Thrar wrote:The realism angle sounds interesting. What else is there that draws you to the system or setting?
I'm not sure defining the game by what it is not will make it appear interesting to an unfamiliar audience. When you think about why you got into playing TDE, was that primarily because you were frustrated by D&D and were looking for an alternative?
Around here (Singapore), there are basically two roleplaying communities:
Giving a pitch that boils down to "not D&D" doesn't work well for either of these - the first group sees nothing (majorly) wrong with D&D, and people in the second group often know half a dozen systems already, most of which are much more different from D&D than TDE is.
- The D&D community: These people play primarily D&D, sometimes for decades, with very little exposure or even awareness of what other systems exist.
- The "anything goes" community: They play a wide variety of game systems, narrative, mainstream, OSR, sometimes ongoing campaigns and sometimes short scenarios or one-shots, and often try out new things if the barrier of entry isn't too high.
With the English edition, unfortunately I'm not sure how far the depth of the game world argument applies. Even though there is a 30 year history and lots of detail in German, the material available in English is far thinner than what you can find for other established game worlds like e.g. Forgotten Realms.
Have you tried referencing the great PC games made using The Dark Eye rule sets over the years? Drakensang I, Drakensang the River of Time, Blackguards I & II, the various adventure games (like Chains of Satinav) and ofcourse, my personal favorites and the best PC-RPGs ever made (and what got me interested in the TDE in the first place):
The Realms of Arkania Trilogy of the early-mid 90s. Especially Star Trail. (which were based on TDE 3e)
If they have played the Realms of Arkania games your players will already know quite a bit about The Dark Eye without even having tried the tabletop RPG, regardless of edition. Tell them they can finally go out to find the Salamander Stone or the Blade of Destiny in Tabletop
(just make sure you don't confuse them with the horrid recent remakes of those games. Ugh.)