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Realms of Arkania / Das Schwarze Auge series

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Realms of Arkania (German: Das Schwarze Auge) is a trilogy of role-playing games by the German developer Attic. The games are set in the pen & paper RPG universe The Dark Eye and implement its rules. A fourth game, Armalion, was in development but not completed when publisher Ikarion Software GmbH ran into financial trouble.

The three games share the same setting, basic gameplay and role-playing system. They are set in the Northern regions of the medieval fantasy world of Arkania, populated by humans and fantasy races, some common (dwarves, elves, etc.), other exclusive to this universe (such as the half-elf, half-orc Holberkians). The overarching story of the series focuses on a party of adventurers protecting the people of the land from orcs.

First-person perspective is used for navigating the environments; initially done in pseudo-3D, they became fully three-dimensional over the course of the series. Combat takes place on separate isometric screens and is turn-based; the player can navigate the characters over the battle field and take into account weapon and spell range.

Realms of Arkania games are known for their complex character creation and micro-management. The player is encouraged to create his or her own party of six adventurers. Instead of the usual division into classes and races, the characters are categorized into "archetypes", which include occupations such as Jester, Hunter, or Warlock along with racial traits, e.g. various types of elves. Characters have seven "positive" (Courage, Wisdom, Charisma, Intuition, Strength, Agility, and Dexterity) as well as seven "negative" (Acrophobia, Claustrophobia, Necrophobia, Superstition, Avarice, Curiosity, and Violent Temper) attributes. In addition, there is a large selection of skills, which include weapon proficiencies and varied abilities such as swimming, dancing, seducing, lying, training animals, knowledge of geography and foreign languages, etc. Characters must eat, drink and sleep regularly during the course of the game, and may also get sick.

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