Forbidden Lands Review

Rob Kalajian review, tabletop Leave a Comment

Forbidden Lands - Free League - $ 42.48
Forbidden Lands Review - Cover

Game title: Forbidden Lands

Game description: Forbidden Lands is a new take on classic fantasy roleplaying. In this sandbox survival roleplaying game, you’re not heroes sent on missions dictated by others – instead, you are raiders and rogues bent on making your own mark on a cursed world. You will discover lost tombs, fight terrible monsters, wander the wild lands, and if you live long enough, build your own stronghold to defend.

Overall
4
  • Play (Mechanics)
  • Presentation (Art/Quality)
  • Plan (Rules)

Summary

Opening Free League’s Forbidden Lands is like opening a box of nostalgia…really high-end nostalgia. The boxed set harkens back to the days of red box D&D but with beautifully made books, a map, stickers, etc… Everything you need to play, minus optional custom dice and cards, is included inside, and all with such care and quality that it’s amazing how inexpensive the product really is.

Pros

Nostalgiac

Beautifully produced

Stunning artwork

Cons

QUITE deadly, which may turn off some players

Full Forbidden Lands Review

Opening Free League’s Forbidden Lands is like opening a box of nostalgia…really high-end nostalgia. The boxed set harkens back to the days of red box D&D but with beautifully made books, a map, stickers, etc… Everything you need to play, minus optional custom dice and cards, is included inside, and all with such care and quality that it’s amazing how inexpensive the product really is.

Forbidden Lands is not a game of heroes. It’s a game of people trying to make their name in a land that’s previously been under a great curse. It’s about adventure, mystery, horror, and eeking out a living and trying to survive long enough to make something of yourself. The rules contained within the books are streamlined, narrative focused, and extremely deadly.

Forbidden Lands Review - Core Set
Forbidden Lands Core Set

At the core of Forbidden Lands is a d6 pool-based system. For any given task you’ll roll an amount of d6’s equal to your base stat and skill, hoping to roll 6’s, which are successes. If you don’t roll any, you can push your luck and roll again. Be careful, though. If you push your luck any 1’s rolled from your first AND second roll count as failures, and you’re likely to take some damage. The only upside to failures is that they earn you Willpower, which allows you to use any special abilities/spells you have. It’s a delicate balance and one that can leave you broken and battered if you’re not careful.

Inside the books looks like an 80’s RPG, complete with rough looking black and white illustrations and page decoration. Everything looks and feels great while maintaining a vintage 80’s feel. Flipping through the pages I was immediately taken back to my childhood, flipping though RPG books in hobby stores and drooling over all the exciting new worlds and creatures contained within.

Forbidden Lands Review - Example artwork
Example artwork

If you’re interested in see what Forbidden Lands is all about, I’m currently playing on a live stream the first Wednesday of every month with Victory Condition Gaming. We’ve got a great group of players, and the GM is the one and only Quest Wise. I highly recommend you check it out! After that you should check out Free League’s store and snag the boxed set, which is a steal at $42.48. Between the amazing production value, excellent rules, and dark, gritty world, Forbidden Lands is an RPG I’m glad I’ve been able to get into.

A copy of the Forbidden Lands Core Box Set was provided free for review by Free League

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