Traditional role-playing systems – pencil, paper and dice – are often a great source of inspiration when it comes to designing the mechanics of a game. If we add to that a decent setting, in which an interesting plot develops, the results end up being games like
Baldur’s Gate , Neverwinter Nights , Planescape: Torment or The Temple of Elemental Evil . Interestingly, these titles share a common denominator, since they all apply -with some differences- the rules of Dungeons & Dragons , and use some of their different campaign scenarios to acclimate their plot line ( Forgotten Realms , Planescape ,Greyhawk , Ravenloft , …) Known by all, even if we have never thrown a dice.
And is that Dungeons & Dragons is possibly the most popular system worldwide. Well, that’s if we remove an area where he dominates a different regulation: Germany. There, almost 30 years ago a system known as Das Schwarze Auge became popular , translated into
English as The Dark Eye … and that in Castilian would become The Dark Eye , although it is advisable to use its original name – or its English translation – to avoid misunderstandings and strange connotations. Its 4th edition, the current one, was published in 2000
and was revised in 2006. Although they have never had a version in our country, despite the popularity acquired in other European countries, we have had the opportunity to enjoy it in numerous games of role and adventures.
Blackguards is your new foray into the field of RPGs for PC, after two fantastic graphic adventures: Chains of Satinav and Memoria . And we repeat development study again, because it is the Germans Daedalic Entertainment – responsible for the two adventures – who are responsible for bringing the rules of The Dark Eye to our teams.
A new experience for the company, much more accustomed to the genre of the two previous games than to the mechanical RPG. But remember the recipe we cited in the first paragraph: Good mechanics (the 4th edition of The Dark Eye ) along with a good atmosphere (the lands of Aventuria) and, all we need is a good plot. Is not that your specialty?
We will start shaping our main character, either in a simplified way or with the complex editor. The first option allows us to choose an archetype – Warrior, Hunter or Wizard – and distribute a few additional points to finish modeling our alter ego in Blackguards. The second consists of the making of a protagonist from 0, using the rules of the role play The Dark Eye .
In this way, we will have to spend the 10,000 experience points (PE) between the increase of Base Values, Talents and Combat Talents, Spells and Special Abilities. This allows us to obtain a truly unique character and to our liking, because the variety of possibilities is really extensive.
The Base Values are, as their own name indicates, the basis for practically all the actions in the game … What in other JdR are called characteristics or attributes. Talents are skills that, based on the previous values, are used to determine the probability of success or failure of an action. The Spells indicate which ones we know, and to what degree of mastery.
The Special Abilities are additional improvements that enhance certain aspects of the character, such as Dungeons & Dragons . In each of them we find a complete description of what aspects of the game affect, and what it means to have a certain degree with respect to a superior or inferior. This already lets us glimpse the depth of the system that Blackguards applies.
Once steeped in role regulation, and with our protagonist equipped and ready for action, it gives way to a cinematic. Needless to say, this is not exactly the strong point of the game, and does little more than fulfill its function of narrating parts of the story in a more dynamic way. Directly we go to action, being forced to face a wolf that stands on the body, of Princess Elanor ,
the daughter of Count Uriah . After defeating him, we will be assaulted by the Guard, who will not believe that we have nothing to do with the death of the lady. We will be transferred to the Neetha prison where our former friend, Lysander, will besiege us in search of a name that we do not know … although they do not stop asking us and torturing us.