Longtime readers of The Tavern may recall my pondering of a universal and easy to read stat block for OSR games, much like Classic Traveller's stat block. It never went anywhere, but I really appreciate it when a monster description or a spell description can cover the necessary bases without rambling on. My attention span post chemo (years post chemo) is not what it once was when presented with walls of text.
You can imagine my pleasant surprise when I started reading the spell descriptions in Far Away Land. No blocks of text but still able to present everything the caster needs.
First line - name of spell and level of spell
Second line - damage if any and range (a # in parentheses indicates a radius effect)
Third line - duration - rounds, minutes hours, whatever - the amount is determined directly by level of the caster
Fourth line - quick and easy description
This I can read. This I can retain. Something like this can become my new AD&D 1e or Swords & Wizardry, as I'll need to reference the rules in a minimal fashion at most while running a session of Far Away Land.
Now, if you step up to the Far Away Land monsters (which aren't included in the core book, but are included in the Tome of Awesome or stand alone in Creatures Volume 1) you see a very simple but easy to remember entry for each one. Each entry is set up the same way for ease of reference.
One thing to realize about Far Away Lands is that combat can be lethal. For PCs, Hit Points only increase by 1 point per level gained, and the average first level character will have 13 HP. Strangely enough, that is the same amount this 1st level Blonin has.
I like the description. Three simple sentences that give the GM enough to work with and retain. The accompanying art reinforces what we are given in the description.
I've found a lot to like in Far Away Land and little to dislike. Well, two things to dislike. The Far Away Land Tome of Awesome PDF does not have bookmarks. Coming in at 307 pages there really is no reason why it shouldn't. A minor quibble, but an annoying one. The second? Copy and paste is disabled in the PDF. No idea why but it is a bit frustrating. Ah well, small things in the grand scheme.
More to come the deeper I peer into the Far Away Land ;)