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Friday 10 July 2015

Dark Albion now on DriveThruRPG! Also: Magic Levels in Albion

So, in case you haven't heard, the Dark Albion PDF is now available on DriveThruRPG.  The softcover PoD should be available very shortly, at which point you will be able to get a discounted PoD + PDF offer, so if that's what you want you should wait a bit.  The PDF is fully bookmarked and comes with some additional parchment-style versions of the maps, as player aids.

Of course, you can still get the hardcover print edition, or the variant cover print edition, over at Lulu.

Meanwhile, I've started to get some interesting questions from people considering the product.  Today, I'll answer one of these, which was about just what the 'magic' level is like in Albion.  How much of the supernatural is in the setting, and where is it found?

The answer is that Albion is somewhere between "game of thrones" and "WFRP" in terms of magic level.

A lot of commenters have brought up the presence of frogmen, but keep in mind that in WFRP there are elves and dwarves and beastmen all pretty well in the open. In Albion, the Frogmen (and undead) are by far the most visible menace regular humans are ever likely to encounter; there are no (friendly) demi-humans (unless you count the Cyrmi Travelers, who are almost like half-elves, and are only questionably 'friendly'). To an Anglish peasant not likely to go fight in Frogland, the most likely encounter he could possibly have with a supernatural creature would be some form of undead (a zombie, most likely), but even that is unusual as it would have to be some poor bastard who wasn't buried with proper funerary rites (or a sign of powerful chaos magic in the area).

The most likely magic they would see is Clerical Magic, but remember that only Clerics (and not every priest of the Unconquered Sun) are capable of miracles, and Clerics don't throw around their blessings willy-nilly.

There are magisters and witches of course, but 80% of these never surpass 1st level in their entire lives, and are thus more theoretical (and propped up by other types of lore-skills, or potentially demon-summoning) than anything else. The Magisters spend their time philosophizing at the Collegiums or counseling the high-born. Witches are mostly bluff anyways, using 'potions' to end unwanted pregnancies or afflict your enemies or making blessings and curses of dubious value, divinations of questionable certainty, and knowing a lot about the forest and plants; but you'll almost never see her actually do anything that will be recognizably and obviously wondrous... and most likely if you do she's one of the bad ones that needs burning.

So yeah, the supernatural is there, but it is pushed away from the epicenter of the norm and into the periphery, both geographical and in terms of the periphery of the affairs of extreme people.

Out there, in that periphery, in the cold lonely places, you can find the Supernatural in medieval abundance, and often inspired directly by regional folk-tales and myths.  You will find that it is almost never friendly to or healthy for human beings.

Hope that clears a bit up as to how Albion handles the supernatural.  Go check it out for yourselves!


Currently Smoking:  Neerup Egg + Image Perique


  1. Bought, pending delivery of the hardcover from luloid.

    I have to say, at first glance, DOM did you proud.

  2. Book arrived from Amazon yesterday, and I spent the rest of the evening engrossed. Beautifully done! I especially enjoyed the entire timeline layout as a background for a long-running campaign, somewhat reminiscent thematically to the Aurthurian timeline used in Pendragon.
    As I read this, I though more and more about how i might run it as a low-magic campaign, and found it taking me back to when I ran a long-standing Harn campaign back in the 80s. I think it might be interesting to take the old 1st edition Harnmaster system, tweak the character creation to utilize Albion's background tables instead of Harn's, and bolt on an appropriate Magic system. (I never cared for Harn's magic system).
    In any case, brilliant work. I appreciate depth of background, and that Albion has in spades. Congratulations!

    1. Thanks so much. Your being engrossed is the best possible compliment.

      Now, spread the word!