Choose Experience Level
Before creating your hero, you first need to decide on an Experience Level (EL). EL determines the number of Adventure Points (AP) you receive to create your hero. Attributes, skills, and other abilities all have AP costs, paid from your starting AP. You cannot have a negative AP balance upon completing hero creation, but you may keep up to 10 AP in reserve to spend on future improvements.
We suggest you discuss EL with your gaming group. Your heroes can all start at the same EL, essentially creating a balanced party, or they could all start at different levels (for example, one player could create an Experienced
- EL sets the maximum starting values for attributes, skills, and combat techniques, as well as the maximum attribute total. EL also governs how many spells or liturgical chants you are allowed to activate and how many may belong to a Tradition other than your own (see below). After hero creation, these limits are removed and replaced by the standard maximum values.
- Heroes always start with 3 Fate Points (FtP), no matter their EL. Starting FtP can be altered only by specific advantages and disadvantages.
- Regardless of EL, heroes may spend a maximum of 80 AP on advantages and may gain up to 80 AP from disadvantages (see below).
Limiting Attributes, Skills, and Combat Techniques
The maximums given in the chart below only apply during hero creation. Once play begins, attributes are no longer limited, though skill and combat technique ratings do remain limited, and cannot exceed the highest linked attribute plus 2.
Adventure Points Maximum Attribute Value Maximum Skill Value Maximum
Combat Technique Maximum Attribute Total Number of Spells/Liturgical
Chants (# from other Traditions)
Inexperienced 900 12 10 8 95 8 (0)
Ordinary 1,000 13 10 10 98 10 (1)
Experienced 1,100 14 10 12 100 12 (2)
Competent 1,200 15 13 14 102 14 (3)
Masterly 1,400 16 16 16 105 16 (4)
Brillant 1,700 17 19 18 109 18 (5)
Legendary 2,100 18 20 20 114 20 (6)
Choose your hero’s race. Race is the hero’s biological species, whether human, elf, dwarf, or something entirely different. Race determines your hero’s general appearance, as well as attribute modifiers and base values for derived characteristics, plus the list of cultures from which you may choose. Some races cost AP.
Every hero is a member of a specific culture. Culture determines a hero’s upbringing, customs, and worldviews. You can choose any culture that is typical for the hero’s race. If you would rather choose a different culture, you must ask your GM for permission. Cultures do not cost any AP. Cultural packages must be bought with AP but give your hero bonuses to certain skills.
The meat of a character is its attributes. Heroes start with a value of 8 in all attributes. Each additional point must be paid for with AP. Each attribute point up to a value of 14 costs 15 AP, while the cost rises for each attribute point above 14.
Heroes must start the game with a minimum of 8 points in each attribute. Maximum attribute score is determined by the hero’s Experience Level, as is the maximum total of attributes with which a hero may start the game. Since all attributes start no lower than 8, 64 points of the maximum total have already been spent.
Remember, racial attribute modifiers apply to attribute maximums, not attribute points.
Cost of Attributes
Attribute Value AP Cost
Each point up to 14 15 AP
15 30 AP
16 45 AP
17 60 AP
18 75 AP
19 90 AP
Choose a Profession
Before starting out on adventuring careers, the heroes have already learned some of the tricks of their trades. This is covered by professions, which represent the time heroes spent doing things like studying under powerful mages, learning the arts of war from skilled commanders, or serving as apprentices to infamous thieves. Professions reflect skills important to the hero, whether with weapons, lock picks, or (if mages or Blessed Ones) spells or liturgical chants.
The professions listed in this book are only a sample of the endless possibilities offered by life in Aventuria. If you cannot find a profession that suits your hero best, do not hesitate to modify an existing profession or create an entirely new one. However, you should discuss your ideaswith your GM first.
Each profession comes with a package that gives you all the game details you need, including the AP cost. Be aware that some professions have prerequisites. For example, your hero might need certain special abilities, which cost extra AP, or your hero might need to hold a certain social standing. Furthermore, some professions offer variants that might each have different prerequisites. Heroes must choose professions that suit their cultural backgrounds, because some cultures do not teach certain professions (and some professions are all but unheard of in certain cultures). For example, elves rarely if ever become Guild Mages, Fjarnings have no concept of knighthood, and the Middenrealm produces few tribal warriors. Exceptions need the GM’s permission.
Choose Advantages and Disadvantages
Advantages and disadvantages are the strengths and weaknesses that make heroes special, setting them apart from average Aventurians and lending personality and individuality. You must spend AP to buy advantages, while disadvantages give your hero more AP. The maximum number of AP you can invest in advantages or gain from disadvantages is 80 points (that is, you can buy 80 points of advantages and pay them off with 80 points of disadvantages without ever using your AP). This is a great idea, but an even better idea is to buy less than 80 points of advantages while still taking 80 points of disadvantages, the net effect being that you gain AP that you can spend later.
In this step you activate and improve your hero’s skills, spells, and liturgical chants by buying new ability levels with AP. Remember, however, that neither skill, spell, nor liturgical chant values may exceed the limits imposed by your hero’s EL.
- Improve skills by making use of the Improvement Chart. Every skill has a corresponding improvement class (a letter code—either A, B, C, D, or E) that governs its improvement cost, as shown in the Improvement Chart. To improve a specific skill, cross reference its improvement class with the desired skill rating on the Improvement Chart to obtain the improvement cost in AP. As you will see, improving Class A skills is quite cheap, but improving Class D skills can get really expensive. The Improvement Chart is below.
- You must pay for each level when improving skills. This means you must first pay for level 1, then for level 2, and so on. You can jump directly to level 3 or even higher, if you like. However, you must pay the combined improvement costs for all new levels, including the desired level.
- If you wish to improve a specific spell or liturgical chant that you do not yet possess, you must first activate it by paying the activation cost, at which point you write down the spell or liturgical chant with a rating of 0. As always, the total number of spells and liturgical chants you may possess is limited by EL. All mundane skills, on the other hand, are
considered active from the start and have a level of 0 (unless otherwise indicated or improved).
- You improve combat techniques in the same way as skills. However, all combat techniques start with a value of 6.
AP Costs and Improvement During Hero Creation
Category AP Cost
Attribute See Improvement Chart (E)
Skill See Improvement Chart (A-D)
Combat Technique See Improvement Chart (B-D)
Advantage Depends on advantage
Disadvantage Depends on disadvantage
Cantrip 1 AP
Blessing 1 AP
Spell/Ritual See Improvement Chart (A-D)
Liturgical Chant/Ceremony See Improvement Chart (A-D)
Desired Skill Rating A B C D E
Activation to 0 1 2 3 4 –
1-12 1 2 3 4 15
13 2 4 6 8 15
14 3 6 9 12 15
15 4 8 12 16 30
16 5 10 15 20 45
17 6 12 18 24 60
18 7 14 21 28 75
19 8 16 24 32 90
20 9 18 27 36 105
21 10 20 30 40 120
22 11 22 33 44 135
23 12 24 36 48 150
24 13 26 39 52 165
25 14 28 42 56 180
Attribute, Skill, and Combat Technique Limitations
Remember: skills and combat techniques are subject to limitation by attributes. The skill rating cannot exceed the skill’s highest linked attribute +2. Combat techniques are also limited to their primary attribute +2.
Calculate Combat Technique Values
Now we’ll see how well your hero can fight by calculating attack and parry values. Every weapon has an associated combat technique, such as Daggers, Impact Weapons, or Bows. All heroes start with skill rating 6 in all combat techniques. These can be improved with AP just like any other skills, and by using the same Improvement Chart.
- Your hero’s Attack (AT) rating equals the SR (Skill Rating) of the combat technique of your weapon, modified by your hero’s Courage—for every 3 full points above 8 COU, raise the hero’s Attack by 1 (+1 at COU 11, +2 at COU 14, etc.).
- To calculate Parry (PA), halve the SR of the combat technique for the weapon (rounding down), and then apply a modifier based on that specific combat technique’s primary attribute, as follows. Add +1 to your Parry for every 3 full attribute points above 8 (that is, +1 at 11, +2 at 14, and so on). The primary attribute depends on the combat technique, but it is either Agility or Strengt. Note that Parry cannot be performed with Chain Weapons or ranged weapons (Crossbows, Bows, and Thrown Weapons).
- Your Ranged Combat (RC) value equals the SR of the ranged combat technique, modified by Dexterity. Again, you get +1 for every full 3 attribute points above 8 (+1 at DEX 11, +2 at 14, and so on).
Crossbows DEX B
Bows DEX C
Daggers AGI B
Fencing Weapons AGI C
Impact Weapons STR C
Chain Weapons STR C
Lances STR B
Brawling AGI/STR B
Shields STR C
Swords AGI/STR C
Polearms AGI/STR C
Thrown Weapons DEX B
Two-Handed Impact Weapons STR C
Two-Handed Swords STR C
Choose Special Abilities
You’ve had a chance to choose advantages and disadvantages, and now you can choose special abilities, which are purchased for a fixed number of AP and cannot be raised like attributes, skills, spells, or liturgical chants. Your hero must meet certain prerequisites.
Calculate Derived Characteristics
You’re almost there! Before you can start playing The Dark Eye, you must calculate a few game values. All start with a base value according to your hero’s race, plus a combination of one or more attributes. Certain advantages and disadvantages also influence the derived characteristics.
Base life points from race + 2 x Constitution +/– points from advantages or disadvantages
Base arcane energy from the advantage Spellcaster + Primary attribute for the magic user’s Tradition +/– points from advantages or disadvantages
Base karma points from the advantage Blessed + Primary attribute for the Blessed One’s Tradition +/– points from advantages or disadvantages
Base Spirit from race+ (Courage + Sagacity + Intuition) / 6 +/– points from advantages or disadvantages
Base Toughness from race + (Constitution + Constitution + Strength) / 6 +/– points from advantages or disadvantages
Agility / 2
(Courage + Agility) / 2 +/– points from advantages or disadvantages
Base Movement from race +/– points from advantages or disadvantages
All heroes start with 3 FtP. This value can be raised with the advantage Luck , or reduced with the disadvantage Bad Luck.
When you finish calculating your derived characteristics, determine your hero’s starting wealth, which sets how much you have available to buy your hero’s equipment.
Core Rule page 38