Designer's Notes: Dark Realms: An Indside Look by Ryan S. Johnson

The long awaited summary of the "Dark Realms, Role Playing Universe."

"The Dark Realms are a place of Indescribable evil and horror; a center for evil and chaos in the universe. They, like the Elemental planes and many others, sit just beyond the boundaries of conventional existance. Since the beginning of time the Denizens of the Dark Realms have tried to influence the realms of the living and tried to gain enough support to open a permanent gateway into conventional space. The Realms of Light have opposed them every step of the way. Wherever and whenever you choose to set your campaign, there is the potential that the characters could get swept up in this conflict"

The Dark Realms role playing system is a set of gaming rules that can be used for any setting. The core rule book includes all the information gamers will need to run any fantasy setting. A little information has been provided on the Dark Realms themselves and the creatures that come form that dark realm.

Weapons and equipment for different tech level will be forthcoming in future suppliments. Read the bottom of this message for a glimpse at the support material in the works for the Dark Realms.

The following is a brief summary of the Drak Realms gaming system...

The most important element to to the Dark Realms system is the "Results Table". Using the Results Table any and all random outcomes can be determined. The Results Table is a set of columns that represent ratios, with each column having 12 potential outcomes. This allows the entire Dark Realms system to be run using a single D12.

Everything in the Dark Realms works off of a ratio comparison. Say for example a character had a skill rating of 6 in Tracking. That character was attempting to Track a specific type of critter, lets say one that was fairly stealthy. The "Realm Master" will have to assign a Difficulty factor to this task. (average difficulty of 5). The Realm Master decides this task has a Difficulty Facotor of 7. Subtracting 7 from 5 puts the character on the (-3 to -2) column of the Results Table. The D12 would then be rolled and the outcome copared against the (-3 to -2) column. A result of a dash means the character will have failed in his tracking attempt. Any number result marks a successful Tracking,with a higher number result meaning greater success.

Races: Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Human
Hybrid Races: Half Elf, Gnoman (Human/Gnome), Half Dwarf, Olme (Gnome/Elf), Dworm (Dwarf/Gnome)
Optional Races: Felinian, Goblin, Kobald, Minotaur, Rylar

Primary Attributes: Strength, Intelligence, Dexterity, Endurance, and Presence.
Personality: "Personality Traits", which are short desciptions of the negative and positive aspects to the character's idiosyncrasies. The player will have to role play these aspects of the character and they will recieve experience bonuses for how well these traits are played.

Character Professions: Archer, Assassin, Fighter, Healer, Knight, Psychic, Rogue, Spell Twister, Tradesman, and Woodsman.
Skills: Skills make up the core of the character's knowledge. Skills are divided inot two categories; Skill Fields and Skills. A Skill Field is a broad selection of knowledge relating to a general topic. A character must first learn learn a Skill Field, gaining a basic understanding of everything in that topic before moving on to study Skills, which are specific sets of knowledge and abilites. In this manner, all Skills fall within a certain Skill Field.

Combat is determined by three basic Combat Attributes. These are Attack Level, Defense Level, and Dodging. The Attack Level of the attacker is first compared against the defender's Dodging, and then if the Dodge attempt fails, against the defender's Defense Level. The Defense Level is subtracted from the Attack Level in the same manner as a Diffucluty factor is subtracted from a Skill rating.

For example: If the attacker had an Attack Level of 7 and the defender a Defense level of 3, then the attack would be rolled on the (+2 to +4) column of the results table. A result of a dash would mean no damage was dealt, with any number result being equal to the amount of Hit Points inflicted.

And naturally there are adjustments for speed, strength and all the usual, but they are incorperated into the three basic Combat Attributes just mentioned.

Attack Level: This is a combination of the weapon type the character is using, the quality of that weapon and the character's Weapon Mastery skill with that weapon.

Defense Level: This is a combination of the armor (defenses worn) the character has, the quality of that armor and any shield the character may be using. No factor for skill go into Defense level, for that is portrayed in the character's Dodging skill.

Magic is portrayed by Spell Fields. A Spell Field represents an entire topic of magic, just a a Skill Field represents a broad set of knowledge. Examples of Spell Fields would be Fire, Water, Air, Detection, Necromancy and so on. The character with this knowledge may then attempt any magic that uses that knowledge. For example: a Spell Twister with the Spell Field of Fire could throw a fire ball, try to light something flamable on fire, summon a Fire Elemental or do anything else the player can imagine at that moment. In this fashion every spell use can be different and made specific for what is needed at that time.

The harder the attempted use fo the magic, the higher the Difficulty Factor the Realm Master will assign the task. The character's Spell Field rating is then compared against the Difficulty factor of the attempt to see what column will be used on the Results Table. Whatever level Spell is being attempted is how many Spell Points are used. And a player may chose to ast a spell at less than its maximum potential potency, thus using less Spell Points, but eneded up rolling on a lesser column on the Results Table.

And yes, certain specific Spells may be designed and mastered, giving the character bonuses to cast that exacting thinng.

And that is a brief summary of the Dark Realms, Role Playing Universe.

We are currenlty taking mail orders for the Dark Realms. The book is (still) at the printers and should be ready for mailing within about a week. The Dark Realms is a 96 page book, with a glossy color cover and perfect bound.

Retail and mail order price of only... $9.99.

To mail order a copy send check or money order for the amount of $9.99 plus $1 shipping and handling to:

Guild of Blades Publishing Group
2002 E. kalamazoo
Lansing, MI 48912, USA

All locations outside the continental US, send $3 shipping and handling (not $1). All funds to be in US currency or equal value amount of any other currency.

Or save youself that shipping cost and look for Dark Realms on the shelf of you local hobby stores. Ask your retailer to pre order it now!

Future releases for the Dark Realms:

Mystic's beacon:
This is the forthcoming tome of magic for the Dark Realms, detailing the Spell Fields in greater detail, explaining how to create new Spell Fields, listing countless famous Spells from around the universe and depicting a number of magical critters that are associated with magic. A must have for any Spell Twister.

Book of the Realms:
This expansion brings the conflict between the Dark Realms and Realms of Light into greater detail. Setting will be detailed for inside each realm and new player races and classes offered so you can play a minion from either side of the conflict.

Weapons of the Ages:
This book of warfare will list weapons, armor and equipment for every time setting imaginable. With this suppliment you will be able to play the Dark Realms in any tech level and timeline.

Empires & Overlords:
This will be the first book detailing the epic space conflict for the Empires & Overlords setting. This expansion will introduce a multitude of galactic empires, dozens of new races, new technologies, multiple new Professional classes and a brief history of the 5 Galactic Wars.

Empires & Overlords Atlas:
This Atlas will map the cronological history of the Empires & Overlords Universe and the 5 Galactic Wars. Each galactic empire and race will be explained in greater detail, examinig the religions and Overlords that lead them.

Empires & Overlords: Space Warfare:
This suppliment for the Empires & Overlords setting for the Dark Realms will detail the front line and specialty space and battleships for the many galactic empires. Included with be ship diagrams and stats. Tips and scenarios will be included for the Realm Master so the characters may be introduced to this unique campaign setting.

Guild of Blades Publishing Group
(Member of the GPA)
John L. Ross - WebMaster
Ryan O. Johnson - Sales/Product Inquiries
Marisa K. Boese - Editor


Office: Guild of Blades
2002 E. Kalamazoo
Lansing, MI 48912
Phone: (517)267-1409