Symbaroum, have you played it?

PabloM

Explorer
I have been running D&D weekly since 5e went on sale, and from time to time trying other games with different genres and systems. However, recently I wanted to try some medieval fantasy game with a more... dangerous and dark approach.
And I found this jewel, at least as far as art is concerned:


Now, although the game looks great, before buying it I wanted to know the experience of someone who has already played or runned it.

So, have you played or run Symbaroum?
 
I ran a campaign for more than a year.
  • Setting is great and atmospheric
  • It's a 90s metaplot game however, so key facts about the setting are kept back from the GM and gradually revealed over the core adventure path.
  • System is a D&D heartbreaker with big scaling problems which breaks down very fast if you have any players that aren't anti-optimisers.
  • Some of the adventure material is great, but the books are very poorly organised.
  • The adventure path is really what the setting is about. Support for sandbox treasure hunting is gestured at but not really there - despite exploration being a major stated focus, there is little capacity for attrition, and no real rules for travel or survival.
 

PabloM

Explorer
I ran a campaign for more than a year.
Wow! What was it about?

  • Setting is great and atmospheric
  • It's a 90s metaplot game however, so key facts about the setting are kept back from the GM and gradually revealed over the core adventure path.
Yes, I noticed it as soon as I found the game. Anyway, even if I use the setting as an inspiration, I surely set my adventures in my own world.

  • System is a D&D heartbreaker with big scaling problems which breaks down very fast if you have any players that aren't anti-optimisers.
Please, could you explain this in more detail?

  • Some of the adventure material is great, but the books are very poorly organised.
  • The adventure path is really what the setting is about. Support for sandbox treasure hunting is gestured at but not really there - despite exploration being a major stated focus, there is little capacity for attrition, and no real rules for travel or survival.
Without having read it, the Adventure Path seems excellent but it seems to me that it is a little longer than I want.
 
Wow! What was it about?
The setting as a whole, I pulled some things from the first two modules of the adventure path but adapted as I went.
Please, could you explain this in more detail?
It's heavily influenced by D&D 3rd and 4th edition (and a little bit by fifth). There's little evidence of influence from anything else. It's classless and levelless, but the more you play it you realise that given the way the whole thing works, this isn't necessarily an advantage. It's full of archetypes from D&D, priests heal and destroy undead, wizards blast and control, damage is largely meaningless beyond a single scene and healing is easy. It has a challenge rating system which is complete and utter garbage as there is no good sense of scaling built into the system. It mostly just has rules for combat like D&D and handwaves everything else. Material is written as if it's expected to be played a lot like D&D even though the system doesn't work well for that purpose.

Yes, I noticed it as soon as I found the game. Anyway, even if I use the setting as an inspiration, I surely set my adventures in my own world.
Probably a better way to go, and using a system that has actually been playtested.


Without having read it, the Adventure Path seems excellent but it seems to me that it is a little longer than I want.
Yes. And it's not finished yet. And everything after the second (and possibly also the second) is at a level where the system has completely broken down. So even if you were to struggle on with it you'd have to rewrite all the encounters and tailor them to your party.
 

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