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[Let's Read] Fantasy Craft

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
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I don't think it actually scales perfectly with all creatures; a dragon probably has too many special abilities and tools to actually scale down to Threat Level 1 well. But it does work over a good range, so your 16th level party will be properly terrified of that beholder Watcher In The Dark.
Well in those cases we're talking NPCs with around 200 XP (dragons in the book range from 184 to 256!). If the max "CR" is 161+ XP they're sort of acknowledging that the system just kind of goes bonkers at that point and you're on your own.
3e does allow you to scale monsters up via the addition of extra HD, class levels, or templates...
FC's scaling has the nice feature that you don't have to keep track of feats or any skills you don't want to. It's just pure numbers.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
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Wait a second - are there no example monsters?
Depends by what you mean by "example": If you mean "Do they have a step-by-step example?" then yes, they have two, I just didn't think they were worth mentioning. If you mean "Do they have a bestiary?" then yes, it's just coming after the section on "generic people stats".
 

Felix

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Wait a second - are there no example monsters?
There are example monsters. Just their stats need to be plugged into their threat level. So something with Attack VII gets +2 to hit if it's Threat Level 1 and +14 at Threat Level 10, while Attack II is +0 and +6 respectively.

Edit: Ninja'd
 

NobodyImportant

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Depends by what you mean by "example": If you mean "Do they have a step-by-step example?" then yes, they have two, I just didn't think they were worth mentioning. If you mean "Do they have a bestiary?" then yes, it's just coming after the section on "generic people stats".
Ah, thank you. That makes sense.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

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Rogues Gallery

Do you need a random townsfolk? Are you filling out a random hexcrawl table and need something other than yet another vicious monster? Does one of your players like the idea of a Persona Lieutenant but doesn't want to do that much work? That's what this section is for.

This is all just stat blocks. There's no flavor text beyond what the names and the stats imply. And they're not really interesting stat blocks most of the time, due to things like only a handfull having anything other than all 10s in attributes. Mostly what you want to look at is what Signature Skills the NPC was given and what NPC Qualities.

* Apothecary: For alchemy and medicine. Has really good Medicine, plus some qualities to improve its use.
* Apprentice: Of the crafting kind, not wizard.
* Artist: Is actually as good at Impress as Crafting (note: none of these NPCs have their focuses chosen). Because half of the job of being an artist is convincing people your art isn't random junk.
* Attendant: "Bodyguard" would be more blatant: class ability (Burglar: look out!) means you need someone to use it on.
* Banker: For some reason they have honorable. With all the stereotypes of the greedy money-lender it never occurred to me that there's probably little way to bribe them (< not serious)
* Barkeep/Tavern Master: Decent Athletics and the grappler quality suggest this individual is supposed to be very good at picking up and throwing out your sorry @$$.
* Bowman: Good Search and decent Sneak because this is your budget sniper.
* Brigand: Good Intimidate and a quality for using it on more than one individual at a time is perfectly in-line with "Your money or your life!"
* Con Man: Wow! Bluff IX and cold read mean even PCs might not want to go up against this guy.
* Craftsman: For crafting things. Also decent Haggle so they can get a good price out of you, and decent Resolve so it's not as easy to talk them into doing it for free.
* Cutpurse: Blend VII so they don't see you coming, and superior runner I so you can get away with the loot.
* Damsel: In distress? More like Princess Sara: Impress VIII and a couple social feats, not to mention Intimidate III as a backup, means she'll probably be running the joint by the time the heroes get there.
* Devotee: Priest-light.
* Entertainer: All about the Impress. And having the ability to dance your opponents into unconsciousness (via class ability (Burglas: slippery)). Also fire-juggling, judging by the gear entry.
* Farmer: One of the few with a >10 attribute: Con 12. And....Signature Skills you expect from a farmer: Athletics, Crafting, Survival. Meaning they’re decent at getting along in the wilderness.
* Fortune Teller: Actually has a bit of Spellcasting, but it’s mostly about the Bluff.
* Goon: Mooks who gang up on you.
* Guide: Scout-light.
* Guild Boss: Actually pretty brutal: Haggle X, Impress VII, Intimidate VII, always manages to have good bribe bonuses, has the Courtier gamebreaker, and is immune to a condition that imposes skill penalties. Not a combat wombat, but can easily be the Godfather.
* Hunter: What It Says On The Tin, focused on animals.
* Knight: Str 15 (because you can’t use a lance otherwise) just starts you off on this combat character. Some Impress, but most stuff relates to combat. Honorable, because this is a Hollywood knight, dammit!
* Laborer: For doing stuff.
* Man-at-Arms: Footsoldier to the knight’s cavalry.
* Mercenary: A Man-at-Arms with some sneaky fighting and Haggle.
* Merchant: A true social challenge that will make any PC hate you because Haggle X and has expertise (Haggle).
* Necromancer: Has good Medicine skill and can cast Speak with Dead for the original recipe necromancer. Is also stinky. Like, as an NPC Quality.
* Nobleman: A poncy, floncy witty swashbuckler to judge by having some of the Repartee feats and a rapier.
* Outrider: A lookout on a horse.
* Peasant: Comes with own pitchfork. Needs torches.
* Scholar: For smarty-brains stuff: research mostly, but great Medicine too.
* Servant: Pretty much go nothing going for them except Blend V. Ninja-butler!
* Strumpet: They’re armed with a stiletto and can ruin your reputation.
* Town Drunk: Baby’s first smelly angry man berserker.
* Town Crier: For some reason also has Investigation V. Maybe to represent how much dirty they know.
* Treasure Hunter: Rival adventurer with standard-issue bullwhip.
* Warlord: Captain-light.
* Watchman: Could actually do some investigating with Investigate V. Overhears things meant to be kept secret with improved sense (hearing)
* Wizard: Generic Mage-light.
* Worshiper: A very stubborn member of the congregation.


Rogue Templates

Now the Rogues are all human by default. Or, at least, very human-like non-humans. But let’s say you want to make them more-distinctively non-human. Then you add Rogue Templates: Species for NPCs. These will not replicate the full PC-Species stats (and they have a side-bar justifying it both in-setting and for gaming reasons): e.g. only the Unborn has a minus to an attribute (and given that if you apply that to a Cha of 10 it gives you no points back you have to be careful) and Restricted Checks becomes general advice not to take those skills. In one case, the Saurian template, they add a hold-breath NPC Quality the PC Species doesn’t have!

It does, however, prepare us for how the FC NPC building system makes templates a snap as we’ll see after the Bestiary.


Next: We have to go through a short section on NPC flavor primping. But then we can finally start on the Bestiary.
 

Felix

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Just a note that most of these are pretty affordable as Followers or a Personal Lieutenant. The formulas for those are based on an XP base plus a few extra XP for each feat in the right category, so it's not difficult for your shadowy types to have a Guild Boss or Necromancer as a loyal servant.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
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Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
Beyond The Name

Mostly consists of some random tables: two for names, one for NPC quirks, and one for motivations.

For names you generally roll on Name by Species, under your character’s species, first to find out which columns you roll on Random Name Generator to find out your name combo. This is going to result in a lot of Luke Nounverber-type names, with an occasional “the”, with the most creative being the unborn one where you simply add the result of 1d20 to your name somehow. Examples are given for each result; highlights include “Bludshak” (“Blood Shack! Baby, Blood Shack!”), “Kell Devil Summer” (“Note spelling”), “Bastard Bruce the Axe” (perfect D&D name), “Law of the Root” (rootwalker mysterious wanderer), and my favorite “Jade Weasel Mk. IX”.

The NPC Quirks has four columns: Appearance, Mannerisms, Personality, and Props (which includes body features as well). As an exmaple:
sample table rolls: 4#1d20 20 7 8 1
We get a Savage with a Lisp who is Sorrowful and wears an Ornate Ring.

And for the NPC Motivation table:
sample table rolls 2: 1d20 9 = Justice
Our sample NPC “seeks to right a wrong or capture a law-breaker. Perhaps he could deputize the characters....” i.e. the PCs.


Bestiary, A-B

Finally, the part of the book people might pay attention to!

We’re helpfully told the beings in this section are often referred to as “monsters” because they’re different from the heroic species which include giant walking trees, iron golems, and freaking dragons. Clearly FC sets the dividing line much further. (Also we’re told anything from here on is subject to GM discretion if you want it to be anything other than a PL or Animal Partner.)

Angels: Unfortunately we don’t get any old-school “wheels with eyes” stuff. Instead we get the usual “superheroes with wings”. I mean the fluff’s cool in a clichéd "glory" sort of way. But not innovative.
* Avenging angels have massive stats: DR 8 (3rd highest in game), take only half damage from acid/cold/electrical/fire, regeneration 5, spell defense IV, and veteran III so they’re always 3 levels above the party. This is so they can smite $#!+ and do law stuff with two Steps of the Order Path.
* Guardian angels heal. They also have Impress X for the ultimate bed-side manner.
* Herald angels are disguised Trumpet Archons. No, seriously, their only gear is a masterwork silver trumpet. Which probably comes in handy for their sonic damage attack. Plus Impress X (I'm wondering if there was a copy/paste error with the Guardian) and a Priest class ability that buffs.

Animated Object: Nothing completely innovative here: we get a flying sword and generic “furniture” and “vehicle”. About the most interesting thing is Furniture getting chameleon II (indoors/settled) so you could be sitting on one right now. Also the actually have Int scores (it’s “1”, but it’s the thought that counts).

Apes: These are fantastic pulp apes, the kind of claws and giant white versions from “deep in lost jungles”. Though interestingly they’re Beasts, so they should be sapient.

Barghest: Horrifying man-wolfs who can change into anyone and leave no tracks if they wish.

Basilisk: The D&D version with the extra legs. Very high attack stat, interestingly. And, as FC does things, it’s an Animal.

Bears: Comes in two flavors: “Bear” -- which by size I assume is a black bear -- and “Grizzly” for being slightly larger and fight-ier.

Brain Fiend: Evil humanoids with tentacle faces and psychic powers that eat brains. Apparently they wear garments made of “blackened skin”.

Bugbear: We’re going to be seeing a lot of converted D&D monsters.

Bulette: See? There is no actual “tremorsense” in FC, so bulettes just have generic “blindsight”. Also they’re fearless II, meaning they won’t run from a fight except by GM fiat.

Burrowing Behemoth: “Bipedal beetles” with “Confusing Gaze”. Hm, not sure what these could be.[/sarcasm] But since FC doesn’t have a save attack that inflicts their version of the confuse spell the Confusing Gaze actually causes the enraged condition, which requires some more tactics to use effectively.


Next: C through quite a lot of D.
 
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