Rogue Legends: Dark Realms is a game I have been able to spend a little time with by Michael Hamm. I played it on stream for the first time for a few hours a while ago, and have been able to see some of the inner lore through sessions of Silent Legions, more on that later.
Rogue Legends is a roguelike that follows in the vein of many, using turn-based mechanics and classic ascii style. It does have mechanics that I haven’t seen in other roguelikes, such as Misery. Misery is a stat that determines if you go down into a spiraling fit of, well, misery. As you come upon various creatures and items, your misery may increase and after you fill that misery bar, it’s game over.
Classic Mechanics and New
Rogue Legends: Dark Realms is a classic-style roguelike with some differences from the typical. RLDR is about beating a demon that has corrupted the world, during which you have a year, not a single life. For those of you that don’t know, you are expected to die, multiple times, in roguelikes. This game takes advantage of that mechanic and gives you a year in-game in the generated world to learn the lore and other mechanics on how to beat the demon. This includes the interesting “bones” mechanics, as well as the standard hunger and thirst mechanics like in many other roguelikes. Also, minion in-fighting is a thing that happens, too, as I’ve gone down corridors to find blood spatters. Also, be sure to check the bookshelves.
Something you will quickly notice as you play, if you check the text output in the bottom, every check rolls against a d100. Not only does it make things interesting to have such high rolls and difficulty checks, but I have yet to find a real d100. Checks happen for everything from drinking out of fountains to pushing bookshelves (which can also crush minions). Be aware that, depending on the action, you can damage yourself from things like trying to kick over the empty fountain.
I have yet to explore everything in the game. Roguelikes are in a genre where even some of the most veteran players still don’t know everything. There are hints in various scrolls and in various bodies as to the lore of the world, but you are expected to learn that over time. I’ll save any surprises for you… and myself.
As I mentioned, I have had the opportunity to play some tabletop sessions based on the lore of RLDR. Running across horrors and consciously averting the intended quest route were part of the game. The world may or may not be the world that is presented to you in RLDR, especially since the world is generated upon first play and then explored through consecutive lives. I don’t have the heart to “spoil” some of the experience for you, so go and pick it up here. If you are feeling kind and enjoy the game be sure to drop some support for this and other projects at Michael’s patreon.