G@mebox author Marco Klasmeyer writes about the game:
The former characters of Ohne Furcht und Adel get some company since a few more sinister figures join the game. Most characters can meet their counterpart and the order of the eight known characters can be mixed with some darker elements. Furthermore, this expansion set contains 15 new magical buildings which are also settled in the twilight zone of the kingdom.
The most interesting part which will add the most changes and will also bring the most fun to the basic game is the new character set. They can be summarized as follows:
- The Witch (substitutes the Murderer): The Witch chooses to take gold or cards and decides to curse a character when her move ends. The Witch picks up the move instead of the bewitched character with all consequences. If the character is not present this turn, the witch misses rest of her turn.
- The Tax Collector (substitutes the Thief): The Tax Collector collects one gold piece from each player who builds at least one building. The tax is raised after the affected player actions. This applies also for the Witch or the Murderer! If the player does not have any gold, no tax has to be paid.
- The Seer (substitutes the Magician): The Seer can observe the hand cards of one player and choose one card to keep for his own. He is also allowed to pay and lay out this card immediately besides his normal actions, by doing so the Seer can build two buildings in the same turn.
- The Intriguer (substitutes the King): For each yellow building the Intriguer gets one gold piece. When he is called he must pass the King's Crown to another player. He cannot take the Crown himself nor let it stay with the current player.
- Indulgence Priest (substitutes the Priest): For each blue building he gets one gold piece. The player with the most gold has to pay one gold piece to the Indulgence Priest, when the Priest is called. If several players have the most gold or if the Indulgence Priest is the richest, no indulgence gold has to be paid.
- The Alchemist (substitutes the Merchant): The Alchemist obtains all gold back, which he has spent for placing building cards, at the very end of his turn. All gold lost by the Thief or the Tax Collector is not returned.
- The Conqueror (substitutes the Building Master): Besides his normal income the Conqueror can choose to take either four additional gold or four additional cards. The Conqueror is not allowed to place building cards in his city.
- The Diplomat (substitutes the Soldier): The Diplomat gets one gold piece for each red building card in his city. He can exchange one building in his own city with one building in an opponent's city. If the acquired building is more expensive then the own exchanged building, the Diplomat has to pay the difference to the opponent. Similar to the Soldier the Priest's building are safe.
The Dark Lands extension provides two new characters for the eight player game:
- The Artist: He can improve or brighten up one or two of his own buildings per turn. He places one gold piece on the building card in his city to increase its value. A building can only be upgraded once; OR
- The Queen: The Queen gets three gold pieces when her player sits next to the King character at the beginning of her turn even if the King has been murdered. The Queen can only be used with five or more players.
The Dark Lands extension also contains 15 new building cards. These are powerful magical and/or special buildings, hence they are expensive (six gold pieces). It is recommended to mix them carefully with the normal card deck, for instance only use two or three of them or remove the amount of equally valued buildings from the normal card deck.
The most exciting thing about this Dark Lands extension is the new character set. The new characters add completely new features to the former characters. These are even more powerful features like the Witch (in fact she is a joker character: you can act as whatever character you want to!) or the Alchemist who can build cards without any costs. There is no recommendation about the usage or mixture of new and old characters. The game is always balanced. When you have grown used to the old characters these new set brings fresh air to the game. New considerations have to be made while carefully selecting your characters for each turn. Ohne Furcht und Adel gets more fascinating then ever with this exciting expansion set. And I don't need to tell you about the beautiful card design, of course.