MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic, the review

MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic, the review


MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic, published by the Swedish publisher Free League Publishing, just like the previous MÖRK BORG CULT: Feretory is an expansion book for the pen and paper role-playing game MÖRK BORG made in the form of a "zine" sort of amateur magazine written by enthusiasts, as a hobby.

MÖRK BORG was one of the most artistic RPGs ever published, it is no coincidence that it received an avalanche of awards at the ENnie Awards 2020 and in other industry conventions , and it's also one of the most generous licensing games out there. Anyone, in fact, can produce and sell material for this RPG, as long as they do not try to claim to be affiliated with the original authors.

The authors, with whom we had a pleasant interview that we recommend you to read, they also wanted to create the MÖRK BORG CULT project, which allows fans to send their material to Ockult Örtmästare and Stockholm Kartell, the game and art design studios of the game's authors Pelle Nilson and Johan Nohr, who after evaluating it will available for free download on the official website of MÖRK BORG. And it is precisely from this project that MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic was born.

MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic, the magazine

MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic, as it had already happened with the expansion previous, is therefore a collection of material for MÖRK BORG created by fans, which has been edited, corrected and illustrated by the authors of the game. A small part of the material published in this booklet in A5 format can be downloaded for free from the official website of MÖRK BORG, while most of the contents are completely new, some of which created by the authors themselves precisely to embellish this production.| ); }
Thanks to the editing work carried out by the original authors of MÖRK BORG, all the material present in MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic is perfectly suited to the game world, as presented in the main manual, and to its setting dark and oppressive. Furthermore, all this material is perfectly and easily adaptable to any other fantasy role-playing game, which is characterized by a particularly lean and simple regulation.

MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic, generators and tables

MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic shows its full potential from the very first pages, offering players a cults and cult generator, made by Pelle Nilsson, one of the original authors of the game. The six tables that make up this generator of sects provide the Game Master with the means to determine a sect's forbidden name, its status, its leader, its headquarters, the actions that sect members take to achieve their own. heaven and what members hate.

The manual continues with another interesting addition to the rules, introducing a whole series of non-heroic Talents, from which players can choose when their characters increase their skills through experience. These talents can be randomly pulled or chosen in a more narrative way and give a good dose of extra characterization to the basic characters of the game.

Finally, the other co-creator of MÖRK BORG, Johan Nohr, provides a whole series of tables to create and inflict curses on player characters. In addition to the twenty curses, it will be possible to establish who might be able to help the victim, the cost of that help and what the removal of the curse consists of.

MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic, new character classes

The Sacrilegious Songbird, a kind of bard whose voice was terrible and cacophonous until he made a pact with a devil and now sports immense charm, as well as being provided with an instrument damn musical to use to your advantage. The Shedding Vicar, a character who believes that armor is for the weak, that clothes are a sin and that even his own skin is a hideous vanity. As a result, he fades, so that he appears pure in his own eyes. The skin that he gets rid of can then be used in many ways. All of these new classes are suitably creepy and definitely in theme with MÖRK BORG's insane apocalyptic and doom metal setting.

New items and a creepy merchant

Whatever Mikhael the Merchant has for sale , the price is always literally very personal for the players' characters, so much so that it costs in terms of loss of points in the statistics. His goods vary according to the region in which he is encountered and are always objects, all well characterized, which can only become a real temptation for the characters.

MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic also introduces firearms to the setting of MÖRK BORG. These, while deadly, will be very expensive and slow to use, not to mention the noise they generate.

A handful of monsters

MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic also introduces three new monsters, obviously terrifying as only the corrupt world of MÖRK BORG can generate them. The first is The Bone Bowyer, a vile goblin who sneaks out of the intricate depths of Sarkash and kidnaps children to mold their bones into bows and arrows and their flesh into blood-dyed cloaks

The second is Borg Bitor, a millipede larva that feeds on stone, mortar and wood, with jaws dripping with acid poison and the ability to expel "devil's glue", with which to capture its prey. Worst of all, however, is the fact that females find surrogates for their eggs in human babies who will sooner or later be mutated into one of these creatures.

Finally, we find the very disturbing Rotten Nurse, the infamous nurses who helped carry out terrible experiments in Mikol's infirmary and who were severely punished with burial while alive, after being soaked in acid. When their graves were opened, their coffins were found empty. These creatures will be the protagonists of one of the adventures contained in the volume.

MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic, the adventures

MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic also offers four terrifying adventures. The first is Graves Left Wanting, in which the characters will have to contend with a long-abandoned ancient cemetery, after having awakened in some coffins. Once free, they will have to explore the boundaries of the cemetery and finally escape. Obviously this will be a hideous, fetid, miserable, mist-shrouded place filled with dead, undead and something else that lurks in the darkness.

Bloat, on the other hand, is a short two-page mini-dungeon , home to a bacchanal cult of excess. Sepulcher of the Swamp Witch is a longer scenario and also describes a cave complex that is home to a strange cult. It is said that if some words are sung in front of the witch's altar, made up of roots covered with glyphs, any wish will be granted, even powerful enough to stop the impending apocalypse.

Finally, in Nurse the Rot, the Player Characters will have to fulfill the dying wish of their aunt and enter an ancient chapel to retrieve the Terrifying Staff of Light to prevent the village from sinking into darkness.

In addition, together with the MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic handbook, players will also find a kind of mini-adventure in a minimalist dungeon created on a poster that doubles as a quirky comic story. The Hero Gauntlet of Hagelsecht, this is the title of the work, shows how three brave and foolish adventurers have ventured into the depths of the dungeon and never managed to get out.

From an editorial point of view

Editorially speaking, we are faced with another artistic gem, perfectly in line with what we saw in the previous "zine", although once again slightly subdued compared to to the original MÖRK BORG. However, it is clear that this is an obligatory choice due to the idea of ​​keeping its costs low. The volume, in fact, is printed on recycled rough paper, also used for the cover, and is stapled bound.

Despite the different quality of the material used, which is still good in its category, the artistic contents are once again excellent, with fine illustrations and a particularly inspired layout. The latter, in fact, while not keeping pace with the peaks reached by MÖRK BORG and the pindaric flights that the latter aroused in the reader, is only slightly less "crazy" and gains in readability and use of the contents. On everything, however, the chromatic choices predominate, which as usual are based on a riot of yellow, black and fuchsia, colors that are now symbols of this editorial line. We particularly appreciated the use of a rotten green color for the descriptions of the various monsters. Worthy of note is the use, even on a "zine" style product, of metal foils to embellish some pages.


In the light of what emerged from this examination, it clearly emerges that MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic is a product of absolute quality, which confirms what was seen in the previous expansion. The contents present in the pages of this booklet are all excellent additions to the base game and brilliantly succeed in the task of increasing its depth and playability. From the artistic point of view, the level of this production is equally high, and gives the whole an important added value.

A game aimed at…

MÖRK BORG CULT: Heretic is a product which is aimed at all fans of MÖRK BORG, of which it explores many aspects. Due to the images and themes covered, this expansion, as well as the basic manual and the previous expansion, is also recommended for a mature audience.

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