K.A.B.A.L – a character sheet for another long dead RPG

K.A.B.A.L., or Knights and Berserkers and Legendermain was a fantasy RPG by Ernest T. Hams, that was published in 1980, with a second edition in 1982.

It wasn’t terribly successful, and is no longer in print. No legal PDF versions of this game were ever released. The few reviews that existed were quite poor. Here’s the only online, modern review I could find.

On the rare occasions when KABAL is spoken of, most note the poor organization of the rulebook, and the many complex calculations needed to create characters and run combat. It was the only RPG I’m aware of that requires you to calculate square roots.

For example, here’s the rule to find the characters weight:

Height in meters cubed, then times the Strength factor equals the first half. 20 1-6 rolls added and then squared are to be divided by the Endurance, then this is to be raised to the .75 (point 75) power for the second half. The two halves added will equal the weight in kilos.

KABAL Players Guide – 2nd edition

Asking people to do square roots and .75 powers in 1980 was sort of a big ask. Many didn’t have access to home computers or scientific calculators.

All that being said, I don’t want to be too snarky or negative on this. This guy published a whole new RPG in 1980, pretty much on his own. This wasn’t like today, when everybody has access to desktop publishing software, DriveThruRPG, itch.io, and Lulu. He didn’t have decades of other games to draw from. Even if I don’t find the rules particularly to my taste, this guy put the work in and actually achieved something. He even put out a second edition.

So, in his honor, I’ve made my own fillable 2-page character sheet for KABAL. I tried to use similar fonts to match the original character sheets. It will automatically calculate some of the main square root values for you (Not the weight calculation – you’re on your own for that). You can also import an image in the upper right hand corner. This is yet another entry in my ever growing list of character sheets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s