[Let's Read] Fantasy Craft

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
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Chapter 7: Worlds

This chapter may turn out a bit tricky because it's a lot of text to read, but about half of it is GM advice you probably don't need me to detail for you since you've read some version of it somewhere.

Chapter 7 does open with my favorite piece of FC art: it's a landscape, but one that starts as an old-timey map at the bottom and shifts to perspective as you go up, with a griffon flying towards the sun framed by clouds.

World Building

First thing your advised is that you don't need to do more than maybe a paragraph for experienced RPGers. It's the new people who need more in-depth stuff. Based on the way some people go gaga over heavily-detailed world-building I'm not so sure that holds.

What is the Spirit of Your Game?: aka, "What do you want to be doing in terms of roleplay?"

What is Your Game's Genre?: A list of example fantasy genres, what they mean, and examples from media. Traditional (aka "high") fantasy is the usual suspects. Sword and Sorcery is the usual suspects with muscles that hate wizards. Dark fantasy is the one I don't like.* Epic fantasy should probably be called "mytho-folkloric". Gonzo fantasy is apparently anything semi-super-power-ish (seriously, they list "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", which I think should go under "Epic fantasy", and "Avatar: The Last Airbender" which feels very much like it ticks all the "Traditional fantasy" boxes). And Political fantasy is Game of Thrones.

* As an aside how many people today know what I'm talking about when I say "dark fantasy" and "Midnight"?

What's You Game's Era?: aka "What vague time period would Hollywood cast your movie in?" The text says these are simplifications, but then goes into some pretty detailed explanations about what each one entails. Despite what I say they aren't presented as complete stereotypes, it's just easier for me to think of them that way:
* Primitive is fur bikinis and rocks on sticks: Stone Age up until someone figures out metal (or maybe specifically bronze).
* Ancient is "sword and sandal": Bronze Age up til the Classics scholars stop caring.
* Feudal is vikings and poncy knights: "Dark" Ages until chivalry is dead.
* Reason is musketeers and pirates: Renaissance til Enlightenment.
* Industrial is Victorian Punk Time: book says it's about the 19th century. This is the only era no represented in this book; they say it's only here in case you want to run something "futuristic". Given that once, early in the line's history, there was going to be a gear supplement I have to guess this was future-proofing.

What Do People Believe?:
Here the game is finally going to tell us how Alignments work. Of course being in this chapter it's also going to try and convince us to think about how this impacts the game's world. It helpfully reminds us Alignments don't do much without the Miracles Campaign Quality that's coming later. You're only allowed to have one Alignment, but given that they present being allowed to choose two of Good/Evil and Chaos/Order, each with completely separate write-ups I'm guessing the limit doesn't have much, if anything, to do with game balance.

Actually deciding to use the Miracles Campaign Quality has two ramifications that need to be decided on: 1) using it as justification for going Narrative Control for spending AD, 2) granting Paths and some other effects. By implication you could decide to only have the first if you maybe wanted to keep spellcasting evil or something.

An Alignment (or Alignment part) consists of a Name, Alignment Skills (extra class skills to Priests), Paths (the highest I've seen in any official book is 5), Ritual Weapon (somewhat annoying they kept this aspect of D&D clerics: why should every deity care about weapons), an Avatar (a creature up to 120 XP you can summon with an optional Priest class feature), and maybe an Alignment it's "opposed" to in order to trigger certain bonuses.

As examples they give a God of Stereotypical Dwarves, the four Classical elements, and the D&D alignments (with Order standing in for Lawful).

Also rules for undergoing a Sub-plot in case you want your Priest/Paladin/other Path user to lose their religion and acquire a new one.

Next: Today will probably be a double-feature: I'll cover the actual Paths when I have some more time later.


Registered User
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Paths (the highest I've seen in any official book is 5)
I've been trying to world build a fantasycraft setting for my general use and what I noticed with creating alignments that if you have more then 5 overlap between the alignments increases (this is of course without home brewed alignments) to almost guaranteed and priest of an alignment can be more dissimilar then priests of different alignments.

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
I've been trying to world build a fantasycraft setting for my general use and what I noticed with creating alignments that if you have more then 5 overlap between the alignments increases (this is of course without home brewed alignments)....
While that wouldn't personally bother me (there are often times I think similar Alignments should overlap) if there's math to it that's interesting.

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User

Ah, the second thing this section says is to advice 2 to 5 Paths. Of course more Paths may be better, since you get more variety, but since a character is unlikely to get more than 10 Steps, total, even with 2 no one is likely to find themselves without something to take. (I'd personally be more worried about which Ritual Weapon is better to get for free.)

In the vast majority of cases Paths don't grant spells at Step 1. Instead you usually get some kind of passive bonus to something such as a skill, save or Resistance to some kind of damage, or a free feat.

Path of Air could maybe be called Path of Storms: it gets you Electrical and Bang (deafening damage) Resist, the ability to turn your punches into lightning, and spells like Control Weather and Call Lightning. About the only non-storm spell is Air Walk.

Paths of Beasts is very attractive, especially if you want to make your Priest into a 3e Druid: you get Animal Partner, and eventually their level becomes equal to yours (rather than "yours - 4"). You also gain Turn towards Animals and some animal-related spells like Nature's Ally and Hold Animal.

You only gain 2 spells along Path of Beauty, both Charm Person grades. Mostly what you get is the Comely/Elegant/Enchanting feat tree for more Charisma and Impress bonuses.

Path of Chaos was considered a bit suspect from what I remember: it's Step I can randomly give you double your AD roll or subtract the amount. Also it twice boost an attribute, but a randomly-determined one. Some fans consider it too random.

Path of Curses is fairly self-explanatory: condition-imposing spells and feats that let you mess with peoples' errors.

Path of Darkness is mostly just about shadows and the dark, granting a Sneak bonus in such conditions and eventually letting you become incorporeal, but it has two "dark is EVIL" spells with Phantasmal Killer and Mass Cause Wounds III.

Path of Death is pretty much necormancy: you gain Animate Dead spells (there's a typo which has to gaining Animate Dead II twice) in addition to killing stuff like Finger of Death and a bonus to damage vs living creatures. It's one of the few Paths with a Step I spell: Deathwatch.

Path of Deceit is both about lying and about making false copies of yourself with Mirror Images and Project Presence. At Step 5 you gain an Assassin class ability, bald-faced lie.

Apparently the Path of Destruction considers dispelling magic to be destruction, given it has Counter Magic I. The rest are obvious choices: Shatter, Harm, Disintegrate, etc. You do gain the option of an acid punch, though.

Path of Earth is a little all-over the place: you can Turn constructs, gain Pathfinder Basics (caverns/mountains) for Falling Resist, and a burrow speed (okay, that one makes sense).

Path of Evil starts out by letting you kill people who are helpless or fallen easier, gives you 4 spells the exact same as Good (because they’re based on Alignment, but still), and you will eventually gain the Horror type.

Path of Fire is.....fire stuff: Resistance, fire punch, and fire spells.

Path of Fortune gets you a really cool ability at Step 2: you get free crits a few times per scene. Also it’s a very unusual path in that it grants you no spells, just better ways to use Action Dice.

Path of Good is like Path of Evil, except a bonus to cooperation checks and the Angelic Heritage feat.

Path of Heroism isn’t all about you: all 4 spells are or can be used on others (Heroism I+II, Hero’s Feast, Command I), you get to use the Captain’s battle planning, and the Step I ability gets you AD to share with others.

A bonus to Knowledge checks, some skill cap, an Int boost, and clue-gathering spells. That’s Path of Knowledge.

Path of Life is healing. Unique among the Paths in that at Step V your two spells are only castable 1/adventure rather than 1/scene.

Path of Light gets you two spells at Step I (of course Step I spells are always Circle 0, but they’re at-will) and immunity to flash damage. Step II gets you a blinding trick for combat. The rest are obvious light-related spells.

Path of Magic in the first printing of the game gave you Mage-type spellcasting up to Circle IV. Here it gives you a save bonus vs spells and spells that let you detect and manipulate magic like Identify and Anti-Magic Field.

Path of Metal only has three spells: Tinker II, Keen Edge, and Iron Body. The rest is either a bonus to crafting with metal or bonuses relating to making your metal stuff indestructible.

Path of Nature starts with a bonus to Survival, the rest is spells like Pass Without Trace, Tree Walk, and Conjure Elemental IV.

Path of Order is a bit like Chaos, giving you an AD-based ability at Step I, attribute boosts (not random this time), and spells like Zone of Truth and......Permanency? I suppose...

Path of Protection could easily be called Path of the Bodyguard: between Step IV’s “everyone on the team has advantage on saves”, Shield Other, and a bonus to Notice checks you’d be really good at it.

Path of Deceit may be about lying, but Path of Secrets is about hiding stuff. The spells are things like Obscure Object, Mind Blank, and Mass Invisibility. Plus you can ferret out them using the cold read ability.

Path of Spirits starts you off with Spirit Resistance. I’m not exactly sure what that is, but it comes with Dancing Lights and Whispers so I can’t complain. This is actually a very good class for a “listens to the spirits for advice” kind of character, what with Scrye I, Living Library II, and Wisdom boosts.

Path of Strength is all about getting swole, bro: bonus to Athletics, Unarmed/Natural Attack Rsist, a Size increase (only to Large; useless for Giants and such), and a Str boost at Step V of +4.

Path of Travel increases your speed by 5 four times. Oh, and some obstacle-bypassing spells like Knock and Phase Door, and orienteering spells like Find the Path.

Path of War starts you off with extra Ritual Weapon damage. You gain self-buffs in the form of Magic Armor and True Strike I. And at Step IV you gain a minion-sweeping trick because of course you can go all Dynasty Warriors.

Path of Water gives you water and ice spells. Also gets you water-breathing and fast swimming at Step II. Weirdly at Step V you gain a class ability that allows you to restore Vitality which, while occasionally linked to water due to healing associations, isn’t established beforehand. (Me, I like to grant portable cover I [see p. 51] for water-bending.)

Step I of Path of Wilderness is objectively better than Step I of Path of Earth because Wilderness gets you any one Pathfinder Basics you want PLUS Endure Elements at will. The rest is the Mastery and Supremacy, then Scout’s master tracker.

Ack! That was more stuff than I thought.

Next: We talk about spellcasting, species, and societies.

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
World Building (continued)

Can People Cast Spells?: Unlike some other games (not just D&D....but mainly D&D) spellcasting is not automatically assumed. Even if it is GMs are within their rights is unavailable to PCs for one reason or another. You could even disallow the Mage class and require all those who want to sign up to take the Sage or Alchemist to gain any.

The rest is general exhortations to think about what the existence of this system means to a society.

What Species Exist in Your Game?: What can your PCs be and what will be your NPCs be? You’re very much encouraged to personalize whatever choices you make, down to changing the species stats (wherein they mention banned action in a PC context, when the book doesn’t do that any more). And, of course, they plug their forum if you need help. I can’t tell if it’s a good or unfortunate idea that they seem to suggest the GM shouldn’t engage with Species Feats until they’ve run the game a few times.

Also this piece of advice at the end: “Most mature players can get past a bit of mild species bias, and to a few it’s a roleplaying gold mine, but nothing good can come of outright, universal rancor between characters. It’s a license for the childish and impudent to act out, and a recipe for disaster in a gaming group.”

From here on till we hit Campaign Qualities it’s world-building advice that’s more than half stuff doesn’t need to be summarized here (either because everyone reading has already read something like it before or because the reader is new and should really read it themselves). And then occasionally they say something worth noting:

Nations and Organizations: Two good pieces of advice I really like here: one says essentially not to turn all guildmasters (and by extension, all persons of authority) into “crime kingpins” and instead sometimes make them forces for Good; the other likens nations/organizations to deities, which, if you’ve ever seen stuff like nationalism, is very apt.

The bad bit comes when the advice encourages giving certain Renown tracks access to different parts of the “spend Rep” system and then suggests some of this can be balanced by roleplaying disadvantages. I’m on the skeptical side of RP disadvantages.

Way of Life: Has three entire paragraphs on setting up a class or caste system. Which then ends with suggesting that different classes/castes might earn or be allowed to keep different amounts of Rep. That’s really not needed.

Trade and Currency: Your encouraged not to make “silver piece” always mean exactly that and to pick your world’s currency.

Gear: What to allow in and what to say no to, even accounting for what Era says should be there. This section also mentions several magic-item-related campaign qualities we’ll see later, as well as workshops that were mentioned way back in the Equipment chapter.

Languages and Studies: I like how FC advises you not to go overboard with languages: max 10, unless you really need more. On the other hand it encourages you to go narrow with Studies.

The Calendar: I will probably never understand bothering with fantasy calendars, but the advise is here.

Crime and Punishment: We actually get simple rules for trials: it’s a Skill Challenge Complex Task, with a table that tells you the number of successes for various crimes, severity (what the DC for each check is and sample punishments), and whether you have a court favorable enough to grant some extra chances. The listed crimes feel maybe a little too historical, given that Rape requires fewer successes to get off than Heresy.

History: Nothing I can think of to say.

Geography and Climate: I like how they acknowledge you can start with nations/cultures/species and work backwards to determine these: I feel like the other way has some loud supporters (but that’s probably because they’re not well-supported).

That was kind of a lot of nothing. It’s probably good advice for only being a couple pages, but I’ve always had a hard time with world-building sections as they seem to be written for people who have a better grasp of what they want to do than me.

Next: Campaign Qualities. Aka “We decided to include system tweaks in the core book rather than make you wait for a supplement.”

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
Campaign Qualities

“Yo, dawg, I heard you like houserules. So I made you some official ones so you don’t have to be a rules-genius to figure out how to tweak the game to do what you want.” -- Fantasy Craft, gloriously not getting the meme

This is considered one of Fantasy Craft’s big positives. Like, in D&D they’ll suggest a few half-hearted changes in the DM’s Guide or just give you permission to tweak things and think that’s enough. They’ll later release a book of tweaks so they can change you extra for wanting to figure out how to play differently. I suppose that’s fine for a game that wants everyone to play the same way (and then doesn’t say that). But Fantasy Craft wants to be a toolkit.

There are technically two kinds of Campaign Qualities, though you can use one the first as one of the second: Temporary and Permanent. The difference is the GM can spend Action Dice to turn on Temporaries for a scene, but Permanent are always on. Why does it cost the GM to turn them on? Probably to keep them from messing with the players. (Note: This makes it sound like Temporaries are all bad, but they include both good and bad.)

The book advises you not to use too many initially just so they’re not hard to keep track of.

The qualities are (ones that are only Permanent are marked):
Adventure Insurance (Perm): Normally when you lose something that costs Rep you just lose all the Rep you spent on it. This lets you get half back if you lost it for heroic or otherwise uncontrollable reasons. (Personally I think this should have been the default.)

Beefy Heroes: Become a Frazetta picture: get Lethal and Subdual Resist based on Str.

Bleak Heroes: PCs have fewer AD and they don’t explode.

Bold Heroes: PCs have more AD and they explode on more numbers.

Code of Honor: Lose Rep if you break the code.

Complex Heroes (Perm): Double XP for Subplots.

Dead Means Dead: Can’t Cheat Death and no everlasting NPCs. Surprisingly it still allows resurrection magic, albeit at double cost.

Deadly Combat: All attacks have higher threat range.

Dominant Heroes: PCs or specials have auto-crits unless the target spends an AD.

Doomed Heroes: Auto-crits against PCs.

Dramatic Pacing (Perm): Pretty much anything that had a real rime duration becomes “per scene”.

Fast Attributes, Fast Feats, Fast Interests, Fast Levels, Fast Proficiencies (Perm): Actually 5 separate Qualities, but they all basically do the same thing: increase how fast the indicated acquisition happens, and generally causing a character to end up with more of them (excepting levels).

Feat Exchange (Perm): GM chooses a feat category (it says “tree”, but the example uses all Species feats) and you can exchange any feat you get for one of that type.

Flexible Magic Items (Perm): Items may have Essences and Charms in any number up to their max slots.

Fragile Heroes (Perm): Halves class Vitality.

Greater Magic Items (Perm): Increase max slots for qualities on magic items.

Hearty Heroes: Heal when not resting and double when you do.

Hewn Limbs: Lowers amount of damage needed to trigger critical injuries and massive damage.

Iron Heroes: Increases amount of damage needed to trigger critical injuries and massive damage.

Jacks of All Trades: No untrained skill penalties.

Larger-Than-Life Heroes (Perm): Increase points for attribute purchase and you can buy scores above 18.

Lesser Heroes (Perm): Lower points for attribute purchase and you can’t start above 18, no exceptions.

Luck Abounds: Up AD size and you can spend as many as you want at once.

Miracles (Perm): Lets you use anything that requires Paths. Also as its own sub-tweaks:
--Beneficent Universe (Perm): Gain a Step I for taking an Alignment.
--Fickle Universe: Roll on a table each session to see if the universe is going to help or screw with the PCs.
--Generous Universe: Gain AD for acting in service of your Alignment.
--Indifferent Universe: Players can’t claim “divine assistance” when using Narrative Control.
--Strict Universe (Perm): Everyone has to have an Alignment.
--Warring Universe: Opposing Alignments gain bonuses to rolls based on Cha.
--Wrathful Universe: Having an Alignment means having a permanent curse that triggers if you violate its codes.

Monty Haul (Perm): No heavy load (I assume there’s still max loads) and can keep double Prizes.

Non-Scaling NPCs (Perm): You know how in D&D every kind of monster basically has an assumed level to be encountered at. That’s what this does.

Paranoia: Tweaks the numbers of social skills checks to be slightly against the PCs.[/B]

Plentiful Magic Items (Perm): Bonuses to rolling treasure in regards to magic items.[/B]

Rampant Corruption: It’s easier to bribe people.[/B]

Rare Magic Items (Perm): Penalties to rolling treasure in regards to magic items.

Reputable Heroes: Double Rep awards.

Reviled Heroes: Halve Rep rewards.

Savage Wilds: Ups chance of random encounters.

Sorcery (Perm): Let you use anything that requires the Spellcasting skill. Also has its own sub-tweaks:
--Corrupting Magic: Casting may result in gaining a special graded condition called tainted that imposes some penalties and, if you get grave V, turns you into an NPC.
--Cyclical Magic: GM rolls each scene to find out if spell points are halved, normal, or doubled.
--Difficult Magic: Spellcasting checks and cast times go up.
--Easy Magic: Spellcasting checks and cast times go down.
--Lost Magic (Perm): It costs Rep to gain certain spells (as determined by GM).
--Potent Magic: Save DCs and numerical effects go up.
--Random Magic (Perm): Spells are learned by randomly rolling on a table.
--Ubiquitous Magic (Perm): Everyone has Wis mod Circle 0 spells.
--Wild Magic: If you get a Crit Success or Failure for Spellcasting you roll on a table to find out what else happens. Also said threat/error ranges go up.

Tense: Double stress damage and no taking 10.

Thrifty Heroes (Perm): Everyone’s Prudence goes up.

Triumphant Heroes (Perm): Gain Rep for spending AD on a crit.

Versatile Heroes (Perm): Brings back 3.x’s “spend double on cross-class skills”.

Wire Fu: Specials can use their movement in any direction (but need to end on a solid surface).

Next: Adventure Building.


Wandering stranger
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If I recall correctly, having GMs spend action dice from a limited pool is a leftover from the tournament play of Living Spycraft. Whether that effort to minimize differences of GM style worked in practice is an exercise for the reader.

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
Adventure Building

Here we get into the advice on how to make adventures. Unfortunately, like world-building advice, a lot of this goes through my head unheard somehow, as my style is much more “Even I don’t always know what I’m going to do next”. As a result I’m reading pages of text that I then don’t know how to turn around and say anything about. Nor, maybe, do I need to, if we, again, assume you either know all this already or should be reading it yourselves.

The book does a very good job of going over everything a GM might needed to be prompted to think about: how to start the story (complete with a random table of 20 sort-of-generic seeds), considering PC and NPC motivations and thinking about locations. It lays out what scenes are and what needs to be considered about them, including advice on leaving clues and cinematic scene styles like cut scenes and flashbacks. The initial advice of this section suggests you shouldn’t plan more than 3-5 scenes, but doesn’t give hard rules (such as “ends when PCs rest”) and points out a “scene” could be a long stretch of time like a montage of the PCs waiting around for the action to happen.

Menace: While XP is how you determine how much a threat something is individually to the PCs, Menace is the adventure’s difficulty. It comes in 5 levels: trifling, routine, challenging, dangerous, and death-defying. This adjusts things like relative Threat Level (from -2 to +4), how many Dramatic Scenes there should be, how much XP the NPCs should be, GM AD, and rewards.

Threat Level: To determine approximately what level NPCs should be you average the party level, then add the modifier from Menace (plus NPCs with veteran have extra levels).

Dramatic Scenes: Special scenes where the stakes are high. This means things like everyone can activate threats and PCs can’t Cheat Death.

True to its spy-mission roots, FC advises laying out XP awards based on objectives to complete. It’s reasonably thorough in advising how to lay this out, but doesn’t make the process more complicated than “Figure out some objectives, see if any can have outcomes of increasing complexity, award increments of 25 XP based on previous”.

We’re also told how to deal with NPCs and their XP awards: you can earn that amount in or out of combat, there’s nothing about different amounts for killing or not killing. (Of course they don’t mention that if you want to encourage non-killing you could award additional XP in the form of the Objective “Leave [NPC X] alive”.)

We also get to know more about the standard and special distinction: standards come in mobs equal to number of PCs, with XP awarded for defeating the whole mob; specials are singular. There’s also the designation of “villain”, which are NPCs that act sort of like PCs in that they can’t be mind-controlled by social skills and can Cheat Death. GMs can even go Inverse Ninja and turn a standard into a special at the cost of AD.

Next: Traps, Complex Tasks, Diseases, Experience, Reputation.

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User

I’ll start by saying when I was introduced to traps in 3e I didn’t get why the game bothered. I understood traps from movies and video games, but those never seemed like things that needed doing as much as things that messed with whatever action sequence was going on. I didn't get why D&D wanted characters to stop and futz with them: pausing action was antithetical to how I saw traps. It seemed mostly an excuse to have one skill and one class ability.

Fantasy Craft makes "traps" good again by redefining them as basically anything requiring a skill check that could hurt the PCs.. Heads on spikes to scare them? Trap. Password or an alarm is set off? Trap. Secret test of character or get zapped by lightning? Trap. Also the skill you use to bypass/survive them differs based on the kind: a logic/word puzzle is Investigate, a riddle is Bluff.

The "type of challenge/what kind of skill to use" is called the Mechanism. There's also the Difficulty (DC and how many checks), Concealment (how hard it is to find), Target (person who set it off, random, or everyone), and Effect (what type of damage or condition). These add to the XP award of the Trap.

The section even gives 6 examples ranging from Bubbling Oil Pit to Horrific Exhibit.

Complex Tasks

This lays out multi-skill challenges and how to put them together. First it defines two types: Progress and Precision; roughly "you need to do everything in order" vs "you need to succeed more than fail". It's not just boring "succeed/fail" checks mentioned here: they also give an example list for "events", or "extra things to happen because of/during the checks". It even addresses the Shadowrun Decker Problem by suggesting anyone not participating in a Task be allowed to cheer to give the participant(s) a morale boost (or just give them something else to do).

We get two examples: having to climb up in and disable a giant clockwork robot that's going to destroy a town (complete with interior defense automatons), and a trapped tomb filling with gas that has a random table for bad things to happen to them each time they fail.


The text is mostly an admonishment to Be Very Careful because diseases can be crippling. Mostly this is here for the table of example diseases, which come with Incubation periods (in a period of 1d6 days or years) and an effect that's usually a multi-attribute penalty (a lot are -2, but at worst is Ebola with -8!). The real draw here is the column for fantasy names of the diseases and their pre-germ-theory hypothesized origins (e.g. Bubonic Plague is spread by monsters; Leprosy comes from consorting with the undead; and Smallpox is spread by romancing out of status).


How XP works. Bleh. I'll just give you the highlights: You can only level 1/adventure. They estimate about 40-50 adventures to get to 20 at their recommended rate (about two years if you meet bi-weekly). There's a sidebar mentioning fiat leveling.


The Other Filthy Lucre. Mostly you get it at the end of an adventure, where, depending on Menace, you get 2-20 + whatever the character's Legend is. They really want you to play up this being a social currency based off tales of the characters' deeds.

You can also introduce Rep penalties if you want, about 1-3 for really egregious violations. This can even take away Renown if the hits brings you below 0.

Next: Treasure.


RPGnet Member
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Complex Tasks

This lays out multi-skill challenges and how to put them together. First it defines two types: Progress and Precision; roughly "you need to do everything in order" vs "you need to succeed more than fail". It's not just boring "succeed/fail" checks mentioned here: they also give an example list for "events", or "extra things to happen because of/during the checks". It even addresses the Shadowrun Decker Problem by suggesting anyone not participating in a Task be allowed to cheer to give the participant(s) a morale boost (or just give them something else to do).

We get two examples: having to climb up in and disable a giant clockwork robot that's going to destroy a town (complete with interior defense automatons), and a trapped tomb filling with gas that has a random table for bad things to happen to them each time they fail.
Normally I find it interesting how FC went a different direction than 3.x. This time it's interesting how FC went a different direction than 4e.

I'm not sure I love Complex Tasks, but the added element that either there's a time limit or short term consequences to a failed roll make them a lot more interesting than Skill Challenges, which as far as I can tell turn a situation from "Roll a skill" to "Roll a skill several times."
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