Magic has returned to our world
“I think becoming a wizard is about discovering what's real and what isn't.”
—Ben Aaronovitch, Rivers of London
In Rivers of London: the Roleplaying Game, players take on the roles of newly recruited members of the London Metropolitan Police Service’s special magic branch, aka “the Folly.” You will solve mysteries, catch criminals, and come to grips with the “demi-monde”—those who have been irreversibly changed by magic.
The Rivers of London: the Roleplaying Game core book contains everything you need to start exploring Ben Aaronovitch's magical version of London.
The World at your Fingertips
This single, epic volume is for both players and Game Moderators alike! The tome comprises all the rules you need for fully-fledged Rivers of London campaigns.
Build your group of freshly-recruited officers of the Folly with character creation, expand and grow those characters with the complete rules for character advancement, and enjoy extensive advice for running tabletop RPGs—and Rivers of London specifically—provided for the Game Moderator.
Learn to Play by Playing
Explore a magical mystery in London, and learn the rules of the game as you play! The solo adventure, based on the short story “The Domestic,” is designed to introduce a player to the world of Rivers of London and the mechanics of the game.
Also included is “The Bookshop”—a standalone adventure designed for a first-time group of players.
Explore Magical London & Beyond
Rivers of London: the Roleplaying Game includes setting information and history, and the wondrous details of how the “Newtonian” magic system works. The book also contains a full list of spells derived from those found in the novels of Ben Aaronovitch.
To give both players and Game Moderators the best sense of the setting and role of their characters, special attention is paid to detailing how police work in London, and how criminal investigations are carried out.
Downloads for this Product
Rivers of London Auto-Calc Character Sheets
Rivers of London, including all distinctive characters and locations © 2011–2022 Ben Aaronovitch. Used with permission.
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- Rivers of London
- Year Released:
- Page Count:
- Full Color PDF
- Ben Aaronovitch, Graeme Barber, Paul Fricker, Adam Gauntlett, Lloyd Gyan, Lynne Hardy, Gavin Inglis, Mike Mason, Keris McDonald, Lucya Szachnowski
- Cover Artist:
- Lin Hsiang
- Interior Artist:
- Gary Bedell, Irene Cano, JB Casacop, Caleb Cleveland, Doruk Golcu, Richard Hardy, Kurt Komoda, Anh Le, Lucas Marques, Ernest Mason, Maurice Mosqua, Nicholas Nacario, Matt Ryan, Brooklyn Smith, Anastasia Magloire Williams
- Alyssa Faden, Matt Ryan, Anna Urbanek
- Nicholas Nacario, Simeon Cogswell
As someone with no previous experience of CoC I was unsure how quickly I would adapt to this game. However, the solo tutorial adventure takes you through step by step and by the end you have quickly learnt the basics of both character creation and gameplay - with replay value due to the "choose your own adventure" style of the tutorial. As a long time RoL fan this is packed with lore fans will recognise, but also works as a standalone introduction to the universe. RoL is a series about magical police, but grounded in the mundane of investigating it like any other mystery - just with exceptional means. Action is short and sharp - guns are rare in this setting and even minor fist fights hold tension brilliantly. No DnD style slog fests that I'm used to. The system also allows for fights to end "badly" without ever being deadly, your character being "down" may just mean not able to continue fighting whilst the baddies run away. The London setting has plenty of information, though as I am now living in Germany I look forward to attempting to use the rules for creating new settings to attempt to create a game based in my now local Lower Saxony. The game could use slightly more information on supernatural opponents to create - particularly ghosts - though it is generally Fae and human magical or semi-magical situations you will likely create adventures around. The game does offer plenty of prompts for cases you can create, and the investigation aspect is the key - and combat is generally not the ideal resolution.
Phew! rushed over and bought the PDF, and have dipped in to key sections. Overall - I like it! Very like recent CoC, but further simplified - so you end up starting with 0, 30% or 60% in skills - untrained, not-incompetent, or competent. Nice! Keeps Luck, but reduces refresh ... OK De-emphasises firearms - it's based in the UK, so only specialists ever use guns. Combat is dangerous. You have what amounts to 4 HP. Weapons do 1 or 2 typically, unless dangerous, or special roll - 3 is bad, 4 is deadly, 5 is gone (unless you have Luck to burn). Umm - don't get hit kiddies! OTOH most combat is non-lethal - all parties may be "taken out" of the fight, but recover after end of combat. If the Law wins, the bad guys get arrested at that point. If the heroes lose, they get dumped, robbed, or taken away (to be rescued later!). Magic - I'm not sure about. It's very easy & playable, but loses the flavour of RoL books. Coming in as an Ars Magica fan, Aaronovitch's novels are *very* like Ars Magica (Latin, Formae,...)... but this is D100, and a simplified, playable variant even of that. Single "Magic" skill, starting at 60% for trained practitioners, and you can Master spells to grant an automatic Bonus Die when casting. Hefty emphasis on investigation. Sense Vestigia is a Common skill (base 30% for everyone) - hmm - I thought you really needed to have Vestigia pointed out to you before you stopped ignoring them. Improvement/Development does away with the faff of ticking skill uses for experience, throws out improvement rolls, and adds Development Points - typically 1/session, +1 or 2 at "end of chapter" which is when you spend them on 5/10% boosts, on new skills, or accumulate to buy Talents. Much better! You can also use DP to learn or master spells.