I kickstarted the Dark Eye in the recent edition and had recently run a game and will be running one again in the future. I enjoyed it, and my players enjoyed it enough to insist on playing it again. My good experience with the game thus may colour my view
The Dark Eye
The Dark Eye, is a classic style fantasy RPG. It is the same genre of RPG as DnD, Palladium, Pathfinder, Rolemaster, Dragon Warriors et al. It is an excellent example of its kind. If that's not kind of RPG you're looking for, this isn't for you. If how ever it is then I heartily recommend it.
It shows the benefits of its 30 years of play and development, both regarding mechanics, presentation and the fact it has a rich and developed setting.
Unlike the trend with Dnd and Pathfinder, there is extensive background information in the book. As I said above, Aventuria is a classic world; the kind fantasy games often define themselves by deviating from, it has its own unique flavour of classic,Classic does not mean bland! you can see how it and DnD sprang from the same cultural root, but produced roses of different colours.
Points are the rule ( adventure points or AP) for both character gen and progression. You get a dauntingly large amount of them at character gen, and there are no classes and no levels. Instead Cultural and profession 'packages' exist to simplify and guide character gen but these are highly modifiable. So you can spend your points in big chunks and generate the character quickly or take your time tinkering and perfecting depending on your needs and whims. You gain more AP to advance the character through play.
I enjoyed the skill mechanic, which worked well and easily in play. You roll against three attributes, spending skill points to ensure all three rolls succeed, left over skill points contribute to the quality of the success. It sounds (and read) a little complex but 'on the table' we found it quickly became intuitive and useful.
The combat system worked smoothly as well. I found its system of conditions and status much easier to use than pathfinders keyword. The accumulation of 'Pain' status added a little life and interest to a HP based damage system.
Throughout the rulebook, there are liberal examples of ways to simplify or complicate the rules to suit your style of play.
Conclusion, a well-written, well-produced game that stays faithful to and delivers on its key premise of classic fantasy RP.