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Series - Fantom Empires

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Publisher: Wizard Books -- United Kingdom
Categories: Complexity Level : Advanced (Full Game System)
Format : Paperback
Game System : Character Advancement
Game System : Combat
Game System : Inventory Management
Game System : Randomization Method : In Book
Game System : Scores
Game System : Skill Selection
Genre : Historical Fiction
Genre : Science Fiction
Target Age Group : Adults
Target Age Group : Older Children
Target Age Group : Teenagers
Writing Style : Present Tense
Writing Style : Second Person

This series follows the adventures of Nicholas Fantom, a reporter living in an alternate-history Victorian England where "steampunk" technology is rampant. In addition to the day-to-day adventures of his newspaper work, Fantom is on a long-term quest to find out what happened to his family, having lost both parents and a sister over the course of his young life. Each volume can stand alone, but there are continuing subplots, and it's possible to carry inventory items, money and skills forward from book to book.

The game system is built around three core attributes: Body, Intellect and Nerve. The reader determines the values of these attributes by assigning points between them. Constitution (a measure of health) and Combat Skill are derived from some of the main attributes. Each attributes also has four key skills associated with it, and these skills are only available when the attribute reaches a minimum number of points. The reader can start the game with no more than six of the available skills.

Combat is table-driven; in every battle, a to-hit difficulty level is assigned to each side of the fight (easy, normal or hard). Difficulty is cross-referenced with the weapon being used to determine the random number range needed to hit and the damage dealt by a successful hit. Random numbers fall between 1 and 10 and are generated by pointing at a table in the back of the book (though a 10-sided die works just as well).

Only the first book was released. Wizard ran out of funding before any more titles could be completed.


1. The Golem of Brick Lane
2. Her Majesty's Tank Hercules
3. The Mask of Malhotep
4. The Plague Masters
5. The Case of the Hertfordshire Leopard

Related Documents

Play Aid

Fantom Empires # 1 Character Sheet

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