Avadon: The Black Fortress is an epic, Indie fantasy role-playing saga.
User reviews: Mostly Positive (263 reviews) - 78% of the 263 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 17, 2011

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Packages that include this game

Buy Spiderweb Software Complete Pack

Includes 13 items: Avadon 2: The Corruption, Avadon: The Black Fortress, Avernum 2: Crystal Souls, Avernum 4, Avernum 5, Avernum 6, Avernum: Escape From the Pit, Geneforge 1, Geneforge 2, Geneforge 3, Geneforge 4: Rebellion, Geneforge 5: Overthrow, Nethergate: Resurrection


Recommended By Curators

"Old school fantasy RPG, well thought out story, dialog and characters, turn based combat, free character development. Shorter than other Spiderweb games"
Read the full review here.


“Offers a classic RPG experience. Engrossing narrative. Hours of enjoyable gameplay.”
4/5 – Mac|Life

“As simple as it looks, it’s one of those games that’s very easy to fire up for a few minutes, only to be magically transported without supper to 5AM the next day.”
– Rock, Paper, Shotgun

“In the end, Avadon: The Black Fortress has everything a good RPG needs. Strong story and characters, great combat, excellent quests, addictive loot and leveling and high replayability.”
– Inside Mac Games

“I want an immersive game backed by a developer with integrity, and a desire to win fans one at a time. Spiderweb has that, and I hope they continue to honor us with games such as this one.”
5/5 – Adrenaline Vault

“This is a big, chunky game that retro RPG fans should absolutely adore.”
4.5/5 – Digitally Downloaded

“Anybody who pines for the days of the older, massive classics and decries the state of the new streamlined, big-budget RPGs needs to put their money where their mouth is and buy this game.”
90% – RPGFan

About This Game

Avadon: The Black Fortress is an epic, Indie fantasy role-playing saga. Form a band of skilled warriors, explore dungeons, hunt for treasure, learn many unique and powerful skills, and attempt to unravel a conspiracy that threatens to destroy your homeland!

Five great nations have banded together to form The Pact. The Pact is defended by Avadon, a secretive sect of spies and assassins. Its agents are everywhere. Its word is law.

You have been recruited as a Hand of Avadon, charged with missions that require swift action and a heavy fist. However, the enemies of the Pact have plans of their own, and Hands of Avadon are being picked off one by one. It will fall to you to struggle to survive and to reveal that plot that could shatter the safety of The Pact and plunge your homeland into chaos.

Beware! Allies are few. Traitors are everywhere. And the closer you come to the truth, the closer their assassins will come to you.

Key features:

  • Epic, Indie fantasy role-playing adventure in an enormous and unique world.
  • Four different character classes, with dozens of unique spells and abilities.
  • Uncover the fascinating history of Avadon and the land of Lynaeus.
  • Many different endings. Your choices will change the world.
  • Dozens of side quests, hidden dungeons, and secrets to discover.
  • Hundreds of magical items to find. Use enchanted crystals to make your artifacts even more powerful.
  • Huge adventure with lots of replay value.

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • Operating system:Windows® XP / Vista™ / Windows® 7
    • Processor:1.6 GHz CPU
    • Memory:512 MB
    • Hard disk space:300MB
    • Video: OpenGL compliant graphics card
    • Sound:Sound card
    • OS: OS X 10.5 or later
    • Operating system:Ubuntu 12.04 or equivalent
    • Processor:1.6 GHz CPU
    • Memory:512 MB
    • Hard disk space:300MB
    • Video: OpenGL compliant graphics card
    • Sound:Sound card
Helpful customer reviews
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
50.1 hrs on record
Posted: June 26
after 50ish long hours of fun and often intense gameplay i have beaten my first spidweb game.
I highly recommend this game to anyone who is a fan of turnbased strategy rpg games. the story is very good the lore is awesome and its not too hard once you learn the basics. there are a few incredibly tough fights even on normal mode. i managed to get the keeper ending the servant of avadon ending. now im off to the sequel.
but if there is one thing i dislike about this game is the fact that is contains multiple endings. now some people like or even love multiple ending games. as for me i rather despise them. for starters i like to have a canon ending and i also like to see all the story and when there is multiple endings that means the story branches which means i have to play even more. and while i love playing this game i do not like having to repeat the story only to go down a slightly different path. but now im just nitpicking, all things considered i HIGHLY recommend this game, and all the other products of this company.(granted i have only played demos of the other games but they are still fun.)
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
56.1 hrs on record
Posted: September 6
Let me just say, I love all of the Spiderweb games. That being said, Avadon just might be their best game. While it is most definitely more linear than Geneforge or Avernum, the story and companion dialogue more than make up for it. You can spend the game looking for twists on your first playthrough, but I would bet that you wouldn't be able to guess most of what happens, especially because a decent amount of plot direction depends on what decisions you make. Whenever you hear someone say something like, "For a game to be immersive it has to have fantastic graphics and a mega budget", show them this. I feel very fulfilled having just finished this game for the first time, and feel a compelling urge to start a second playthrough. Do yourself a favor and buy this game.
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328 of 413 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
40.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 27, 2014
I bought this game a long time ago for a decent amount of money, but since it's a long game, I postponed playing it... Until recently.

Many of the "recommended" reviews here are from people who spent a very, very short time playing Avadon. Had I written such a review when I was only a couple of hours into the game, it would have been positive, too. It was very fun at the start... but then it became profoundly NOT fun.

You see, early on, you have a couple of quests and a couple of locations. You have various characters, you find items, battles are nice, you get better loot, your characters work in synergy... And then the game suddenly becomes a chore. Quests pile up. The quest texts never get updated. There are no indicators anywhere about the people you need to visit or return to. No indicator of what you need to do. I spent a lot of time going around and talking to people, only to find out that a quest isn't over. The loot doesn't scale up. Your damage doesn't scale up. And the game difficulty (I played on "normal") suddenly switches to "most frustrating game ever". You die. You die a lot. You are too weak. You need luck with the RNG, and you need potions and scrolls in greater amounts that you can obtain. Your abilities are on a large cooldown. Again, not enough potions to alleviate that. To add insult to injury, you spend vitality on abilities and vitality *does not recharge by itself*. You need to basically go back to the Avadon fortress on a semi-regular basis. There's no real quick-travel system, so every time you want to do that, you're looking at about five wasted minutes.

About 15 hours in, I seriously contemplated quitting right there and then; but I said to myself "you spent more on this than on many other games, so you NEED to finish it". I had a quest to follow a warrior into the woods and clear out some spiders. "Some" turned out to be about four nests of four to five spiders each. They were teleporting spiders which cast corrupting spells and thus did a lot of damage-over-time. Took me an hour to finally win that sidequest. Okay, I said, this is one of the harder battles; let's continue. Then I found what was an almost unbeatable Shade. Somehow managed to get that done as well. Then I found an evil Drake that spawned minions *and* mind-controlled several tough soldiers (EDIT: forgot to mention that it was HEALING those soldiers, so every time you came close to killing one, it would be healed to max HP; repeat 4-5 times, while your characters die and you've spent all of your potions). That... that was unbeatable, and it was the turning point at which I resorted to cheats: bumped my characters to level 30, then constantly used healing, shields and ability cooldown reset.

I gave up on the sidequests. I have no idea where I found most of the people and what I needed to do next (again - the quest system is extremely rudimentary and doesn't tell you anything). Even with constant cheating, it took me a total of 40 hours to finish the main story line.

Disregard the "recommended" reviews, honestly, and check the achievements:

Only 1/3 of the total number of players met a certain NPC called Redbeard, and that happens *very* early into the game.

Only 1/50 (a measly 2%) of the players finished Avadon. Two percent. Wow.

You see all those <40hr reviews? Yeah, they recommended a game they never finished. If it's so fun and great and awesome, why did they stop playing? Because of the issues I mentioned here. Let's not even get into "OMG BEST GAME EVER!!11" reviews from people with 1-5 hours in.

Skip this. Honestly. Even if you get this in a bundle, it's just not worth playing. Get an RPG that's actually fun.

If you *do* feel masochistic and try to play without cheating, I'll give you a tip: in this game, Dexterity rules. Get it to a minimum of 25.

Highly not recommended.
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55 of 57 people (96%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
100.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014

Frankly this is probably old news to many of you reading this. I'm ashamed that I didn't know about these Spiderweb titles previously.

Gather round me children, for there's a tale I'd like to share. Once there was a time when video games entertained the player an immersive story and provocative challenges that kept you playing for hours.

I've never liked the term "dungeon crawler". To me the crawler part implies slow which let's be honest, is generally associated with boring in the world of books, movies and video games. When was the last time you couldn't wait to dig in to a slow book someone recommended?
So when I saw that genre ascribed to this and other Spiderweb titles I dismissed them pretty quickly. I didn't feel like click-spamming my way through another shallow DC chasing the next-best weapon for hours on end - mindlessly racing to the next waypoint, only taking breaks to managing a mountain of gear (/cough...torchlight)...

So as I was browsing my games library through titles I'll never get to and I barely recognize, the term "turn-based" caught my eye.
Now that's a name I"ve not heard in a long time. A long time.

I must have played through "Planescape: Torment" three times since it's release. The same can be said for "Fallout 1/2".
I can't chalk up their awesome replayablility to nostalgia any more. These are simply incredibly entertaining titles and the reason I've played them all so often is that nothing after (to my knowledge) ever properly took up where they left off. Well that was until I discovered this game.

This game, like Planescape and Fallout 1&2 focus on story depth, simple, intuitive UI/game mechanics, and challenging "strategic" (yet simple) combat. I don't mean simple as in "easy", I just mean you will very quickly become well-versed your battle playbook and the challenge lies in making good decisions as it is turn-based.
If you're familiar Fallout 1 & 2 or Planescape Torment then to put it simply this game is very similar to those but in a classic fantasy setting. It's also a nice reminder of the days when RPG titles didn't hold your hand every step of the way. The quest descriptions are clear, but the objectives are kept broad enough keep the players guessing as to how exactly to complete them.

Combine all of the above with perfectly classic "if-it-ain't-broke" fantasy RPG elements and you have this surprisingly impressive game. I can't recommend this title enough for old-school PC nerds like myself as well as newcomers.

I could go on and on but I gotta get back to the game.
I give it 2 ogre-thumbs up
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41 of 47 people (87%) found this review helpful
47.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 29, 2013
If you're familiar with Spiderweb Software's RPGs, it will come as no surprise that Avadon: The Black Fortress is another extensive old school party-based trek through areas full of nooks and crannies with unique encounters and secret loot caches to be had, as well as exciting set piece encounters and an intriguing overall narrative. That's pretty much true of everything they put out. The big changes to the formula are: a new world; a significantly more linear progression than most of the other entries in their lineup, a class-and-skill-tree approach to character builds, and party members who are fully fledged NPCs that contribute insights and dialogue throughout the plot as you move through it, can be spoken to between missions, and have their own side agendas you will have to deal with.

The new world is an intriguing fantasy setting where five disparate and feuding lands have banded together in a defensive pact against pirates, invading empires, marauding humanoids and dragons, a blighted magical corruption, and other exterior threats. The pact is held together by the dictatorial enforcement of the Black Fortress Avadon, and they maintain a network of spies and enforcement agents to ensure compliance. The fairly unique conceit of this particular entry (and who knows, perhaps followup games in the series) is that you play Hands of Avadon, sent to enforce the laws of the pact and defend it from threats within and without. This gives you rather more authority and a much more fearsome reputation than your typical band of wandering adventurers, and this is used to good effect throughout, although alas you still have to contend with buying your own supplies, a tired RPG trope that seems even more out of place in this context (though they do attempt to explain it).

The linearity is somewhat unfortunate, but things do open up as you gain access to more of the areas and return to zones on new missions, and most of the sidequests can be done at your leisure. Still, the flipside of linearity is that you're always being sent into challenges that you should be equipped to handle, and it's always clear what you're expected to do next, neither of which are guaranteed in more open formats.

I am personally a big fan of Avadon's approach to skills and classes. I find the structure of new ability at rank 1, additional effect(s) at later ranks, and unlocking a secondary ability at a late rank very rewarding and I never feel like my points are wasted or that I have to save points from level to level just to advance at all, which have been issues I've historically had with the more freeform skill approach earlier Spiderweb games took (and other games with skill systems, for that matter). And Avernum in particular suffered from boring fighter syndrome where spellcasters got huge suites of spells to cast for a varied combat experience and fighters...got to hit things. Not here. The Blademaster class even passively is a blast, with heavy passive investment rewarding cleaves, a hilariously effective level of hit prevention, and the chance to riposte, curse enemies, or begin regenerating if hit, and then on top of that gets group buffs and debuffs and attacks with additional secondary effects. The Shadowwalker hurls shurikens, teleports around, throws pots of acid and smoke bombs, backstabs and poisons, and is a huge fountain of damage in general. (Needless to say, I was pleased when the Avernum remake cribbed from this system, albeit in a more Avernum-y way.)

As for the NPCs - there's one of every type, you get them all pretty nearly immediately, they stay levelled with you even if you're not using them, and they all have interesting personalities and backstories. I've never been a huge fan of the "party too large for everyone to simultaneously adventure with you" thing, but this is about as good as it gets considering that.

So all in all, another classic RPG. It's not quite as old school as previous series from Spiderweb, but the deviations from that formula mostly are in the vein of improvements in RPG design, in my book, not stepping away from the core appeal.
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