Current Project: Engel

Many years ago, I stumbled across a game called Engel. I took a chance on it. What I discovered between its covers blew me away, and still leaves me in awe. I don’t want to say much about the setting, because there are plenty of secrets and such that I don’t want to spoil. The long and short of it is that in the late 21st century, God got mad at humanity. Plagues and floods and all kinds of badness resulted. A new church was born out of this chaos, and by the middle of the 27th century (when the game takes place), the church largely dominates Europe. Part of what has made the church successful is that angels have been sent to aid the church in its struggles. The PCs are all angels… or Engel. There’s a lot more to it than that, but it’s a start.

Turns out, Engel was originally published by German publishing house, Feder & Schwert (Feather & Sword). In fact, Engel is the German word for angel, or angels… I think the plural is the same as the singular. Sword & Sorcery Studios, an arm of White Wolf, got the English publishing rights. They published the corebook, Creatures of the Dreamseed (basically a Monster Manual type book, though with a much cooler design and concept), and the first of five splatbooks. Oh, and there’s a short graphic novel called Pandoramicum. Then they decided that sales didn’t warrant continued support, and dropped the line.

Therefore, I am not a fan of Sword & Sorcery Studios. It’s like Fox dropping Firefly. Well, for me it is, anyway.

I own all of the books mentioned above. I was ready to start my campaign many years ago, but then I picked up the splatbook I mentioned. There were ideas in there that were so much cooler than anything I could come up with, plus there was advancement of the metaplot. I’m normally not a big fan of games with metaplot, but this one is something different. I put my campaign on hold until I could get all the splatbooks. Then, as I said, they stopped printing new books.

Recently, I’ve finally decided to start something that I’ve been thinking about off and on for many years. I have picked up PDFs of (almost) all of the books available in German. Because, while the English translations have dried up, the line has continued strongly in Germany. Between what little German I remember from high school, plus my German-English dictionary, plus all the online translation tools available now, I should be able to get at least a rough translation of this material.

Engel used the d20 system under some version of the OGL. I was never impressed with d20 or the OGL much, and think that it made a poor match for this game in particular. Some of the ideas I’ve been kicking around for my own game design seem like they’d fit much more snugly. So, as I translate the fluff, I’ll also be toying with new mechanics for the game.

I’ve started the translations with the first splatbook, because I have the German PDF and the English printed copy. This is allowing me to check my translations, which in turn is building my confidence. It’s very slow going, however, and will take me months to do. Maybe longer. Alright, probably longer. I’ll try to post updates here as warranted.

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