FantasyCraft 2nd Printing Test Drive

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I got a chance to sit down with a group this past weekend and run through an adventure using the FantasyCraft system from Crafty Games. The adventure was a simple one with pregenerated characters. With 6 player we had a nice mix of classes to fill out the party. "Tired from a long adventure the party sought refuge in a fortified inn along the road to their next destination. You enter into a smokey, crowded room with a buxom serving wench dodging grabbing hands while serving drinks. There's a table in the corner she says as she bustles past"... Yep, a nice quiet place to rest... And so the adventure began. FantasyCraft is a game system that has evolved from D&D 3rd Ed, D20 Modern and the D20 Star Wars systems. It is a level/class based system like D&D. Instead of hit points it utilizes the Wounds/Vitality setup from D20 Star Wars. Armor is used as damage reduction like was done in the D20 Star Wars Revised Core Rules (RCR) rather than the avoidance setup that it is interpreted as in D&D. The system also merges in the Action Points from the D20 Modern setting. Action Points can be used by players to "activate" a critical hit or to improve on a result, such as a hit or damage roll or a skill check. They are earned as rewards from the GM for various things the players have done (such as an in-character humorous comment or solving a piece of the adventure), but the downside is that the GM also earns an Action Point that can be used by the NPCs. The combat system is the same basic tactical setup that D&D 3/3.5 players should be familiar with (5 foot square grid). Characters gain access to abilities like Parry, or special attacks like in the older system. Fantasycraft doesn't use the normal D&D system of Challenge Ratings to help gear them for the players. Instead the monsters are built up with various attributes, like the PCs, which leads to an XP total for the monster. This total is used to gauge the reward for the players defeating the opponent. Unfortunately I only have the preview pdf which is 14 pages long vs the nearly 400 page tome that makes up the game book, so I'm not sure how the experience system works. The book that was available at the playtest was a decent quality hardback with just black & white pages inside. If you're familiar with the HERO system 5th Edition book, then you'll have an idea of how this book is put together. The book is nicely laid out with the sections needed by the players up front and the GM sections towards the back. It is a nice mixture of line art which helps to break up what would otherwise be a fairly monotonous flow of text. All-in-all the system is a very decent and solid one and would be a good system to pick up if you're a fan of the 3rd edition D&D and don't want to follow WotC with 4th edition. And for just $30 for the PDF or $50 for the hardback, you get a Player's Handbook, the DM's guide and the Monster Manual all in one.