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Fantasy Craft released (in PDF...)

Psion

Adventurer
Alright, I know Pathfinder is the big hype, but Fantasy Craft is another fantasy alternative out there, and the PDF is out now. The hardcopy MAY be out by GenCon, but the pdf is here:

http://enworld.rpgnow.com/product_info.php?products_id=63884&filters=0_0_0_0&manufacturers_id=341

This is based on Mastercraft, which is a trimmed down version of spycraft 2.0. It might be worth looking at if you want something a bit more generic than Pathfinder, and/or something that emphasizes skill based conflicts a bit more than Pathfinder, D&D 3.5, or 4e.

Though its a d20 derivative, it's less plug and play ready with 3.5 than Pathfinder, but it does have a pretty handy OGL creature converter. But it does use the scalable/abstract NPC/creature system of Spycraft.

The game is flexible in that it features campaign qualities that help define the tone and flavor of the game. For example, arcane magic is not part of the game (or assumed in the balance) unless you use the sorcery campaign quality. Other factors like the presence and function of morality in the game, progression, deadliness of combat, etc., can all be tweaked by selecting the right campaign quality. More or less, they are like built in house rules, with the additional advantage that the rest of the system keys into the existing qualities nice (for example, all classes that would only make sense in a world with arcane magic have the sorcery quality listed as a prerequisite.)

As with Spycraft, it pays more attention to its skill system than 3e. You can get criticals (or fumbles) with skills, and a complex skill system is part of the game. Even the classes reflect the openness of the system to less combat-centric play: all classes have more skills, and there is a courtier core class (that doesn't suck.)

The cheating death rules are a nice new little feature. It provides a variety of story driven methods for allowing a player to cheat death, though there is usually a consequence. But it's a nice compromise if you don't like the implications of excessive resurrection magic.

More as I read. I'm seeing cute little angles all the time. Like I see rewards include more than just treasure. There's a cute looking little favor system...
 

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ruemere

Explorer
Could you elaborate a little more?

For example:
- are the probabilities for skill checks flat? I.e. is it still d20 vs DC?
- the classes are generic... how the emphasis on non-combat activities is introduced into the game? In most less combat-oriented systems, there are means of rewarding non-combat activities or, in case of older systems, combat is less time consuming, and the investigation/roleplaying aspects are more developed.

Regards,
Ruemere
 


Krensky

First Post
- are the probabilities for skill checks flat? I.e. is it still d20 vs DC?

Skill checks are d20 + bonus vs DC or opposed roll. The default is static DCs, but there are rules for sliding DCs.


- the classes are generic... how the emphasis on non-combat activities is introduced into the game? In most less combat-oriented systems, there are means of rewarding non-combat activities or, in case of older systems, combat is less time consuming, and the investigation/roleplaying aspects are more developed.

The clases aren't generic ala d20 Modern, but they are very flexible in what you can do with any given one. As for rewards, the game structure rewards the party far more for accomplishing goals then overcoming advesaries. Also, the stucture explicitly rewards you for overcoming an advesary, which may include killing them, but also fast talking, bluffing, insulting, intimidating or sneaking past them.
 

Krensky

First Post
Sounds great Psion. Does it have equipment points?

Somewhat. If you mean the gear system in SC2.0, then the answer is no. It uses a mixture of cash, reputation, and looted prizes. Essentially, cash is used for day to day stuff and reputation is used for castles, armies, and magic items.

Disclaimer: I'm still reading the book and this is from a quick read ofthe relevant sections.
 

Psion

Adventurer
Could you elaborate a little more?

For example:
- are the probabilities for skill checks flat? I.e. is it still d20 vs DC?

It's still d20 vs. DC. Though it has much less of that D&D feel than many d20 games, it's still d20 at its core: classes, levels, the basic 6 stats, etc.

- the classes are generic... how the emphasis on non-combat activities is introduced into the game? In most less combat-oriented systems, there are means of rewarding non-combat activities or, in case of older systems, combat is less time consuming, and the investigation/roleplaying aspects are more developed.

It's still a "traditional game"; there's just more depth and importance to the skill system.

Non combat activities are rewarded. You get experience for meeting objectives and for facing adversaries. The XP from adversaries need not be facing them in combat; you can be rewarded for any opponent whose abilities present an obstacle to you. A recalcitrant guard, meddling thief, or a scheming noble who engage you in non-combat ways can all get you xp.
 

Aus_Snow

First Post
Well, that's it then. The sky actually did fall.

:p

Um, just wasn't expecting it to come out, like, this decade. . . ;)

It does sound interesting. I always liked some aspects of Spycraft 2.0, so it might be worth a look.

edit --- $30?! :eek: Ouch! $20 - maybe then. Or $10, like Pathfinder, would be even nicer. . .
 
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ssampier

First Post
Sounds interesting.

I may wait for full-fledged playtest reviews.

(Yes I did wait for 4e playtest reviews. Why do you ask?)
 


ruemere

Explorer
Thank you for your responses so far.

Is there any way to preview the mechanics in actual play? Are there any groups using that system out there? Is there any community/forum where one could find out player's accounts?

My experience with toolbox settings/systems is that they are quite time consuming (so many things you need to address before you move to actual scenario design). Are there are ny sample adventures, settings, locations, NPCs? Given that the book is supposed to be 400 pages long, there is likely to be some sample material... or is there?

Finally, given existence of True20 and Savage Worlds [1], what are the strengths of Fantasy Craft? Specifically, if you were a GM how would you sell the game to a player?

Regards,
Ruemere

[1] To me (and probably to me only), Savage Worlds shares many concepts with True20. While both systems are radically different, the balance of play and party build up feel similar, with True20 being more heroic and Savage Worlds leaning more toward pulpish gaming.
 

Aus_Snow

First Post
Other then Pathfinder, I can't think of any other 400 page books whose PDFs cost less then $30.
Page count *of PDFs* doesn't exactly impress me. . . or mean very much at all, with regards to appropriate pricing, IMNSHO.

Whatever one wishes to believe about such things, it is literally the case that I would've bought that PDF, had it been a fair amount cheaper (i.e., what I consider reasonable for a RPG PDF), but simply won't, as things stand.

YMMV, naturally.


edit --- Oh, and I know of one other product, so far, where the publisher is following suit. No, it's not 400+ pages, but the book is considerably more than the PDF, if I'm not mistaken. Adamant's supplement for Pathfinder is what I'm referring to, btw. Hopefully, this will catch on. . .
 
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Acid_crash

First Post
That 30 buck pricetag for the pdf is way to high, sorry to say. Drop it to about 15 bucks or so and you have yourself a customer. Either that, or with the hardback of the book having a free code in the book to get a free copy of the pdf would also be a nice touch to include, but I doubt they would have done this.
 



samsimilian

Explorer
The FC pdf is worth every penny! measured in d&d books it contents about 2 or 3 player's handbooks, a dm guide and a extensive monster manual with an critter/npc generation system. plus the fact that the system is variable enough to play anything from sword and sorcery and high magic to iron heros like settings industrial fantasy. there are so many options and campaign qualities you really can play what you want.
feats and weapon tricks give you so many options tu customize your char, it's really a huge toolbox for players and dm's.
of all the d20 rules i know, i personally think that FC beats them all.
 

Gilladian

Adventurer
I don't see a full-sized preview, just one unreadable teeny tiny full-page as a postage-stamp "free sample" which is totally worthless to me. I HATE that. I have very bad eyesight, and that just chaps me.
 


Obryn

Hero
Sounds interesting!

Is Spycraft needed for play (like I believe M&M is for W&W), or is this a standalone system?

It is a shame about the price, though. While I have bought a $30 PDF, that was only because I felt the Mother of All Encounter Tables was a necessary purchase for my Wilderlands game. :) It worked well on my laptop, so I was happy.

But when it comes to a core book.... well, PDF leaves me a little wanting, you know?

-O
 

Krensky

First Post
I don't see a full-sized preview, just one unreadable teeny tiny full-page as a postage-stamp "free sample" which is totally worthless to me. I HATE that. I have very bad eyesight, and that just chaps me.

This has been addressed. Try the button under the flash flippy page sample thing.
 

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