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[Let's Read] Fantasy Craft

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#1
Again.

Yeah, I did this back in 2014. But I'm hoping this time I can do it in a less-mechanical fashion. A terse fashion, though, is likely.


Game Background

Fantasy Craft was created by Crafty Games in 2009 from their Spycraft game, derived from a tweaked version of the 3.0 PHB. There was a setting/supplement book (Adventure Companion) a series of extra classes (Crusader, Infernalist, Mist Dancer, Shinobi, Inquisitor, Skirmisher, Avatar, Witch-hunter; anything else is in the Adventure Companion) and some adventures (Tome of High Adventure, Laboratory of the Forsaken, the third-party Old School Fantas series). And pretty much the line is now dead if you aren't interested in fan-created content: the company is two guys working at this part-time, so they have had to focus on making Mistborn and board-games. The magic supplement, Spellbound, has been in development since the game line started, so either don't hold your breath or figure out a way to get Crafty Games to sell you the raw sheets (and then let me know how to do the same).

But seriously, the fan content rocks.


My Background

I got into RPGs because I thought the 3.5 Draconomicon was a book on dragons. And then I got into these myserious "rules" it contained. I'm someone who isn't put off by complexity in rules, doing exclusively PbP and not really caring too much how much time goes into making a character. Actually making the flavor text is the hardest part. I'd say my "start" on true roleplaying was what one of the participants eventually termed "Chaotic Fiction", which is more like writing a story collaboratively than having players and a GM and definitely does not involve numbers and dice. So its also not that I don't like simplicity, I just actually enjoy the "Game" part of "RPG".

Also my really formative experience with fiction was Year of the Griffin (Diana Wynne Jones) and the character of Elda, who is definitely a griffin-sized-and-shaped griffin but isn't portrayed as some kind of fey magical creature or alien but rather a slightly different kind of human. It blew my mind at the time that you could make a physically-animal being into a -- for lack of a less-charged word -- "normal" person. (My guess is Disney just wasn't hitting the right context.) It's been a staple on my fiction ever since.


Art
Spoiler: Show


I like to call this style "action as f#$%": except in maybe a few case there's always something actually happening in a picture, and no one is ever just standing around looking pretty. Unfortunately the cover's the only color you get: the interior art is all black-and-white (you can see a good sample here), but I think that adds to emphasizing the action. However I'm not confident in my ability to evaluate things like representation and appropriateness, so I'm not sure how the book stacks up in that regard.


I'm getting a little worn out from all this enthusiasm, so next time I'll actually start reading the damn thing.
 

Tango Samurai

Dance Warrior
Validated User
#2
Point of Order!
From the Crafty Forums, Aug 9, 2018.
As a matter of fact, yes. We have recently come to the difficult conclusion that several projects in development simply cannot afford our attention any longer, and hired outside developers to get them across the finish line. As anyone who knows us can imagine, this was a difficult bridge to cross, but it's behind us now and we're chugging along full-steam with a number of projects that have been languishing - including Spellbound.

No release date yet, but I just traded emails with the new editor tonight and he's still plugging away. He's actually run into the part of the project that eventually felled me - building a spreadsheet for comparisons of all the spell effects by type, cost, etc. That part always seemed to have more in the rear view along the editing highway than beyond the windshield, but with a project this big it's often easy to lose track of what's left. You sort of just go until you're done, then realize you've lost 15 lbs. and your hair is a shade or two lighter than it was before.

As we have more definitive news, we'll pass it along. For now, though, all we can say is that work is happening again and that it's not happening at our desks anymore. Both of these are Very Good Things (tm).
Patrick Kapera
Crafty Games

Link: https://www.crafty-games.com/forum/index.php?topic=8028.465 Post #479

So hope does exist for Spellbound!
(We'll see, but the fact that after ten years they are talking about it makes me hope.)
 

tobygrandjean

Registered User
Validated User
#3
I do wish they'd come back to FantasyCraft and give it the 2e it deserves, but Mistborn and SpyCraft 3e seems to be where the money's at.
 

Tango Samurai

Dance Warrior
Validated User
#4
I do wish they'd come back to FantasyCraft and give it the 2e it deserves, but Mistborn and SpyCraft 3e seems to be where the money's at.
I personally don't believe FC "needs" a second edition, it's pretty much perfect with the revision they did first year of publishing.
And the idea of a 3rd ed Spycraft is a long long way off, despite playtesting and development for a decade.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#5
So hope does exist for Spellbound!
(We'll see, but the fact that after ten years they are talking about it makes me hope.)
I'm aware of that announcement, but they also did a "Secret Mystery Freelancer Who's Going To Move Things Along" announcement in 2014. I'd rather not try and get anyone's hopes up.
I personally don't believe FC "needs" a second edition, it's pretty much perfect with the revision they did first year of publishing.
I could maybe see a few more tweaks, but not enough for a full edition, and not enough for more a short pdf of new Campaign Qualities.

EDIT: One thing that might be helpful is doing something about the "convert from d20" section. I don't know exactly what, but I'm not sure I feel like it's that necessary or useful any more, and could maybe be replaced by some extra Bestiary content or something.
 

Matrix Sorcica

Embodied Movie Quote
Validated User
#7
I have soured on all things Crafty Games Development Hell. I personally think we'll never see Spellbound (how many people still play FC? A hundred? Is it economically viable to still develop and release it?) or Spycraft 3 for that matter. That ship sailed years ago. Too few people will drop their well supported spy/action games that's been released in the last ten years to switch to an obscure new edition of an unsupported game, imo.

Gonna read this thread with interest, though. I was once very fond of FC - even though they released a new version mere months after I bought the hardcover. Would have been nice if they had caught all that the first time around.
Lots of bugs and semi-broken things in the system even after the revision. But damn, the action fantasy FC catered to lit up my imagination and helped me overcome my DM burn out at the time.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#8
I personally think we'll never see Spellbound (how many people still play FC? A hundred? Is it economically viable to still develop and release it?)....
Hence my comment on "I wish they'd let me pay for whatever they hell they've got and be done with it" comment. I don't even necessarily want to use it: I'll pay to have the collection finally done and then move on to GURPS.
Lots of bugs and semi-broken things in the system even after the revision. But damn, the action fantasy FC catered to lit up my imagination and helped me overcome my DM burn out at the time.
It's at least worth looking at the way it did certain things as ideas for future D&D-derived products.
 

Dirigible

space respect
Validated User
#10
Great timing! I started up a new FC PbP a few months ago, probably due to some masochistic desire for brain-grindingly complex crunch. I still love the number of dials the system has, the options for character creation and species (still the best and most balanced game that lets you play dragons and giants right off the bat for my money, barring something like FATE where it simply doesn't matter) and how it makes details like your choice of weapon matter so much. I'd love to see a verson of it that incorproated some of 5e's smoothed out mechanical innovations.
 
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