I received a wonderful offer for the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund from Marcelo Paschoalin this week. Marcelo had contacted me last year about using Microlite74 basis the basis for a rules light introductory fantasy RPG for players in Brazil. I thought it was a wonderful idea and wished him luck. Sometime time later Marcelo released Aventura e Magia. As I can't read much Portuguese, I can't say much about the game. Marcelo later released a English version of an old school campaign setting for Swords & Wizardry called Dark Fate. I somehow missed this release as I had not heard anything of it until Marcelo emailed me this week. He was kind enough to send me a PDF copy and I have to say I'm very impressed. Marcelo has offered to donate the proceeds from one month of sales -- from May 15, 2010 to June 15, 2010 -- to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund!
What are you waiting for? Head over the the Dark Fate web site and buy a copy. It's available in PDF as well as in paperback and hardcover.
Oh. You made your high pressure sales saving roll and want to know something about Dark Fate first? Instead of me telling you all about Dark Fate, please go read this long review at The Underdark Gazette. Then head back here and I'll add a few comments....
The review is right, Dark Fate does have some grammar and phrasing issues in places. However, they really aren't much worse than some of the problems I see in many publications originally written by native English speakers and published in English. Of course, since I'm known as the "Typo King" my position on this may be somewhat biased.
The review implies that the Dark Fate setting might not work too well for sandbox play. I disagree. There are two major types of sandbox campaign. The type one hears about most these days is a static sandbox where the GM sets things up and little happens in the world except where the PCs involve themselves. The second type of sandbox, the dynamic sandbox, has a world that moves and shakes and changes even when the PCs are doing other things. In both types, the PCs are the center of the game action and freely pick what they want to do, but the dynamic sandbox has other events happening in the world that the players may hear about and choose to react to -- or ignore. The dynamic sandbox is less common because it is a lot more work to create. With a static sandbox, you can just design a small part of the world (a few hexes will do) and grow the world as the players explore. A dynamic sandbox requires that a large area be set up before play begins with a history and various countries, political figures, etc. created before play starts. Dark Fate provides almost everything a GM would need to run a dynamic sandbox.
I really like the art in Dark Fate. It has a strong swords and sorcery feel without trying to duplicate the 1970s TSR art style. It's also very well done art. Check the gallery at the Dark Fate site for a hundred or so samples of the art from the game.
I'll post more of my personal views about Dark Fate over the next four weeks. However, take a look at the game for yourself. Here's a chance to get a very nice old school campaign setting and help raise money for the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund at the same time. You can click here to Buy Dark Fate. The net proceeds of all sales from May 15th to June 15th will go to the RetroRoleplaying Cancer Fund.
My wife and I would like to thank Marcelo Paschoalin for this generous contribution to The RetroRoleplaying Cancer -- not to mention the PDF copy of Dark Fate.