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[Let's Read] Fantasy Craft

R-90-2

Go green, friend an orc.
Validated User
#51
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?
The amount of overlap, if there is any, is usually very small.
 

Pedantic

Idealist
Validated User
#52
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.
I can't think of any "redundancy" off the top of my head. You're more likely to end up with a very situational ability you might not use often, like a double boost when you spend action dies on certain checks that you don't end up making often in the first place, and even those aren't exactly wasted as they're still useful, if situational.
 

theCimmerian

Registered User
Validated User
#53
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.
Oh, I wouldn't say that I couldn't care less about large size but I do agree it's less important than options that escape reality. I love FantasyCraft because of Drake, Rootwalker, and Unborn racial options and even just the offshoots of some of the other races, and I wouldn't be hurt if the Drakes were the size of mules, the Rootwalkers were the size of shrubs, and Giants and Ogres only stand nose to nose with the real world's Andre the Giant.

I just figure that if I'm playing a Drake, even a Drake smaller than a horse, most human size opponents should fall quickly. That said, the DM can still ensure that by throwing lots of low power adversaries at my character.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#54
The amount of overlap, if there is any, is usually very small.
I think there's only one instance: the Druid specialty gains the Animal Partner feat, which is also granted by a feature in one of the classes. You can't have two instances of that feat, so that class feature is semi-redundant. However that only happens if you choose that class as your absolute first level.

I think in no other case can overlap not easily be avoided.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#55
Oh, I wouldn't say that I couldn't care less about large size but I do agree it's less important than options that escape reality. I love FantasyCraft because of Drake, Rootwalker, and Unborn racial options and even just the offshoots of some of the other races, and I wouldn't be hurt if the Drakes were the size of mules, the Rootwalkers were the size of shrubs, and Giants and Ogres only stand nose to nose with the real world's Andre the Giant.

I just figure that if I'm playing a Drake, even a Drake smaller than a horse, most human size opponents should fall quickly. That said, the DM can still ensure that by throwing lots of low power adversaries at my character.
You've still got a lot of choice even if you went without those 4.

And it's actually really easy to mod FC species: there's fan material cribbed derived semi-official sources that lets you build and adjust species, specialties, and species feat using a point-based system (it's for GMs, not players).
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#56
Before we can get to the interesting section that is classes we have to read the boring

Step 3: Career Level

Or “This is how you level up” and everything granted by your total levels.

We’re still using XP, though I couldn’t tell you if there’s a formula for how much you need. And frankly I don’t care for the mechanic, so someone else can cover it. There is 3e-style multi-classing. Also it explicitly says you can only level between adventures or during “Downtime” which we will get to later.

We can also see that Action Dice are important enough to get their own progression: you start each game session with a certain number, known as your “starting action dice” which ranges from 3 (d4s) at 1st to 6 (d10s) at 20th. Starting Action Dice is actually a very important number because there are mechanics that makes use of it to determine how often you can use things.

Feat and attribute progression is the same as in 3e. You get extra proficiencies at 3rd and every 2 levels thereafter. Interests (knowledges, languages, alignments) you extra of at 2nd and every 4 after.

Like I said: boring.


Step 4: Class

Two pages of more boring stuff!

We’re immediately introduced to Fantasy Craft’s version of Prestige Classes: Expert and Master. Experts are meant to be generic specializations, while Masters are about some specific aspect and are often intended to be setting-specific/NPC-group-derived the way 3e originally intended; for this reason there are none in this book. You can only ever take 1 Master Class starting at Career 10, but you can take any number of Experts once you hit Career 5.

So far FC has officially produced 15 Base classes, 17 Expert, and 6 Master.

One really nice thing about FC is that because it’s been derived from a spy game the designers consider the class roles to be something other than tank/dps/controller/leader. We do get fighting types (Combatant) and buffers (Backer), but we also get plot advancers/puzzle solvers (Solver), socializing types (Talker), and masters of some skill or other aspect not already covered (Specialist). Also Wildcard for those times a class can go many different ways. These roles aren’t hard lines, just suggestions, and there are lots of hybrids. But it’s nice to see a different focus.

We get some more clarification on certain traits we’ve seen before:
* You can only put skill ranks into skills which are currently class skills for you.
* The proficiencies are Bow, Blunt, Edged, Hurled, Siege, Unarmed (which includes natural weapons), and Black Powder. You can take each one a second time for a +1 to using that type (and lets you use certain “expert” weapons), or you can spend your proficiencies on combat tricks. There is no mention of “armor proficiencies”. You only get the amount listed for your first class (barring those you get for level-ups or Origin), but it’s an amount that you get to pick from, not an assignment.

Also important about your first class level is you get a “core ability”, a special bonus for that being your first and a guarantee that dipping doesn’t get you everything a class could have at level one. You also gain a core ability for you first Expert level.

Then just some text clarifying certain terms and what the numbers on the class table mean. Highlights are:
* If it has a roman numeral after it you add those numbers together from different sources to determine what total level of that ability you have. No more of this “if you have uncanny dodge instead gain improved uncanny dodge”. FC really likes using roman numeral grades rather than giving every instance of increase its own name.
* Classes grant a Defense bonus and Initiative bonus progression.
* All classes have a progression that let’s you earn extra “Reputation”. Sounds like this is going to be another currency.


Okay, boring stuff done. Next time we finally start talking about classes with the one fans of a certain video game series feel is misnamed: the Assassin!
 

Felix

Member
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#57
* The proficiencies are Bow, Blunt, Edged, Hurled, Siege, Unarmed (which includes natural weapons), and Black Powder. You can take each one a second time for a +1 to using that type (and lets you use certain “expert” weapons), or you can spend your proficiencies on combat tricks. There is no mention of “armor proficiencies”. You only get the amount listed for your first class (barring those you get for level-ups or Origin), but it’s an amount that you get to pick from, not an assignment.
It's probably worth noting that the iconic Mage's preferred weapon is a huge two-handed sword, since she can be proficient in it. I'm pretty sure the main reason was FC thumbing its nose at the tiny dagger a D&D wizard has.
 

Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#58
It's probably worth noting that the iconic Mage's preferred weapon is a huge two-handed sword, since she can be proficient in it.
That's probably a good segue to mention there's a free download of FC pre-gens for the base classes in this book, featuring the book's art for each class so you can follow along. Each pre-gen is built up to career level 3, so you can get a sense of the early class. Plus all the other mechanics that go into making a level 3 character.
I'm pretty sure the main reason was FC thumbing its nose at the tiny dagger a D&D wizard has.
Well, she has knives. Throwing knives.
 
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Silvercat Moonpaw

Quadruped Transhuman
Validated User
#59
We get to read actual classes! General mechanical notes to point out:
* Set amount of Vitality per level; no rolling: 6, 9, or 12 + Con bonus.
* Still doing the 3e thing of x4-ing skill points at first level. Also the amounts are 8, 6, or 4, linked to the Vitality amounts above in the same order.
* Starting proficiencies are 2 or 3, 4, 6, linked with Vitality. (Whether you get 2 or 3 seems to come down to whether your class seems slightly more “combat-y”.)
These hold true across Expert and Master classes (except you don’t gain extra proficiencies).

(Also, in case it's not clear, these classes have many more abilities then I'm mentioning.)

Assassin
“The Assassin is not Altair; they are Sherlock Holmes.” -- old Crafty forum wisdom

Now play this.

Yeah, this class shows its spy game DNA: despite the name, only one part of one high-level class ability requires you to actually kill anyone to make use of it, and most of the rest are about being in disguise or otherwise just walking into Mordor. Want another example: Robin Hood. No, seriously: each class is given five example concepts, and one of the Assassin’s is “A gentlemen-bandit harassing a corrupt monarchy from the shadows”. Fans of the Disney anthropomorphic version will know what I’m talking about.

Your first real defining ability is Cold Read at Level 2: 1/session you can Sherlock Scan someone, asking questions which the GM can only foil if they pay you in Action Dice. Every class gets a unique list of choosable features at levels 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18. For the Assassin this includes things like 1/session no-selling disguise penetration, getting a bonus to Bluff to act like you know how to use a skill, and granting others a Disguise bonus. Bald Face lie let’s you 1/session just straight up get someone to believe anything you say that can’t be immediately proven true.

Fantasy Craft has a unique take on the capstone in that they decided having to wait till Level 20 meant you didn’t get enough time to use it. Instead they give you a class’s “gamebreaker” at Level 14. For Assassins this is extra threat range (crit chance) on attacks and skills (yeah, FC has crits on skills) vs special characters (i.e. non-mooks). And if you kill them they can’t Cheat Death. If a Level 14 Assassin slays the Big Bad they STAY DEAD. Just walk into Mordor and stab Sauron.


Burglar

This is your Altair class. And your cinematic ninja. And your D&D thief.

It’s almost “Dexterity, the class”: your Core Ability gets you a double boost on Dex for only one Action Die. Then the Level 1 ability coverts failures on Acrobatics and Sneak into successes if the result is lower than 20 + Burglar level. So long as you don’t crit-fail (game also has crit-fails; don’t worry: there’s a limiter). A lot of the class is versions of Evasion or Uncanny Dodge, but the higher-level Uncanny Dodges are kind of cool (one lets you no-sell an attack that would bring you to 0 1/scene). Once you get to your choosables at level 6 you get things like taunting an opponent to make him attack a team-mate, tripping guys who miss you, and sharing your Sneak result with one person.

Your gamebreaker is built around the Reputation currency: you gain a buttload of it so you can buy up things like contacts, buildings/estates, and/or magic items.


Captain

Want to be a non-magical* buffer who can still mix it up in combat? Need an FC version of the Warlord? This is your class.

Your main ability is Battle Planning at Level 3: you give a bonus to certain rolls and values (including Vitality) to allies that can see and hear you. These have no duration other than till end of combat or you change which one you’re giving out. At Level 9 you start to be able to give one team-mate (not yourself) the abilities on the next 2 rows of your Special column for the whole adventure. It’s like getting two free levels! (Minus most of the numbers, but still.)

When creating this class the Crafty Designers decided the main problem other games experienced with this archetype is that sometimes the class ended up with no one to buff. So at Level 1 you gain a feat called Personal Lieutenant that gives you an NPC, albeit at an effective “your level - 4 (min 1)” (we’ll get more into how this feat works later). This comes back to hug you in your Level 14 gamebreaker when this changes to “your level - 1”. Oh, and you can also now have 2 battle plans going at the same time.

And just in case you were worried about dominates: Captain has good Will save.

Spoiler: Show
* FC has no Extraordinary/Supernatural divide. At best it’s got two Anti-Magic spells that only affect spells and magic items, nothing else.



I think three per update is a good number for discussion. Next time we look at three classes that show just how much Fantasy Craft doesn’t have to be about combat: the Courtier, Explorer, and Keeper!
 
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