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[Let's Read] Fantasy Craft

prototype00

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Validated User
#41
Crafty planned a giant game line for Spycraft 2 as well, which mostly didn't materialize either. I don't think Mistborn had anything to do with it (which a system that seems to attract little praise or discussion); I just think the early followup products for those games didn't do well enough to justify making all the other stuff they at one point hoped to produce.
But Mistborn seems to be all they do these days, releases of increasing regularity! It must be enough to bankroll them in its entirety, one assumes? More so than innovative and exciting lines like FC and SC?

*ugh* There is a Mistborn ad right now on the forum header.
 
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Matt Sheridan

Minus 10 horse points.
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#42
Oh no, there's a separate species feat for that. A lot of the "half-X" things from D&D are now species feats.
Nice! I definitely prefer that kind of design for hybrids.

I do really like how D&D 5e sped up character generation by not giving everybody feats at first level, but it is unfortunate how that decision cuts off the opportunity for modular species/heritage abilities.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#43
I do really like how D&D 5e sped up character generation by not giving everybody feats at first level, but it is unfortunate how that decision cuts off the opportunity for modular species/heritage abilities.
Hybrid Blood presents a simple 3 choice race-builder: pick 2 physical packages and 1 upbringing package and you have your race traits. It's dual-stated for Pathfinder 1e and 5e D&D.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#44
Specialty

So I’m not concretely certain how to cover this section as it’s mostly mechanics and there are 36 of these suckers. Bear with me.

So I said specialties are kind of like mini-classes. That’s an imperfect description as they don’t give you any number progression like BAB and hit points. But they are a package of features you get to start with that aren’t locked in by your class (with the caveat that there are two that aren’t going to be quite complete unless you take the Mage class) and it can kind of end up like you get to multi-class at first level. You can compare them to earlier D&D’s kits, or 5e’s backgrounds, except neither gives an idea of how robust they are.

Let’s try to pull out a simple sample situation:
Say you’re taking Mage (the “arcane” caster class) for 1st career level, but you want to play a gish. You could take the Fighter specialty for better armor use, a little boost to Str or Con, and extra weapon proficiencies or combat tricks. You won’t have the raw BAB and Defense of a Soldier (the pure fighting class), but you’ll be an armored caster with weapons and some neat things to do in combat.

All of the 3e core classes with the exception of Paladin (and with Monk renamed to Fist) have been distilled into Specialties. That still leaves you with 27 others, including cool choices like Musketeer and Corsair (the description is literally just “Yarrrr!”) and choice you might not have expected like Artisan, Merchant, and Miner. A couple have “requirements”, but those are more like guidelines as to what historical eras they’re going to make the most sense in. (And then there’s Sorcerer and Wizard, where if you don’t have any way for anyone to take the Spellcasting skill are going to waste some of their features.)

We’re encountering some new mechanics that will become relevant later: purchasing “Renown” with “Reputation”, skills having “focuses”, proficiencies not being by individual weapons, scores called “Panache” and “Prudence”, and that there are feats called “Animal Partner” and “Followers”. Also that FC is generous with skill points (some specialties let you get free ranks in another skill for putting some in an indicated one) and that you don’t have to pick a subtype of Folk to take them as a favored enemy.

Ultimately specialties are an extra layer of customization, which does mean extra paralysis. But they’re a neat take on the “initial history” aspect that makes them feel much more worth it than something that only grants me a minor bonus.


Next time: We have to cover some boring minutiae about leveling. But we might get to see our first class!
 

theCimmerian

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#45
I loved reading the FantasyCraft book. I might still have it somewhere. But I had mixed feelings about the way they changed the rules to allow giants, rootwalkers, ogres and dragons as PCs. I love the idea, but it was partly done by nerfing strength.

I don't think you can escape that. The game is no fun for someone playing a human size character if the giant PC can mow through opponents that are a hard battle for him. But instead it hurts my believability (I know that's a dangerous term, I don't mean any offense by it) to have the converse, where someone the size of a human is just as deadly in battle as someone twice his height aside from having a shorter reach.
 

Machpants

ExF3Nav
Validated User
#47
In every DND style game you very quickly have human, or even shorter PC's, mowing through giant sized enemies. I know what you are saying, and FC does allow larger characters to be better at physically pushing things around without strength bonuses, but it didn't bother me.
 

theCimmerian

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#48
I'm not sure I have on of those.

Either that or I have one so high that anything that doesn't effect it would never be fun and so the whole thing loops back around.
In every DND style game you very quickly have human, or even shorter PC's, mowing through giant sized enemies. I know what you are saying, and FC does allow larger characters to be better at physically pushing things around without strength bonuses, but it didn't bother me.
That's a better way to game, for sure. I'm trying to take that perspective.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#49
That's a better way to game, for sure. I'm trying to take that perspective.
What exactly are you looking for in terms of how size affects combat? Remember I haven't talked about what size affects in this game. I'm not saying it'll turn out to be exactly what you want, but if you want a more in-depth look at something I've mentioned you could ask.

For me I care less about Large size for giants and dragon than I do for something more out of Reality (remember that thing I mentioned about being enamored with griffin characters). I'd just as soon make Drakes horse-sized, and I don't personally care if humanoids like giants, ogres, and rootwalkers are just "tall" rather than Large.
 

Matt Sheridan

Minus 10 horse points.
Validated User
#50
So I said specialties are kind of like mini-classes. That’s an imperfect description as they don’t give you any number progression like BAB and hit points. But they are a package of features you get to start with that aren’t locked in by your class (with the caveat that there are two that aren’t going to be quite complete unless you take the Mage class) and it can kind of end up like you get to multi-class at first level. You can compare them to earlier D&D’s kits, or 5e’s backgrounds, except neither gives an idea of how robust they are.

Let’s try to pull out a simple sample situation:
Say you’re taking Mage (the “arcane” caster class) for 1st career level, but you want to play a gish. You could take the Fighter specialty for better armor use, a little boost to Str or Con, and extra weapon proficiencies or combat tricks. You won’t have the raw BAB and Defense of a Soldier (the pure fighting class), but you’ll be an armored caster with weapons and some neat things to do in combat.
Hmm... If you take—for example—a melee fighty specialty and a melee fighty class, are you likely to end up with redundant, "wasted" features? Or, alternatively, could you find that your class is missing something if you don't take a "matching" specialty?

Always thinking about hacking 5e, here, I've mostly been planning to blur backgrounds (and skills, and tool proficiencies) into something vague, hand-wavey, and aspect-like. But maybe it'd be cool to go the other way and add more concrete mechanics to them.
 
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