Just yesterday, Fellowship launched on Drivethrurpg. Developed by an acquaintance of mine, the title has been on my radar for quite a while and is an awesome game.
Fellowship is an interesting take on the Tolkien model of fantasy: it takes the structure of Tolkien adventure, but allows you to fill in the details and world as you go along. Through clever structuring, the title encourages you to be a window into your people’s life and world as you adventure to defeat the Overlord. It does this by making your main decision at character generation picking your race and then having you define some preliminary details about your people.
The initial details aren’t just fluff, there are some mechanics to it all:
Fans of Dungeon World probably have noticed some familiar phrasing. Fellowship runs off the Powered By The Apocalypse Engine that Dungeon World uses and many of its mechanics will be instantly familiar to DW players. The creator released many great third party classes for the system — such as the The Witch, Dashing Hero, and the The Guest Star — and is very familiar with the engine’s strengths and weaknesses.
One just needs to look at the basic moves to see that. His set of basic moves does a great job of establishing expectation: just looking them over tells you that this title is about high fantasy, a world where not everything is finished by strength and steel, and where personal sacrifice is both expected and required.
Somehow, I haven’t even gotten into what I consider the best part as someone who often gamemasters. Fellowship uses the playbook structure in a way no other PbtA titles does: the GM gets their own playbook and character. The party is all trying to defeat the Overlord, after all. As such, the Overlord gets stated out and gets power that allow them to bend the rules in some fun ways. It really helps structure things and keep the adventure on tract while also allowing you to feel the evil, all-powerful bastard you really are.
The system for damaging the overlord does an amazing job of avoiding adventurers ending it all too early while also encouraging the Overlord to only directly engage from time to time while also ensuring the game will eventually end. The system for advancing plans does a great job of keeping tract of your evil biddings and making sure it all seems fair and not dick-ish. The system for sources of power always give the players direction as well as real and tangible ways of stopping the Overlord.
Honestly, I can sit here and sing the game’s praises all day. It just does a lot of things I haven’t seen in other games and it does them very right. It is much more structured in many ways you wouldn’t expect or are used to from a tabletop game. This isn’t just from reading the book, by the by, as I have playtested the title quite a few times.
I’d highly suggest fans of Dungeon World (or PbtA, in general), Tolkien, Avatar: The Last Airbender, adventure fantasy, high fantasy, anime, or just people just looking for something really different to really give this game a look.
If you don’t want to just take my word on it, the Six Feats Under podcast has done a few episodes using the system. I will admit I’ve never listened to these episodes personally, but I’m sure they show off the game well as the creator was present for them.
Also, if any of these excerpts seem too condensed or you feel it doesn’t properly explain things, many of those pages are from the game’s quick reference: the actual book goes into good and proper detail of how things work.
This shoutout was done for the purposes of helping promote and advertise for the listed product/developer and should be regarded as such when making purchasing decisions.