What is Dark Refuge?
Dark Refuge is a pen and paper adventure game designed for 2-8 players. It is a revolutionary game in two respects.
First, its incredibly easy rules are designed for players of any skill level. The second is its revolutionary Leyas ability system allowing battles to take on the fast paced exciting flow as bright and vivid as your imagination will allow.
Refuge is also the name of the planet on which the game is set and the players characters inhabitant. Their lives are fraught with peril, filled with intrigue and bursting with action. The player controls the actions of his character through this completely realized and vibrant world.
The Narrator controls the world around the players and creates/moderates any adventures the characters encounter. When faced with battle, or the need to use the Leyas the player rolls the dice and the Narrator interprets that dice roll. After each adventure, characters gain points allowing them to upgrade their abilities, attributes or buy new skills. A set of adventures can end at any time, such as when the characters accomplish their initial goals.
Or it can continue into a Campaign, an open ended story that continues whenever the players get together.
What is the Leyas?
The Leyas is an extra dimensional energy that allows the characters of Dark Refuge to accomplish astounding feats. It can be used to create the standard fare of fireballs, lightning bolts and acid blasts. The really unique nature of the Leyas is the wide range of powers available to players.
Using the Leyas, all characters can augment their normal abilities, change their body, and summon creatures who will fight for them. No longer is a single weak mage the only spell caster in a group.
The revolutionary aspect of the Leyas is the ability of a character to chain multiple powers together. A player can even create their own artifacts and magical items using any spell available in the game.
The Leyas also will cause a character’s fear to create Nightmares. These Nightmares can be accidentally created anytime, filling the game with suspenseful tension.
Why is this fun?
Have you ever wished you could have the powers of your favorite movie character or comic book superhero? What would you do if given those powers?
Dark Refuge allows a player to create any type of character they would enjoy acting as. In many ways the game is about play-acting. You and your friends will weave stories that you will be remember for years.
This game is also a social event. You and a group of friends get together and enjoy each other’s company. The moving story keeps everyone interested but gives them the opportunity to express themselves individually.
You get the cathartic satisfaction of playing your character, hacking and slashing through hordes of terrifying monsters.
For more involved gamers and those who have experience with other games what makes the system unique is it’s relatively low points of contact, fluid ability to do things, and adaptability for a variety of gamers. Granted, certain plausibility fanatics that MUST have a chart to know how far they can piss into a river based on skills, attributes, and desired distances may not find the game that satisfying.
For the rest of us who want a fun, fast and fluid game and game system, Dark Refuge is a must.
What creatures can I play as?
The Core Book contains 13 different races each with their own cultures, histories and special abilities.
Earthers are our descendants, humans who have colonized the stars. The K’iorn are tall and slender hunters who stalk the forests of Refuge. Their close cousins are the Vorin, able to camouflage themselves like chameleons. In the sky above Refuge, the winged Baribur fly composing epic songs and waging war. Deep under the mountains the stocky K’iou forge weapons and carve grand stone monuments.
Not all the races are goodly beings. The evil Pelebor also soar in the sky, raiding and slaving with their nightmare dragon-riding cousins, the Uthvelor. These malicious aliens are known for their murderous frenzies.
The native Olgogs are known for their immense strength, while the gnomish Kumfei are brilliant engineers. The thieving Bastards are a diminutive race resembling Earther children who survive by stealing from the Earther colonies.
What types of characters can I play as?
This game allows for a very wide variety of characters using only 13 different categories of adventurer.
A Bravo is a character who must achieve a meditative state to use the Leyas. They can be played as a samurai, armed with a katana and a deep sense of honor. They can be just as easily played as a swashbuckler using the game’s simple rules. Berserkers control fire Leyas with their immense battle rages. Troubadours use their song to cast spells on their enemies. Dragoons grow dragon-like claws and heavy armor and battle in animalistic fighting styles.
Priests use the Leyas to heal and drive away shadow creatures. Magi and Mancers use the Leyas to mold reality around them. Shapeshifters are able to copy their enemies’ every ability.
Maybe the path of the fallen is more intriguing. A Vampyr feeds off the fear of his enemies, using it to power his virtual invincibility. A Bandit is a stealthy rogue that has become addicted to theft and causing loss to others.
A Burnout was once a great and powerful Mancer, but was forever scarred by a Leyas backlash. Burnouts frequently are missing many of their memories and powers but can draw on a long experience with the Leyas.
What makes this game different from the rest?
The Magic system (or “Leyas”) is easy to learn and very versatile. It also allows players to even create new spells in the heat of the moment. The ability to cast multiple spells in a single round and the ability for a character to easily and quickly turn any ability they know into a magical artifact also has an amazingly useful in-game effect. Players concentrate less on “gaining loot” and more time on acting in-character. The magic system is intuitive and easily used by new players. It allows a lot of variation and combination, keeping advanced players interested.
This game crosses genres. The players can have a science fiction adventure one day and then play a tolkienesc sword and sorcery adventure the next. A wild west gunfight flows easily into a battle against undead.
The battle system is designed to move quickly. This removes many annoying and complex dice rolls one finds in other systems. It is designed to emulate the fast paced battle found in video games using a single 10 sided dice for attacks and dodges.
Above all else, DR is approachable by players of all ages. Younger players enjoy the vibrant characters and the cool powers. Mature players will appreciate the deep and thought provoking undercurrents that run through the world of Refuge. Political and social issues influence the player’s game increasing the reality of the experience.
As you may have noticed the ideas of Emotions have a large effect on game play.
In DR we have two extra stats, Emotional Control and Temper which will affect events in game. A person with low Emotional Control will create Nightmares with their fears and will cause their technological devices will malfunction.
However there are even characters called Immutables which are completely protected from the Leyas. They cannot use it, but can safely use Technology and are highly prized in the armies of the different factions.
This exciting setting combines with easy to learn rules. It plays very smoothly and quickly for new players. The nice thing for GameMasters (we call them Narrators, because we try and focus on creating entertaining stories) is that the GM doesn’t need to constantly refer to the books for basic tests.
Players usually only have to refer back to the book for spells, Monster stats and background information on the different factions.
What type of future is there in the Dark Refuge license?
DR is a pen and paper adventure game for people seeking a new social experience, not just geeks in their attics. The first three Dark Refuge novels: Godswords:Saga of the Bladed Sun, The Day Earth Died, and The Nightmare Lord have been successfully released.
The Northern Kingdoms Border Wars has led to hundreds of new groups joining the DR Family. After that a series of sourcebooks expanding the Dark Refuge universe were released, including the EEF Guide and Religions of Refuge.
2012 saw the release of The Time Shredders, an exciting new product that uses a deck of standard playing cards. 2013 saw the release of Goblin Lands, an exciting new expansion and online experience that saw the rise of hundreds of player led tribes of native Olgogs. 2014 has the Draco Liberatti expansion. 2015 has seen the beginning of the Time Shredders/Goblin Lands CrosswOver Game where Earthers and Olgogs begin a battle for their very history. Soon to come The Planet Snatchers, The Summerset Affair, and a series of Humorous comics, Dork Refuge.
Dark Refuge, Northern Kingdoms: The Border Wars, Time Shredders and Dark Earth are registered trademarks of Dark Refuge Games Inc.
All characters, races, pictures and other terms used on this website are property of Dark Refuge Games.