[Let's Read] Fantasy Craft

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
Bestiary, C-D

Camel: No ability to spit. Uses the Pathfinder Basics (desert) feat to stand in for getting along in a desert.

Chaos Beast: If this is an adapted D&D monster I can't quite tell: they start off as generic flesh blobs, but if they touch someone they grow a part resembling a bit of that creature, and I think the text is suggesting they can retain memories of these bits. No in-game effect, but cool imagery. Surprisingly not a Horror: this is our first dual-type as an Ooze Outsider. Has a Chaos Touch that enrages and a Devolving Touch that slows.

Chimera: D&D-style with wings and three heads. Immune to being flanked.

Darkmantle: Lifted whole from D&D.

Demons: "....in as many varieties as the depravities of Man...." Certainly not pulling any punches. We get four varieties, but apparently they're all "geniuses" from being cruel and breaking minds for so long.
* Anarchy demons are gremlins of the worst sort, going about using Disguise Self to break stuff with Shatter and minds with Insanity II. Also they split in two when they kill someone.
* Plague demons look like rotting people and go around infecting people with bubonic plague via tentacle slap, killing with Cloudkill, and making you feel yucky with a sickening aura. Also Intimidate X because, yeah, that'd freak me out.
* Temptress demons are succubi: lots of social skills, some mind-magic, shapeshifter, and a soul-drain attack.
* Tormentor demons: fighty. Large size, 18 Str, Cause Wounds, Path of Curses, spiked chain, and a grade IV Damning Glare to make you shaken.

Dinosaurs: Cinematic-type. We've got the three types you absolutely need for "lost worlds" or Cowboys and Dinosaurs:
* Triceratops: A living tank, having a rare Str 22 (for reference only 5 creatures have that, including the top-tier-in-Str dragon, and then everything above is is single).
* Tyrannosaurus Rex: Gets treacherous, meaning even the lowliest one can crit. Actually has a lower Str than the Triceratops, but is Int 4. Though the text says they have impaired sense (scent) the current belief is that's an error.
* Velociraptor: Cinema-sized as opposed to realistic. Smart (Int 6!), fast pack-attacker with good scent and sight and a wicked toe claw.

Dire Creatures: It's a template! But those are in their own section after Bestiary, so you'll have to wait.

Dogs: You know them. You (maybe) love them. You let short people ride on them.
* Guard dogs are the smartest with Int 5, plus the sneakiest and have the best senses.
* Riding dogs are Medium as opposed to Small and have Str 16 combined with Athletics V, so they make good holder-downers. They also have the same Notice as the guard dog, so they're also a good camp sentry if you don't have one of those.
* War dogs are trained and bred to have a better Bite (IV vs II) and use pack tactics (they even have Tactics as a skill). Also they have armor because it makes them look adorable.

Doppelgangers: Not evil, but have a serious "stalk, kill, and replace" fetish. Have both Disguise X and shapeshift II in addition to other skills, class abilities, and spells to let them keep fooling you. Also they're a Horror with crocodile eyes and transparent skin.

Dragons: Despite not having them in their name, Fantasy Craft does not skimp on the dragons or their challenge: there are 6 types, and they range from 184 to 256 XP. Every single one of them has dramatic entrance because if a fight with a dragon isn't a Dramatic Scene then what is?
* Fire dragons are the usual super-strong, super-tough fire-breathing lizards with a taste for gold. Surprisingly they're only Huge (I don't know, I guess D&D conditioned me to think that dragons had to be massively outsized for some reason).
* Forest dragons are supposed to be wingless serpents (either of the oriental or linnorm varieties), but their speed says "winged flight". Typo? They have an acid bite, Choking Breath, and some aquatic traits, so at least some inspiration from D&D's Green. Then throw in some light nature/fey magic and they'd make good Neutral/Blue-and-Orange characters.
* Frost dragons are slightly weaker (except they can survive more crits) versions of the fire dragon and emulating White dragons.
* Royal dragons are the magic/divine dragons: bunch of "order" spells and unlimited spell points means they're excellent "divine" casters, they're immune to the Divine damage type and deal it with their breath weapon, and of course they have shapeshift, Impress IX, and a Captain ability so they can be disguised rulers or mentors.
* Sea dragons are the only Gargantuan ones, and they're exclusive Swimmers (no other movement methods) so I imagine them as reptilian whales (I think they're not sea serpents because they don't have a Squeeze attack). They have a steam breath and a tail slap that deals Explosive damage, so despite having the lowest XP total fights with them are going to be EPIC. And maybe long, considering they have regeneration 5.
* Storm dragons are a lightning-spouting version of the kind you'd expect to be mid-way between the frost and the fire dragons.

Drake: A PC species, so they're a template in the Rogue Templates section.

Drider: About what you'd expect.....except they have a Sting (which is simulated using a Slam attack for some reason; even if the stats are the same a Claw/Talon would have been more appropriate). What, are these supposed to be related to Shelob? One innovation is that their humanoid bit is only "often" elfin, but sadly they're still cruel. This does show that FC doesn't always rely on using PC-based versions of something for a classic monster.

Dwarf: A PC species, so they're a template in the Rogue Templates section.


Next: E-F. Maybe G, but there are a lot of Gs.
 

Felix

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Brain Fiend: Evil humanoids with tentacle faces and psychic powers that eat brains. Apparently they wear garments made of “blackened skin”.
For those who wonder why there are this "completely unique to FC" monster Brain Fiends, it's because a handful of the most iconic D&D monsters were kept out of the open license, so they had to invent their own serial-numbers-filed-off equivalents.
 

Talisman

The Man of Talis
RPGnet Member
Validated User
Chaos Beast: If this is an adapted D&D monster I can't quite tell: they start off as generic flesh blobs, but if they touch someone they grow a part resembling a bit of that creature, and I think the text is suggesting they can retain memories of these bits. No in-game effect, but cool imagery. Surprisingly not a Horror: this is our first dual-type as an Ooze Outsider. Has a Chaos Touch that enrages and a Devolving Touch that slows.
The chaos beast is from 3e.

Dire Creatures: It's a template!
Like it should have been all along!
 

Pteryx

Simulator & Spellcaster
Validated User
I don't suppose anyone has any recommendations for actually seeing a game of FantasyCraft -- any actual plays or the like? It seems like a fascinating system, but I have little hope that I'll ever get to experience it firsthand.
 

Litpho

Wandering stranger
RPGnet Member
Validated User

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
Bestiary, E-G

Eagle: Comes in normal and majestic Cha 16 Giant. Unfortunately the latter is still an Animal with Int 2, so no recreating LotR.

Elder Elemental: “...living embodiments of the primal energies of creation...” And....they’re only Large. A little bit of a let-down, but it costs nothing to change. They also all have the everlasting quality because they’re supposed to be really hard to keep down, being “primal embodiments” and all.
* Air, in a slight weird turn, takes extra damage from electricity (“weird” in that D&D-and-derivatives leans heavily on that connection). They are immune to sonic (as logical) and....lethal. Yeah, these are one of the few enemies with an “OMG, we’re F-U-C-Ked” ability, though fortunately (and a little weirdly) if your weapon deals subdual damage they aren’t immune. In terms of cool attack they have Blasting Wind to sprawl you and Dust Cloud for blinding.
* Earth are tanky. Cool Rift Strike for breaking the ground in a line to knock you down and Shifting Earth is actually a slow effect. Can’t Swim or Tumble; makes sense.
* Fire takes half damage from lethal and tires you out as you fight it with grueling combatant and Heat Wave (heat damage aura).
* Water is as strong as Earth and has better Con. Neat! I didn’t realize till now that the Swimmer movement meant you couldn’t have any other: Elder Water doesn’t have it, instead having superior swimmer X. It’s also the only one with natural spell. Not sure how the Riptide attack is supposed to work: it’s a beam that causes stun.

Elephant: Mentioning that only males have tusks means these are Asian elephants. They big and tough and can gore you with their tusks. This entry also shows how FC Sizes are slightly different from D&D: elephants are Large, not Huge. We also have Mammoths, who might be intended to be wooly mammoths, albeit cinematic pulp giant mammoths at Huge (real woolies were the same size as elephants; these could be some other, bigger species, though).

Elf: Rogue Template. NEXT!

Faerie: These sound a lot more like nature spirits than weird Folk the way elves are. Also apparently contact with mortals corrupts them with mortality, which I don’t think
* Sidhe (aka “the ones where I can’t figure out how you get ‘shee’ from that spelling even though I know it’s because it’s a really old spelling from another language”) are 4e eladrin with the nymph “stunning look” thing.
* Spriggan are horned faerie fighters.
* Sprite are you general tiny fliers with magical powers (mostly simulated with chameleon II (forest/jungle) and shapeshift I. In FC you don’t always need to give an NPC magic to make them magical.

Ghosts: Template!

Ghoul: Ah, we’re going with the “cursed for being evil by being given undead powers” angle. For some reason it doesn’t give them devour, despite “power up by eating body” seems like a very ghoulish thing. Kind of standard D&D otherwise.

Gnoll: Almost manages to make gnolls sound like a Values Dissonant ancient culture rather than evil....except for the part about liking to hear people scream. Not a lot to say about the build: it’s a functional low-XP Folk, plus a shaman variant with Class ability (Priest: benediction) and devoted III (any 1 Path).

Goblins: Another Rogue Template.

Golems: One of the cases where the designers decided that despite having a PC species for this there needed to be builds of monster versions. “Each is an unique creation...” so no golem assembly lines, you hear? All of them actually have Int scores, even if they aren’t very high.
* Clay golems have Int 8 but Cha 1, meaning they can probably do some tactics but can’t talk. Their slam attacks also cause bleed thanks to a curse.
* Flesh: “Fire bad!” Seriously, they take extra damage from fire. These guys actually have a decent Cha score (10), so even with Int 6 you could talk to them.
* Stone: Has Str 24, third-highest in the game. And....have “big, strong brute” abilities. Except Slowing Stare: a slow attack that “robs targets of their will”. That’s new.

Gorgon: The snake-haired king, not the iron bull kind. Apparently like bows a lot, judging from their feat and trick. Usual petrifying gaze.

Griffons: Claims this is a wider group that could have many kinds of rear ends, not just lion or horse. Of course those are the two we get: standard eagle/lion, and then eagle/horse. The griffon is more about fighting with rend and being tough I, but the hippogriffon has slightly better mental stats (Wis 12/Cha 8 vs Wis 10/Cha 6; they both have Int 5) and trades out fighty traits for better flying, running, and travel speed.


Next: H-K.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
Bestiary, H-L

You get an extra letter!

Hag: These sound more like the folkloric Baba Yaga than D&D’s “evil ugly woman”. They’re Outsiders, “lesser manifestations of the power of Fate” who “delight in ‘testing’ heroes”. You certainly don’t want to cross them, what with a couple curse/curse-like spells, a stress-causing Evil Eye attack, and a couple of luck-manipulation feats. Then they’ve got enough Bluff and Sense Motive to play you like a flute. And if you kill them? Everlasting. Clearly someone wanted to put the fear of little old ladies into their PCs.

Harpy: D&D harpies. Except the special song is just the beguiling quality. Also if they have no repulsive, does that mean FC harpies are okay-looking? They eat people, though, so no neutral representation here.

Hell Hound: This is basically a dog with the second type of Outsider, Sneak IX, and some fire-based stuff. Interestingly their flavor-text mentions “karmic damnation”, which sounds like something you get in a setting where demons are servants of gods rather than generic oppositional evil.

Hippocampus: Swimming mount. Only works in water.

Hobgoblin: Medium-sized Roman legionnaire goblins.

Homunculus: We don’t get a lot of entries telling us which traits go with which flavor text, but the entry here actually lets us know a few ways the stuff in the stat block helps out the homunculi’s masters such as class ability (Burglar: look out!) and the Living Library spell. Other than that it’s the D&D version with Blend X.

Horses: We get five different equine stat-blocks here: donkey, draft horse, race horse, riding/wild horse, mule, pony, and war pony. There’s not much to point out about them, as they mostly differ in little ways that make them better-suited for hauling (improved stability), speed (superior runner), or traveling (superior traveler). Interestingly they’ve simulated the donkey/mule stubbornness/self-preservation using the Resolve skill.

Hydra: Seven heads to bite you with, immune to being surprised, outnumbered, and flanked and regeneration 15(!). FC hydras are a legendary threat, as befits their mythological origin. One weird bit, though, is that it’s a Beast with Int 2. The Beast type does say it can have any Int. I guess this means Hydras are sapient but really, really dumb.

Imp: Neither the flavor text nor the stat block do anything you couldn’t imagine from the name. But at least we don’t need a second version for the other kind of evil.

Kobold: FC kobolds are described as “doglike”; nothing suggests reptilian-ness. Other than that they are the same terribly weak (they have mook by default), territorial trapsters.

Kraken: Described almost as a multi-monster encounter the stat-block doesn’t offer any special way for the kraken’s multiple tentacles to each act like their own monster. It’s certainly got a lot of attacks (2 tentacles, 4 slams) and it’s got amazingly high survivability (damage reduction 7, tough IV to allow it to soak 4 crits), and a Control Weather III spell despite being an Animal. But nothing really to help with doing many different things during a turn.

Lamia: They trick and mind-control people, but it comes off as more like bored sphinxes: apparently they guard stuff in the desert, magic people because the are lonely, and love riddles and puzzles. They’re the lion-butt kind, though.

Lich: Template. I suppose it’s nice they stick these into this section so we don’t have to memorize which one it’s in.

Livestock and Game Animals: A semi-miscellaneous collection of herbivores needed to round out the mount tables back in the equipment chapter: bison, cattle/oxen, elk, goat/sheep, and llama. Nothing interesting......except goat/sheep has an Int of “—”. As far as I recall that is the only stat-block with a non-existent attribute score. Everything else gets an Int of at least 1, even stuff that I’m sure everyone could agree on being mindless. Very probably a mistake, but part of me has always wondered about whoever wrote that entry....


Next: M-P.
 

Felix

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Validated User
Hag: These sound more like the folkloric Baba Yaga than D&D’s “evil ugly woman”. They’re Outsiders, “lesser manifestations of the power of Fate” who “delight in ‘testing’ heroes”. You certainly don’t want to cross them, what with a couple curse/curse-like spells, a stress-causing Evil Eye attack, and a couple of luck-manipulation feats. Then they’ve got enough Bluff and Sense Motive to play you like a flute. And if you kill them? Everlasting. Clearly someone wanted to put the fear of little old ladies into their PCs.
I think they were going for the Norns here, beings that can control the fate of people. Which is a more interesting concept than powerful ugly woman from another plane.
 
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