Visiting the german independent RPG Scene

Hey every­one. This is Roger. I’m work­ing as a chief edi­tor for the ger­man blog mag­a­zine 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.

For­saken Colony

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.


Michtim RPG

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.

Des­tiny Dungeon

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!


Fin­ster­land RPG

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.


See­len­fänger RPG

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.


Space Pirates

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!



Also free of charge, those two games are of Aus­trian design. NIPAJIN 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.

No related posts.

About Roger

Roger is working as a chief editor in the German blog magazine, which focuses on speculative fiction and roleplaying games. He plays RPGs since 1991, but is also interested in a lot of other things like wargaming, phantastic movies, sports (wall climbing) and so on. He writes on a irregular base für Teutonic Blogging. He GMs more than he plays and enjoys giving his players a cinematic experience every gaming session.
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5 Responses to Visiting the german independent RPG Scene

  1. aceofdice says:

    I’d like to add that Des­tiny Begin­ner has just recently been released in Eng­lish.
    Thanks for men­tion­ing my games, Roger, and for high­light­ing Ger­man and Aus­trian indies for the Eng­lish speak­ing RPG com­mu­nity. That’s great!

  2. Roger says:

    You’re wel­come!

  3. MSch says:

    What about “West­ern City”? Got an eng­lish trans­la­tion and spawned an inde­pen­dent spin­off (Vam­pire City).

  4. LUDUS LEONIS says:

    Thanks for men­tion­ing my projects!

    A small addi­tion about NIPAJIN: It is aimed at oneshots and there are already 3 Sce­nar­ios pub­lished uti­liz­ing the rules (in Ger­man, unfor­tu­nately): a toy-adventure, a hor­ror sce­nario in today’s Vienna (Hor­ror in a sub­urbs gar­den dis­trict), and an anime adventure.

    And another Ger­man indie author is Bock Spiele (

  5. Roger says:

    Like writ­ten, this list has no claim of being com­plete. Thanks for the additions!

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