Create a pitch for The Dark Eye

Thrar
Posts: 135
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Create a pitch for The Dark Eye

Postby Thrar » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:38 pm

When someone asks you about that game you're playing, or the game you're suggesting to play, how do you summarize it?

Whenever this happens to me, I find it difficult to give a brief, concise answer that describes what this game is and what makes it fun to play. Ideally I'd like to find a 10-15 second pitch (no more than 3 sentences) for people who know roleplaying but have never heard of this system and its game world.

What do you suggest?

Dany40
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Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:32 am

Re: Create a pitch for The Dark Eye

Postby Dany40 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 4:21 am

« It’s not D&D ! »

:D

More Seriously for TDE I say « Realistic Fantasy »

jeremypowell
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Location: Durham, NC, USA

Re: Create a pitch for The Dark Eye

Postby jeremypowell » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:51 am

Yeah, "realistic fantasy" is the way to go.

Say: "It's a more realistic world -- there's not high-level magic behind every shrub, and the setting has an internal consistency that's lacking from the most popular fantasy worlds. The things you do in the game are more realistic -- meaning you can play characters who don't have superpowers but still have something cool they can do besides killing. And the dice system is more realistic -- meaning luck is still a factor, but you have interesting choices surrounding the roll, rather than in modern D&D where every ability check feels arbitrary, and all too often doesn't reflect what your character is supposedly capable of doing."

Denshi
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Re: Create a pitch for The Dark Eye

Postby Denshi » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:12 pm

Being German, I don't usually have to explain TDE. But if I had to pitch it to an American player, I guess I'd talk less about the system and more about the setting of Dere as that's why I think most Germans play TDE:

Imagine D&D were developed in a country that actually had a medieval time and thus architecture like castles and half-timbered houses. Imagine they didn't publish many settings while encouraging players to roll their own—which has its own merits—but instead concentrated on building one setting, incorporating player feedback so that the adventures that players had influenced this one shared world. And imagine they continued writing that setting for the last 35 years.

That's why many German are so invested in the world of The Dark Eye. Not because the system is that good—I would bet many players say they play TDE despite the rules—but because the world has so much depth accumulated in those years. Players have seen (and experienced first-hand) the rise and fall of emperors and empires as well as more than one world-changing event. There's one small ~155 page hardcover booklet for each of the twelve main gods (and some of the demigods) detailing in-setting the teachings of that gods—even some liturgical chants with sheet music. 5th edition has descriptions and listings for the curriculae of >50 guild mage academies/teachers, and that doesn't even include the different types of witches, druids, illusionists and such. Need I say more?

Thrar
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Re: Create a pitch for The Dark Eye

Postby Thrar » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:09 am

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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.

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.

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HEX the Dark
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Re: Create a pitch for The Dark Eye

Postby HEX the Dark » Tue Sep 17, 2019 8:57 am

Never trust a smiling gamemaster

Dany40
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:32 am

Re: Create a pitch for The Dark Eye

Postby Dany40 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:13 pm

HEX the Dark wrote:I made a thing once:

https://imgur.com/gallery/qMMWHU5


A very detailed description :)

Dany40
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:32 am

Re: Create a pitch for The Dark Eye

Postby Dany40 » Tue Sep 17, 2019 5:24 pm

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:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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.

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.


For me the most important thing is that the game system is in total agreement with this realistic atmosphere of the described universe.

The system of injuries, but also the slow recovery of the vital and mystical forces of heroes or nonplayer characters, create a palpable attrition effect for the players.
The latter feel a bad fight with the levels of pain that accumulate... but for spellcasters this is also the case since it takes them several days to recover all their energy.
Finally, heroes are heroic only by their actions and by the rules of "destiny points" allowing them to modify the outcome of the dice.
Apart from that, the heroes have a resistance and a pure power very close to any professional in the game world.

No unbridled heroism with superhero powers... but knowledge, techniques, spells that open up new possibilities over time...

jeremypowell
Posts: 11
Joined: Sun May 29, 2016 11:28 am
Location: Durham, NC, USA

Re: Create a pitch for The Dark Eye

Postby jeremypowell » Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:36 pm

Thrar wrote:Around here (Singapore), there are basically two roleplaying communities:
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
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.

My experience here in the USA has been that The Dark Eye is a really tough sell to both of the communities you've identified.

It's much, much more complex (as a mechanical system) than the current edition of D&D, and, in this sense, The Dark Eye is more an alternative to Pathfinder than to D&D. But Pathfinder has a much larger presence here and is much better supported by its publisher than is The Dark Eye.

Folks in your second category are likely to have tried Pathfinder at some point if they are interested in fantasy game worlds. But, while Pathfinder is mechanically very different from (the current edition of) D&D, thematically it really isn't. The Dark Eye is thematically rather different, yet it's still quite obviously a traditional fantasy genre game

So I think, for both groups, you have to pitch it as an alternative to the fantasy genre games they're already familiar with (D&D or Pathfinder). "Realistic" is my way of doing that.

However, I'll admit I haven't had much success recruiting players to the game, so what do I know?

Dany40
Posts: 91
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2018 10:32 am

Re: Create a pitch for The Dark Eye

Postby Dany40 » Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:53 am

I don't think TDE is really to be put in the same category as PF. PF, like DD, is RPG High Fantasy.
Compared to these two games, TDE stands out for its much more realistic universe and especially for the fact that the rules contribute to this realism.

Another important point: the TDE universe is based on strong cultural references from our real world... archetypes providing easy reference points for players.
The witches are those of the European tales taken up by Walt Disney, the human peoples are clearly inspired by the great civilizations of our history etc..., etc....


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