All art featured in this article is owned by Nosolorol
After 25 years, one of Spain’s most prestigious and critically acclaimed tabletop RPGs is finally available for English-speaking players.
Aquelarre (“Coven” in Spanish), originally published by Spanish publisher Nosolorol, has been resurrected by Nocturnal Games via a very successful Kickstarter and Chaosium Inc. has acquired the distribution rights.
A game set in medieval era Spain and Portugal, Aquelarre thrusts players into the dark magical world with a real world historical backdrop. Player characters will hail from one of five historical kingdoms that ruled the Iberian Peninsula at the time. Historical cultures such as Arabian, Basque, Castilian, Catalan, Jewish and Muslim are available for player characters to choose from.
“[Your character’s] father’s occupation affect their capabilities, including profession,” said Nocturnal on their official Aquelarre page. “Of course, personal characteristics play their part, too.”
One of the defining characteristics and game mechanics for your character is your Rationality/Irrationality rating. This determines how aware your character is of the Irrational world and how well they can use and defend against magic. The game’s main dice mechanic is based on a percentile roll compared to your character’s skill rating.
When it comes to the tone of the game, Nocturnal warns that this is not a good game for new RPG players or younger players.
“Like making a deal with a devil, Aquelarre is not for the faint of heart,” said Nocturnal. “The realistic historical setting is dark. Some of the artwork is disturbing. Nosolorol describes this new edition of the game as ‘more medieval and more demonic than ever’ and they are correct on both counts. These are not the watered-down demons that caused trouble for D&D in the 1980’s.”
The core rule book is a 500 page hardcover book with a medieval art style and it contains character creation options and a robust magic system. Historical details about the period and locations are also included to immerse the players further. There is also a cosmology about angels and demons and a bestiary.
Chaosium is offering the core rule book, a player’s handbook and a GM’s screen for sale on their site. PDF versions of the books are sold with the physical copies or offered separately. An introduction to the game and the character sheets are available as free PDFs.