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.

Guildless – Session 1

Exciting times here at AdventureMaterials! I’m starting a new campaign using a whole new rules system, Fifth Edition The Dark Eye. I recently posted session 0 outlining character creation for my young mage, Wilhelm Alflock, and have created a Companion Page to support the new campaign with Mythic thread/NPC lists, a character sheet, etc.

Scene 1

Setup: Remote Event – Decrease/The Public (people are disappearing in a village)
Chaos: 3 (no roll–first scene)

Has the government come for help? +0: no, it’s a mother

The woman in Magister Burkhardt’s study is frantic, but Wilhelm can’t blame her. She carries an errand of dark portent, and the villagers of Eldham have few options if the magister is unwilling or unable to aid them.

Is the Magister the kind who would help? +0: no, he has become a shut-in

“Please,” the magister says, patting the woman’s shoulder, “I know your errand is urgent, Hermine, but Adeptus Alflock was not here when you began, and he has traveled more than me of late, and so may have some insight into your situation. Wilhelm, this is Hermine Krueger of Eldham.”

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The Dark Eye: Guildless – Session 0

Inspired by Alea Iactanda Est’s outstanding (but too short) solo adventure using the fifth edition Das Schwarze Auge rules, I picked up the English translation of The Dark Eye and decided to use it for my next solo game. To get started, I grabbed hardcover copies of The Dark Eye – Core Rules and the Aventuria Almanac, the base game and setting book for the game’s canonical rules.

A quick apology–this post is 3,200 words long (there are jump links below). Character creation in TDE is involved. After this PC, though, I’ll be mostly winging NPC skills and abilities using Mythic or estimated ranges.

Dark Eye rules

What is The Dark Eye?

First impressions: this is a lot of information, and most of it strange.

The setting book describes the Middenrealm, apparently the game’s most popular setting, as essentially the late medieval version of Germany that can be found in folk tales. The idea is intriguing–this isn’t the Tolkienesque or D&D pastiche of high fantasy, but rather a magical folk-tale realm of occasional monsters and demons and powerful churches. It reminds me a lot of Darklands, which I’m thinking may well have been inspired by the game.

Rules-wise, this is definitely the “crunchiest” RPG I’ve attempted to solo so far. The core mechanic is intuitive, if hard to explain–it basically boils down to a series of roll-under-attribute tests on a d20–but the amount of minutia involved in character creation can be quite high. It’s taken me the better part of a few hours to create the character below (I probably should have decided on a non-magic-user for my first PC).

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