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The Knife
The Knife
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Against the Darkmaster Core Rules
by Thomas K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/19/2020 04:52:55

This is the game I wish I could give to teenage me. A wonderful mixture of traditional mechanisms, modern insights and design ideas, all stirred to produce a solid game conducive to the kind of traditional epic fantasy stories it clearly and enthusiastically draws inspiration from. And all wonderfully customizable and adjustable. A love letter to the genre and to tabletop fantasy gaming in the best possible way.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Against the Darkmaster Core Rules
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Against the Darkmaster Core Rules
by Thibaut C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 10/01/2020 10:57:44

Against the Darkmaster (VsD) is a successor or MERP (Middle Earth RolePlaying), with the same mood but without direct references to the Middle Earth setting. It's a clear and concise new take and a great system. Character development is clear and made easy, combats are brutal and deadly... happily you have a mechanic of Drive Points, earned from your passions, to survive :)

So VsD is a new take on MERP, but it's more than that. It's a solid fondation for classical fantasy, dark fantasy and sword & sorcery, easy to adapt.

You have a nice character development system, a great combat system, a good wealth system (not counting every gold piece), travel rules, many spells and a good bestiary.

A elegant and complete game for a more civilized age :)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Against the Darkmaster Core Rules
by Jeff S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/30/2020 08:05:24

One of my earliest loves in TTRPGs was Rolemaster. I played and ran that constantly in middle school and high school. Against the Darkmaster is the best successor to Rolemaster/MERP on the market, and I've looked at them all. Happy to have supported this and look forward to more open-ended d100 adventures!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Against the Darkmaster - Quickstart
by Mark A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/10/2020 03:06:29

Great quickstart rules, but really hoping on the magic side of things to have more offensive spells that can make a wizard tougher and more playable at lower levels, like AD&D.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Against the Darkmaster - Quickstart
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Against the Darkmaster - Quickstart
by Chad K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/22/2019 17:43:56

A great start with the full game coming to KICKSTARTER soon. Any fan of MERP from the 90's will really enjoy this game. Weapons and armor have charts- with heavier armor being easier to hit, but take less damage and criticals. criticals are where the pain starts- you either like criticals or you dont. Combat can be very deadly, you just dont lose "hit points"- you bleed and can have broken bones or worse. Magic at low levels is weak, much weaker than 5E.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Against the Darkmaster - Quickstart
by Gavin B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/26/2019 01:21:42

I have two major complaints. One is that divine casters ruin every game they are in by making the magic mundane. The other is the extremely short ranges of spells, as they are effectively useless at the listed ranges.

The rest of the game looks great, but these two things are dealbreakers, as they not only undermine the otherwise great setting, but also punish players for investing in magic.

Without these two things it would be a 5 star game, but with them it's effectively unplayable. I hope you fix these things in a later edition, but until then it's a no from me.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Creator Reply:
Hi Gavin, thank you for your feedback, we'll keep it in mind for the full rules!
Against the Darkmaster - Quickstart
by Gabe D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2019 10:09:06

It can go without saying, but this product is evocative of 1986’s Middle-Earth Role Playing (MERP) from Iron Crown Enterprises, from the overt homage demonstrated in the color cover to the gorgeous black-and-white interior art to its d100 rules structure and attack and critical tables. But Against the Darkmaster (VsD) is not precisely a retro clone. Instead it articulates a number of innovations that can be adapted to many a rules system.

Traditional high fantasy Kins are matched with Cultures (this is common to many games) to identify base Stats and starting Skills. After this, players spend points (as many as 5, for Human Kins) to differentiate player-characters with starting abilities, items or backgrounds. This is a refinement from MERP’s Background Options Table and one of my favorite features of VsD.

VsD presents an abstracted system for Social Class and Wealth that feels slightly at odds with the deeply granular and simulationist combat system common to the games out of which VsD derives. Furthermore, as a way of decreasing this system’s lethality for PCs, VsD uses PC Drive Points to improve Skill tests and reduce the severity of Critical Hits to PCs.

VsD simply has the best magic system out of the games to which this one might be compared. All lists contain ten spells. No spells are duplicated across lists, making all casters unique. All the spells are "useful" and interesting. None are more powerful versions of other spells. While casting a spell, additional Magic Points might be spent to increase/alter effects or durations.

My group has been playtesting these rules since January of this year. After this campaign, for my GMing style and the pacing of my tabletop stories, I might readapt to a d20 OSR system, but I’ll be porting into it many components from VsD, particularly VsD’s XP system, which rewards PCs for doing things and behaving in character. For these reasons I recommend it, and for d100 gamers who want streamlined Skill development in character creation and advancement as well as gritty, “heavy metal” combat, I highly recommend it. Obviously I’m eager to back the upcoming full release on Kickstarter.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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