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Adventure Companion
by Michael W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 11/09/2010 23:39:42

Please note that this review first appeared at my blog Stargazer's World (http://www.stargazersworld.com).

When you have read my blog for quite a while you probably noticed that I have a soft spot for Crafty Games‘ Fantasy Craft. But Fantasy Craft is a more complex game than the other games I usually recommend. I have to admit that Fantasy Craft’s rules complexity is sometimes just a bit outside of my usual comfort zone.

But that said I am also convinced that it’s the best game that evolved from the d20 system. The Fantasy Craft core rules open a lot of options for interesting campaigns that don’t follow the classic high fantasy model. And a lot of the concepts in Fantasy Craft is meant to make the GMs job much easier than in D&D for example.

With their latest supplement, the Adventure Companion, the good folks at Fantasy Craft show how versatile their rules system can be used. The 145-paged book which has been released a couple of days ago in PDF format, contains not just one but three unique fantasy campaigns, and a plethora of new options for your Fantasy Craft game, like new expert and master classes.

With the first campaign in the book, Cloak & Dagger, Fantasy Craft comes full circle. You probably know that the Master Craft system first appeared in Crafty Games’ spy game, Spy Craft. Now Cloak & Dagger is a fantasy campaign where the player characters are secret agents for various warring houses in an empire inspired by the classical era, basically it’s Spy Craft in ancient Rome.

If you ever wanted to play in a game freely based on ancient Rome, Cloak & Dagger will be for you. It’s also very refreshing that the book’s author, Alex Flagg, opted to make C&D a human-centric setting. I sometimes get pretty tired of standard fantasy with elves and dwarves, and the lack of non-human player races makes it easier for GMs to use the material in the book for a historical campaign set into classical Rome. The second included setting, Epoch, reminds me more of sword & sorcery settings but with a twist. The most intriguing fact is that the setting is partly inspired by Aztec mythology instead of European one. The premise of the world of Epoch is that the free tribes of the Children of the Dawn fight the invasion of the Keepers of the Gate, who are in league with the ghula. The Keepers of the Gate bring with them civilization and magic which both taint the savage lands. The champions of the last free people stand up to fight the demonic ghula and their followers. Epoch is another great example for a non-standard fantasy setting.

The third setting included in Adventure Companion is called Sunchaser which Alex once described as Lord of the Rings on the Mississippi river. And that’s actually a pretty good description. Humans are the newcomers in the Thousand-Rivers Valley, a place thrive with adventure and home to almost all the races described in the Fantasy Craft rulebook. Among the three campaigns in the book it’s the most “classical”. If you’re looking for a high fantasy setting for Fantasy Craft with elves, dwarves, drakes, magic, feudal lords and ancient ruins to explore, then Sunchaser is definitely worth a look. Each of the three settings contains several pages of background information, new talents, feats and other setting-specific rules, new monsters and an extensive rogue’s gallery. There are even tips for what kind of adventures you could run in these settings. It’s actually astounding to see how many content they managed to squeeze into a 145-paged book. While the three settings are not as detailed as if they released a book for each, they give GMs enough information to make the campaign world their own. I actually prefer this approach to overly-detailed settings like the Forgotten Realms, where every small hamlet had it’s own sourcebook at some point.

The last section of the book contains options for the three campaigns or basically every Fantasy Craft campaign. There are over 150 Specialities, feats, 12 new classes (including Base, Master and Expert Classes), as well as new tricks and Paths. I have to admit the number of new stuff in the last part of the book can be a bit overwhelming but if you’re a veteran Fantasy Craft player or GM you should feel quite at home.

All in all I think Crafty Games’ Adventure Companion is a great product for a reasonable price. The PDF version sets you back $14.99. The printed version will be available for only ten bucks more later this month. Even if you’re not playing Fantasy Craft right now you could probably make good use of the three campaign settings. The rules options in the back of the book can probably be used in your home brew Fantasy Craft games as well, even if you’re not that interested in the campaigns. Please note that this review is based on a read through of the PDF version of Adventure Companion which has been provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Companion
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Spycraft 2.0 Control Screen
by Hamilton R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/24/2010 15:39:32

Spycraft 2.0 Game Screen is a 3-part barrier that you can print and assemble. It has alot of game tables that you may use often in your games, such as Combat summary and Weapons table. The price is just right / get it and assemble it!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spycraft 2.0 Control Screen
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Spycraft 2.0 Rulebook - Second Printing
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/13/2010 15:08:46

If you are looking for a Espionage or Modern D20 ruleset, look no further than SpyCraft.

Enhanced gear and gadgets allow any budding Bond wannabe to equip themselves with the latest high tech equipment. Good selection of character classes and feats. Game runs smoothly though can be tough for new players to get a handle on it. Once they do it's well worth playing.

The game also has a number of supplements/mission for GM's to use.

Only Con that nearly caused me to knock a star off, is that the tables in the book are laid out oddly and difficult to find.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spycraft 2.0 Rulebook - Second Printing
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Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by Mark S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/13/2010 14:59:31

Book is well laid out and easy to find what you are looking for. Rules are base upon Crafty Games MasterCraft ruleset, which uses the D20 OGL. Saying that FantasyCraft is yet another D20 fantasy game does not do the MasterCraft ruleset justice. Crafty has taken D20 to a new level. Character classes and races offer a rich environment for players to enjoy. Gameplay is straight forward and easy for new players to understand.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
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Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by Ronald B. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 07/11/2010 10:06:54

This is d20 at its most flexible best.

Fantasy Craft solves my biggest problem with its parent fantasy game. With the use of a simple table, GMs can now put their PC's up against any creature, any time, at any level.

In addition, NPCs are a breeze to make by simply going over a section in the book.

The toolkit concepts begun in Spycraft suit high fantasy well. There is simply no better way to run a home brewed fantasy campaign using d20!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Classic Spycraft: Spycraft Espionage Handbook
by Erathoniel W. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/15/2010 13:16:33

This is, in one word, fun. It doesn't focus on being uptight, or realistic (well, particularly realistic), or even a specific thing. It's simply action-espionage, be it from Bond to Bourne. You can play a gritty game, or a game with super-tech and action.

Spycraft doesn't burden or restrict itself. It is what it is, and it'll do anything it wants. It's d20 adjusted for a modern setting, but it does what d20 modern did not. It makes the game fun. Instead of worrying about how your character is arbitrarily defined, you know how they're defined.

The art and quality is top-notch, and if you want something like a simple spy game, this is where you'll find it. A brief glance at other spy systems (admittedly earlier in production), such as an official James Bond game, shows that where they failed to make a simple, easy system for all types of adventure, Spycraft has succeeded.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Classic Spycraft: Spycraft Espionage Handbook
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Fantasy Craft Second Printing Preview
by Dean B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/03/2010 17:12:24

A little more smooth than dnd 3.0/3.5 in some ways, love the skill system.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing Preview
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Spycraft 2.0 Rulebook - Second Printing
by Rory H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/28/2010 01:54:09

Sometimes you just feel a book is too big to be useful. There are some good ideas here, and I like the genre, but I feel that they've attempted to do too much with the game here, and it lacks focus and consequently utility value.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Spycraft 2.0 Rulebook - Second Printing
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Call to Arms Bundle 2 [BUNDLE]
by Robert G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2010 11:01:26

These are classes I would have liked to see in the core book, but for space considerations. The Martial Artist, Monk, and Deadeye are all great for players looking for an agile boxer, a miraculous hero, or a deadly shootist.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call to Arms Bundle 2 [BUNDLE]
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Call to Arms Bundle 1 [BUNDLE]
by Robert G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2010 10:59:48

While I don't think Crafty Games quite hit their stride with this one, it's a solid bet that you'll find at least one of the classes compelling. At the price, you should say yes if you have the money and if like Fantasy Craft. The Gallant is a solid interpretation of the archetypal dashing warrior, if a little heavy in its area of expertise, personal combat. The Infernalist is flavorful and offers a few tricks not available to your everday Mage. The Monster Slayer is rock solid, my only complaint being that it works best for a character who carries a shield.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Call to Arms Bundle 1 [BUNDLE]
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Call to Arms: Deadeye
by Robert G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2010 10:54:52

While nothing that will knock your socks off with surprises, the Deadeye is a solid and useful design which will appear to certain types of player. The Deadeye vastly expands the viability of the archer or gunslinger. Several black powder weapon feats are included.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call to Arms: Deadeye
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Call to Arms: Martial Artist
by Robert G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2010 10:53:36

Compared to the Soldier, the Martial Artist is an explosion. In addition to supporting concepts built around unarmed combat, whether wandering monks or terrifying taloned and fanged warriors, the Martial Artist establishes a solid party role with a strong offense and heavy use of attack tricks. The Martial Artist is a super choice for such characters, while not outperforming the Soldier in its niche, just as it should be.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call to Arms: Martial Artist
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Call to Arms: Monk
by Robert G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2010 10:50:03

Crafty Games has nailed it with this one. The monk naturally serves as an excellent interpretation of the AD&D style monk, and builds naturally onto the Martial Artist base class. However, it also offers a number of options to diversify the archetype, based on the Vow chosen, and need not be strictly reserved for fist-and-foot chop socky heroes. The Vow mechanic was a brilliant move, a way of tying in their abilities to an austere way of life, while not overly punishing players for acting in reasonable ways. The Monk also expands the Path concept somewhat, offering a new way to gain Paths and showing off some more possibilities for abilities.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Call to Arms: Monk
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Call to Arms: Gallant
by Robert G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2010 10:45:41

The Gallant is a solid archetype and this class supports it well. The Gallant blends style and melee. Many of the abilities focus on personal combat with special characters (villains and such). Compared to the Edgemaster, which blends style and combat very effectively, this class seems a little heavy, more like a combat monster with a few Courtier abilities thrown in. Even compared to the Soldier's upper level abilities, the Gallant gives me some pause. Particularly, I am not sure how well a Musketeers themed game would play out if multiple players chose the Gallant; would I continue to assign NPCs tricks (free XP!) or ruthlessly excise meaningless abilities (Take that! Your class abilities have been rendered useless)? Still, it's a fun class that, like so many other Crafty designs, actively encourages players to do the things appropriate for their archetype, in this case, squaring off against formidable foes and shaking down old friends for special favors.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Call to Arms: Gallant
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Call to Arms: Infernalist
by Robert G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 03/12/2010 10:36:00

I consider this one of the less essential books in the series. While the Infernalist is flavorful and does the job, the taint mechanic is not all that inspired, and there is little to set this character apart from a straight-up Mage. That said, the class abilities are useful, and the new feats do add a little oomph to your typical dark sorcerer. I have a hard time picturing this class as having much traction for a PC, and for an NPC, the new material can be summed in the new feats and the new class abilities available as qualities. If you are really interested in a character full of roiling power who consorts with dark powers, this class makes a lot of sense.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Call to Arms: Infernalist
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