The Fanatasy Role-Playing Game of Medieval Germany



Playing Darklands


Party Information


Party information is available on the "Party" menu of the menu bar (hold down the right mouse button), or by tapping the F6 key. It displays general information about your party.

Party information is not available during battle.

To leave party information, tap any key or left-click the mouse.

FAME: This displays your party's fame in Greater Germany (the Holy Roman Empire). Fame is an open-ended scale starting at 0. Every important success in Darklands increases your fame. Your goal is to achieve the highest possible fame.

TIME AND DATE: This displays the current hour, day and month. The year is sometimes in the 15th Century (1400-1499). See "Medieval Timekeeping" for information about medieval "hours" and calendar.

LOCATION: This indicates the nearest major city to your party, and is a general aid for finding your location on the map.

LOCAL REPUTATION: This indicates your reputation in the nearest city. Local reputation influences the attitude of people in the city, and to a lessor degree those living in the surrounding countryside.

WEALTH: This indicates the amount of cash carried by your party. The amount shown does not include money stored elsewhere in Germany, nor does it include the value of your Letter of Credit. See "Medieval Money" for information about florins, groschen and pfenniges.

NOTES: If you carry a letter of credit (Ltr Credit), a medieval "bank note," this indicates the value of the letter. Money carried as a Letter of Credit is easily concealed, but normally you can't use it until you reach a banker and exchange it for "real" money.

The "PStone" notation indicates the current quality of the philosopher's stone carried by the party. See "Alchemy" {** "pp41,"} for details.

MAP INFORMATION: The small map of Greater Germany highlights your current location with a white circle. With a mouse, you can move the pointer around the map for information. With the keyboard, tap the Tab key to cycle through all the cities.


Party Leadership

One character is always the leader of the party. The leader acts as spokesperson for the group. Charisma and speaking ability are frequently important to the leader. Other skills or attributes may be important in specific situations. For example, alchemical knowledge might be useful when talking to an alchemist, while religious training and knowledge of Latin could be useful when talking to priests, monks or nuns.

The party leader is indicated by different-colored text in his or her character box. In the character information, "Leader" or "Not Leader" is noted after each character's name (see "Character Information, Character Information Boards," {** "pp22,"} for details).

HOW TO CHANGE LEADERS: To change party leadership quickly, simply hold down the Control (ctrl) key and either left-click on the appropriate character box or tap the appropriate function key (ctrl F1 for the first or top-left character box, ctrl F2 for the second, etc., to ctrl F5 for the bottom character box and character). You cannot transfer leadership to a non-existent character.

You can also change leadership in the character information screen by left-clicking on a character box, then left-clicking on "Not Leader." This changes that character to the leader (see "Character Information," the next section).

In battle you can change leadership by holding down Control (ctrl) and clicking on the animating character on the battlefield. Also note that in battle, whenever the party enters "group" mode leadership automatically switches to the first (top left character box) character.


Medieval Timekeeping

HOURS: The standard "clock" used in the Middle Ages was based on the routine of players in monasteries. There were eight of these "hours," or "offices," during the day. In addition, the system of 24 hours was beginning to become common as craftsmen built large mechanical clocks into various public buildings. For simplicity, Darklands assigns three "modern" hours to each monastic "hour," as follows:

Matins: Midnight
Latins: 3 AM
Prime: 6 AM
Terce: 9 AM
Sexts: Noon
Nones: 3 PM
Vespers: 6 PM
Compline: 9PM

CALENDAR: The old Julian calendar was in effect during this era. This used the same days and months as the modern Gregorian calendar, although due to poor leap year accounting, the Julian was slightly inaccurate. For simplicity, all festivals and holidays always fall on the same day every year, and there are no leap years.

The year is always sometime during the 15th Century (which never ends).


Medieval Money

Money is counted in three denominations: gold florins, silver groschen, and silver pfenniges. Because distribution of wealth and wages were so different, comparisons to modern currency are impossible. In general, florins are very valuable, but are used only in large transactions; groschen are fairly valuable and are in daily use; pfenniges are "small change," important only to the very poor.

Conversion between denominations follows the classic medieval pattern of "a dozen and a gross," namely:

12 pfenniges (pf) = 1 groschen (gr)
20 groschen (gr) = 1 florin (fl)
240 pfenniges (pf) = 1 florin (fl)



Character Information


You can view information on any of your characters at any time in the game. The game is automatically paused while you view the information.

To do this, left-click on the appropriate character box on the left side of the screen, or tap F1 through F5 (for the appropriate character).

Once you are viewing character information, you can jump from one character to another with appropriate left-clicks or function keys.

LEAVING CHARACTER INFORMATION: To leave character information, you must left-click on the highlighted character box (on the left side of the screen), or tap the function key that matches the currently highlighted box. Doing this returns you to the game.



Copyright © 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995 by MicroProse Software, Inc. All rights reserved.