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Adventure Companion
Publisher: Crafty Games
by Nicolas F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2011 07:35:19
The Adventure Companion is a great book, with a lot of new interesting settings and even a dense chapter of new rules for crunch addicts. The only remark I could make is that the book could definitely benefit for a few more pages! But hey, the quality/price ratio is still very, very high. Let's make a quick overview.

Cloak & Dagger, as expected, is a blast. The authors have put all the experience and knowledge they had from modern tradecraft (from Spycraft) into a Rome-like fantasy setting. The era, the geopolitical situation (the brink of the collapse of the empire actually), the conflicting nations very "7th Sea" in the spirit, the threats all over the place, the real-world similarities, all this contribute to make it a very convincing setting with a immense potential. Just reading it, you have tons of adventure seeds that come instantly to your mind. Plus it's a real pleasure to play a fantasy game with only humans, for a change! As a side note, this is the setting that would benefit the most from a few dedicated adventures.

Epoch, I wasn't expecting all that much. Sword & sorcery, dinosaurs, mad sorcerers, that's just something Conan does very well, dinosaurs aside. Well, Epoch is just completely different and it was THE good surprise - no sorry, EXCELLENT surprise - of this book. Take a few aspects of Conan, the most barbaric ones (Picts, Stygia, etc.), mix this with an Apocalypto feel, add a little northern Amerindian folklore on top of it and you have a better idea. The ancient tribes (humans and a few fantasy races) are on the brink of extinction since the invasion of eastern conquerors who wield magic and make pacts with demons. These conquerors are just too much like our "civilized" ancestors who wiped entire civilizations out. This time, you're on the other side. What would you do to protect your life, your family, your entire nation from extinction? Coming back to Conan, it would be a little like if you were playing a Pict, and Conan and his troops where marching toward the last Pict village still alive ...

Sunchaser is a little bit more classic in its form, but still quite entertaining. This high fantasy settings is all about playing glorious adventurers wandering four kingdoms the free races have created after they escaped the dominating grasp of The Crone (and evil subterranean race ruled by an even more evil queen). Starting small, your deeds will soon lead you to accomplish epic quests and maybe even protect the four kingdoms from the long feared return of The Crone. This setting is well written and simple enough not to suffer from the lack of more pages. It is perfect for a simple, one-shot adventure.

The final chapter is dedicated to game mechanics. There are two excellent new base classes: the Martial Artist which is of course all about combat; and the Emissary which is the investigator/spy of Fantasy Craft. The expert classes coming after that are quite interesting as well, as are the first master classes finally published. Special note for the Regent, a wonderful way to become a true power player, in the political sense. There are also a lot of new, excellent feats, and a frightening host of Species feats particularly. Don't be afraid like I was at first! These feats are there to let you emulate nearly any fantasy specie ever devised: With Bear Nation, you can make Nyss elves, with Desert Clutch and Dragon-Tailed, you can make nagas, with Orc Blood, you can make half-orcs! The options are almost limitless. After that, a little bit too much new Advanced Actions, a few nice Campaign Qualities, and you're done.

All in all, it is an excellent book. I repeat, while it could have benefited from a few more pages, particularly for Cloak & Dagger and Epoch, it is still an excellent work for the price. All settings are well written, nicely described, and probably fun to play. The rules chapter is worthy, balanced, and completes well the existing Fantasy Craft mechanics. A must have.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Companion
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Fantasy Craft Second Printing
Publisher: Crafty Games
by Nicolas F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 12/17/2010 08:15:14
Fantasy Craft is basically what was missing from the d20 system for each and every player or GM who wanted a little bit more ... crunch, fun, dynamism, or even storytelling options. It's a package of all that and a little bit more on the top of it. The rules are brilliantly well written, making this 400-pages generic fantasy rulebook something even more huge than it appears. This is a system for any fantasy game, whether you like combat a lot and want to use minis in order to play full tactic battles, or whether you prefer investigation-centered intrigues where social assets and clever use of one's resources is the key, or anything in-between. There are rules for many things, though not to the point that it slows the pace of the game down. However, since the writing is clever and concise, reading the rules more than once before play might be necessary. It's worth it, though, because you can really use this system to play anything, once you're familiar with it. And I really mean ANYTHING, without much things to adjust, thanks to the very modular nature of most options, particularly campaign qualities. Just remember this is a game for people who like well-oiled mechanics. It does not mean it is just for combat freaks. There are rules for smart storytelling as well and some aspects of the game focus solely on social play and intrigue. It's just that there ARE rules indeed, for all those things. It's not left up to the GM every two pages. Of course the GM has the final word, but he is thoroughly guided through the whole book. Similarly, creating a PC for Fantasy Craft may take you at least one hour, but that's only because you have so many opportunities to build JUST the character you had in mind ... well, you want to explore them all! It's thorough, and it requires a little bit dedication at first. But the pleasure during game is only better. All in all, Fantasy Craft is honestly the best fantasy RPG I have ever read.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
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