If you missed the crowdfunding campaign last year for a little RPG rulebook called Fantasy World, board game publisher Ares Games is giving everyone another chance by adding the indie creation to its small but growing stable of roleplaying titles.
Fantasy World was designed by Alessandro Piroddi and Luca Maiorani and published by MS Edizioni, who also handled Ares Games’ Knights of the Round: Academy RPG. The pair successfully crowdfunded their project on Kickstarter in May 2021, and this deal will provide much wider distribution for the core rulebook and its setting anthology supplement - Fantasy World Kosmohedron.
The designers state that Fantasy World may not be the first Powered by the Apocalypse-inspired RPG to drink heavily from the fantasy well, but it aims to draw in a bunch of contemporary ideas surrounding roleplay and genre storytelling. Players inhabit a world suffused in magic and mystery but lacking in the way of sprawling civilisation as they tell emergent stories about their character, the ties that bind them and the nature of the seemingly endless world around them.
Given Fantasy World’s emphasis on exploration, a quick setting creation tool will likely be a handy resource for whatever player facilitates sessions. Ares Games’ webstore page describes sessions as a mixture of “strategy and imagination”, where the player-controlled character will face the sometimes tragic outcomes of their actions and perhaps learn how embracing the power fantasy of levelling up means walking a path that doesn’t terminate pretty.
Picking up Kosmohedron might not be a bad idea if you’re interested in providing the table a full look at everything Fantasy World has going on. The second book contains expanded character options, from classes and bonds to building a near-perfect setting. Rather than striving for encyclopaedic thoroughness, Kosmohedron functions best as a collection of quick note, errata, settling building tools instead of a full setting guide that answers any questions.
Fantasy World and its 228-page core rulebook will be available in retail and in Ares Game’s shop at a $40 dollar price point. If your group is tired of Dungeons & Dragons’ monolithic interpretation of high fantasy but they’re not quite ready to leave sword and sorcery behind, then this game might scratch that particular itch. Piroddi and Maiorani claim the RPG is both a love letter and a fond critique of Apocalypse World’s legacy on especially the indie design ecosystem. Now, more people will be able to put those bold words to the test.