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Welcome to the PledgeManager for Forbidden Lands - Retro Open-World Survival Fantasy RPG!
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Forbidden Lands is a new take on classic fantasy roleplaying. It is an open-world survival tabletop RPG with art by legendary Swedish fantasy artist Nils Gulliksson and the masterful Simon Stålenhag, lore by acclaimed fantasy author and game writer Erik Granström and game design by the Free League team that brought you Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis: The Third Horizon and Tales from the Loop RPG.

In Forbidden Lands, the player characters are not heroes sent on missions dictated by others - instead, they are raiders and rogues bent on making their own mark on a cursed world. They will discover lost tombs, fight terrible monsters, wander the wild lands and, if they live long enough, build their own stronghold to defend.

The glorious boxed set with two books and a large full-color map will give players freedom to hexcrawl the world the way they want while still taking part in an epic campaign that will, in the end, let them decide the fate of the Forbidden Lands. Also, the unique rules for exploration, survival, basebuilding and campaign play can easily be ported to your own favorite game world.

In Swedish? Självklart kommer “Gullikssonspelet” även på svenska, med arbetstiteln Ärans väg. Denna kickstarter gäller även den svenska utgåvan - du kan välja vilket språk du vill ha efter kickstarterns slut. Och - om du var backer i kickstartern för Nils Gullikssons konstbok förra året får du automatiskt detta spel i PDF-format.

Nils Gulliksson's art enthralled a generation of Swedish kids in the 1980s. For many, he was - and still is - the fantasy artist. His iconic gritty inked style showed a down-to-earth yet wondrous brand of classic fantasy archetypes. Now, thirty years later, these illustrations will come to life as never before. Forbidden Lands will contain both classic art pieces and new work by Gulliksson.

So, what do we mean by a retro RPG? In Forbidden Lands, you will play raiders and rogues in an unforgiving world, but what you do is up to you. RPGs from the late ’70s and early ‘80s often had this open approach to adventuring. You were free to roam a map and discover its secrets and treasures. This is something we aim to recapture - with the support of modern game mechanics. The sandbox approach to gaming gives the players the freedom to make their mark on the game world however they want - if they can survive long enough to tell the tale.

The aestethics and art style of the game is also influenced by retro gaming and the iconic work of Nils Gulliksson. The books themselves will have a handcrafted, old look like old tomes from the Forbidden Land itself!

Still, Forbidden Lands is a modern game, based on the award winning rules and mechanics from Mutant: Year Zero and Tales from the Loop - and taking them to the next level. In this game, we aim to merge the best of the old and the new to create a fresh, exciting fantasy RPG unlike anything you have seen before.

 

The core game setting of Forbidden Lands is a vast and remote valley once known as Ravenland, conquered by the spellbinder Zygofer over three centuries ago. When faced by the savage orcs, he opened dark gates to seek the help of demons. That was his undoing. Zygofer was lost to the darkness and he placed himself on the throne of the Ravenland, his daughter Therania by his side.

To keep their vile corruption from spreading, the king in the south built a great wall across the mountain pass and forbade all to ever speak of what had happened. Since that day, the spellbinder’s domain is known as the Forbidden Lands. Zygofer's henchmen, the feared Rust Brothers, still haunt the land, but the spellbinder himself has not been seen for many years. Fearful whispers say he has transformed into a demonic creature called Zytera.

Today, the Forbidden Lands it is a lawless place where demons and dark creatures roam the countryside, while common folk barricade themselves in small villages. Only the brave and the foolish, the raiders and the rogues, dare venture out to seek treasure and glory in the ruins of old.

Written by acclaimed fantasy author Erik Granström, the Forbidden Lands setting is rich and detailed, on the surface based on classic fantasy but with many surprising twists and secrets to discover during play. However, the game does not require the players to learn any lore at all before starting to play. Instead, the intriguing history of the Forbidden Lands is discovered piece by piece during play using a system of so-called legends.

 

The rules of the Forbidden Lands are built on the award-winning Year Zero engine, used in Mutant: Year Zero, Tales from the Loop RPG, and Coriolis - The Third Horizon. The core system uses a dice pool system based on six-sided dice - but Forbidden Lands uses D8s, D10s and D12s as well, for powerful artifacts and magic items.

Survival in the wild is at the core of this game. As in Mutant: Year Zero, the characters’ attributes will degrade if they do not strike camp and find food. Combat is fast and furious, and the melee combat system has been greatly expanded with a range of tactical options that will make sure that no two combats are ever the same. Magic is wild, dangerous and unpredictable.

A limited set of attributes and skills makes character generation quick, while a comprehensive range of talents provide mechanical depth and development opportunities. Talents are tiered to provide even more variation and progression options.

 

The beautiful game map by Tobias Tranell, showing the Forbidden Land in all its glory, is the centerpiece of the game. The map is devided into 10 different terrain types, and uses an hexagonal grid to regulate movement.

Using the map, players can go anywhere they like and explore the world the way they want. The modular way the campaign is built using adventure sites (more on those below) allows the GM to make sure the players don't miss the story without any need for leading them by the nose.

Fast but effective rules regulate travel, scouting, foraging, hunting, striking camp, resting, etc, giving every character in the party a role to play during travels. The game also contains a system for generating hazards as well as thrilling encounters for the GM to throw at the players.

Stickers & Legacy Map: Additionally, we will make custom stickers for key events and adventure sites, and even the graves of killed player characters! Placing the stickers on the game map, you transform it to a living, unique document of your campaign. (The map will be double-sided to allow for replay.)

 

In Forbidden Lands, adventure sites are scenario locations that can be placed wherever the GM wants on the game map. The adventure sites are divided into the three categories - Village, Castle and Dungeon - and symbols for these three categories can be found in many hexes on the game map. For example, when the player characters venture close to a village on the map, the GM chooses which adventure site to actually place there.

The adventure sites themselves are exciting location-based scenarios that the player characters can interact with in many different ways. Each adventure site has intrigues, locations, characters, treasures and suggested events. Many of them tie in to the history of the Forbidden Lands and the main Raven's Purge campaign, but all sites can be played standalone and in any order.

Each adventure site comes with a beautifully illustrated map overview. Below, you can see one example - the village Grindbone (map art by Niklas Brandt). Several complete adventure sites will be included in the main game.

 

If the player characters make it back from the ancient ruins alive, they will hopefully bring gold and other treasures with them. Eventually, they might feel the need to spend that treasure on something lasting - a stronghold of their own.

Having conquered an old castle or dungeon, the player characters can turn it into their stronghold. Using fast and effective mechanics, the players can then develop their stronghold, adding features such as a forge, mill or garden, or stronger defenses.

The stronghold is a place to rest between adventures and a safe haven against the beasts that haunt the land. However, the stronghold needs upkeep and it might also invite the attention of others, looking to steal the player characters' riches.

Many classic fantasy RPGs ran into the problem of player characters becoming filthy rich after much adventuring, not having much to spend their gold on. The stronghold mechanic of Forbidden Lands solves that problem - and creates a slew of new scenario hooks to boot.

 

Dark powers are stirring in the Forbidden Lands. Zygofer's henchmen, the feared Rust Brothers, still haunt the land, but the spellbinder himself has not been seen for centuries. His enemies and his allies are setting plans in motion. The Blood Mist covering the land has lifted and the deathly calm that has reigned for so long is about to shatter.

While the players are free to roam the land as they see fit, there is a larger scheme behind the scenes that they can get involved in. In the campaign called Raven's Purge the players hunt for four powerful artifacts, adorned with Elven gemstones that together have the potential to decide the future of the Forbidden Lands.

Raven's Purge is not a linear story and it has no set goal that the players are expected to follow. Instead, it is a rich tapestry of legends, characters and plans that the players can interact with in a multitude of ways. The four artifacts can be placed in any adventure sites, thus giving the GM the means to control the length and the pacing of the campaign.

Raven's Purge will be published as a separate book, at the same time as the publication of the core game. It is included in the pledge levels OGRE and above.

 

The lore and setting of Forbidden Lands is rich and detailed, a new take on classic fantasy that we are really excited about. However, we also realize that many players already have their favorite fantasy worlds to play in, be it from other games, books or movies or homemade creations.

Thus, we have made the Forbidden Lands rules and the open-world campaign structure very easy to port to other settings. The adventure sites can easily be placed in any other fantasy setting with minor tweaks. All you need is a hexagonal map of the world you want to play in, and you're good to go!

 

With your help, we can make Forbidden Lands even more awesome! These are the stretchgoals we have lined up if we exceed our initial funding goal:

STRETCHGOAL 1: CUSTOM CARD DECK - UNLOCKED!

A beautifully illustrated special Card Deck for combat maneuvers, powerful artifacts and mounts. This printed card deck is included in reward levels OGRE and above.

STRETCHGOAL 3: WEATHERSTONE ADVENTURE SITE - UNLOCKED!

This adventure site, written by Erik Granström, will be included in the core game.

Having lost the war, king Algarod of Alderland was raised from the dead along with a host of his men. To mock his former enemy, Zygofer put the king in charge of the abandoned Weatherstone hold.

STRETCHGOAL 3: HARDCOVER BOOKS - UNLOCKED!

If we reach this stretchgoal, both books in the core game box will be sturdy hardbacks.

STRETCHGOAL 4: RAVENHOLE ADVENTURE SITE - UNLOCKED!

This adventure site written by Erik Granström will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

Every full moon the ogres of Harmsmoor meet in the abandoned marble quarry of Ravenhole for a wild party. Smaller people easily break should they dare to attend. 

STRETCHGOAL 5: LEGACY MAP STICKERS - UNLOCKED!

The core game box will include custom stickers for key events and adventure sites, and even the graves of killed player characters! Placing the stickers on the game map, you transform it to a living document of your campaign. This stretchgoal will be included in the core game.

STRETCHGOAL 6: VALE OF THE DEAD ADVENTURE SITE - UNLOCKED!

This adventure site written by Erik Granström will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

Beyond the abandoned cave Temple of Silence lies the Vale of the Dead, guarded by an immense giant. This used to be a peaceful resting place until the only thing that keeps the dead calm was stolen. 

STRETCHGOAL 7: EMBOSSED FAUX LEATHER BOOK COVERS - UNLOCKED!

If we reach this stretchgoal, the two books in the core game box will have deluxe faux leather covers with beautiful embossing and foil stamping.

STRETCHGOAL 8: STONELOOM MINES ADVENTURE SITE - UNLOCKED!

This adventure site written by Erik Granström will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

As Marga, the mad wizard Zygofer’s eldest daughter, fled to the Stoneloom Mines she turned out to already be infected by a demon from her father’s laboratory. All sent to look for them disappeared among screams and shadows of tentacles.

STRETCHGOAL 9: CUSTOM DICE SET - UNLOCKED!

We will make engraved custom dice for Forbidden Lands, produced by Q-workshop. These special dice are designed to support the game mechanics but can be used as normal dice as well. The set will contain nine D6s and one each of D8, D10 and D12. One set is included in reward levels OGRE and above, and additional sets can be bought as addons.

STRETCHGOAL 10: PELAGIA ADVENTURE SITE - UNLOCKED!

This adventure site written by Erik Granström will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

For the fourth time in history the sea offers a gift at Pelagia, temple of the four winds by the sea. Only the chosen one may claim it. Yet it seems that some people don’t trust the sea’s judgement...

STRETCHGOAL 11: ADVENTURE SITE BY KARL STJERNBERG - UNLOCKED!

Karl Stjernberg will write an adventure site for Forbidden Lands called Graveyard of Thunder. This stretchgoal will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

Hidden in the midst of a lightning-ravaged plain lies the entrance to a series of caverns where strange rites take place among the bones of dead giants.

STRETCHGOAL 12: BOOK RIBBON MARKERS - UNLOCKED!

If we reach this stretchgoal, we will add cloth marker ribbons in both books in the core game boxed set.

STRETCHGOAL 13: ROSENHILL ADVENTURE SITE - UNLOCKED!

Written by Erik Granström, adventure site will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

Hroka, the self-appointed emperor of the Urhur orc clan, holds court in the ruins of the elven hold Rosenhill. Recently, Hroka presented his spouse Soria with the magnificent elven ruby Irïdne. As elven rubies are said to be the living hearts of elven masters, the fair people have formed a task force to retrieve the stone.

STRETCHGOAL 14: ADVENTURE SITE BY PATRICK STUART - UNLOCKED!

Patrick Stuart, the author of the silver ENnie-winning Veins of the Earth, will write an adventure site for Forbidden Lands. This stretchgoal will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

STRETCHGOAL 15: SOUNDTRACK - UNLOCKED!

We will commission and produce an official soundtrack to the game. The soundtrack will be delivered in digital form to all backers at level GOBLIN and above.

STRETCHGOAL 16: ADVENTURE SITE BY BEN MILTON - UNLOCKED!

Ben Milton, the author of the excellent Maze Rats RPG, will write an adventure site for Forbidden Lands. This stretchgoal will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

STRETCHGOAL 17: OPEN GAME LICENSE - UNLOCKED!

We will create an Open Game License document for the Year Zero game rules engine used in the Forbidden Lands as well as in Mutant: Year Zero, Coriolis - The Third Horizon and Tales from the Loop RPG. Using this, creators and fans will be able to produce their own content, fully compatible with Forbidden Lands. The OGL document will be in PDF format and available for all backers.

STRETCHGOAL 18: ADVENTURE SITE BY CHRIS MCDOWALL - UNLOCKED!

Chris McDowall, the acclaimed Weird fantasy RPG Into the Odd, will write an adventure site for Forbidden Lands. This stretchgoal will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

STRETCHGOAL 19: LEGEND & CHARACTER GENERATOR BOOKLET - UNLOCKED!

We will produce a printed booklet filled with tables for creating your own legends in the Forbidden Lands. These tables can also be used for extending the character generation process. This printed booklet will be included in the core boxed game set at level ORC and above, and in PDF format at level GOBLIN and above.

STRETCHGOAL 20: STONEGARDEN ADVENTURE SITE - UNLOCKED!

This adventure site will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

The Stonegarden halls in the Canide dwarven clan stronghold Stormunsel is famed for their unmatched beauty. But all is not well. Prince Trondeval has gone missing, and a pale messenger from the deep structures has surfaced, warning of something stirring in the elder layers, a horror long considered dead legend.

STRETCHGOAL 21: AMBER'S PEAK ADVENTURE SITE - UNLOCKED!

Written by Erik Granström, this adventure site will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

The wars may be over, but not every hope has died. in the remote hold of Amber’s Peak, the wizard Zertorme experiments to find a weapon powerful enough to battle Zytera. Some locals have reason to question whether hope really justifies the price of his research.

STRETCHGOAL 22: HAGGLER'S HOUSE ADVENTURE SITE - UNLOCKED!  

This adventure site will be included in the Raven’s Purge campaign book, included in pledge levels OGRE and above.

Once a marketplace, Haggler’s House now holds the main temple of the goddess Heme. At the yearly Lamash harvest sabbat, villagers bring their tithe as well as humans selected for sacrifice. In return, the villagers recieve Heme’s blessing and protection from the feared Rust Brothers. A rumor whispers that the key to the Rust Brothers' power is hidden in the temple. Some may even feel tempted to end their domination.

STRETCHGOAL 23: MONSTER GENERATOR - UNLOCKED!

Tables for creating your own monsters and beasts in the Forbidden Lands. This stretchgoal, including name generators, exotic attacks, and more, will be a part of the core game set for all backers.

STRETCHGOAL 24: SHORT STORY BY ERIK GRANSTRÖM - UNLOCKED!

If we reach this stretchgoal, Erik Granström will write a short story specifically for Forbidden Lands! The story will be published in the base game for all backers at GOBLIN and above.

Below is a summary of what is included in the different pledge levels that you can choose between.

 

You can complete your pledge with additional products, at a discounted price. These will be delivered together with your copy of Forbidden Lands, at no extra shipping cost. You can only order physical addons if you are a backer at level ORC or above.

To buy an addon, click the "Manage My Pledge" button and increase your pledge manually with the total cost (in SEK) for all the addons you want. After this Kickstarter is over, there will be a pledge manager in which you can mark which addons you want.

EXTRA COPY OF THE FORBIDDEN LANDS CORE SET - 350 SEK

An additional copy of the Forbidden Lands core boxed set, standard edition. Available in English or Swedish.

FORBIDDEN LANDS GM SCREEN - 150 SEK

A top quality, deluxe GM Screen in landscape format, with Simon Stålenhag’s art on the outside and useful tables on the inside. Available in English or Swedish.

EXTRA COPY OF CUSTOM CARD DECK - 150 SEK

An additional copy of the Forbidden Lands custom card deck for combat maneuvers, artifacts and mounts. Available in English or Swedish.

EXTRA SET OF CUSTOM DICE - 150 SEK

An additional set of engraved custom dice designed for Forbidden Lands, produced by Q-workshop. These special dice are designed to support the game mechanics but can be used as normal dice as well. The set will contain nine D6s and one each of D8, D10 and D12. One set is included in reward levels OGRE.

EXTRA GAME MAP - 50 SEK

An additional copy of the Forbidden Lands large game map, so you can use those legacy stickers and still retain a pristine map! Double-sided, full-color, size 720 x 520 mm. Available in English or Swedish.

FORBIDDEN LANDS CHARACTER SHEETS - 50 SEK

A pad of 50 full-color character sheets for Forbidden Lands, saving you the hassle of printing the sheets yourself! Available in English or Swedish.

RAVEN'S PURGE PDF - 150 SEK

A complete PDF of the Raven's Purge campaign book, including several adventure sites and an epic campaign finale. The printed book (including this PDF) is included in reward level OGRE and above.

NILS GULLIKSSON ARTBOOK - 150 SEK

A 168-page, deluxe coffee table artbook displaying the iconic art of Nils Gulliksson, from the early 1980s to the 2000s. This book also tells the story behind the art. The texts are in Swedish - but the art works in any language! Author: Orvar Säfström.

TALES FROM THE LOOP RPG - 300 SEK

Five-time Gold ENnie-award winner! In this award-winning RPG set in the amazing world of Simon Stålenhag's Tales from the Loop, you’ll play teenagers solving mysteries in the vein of E.T. and Stranger Things. Available in English or Swedish. A complete PDF is included.

MUTANT: YEAR ZERO RPG - 300 SEK

In the award-winning post-apocalyptic Mutant: Year Zero RPG, you play as one of The People - heavily mutated humans living in The Ark, a small and isolated settlement in a sea of chaos. The outside world is unknown to you, and so is your origin. Available in English. A complete PDF is included.

MUTANT: GENLAB ALPHA CORE BOOK - 300 SEK

After the great apocalypse, researchers in underground enclaves tried to breed a new being, splicing human and animal DNA, creating a beast strong enough to survive in the devastated world. The enclaves have fallen – but the animals’ fight for freedom has only just begun. Mutant: Genlab Alpha is a stand-alone expansion to Mutant: Year Zero. A complete PDF is included.

MUTANT: MECHATRON CORE BOOK - 350 SEK

In the huge underwater Mechatron-7 facility, armies of machines toil away in decaying factories. The last humans left decades ago. Now, something is changing. The robots are starting to malfunction. To rebel. To Awake. Mutant: Mechatron is a stand-alone expansion to Mutant: Year Zero. A complete PDF is included.

CORIOLIS: THE THIRD HORIZON RPG - 350 SEK

Arabian Nights in space. Coriolis: The Third Horizon, awarded the ENnies Judges’ Spotlight 2017, is a science fiction role playing game set in a remote cluster of star systems called The Third Horizon. A complete PDF is included.

 

The main illustrator of Forbidden Lands is Nils Gulliksson, an iconic fantasy and scifi artist famous from the golden age of RPGs in Sweden in the 1980s. In an era when fantasy art was rare in Sweden and there was no internet, Gulliksson defined how orcs, elves and other fantasical creatures should look for a generation of Swedish youth. Forbidden Lands will contain both classic art pieces and new art by Gulliksson.

 

Erik Granström is an established Swedish fantasy writer of novels and game settings. In 2016 he concluded a series of four acclaimed novels set in his classical game world Trachoria. Free League Publishing went full circle in 2012 by publishing the Swedish RPG Svavelvinter based on Granström's novels.

 

The acclaimed artist, concept designer and author of Tales from the Loop (2014) and Things from the Flood (2016), Simon Stålenhag is best known for his imaginative images and stories portraying sci-fi phenomena in hyper-realistic Scandinavian landscapes. The cover image of Forbidden Lands marks Simon's first venture into fantasy art, inspired by Nils Gulliksson and other iconic '80s fantasy artists.

 

Free League is a Swedish publisher dedicated to speculative fiction in various forms. We publish games, art books and novels set in strange and wondrous worlds.

Our first English-language RPG, the post-apocalyptic Mutant: Year Zero, was awarded a Silver ENnie for Best Rules in 2015. Tales from the Loop RPG, based on the retro scifi universe created by Simon Stålenhag, won no less than FIVE Gold ENnies at Gencon this year, including Best Game and Product of the Year.

Read more on our website freeleaguepublishing.com

Available Rewards:

kr700SEK + Shipping

OGRE

Approx. $88 / €73 / £65
You get:
The core Forbidden Lands boxed set, including two books and a large full-color map.
A complete PDF version of the core set, about a month before the print release date.
The separate Raven’s Purge hardback campaign book, including an epic campaign finale.
All physical printed stretchgoals that are unlocked during the Kickstarter, such as the custom dice set and the illustrated custom card set. The value of this pledge level will increase as stretchgoals are unlocked.
*All PDFs that are unlocked as stretchgoals during the Kickstarter.

kr200SEK + Shipping

GOBLIN

Approx. $25 / €21 / £18
You get:
The Forbidden Lands core set, in PDF format only.
All PDFs that are unlocked as stretchgoals during the Kickstarter.

kr350SEK + Shipping

ORC

Approx. $44 / €37 / £32
You get:
The core Forbidden Lands boxed set, including two books and a large full-color map.
A complete PDF version of the core set, about a month before the print release date.
*All PDFs that are unlocked as stretchgoals during the Kickstarter.

kr1,000SEK + Shipping

TROLL

Approx. $125 / €105 / £92
You get:
A unique special edition of the core Forbidden Lands boxed set, including two books and a large full-color map, with a deluxe special cover. This edition of the box is limited to this Kickstarter and will never be printed again.
A complete PDF version of the core set, about a month before the print release date.
The separate Raven’s Purge hardback campaign book, including an epic campaign finale.
All physical printed stretchgoals that are unlocked during the Kickstarter, such as the custom dice set and the illustrated custom card set. The value of this pledge level will increase as stretchgoals are unlocked.
*All PDFs that are unlocked as stretchgoals during the Kickstarter.

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