It was in November 2008 when I first wrote a short post about a German RPG I stumbled upon. This game was Dungeonslayers and I guess Stargazer’s World may actually have been the first English-language RPG blog that noticed the game at the time. The fact that I am German myself may of course have played a role in this. 😉
Alas there was no English version at the time, so I offered the author Christian Kennig to start the translation myself. Quickly a few other community members jumped onto the bandwagon and in March 2009 we were able to release the English version of Dungeonslayers 3.5.
Over the next months DS had been translated into several other languages and finally in 2010 Christian Kennig and the German Uhrwerk Verlag released a 160-paged print version of DS 4th edition. The softcover books were quickly sold out, and a few months later a second printing was released – this time as a boxed set that contained the rule book, a tutorial for new players, and a huge map of the setting.
The 4th edition was a huge improvement on the 21-paged 3.5 edition. Even though the page count increased by almost 8 times the core rules aren’t much longer than in earlier editions and the game is still 99% compatible to its predecessor. But aside from that a lot of improvements have been made: the 4th edition includes three introductory adventures, new hero classes, new mechanics, more detailed spells and monsters, awesome artwork and even a complete setting to play in.
Alas it too almost two more years until the game was finally translated into English. And the new publishing studio Chronicle City which is lead by Angus Abranson will release a print version later this year (you can preorder the book here). The PDF version is of course free and licensed under a Creative Commons license.
The translation team did a great job with the translation. From my experience with the translation of DS 3.5 I know how hard such a job can be. Alas there are a few things that can cause issues when you switch from DS 3.5 to DS 4. The new translation team decided to change a few attribute and abilities. What was Toughness in DS 3.5 is now Constitution. Agility is now Mobility and Reflexes is now Agility. I am sure they had their reasons for these changes, but I fear it may lead to some confusion at the game table. From what I’ve seen these are the only major changes from the old translation. But this is just a minor quibble.
If you enjoy modern games with an old-school flair you definitely should check out Dungeonslayers 4th Edition!