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Mörk Borg English €12,45
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Mörk Borg English
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Marco R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2021 19:13:35

This is how to write innovative game with the good ol' school fashion. This is a huge jump forward in philosophy, concept and game design. It's not only about the aesthetics: it's easy, deep, crazy, dark, hackable. Can't wait for more. It's as good as swedish death metal.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/05/2021 04:18:30

Let's see what MÖRK BORG is. First of all, let's say a few things about its creators. The author and game designer of the game is Pelle Nilsson, known for his work in the Swedish horror rpg Bark Witch (Barkhäxan), while the illustrator of the game is Johan Nohr, who contributed to the graphic design of the dark fantasy rpg Symbaroum. It is also noteworthy to mention the fact that MÖRK BORG made a successful kickstarter campaign in 2019, where it was funded in less than an hour. The game was released in 2020 through Free League Publishing (Fria Ligan).

MÖRK BORG, which translates as "Dark Castle" from Swedish, is an OSR (Old School Revival) rpg, that is, it tries to capture the feeling of the rpgs of the 70's and 80's, giving more basis to the imagination and atmosphere than to rules. On the contrary, the most popular rpgs, even in their latest versions, have too many rules to watch out for. So, as the people from Free League rightly put it, MÖRK BORG is "light on rules, heavy on everything else". However, where it differs from other OSR rpgs is that with its visual content and without much written information it manages to create the gloomy and dark atmosphere of a dying world. As we mentioned, Mörk Borg is a game with a few rules, which are based on a simple form of the d20 system. When creating the character, the book provides options for character classes, which are optional. The basic abilities are: Agility, Presence, Strength and Toughness. For each ability we roll three six-sided dice (3d6) and depending on the result, the modifier with the lowest -3 and the highest +3 comes out. This applies in case we decide to play one of the optional classes. In case our character does not belong to one of the classes then we roll four six-sided dice (4d6) for each ability and we remove the lowest die on two of the abilities.

Also during the character creation we roll dice for the starting equipment and the silver that our character has in his possession, as there are tables in the book with more information. All tests are done using the equilateral dice (d20), adding (or removing) the ability modifier that corresponds to what you want to do. The tests face the difficulty ratings (DR) for how difficult or easy what the character is trying to do. DRs start at 6 (something very easy) and the higher is 18 (almost impossible). The basic DR is 12, so if a character attempts, for example, to climb a building then the test will be a d20 + agility / strength modifier against the difficulty rating 12/14, ie the roll of the dice should be higher from the DR to succeed.

It is important to note that the game is player facing, ie GMs roll almost no dice during it, all dice are rolled by the players and so there is transparency. It is almost impossible to cheat either in favor of the players or in favor of GM, all the dice are shown.

In general, the characters are very weak compared to what they face but not completely unbalanced and unplayable. But for this reason character creation is easy and fast ... Players will keep dying. You should prepare for this. In this way it shows you what it is like to live in such a dark and impoverished world waiting for death.

It is also important to talk about the magic system, which is of course minimal, and fits perfectly into this ruthless world. All spells (Powers) are cast via scrolls, except for some special abilities that the classes have. Depending on how much presence the character has, the easier it is to gain power or to blow in his face. Whatever one decides to do in the world of Mörk Borg is a double-edged sword and the magic is no different. Mörk Borg is really different from any other role-playing game I have ever encountered. It overflows with style from every page and is a pleasant book to read, as it is also very small (only 96 pages !!!). The creators have done an excellent job in the visual part and in the quality of the book. Also to help you get in the mood, they have prepared a playlist on Spotify.

It has some minor disadvantages as well, such as being a little harder to read due to the awesome layout or that the information it gives you is extremely limited. Definitely not for everyone, you have to have a specific mindset to play it, because it is unforgiving for players and generally not recommended for large campaigns. However it is a must for one-shots and dungeon crawling.

Those of you who think that the book is small and several things are missing, do not worry I have good news for you! You can go to the Mörk Borg website where you will find free content, as well as a character generator and dungeon generator. They also have great community support, providing direct user-generated content.

If these are not enough for you, I am happy to inform you that a supplement has been released, the MÖRK BORG CULT: FERETORY. This volume consists of community-generated material and contains a monster generator, new classes, new monsters, rules for hunting and food search, new adventures, new objects, new spells and much more. As with the main book, everything is delivered in exactly the same way.

Review by Dimitrios Sotiropoulos for Gamesenpai.gr



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Björn L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/02/2021 13:16:24
Dungeons and Doom Metal? - a Mephisto review

Mörk Borg

A game like a doom metal album, a spiked flail to the face - that's how Mörk Borg describes himself on its bright yellow cover. The game promises to be light on rules and heavy on everything else. Basically, Mörk Borg is an old-school Renaissance-style roleplaying game that uses the rules of an early D&D as a starting point and presents a gritty setting on top of it. There are dice tables for all sorts of things like names, treasures, weather, etc. Characters are rolled out within a short time (which is good because they probably won't survive long). Four game statistics are determined by 3d6 and then converted into bonus values, which are factored into the roll of a d20 against a difficulty. The game master determines when a character improves - there are no formal levels, nor are there experience points. And even then, the dice decide what the improvement is. Magic exists just in the form of scrolls, but a character can use only a certain number of them per day. Besides, characters have bonus points, called omens, which they can use to maximize damage, re-roll dice, etc.

Besides the completely free character creation, there are optional character classes like Fanged Deserter, Gutterborn Scum, Esoteric Hermit, Wretched Royalty, Heretical Priest, or Occult Herbmaster. These classes have modified creation rules and quite unique features. For example, the Occult Herbmaster can create random potions every day, while the Wretched Royalty may have servants that are limited in reliability (or helpfulness).

The world of Mörk Borg is on the brink of the apocalypse prophesied by the two-headed basilisk. It is a world sinking into filth, death, and despair - full of the undead, madness, brutality, and ruin. Depending on how long you want to play, you roll different dice to see which, if any, of the dark prophecies will come true. And as soon as the seventh prophecy is fulfilled, the game ends with the end of the world...

While these are the facts, Mörk Borg's goal seems to be to overwhelm and/or shock the reader with its presentation. Typography, illustrations, and layout can best be described as creative chaos. Various font styles and garish colors clash with gritty illustrations and classic styles, and many of the motifs can only be described as blatant. Weapon statistics, for example, are explained by an illustration in which a character is hit and pierced by a good dozen weapons.

In terms of content, some monster statistics and a dungeon adventure complete the book. Also, in the adventure Rotblack Sludge or the Shadow King's Lost Heir, the characters get into a dungeon that offers enough deadly threats that there is, fortunately, no time to ask why....

Personally, I have a hard time rating the game in the end. Mörk Borg consistently and uncompromisingly goes the old-school route: virtually everything is roll out with dice, and any unnecessary rules ballast is dropped. Even if the bizarre setting is described vaguely, you still get a good impression of the degenerate game world. And the presentation is definitely impressive - though definitely not to everyone's taste. For me, Mörk Borg is more a product for collectors than a game you want to play. The authors and illustrators have taken their vision to the extreme here, which I find impressive, even if the style doesn't appeal to me personally.

If you like the gritty, exaggerated, and crass style, you'll get an impressive product here. Those who get a weird feeling just looking at the cover are probably better off just keeping the book closed.

(Björn Lippold)



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Vincent G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/03/2021 11:33:10

I had to try it, the hype was too much. the layout is something else, for people who say you will love it or hate it, it is dishonest as you know quite well in what you are engaging. If you want to try OSR, in a magnificient format, there it is. I was flabbergasted by the efficiency of the thing, only about 96 pages and nohing is lacking. This is good, very good.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Pablo R. V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/03/2021 03:36:49

> The sun burns in the stranger's eyes > Just one tear before he dies > Black mass can't ease the pain > There's nothing here, there's nothing sane

As much as it is a cliché by now, Mork Borg is the lo-fi extreme underground metal of RPGs and those opening verses to Electric Wizard's eternal Return Trip describe it perfectly. A mysterious dark expanse filled with cults, beasts and wizardry awaits in this beautifully designed OSR. Death is aplenty and characters are as far from heroes in this decadent universe.

The system is simple enough to pick up in a few minutes and character creation is faster than microwaving a goblin's eye. Then why is it so damned good? Well, even in the one liners that fill numerous tables, the writing is extremely fertile for adventure and worldbuilding. You have little exposition here, just the major factions of a diffuse world that's damned to die by a prophecy, but when your party encounters a corpse, rolling for that will spring forth numerous possibilities. In all, the combination makes for very interesting emergent narratives.

And the layout design is just out of this world. Breaks the rules an goes full lysergic zine with the colors and typesetting in a comfortable format full of details. The lo-fi handmade art reminisces of homemade zines, mixed with collage and extreme palettes, making it a punch in your face but one you will gladly take again.

Even if just for the collector value of a such nice book it is worth every single cent. And I am of the opinion this is the way to do OSR, by infusing it with flavor to the brim.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Curse o. S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/06/2021 11:58:47

Mörk Borg (@MorkBorg)

This is my shorter version of the full review I plan to dive into another time, but I wanted to share my excitement in my last review of 2020.

CW: Grimdark, Adult, Violent Themes and images, Ableism , Self Harm

Mörk Borg is a lemon sherbet. Bright yellow, sweet and sour on its hard outside. It’s filled with tart, fizzy death. It’ll rot and break your teeth, but you’ll love every minute of it. Grimdark enough to make the Imperium of Warhammer’s 41st Millennium seem like a wonderful place for Mörk the Borg to sojourn.

Full Review on my ko-fi because of formatting nightmares: https://t.co/WnKS6TPiQr?amp=1

Credits Game Design: Pelle Nilsson Graphic Design and Art: Johan Nohr (@JohanNohr) and dead people Creative Consultation and English Writing: Patrick Stuart Örtmästare Games & Stockholm Kartell PLAYTESTING Adrian Madden, Christian Sahlén, Dan Algstrand, Elin Hedström, Felix Dester Hultgren, Gunnar Landqvist, Karl Stjernberg, Markus Linderum, Nina Åkesson, Simon Perstrand, Stefan Hedström and Tobias Tarnvik-Laesker. PROOFREADING/EDITING Christian Sahlén, Dan Algstrand, Fiona Maeve Geist (MRC), Jarrett Crader (MRC), Johan Eriksson, Levi Huntsman and Skander Fanni. ORIGINAL TRANSLATION Johan Nohr THANKS TO Calle Niblaeus, Christian Plogfors, Christian Sahlén, Dan Algstrand, Domkraft, Fredrik Jarl, Gunnar Landqvist, Heimat der Katastrophe, Helene Rothstein Sylvesten, Jim Magnusson, Joakim Malmquist, Johan Eriksson, Jonas Stattin, Karl Druid, Karl Stjernberg, Niklas Wistedt, Simon Perstrand, Sof i e Nohr, Tiina Pyykkö Nilsson, Tomas Härenstam and all our backers, fans and haters. MUSIC THAT HELPED Ash Borer. Batushka. Bell Witch. Belzebong. Black Tremor. Bongripper. Bongzilla. Cathedral. Conan. Dark Buddha Rising. Darkthrone. Domkraft. Dragged Into Sunlight. Dödsrit. Earth. Electric Wizard. Eyehategod. Gnoll. Godspeed You! Black Emperor. KTL. Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard. Mayhem. Mephorash. Monolord. Morbid. Murg. Phurpa. Primitive Man. Profetus. Shadowmaster. Sleep. Slomatics. Sunn 0))). The Body. This Gift Is A Curse. Thou. Tiamat. Ufomammut. Urfaust. Weedeater. With the Dead.

My affiliate link: https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/295910/Mork-Borg-English?affiliate_id=1507682

If you are interested in more Mörk Borg there is a hell of a lot of awesome stuff on their website: MÖRK BORG (morkborg.com) There’s also so much awesomeness on itch.io, including the monumental Album Crawl: https://tahmasian.itch.io/album-crawl organised by Michael Tahmasian (@ItsNotTasmanian) and Owen McGauley (https://owenmcg.itch.io/), which I will definitely be getting into another time!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Davide C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/08/2020 15:53:28

The book that made me buy a physical copy after years of strictly keeping to digital content. It's not just awesome to behold, though, it's a game that knows how it wants to be played.

Not for everyone, but its coherence and dedication in keeping true to its nature without looking to appeal to everyone make this game a jem worth having.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Niklas W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/21/2020 04:19:32

This is the current queen of grimdark RPGs. Rules are light and elegant, the worldbuilding oozes with character and the graphic design is as good as it gets.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Gus L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/16/2020 14:31:21

It's certianly lovely, a piece of inspiration design, and the world building is very effective for creating a crapsack world riven with black magic suspended above the flames of damnation by a single thread cluthced in a demonic claw. As a system it's a fairly standard ultralight with its roots in early D&D - like Knave, ITO, Black Hack, Maze Rats etc. Mork Borg is even a decent one, and if one is wedded to that playstyle it supplies evocative imagery, tables and detail to fuel improvisational play. It also lacks meaningful spatial exploration and dungeon crawl mechanics - like most of its class of game - which means that Mork Borg may sometimes emulate a classic dungeon crawl game, but will tend towards encounter and scene based play simialr to modern editions of D&D with far less tactical combat. It may not be the right thing for my preferred play style, but its certianly worthwhile and stylish!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Dave S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/05/2020 17:07:22

It looks really cool, but in the end it's basically a zine that doubles as another grimdark OSR. Other than the (admittedly great) graphics, there's not much here that hasn't already been done by WFRP/Zweihander, Shadow of the Demon Lord, Xas Irkalla, etc.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Ryan K. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/03/2020 21:35:12

Ever since Basic Dungeons and Dragons, fresh creators have been improving and changing, the original game into something different but recognizable. With this knowledge it's impossible to say that something is the perfect version of D&D because next year or decade there will most likely be an even cooler improvement to D&D. But for now, Murk Borg is currently the best version of Dungeons and Dragons. This is the most radical change to the classic system and it manages to capture what people expect to play when they hear about D&D.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Ian S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/07/2020 13:24:41

Looks amazing, plays even better. Deserves evert Ennie it can get. The fact the creators keep supporting the game with more extra features is just a dirty cherry on an extremely scuzzy cake. Why don't you own this already?



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Amaël R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/13/2020 17:31:25

The most inspiring and beautifully done rpg i've ever read ! a piece of art litteraly and graphically !



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Duffy M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/26/2020 23:40:36

This is one of my favorite RPG systems. Every page bleeds inspiration, able to convey mechanics and moods and settings effectively, and in so few words. The gameplay is quick, and keeps you immersed instead of dealing with mathematical busywork. Death is quick, but building characters is quick to match. Easy to hack, easy to learn, and a wonderful time all the way.

(btw, this game is absolutely meant to be played with doom metal in the background. Trust me, it's an unforgettable experience)



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Wyatt S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/05/2020 18:34:16

To be blunt, Mork Borg is worth a buy. It's a rules-lite heavy metal rpg that is particularly interesting for the following reasons:

  • Mechanics and setting are effectively synergized, lending to more intuitive GM encounter management and game planning, in addition to more purposeful interactions and decisions made by players.
  • Very appealing aesthetic that is unconventional but consistent throughout. It's very pretty in both physical and PDF format (If you get the physical book from their website, they include a pdf for download on DrivethruRPG.)
  • It's an amazingly designed marvel of a product, and it is apparent that the designers, writers, and editors understand the rules of conventional design well enough to break them with purpose and intention. The design of this book is what initially sold me, and I think it serves as a valuable reference for implementing less conventional, more creative zine design in the perspective of style, layout, art presentation, and conveyed information.
  • Character creation is as easy as pressing a button. While there are intutitive rules for rolling up a new character, the Mork Borg website links to SCVMBIRTHER, a character generator for Mork Borg. In addition, the site offers a generous array of additional content in the form of adventure and setting supplements, additional monsters, and extra character classes.
  • It's player and GM friendly, meant to be accessible enough to pick up and play in a single evening.

It's been included in my essential reading for up and coming creators, designers, and tabletop rpg enthusiasts, and contains a lot of interesting, well-executed ideas.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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