DSA 1 – Gideon’s Game – Session 2

This is part two of my short The Dark Eye (1e) adventure started in my last post. The thief Gideon and his companion, an ex-soldier named Eli Barnard, have been hired by the steward of Lord Fathan to seek out the magical amulet of a dead druid in the hope of alleviating a curse. In the last scene, Eli stumbled across the dark druid’s tomb while hunting.



Chaos Level: 4

NPCs: Lord Fathan, Fathan’s steward, thieves’ guild, city watch, Vandercal (dark druid), Silence Murray, fisherman in woods

Threads: Recover Vandercal’s amulet

Delayed Events: Remote Event (Abuse/Masses)


Gideon: Adventurer 1 (0/100 xp); CO 10 – IN 11 – CH 9 – AG 13 – ST 10; LP 30/30; AT 10; PA 9; PRO 2 (padded armor); Purse: 18 sp 19 cp; Inventory (8/10): short sword (d6+2/2/0/0), 3 daggers (d6+1/3/0/-4/r-30′), lantern and 1 pint of oil, flint, 30′ rope, blanket, 2 rations, waterskin

Eli Barnard: Warrior 2 (100/300 xp); CO 12 – IN 11 – CH 8 – AG 13 – ST 13; LP 41/41; AT 11+1; PA 9; PRO 4 (leather and shield); Purse: 23 sp 20 cp; Inventory (6/13): saber (d6+4/2/0/0), shield, crowbar, ration, blanket, spear (d6+2/5/0/0/r-60′)

The Game

Scene 6.

Setup: Examine Vandercal’s tomb
Chaos: 5 vs 4, no chaos

Eli comes jogging back into camp just as Gideon has got a large campfire roaring. “You caught something already?” Gideon asks, impressed.

“Even better,” the soldier says. “I found the tomb. [Does he want to explore it now? +1: yes] Get your things.”

Is it dark yet? +1: yes, but… not pitch black

“You found it?” Gideon asks, rising. “Show me.” Grabbing his sword, he follows Eli into the woods.

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DSA 1 – Gideon’s Game – Session 1

This game is designed to be a quick adventure using the first edition rules of Das Schwarze Auge, at least so far as I could find an unofficial retroclone/translation of them online. Any differences from the official rules are either because they were missing/wrong in my source or I didn’t like them and changed it ;-).

Character Creation

Gideon: Adventurer 1 (0/100 xp); CO 10 – IN 11 – CH 9 – AG 13 – ST 10; LP 30/30; AT 10; PA 9; PRO 2; Purse: 20 sp; Inventory: short sword (d6+2/2/0/0), dagger (d6+1/3/0/-4), padded armor (2)

Quick note: weapon stats are (damage/breakage roll/accuracy penalty/defense penalty). The main game mechanic involves rolling under your scores for Courage, Intelligence, Charisma, Agility, Strength, or Attack/Parry on a d20 when relevant situations occur. Gideon’s high AG means that his Attack OR Parry start with a +1 bonus; I’ve chosen to boost his Parry to increase survivability.

Gideon is a thief, raised rough by thieves and cutpurses in the back alleys of a great city. He is nothing special–passably strong and reasonably sharp, though his tongue gets him into trouble more than it gets him out of it–but his reflexes and agility are exceptional, and he quickly built a reputation for himself on his knifework and second-story skills.

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Das Schwarze Auge – First Edition

Excited by my current Guildless campaign, I have been doing some research into early editions of The Dark Eye/Das Schwarze Auge, which were never released in English. The materials are hard to find, but with some dedicated Googling I was able to find a bare-bones retroclone of the first edition rules in English.

The concepts are interesting, but (like 0e Dungeons and Dragons) a lot of the info needed to actually run a game is missing (such as creating monsters, distributing treasure, etc.)–not sure if this is just missing from the fan translation of the rules or if they weren’t present in the original game.

I do love the attack/parry mechanic, class system, and the use of just a d20/d6, though, and have been rolling over a few house rules for if I want to give the system a try.

Monster Level

Monsters start with CO 5, AT 5+0, PA 5, LP 10, and PRO 0. Each point of CO, AT, or PA adds 1 to the “monster level”. Each point of PRO or DMG (damage bonus is indicated via the plus after AT) adds 2 to the monster level, and each life point adds .5 to the monster’s level. Approximately 10 points should be equivalent to a 1 HD monster in D&D.

Spells and other special abilities will act as a multiplier on the monster’s level rather than a simple add/subtract.

Monster and NPC damage will not be linked at all to the damage bonuses PCs gain from weapons–it is instead totally tied to monster level. A monster like a bandit, with a +0 dmg from a sword, could be looted and provide a sword to the victorious PC, which would then give the PC standard sword bonuses (assuming it’s the right size/style).


Bandit: CO 6, AT 10+0 (sword), PA 8, LP 10, PRO 1, ML 10.

Bandit Archer: CO 8, RT 10+1 (bow), AT 10+0 (dagger), PA 5, LP 10, PRO 0, ML 10.

Berserker: CO 8, AT 11+2 (axe), PA 5, LP 14, PRO 0, ML 15.

Ogre: CO 9, AT 14+5 (ogre club), PA 7, LP 24, PRO 3, Special: the ogre club is unbreakable, ML 40.


I could not find any rules for distributing treasure in the booklet I found, so I’m going to go with a Swords and Wizardry style distribution and assume there should be approximately 2-3 times as much silver per enemy as they possess Monster Levels. This is easy to do with a d6: they possess MLx(d6-1) sp.

Barodan the Ranger – Session 1

I’ve been on a bit of a Lord of the Rings kick lately, and it has inspired me to start a solo game using the Labyrinth Lord + AEC rules and play a ranger patrolling the cold north.

Character Creation

Unfortunately, rolling a ranger is hard in the AEC rules. If you go by the straight 3d6 all the way down, the odds of getting CON 15, INT 12, WIS 12 are very slim. I created an excel sheet to roll 30 characters at a time and it took 3 rounds (90 PCs) before I found one.

When I found him, though, I had two good options (S-D-C-I-W-C order, as always for me):


Although I like the idea of a woodland archer, I’m going to go with the S17 guy, primarily because of his I15 giving him a bonus language, which will be Sindarin (Grey-Elven), since Rangers commonly speak the elven tongue amongst themselves. He has the additional advantage of being almost born into the career: he hits the minimum requirements for the 5% exp bonus for the three prime attributes (S-I-W).

Next, I needed to create my character’s personality. In order to try something new, I decided to just roll up somebody interesting using the Universal NPC Emulator. I got:


  1. agonize communications (disrupt Shadow activities)
  2. achieve literature (seek out the truth of legends and myths)
  3. relate compassion (protect the weak)

Barodan the Ranger is warlike first and foremost, doing what he can to take the fight to the enemy. His second driving motivation is curiosity–the old tales draw him beyond the comforts of civilization. Finally, he is truly a compassionate man, and he will risk his own life for those who need his help.

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The Undercity – Session 9

The Setup

In my last Undercity game, the party was hired by the enigmatic prophetess of a small cult to escort their caravan out of the city and to a distant shrine. Their errand was hurried when a contingent of the City Guard attacked the cult’s church and burned its ancient records. Horatio, Thudok, Gadroom, and Xevius have now been swept up into the women’s haste and are now trying to leave the City of Spires without attracting any more attention.

Castle Gate

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