[Wayfarers] Anyone checked this out yet.

#11
Really other than a bit of heaviness, my only real complaint with the Wayfarers system was that it was trivially easy to be a MAGE-Fighter type, but almost impossible to be a FIGHTER-Mage type (as in predominantly the first type and just dabbling in the second, as Magic was ridiculously expensive per the chargen rules but most fighting abilities were fairly cheap).

It's been a year or two, so I don't remember anything more specific than that.
Hm. I could see that being an issue. Being that my academic career is studying those historical magi of the Medieval and Renaissance eras, I have few qualms with that issue! Magic has a rather steep learning curve!

The new version is now in two books, and Lesser Faith Magic made it in as well for those who enjoy the Paladin type character. Hedge Magic allows enough points to be fightery, but you could get a Fighter-Mage easily by abstracting a Lesser Hermetic Magic Discipline using Lesser Faith as a model!
 

markkat

J. T. Swill III
Validated User
#12
I have to admit I put it on the "don't bother" list, personally, when the ad copy I saw for it gushed about the vast arrays of skills and spells and so on it has. That usually screams out-of-date (design-wise) fantasy heartbreaker to me.
It's probably far less expansive than you think, jeremywolf81. Wayfarers breaks skills into two types: disciplines and proficiencies.

Disciplines might be comparable to feats in Pathfinder, but also include things like Magic Potential, Health Points, Literacy, Increased Attribute, and Spell Circles.

Wayfarers has 57 Disciplines compared to about 140 in Pathfinder. Simply deciding whether or not the character is a caster will trim the list quite a bit for you. I myself do not like bloated systems, and worked very hard to design a focused list that provided meaningful choices, without becoming arbitrary.

There are 45 proficiencies in Wayfarers. These are things like Search, Climbing, Arcane Knowledge, etc. I think you'll find the choices to be what you expect.

And that's it.

As for spells, since there are 4 types of magic, there are a lot of them. Hermetic and Faith Magic have 8 Circles each, and Hedge and Ritual have 5 Circle each. So with about 23 spells for each Circle, the numbers add up there.

Don't get the impression that Wayfarers is a 'kitchen sink' kind of game. On the contrary, despite being a skill-based system, it feels streamlined and satisfyingly old school in flavor without being a retro clone. That was our primary goal, to genuinely take the best of the old and new, and make a solid and very playable fantasy RPG.

Do check out the Player's Book preview.

Make a character even. I doubt it will break your heart. :)

-Jimmy
 
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#13
I flipped through it at the game store and gave it a 15 min skim.

It looked like a fantasy heartbreaker.

I put it back on the shelf.

Sorry, I don't have a more informed opinion for you here. (emphasis mine)
I have to admit I put it on the "don't bother" list, personally, when the ad copy I saw for it gushed about the vast arrays of skills and spells and so on it has. That usually screams out-of-date (design-wise) fantasy heartbreaker to me. (emphasis mine)
Unfortunately, the issue with a catchy phrase is the tendency for its application to everything that even remotely resembles what the phrase originally described.

Wayfarers is quite a unique game that plays like a completely different beast that pays respects to its roots in D&D. To call it a 'fantasy heartbreaker' would likely put the Basic Roleplaying's Runequest in the same category for its usage of the six core stats and a fantasy focus.

A likely counter-argument to that would be to say that Runequest is a completely different game that has a whole different focus, and indeed, so is Wayfarers. This game plays unlike any D&D iteration I've played, and I've played since AD&D 2e and a few self-described retroclones.

Please don't overlook this one! Especially not because of the rather narrow definition of 'fantasy heartbreaker' that involves an attempt to 'improve' D&D which has been unfairly applied. I have read this book extensively and I can easily state that, from tone to system, 'improving' D&D is not this game's intention.
 
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Metathiax

Old & New-School Gestalt
Validated User
#14
It looked like a fantasy heartbreaker.
I'll agree with this statement in so far as the fantasy part goes but I sure am not heartbroken by this game. ;) As far as I'm concerned, most, if not all, of the fantasy RPGs that have been published since the original D&D, including later (and future) versions of D&D and games that stand in opposition to D&D's rules and tropes, could then be dismissed as such. In the end, they are all attempts to make D&D "right" or at least have been pollinated by it but I digress.

I have stumbled upon Wayfarers and adopted it a couple of years ago after having switched between more systems that I would dare to admit to find a satisfying option to play a D&D-like RPG. I have now put an end to my search and haven't looked back since. Although not a clone, it could be categorized as a simulacrum and it is retro in feel but not in rules. Offering hundreds of spells, creatures, and whatnot are not the game's main selling point even though they are found between the covers.

I am currently finishing-up a comprehensive (at least I hope so) review of the Wayfarers RPG which I'll submit to RPGnet as soon as I have received my physical copies of the revised books from Mongoose (I still need to review the quality of the binding, paper, etc.). Therefore, I won't go into too much details in this post so that I don't plagiarize myself. Those of you who are interested can keep an eye out for the review which I've made every effort to keep in a descriptive tone as I am obviously already sold to the game. There are so many offers in this genre, I merely wish to help gamers intrigued by Wayfarers know what to expect out of it.

What follows is what I think are Wayfarers' strong points and what sold it for me. As I do share the same opinion, I'll be rehashing some of the same fine points made by Ars Mysteriorum's. Sorry Ars!

- Its rules system can be described as light, streamlined, and intuitive. In actual play, it shines by fading into the background in favor of the story. I have played for hours on end without having to consult a rule book but it doesn't fall into constant hand-waving and allows a quick resolution for a wide variety of situations. The game is also designed to ease the GM's workload and preparation time with, for example, easily digestible stat blocks for creatures. Furthermore, I don't feel compelled to house-rule the game and I've been known to do so to the point of almost rewriting whole games (I wonder what mental illness of mine could explain this behavior ;)). That being said, the game can easily be house-ruled without breaking it. I am also biased toward RPGs that don't require the tactical use of miniatures. If I want to play a board game or a war game, I'll do so.​

- While light on rules, the game is heavy on customizability. It relies on an ingenious classless but leveled character creation system which I believe to be Wayfarers' strongest point. Players can custom-build any of the standard and not-so standard fantasy archetypes from a relatively succinct list of abilities and skills. I have to admit that I was not a big fan of classless systems for fantasy RPGs prior to finding Wayfarers as it too often leads to the creation of generic jack-of-all-trades. Wayfarers allows for some diversification but specialization is encouraged, therefore preserving the feeling of the characters' niche roles in the party which is often held dear by those who appreciate class-based systems.​

- The core books are meant to be a complete stand-alone package. The players' diverse character concepts are mechanically supported (no arbitrary restrictions here) without having to rely on countless splatbooks. I just had enough of other games' supplement bloat. As said before, the wide variety of races, abilities, skills, spells, magic items, and creatures contained within are more than enough to support years if not decades of campaigning.​
 

Chris J

Registered User
Validated User
#15
it was trivially easy to be a MAGE-Fighter type, but almost impossible to be a FIGHTER-Mage type (as in predominantly the first type and just dabbling in the second, as Magic was ridiculously expensive per the chargen rules but most fighting abilities were fairly cheap).
Could someone give a bit more info on this, is it really that much of a problem?

Thanks
 

Metathiax

Old & New-School Gestalt
Validated User
#17
Could someone give a bit more info on this, is it really that much of a problem?

Thanks
I really don't see this as a problem. The entry price is somewhat expensive but it is necessary in order to avoid that every character dabbles into some type of magic. The way I see it, that would be much more of an issue.
 
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