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Against the Darkmaster - a new Epic Fantasy MERP-inspired game


Hi everyone, we’re really thrilled to introduce our new game: Against the Darkmaster
We’ve been working hard on it, and playtesting it internally for quite a bit now, so as you can imagine, we’re very excited to finally be able to show it to you.

So, what are we talking about?

Against the Darkmaster is a d100 based, Epic Fantasy game, built for high adventure and heroic actions.
It’s inspired by the great, classic fantasy sagas (like The Lord of the Rings, The Sword of Shannara or The Wheel of Time); 80s fantasy movies (like Dragonslayer, The Beastmaster or Krull); the Power Metal aesthetics; and the great MERP/Rolemaster family of games.

It started out as a simple fan-made revision of MERP, a collection of house rules and rulings straight out of our games. However, we soon realized that our project was growing on its own, and becoming something completely different. We had changed and rewritten so many things, that we now had in our hands a new game.
So, Against the Darkmaster still shows its original roots but, rather than being a simple revision or clone of an older game, it’s something completely new.

Here are the core elements of Against the Darkmaster:

Unified Mechanics: Against the Darkmaster uses a simple underlying mechanic for everything: you roll a percentile dice, add your bonus, and confront the result with a table to see the outcome of your character’s action.
This makes the system very easy to learn and run, and allows for fast play, without having to sacrifice detail.

Customizable Characters: characters are created by combining different Kins and Cultures with Vocations and Background Options. This allows you to build extremely variegated playing characters, and helps you bringing your character to life by letting you define the core elements of his past.

Flexible Magic System: an open magic system, that lets every character dabble into spell casting, regardless of his Vocation, and where specialists can Warp their spells, to obtain extraordinarily powerful effects.

Bloody Tactical Combat: Maim, stun and kill your foes! Completely revised Attack Tables and Critical Strikes make combat fast and brutal. In Against the Darkmaster every blow could be lethal, so pick you fights and tactics wisely.

Travel & Exploration: travel has always played an important role in fantasy sagas, and in Against the Darkmaster each journey is an adventure on itself. Your characters will wander through wilderness and Darklands, face dangerous hazards, and find refuge in those few Safe Havens that still manage to resist the pernicious influence of the Darkmaster.

Character-Driven Play: a Passions & Drive system, designed to bring characters motivations and goals into play, helps you forge your character’s destiny exclusively through your choices, without compromising roleplaying immersion.

But there’s much more to it, as you will see by heading to our website and downloading the FREE Quickstart Rules of the game, containing everything you need to create your heroes and start your adventure against the hordes of the Darkmaster.

Let us know what you think about it, don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions, and stay tuned for more news about the game!


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The Beast of Willow Lake, our introductory adventure for Against the Darkmaster is finally ready!

A terrible beast stalks the woods around the sleepy town of Willow Lake. Only you can help the terrified villagers! But is the small town really as peaceful as it seems? Do you have what it takes to solve the mystery of The Beast of Willow Lake?


The new Playtest Kit includes:
- The Beast of Willow Lake, an 30+ pages introductory scenario for 4 to 6 level one Characters, complete with gorgeous maps and detailed statistics of the faces, enemies and hazards your characters will encounter near the apparently peaceful town of Willow Lake.
- Six pregenerated characters (each with a portrait, by our SOLIDTom), ready to jump into the adventure.

The Beast of Willow Lake is the first adventure in the epic Shadows of the Northern Woods campaign, that will be releasedwith the full game rules, but can also be played on its own, and can be easily adapted to most classic fantasy settings.

The Playtest Kit is FREE to download from our website (together with the Quickstart Rules, including everything you need to start playing): https://www.vsdarkmaster.com/quickstart-and-downloads/

As usual, don't hesitate to contact us with your questions or advice! We’d love to hear tales from your gaming table, and to cheer with you for your Critical Strikes!


Hi everyone, we're back with some updates!

First, the VsD Character Sheet is now freely downloadable from our website for all registered users, together with the Quickstart Rules and the Introductory Scenario.

We also just posted a Character Creation Tutorial on the Against the Darkmaster blog, which will guide you through all the steps needed to create your hero.

An always on our blog, you can get a sneak peek of Against the Darkmaster's procedure for handling Travels and the Hazards your heroes will face in their epic journeys.

That's all for now, but stay tuned for more news!


Definitely looking forward to seeing this hit the market!

Thank you!
The Kickstarter will (hopefully!) run in late 2019.
In the meanwhile we're preparing a revised version of the Quickstart Rules (fixing some typos, incongruences and a few balance issues) that should be uploaded soon on our website.
We are also about to launch a "beta playtest program", which will grant participants the opportunity to try out and discuss with us our playtest material, so keep an eye on our blog for future announcements!


The new, updated and corrected version of the Quickstart Rules is ready for download. We made several small correction, fixed some typos, clarified some points and changed how a couple of rules work. All to give you the most polished, complete, and easy to play version of the Quickstart Rules we could create. And it's still free, so you can't beat the price! ;)

You can read what changed in the blogpost linked below, or grab the .pdf now from our Download section and see for yourself!





Hi everyone!

We're having a very short survey on our website about some of the core game mechanics.

We'd really appreciate any feedback you can give us based on playing or reading the game, so if you have a couple of minutes to spare please consider taking it and making us know what you think about it.

You can find the survey right here: https://www.vsdarkmaster.com/forum/topic/passions-drive-survey/

Thank you for taking the time to fill it out, we're really looking forward to reading your feedbacks!

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