Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fabled Lands Role-Playing Game (Part 1)

I've been meaning to post about Greywood Publishing's Fabled Lands Role-Playing Game, by Shane Garvey and Jamie Wallis, for some time. Stuart Lloyd has beaten me to it though, and his excellent review can be found here. Instead then, I thought I'd post an example of character creation and a sample combat to give you some flavour as to how the game actually works.

Character Generation

1. Background. There are 7 choices: Academic, Commoner, Criminal, Fey-Blooded, Military, Noble and Primitive. Each has their own special rules.

Rather than choose, I roll a d8 (with an 8 being a re-roll). I rolled a 6. My character is a Noble. This means my character starts with an additional 100 Shards in currency!

2. Description. While you could presumably develop your character's own description, there are also a series of tables helping you decide things such as Height, Build, Age, Personality (both Good and Bad Traits), Eye Colour, Hair Colour, Distinguishing Features, Birthplace, and Name.

I break out more dice and begin rolling:

Height: I roll a 6. My Noble is very tall (6'7" to 7"), and gets a +1 on jumping tests, and a -1 on hiding tests.

Weight: I roll a 5. My Noble has a Large Frame, and gets +1 Stamina and -1 Thievery.

Age: I roll a 4. My Noble is Mature (30-35 years old), and gains 1 level in a Lore skill.

Good Traits (Personality): My Noble is Helpful.

Bad Traits (Personality): My Noble is a Liar!

Eye Colour: Black

Hair Colour: Red

Distinguishing Features: Disfigured by Pox-marks!

Birthplace: Sokara

Name: Shagar

3. Ability Values. You need to roll 8 dice and distribute the results among the following Abilities: Charisma, Combat, Intelligence, Magic, Muscle, Sanctity, Scouting and Thievery. If the total of all the dice rolled is 20 or less, you may roll again.

I roll the following scores: 1, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 4 and 5. Given my character's large size, I figure I'm heading towards a warrior type, so I assign the values as follows:

Charisma: 4
Combat: 5
Intelligence: 3
Magic: 1
Muscle: 4
Sanctity: 2
Scouting: 4
Thievery: 1

(The Large Frame penalty for Thievery cannot reduce it below 1, so I'm okay there as long as I never have to do any thieving!)

4. Stamina Value. Stamina is an indication of how much damage your character can take before dying. To generate it, you roll a d6 and add 6.

I roll 4, and add 6, plus a further 1 for my Noble's Large Frame. My Noble has a Stamina of 11.

5. Profession. There are eight professions in the Fabled Lands RPG: Barbarian, Druid, Mage, Priest, Rogue, Troubadour, Warrior and Wayfarer. To choose one of the professions you need to have a score of 5 or more in the profession's Primary Ability, and 2 or more in their Secondary Abilities. Each profession also has rules on what Weapons, Armour and Skills they can choose as well as a choice of one special Power.

Given their ability scores, my Noble has to be a Warrior. They start with one skill level in Lore (warfare), and for their Power, I choose Blademaster which allows one 'super-strike' per quest.

Here's where it gets tricky. There's no mention of whether my character gets any other starting Skills, or how many Shards they start with, or even what starting equipment they have. Going through the equipment lists, I decide to award my Noble the following:
  • A Sword (Combat +2)
  • Leather armour (Defence +1)
  • A Shield (Defence +1)
  • A Lantern
  • A Rope
  • A Water flask
All this adds up to 735 Shards, which seems a trifle excessive. I decide to reduce my Noble's starting cash to 0.

That was fun! In the next post I'll summarise my character and run them through some combat from the sample quest Lair of the Ratmen and see how they fare!


  1. Hi,

    Characters start with 1000 shards, something that for some reason was cutduring editing.

    Characters start with 0 skills and earn them as they go up in rank.

  2. Thanks for that Shane! I'll post an updated character profile for Shagar, and give some combat examples in the next post.

    BTW does the fact my character is Mature, and have 1 level in a Lore skill supersede the O skills starting rule?



  3. Presumably when you say characters start with 1000 shards, Shane, they have to buy any equipment out of that?

  4. Great - I'll get part 2 of this hopefully up this week, featuring Shagar's revised character details and possibly a companion or two to help him in his adventures...