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I'm looking for the identity of an RPG I remember reading in paperback book form (rather a thick tome), must have been published late 80s–early 90s.

A distinguishing feature was that while many (or in fact nearly all?) character “classes”* had specific magical/psionic abilities, they all depended on a further class of characters whose only role was to “enable” aforementioned “casters”. I think the enablers were called conduits or catalysts.

* Please excuse the heavy use of quote marks. I'm not sure of the exact terminology and I remember that the background actually avoided typical fantasy/sci-fi nomenclature (maybe that's another distinguisher if I remember rightly!)

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    \$\begingroup\$ Was this book written in english? Do you remember any other details about the setting or the book? \$\endgroup\$ – arthexis Dec 29 '15 at 0:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ Definitely English. I don't remember anything else... Maybe more of a long shot than I imagined. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Dec 29 '15 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ This was a standard quality trade paperback from the library. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Dec 29 '15 at 8:35
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I do not remember an RPG built on it, but this definitely sounds like the Darksword saga to me.

After some search, perhaps I found the game you remember: Darksword Adventures.

Unusually, a game in the format of a paperback novel. Darksword Adventures shares a setting with the four Darksword books by the same authors. It is a fantasy setting where magic is Life and those without it are outcasts. Your status in the world is strictly determined by the nature and power of your magic.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Matteo, this sounds like the very thing. I had no idea who Hickman and Weiss were at the time! Now it sorta makes sense they were behind this. \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Dec 29 '15 at 17:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Just to be clear: @Matteo Tassarinari hit the nail on the head. I bought a copy of the book and it's even better than I remember. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – Michael Mar 9 '16 at 17:26

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