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Nick: 
Paperback
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Year: 2001
Soft Cover
130 pages
Size: Letter
English
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Holy Lands - The Dark Ages, subtitled the Christian Role-Playing Game, is a game that somewhat mimics the game mechanic of popular fantasy RPGs (like Dungeons & Dragons), but towards specifically Christian ends. As the introduction states, "You (as a player) create a character of Christian faith and become that character in your imagination ... You (as your character) must take up your staff or your sword and fight (using dice) to destroy all the magic and demons that are trying to obliterate the Christian church."

The rules implicitly state that there is no intention to re-enact some of the mistakes of the medieval church (such as the Inquisition)... on the contrary, everyone involved is intended to "Play Honorably." In fact, the character advancement structure is meant to reward this sort of behavior.

There are many game mechanics and conceits that experienced role-players will recognize: a class-based character structure, leveling, etc., some with their own unique twists. For example, the GM is referred to as the Raconteur (or Rac for short).

The rulebook is thoughtfully laid out and covers character building, skills, combat, magic, and other concepts shared by many RPGs, and some concepts not so familiar in a gaming context, like in game Sinning and Atonement. Holy Items & Relics take the place that Magic Items fill in many FRPGs. Magic, in this setting, always comes from the Devil, and therefore must be cleansed from the earth. Rune Magic rules exist, but only as a means for the GM to challenge the PCs.

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