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Free League: RPGs in English from a Swedish Publisher Part 2 of 2

Do you want to build a new civilization as a mutant in a ruined world, travel the space lanes in an Arabian Night system of stars, unravel mysteries as a young 80s kid and 90s teen, and battle monsters in fantasy worlds? Free League Publishing has you covered.

In Forbidden Lands, the PCs are raiders and rogues marking their mark on a cursed world. They raid lost tombs, fight terrible monsters, wander the wild lands, and build their own stronghold to defend. A boxed set, Forbidden Lands has a full color map that the GM develops as the PCs explore. The rules for exploration, survival, and base building can be used in other fantasy worlds.

In Mutant Year Zero (free starter PDF and review) PCs play as one of The People – heavily mutated humans living in The Ark, a small and isolated settlement in a sea of chaos after the fall of mankind. The outside world, the Zone, is unknown and so is the People’s origin. PCs search for food, artifacts, other mutants, and knowledge – not least about The People’s own origin.

The Ark is a nest of intrigue and power struggles. It is far from a safe but it’s the mutants’ only home and might just be the cradle of a new civilization. PCs decide projects to undertake to improve and develop the Ark.

Mutant Genlab Alpha (review) covers mutated animals fighting for freedom. While a complete stand-alone game, it can also be combined with Mutant Year Zero. Mutant Mechatron (review) is complete with a full-length campaign and can be combined with MY0. Robot PCs awaken into sentience and must fight to find their own way in a ruined world.

Coriolis – The Third Horizon (free starter PDF and review) is a science fiction role playing game set in a remote cluster of star systems called The Third Horizon. Ravaged by conflicts and war, it is home to proud civilizations, both ancient and new steeped in Arabian culture and mysticism.

PCs crew a space ship and travel the Horizon exploring the ancient ruins of the Portal Builders, undertaking missions for the powerful factions and partaking in the game of political intrigue. Aliens, strange beings from the Dark Between the Stars, are not options as PCs but serve as adversaries and challenging mysteries to unravel.

In Tales from the Loop (review) PCs play teenagers in the late 80s either in Sweden or the US, solving Mysteries connected to the Loop, of the world’s largest particle accelerator. Character Types include the Bookworm, the Troublemaker, the Popular Kid and the Weirdo. Everyday Life is full of nagging parents, never-ending homework and dealing with bullying. Mysteries range from time traveling dinosaurs to rogue robots to mad scientists. In the default rules, the Kids the PCs play do not normally die, which makes this a great RPG for family night.

I have GMed Mutant Year Zero (a whole campaign), Coriolis (two two-shots), and Tales from the Loop (a one-shot). Each game has many tables and details to make GMing easier, whether you want to do something quickly or on the fly or take your time. I enjoyed running all of them. The rules for combat are simple but tactical. The monsters and the foes the PCs have to face are dangerous. The PCs need to uncover mysteries and drive what happens in each adventure.

The players enjoyed picking talents to customize their characters. They liked the desperate battles, the building of their Ark (stronghold/ship), and the exploration. Unraveling secrets and shaping the world were constant PC goals in the campaign.

Free League provides well written rules, exciting worlds to explore, and quality in the work they produce. Free League offers extras to their games including custom dice, cards, and poster maps. They aren't required but they are helpful. Everything is well made, fully illustrated, functional, well translated, and offered for a reasonable price. I highly recommend all of their RPGs and products.

This article was contributed by Charles Dunwoody as part of EN World's Columnist (ENWC) program.We are always on the lookout for freelance columnists! If you have a pitch, please contact us!

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Charles Dunwoody

Charles Dunwoody

Are the rules/mechanics for Forbidden Lands, similar to MYZ or Coriolis?

Yes. Coming soon to the Open Game License is the d6 pool roleplaying system called Year Zero.

I talk about the system here:

Forbidden Lands kickstarter also talks about the system and the OGL on stretch goal 17 https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1192053011/forbidden-lands-retro-open-world-survival-fantasy
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.
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My favourite new system I have played. I love writing for this system, so looking forward to the OGL. Playing Star Wars using Coriolis rules (with house rules and additions).

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