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Symbaroum ???

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 2:05 am
by Lurker
Ok the evil people at bundle of holding put together another bundle to tempt me


Has anyone here ever seen it ? What are your thoughts ?

I tend to not like 'dark' fantasy - to me they tend to try and take it to far, going TOO dark trying to make Lovecraft seem tame - however, this one peeked my interest. It looks like a good balance of fantasy with enough darkness to let my inner 'anti-hero' out to play (besides in the Victorious game Roger is in) . Corrupting magic, heavy influence of Norse/Slavic myth, but no so bad that makes Poe seem like my Sunday school lesson.

What I read about the rules seemed interesting too. 3 basic classes (fighter, Rogue, or magic user) with multiple variations to get more diverse characters. Plus the 'roll below the target number' seems simple enough. Then the fact that the DM rolls NO dice - putting the character's fate in their own hands in all things (added bonus that if I ever played it, it would be on roll 20 or maptools & they both are horrid at giving me multiple very low rolls so I have a better chance at succeeding than the standard d20, higher the better games). Armor soaks damage instead of making it harder to hit, etc

Re: Symbaroum ???

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:43 pm
by Lurker
So I ended up buying it the other night and did a quick glance through the core rule book.

In a word, interesting.

The setting has a good darker flavor, without being nightmareish gritty without being brutal . You can see the Norse /Slavic influence in it.

The premise is a divine angelic plague destroyed civilization in the area hundreds of years ago. Since then, barbarians (with their witches) have dominated the area (plains & rolling hills) beside the elves (picture more Norse ‘dark elves’ than the standard fantasy elf races) who dominate the dark woods and focus on keeping humanity away for the ruins of civilization.

Magic is dangerous and corrupting, even ‘nature magic’ but there is dark arts that some jump whole hog into it.

A generation or so ago, civilization crossed over the mountains from the wider world back into the game area, defeated the barbarians (in a smaller area) and has a foot hold. Now from the foot hold people fight the barbarians, fight the elves (to get access to the ruins and powerful magic/knowledge in them) and everyone fights the corrupted monsters (I think the elves fight them …. Like I said I just did a quick glance through)

To me I got the feel of a good mix of ‘Wheel of time’ with the tainted magic, late dark ages to mid –medieval (not full up high medieval with La Mort de Art knights etc), and like I said Norse/Slavic myth.

The rules seem simple enough.

80 points for 8 attributes .

3 class ‘families’ – fighter mystic rogue – and from the class family you can have various arch types – berserker, duelist, sell sword, knight etc for fighter; 5 types of mystic; charlatan, thug, ranger, witch hunter, etc for rogue.

From that, you select 3 to 5 abilities that go with the class

Oh yeah, race – there are 4 races (human – subset of civilized or barbarian – changeling ogre or goblin) that also have abilities tied to the race

Or you can build the character from scratch and not be a class/arch type (very flexible all in all)

There is an ‘advanced player book’ with more arch types and races, but I haven’t opened that up yet.

Everything is handled by the character’s roll , the DM doesn’t do any dice rolling in the game (unique, may take a bit to get used to) & it is all “get below the target number” or the opposing NPC/Monster’s opposing ability: player rolls his attack adjusted by attribute and ability and has to get below the opponents defense ability. Rogue rolls his sneak adjusted by attribute & ability vs the guard’s vigilance. Some abilities change the attribute the skill is tied to - precision changes weapon attack from strength to accuracy.

HP are the same as your strength rating. I haven't seen a way to increase HP as you gain experience

For combat … it does look deadly (not the most deadly game I’ve seen, but no 200 HP fighter swinging away at a dragon round after round here) but as I haven’t even done a mock fight I’m just assuming. Oh yeah, armor soaks damage so that helps. I think it may be a bit more gritty than the standard RPG, but I’m not sure just how gritty.

Corruption is a key element of the game / setting. However, I don't have a great grasp of the shadow taint and mechanics of it in the game.

As I read it, the setting and rules did interest me and think it would be a fun game (at least as a change of flavor from C&C). However, at the same time, I could see a little tinkering here and there to make it fit other lower magic settings (lots of the write ups and critiques that I read seems to go out of its way to say it isn’t Tolkienesk, but I could easily see it making a great Tolkien game. Similarly it would make a good ‘Wheel of Time’ game). Or, tinkering to expand it from the small setting it is made for into a larger world wide setting.

I can’t picture it replacing C&C as my preferred fantasy rules, but it is interesting & as Tree said about the Rifts bundle ... it is well worth the price of admission