Aquelarre, the influential Spanish tabletop RPG available for the last 30 years only in its native language, is finally seeing the wide release of its English translation.
Aquelarre - which translates to ‘Coven’ - was first released in 1990 by designer Ricard Ibáñez and Spanish publisher Joc Internacional.
Drawing from the Basic Roleplaying system used in Greg Stafford’s seminal 1970s RPG RuneQuest, Aquelarre’s gameplay uses percentile dice - also known as d100 - to test skills, combat and other traits. The players must roll under their skill level to succeed at a test.
The game’s world is based on the Iberian Peninsula during the late Middle Ages of the 14th century, with the addition of magic, monsters and the central presence of angels and demons. The land includes five kingdoms in which players’ characters start the game, with a variety of cultures, faiths, social standings and roles within the community. The rulebook includes detail on daily life in the setting alongside its more fantastical elements.
Characters have different levels of connection with the ‘Irrational’ world, allowing them to perform magic, or the opposing ‘Rational’ world, which defines their ability to use faith. Magic is forbidden within the world’s lore, with harsh penalties for those caught using it - including death.
After its initial release in 1990, Aquelarre saw second and third editions in 1999 and 2011 respectively, along with various supplements and sourcebooks that explored additional regions including Catalonia and Madrid, plus later time periods.
In late 2015, a successful Kickstarter campaign was launched by publisher Nocturnal Media for an English-language edition of the RPG - the first time the game would be available in English after 25 years.
Following the Kickstarter, the digital version of Aquelarre’s English translation released earlier this year. The RPG’s English-language physical edition is now seeing a wide release courtesy of RuneQuest and Call of Cthulhu publisher Chaosium.
The game’s $60 (£49) hardcover core rulebook and player’s handbook are out now in the UK and US, joining several adventures and supplements released in digital form.