Hey everyone. This is Roger. I’m working as a chief editor for the german blog magazine teilzeithelden.de and I’m going to give you a quick walkthrough of the German speaking roleplaying game scene, which means I will take a look at the German and Austrian systems.
This first article today will focus on those systems, which could be labeled as Independent Games. None of them are contracted by any of our bigger publishing companies. In the next few months I will introduce the publishing program of our publishers as well, one after the other.
This list of games has no claim of being complete, the German speaking scene is so active, it is impossible to know all the games.
Let’s start with the games, which are not released yet and are in a more or less advanced stage of development.
This game is called an adventure game by the developer. It tries to build a bridge between board games and RPGs. It is settled in a Science Fiction Universe, where a moon called Teloora has been discovered. Huge amounts of raw materials can be found on this moon. During the excavations an ancient artifact has been dug out and suddenly, this thing sprang to life and changed everything. Characters will be on this moon and be caught between corporate interests, ancient cultures, natives and mythic discoveries. Dicechecks are made with a D20, combat damage is dealt with a D10 and the game is focused on RPG beginners. TV-Series are acting as a model for this game, so the action is divided in episodes and seasons and the game uses common storytelling techniques such as cliffhangers and major villains.
What the heck are michtims, you may think? Michtims are small rodent-like creatures, which live in a parallel world of ours. Characters in this game rely on their emotions, instead of typical RPG attributes like Strength, Intelligence and Constitution. Now it is more important whether a Michtim warrior has a high Anger rating, or if Fear drives a hero to cowardly spy at his enemies from a patch of high grass.
The game reminds me of the world of “Mouse Guard”, but is settled in a more modern world, although magic exists. Got curious enough? Visit the English (!) website!
I would now like to go on with the systems, which are already released.
This game is only one part of the whole product range. It is completed by “Destiny Beginner” and “Flucht von Valmorca” (“Escape from Valmorca”). Part of the resurgent Old School RPG Movement, this game combines concise characters with flexible scenarios as well as a good old experience-for-gold concept. The 156paged rulebook contains all needed rules and a description of the fantasy world Istarea. 22 scenarios are also included. It can be downloaded as a low quality version (72 dpi) for free. Dicechecks are made with a D66, which means you’ll roll two D6 of different colors and can achieve values from 11 to 66. The feedback by now is very positive.
Also a Science Fiction RPG, the author has decided to make it free of charge. The really huge amount of information regarding rules, gear and game universe is really noticeable. The game is described as a grungy space opera. Already more than 700 pages are to be downloaded. The universe is huge with approximately 300 solar systems. Although the setting could be called complex, it is not complicated. Deriving from the extensiveness of the material, one could assume, that this game is quite old. And indeed its first roots are from the year 1991. It uses D6 and D12 for dice checks. If you are able to speak German, visit their webpage. If not, use an online translator. It will be worth it!
Of Austrian origin, this game is set in a steampunk/steamfantasy world, which parallels ours in the European 19th and early 20th century. Finsterland (translated to “gloomy country”) uses D10 dicepools, which are thrown against the difficulty of seven. It reminds me a bit of White Wolf’s World of Darkness regarding the rules. The core rulebook is very neatly and bonnily designed and does not need to hide behind the releases of the bigger publishers. In the world of Finsterland there was a huge war and after that, countries and princedoms need to rearrange themselves with the changed situation. Besides technology there is still magic, which is taught at universities and is cause to great esteem. There is not only a core rule book, but also a book for magic by now. A book dealing with technology will be released maybe in late summer 2012.
This is a relatively new one. Seelenfänger (could be translated to soul catcher or soul hunter) is set in a fantasy world. The namegiving profession of the Seelenfänger is compromised of people, who catch souls to bring them to eternal rest, to destroy them or (worst case) to enslave them. A few years ago a cataclysmic magical curse caused a catastrophe and the realm is shut off from the rest of the world by a magical mist. Players will be heroes, venturing out to defend the world and be able to build a huge variety of characters, due to the free character creation system. Rules are based on D6 dicepools. The combat system is quick and deadly. Experience can be used as additional dice for dangerous situations, but can be lost then.
This is one of the more interesting releases of 2012 and we’ll keep an eye on this.
Do you remember the comic series of the 80s and early 90s? Remember the humor? This RPG tries to catch the unique atmosphere of those series. The characters are the crew of a run-down space ship and are living as…guess what…space pirates! The game is free of charge and the rules are easy and quick to learn. Several additional sourcebooks are already available, e.g. “Space Ninjas”, “Atlanteans vs Space Amazons” and “The BigBong Theory”. This game is great fun!
NIP’AJIN and ROBIN
Also free of charge, those two games are of Austrian design. NIP’AJIN stands for “Niemand ist perfekt, aber jeder irgendwie nützlich”, which translates to “Nobody is perfect, but everyone somehow useful”. The rules are only 4 pages, so they are extremely fast learnable. It uses five dice, from D4 to D12. Every dice consumes itself and will be available again only if every dice has been used. This way players are forced to show weaknesses.
ROBIN is settled in and around Sherwood Forest and allows the players to experience adventures in the age of Robin Hood. It uses the TRIAS ruleset, which focuses on the three “zones” Body, Mind and Soul. Characters can be attacked on every zone with different effects. Abilities and Skills are allocated to those zones and if damaged, the abilities and skill can be used with reduced effectiveness.
I hope that this quick walkthrough gave you a good impression, how active the German speaking community is and that you enjoyed the article.
Stay tuned for my next article, where I will introduce Ulisses, one of the biggest German publishers.
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