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Pen & Paper Roleplaying Central => Reviews => Topic started by: silencio789 on October 30, 2020, 08:29:49 am

Title: Mörk Borg
Post by: silencio789 on October 30, 2020, 08:29:49 am
Mörk Borg
https://morkborg.com/
Fria Ligan

"When the world was but water, dust and clouds thick with plague-fat flies came S H E , first of the basilisks. From the cracks of Bergen Chrypt S H E crawled. S H E bears the head of Denial, Lusi, who looks up and down. Yet all shall be well. Her twin Arkh, Head of Deception, claims to be the first prophet of truths now prostituted by Verhu. Few have ever seen her, the oldest, but many walk her twin paths. THE WORLD DIES EVEN NOW. Reality decays, truth becomes dream and dream, truth. Cracks grow in the once-stable structures of the past, allowing things misshapen and vile to worm through, emerging into day’s wan light. The world closes in, bounded to the west by the massive Bergen Chrypt with its catacombs and ice-caked peaks and surrounded by the Endless Sea to the north, south and east. Many have ploughed the wave’s furrow in search of new lands. They all return, against their will. Alive or dead." Mörk RPG, pages 6-7

Punched out by fingers not quite human in Typewriter fonts and Gothic, Mörk is death metal in mock shock format, all yellow and black, so black, with a sellotape and glue aesthetic reminiscent of the zines of the 80s. It's a;; sham of course, these kids didn't walk Hammersmith in ripped jeans and safety pins, but hey.. this is role-playing and we are all about genre simulation, hej? What are we emulating here?

We have SHE, we an inquisition, we have an island with Teutonic places pasted on as strips of paper.. Bergen, Schleswig, Galgenbeck, this is Germanic dark, parlayed by the gnomic English of Patrick Stuart.

We have an Inquisition, salvation only lies "mortification of the flesh; the apocalypse is to be met with eyes wide open", this is pure GW spiky death gaming, 90s style.. it is Lordi at Eurovision, it is the massacares and ethnic conflicts of the Religious Wars of 17th century Europe, it is OSR's "blackened inbred heir, perched on a gnarled goat throne" as Andi Lennon has said [https://therewillbe.games/by-author/associates/articles-by-andi-lennon], I just kept singing "Blood and Souls for my Lord Arioch".

Atmosphere and imagination come out ahead of rules, mathematics and structure: the classes are subverted as Fanged Deserter, Gutter-Born Scum, Wretched Royalty and Heretical Priest. Combat and skill checks are borrowed from the common ancestry of the d20 system. Magick is more reminiscent of Dungeon Crawl Classics in it's inevitable spiral to catastrophe and abomination, you roll presence for how many spells you can use per day. The game has whittled attributes down to Agility, Presence, Strength, and Toughness, but then either flunks it by rolling 3d6 to generate -3 to +3 modifiers.. really? Either embrace the occult of the pointless attribute or just jump to the modifier, clearlt rollable on a single d6. Only players roll dice.. good.. three tests for melee, one for melee, one for ranged, and one for defence. Like many game this cannot be your first RPG GM experience.. to be this light and throwaway requires a really wise GM on top of their game.. bit like Alice Cooper on a good night.. note also that there is really nothing here but big words and the inference of something darker, and that's why it's so good. If you need taxonomies of carefully balanced 'stuff', drink a can of something strong before you sit down to read this.

The tome is slim, and yet it's acerbic conciseness could yield enormous riches with the drop of GM imagination.. or blood? A few words typewritten or scrawled on a page of the game could yield an entire campaign or a chilling night's adventure, or both.. Corruption, Deformity, Debilitating injury and Shrieking Madness are the rewards the players can expect, and like any millenial cult, Mörk encourages either grim acceptance or hedonistic antinomianism as the inventiable journet to Megiddo commences. The style is gothic death metal bombast, this will either offend you or delight you.. visually it may deafen you.. I had a complimentary PDF review copy, and frankly I feel I missed a lot by not having a print version..

If you like rules lite and open, and you appreciate sheer bravado this is the game they play in Urth when they are not appearing in the Shadow of the Demon Lord.. and I grok it, either to run as is or to further corrupt a more trad RPG campaign.