There are multiple editions of the game "The Dark Eye" - 5 of them, to be exact. According to Wikipedia, 2 of them have (official) English translations, though TDE 4/4.1 had only a very small number of its books ever translated.

The problem: We currently only have the tag , encompassing (theoretically) all the editions. This leads to problems that can, for example, be seen in this answer to the question "How many skill points should I give my players for winning an encounter?". Theoretically, the answer is right - for TDE4/4.1 - but it is wrong for TDE5. And the question itself does not clarify which version the op is playing. (Well, we could guess, and it would probably be accurate, but we can not know for sure - and as per our policy, we should not guess)

There are currently 36 questions with the tag. I would guess that most of them are for TDE5, but that is solely based on the assumptions that most German players of TDE simply use the official (German) game forums for questions and stuff like that. But I don't think we would be able to correctly tag the questions (I could tag my question about TDE, and Trish is also still around, but there are old questions in the tag that are not from me or Trish but from people who do not seem to be around any longer, so....)

What should we do about this situation? I have to admit that I am not that active here any more (I'm more of a silent reader for the last year(s)), so I am not exactly sure what the right way forward would be.


2 Answers 2


This is just the fact-gathering and question sorting, not a statement for or against the question itself. It is for the reference of those that don't know the system.

First of all, a correction: there are technically 10 distinct editions, and I am using the German nomenclature here:

  • DSA 1 - 1984
  • DSA 2 - 1988
  • DSA 3 - 1992
  • Myranor Box (DSA 3.5) - 2000 - somewhat of a proto-DSA-4 in many regards
  • DSA 4 boxes - 2001
  • DSA 4.1 books - 2006 - some dozen, at times large, rule changes. 4 and 4.1 characters and adventures are not slot-in replaceable and need to be re-calculated from the ground up!
  • Myranor Hardcover AKA Myranor HC - 2006 - The whole Myranor series uses at times large variations of the 4.1 rules, especially when it comes to magic.
  • DSA 5 - 2015
  • DSA-LARP - 2018 - Spinoff
  • DSK - 2019 - "Die Schwarze Katze/The Black Cat" - simplified offshoot of DSA 5

Of these, there are English variants of DSA 4, 4.1, Myranor Hardcovers, and DSA 5.

Setting vs. System?

DSA has 3 main settings with multiple publications:

  • Aventuria, the central continent of Dere. It is featured since DSA1 as the mainline place.
  • Tharun, the hollow world inside the of Dere. It was a staple of DSA1 and 2 for high-level play. There was a re-release of the setting in DSA 4/4.1 but also a declaration that there won't be further new adventures in this place.
  • Myranor, the western continent of Dere. Its books are rather distinct from the Aventuria ones and it uses standalone rules.

There had been plans to make content for the eastern continent Riesland and it is not clear if there is or isn't the southern continent Uthuria but so far there is not a lot content on either of these two.

All of the settings are set up in a complex sphere system, where the 1st sphere is creation as it is, 2nd has pure elements, Dere is the 3rd Sphere with Tharun and other alternate worlds being Globules on the same height, 4th being the afterlife, 5th being the realm of gods, 6th the firmament and the 7th sphere the ice-cold demon-lands of Niederhöllen. Between these spheres are inter-sphere realms. A fan-illustration with the German terms can be found here.

Question lineup

There are currently 36 questions about TDE as a whole. And most are distinctively not TDE5: there's 10 TDE5, 11(12) TDE4/4.1. 6 unknown edition, 7 group related ones, 5 setting related ones.


Retagging done!

DSA 3 or 4.1

not retagged

DSA 4 AND 4.1


DSA 4 or 4.1

DSA 4.1


Unknown edition (possibly DSA 4, 4.1 or 5)

Via date this might be 5 as well as 4 or 4.1:

From Date I suspect this is a 4 or 4.1, but dungeon sprawling was mostly a 1 to early 3 thing:

  • https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/34719/recommend-large-complex-logical-dungeons (locked and need not get a new tag)

Edition agnostic

Player Group


Homebrew with unknown edition as base

  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I was thinking about separating 4 and 4.1 already, but decided not too simply because Wikipedia did not do it either (and I honestly don't know if it's worth it to differentiate them via tags...) \$\endgroup\$
    – Patta
    Jun 25, 2020 at 19:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Patta it's virtually impossible to sieve 4 and 4.1 from one another unless mentioned! \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Jun 25, 2020 at 19:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ I hope you don't mind, but I made some edits based on comment responses I got asking people to clarify their system. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2020 at 18:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm unsure exactly how you were counting the "unknown edition" in the section where you enumerate the editions and break down the difference. It's not a huge deal, but those numbers are likely off now from me moving some stuff around. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29, 2020 at 18:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Rubiksmoose unknown edition was the unknown+homebrew: current count: 9(+2) 5e, 9(+3) 4e, 3+3 unknown (+unknown homebrew), 7(-3) group, 5(-2) Setting \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Jun 30, 2020 at 9:20

As I sorted through the questions to the best of my knowledge, I think a distinction is needed:

  • as a joint 4/4.1 it's rather hard to sieve the 4 from the 4.1, plus the unknown recommendation one
  • for the 5
  • for the unsortable and setting questions; possibly separate out the Player group ones where we know.

If the switch goes through, I suggest to close for clarity-needed (edition needed):

  • https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/157945/how-do-i-subtly-convey-that-the-pcs-reality-is-fake 5th
  • https://rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/109099/how-can-i-balance-high-impact-characters-with-simpler-characters 5th
  • Introducing Players to The Dark Eye
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I think it would be better to historical lock those than close them, since they are upvoted and were good at the time and such, and since it's not like we want them edited to include a system tag at this point-- we only let the OPs do that. +1 otherwise, though. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 26, 2020 at 5:21
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @Pleasestopbeingevil Our only option for locking that would be relevant here is a historical lock which tells people the question is also off topic, i.e. things like it should not be asked here. That would send very much the wrong message. On the other hand, closing saying we need more detail implies exactly what it ought to. We can close questions even when they're upvoted or when they didn't have issues identified previously. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 26, 2020 at 9:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ I wonder whether the last tag should be [the-dark-eye-unknown-edition] or something, which might put people off using it without relying on the "DO NOT USE THIS" description that new users might not think to look at (this is assuming that was the intention behind that tag's new role should we split it up). Just calling it [the-dark-eye] might cause the same problems that we sometimes see with D&D where new users may use the [dungeons-and-dragons] tag when they're only asking about the specific edition they're playing because they don't know they should have used the [dnd-5e] tag instead... \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Jun 26, 2020 at 10:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think it's a matter of "can this question be correctly answered without knowing the edition?". If it can, that might be justification for a general "multiple/all editions" tag (or a setting tag or whatever - I'm not familiar with the game and haven't checked which questions are about what). If it's a question that doesn't have a clear answer without knowing the edition (i.e. if determining the correct answer requires knowing the edition), it should be closed if the edition can't be determined. ...Basically, what doppelgreener said :P \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Jun 27, 2020 at 23:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast The standard setting of TDE "Aventuria" is extremely entwined with the basic rules, while the "Myranor" setting has its own rule books that have different magic and priest mechanic. The Tharun setting was exclusive to TDE1&TDE2 and a single modern reprint that used the 4/4.1 rules without alterations. Yep, that's the exhaustive list of settings there are. Myranor, Aventuria, Tharun. Though the Aenturia setting does include various planes and some alternate worlds... \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Jun 27, 2020 at 23:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think [the-dark-eye-4] would be more than sufficient, the natural assumption would be that point release would fold into it. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Jul 9, 2020 at 16:37

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