DriveThruRPG.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse
 Publisher Info









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Call to Arms: Avatar
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/30/2013 00:04:00
The Avatar is one of Fantasy Craft’s latest releases in the Call to Arms series. As a Master Class, it represents concepts that are open to the higher level characters in the game.

In the Avatar’s case, we’re looking at characters that are living embodiments of faith, the pinnacle of religious unity between man and god. It’s an interesting concept, and is a recurring theme in a lot of Fantasy fiction, and I’m eager to sink my teeth into what this class can do.

As with the other classes, the Avatar can take a myriad of specific concepts. From a reincarnated master to an offspring of the gods come to further the agenda of his divine parents. This is the kind of flexibility that I’ve come to expect from Fantasy Craft and I can already see how this can be useful in a Wuxia campaign, for example.

Unlike the Base or Expert classes, the Master Class does not begin with a Core Ability.

The Avatar begins, appropriately enough, with an ability called Alpha. Each teammate that can see or hear the character, and any other character who shares the same Alignment who can see or hear you becomes immune to negative morale penalties and Morale effects. These characters all automatically succeed with Knowledge checks made to recognize the Avatar.

While this doesn’t seem like much, immunity to negative effects is always handy. The added value of being able to be recognized on sight by those of your faith is a nice touch.

So it was Written… allows for the Avatar to reroll a failed save, attack check or skill check a number of times in a session equal to the Avatar’s Class Level.

Path of the Devoted has the Avatar take a Step in their chosen Alignment.

Sliver of Divinity is an interesting power that allows you to bestow your teammates a Step in a chosen Path. It might not sound like much, but this means that the entire team gains extra abilities or powers by virtue of having the Avatar among them.

…So it is Done allows the Avatar to apply the So it was Written… rerolls for their teammate’s failed rolls. I can imagine Avatars being everyone’s best friends at this point if they aren’t already.

The Avatar’s final ability, Omega is literally awe-inspiring. Once per session they can reveal the full glory of their Alignment to unbelievers. Those who do not share the Avatar’s alignment must make a Will save or immediately be sprawled and frightened for 3d5 rounds. Thankfully this power does not affect teammates.



As a fan of support classes, I’m pretty pleased with what the Avatar brings to the table. Combined with some of the earlier Base or Expert Classes, this can be made to simulate all sorts of divinely powered Chosen Ones. They might not be the damage dealers, but their ability to supplement their team and bestow immunities and even rerolls are incredibly useful for a broad range of situations.

Of the three Call to Arms classes in this wave of releases, I think that the Avatar is perhaps one of the most interesting in terms of story potential. Already I can see how the Class works to simulate a Bodhisattva or other enlightened beings.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call to Arms: Avatar
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Call to Arms: Crusader
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/29/2013 23:27:35
The Crusader is the iconic Holy Warrior. Unlike the Priest, the Crusader expresses his devotion to his religion through martial skill. Of course, this being Fantasy Craft, the Crusader Class encompasses a huge amount of possible concepts. Anything from the iconic Paladin to a vicious zealot to witch-hunters all fall under the purview of the Crusader class for as long as we’re talking warriors with religious fervor.

The Crusader’s Core Ability is Purifier, which allows the character to spend 1 action die to boost an attack or opposed skill check targetting a character with a different Alignment. This pretty much is a microcosm of what the Crusader is all about, smiting heathens, which is a perfectly awesome thing to do.

A Crusader also starts off with Called to Arms, a chain of Class abilities that tie into the Subplot mechanic from the Fantasy Craft core rules. While pursuing this Subplot, the Reputation reward for the adventure increases, and completing it grants 1 rank of Renown in a track of their choice. The Crusader also gains their Alignment’s ritual weapon at no cost. I love this particular series of Class Abilities as it emulates the Questing nature of the Crusader. Whether it’s to liberate a holy land, cleanse witches or find a sacred artifact, it’s a neat way to fold in mechanics with a compelling story that further motivates the Crusader and makes him a force of change rather than just someone that is content to wait around a tavern until some mysterious stranger hands him a map.

Starting from the second level, the Crusader also gains access to Battle Chants, another chain of Class abilities that allow for them to grant beneficial effects to themselves. These range from bonuses to attacks, Defense or various resistances. As the Crusader gains further levels he can access more chants and grant their benefits to a comrade as well. It’s a great way to emulate the prayers before (or during a battle) that make playing such a character more flavorful and rewarding.

The Path of the Crusader chain represents how the Crusader moves along his Alignment’s Paths, gaining abilities relevant to the Path that the Crusader is pursuing.

The ever-popular Smite power is here, allowing the Crusader to lay down divine wrath upon their enemies. The Crusader chooses the type of opponents that suffer from his wrath. When the Crusader spends and rolls an action die to boost damage, they may replace the action die’s result with half their Career Level. This is a neat little safety built in so that there’s never a point where the action die is “wasted” by a bad roll.

Sword of Faith is another interesting power as it infuses sacred weapons with divine power. When wielding their ritual weapon, the Crusader can bestow an Essence (aka magical effect) upon it. The further abilities on this chain allow for additional effects to stack, creating truly fearsome (and customized) weapons.

Divine Virtue allows the Crusader to grant immunity to baffled, fixated or frightened conditions as long as your allies can see or hear you. Furthermore, all of them are considered to share your Alignment. Advanced applications of this power grant further immunity to shaken, sickened and slowed as well.

The game-breaker of the Crusader Class is the aptly named Wrath of God. Once per session, a Crusader can opt to use the ability upon hitting an opponent with an attack. If the target is a standard character, it dies. If the target is a special character, then they get to make a Will Save or die.



As a big Paladin fan, I find the Crusader to be downright awesome. It takes on the role of a divine warrior and plays it to the hilt. The high standard of quality when it comes to Fantasy Craft classes shines through in the Crusader, and as always it gives options without restricting player creativity.

The fact that it is actually possible to play a divine sniper of sorts as a Crusader, or to run around as a Solomon Kane-ish character with the Class is all the more reason to like it.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call to Arms: Crusader
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Call to Arms: Inquisitor
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/29/2013 23:26:12
The Inquisitor is the newest Expert Class to be released in the 4th wave of Fantasy Craft’s excellent Call to Arms series of supplements. As always, the Class is not a specific thing, but covers a wide variety of interesting character concepts ranging from the classical Church agent that hunts down heretics to cruel enforcers that protect the powerful from popular disapproval.

It’s an interesting class that is essentially a Religiously motivated Spy. If the Crusader is a warrior with zeal, the Inquisitor’s methods don’t always involve combat, but are more focused towards ferreting out secrets by both social and covert means.

I love that the Core Ability of the Inquisitor’s core ability is Disconcerting. It’s a great way to make an entrance or a dramatic reveal, as the character may declare their affiliation with the Inquisition to spend and roll an action die. They may then choose a number of characters equal to the roll’s result that become shaken until the end of the scene or until the start of the next combat, whichever is first.

Yes, there’s an opening right there for a Monty Python reference.

Hammer of Heretics bestows ranks of Noble Renown and bonuses to Intimidate and Investigate checks equal to the character’s Noble Renown. This ability increases with levels, allowing the Inquisitor to gain the Menacing Threat quality as well as a passive ability to counter attempts to lie or conceal the truth from you.

Condemn allows for the Inquisitor to levy a pronouncement with such force that you can make the target suffer a morale penalty with Charisma-based skills equal to the Inquisitor’s Wisdom Modifier. Higher versions of this power inflict Stress damage equal to the Inquisitor’s Class Level. While this doesn’t seem like much at the moment, given the context of Fantasy Craft’s system, this is as harsh an attack as you can make in a social setting. The penalty to Charisma-based skills equal to the Inquisitor’s Wisdom is pretty crippling for all but the most suave of characters, and could very well lead to a spiral of doom as their attempts to assert themselves in the scene only result to further ruin.

Phoenix Wright fans will definitely enjoy using that power.

Incorruptible is a nice touch as it grants Damage Resistance against an Alignment of choice. However, I was wondering if it would break in any way if I allowed the Inquisitor to change their choice of Alignment where Incorruptible would apply if they ever complete a Subplot that invalidates their choice.

Path of the Devoted allows the Inquisitor to proceed along the Steps of the Alignment they serve.

Agent of the Church is a nice touch, as the Inquisitor suddenly gets extra Reputation that they can spend to get Noble Favors. This represents how the Inquisitor’s patrons pave the way for the character to get whatever they might need to pursue their investigations.

And finally, one of the most amusingly named game-breaking abilities for the Inquisitor: Torches and Pitchforks. I don’t think I need to go into that much detail, but this allows the Inquisitor to whip up a frenzied mob hostile towards characters of your chosen Alignment and immune to negative Morale effects.



The Inquisitor is a prime example of just how Fantasy Craft is more than just a game of combat (even if it does that really well.) Having a Church Spy works for a lot of interesting concepts, and brings me happy memories of a character I once played that served in this regard.

While it might not seem so powerful outright, the Inquisitor’s abilities focus on information gathering and control, as well as the use of said information to gain necessary leverage. While it might not be an optimal class choice for a dungeon delve, many of the more political games can benefit greatly from having the Inquisitor in play.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call to Arms: Inquisitor
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Mistborn Adventure Game Digital Edition
by Chris M. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/31/2012 11:30:39
This is just a quick note to correct something I saw in Jason C's review of this game. The central mechanic is NOT to roll a number of d6s and sum the result.

Instead, this game uses a unique (as far as I know) central mechanic of having you roll a certain number of dice based on your score in an attribute, plus extra dice for Traits that apply (kind of like Aspects from FATE games) and any circumstantial modifiers and then look for matches in the results. You then take the highest matching pair from 1 to 5 and try to equal or exceed a difficulty number with that match. For example, if the difficulty is 3 and you roll 6 dice and get a 1, 2, 4, 4, 5, and 3, you succeed because you have a matched pair of 4 that beats the difficulty number. Results of 6 are called Nudges and can do different things to augment success or mitigate complications from failure, but never count towards getting your matched pair. If you're rolling directly against someone (attack versus defense, for example) and you tie, then number of Nudges breaks the tie.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mistborn Adventure Game Digital Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Mistborn Adventure Game Digital Edition
by Jason C. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/21/2012 23:57:32
I recently got this in hardcopy, and was happy to review it here as well. I should note up front that I've never read the Mistborn series and honestly don't really read that much fantasy. So I came into it as an experienced roleplayer but a complete Mistborn noob.

The system presented is a solid system using six sided dice, similar to the classic d6 system from West End Games, though with some updated material to assist in improvisation and encourage players to use descriptions and environments for dynamic, vivid play. Characters roll a set of d6s and sum the result, trying to beat a target number. It gets the job done.

The setting is described succinctly and evocatively in a chapter or two, with a few more more dedicated to the magic system of the setting, which is unique. Magic in this world is connected to different sorts of metal and they have unique properties.

For example, one sort of magical effect permits people to offload their memories into magical pieces of copper, for later recall. What's important about these effects is that they are expansively detailed not necessarily in their capacities, but in how they've impacted the setting. What does it mean when a mage literally can carry a library in his pocket - what kind of personality would it create to know nothing until they need to know it? (No smart remarks about smartphones and wikipedia apps.)

Characters are part of a "crew", with a shared agenda, from the beginning. This selection helps games find direction, which is definitely needed in a fantasy world that you might not know anything about.

The ultimate test of a "new fantasy world" RPG for me is whether I want to play it, and the answer is yes, yes, I really, really do. This game makes me want to play a Mistborn game right away.

Because of the compelling, clear setting, the unique magical materials and the solid, well-explained system, I'm giving this game my highest marks.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mistborn Adventure Game Digital Edition
by Matt L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/21/2012 18:55:59
Mistborn is an RPG that is set in an already defined world, as many of you already know. I will not spend a lot of time going over the world details. I will focus more on the game mechanics here. You will be able to read my full review at gamer-goggles.com.

Crafty games has managed to create a completely new RPG system for this fantasy steampunk genre. The system is a d6 system that uses a pool of dice. The roll that a player makes can be augmented by various traits and skills. As with almost all RPG's the task you are trying to accomplish determines the difficulty as defined by the narrator (GM).

Another cool aspect in the Mistborn Game is that you are encouraged to describe what ever you want in great detail. This is something that should be done in the fashion that each group of gamers accepts with in their session.

The Magic system is truly unique and is very detailed. There is a complete, history, methodology, and mechanic system for each “school” of magic. This allows players to truly explore them and develop characters in several different ways, giving each a lot of flavor.

Character creation is well dummy proof. I do not believe I have seen a system that has so much detail on character creation. There is in fact so much detail you actually have to try and make a mistake. The methodology is not that different from other systems. That is powers and attributes. Of course you can focus on a certain area, doing this will weaken other areas. The character generation system kind of has the role of a character built in to it.

I like Mistborn. I think crafty did a darn good job creating a system that that is unique. The draw back I see is that it is unique. By creating a unique system role players will not just be able to pick it up and play a game. Again you can read the full review at http://gamer-goggles.com/?p=3861

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mistborn Adventure Game Digital Edition
by Cleta A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/13/2012 20:42:24
*Mistborn*

My very first time ever playing a RPG game and I am totally hooked after playing Mistborn. The Novella to the game was very well written could have been a novel on it's own accord but described the world and game very well . The world of Scadrial is a world ruled by a dark lord and the Nobles that work along with him and society under the darklord . The people and creatures were described to the point I felt like I could see through through their eyes and to see what was happening in the land there were so much detail for example the "Skaa" people who you will learn more about in the game I could just see their ashen covered faces and their dirty hands as they slaved and worked for the Nobles and we treated very badly sometimes worse than animals even. The Nobles of course were in control of all the mines and plantations in the land the mines being where all the metals and gold came from as Burgh Bylerum would pass all this down to his sons as had been done many times in the past. The ladies are very elegant as described with beautiful dresses but don't be fooled they are very strong and can stand on their own accord.

The game made it very easy for a beginner like myself to play the game what you need to play at least one to five friends and someone who is willing to become the narrator who will share the world and the characters to a point everyone can take on their own role as whatever character they have chosen.

The Mistborn Adventure Game uses six-sided dice (the cube-shaped ones you find in most family board games), and you should have at least five to ten of them. Each player could have their own dice if they wish. The game takes place in a Final Empire on a world called Scadrial there are
*4 key cities in the game*
1.Central Dominance: Luthadel is the capital of the Central Dominance and the entire Final Empire
2.Terris Dominance:Terris is the ancestral home of the Terrismen. It is a mountainous region located north of the Northern Dominance
3.Northern Dominance: Urteau is a key crossroads city in the Northern Dominance. It was the traditional seat of House Venture although the family is based mainly in the capital
4.Western Dominance:Fadrex City is an important cross roads city in the Western Dominance. Although all cities outside of Luthadel are forbidden from having walls, Fadrex City has a natural rock formation that makes it very easy to defend.
*Then the people.*
1.Nobles : They are early supporters of the Lord Ruler and they got the gift of Allomancy because of their support.
2.Skaa: descendants of people who did not support the Lord Ruler when he first came to power basally slaves to the nobles and were treated very badly.
*Creatures*
1.Mistwraiths : They are part of the reason the Skaa people fear the mist they are shape shifters and scavengers that have the ability to add the bones of creatures they consume to their own forms. Mistwraiths can become kandra.
2.Kandra : they are quite intelligent, and valued for their skill as impersonators. To hire a Kandra you must pay him with with atium, the most powerful Allomantic metal and they do not die naturally.
3.Koloss: Bestial creatures they have two emotional states boredom and rage . They have superhuman strength and grow to a maximum height of about 13 feet at which point their hearts cannot support their bulk and they die. Although powerful in combat they are seldom used for they have a tendency to completely ravage the enemy in battle making them unsuitable for attacking cities and other civilized targets. They can be controlled with emotional Allomancy by a very powerful Mistborn or a group of Soothers.
*Rules*
1.Any player can veto a detail about his or her own character.
2.The Narrator can veto or confirm any detail introduced by anyone regardless of whose character is impacted or how.
3.Beats: The Narrator decides the length of each Beat and can change the length of each beat A character who “catches a Beat” may take an extra action. This action may not be saved and is lost if not used immediately. A character who “loses a Beat” has to sit the next Beat out, unable to take any
meaningful actions.

To sum everything up this game has everything needed to make it easy for even someone like me who has never played a RPG game before to start a game and get totally hooked. The novella was extremely long and could have been a novel on its on but if you enjoy reading as I do and want to get great details about the game and the story behind it you will truly enjoy reading it. Making your crew is very easy and making your characters is very easy I found it very exciting describing my character (She was a lady shift shaper) her looks were very deceiving and had the ability to change into whatever she encountered to use it in battle. My over all view on this it is very well done everything a great RPG game should have I am now hooked.
Thank you,
Cleta Amburgey

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by Bill L. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/20/2012 14:35:17
While there are certainly some rough edges, and the lack of a consistent release schedule is nothing short of infuriating, this is still the best thing to happen to RPGs in the last 20 years.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Mistborn Adventure Game Digital Edition
by Thomas B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/22/2012 21:54:06
WHAT WORKS: I feel pretty confident that someone could go into this not knowing a thing about the Mistborn series and come out of it with a pretty strong impression of the setting. A lot of care went into explaining things to the non-gamers who may pick this up, I thought, and I certainly liked the extra time put into cross referencing rules sections in the GMing chapter. The entirety of Book 2 is freaking cool, with the metals and their uses in the powers sets. For a book that's closer to 600 pages than 500 pages, not only is it very reasonably priced, but there is NOT a lot of wasted space at ALL. I also rather enjoyed the intertwining of Secrets, Destinies and Tragedies, complete with mechanical benefits.

WHAT DOESN'T WORK: I fear that the system has a bit of a "whiff" factor, although I may be underestimating the number of "matches" one can get with a d6 dice pool. I also question how newbie friendly this RPG would be, given that it's so close to 600 pages. The emphasis on "scripting" and "storytelling" is bound to turn off a segment of the RPG population that prefer a more "traditional" approach to gaming. That said, there is also a free primer you can download to check it out first.

CONCLUSION: Mistborn certainly isn't Just Another D&D. A great price on a massive volume grounded in a game system that has a lot of cool features to it. I'm probably going to look the Mistborn novels up on the Nook, and pick them up if they're available, because this game has convinced me this is a setting that interests me. If you're a fan of the novels and nervous about it being too much for you, don't worry...the authors offer you several hands along the way (including some insightful sidebars). Just a fair warning: If you haven't read the books and think you might want to, there are spoilers all over the place (though they do a pretty good job of warning you first). Great product, especially for the price.

For the full review, please visit: http://mostunreadblogever.blogspot.com/2012/02/tommys-take-o-
n-mistborn-adventure-game.html

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mistborn Adventure Game Digital Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Mistborn Adventure Game Digital Edition
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 02/20/2012 07:01:39
This mighty tome, over 500 pages long, contains everything that you need to start adventuring in the world conjoured up by author Brandon Sanderson... who has not only allowed the use of his setting, he's written fiction especially for the game, has added comments throughout, and was even involved in the playtesting!

First up, the treat of an original short story set in the Mistborn world called The Elventh Metal. It tells of a small group of malcontents, seeking revenge, seeking change, and introduces a world rich and strange - metals that burn within and confer power, swirling mists, ash that falls from the sky, twisted exotic buildings. And so the strangeness, the richness of this setting is revealed: allomancy. Familiar if you know the novels on which this game is based yet brought magnificently into prominence whether or not you have read them - by utilising mystic powers different metals can be used to bring about a range of spell-like effects. Learn the tricks of their use, or perish miserably!

Appetites whetted, on to the Introduction. This describes a world like ours, yet gone horribly astray. An Industrial Revolution where progress is lost amid the smoke and the rise of fascist governance, where the options are stark: conform, die... or rebel. Will your crew, your colleagues in the struggle to make this world one worth living in, succeed or fail?

So, to Book 1: Mistborn Adventure Game, which contains all that a player needs to create a character ready to inhabit this world of Scarial, to become a Hero fighting the Final Empire. It begins with the usual 'Getting Started' explaining what this role-playing thing is all about, interestingly written with the assumption that the non-role-playing reader knows what a computer game is, and contrasting an RPG with a computer game; and then goes on to tell experienced role-players how this is a rules-light game that focusses on plotline and narrative storytelling... and there's a note from Brandon Sanderson about what sort of game system he wanted for playing in his world! Good to see the author of the original inspiration so involved. On to the terminology, the GM is the Narrator, players play Heroes (after all, we're always the hero of our own adventures!) who band together to form a Crew... and the game mechanic is based on a handfull of D6s.

For people who want to dive straight in, there are directions on how to make a quick start with the critical bits the Narrator ought to read and sample characters and even a downloadable free adventure (in the Primer)... or the bits to read to create characters and adventures of your own. More terminology (a glossary of terms used in the game), and thence to Chapter 3: Building Heroes. The imaginative narrative part and the game mechanics part are designed to work hand-in-hand so you don't end up scrabbling for a rule that lets you do what you want or twisting your concept to fit the mechanics. We begin with an explanation of what the stuff on the character sheet means, then an outline of the narrative process the group should use to create their Crew of Heroes, and only then do we get to the mechanical bits. Don't come to the game having read the rules and created a character, do it together. Standings, Powers, Traits and more are used to describe how each member of the Crew operates, what he can contribute to the group and how he affects the world around him. The starting point, though, is the Crew itself. No place for loners, the Crew needs a reason to band together - a target for their schemes. It is a distinct slant inherent in the game system, defining the broad role everyone will play on Scarial: that of opposition to the ruling powers. Just how you go about providing that opposition (and why, and with what objectives) is what will make each Crew and Hero distinct and unique. Good examples and commentary abound. The core concept is that the Crew is not the average bunch of fantasy adventurers who meet in a bar and go off to bash monsters and steal their stuff, but a group with a reason to be together. Structured questions about Crew and Heroes alike aid the group in building the group in a sustainable way... and providing plenty for the wiley Narrator to weave into future plots as well!

As you work through the character creation process, one thing that impresses is how balance is maintained. Now, someone coming to this game with a good knowledge of the novels might think that the 'best' character to play might be a Mistborn... but the mechanics of character creation are so designed that character strengths and weaknesses are balanced out so that if you are powerful in one aspect, you won't be as powerful elsewhere. This is done by allocating 'weak' or 'average' or 'strong' to Powers, Attributes and Standings... each must be different. So if you are a normal person with weak (indeed, maybe absent) Powers, you might be strong in either your Attributes (physical characteristics) or your Standings (resources, luck, etc.). These are then developed further within those restraints. Neat! Yet although this may seem mechanical, the majority of character creation is driven by narrative, by answering questions, rather than mere selections and point-allocation. It's not a quick process but will reward the amount of thought and inventiveness involved by empowering the whole group to create well-rounded and motivated characters complete with a lot of background already developed, embedded into the setting. Next, Chapter 4 explains how to improve your character over time, it's put next to character creation as that's logical, but the suggestion is to skip ahead to the rules of play or jump straight into a game and come back when you need it. However, this section can also be used when you want to start a game with more experienced characters.

Characters ready for play, Chapter 5: Game Basics explains the underlying mechanics to make them come to life. It starts off with information appropriate to someone new to role-playing, a clear explanation of what goes on around a game table. It's a bit basic for the experienced role-player, and at times more artificial than many will be accustomed to, but it gives a framework that everyone can agree upon. It can get long-winded in places, taking several paragraphs, for instance, to explain that you get the dice out when the outcome of what you are doing can affect you or the plotline... but with increased explanation there is no room for doubt. Success or failure is determined by rolling a handfull of D6s, the number of dice in your 'dice pool' depends on what you are attempting, and which characteristics - be they Powers, Attributes, Standings, etc. - you can bring to bear. Apposite items can help too, while adverse circumstances may reduce the number of dice. Once you have worked out how many dice to roll, the Narrator declares a difficulty of 1-5, this is the target against which you roll. That's where it gets a bit complicated, as your result is the number shown by two or more dice (if you get two different doubles, choose the result). If your result equals or beats the difficulty, you succeed. There's more complex stuff as well, to enable you to see how well you did (or how badly you failed). It sounds hard, but it is the kind of mechanic that comes with practice and familiarity, rather than one that is intuitive from the outset. The key, though, is in the narrative created by player and Narrator to describe in vivid detail the outcome of the attempted action.

Chapter 6: Contests expands on this, explaining what happens when an attempted action is opposed. Contests are separated out from Conflicts (dealt with in Chapter 7), where the intention of the opponents is to actually do harm to each other - a Contest can be as obvious as a foot race or an attempt to pick a pocket or sneak around without being noticed, while a Conflict is an out-and-out brawl, or at least a opposition which has the potential to damage - as there are opportunities (and rules) for social and mental conficts as well as for actual fights. The mechanics are very structured, with a process that is the same whatever sort of conflict is taking place - it is just the end result, the 'damage' suffered by the loser, that differs. At first it seems complex, but the uniformity of structure means that once you and your players have grasped it, play will be slick - and there are plenty of examples provided to enable you to get your heads around it all. Whilst like in many game systems, Conflicts proceed on a round-by-round basis, this mechanic includes more detailed formal setting-up beforehand, framing the scene, which gives scope for players and Narrator alike to influence the overall conflict as a whole. Once into the round-by-round action, what you are doing determines how many dice you get to roll. There is still scope however to influnce the course of action by well-chosen narrative description of both actions and results - for example, describing the wound you intend to inflict - during the round-by-round element of conflict resolution. The style you wish to adopt, and whether you prefer to mix it in with the mechanistic elements, is up to the group to decide. Overall, it's a flexible and powerful system that enables the group to focus on whatever they think is important yet providing a mechanical basis for glossing over the rest.

Next, Chapter 11: Changing the World discusses the use of Standing as a means of influencing not just the people you deal with but the community as a whole. It provides a systematic way of modelling how characters can rise from humble origins to become influential and important members of society. It's more than that, though, it also is a mechanism for enabling each character to use what advantages they have to gain resources, nurture allies and benefactors... the sort of things most games leave to GM fiat alone, here is presented a system whereby players can roll dice to determine if they manage to gain that favour as well as playing out the request through conversation. For some overkill, but an elegant concept none-the-less. As the system distinguishes between 'extras' and more important characters in the game world, it's a useful mechanic for example when you want to bribe someone - a simple die roll challenge will suffice for bribing an extra, while you will need to role-play cutting a deal with a more significant NPC. There is some interesting equipment to acquire as well, should your Resources run to it. Actual money has been abstracted out on the grounds that most of the fictional characters are not the sort of folk who count every coin (unless intending to hurl them at someone!) and so such accountancy is not necessary for game characters either.

The final chapter in this section, Chapter 12: Children of the Contract, looks at the particular challenges of playing a kandra character. Little known outside their own society, these shapeshifters have a unique culture and outlook which can make them fascinating to play. Disciplined, adhering to a Contract or code of behaviour that governs their dealings with everyone else, their natural form is a heap of gloop: to take on human (or indeed any other) form they need to provide themselves with bones... yet are not allowed to kill to obtain them.

Book 2: The Treatise Metallurgic follows, describing in exquisite detail the operation of the unique metal-based magic system of the setting. There are three strands: Allomancy (whose practicioners consume and 'burn' metals to create their effects), Feruchemy (where the effect you want is pre-loaded into metal, and released when required) and Hemalurgy (where metal spikes transfer the effect into a recipient by sticking the spike into them!). The first chapter, Magic of the Final Empire, explains not just this but also how magic pervades the whole world. Allomany and Feruchemy are inherited gifts: your bloodline either has the potential to develop the ability or it does not. Hemalurgy may be learned. In all cases, the metal used determines the sort of effects that you can bring about.

Each strand of metal magic is examined in the following chapters. The detail is comprehensive, yet well worth a delve even if you do not intend to practice that particular form of metallurgic art yourself. You may find yourself fascinated by this logical system that operates according to a set of consistent in-game laws, never mind a coherent set of game mechanics, and it is integral to what makes this game unique, rather than yet another fantasy ruleset. Next come chapters devoted to the different metals and the effects that skilled users can create with them. Incredible detail that enables interested players to not only have their characters create these effects, but discuss them in a scholarly academic manner should they so wish. Interestingly, the metals and powers go beyond those described in the source novels... as readers know, new metals were discovered during the course of the stories, so it is likely that others are out there waiting to be discovered. It is open to the Narrator to determine what metals have been found at the time in which his game is set, of course, which may or may not be linked to events in the books.

Book 3: Always Another Secret is intended for the Narrator as the first chapter, Behind the Curtain, suggests. Scadrial is a world in which there always is another secret around the corner, and this is the key to making it an exciting adventure setting. Material herein is designed to equip the Narrator to run the game effectively, whether he is an experienced GM or new to refereeing. It does, however, contain material that gives away some of the plot of the novels... and which could be 'spoilers' for a game as well. A group which has already selected its Narrator should let him decide whether or not the other players may read this section. It begins by explaining the role of the Narrator, highlighting the collaborative nature of role-playing games and how the idea is for everyone to have fun in the shared alternate reality they create together.

Next, Chapter 2: Narrating Stories, begins a series of chapters looking at all aspects of running this game. This one is about crafting that shared story that Narrator and players are creating together, and includes tricks to help make the world come alive for everyone through descriptions. Remember, also, that just as the heroes in the novels are larger-than-life characters whose actions have the potential to be world-changing, so should the characters in your game... and the challenges that they face need to be appropriate too. There's also useful advice on the particular challenges, pitfalls and opportunities inherent in running a game based on published novels, ones which all participants may have read. You can weave your action around things that happen in the novels - or choose a part of Scadrial that the stories have never reached, letting events in the novels fade into the background. There are as many questions as answers, questions designed to spawn your ideas and help you bring them alive. Step-by-step adventure building sequences show you how to use those ideas to create vivid and memorable adventures that involve the players because they are constructed around their characters.

One of the unique things about this game is the way in which it is designed to encourage true collaboration, shared planning of plot as well as shared telling of the story. This is exemplified in the methodology presented for formalising and expediting the creation of a scheme and a plan of action for accomplishing that scheme, involving characters and Narrator in a structured process that leaves everyone clear about what's going on... and yet gives the Narrator plenty of scope for more 'classical' adventure construction based on what the characters want to do.

The next chapter looks at actually running the game: blending storyline and mechanics and collaboration into a seamless whole. Much will be of value whatever you are running, but vital if it's the Mistborn Adventure Game of course. Secrets being so important in this game, this setting, the next chapter is devoted to them and how to use them to effect. Much of this is of general application, well worth a read whatever system you prefer to run. Other powerful plot-drivers can be destiny and tragedy, the topics of the following chapter. A structured process for planning and manipulating all of these is provided: some may find it mechanical but it makes for a good framework and ensures nothing gets forgotten, as well as linking such pivotal influences directly into the game mechanics.

Next, the main characters of the novels are presented as game characters - at several stages in their careers, and with notes on how you might involve them. These are followed by copious material to aid you in developing your 'supporting cast' - from a Rogues' Gallery of common encounters to notes on how to create your own memorable NPCs from scratch.

Thus equipped you are ready for all that Scadrial has to offer. It's a fascinating game system, at times overly artificial and mechanical, but based around the powerful concept of advancing the shared story by means of conversation both in and out of character, with game mechanics honed to support the process to good effect. A challenge to get to grips with, but well worth the effort!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mistborn Adventure Game Novel Characters: Vin and Sazed
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/28/2012 12:12:52
Continuing the series of free 'tasters' for the Mistborn Adventure Game, here are two major characters from the novels on which the game is based, completely written up with game statistics and background details. Risky, as lovers of the stories likely have their own ideas - but for the enterprising GM who would like some of the characters from the novels featuring in their game, very useful. Anyone who has not read the novels yet should avoid this, thought, there are major plot 'spoilers' in the background text.

The first character portrayed is Vin. Her powers are at their height, with many of her defining exploits now in her past. After a full-page portrait, the first part of the write-up details her past up to the point chosen for the exemplar character. Next come her full game statistics, then a section on 'Playing Vin' which will help any GM to make her come to life as a powerful, potentially deadly, NPC - even as an ally, characters are advised to be careful, and she could make a formidable foe if they were to get on her wrong side... and rather helpfully, there are sections on how she'd behave as ally or enemy to make things easy for you. And there's more... this is followed by notes and stats if you'd prefer to use her earlier in the story, as a young and inexperienced member of a crew, with little to hint of what she will become... could be interesting, and a route for drawing your own characters into pivotal events later on, when that unassuming Skaa girl they knew on the streets blossoms into her power!

The other character featured here is Sazed. Again, the main write-up is at the same time in the plotline as Vin's, when he was an advisor and friend to her. The background explains how he got to that stage, while the notes on playing him bring out his tendency to be a voice of reason, a source of quiet and thoughtful advice. It's quite hard to make an enemy of him. The second build depicts him earlier in life, when he was going through an interesting time.

If you intend on weaving the novels' plotline through your game, rather than just using the setting to tell your own stories, these could be useful NPCs. Even if not, characters who become themselves pivotal figures might meet them, or they can serve for ideas about how really powerful characters might develop. Plenty of scope here!

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mistborn Adventure Game Novel Characters: Vin and Sazed
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Mistborn Adventure Game Sample Heroes
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 01/25/2012 10:41:26
Whether you are looking for inspiration, want a few well-detailed NPCs to act as associates or rivals, or need a character (or whole party) in a hurry, this product will fill your purposes admirably.

Herein are eight fully-developed characters, set up as an integrated crew. Each one gets a couple of pages - one a filled-out character sheets with all the necessary game stats, and the other a write-up of the character's background, including a brief history, notes on personality and motivations and even what he thinks about the other members of the group. There is also a sketch of the character to enable you to visualise him.

A fairly shady group they are, too. The leader is one Beck, a fixer - the sort of fellow who can get you whatever you want, no questions asked, provided you are willing to pay his price. The others are the crew who procure the whatever it is... a crew called Nine Eyes. Most people will find a character they'd like to play, if you are using them as your ready-made party. A wandering scholar, an urbane steward (or is he?), a kandra longing to return to her Homeland but honour-bound by her contract, a fugitive Mistborn noble lass, a Skaa con-woman who insinuates herself into noble society, a thief who is rarely as drunk as he appears to be, and a watchful bodyguard who burns with barely-controlled rage.

Between them, they form a group that is more than its individual members. They'd certainly make a good starting group (especially if you want to dive straight in to the game), else they may be exemplars of how you might create your own crew, or a rival crew to pit against your own players...

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Mistborn Adventure Game Sample Heroes
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Mistborn Adventure Game Digital Edition
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 12/18/2011 00:50:26
The Mistborn Adventure Game is by no means a simple game, but the rules themselves aren’t exactly “Crunchy” by definition. Crafty-Games has done an excellent job in making something that’s different from their usual niche yet without losing the same rooted foundations in sensible mechanics that I’ve come to expect from them.

The art is still in the excellent Black and White style of the Fantasy Craft books. There’s not a lot of it though, and some readers who have gotten used to seeing a lot of illustrations may find the book a little bare.

There are a few minor errors in the digital edition such “page XX” references but I believe that these will be corrected shortly.

Overall, the Mistborn Adventure Game is a genuinely pleasant surprise. Crafty Games has proven that they can put together a rules-medium game that remains faithful to its source. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn setting is a refreshingly unique vision with exotic magics and a unique look and feel that doesn’t come off as trying too hard to be different. I highly recommend this game and I’m looking forward to running a campaign in this setting.

----

This is an excerpt of my full review from my blog. If you'd like to see the rest, kindly visit:
http://philgamer.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/review-mistbor-
n-adventure-game-digital-edition/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mistborn Adventure Game Digital Edition
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Publisher Reply:
Thanks for the great review! We appreciate the kind words and attention to detail. :) Those missing page pointers and a few other foibles will be corrected before the book goes to press, and all editions of the game will be updated at the same time. (We had an unfortunate late-game version control issue, and didn’t have the time to go back and pour over every missing tweak before this early edition went out. Our apologies, but we’ll get ‘em fixed.) Thanks again! __ Alex and Pat Crafty Games http://www.crafty-games.com
Mistborn Adventure Game Primer
by Nate K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/04/2011 20:51:07
Good system in a setting that, personally, seems more fun to play in than to read about. I had trouble getting into the book series, but the RPG looks like it will be lots of fun.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Mistborn Adventure Game Primer
Click to show product description

Add to DriveThruRPG.com Order

Mistborn Adventure Game Primer
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 10/24/2011 08:52:06
With any 'based on the novels of...' game, I always wonder if it is better to know and love the novels before diving into the game, or if you are risking disappointment should the game designers' view of the alternate reality you already are familiar with differs from yours. Should you not be familiar with Brandon Sanderson's work, this Primer opens with an overview of the setting and what is going on there. It doesn't sound, on the face of it, somewhere you'd want to visit - but picture postcard destinations don't generally make for the best adventure games, and this setting boasts plenty of opposition that's just crying out for a band of heroes to stand up and say, "No more!"

A new game mechanic has been devised for this game, and the next section provides an overview of how characters are generated and described within the game system. It's all based around the D6 - often, handfulls of them - with rolls to resolve actions being based on your character's abilities with the addition of extra dice for favourable circumstances or equipment (or the loss of some if things are really stacked against you), resulting in a roll of 2 to 10 D6s. The GM assigns the difficulty of the task you are trying to accomplish (between 1 and 5), and you compare your die rolls... set any 6s aside and look for any matches between the rest to get the result of your roll. The 6s can be used to modify this. It sounds a bit more complex than it is once you get the dice out and have a practice...

And practice you can, because as soon as the concise yet clear explanation is done, there's a mini-scenario to play through, along with four sample characters. Neatly, it's a prelude to the first adventure planned for the game proper, so if you enjoy it you'll be able to carry the story on once it comes out. The set up is straightforward, the characters are rogues - but with, we hope, their hearts in the right place, and are offered a chance to right a wrong or two, and earn themselves some cash in the process. Plenty of background and detail is packed in, so that those unfamiliar with the setting should have a chance to come to grips with those features that make the Mistborn setting unique and an exciting place in which to adventure; the GM should find what he needs here to make it all come alive.

As an introduction to a new game, it certainly grabs you and sweeps you up... I for one shall be looking forwards to the release of the full game (and to find out what happens next in an adventure that's already got me intrigued!)

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Displaying 16 to 30 (of 143 reviews) Result Pages: [<< Prev]   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9 ...  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates