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Mörk Borg English $19.99
Average Rating:4.8 / 5
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Mörk Borg English
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Edward [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/04/2024 08:13:08

Ring Side Report- RPG review of Mork Borg

Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea every day!

Product- Mork Borg System- Mork Borg Producer- Free League Publishing Price- $19.99 here https://www.drivethrurpg.com/en/product/295910/Mork-Borg-English?affiliate_id=658618 TL; DR- Death Metal DCC RPG mixed with Cypher system set in Dark Souls. 90%

Basics- Hear the call of the double two-headed basilisk! Mork Borg is an old school RPG with themes that feel like you’re playing in an 80s death metal album covers. Let’s break this game down.

Basics- This is a d20 rpg. Your character has four stats and you roll 3d6 for each and use a chart to determine your bonuses for each stat. From then on you will use the bonus for each statistic and roll a d20 with it for any test. The default test success result is a 12.

Combat and Rounds- Each round of combat is about six seconds. This is a VERY old school game as someone rolls a d6. Roll high, the players go first as a group, and low the enemies go first as a group. Each round, each character gets on action and a move. That’s it. What’s interesting is the GM really doesn't roll dice. You attack with a bow? Roll presence+d20 with a DC of 12. You are attacked? Roll agility+d20 DC 12 to not get hit That’s it. It is NOT a deep crunchy system. If you hit or are hit, you roll damage dice and take that much damage.

Classes- There are a few presented classes. These classes give you hit points and different abilities. These are pretty random like most of the system.

Powers- Characters can gain powers. These are either holy or sacred spells. You can use them a number of times per day equal to d4+presence. These allow you to do attacks, talk with animals, or any of a handful of different abilities.

Morale- Monsters run. If they are hurt enough or the leader dies, the may bolt. When they are dealt enough damage or enough of their friends die, someone rolls 2d6. If the result is over their morale, they monsters either run or surrender.

Monsters- Monsters are simple with a number of hit points, a morale score, abilities, and damage for attacks. Each has a beautifully horrible picture.

Alright, thats the basics, let’s dig in.

Mechanics or Crunch- This is a VERY rules-light RPG. You already know almost everything you need to play. It’s not deep, but it works. Some things are not described well though. That’s kind of intentional as this is much more a fun, gritty RPG and not a deep musing on the human condition. It’s much more a SOLID OSR game where you know how to play since you’ve got dice older than some of the kids at the table. But, that rules light approach makes it harder to start playing. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff- If this game goes deep into one thing, it’s the theme. This game feels like what Dark Souls wants to be. It’s gritty, it’s dark, and it has mysteries wrapped in mysteries and isn’t afraid to make it harder to play to make the atmosphere perfect for the game. It really does feel like playing DnD in a death metal cover. 5/5

Execution- I like this game, but the commitment to theme hurts presentation. The book is hyperlinked. So, it’s good. But the commitment to the zine and hard core metal makes it hard to follow everything. Also, the reliance on audience assumption of how games work is maybe a bit too much. I know what I am doing, because I’ve gamed for over 20 years, but newer players will be completely lost. 4/5

Summary- Mork Borg is an artist committing to their vision. The game itself is exactly what these people wanted. It’s light on rules and deadly without being a slog to play. The theme is exactly the dark world they wanted with enough places to play.and explore. That commitment is admirable, but it does take away from the ease of getting into the game if you don't know what OSR is or how to play old school DnD. It’s a bit of an ask for new players, but for the old grognards like me I understand what they are aiming for. I like what’s here but if you’re newer to RPGs, then ask your older Forever DM friend and we’ll blare some Cannibal Corpse and show you a good time! 90%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Alexander P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/26/2023 17:51:20

It the death metal album of roleplaying games. Play it and never go back.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Harper [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/02/2023 10:19:08

At first I thought this would be more RPG-as-art than an actual game. The layouts are... not conventional. Every spread in this book looks like a doom-metal poster. It rocks!

Reading through the book, once I got over how gorgeous the design is, turns out the rules are super coherent, easy to learn, and really drive home the atmosphere the game is trying to evoke.

It takes about 10 minutes to roll up characters and start playing. Prob the fastest getting started in an RPG I've ever seen.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Josh C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 01/01/2023 18:34:19

This is a must own for any TTRPG enthusiast. I would own it for artwork alone. Myself and 4 friends (gm inlculded) started playing Shadowrun. We only had 3 session but we were addicted! The GM had to move due to work but we wanted more TTRPG. those 4 sessions were my first and only experiance, so i stumbled upon Mork Borg, decided i would take the GM helm and keep a game going for my friends. This is such a great design as our sessions are narritive driven stories. We decide what our rules are and if we even want them. This book gives us so much freedom to play how we want with a good backbone to create a depressing, agressive, and hilarious game.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Brandon W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/10/2022 17:06:17

This is the game you have been waiting for, if you have been waiting for a ghastly Swedish doom metal aesthetic sword and socery ttrpg, with delightfully light rules. Who needs some dumb back story? Who needs elves? The Gods are Dead, the World is ending next week and you might like to eat before then. Pick up an axe, try to stop bleeding and go fight those cannibals. This is your 80's Satanic panic that the "hobby" never was. Multi-award winning, Mörk Borg will change your life... so much so, you might buy Cy-Borg and Death In Space too.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Andrea C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/13/2022 09:55:49

An interesting game system overshadowed by its near-illegible typography and layout. It reminds me of H.O.L., another game that just went on a shelf to look pretty and never be played.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Donald H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/04/2022 11:12:48

It is impossible to read. At least for me. The multiple fonts, weird colors and illustrations that an editor apparently considered more important than the actual copy itself made it impossible to understand. I seriously begin to get a migraine just trying to slog through their oh so atmospheric tome.

Yes, I get it, it's supposed to be scandinavian doom metal meets role playing. But you shouldn't take inspiration for your layout from black metal album covers that aren't meant to be read anyway. There's a point where your lovely art, weird layout, and bizarre fonts overpowers the text and it becomes its own enemy.

I'm not the only purchaser to notice this and while some rave about the 'Bestest RPG evar', many have asked simply for a simple ruleset without the layout, color, illustration, and odd fonts that make it a chore to read.



Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Cannibal H. G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/07/2022 12:23:25

"Reading Mörk Borg is an essential part of playing the game, and even if you were to hack a rules element from Mörk Borg into another OSR game, it would not land the same unless your players see the manner in which it was originally presented. Mörk Borg is a game for which “style over substance” is not an insult, and it’s my hope that there are lessons to be learned here about where the experience of reading an RPG manual fits in the broader notion of playing a game." - Aaron Marks

Read the full CHG review here: https://cannibalhalflinggaming.com/2020/04/15/mork-borg-review/



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by eric b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/10/2022 21:21:56

this is wonderful chaos. if you knew how some none OCD and none gramer structure people take notes thi is it. it appears poorly laid out. but it gets rid of all the structure of writing and just gets to yhe poiny. How many trees were killed in almost every RPG book to explain Role playing. I absolutly love the end of days apocolypse setting.counting down to midnight. The lore is unique and does not fit our standersd religions or mythologies. Wonderful chaos.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by John R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/16/2021 11:42:14

This is a game that takes no prisoners, shows absolutely no mercy, and I wouldn't have it any other way. Did Morrow Project feel to nice and coddled for you? Did Warhammer seem to pull punches? Well here's a game that absolutely refuses to back down and will punch your players in the guts until it rips out their spines and waves them around in grizzly triumph. If death metal and OSR games had one wild night together, this game would tear its way out of one or the other a year later (don't ask me why it takes a year to design an RPG, it just definitely takes longer than nine months to craft something so delightfully grim and brutal). This is another game I heard recommended on the Vintage RPG Podcast (I think, anyway), and I'm only annoyed that I waited so long to snap it up.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Danielle G. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/20/2021 16:29:19

An absolute BLAST and I've done this with a beginner group and a veteran group and no one survived but we had a grand old time. The book itself is an absolute work of art and the world is fascinating in it's awfulness in the best kind of way. 100% recommend everyone give this a try.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Damien L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/09/2021 06:47:48

In summary:

  • Simple rules with loads of random fun stuff that lead to loads of unexpected surprises.

I can't recall why I added this to an order (for other books) that I placed directly with Free League Publishing way back when? but I am so glad I did. Admittedly when it arrived I had a quick flip though and my immediate thoughts were "What the?" and alas it went straight to the RPG "bookshelves of holding" mostly unread.

I did try again but like others have mentioned found some of the text is a tad hard to read and make sense of. To be fair, only the font used on the first paragraph of page 3 and the titles of the powers on page 35 I actually found hard to read. The remaining text (fonts) are easy to read, you just have to get used to colour changes and paragraph placement but all in all it's not that bad. The Index on the inside back cover is a godsend and makes finding world details, creatures, and rules so easy to look up. I also admit I found some of the background campaign information hard to make sense of but I think that's the idea - you and your players make whatever sense of it as best fits your table. My final concern was how will I interpret the Miseries as they are rolled I guess the players can help me? Maybe ask each player, “What does that Psalm mean to you?” and then use the best or combo of the best? So again it went back to the shelves unplayed. Our group also prefers to stick with familiar systems so picking up something new, easy as it may be, was not on the table for us.

But reading praise after praise for the game on the internet led me to pick it up a third time and this time gave it a proper chance. So I read it cover to cover and now my thoughts were “Sounds fun” and told our group I have a one-shot to try next time we’re a player short (normally we would cancel). That chance to play came two nights ago when our DM was away.

Here are the highlights from that first session:

  • Read and understood the rules in maybe 10 minutes.
  • Read the adventure and prepared for it in under 30 minutes.
  • I generated 3 characters from each class using the online scvmbirther as the session would only be 3 hours and I was confident both the Gutworm and Fletcher would end in a TPK.
  • Loved that many parts of the adventure are determined at random.
  • Had the PCs start at the top of the stairs of the Accursed Den, recalling the offer of freedom if they found the kings son with 2 random Scrying(s) to “aid” their cause.
  • PCs summoned a “tired crystal demon” causing the herb-master to loose his use of powers for the day.
  • PCs talking their way past the crooked guards rather than starting a fight. I think their low HP made them think more carefully about their actions.
  • The two random encounters (Mongrels and A terrible silence) and discovering how hard it is to roll a 12 to hit when your stats are 0 or less.
  • How often weapons would break, but were saved by an omen when they really needed that weapon not to break.
  • My surprise that no one tried to prize out the gems in the Gem room.
  • Not my surprise that a PC was thrown into the Rotblack Slugde, but my surprise that they alone (everyone else saved and held onto something – another surprise) would swim over to Fletcher in the Slaughterhouse, got bit by the Gutworm along the way but somehow survived, and then started a conversation with Fletcher.
  • My surprise they decided to take down Lesdy in exchange for the kings son. When the world’s about to end but you’re determined to witness that end first hand I guess you’ll do anything if you think it means you’ll live another day.
  • My surprise that only 2 PCs (of 5) died, one at the hands of the hosts (Lesdy’s fanatics) and the second who died two hours after they rescued the son and were heading back for their reward (from internal bleeding).
  • The whole randomness and overall weirdness made this a memorable adventure that concluded within 3 hours, noting none of us had played before (and only two of us had read the rules).

Everyone had a blast and a lot of the fun moments aren't or can't be conveyed in the text above so thanks to Pelle and Johan!

I am uncertain about using this for a campaign. I would like to, but given the high chance of PC death will it start to get stale once newly generated PCs start being repetitive? That said I was brought up playing AD&D where really only spell casters got new powers so not sure if this will matter long term. I also recently stumbled upon Vast Grimm (same rules but in space) and that one I do want to try for a longer term campaign. I have some crazy notion of using the adventures from the Alien RPG – I dunno but that verse sounds crazy fun. Maybe get PCs to roll 4d6 take lowest for stats and give them max HP at the start? They should find hitting things easier and survive a little longer. Not sure …

I should also mention that there is so much more content in the book that we never touched in our one shot: The world, the miseries, many of the random tables such as treasures and corpse plundering, levelling up (getter better/worse), various creatures. For a small book (less than 100 pages) it sure packs a lot of content. I highly recommend giving this a shot, even if like me it takes a few reads, it’s definitely worth it in my opinion.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Federico C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/06/2021 08:21:03

The game has a lot of style and flavour, it's easy to pick-up and great for one-shots and extremely short campaigns. This is also its downside: the game is not geared for character survivability and it's easy to feel overwhelmed by the high stakes of failing rolls that are quite prone to failure due to the flimsiness of the characters themselves. So, if you're in for a quick dip into doom metal gaming where failing a roll could mean bloody death, that's great! If you're looking for more depth and long campaigns with strong character growth I would advise against it: rules are barebone and characters die quite quickly.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Robert P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/13/2021 20:05:13

It's a good wee game while containing a lot of great flavour but there's not a lot of substance to get your teeth into.

However, imo, I don't think it's a good as everone has cracked it up to be. YMMV of course!



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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Mörk Borg English
Publisher: Free League Publishing
by Marco R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/09/2021 19:13:35

This is how to write innovative game with the good ol' school fashion. This is a huge jump forward in philosophy, concept and game design. It's not only about the aesthetics: it's easy, deep, crazy, dark, hackable. Can't wait for more. It's as good as swedish death metal.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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