Pen and Papering… The Dark Eye 5th edition – Blaugust Day 10

A few days ago, the new edition (5th edition) of “The Dark Eye” was released. As part of my birthday present for bookahnerk, I had preordered both the softcover and the hardcover version of the rulebook. The hardcover version even came with a download coupon for the PDF version.

DSA Edition 5

The rulebook already properly prepared by bookahnerk for Saturday.

The Dark Eye” is a roleplaying system made in Germany (and quite big over here consequently), similar to Dungeons & Dragons. But, as I was told, more focused on character development and less focused on “killing and loot”. I don’t know if that’s true, as I don’t know Dungeons & Dragons well. I only know that after a couple of years of playing through one of the campaigns of The Dark Eye (real-time, in-game time, it’s only been a couple of months), I still have my trusted weapon and found a vial and a necklace that once had magical powers but probably doesn’t have anything special anymore. But finding new items isn’t the purpose of playing. It’s going through the story that is fascinating. The German name of the roleplaying game is “Das Schwarze Auge”, by the way, which would literally translate to “The Black Eye”. Quite fitting depending on the context if you ask me… usually after an encounter with goblins. :p By the way, we call the “black eye” a “blue eye” in German. So the “Black Eye” in the title is actually not a reference to fighting with goblins.

For me, the main change of this new edition is a much easier character creation system. I could not create a character with the earlier edition without a PC software helping me out. But with V5, I am done within half an hour to an hour. Or, well, I was with the beta of that rulebook. Now that we have the release version, I haven’t had the time yet to have a thorough look. In fact, when I did open the book to check for the parts relevant for the character I want to create, I got really disappointed. My character was supposed to be a magically able (but not properly trained – so, not a magician) alchemist. But the rules don’t include the necessary talents for that. :( So, I will now have to create her as an ordinary alchemist and have our game master (which is bookahnerk) keep in mind that she may be magically talented, but she herself does not know about it. In case the extra rule books later on will expand the magical talents (there are quite a few archetypes missing currently – it is only the basic rulebook, after all), we will be able to incorporate it without having to change her back story. If I had to do that, then she would feel like a different character to me and I don’t want that.

Time is ticking, though. I have to make up my mind whether I want to go with the alchemist now or have some completely different character. Coming Saturday, we will meet with friends and create V5 characters and go on a short adventure together to test this new edition. I only know that I do not want a fighter character. Those are boring to roleplay if you ask me. And even though I have been roleplaying for years, I still only know a very small fraction of the world and the lore. This means that playing a fully trained magician who gets seven years of schooling and has a vast knowledge about the world, historical events and so on is out of question. I mean, I can interrupt the roleplay and ask for further information from the others, so I know what my character should know, but if I have to do it all of the time? That’s tedious. The same goes for a priest, obviously. One of our friends is going to play a priest, though, so I never even looked at that class.

Maybe I will just randomly point at talents (what am I saying? I’m going to roll dice, of course!) and then see what I get and form a character around that? Hey, this actually sounds like fun! :p


The Saturday in two weeks, bookahnerk invited some of his friends from university over because they are interested in playing The Dark Eye as well. As they have close to 0 experience, we suggested waiting for the 5th edition and play a mini adventure together. I will not create a character for that day, though. As it currently stands, there will be 6 people coming and playing with 7 characters would be a bit too much. I will instead help bookahnerk, take over some NPC roles and otherwise, I will roleplay “the perfect housewife” and will bake a cake, make waffles (fun fact: I love making waffles, but I am not a great fan of eating them), cook dinner (chili con carne!) and make sure everybody is always filled up on coffee and drinks. :p

This post is part of Blaugust 2015.

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