place of the setting. Holberkers are a special case in TDE, they are half elf, half orc an artificially created people that are looking for their place in the world, and the meaning of their existance. They are very rare, but an interesting option. You wont find those more exotic Player Options in the Core Rules (or other TDE5 Books that have been translated yet) but you can take a look at them in my Version of their english rules. The full document is readable in the preview. Also the first 12 of you will get the document for FREE HERE, everyone else gets 38% off (one percent for each year The Dark Eye has been around) HERE. This supplement also offers rules for Maru (alligator people), krakonians (toadfolk) and Grolms, cunning archanomechanics and alchemists, relatives to the kobolds of aventuria (no neither lizardy nor doglike kobolds, but euro-folktale kobolds) which are, just like elves, all natural spellcasters, but have to suffer under many prejudices against their people, since they have been exiled from many cities in the distant past. Only to slowly re-settle in important cities all across the continent. Take a look if you like. #TheDarkEye#dasschwarzeauge#dsa#tde#penandpaper#rpg#fantasy#tabletoprpg#aventurien#ulissesspiele#pnp#tabletop#fantasyrpg#CharGen#charactercreation

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