Fable III is an action-oriented role-playing game of classic swords and sorcery, designed around a deep and encompassing system of character development. Player decisions constantly influence the advancement of the character's magic and combat abilities, as well as the development of personality traits and social qualities. In addition to earning gold and experience, and gaining upgrades to combat abilities, a Fable character also develops personally and morally. The most often used weapons become larger and more powerful in Fable III, and they change in appearance to match the way they are wielded, just as the character's physical appearance gradually changes, to reflect a lifetime progression of good and evil acts.
Choosing a gender and starting appearance, the player takes the role of a young adventurer destined to overthrow a tyrant king. Following the earlier games in the series, the adventure is set on the continent of Albion, and begins several decades after the events of Fable II. The first part of Fable III follows the young hero through a succession of quests that lead to an ultimate confrontation with the cruel King Logan. For the second part of the game, the hero becomes ruler of Albion, whose civic decisions influence the attributes and appearances of city streets and countryside throughout the realm. Be it through compassion, justice, or fear, the player's rule of Albion is eventually challenged by threats from a rival nation, and the sovereign must decide whether to prepare for war or seek a more peaceful resolution.
As well as creating the Fable series, developer Lionhead Studios has noteworthy experience applying the concepts of "good" and "evil" decisions to city-management sims, with Black & White and its sequel. Also reminiscent of earlier Lionhead games, the contextual user interface in Fable III strives to present an uncluttered view of the game world, free of menu bars and other statistical distractions. Actor John Cleese gives voice to Jasper, an in-game butler and regular companion who offers advice and assists the player's hero with game-management tasks. Other celebrated British actors performing voice work for the game include Ben Kingsley and Jonathan Ross, with Zoë Wanamaker reprising her role of Theresa.