Forbidden Lands is Fantasy Dungeon Crawler built on the Mutant Year Zero engine, similar to Tales From the Loop so I’m expecting this to be pretty much the same as that one. I’m not exactly sure where I picked this one up, but I’ve got the PDF) in my DTRPG library, so it was most likely from a Bundle of Holding. I find a lot of new RPGs that way.
It’s got a 12 step process:
- Choose Your Kin. Kin is what would be called Race in D&D. Published after 2018, they decided to eschew the “race” term. Good for them. The choices are the bog-standard D&D ones (Human, Elf, Half-Elf, Dwarf, Halfling), plus a few stretch races (Orc, Goblin, Wolfkin). I’m tempted to do a Wolfkin, but i’m not feeling the “bloodthirsty warrior race” thing today, so maybe I’ll just go with an Elf. Elf gives a Key Attribute of Agility, a Kin Talent of “Inner Peace”, Favors the Druid, Minstrel, and Hunter professions, and we’ll go with the typical female name of “Erimi”.
- Pick your Profession. Elf Druidess is a bit on the nose, but stereotypes exist for a reason. It’s worth noting that there’s no race restrictions on class, But I still like Druid. I get a Key Attribute of Wits, Skills of Endurance, Survival, Insight, Healing, and Animal Handling,
- Pick your Age. I get why this is in Tales from the Loop, but it’s kind of interesting to see it in a Fantasy game. Fortunately Elves are all Adults, because they’re ageless. Kind of a neat gimmick.
- Spend points on your attributes. Adults get 14 points, 2-4 per attribute, or 2-5 for the key attributes deterined by kin and profession. 4 attributes means I can go to Strength 3, Agility 4, Wits 5, Empathy 2. Erimi isn’t very good with people, but she’s smart and quick on her feet.
- Spend points on your skills. Adults get 10 Skill points, and you can spend up to three per class skill, one per skill otherwise.
- Choose your starting talents. Adults get 2 talents in addition to their Kin Talent, and one of the Path talents for their profession. So, she gets “Inner Peace”, “Path of Sight”, plus “Pathfinder” and “Wanderer” from the general list.
- Determine your Pride. Erimi is shaping up to be a creepy woodswoman so I go with the suggested “You sense unnatural phenomena before anyone else.”
- Choose a Dark Secret. It’s a little fuzzy how to make this fit, but “As everyone and everything are part of Clay’s creation, you lack respect for other’s property” sounds good. Maybe Erimi is basically an consumate communalist: no belief in property at all: once you put somethign down it ceases to be yours and revert to a natural resource.
- Define your relationships to the other player characters. Well, skip this for now.
- Pick your gear. Picking from the Druid list, I’ll go with a Knife, 6 silver, a d8 resource die in food and a d8 resource die in water, and a Map.
- Decide your appearance. I figure Erimi doesn’t really care about what other people think of her appearance, so she’s probably pretty ragged looking much of the time, but she keeps herself fastidiously clean to keep her scent down when hunting. Her clothes are probably sturdy leather and canvase things, with comofortable breathing fabric underneath.
- Choose your name. Oops, skipped ahead here. Ah well. I should have expected that.
Well, overall that wasn’t half bad. It was a bit more complex than the Tales from the Loop characters, with the Skills and Talents to complicate things a bit, but overall I think it works just fine. I’d like to give it a try. The game itself feels very much like an old-school D&D game, but with slightly different mechanics. It looks like it would work very well for some good, old-fashioned dungeon crawls, just sans the d20. The Resource Die looks like a pretty clear copy of the Usage Die from The Black Hack, which I’m a pretty good fan of. I like to see it making its way into more games.
So, there’s Erimi, the Elvish Druid: