Games on the Table – Part 6: Forbidden Lands

I really like this game. In part because I like the engine, Year 0 Engine, as I also mentioned in my post on the ALIEN RPG, as it is easy and flexible to play with, and it gives the players some interesting control with the outcome of skill tests. I also like that this version of the rules includes rules for overland trekking (which is often sorely missing from games, however do see The One Ring) as well as building a fortress – and with these two elements Forbidden Lands adds elements to the fantasy RPG, that D&D haven’t had since AD&D 2nd edition – and then there is a simple way of tracking resources, that makes resources meaningful in the game without being cumbersome or tedious to track.

Furthermore the setting is a wonderful twist on classic fantasy-tropes (see the relation between halflings and goblins), so on the surface it seems like your regular elves, dwarves and orcs, but a closer look reveals, that there is more to it. I like that the adventures are structured around a single map, and that many adventures and encounters contain a social dimension. Few if any begins with ‘The monster attacks, roll initiative’. Finally, it is a setting, where the distance from legendary events in the past to adventuring in the present is very short – meaning that the adventures relates to and are shaped by past events, a bit like the original DragonLance modules. You are not exploring a random dungeon, but the dungeon where important events took place, and the outcome of the adventure will shape future events.

I will be playing more of Forbidden Lands, and with the second campaign, Bitter Reach, coming out about now, there will be more to explore.

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