Lasting Tales is an upcoming miniatures agnostic fantasy adventure game from Blacklist Games, written by Mark Latham. You will be able to use any miniatures in your collection for Lasting Tales, but Blacklist Games produce a set of Fantasy Miniatures that go perfectly with it. We previously interviewed Mark Latham and showcased the Fantasy Series 1 miniatures here. Lasting Tales is currently on Kickstarter, alongside the next miniature series, Fantasy Series 2, and if you missed out on Series 1, you can grab that during the Kickstarter as well.
We had a chance to play through the Lasting Tales playtest rules with our copy of the Fantasy Series 1 miniatures, and in this article, we'll talk through the playtest rules and our experience with them. The playtest rules are available during the Kickstarter and contain the basic rules, a single scenario to test the rules in, six pre-generated heroes, and the rules for several adversaries. The full rules will include a lot more, including campaign rules, character creation rules, and a huge roster of adversaries.
As mentioned above, our preview is based on the Lasting Tales playtest rules, and so may differ from the final version when it's published. All the scenery used in this article are from the Battle Systems Northern Settlement box.
In Lasting Tales, most tests require you to roll 2 six-sided dice (D6) and add the characteristic being tested. Players need to roll equal to or over, 8, 10, or 12, depending on if the test is simple, normal, or hard. Characters have seven characteristics, valued between 1 and 7 for melee, ranged, strength, agility, defense, intellect, and willpower. This simple core system allows for a lot of scope and flexibility but keeps the mechanics straightforward so that they're not the focus of gameplay. Magic items and equipment may add modifiers to tests, and you can also gain advantage and disadvantage, which means you roll an extra dice, and discard the lowest, or highest, depending on which you have.
Melee adds in an extra element of rules, with a table for comparing the combatant's melee characteristics to find out if a test is simple, normal, or hard. This adds in an extra layer of complexity on the normal simple rules system, but gives a realistic return and makes characters with a high melee characteristic harder to hit. Ranged attack tests are either normal or hard tests, depending on whether the target is short or long-range.
Lasting Tales is a cooperative miniatures game, which means that all the players will take on heroes and fight against AI-controlled enemies. There is of course nothing to stop you from having a player controlling the enemies like a roleplaying games' Games Master or having heroes battle each other, but the game is designed to have players work together, to achieve narrative goals. The goals are detailed in the rules for the adventure you're playing, and in the playtest rules, that's the Village of the Damned. In Village of the Damned, the players are a party of adventurers that have come across a town while looking for somewhere to rest, but rather than be the refuge they seek, the restless undead begin to stir. We won't go into too much detail about the adventure to avoid spoilers, as you can download the rules preview, and play through it yourself.
During an adventure, the players take it in turns activating their heroes. During their activation, heroes can perform a move, an attack, and an action (like hiding, interacting with items on the game board, or boosting their movement with a run), in any order they wish. After all the heroes have activated, the enemies activate, following a simple, but effective AI control flow. Enemies are split between ranged and melee and will attack with their chosen weapon if able, moving closer if not, switching weapons if a target presents itself.
For use in the adventure, six pre-generated characters are provided:
- Ellessa, an elf wizard
- Adric, a human cleric
- Kreeves, a human barbarian
- Marek, a dwarf fighter
- Zath, a halfling rogue
- Fale, a half-orc ranger
These give a great preview of the options that will be available in the final rules, where five races (elf, human, dwarf, halfling, and half-orc) and ten classes (6 of which are in the playtest rules) will be available.
I really enjoyed playing through the playtest mission, and seeing what Lasting Tales is capable of, but what I'm really looking forward to is the non-combat options that Lasting Tales will provide. Full campaign rules, along with missions and events between the adventures and most importantly, character development. There are also going to be rules for companions, so solo gamers not wanting to control multiple heroes, will still be able to control small groups of warriors, lead by the core hero.
The scope for expansion for Lasting Tales is pretty insane, and Mark Latham has already mentioned in our interview that he and the Sadler brothers have lots of ideas for the future of Lasting Tales, and are extremely passionate about the system. The straightforward and simplistic nature of the core rules allows you to create some hugely detailed adventures of your own with complex tables and adversary AI rules.
We played our games with the Fantasy Series 1 miniatures, and they look great on the tabletop, and while Lasting Tales can be used with any miniatures, it's clear that Blacklist Games are designing Lasting Tales in tandem with the Fantasy Series, and we could see new Series' releases tied it alongside supplements for the system. We'd love to see campaign boxes, with adventures and rules, alongside scenery and miniatures providing everything in one package to plug into the Lasting Tales core rules.
Lasting Tales and Fantasy Series 2 is live on Kickstarter now and if you missed out on the Fantasy Series 1 miniatures, you can pick them up too.
The Fantasy Series 1 miniatures and Lasting Tales Playtest Rules were provided by Blacklist Games.