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Symbaroum – dark fantasy in deep woods

Symbaroum – dark fantasy in deep woods

Monday 6 August 2018
In August 2018 we presented the Symbaroum Bundle featuring Symbaroum, the dark fantasy RPG from the Swedish game studio Järnringen (known for the post-apocalyptic Mutant: Heirs of Doom and the arabesque space opera Coriolis), co-published in English by Modiphius. Symbaroum conjures the foreboding primeval forest of Davokar, a rich setting of ancient ruins and barbarian clans, Iron Pact elven wardens and Blight Beasts, princes and rogues, treasure and corruption, all beautifully illustrated in full color — check the spectacular Imgur gallery.

The warrior queen Korinthia, called Nightbane, has led her refugees from the Great War to the shadow of Davokar. The site of the long-lost empire of Symbaroum, Davokar is now an immense and ancient forest inhabited by barbarians, elves, and darker things — a mysterious world of horror, beauty, and marvels. Through military might Korinthia’s newfound kingdom of Ambria has subjugated Davokar’s barbarian clans, and now moves to exploit the forest’s wealth. But the elves of the Iron Pact have sworn not to let humans disturb a slumbering age-old evil. The wardens of the forest have issued a warning: Tread carefully and do not disturb the ruins of old, for the dark deep of Davokar is about to awaken.

Published in Swedish in July 2014, Symbaroum‘s Core Rulebook appeared in English translation in November 2015 to immediate success. The rules use a straightforward roll-under system to resolve both combat and problem solving. Unwise use of magic can corrupt you, temporarily or permanently. The players handle all dice rolls, so the Game Master may focus on interpretation and narration. Symbaroum‘s influences include Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, White Wolf’s Storyteller system, Apocalypse World, and several editions of D&D, as well as the films Princess Mononoke and Pan’s Labyrinth and the Witcher computer games.

The setting is tightly focused and fully realized, an ideal sandbox for years of adventure. Explore the vast forest in search of treasures, lost wisdom, and fame. Visit the 11 barbarian clans to trade, plunder their treasuries, or help them preserve Davokar. Establish a base of power in the capital city of Yndaros among princes, guilds, or rebellious refugees. Or battle against famished Arch Trolls, dark-minded Blight Beasts, and undead warlords. Whatever you do, Symbaroum will treat you to unnerving hikes through ancient ruins, journeys on pitch-black waters under starless skies, and confrontations with barbarian chieftains and raging abominations.

This bargain-priced offer of English-language .PDF ebooks included the complete rules, supplements, adventures, game aids, and artwork — everything you need to explore the depths of Davokar. There were five titles in our Starter Collection (retail value $48), including the full-color 264-page Symbaroum Core Rulebook, the Advanced Player’s Guide, the Map Set, the Abilities & Powers reference cards, and Adventure Pack 1 with two introductory scenarios.

Those who paid more than the threshold (average) price also got our entire Bonus Collection with five more titles worth an additional $51, including The Mark of the Beast and Tomb of Dying Dreams, two “landscapes” (scenarios) that complete the adventure begun in the Core Rulebook; Thistle Hold – Wrath of the Warden, the launch of a new seven-part campaign; the Symbaroum Game Master’s Screen; and the glorious art book The Art of Symbaroum.

Ten percent of each payment (after gateway fees) went to this offer’s designated charity, the Electronic Frontier Foundation.