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My rules are in German. I hope I can make myself understood nonetheless.

I haven't played the game for 15 years. I now want to play it again, using a character that is interesting because of his weaknesses, which I want to be backed up by a believable story. I am playing with version 4.1, having downloaded all the latest PDFs from the Ulisses Website.

I want to create a character who was abandoned by his parents, lived a hard childhood and was finally discovered by a magician. As a reason for his parents abandoning him I want a striking disadvantage. I have been thinking of albinism combined with Fear of Light (lichtscheu) for consistency!

The things written in my rules are inconsistent with those on the Internet. Also there are some matters of interpretation. That's where I am hoping for your help.

  • As an albino I take damage in sunlight, 1 damage point/hour. Does sunlight mean strong sunlight or just daylight? Can I shield myself with hats, clothes, etc.? Is there a daily limit to the damage?

  • With Fear of Light, attribute tests in direct sunlight have a penalty of −1, talent and magic tests a penalty of −3. What qualifies as "direct sunlight"? Am I correct to assume I would be fine on a cloudy day?

    • Are attacking and parrying base values also lowered by one?
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that we don't have many Dark-Eye players on this site, so getting an answer is not guaranteed, but good luck. Which edition of the rules are you talking about? 15 years ago was 3rd I believe, but you might have picked up a new book since then, so it's unclear. \$\endgroup\$ – MrLemon Jun 8 '15 at 20:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Hey there! We're working on potentially relabeling some questions related to The Dark Eye. In order to help us out, can you tell us what edition of DSA this question is about? Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jun 29 at 17:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose It has been in the question since the beginning! Version 4.1 (German). Is there anything else I can add? I am at your disposal. \$\endgroup\$ – Ludi Jun 29 at 17:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oops! Sorry to have missed it! You're all set. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Jun 29 at 17:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose no harm done! Have a great day! \$\endgroup\$ – Ludi Jun 29 at 17:53
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Well hello there, and welcome back to the most magnificent of PnPs.

First things first: If you got the PDFs from the website, you should have the most recent version, which is 4.1. Any further changes can be found in the official errata on wiki-aventurica. Anything else you find online is most likely more out of date than your version (Assuming German rules, since, well, German rulebooks :P).

Rules as written

Second and to answer your question: Welcome back to TDE/DSA, where everything has a rule for it except for the stuff you currently want to use. Albinism (Albino) and Fear of Light (Lichtscheu) do not have any rules associated with them apart from the ones in Wege der Helden. You can check for this by going to the wiki-aventurica page of whatever you are curious about (i.e. Albino), they should list all sources on it there. In this case, you can find "Aventurische Helden" which is out of date (4.0), and "Wege der Helden" which you are using, and nothing else.

Thus, how severely you are affected by this is mostly up to your group and your SL. For the players suffering under my iron fist, I would judge based on the amount of GP you gain from it, in this case 7 from Albino and 10 from Lichtscheu. 17 GP is quite a bit. For example, it is more than One-armed (Einarmig) (which completely bars you from certain talents), more than Bloodrage (which makes you useless for all things fighty when it triggers) and more than Wanted (Gesucht) III (which makes you dead). However, calling the cost of disadvantages balanced would be a hilarity, so the only thing we can take away from this is: 17 GP is not just fluff, it should be a noticeable disadvantage in daily life.

Personal Opinion, Interpretation and Rulings

Albinism

Interpretation: Albinism makes you take damage when a relevant part of your skin is subject to sunlight - how strong this light has to be depends on the amount of skin exposed. In direct, strong sunlight, you should not have any skin exposed to it if you want to prevent taking damage - in the most extreme cases (khom desert at midday) I would demand even a veil, usually a wide hat and a good layer of clothes including gloves and possibly a popped collar should be enough. When the sun is covered by clouds, normal clothes and a hat should do enough. Being any more exposed than that would always result in damage unless its a thunderstorm or inside.

Ruling: There is not daily limit in terms of damage as none is mentioned.

Fear of Light

Interpretation: Since Fear of Light brings more GP than albinism, I would interpret it a bit stronger. Since it is a psychological reaction and not a physical one, I would not allow clothes to lessen the effect. The ruletext to "Lichtempfindlich" implies that it is possible to completely block any contact with sunlight - its just really really difficult (and suspicious). However, Lichtempfindlich talks about a physical reaction to sunlight, not a psychological one. I would consider it impossible to block yourself from light so much that you dont even notice it subconciously anymore - and thus, the penalty would be given anytime you are outside when there is no strong rain (or night), with no regard to clothes etc.

Ruling: AT and PA Base values are neither attributes nor talents, and thus should not be affected by the disadvantage.

I hope this helps somewhat. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask! I can also recommend dsaforum.de as an additional resource with an active community.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you. I am happy with this interpretation, making him feel (and express) dislike of sunlight all the time :D I may also add "Wesen der Nacht" to help him cast spells at night. I am relieved I can still shield some damage. I guess the others won't be night dwellers. \$\endgroup\$ – Ludi Jun 9 '15 at 10:50
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In addition to Aeolitus' answer I'd like to add my two cents:

Stacking advantages/disadvantages

DSA has a fairly sophisticated system of advantages and disadvantages to choose from on character creation, and with the GP system in use they can make for some incredibly powerful combinations.

Our group usually tried to keep players from choosing disadvantages which are too similar to each other, thus stacking their GP values. Although the disadvantages would also stack their negative effects, it was our opinion that these stacking negative effects often don't have a bigger impact on good role playing opportunities and interesting character traits than the advantages have if they were chosen separately.

For example:

  • A character could pick an Inability to swim and to have a Fear of Water. Both have very similar effects in terms of role play and story hooks and essentially give your character twice the GP.
  • Albinism and Fear of Light also have quit similar effects: your character will try to avoid all sunlight, will wear protective clothing and possibly try to operate during bad weather/at night.

We never put a hard rule into play for this, so it was essentially to the GM and players discussing what was ok at character creation and what was not.

--> So, it might be worth considering only taking one out of Albinism/Fear of Light. Although I see how the 17GP can be tempting, consider that 17GP should result in a very serious disadvantage which your character will suffer from every waking day of his life.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you! I agree with everything. As a matter of fact I was not tempted by the GP but by the comment under albinism saying he should be at least "lichtsheu", possibly even "lichtempfindlich" :) \$\endgroup\$ – Ludi Jun 9 '15 at 10:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fun fact: I remember once having created a mage that with Albinism and Lichtscheu (which is essentially the light-version of Lichtempfindlich iirc). He was a total badass on level 1. :D \$\endgroup\$ – fgysin reinstate Monica Jun 9 '15 at 10:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would gladly abandon lichtscheu, if I didn't feel the rules wanted it :D. Rulewise it seems they will have distinct effects. Albinism will remove LeP/hour. In our interpretation 'lichtscheu' will make every spell in daylight harder by 3. Considering that my character just has 25LeP and is totally reliant on magic I expect him to be very challenged for his GP :D It won't be cheap stacking. \$\endgroup\$ – Ludi Jun 9 '15 at 10:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually, you dont have to take Lichtscheu - the rules merely say that its quite common for albinos, because it fits very well. Of course you may get scared by sunlight if it actually hurts you :D However, if you feel like the rule aspect of it is too strong, its completely fine with the rules to not take Lichtscheu and just stick with playing the disadvantage - you dont get actual penalties, you dont get GP, but you can still play it to flesh out the character - just possibly not as strong. \$\endgroup\$ – Aeolitus Jun 10 '15 at 7:50

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