So disclaimer. I know some of the play testers for Fantasy Craft. But other than telling me years ago that they liked this game, they haven’t attempted to influence me on this system. So this mini-review in the Character Creation Challenge is all my own.
Fantasy Craft was released by Crafty Games that also released Spycraft. So I suspect that some of this D20 system will follow those same steps. Let’s dive into this and see what we can find.
We start on page 6 with the character creation rules which actually starts out at step 0, the concept. What do you want to play? I flipped through the origins (races) and classes. They added quite a bit to both categories. I assume this was to make their game stand out from the other D20 3.x variants that were out at the time. The Explorer sounded interesting, but with this class I elected to make him a Hafling… err… Pech named Perrich Teagrove. If I was going to take one of the warrior type classes, I was tempted by the Saurian. There was also the option of a Rootwalker (think Ents from the Lord of the Rings films) but I don’t know what class I would have selected.
Being a D20 variant, it hast the standard attributes, STR, DEX, etc. You have 36 points to spend with the costs presented on a table. A score of 8 is zero points and each score higher is a few more points above that. My final result with the racial modifiers was STR 11, DEX 16, CON 14, INT 15, WIS 12 and CHA 12.
The next step is to select the character’s origin, which I already had above, and write down the benefits that the race has. There was then a list of Human talents (makes sense, if you choose that race) and then a specialty like Acrobat, Fencer, Nomad, etc. They give you some bonuses as well. Are these also just Human? The rules don’t say nor do the descriptions, so I’m going to go with the assumption of yes and take Adventurer. I also went to step 4 and wrote down all of the details for my career of Explorer.
Step 5 was to select my skills, so I flipped over to the skills chapter and read the descriptions of where to spend my 8 points. Afterwards I went to step 6 to select my feat which was Pack Rat (keep 1 additional item). The next step was interests. This covered alignment, languages and studies. The alignment was left up to the GM. I’m going to just put down neutral. Teagrove is just interested in exploring. Speaking of interests, you gain your native language and culture count as interests. It doesn’t say if you get a “common” language. I’m going to assume yes. Then you get to choose two more interests which could be other languages or something you studied. I as an explorer, Teagrove studied ancient cities and map making. I think those fit this section.
Step 8 is where you fill in some of the other missing items on your character sheet. Not everything as this is a four page sheet. I’m not going to scan the last page as it covered spells. The last step dealt with the starting gear. There is something called lifestyle points, which honestly I didn’t understand after pouring through everything else. The silver piece is the common coin with a new character starting with 100 sp. (career level x100) And, a lot of stuff is expensive. So we are quite literally equipping on a shoe string budget. I bought some stuff to make my guy (hopefully) survive and called it good.
Straight of the bat. Too much crunch in the rules and descriptions for me to think about running or homebrewing for. There was a LOT of extra descriptive items and text that may not have been needed. If I was running a fantasy game, I would not reach for this game first. I wouldn’t be opposed to playing a character in Fantasy Craft, but I would not run a game in this system. When I had a choice, I kept it simple for example the recent Basic Fantasy game I ran for my daughter and her friends.
I’ve got an idea to test the combat systems in different roleplaying games. But that will not be until after the Character Creation Challenge is done. But it is something I want to blog about.
Also some of the font sizes on the character sheet were just way too small. On a four-page sheet, they shouldn’t be this small. There were some interesting ideas in the book that I may steal, but in a glut of fantasy games out there, Fantasy Craft will not be near the front of the line. I would be interested in hearing other players experiences with this game.
I’m still looking for additional blogs or message boards where participants have been posting their #CharacterCreationChallenge entries. I’ve been pouring over a few corners of the internet I don’t often visit (or just visited for the first time) and I haven’t found anything new lately.
Coming Up Next:
The D6 System
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