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Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by Robert H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/23/2009 01:31:10

When I first cracked open Fantasy Craft, I expected to find a rehash of Dungeons and Dragons in some form or another. I was able to keep up this illusion throughout the opening chapter by telling myself that while the classes were different and there were a few unusual races in the lineup, this was still basically the game that I was already familiar with. The further I read, the more I knew that what Crafty Games had put together was actually something very different than ye ole D&D.


Nestled within its four hundred pages, you will find everything that you need to play the game, including eleven playable races (with a boatload of splinter races), twelve base classes, six expert (prestige) classes, a gallery of NPCs, a bestiary, and all of the rules you will need to start playing the game. Since Fantasy Craft is built on top of the d20 Open Gaming License, the core engine of Fantasy Craft won't be anything new to anyone who has ever played an OGL game. Where Fantasy Craft noticeably departs from the usual mold, though, is the way that it merges concepts that are seen more typically in modern genre games, such as a system for reputation, contacts and allies, looser management of character wealth, and an all around more cinematic approach.



  • Races of Fantasy Craft *
    Fantasy Craft has a respectable list of playable races, including ones typically only thought of as monsters, such as ogres, orcs and giants, along with some that are alien enough to provide an interesting roleplaying challenge to the hardened fantasy roleplayer, such as rootwalkers (treants), drakes (smaller, less powerful kin of the dragons), and unborn (living constructs such as golems). Each of the races have has its own unique list of advantages and disadvantages to playing them that goes beyond the simple plus two to this attribute, minus two to that. Even humans got a lot more attention with a generous list of "talents" to choose from, making them a lot more attractive to play than I have seen in other d20 based games.


In an era of RPGs where other systems encourage GMs to find a way to say "yes," to their players, banned actions seem a little harsh. This rule makes it difficult or impossible to play a character that goes against its racial stereotypes. For instance, ogres can never attempt to take a diplomatic approach and make influence checks, and dwarves can never learn to swim. I would have preferred to have seen a system that gave them a penalty to skill checks instead of banning the race from making an attempt outright. The player experience could also be improved by giving the player options to effectively buy off the penalties with feats.




  • Classes of Fantasy Craft *
    Core classes include the assassin, burglar, courtier, captain, explorer, keeper, lancer, mage, priest, sage, scout and soldier. Right away, it is evident that these aren't simply reprints of the d20 SRD classes. In fact, the only classes that strongly resemble a 3.5 SRD counterpart are the mage and burglar. Each class also features a "core ability." For instance, the assassin's core ability, "Heartseeker," improves the assassin's base attack bonus when he is attacking what is known as a special character -- basically, this is anything that actually has hit points and isn't part of the masses. These core abilities are only gained from your first level in your first class. This is an effective mechanic that allows Fantasy Craft to provide a nice boon in a class right from level one, without opening it to being abused by acquiring multiple "core abilities," via multi-classing.




  • Artwork *
    Other than the cover art, the rest of the book is completely illustrated in black and white. Nonetheless, the artwork is high quality and compelling with lots of little subtleties to hunt for. (Get a preview of some of the art in this P&PG review: [...]) The bestiary section, however, could have used more art and would have ideally had a visual representation for every monster listed.




  • The MasterCraft Engine *
    Fantasy Craft is the first game to feature Crafty Game's new adaption on the d20 engine called MasterCraft. MasterCraft is described as a lighter, faster, and sleeker version of the Spycraft 2.0 mechanics. Having never looked over the Spycraft game in any detail, I can't really comment on how complicated Spycraft was. What I can say is that the system in Fantasy Craft brings a lot of great innovations to the gaming table by doing away with things that complicated or slowed down play in d20, and simplifying other things that were always confusing to players and GMs alike.




  • Armor Works Like It Should *
    Although this is a subtlety of the system that few might consider to be all that important, one of my gripes with d20 has long been the way the system handles armor. It doesn't make sense that wearing a heavy suit of armor somehow makes a character more difficult to hit. In Fantasy Craft, armor works more like I would expect by providing its wearer with resistance to certain types of damage instead of helping the character avoid damage outright. Instead, the game gives every class a new "defense" score right alongside of the typical saving throws that represents the character's skill at avoiding physical attacks. Perfect!



  • Quicker Recovery and Less Dependence on Healers *
    Fantasy Craft features two hit point pools -- vitality and wounds. Vitality is explained to be a "mixture of endurance, luck and the will to fight." This is what your character gains every level as he becomes a more experienced combatant, whereas wounds represent actual physical damage. Although the system provides a couple of sneaky tricks that can bypass vitality and immediately do wound damage, most of the time the character is going to lose all of his vitality first before taking any real damage. This gives the game a more cinematic feel where the character narrowly avoids hit after hit until his defenses are worn down and he finally suffers a serious injury.


Vitality recovers very quickly -- pretty much one night's rest will recover all vitality. The game also provides a means for players to heal themselves in and out of combat using action dice. All of this means less down time and less reliance on having a healer in the party.




  • Streamlined Skills *
    The skill list of Fantasy Craft is noticeably slimmed by combining like skills with each other. Each of the skills then has multiple uses. For example, the skill Acrobatics merges three skills found in D&D 3.5 into one for balancing checks, jump, and tumble. By combining them, it is much easier to have a more diverse selection of skills, especially given that Fantasy Craft is very generous with skill points to all classes. The game also completely does away with knowledge skills in favor of a single unified knowledge check.




  • Abundant Feats *
    Fantasy Craft features a long list of feats that players are sure to enjoy. My favorites among these are the weapon feats, which finally give players a reason to choose a weapon for something other than just whatever does the most damage, but these aren't just a bunch of combat feats, either. True to its theme of supporting everything from a very tactically-oriented game to a heavy roleplaying and social game, Fantasy Craft delivers an expansive array of feats for whatever type of character you are trying to build.



  • Modular NPC Design *
    Fantasy Craft features a wide array of prebuilt NPCs and monsters to challenge your party, and the game takes a unique approach by making all of the stat blocks modular. In other words, any monster you'll find in this book can be used at all levels of play. They simply plug in at whatever level your group is currently at and are ready to go. You'll need to do a little math and cross-referencing of charts to determine the NPC's actual scores first, but fortunately, this process is easy and quick enough that you should be able to do it on the fly at the gaming table with only minimal downtime. This also comes with the huge advantage of being able to use modules more easily regardless of what level of play they were designed for.


While you're perusing the NPC section, you'll also find a rather exceptional NPC Generator for stating out your own cast of NPCs and critters. This system goes way beyond the scant advice typically given in other games and provides a very precise way for building a creature's attributes, special abilities, attacks, defenses, et cetera, and determining exactly what the experience reward for such a creature should be.




  • Campaign Qualities *
    Although this section is a mere five pages or so, it packs a lot of punch. Essentially, campaign qualities are a list of optional rules that the GM can apply to his game depending on the feel he wants for his game. For instance, the "Doomed Heroes" quality makes it far more likely that critical hits will be confirmed against the player characters, whereas the "Iron Heroes" quality makes it much more difficult for characters to die from massive damage. Campaign qualities are one of the things the authors have already mentioned that plan to expand on, so I expect we'll probably see a lot more of these as new products in the Fantasy Craft line are released.



  • "Your Dungeon, Your Dragon, Your Way" *
    This is the slogan emblazoned on the back of the book, and it is one of the key goals of Fantasy Craft. It is obvious throughout the book that the designers put a lot of time and thought into providing a framework that could support whatever type of game the game master imagines. With options like campaign qualities, a comprehensive NPC builder, and a book chock full of options for tactical and roleplaying heavy games alike, Fantasy Craft delivers on that promise.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
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Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by Carl A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/11/2009 23:56:19

I played Spycraft back when it was in version 1.0 and D&D was at 3.0, so when I heard about 3.5 coming out, I thought I knew what it was going to be like. I expected the sort of adjustments to the rules that I saw in Spycraft, but I was wrong. They decided to make minor adjustments and call it 3.5. Well, Fantasy Craft is exactly what they should have done. The rules, while detailed, are easy to understand. The options for character creation and in development are expansive. My only issue with it so far, is I can't decide what to make first!


If Fantasy Craft were a video game, I'd say there is tons of replay available. You have so many different ways to build a character, and different places you can branch out after creation, and none (or almost none) of them are wrong (or gimped). They all give you different options during play that are useful in different ways. The best way I can describe it to someone who has never played Spycraft would be if you took the ideas of Feats and applied it to everything. You have things that are sort of like feats in character creation, called Talents (human only) and Specialties (all species, including humans), that come from your background (Are you a Strong Human Barbarian, or a Wise Human Cleric?) and these are important aspects, even before you get to your class (So the Wise Human Cleric might be a Priest, or a Keeper, for example, since Cleric isn't a class, it's a Specialty in Fantasy Craft).


If you are on the fence about buying it and you like systems with crunchy bits, then it is a must have. If you liked D&D 3 (or 3.5) then it is a must have. If you liked Spycraft and like fantasy games, then it is a must have. If you prefer really rules lite games, then this probably isn't the game for you. But even then I'd suggest giving it a try, because it really is that awesome.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft NPC Builder
by max l. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2009 04:01:56

both products the "npc stat converter" and the "web npc builder" work very well! the npc builder is an awesome online tool to create FantasyCraft monsters. since the npc system lets you create monsters that can be scaled for an threat lvl. , you need to convert your stats into the appropriate in game lvl. you want. the stat converter will manage this for you and turn your npc stats into a "ready to play" npc stat block.
i wish more companies would offer such useful GM freebies!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft NPC Builder
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Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by Kyle H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/27/2009 15:06:35

FantasyCraft is a true epic fantasy game, with streamlined, yet detailed and flexible, combat rules.


At nearly 16,000 possible character combinations, FantasyCraft provides 100x the options for starting characters than D&D 3.5 or 4th edition, due to its Origin system.


FantasyCraft lists 12 distinct non-human species, which is double what D&D 3.5 offered. There is no half-this or half-that, which I find refreshing, as it opens up species which I have not seen readily available to play, such as Drakes.


Humans have 25 talents to choose from, which are one-word adjectives that define who your character is. These really help distinguish starting characters from one another, along with specialties.


In addition, all characters get to choose a specialty for their character. These define your character’s role, as much as the class you pick. Each provides an assortment of abilities tailored for that role. Among the lists are each of the D&D 3.5 base classes, as they are so weaksauce that they’re only a specialty, and you should go pick a real class.


The classes have a wider variety than D&D 3.5 or 4th edition offers, with each one unique and distinct.


Mages have access to all spells, including healing, which follows almost all fantasy settings not based on D&D. Priests gain abilities based on their path (faith), which can include spells, but not always. A priest can be used to emulate a “witch doctor” quite easily.


The only issue I have with the system is that it encourages most of the non-human Species to follow the iconic roles their species does best.


It is a wonderful book from cover to cover. With being a player’s guide, gm’s reference, and bestiary all in one, it is well worth having.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
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Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by max l. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/25/2009 11:49:33

FC is the most extensive toolbox for d20 fantasy gaming I know of. There is enough material within these 400 pages to fill 2 player’s guides, a dm guide and a monster manual. It also includes a npc generation system that beats everything I have ever seen. I really can’t imagine a monster type you can’t build with this system. The system is flexible enough to play any fantasy setting I know of, from all the classic D&D settings to 7hsea or Warhammer, just pick what you like.
Classes: 12 of them+Expert and Master classes! This chapter gives you classes that can build nearly any fantasy char you want.
It’s more versatile than other systems and classes offer more options.
Origins=Race: 24 different human species talents!! 12 other fantasy races!! Races in FC are stronger than other d20 races. That means a dwarven warrior is something completely different than a human warrior throughout all lvls.
Specialty: resembles the background your char comes from (barbarian, aristocrat, artist, archer…). Among other things it gives you an additional starting feat.
Feats:
Lots of them! FC feats are all about giving your char tricks and stances. There is no boring feat like “you get a plus 1 bonus”. Every feat gives you something special and crunchy. If you’d like to play a classic d20 setting like the Realms or Eberron, these feats will enable you to do so (in my opinion better than the 3.5 system)
Skills:
The best d20 skill system, I have used so far. Fast and streamlined but also detailed enough to make building weapons and other stuff an interesting part of the game instead of a boring single dice roll
Every skill is mechanically useful; a Halfling cook can buff his teammates with a nice breakfast.
Magic: Spellcasting requires a Spellcasting skill check. Spells cost Spellpoints which are gained by several sources. 0 lvl spells cost no Spellpoints, so casters have an endless pool of cantrips. Saving throws against spells are DC 10 + the caster’s charisma
modifier + the caster’s number of Spellcasting feats.
Gear:
My favorite chapter, lots of weapons! While most d20 weapons simply do dmg, different weapon qualities ensure that every weapon has different effects. That means weapons differ al lot more than only by means of dmg and crit range. The damage reduction of armor in combination with different armor piercing values makes weapons and armor much more fun and interesting.
Reputation and Prizes:
In short: players need to spend reputation they earn through completing adventures to be able to buy and create magic weapons. This works also for holdings and contacts (-_ could be a source that sells potions).
Renown is also bought with reputation, and resembles your social status. This is important to call in Favors (combat training, blessings, hirelings…)
Keep in mind that these rules can also be excluded from the game.
Combat:
If you are familiar with d20 combat, you will easily find your way in this chapter. It focuses more on playability than realism, it’s fast and tactical. You can plan ambushes with tactics checks (skill) and teamwork can be improved with feats.
Worlds:
This is a DM chapter, it gives you everything you’d expect from a DM guide, but due to the Mastercraft system, I think the game is better manageable for the dm. (Action Dice, giving Reputation…)


To summarize: I don’t think I’ll ever play another d20 fantasy system than FantasyCraft!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by Rodrigo J. R. T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/20/2009 01:39:03

I really think this book is great!!


As mentioned by others:
An excelent system to create NPCs
FEATs again are escencial.
NOT a hack an slash system (but can be if u want)
3 new very interesting things: Reputation, Lifestyle and action dices!!!


The only thing Im not very "happy" or maybe dont find the correct form is the magic for the mage.


I didnt find any restriction to know spells then a mage healer is posible and with divine assistance...
but I think the rules are so flexible that I can say (as a DM or GM lol) what kind of magic any one can use!!!


Excellent work 5 stars is correct!!!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by Derek H. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2009 21:11:25

Hoping that I could find a good middle ground between what 3.5 did right, what 4e fixed, and avoiding what 4e broke, I bought Fantasy Craft. I was not disappointed, and was in fact given more for my money than I had dared to hope for. Ridiculously diverse races and classes, the ability to run any kind of adventure at any level due to sliding monster stats, a great gear system, are great points of the book. But the big thing is only when you've taken in the whole package, just well-thought-out and obviously extensively playtested rules throughout the book have removed all of those strange quirks you saw in 3.5, and the balance is just great. The only thing I found wrong was that a couple skills have been split, but some others have been logically joined together and everyone has tons of skill points, so the impact of this little bit of strangeness is minimized. Highly recommended.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by Joshua K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/12/2009 11:56:49

After giving D&D 4th Ed. a go, and giving it up in complete disillusionment, I looked forward to FantasyCraft. I was not disappointed in the slightest.


The book's already many classes are easily customized with Specialties to bring an entirely new flavor to the character, like the old 'class kits'. Instead of ECLs we have special abilities granted by feats, bringing user-friendliness to a lot of popular character types.


The NPC creation system allows an adventure to be scaled quickly and easily to any character Level. And the Reputation system helps GMs control the 'magic item lottery' that focuses too many fantasy games on all the magic 'bling' the characters can accumulate, and not on their innate skills.


Finally, the system actively encourages tweaking, through the use of campaign qualities. Want a historical game and no magic? Easily do-able. Want characters to have more/less feats, skill points, critical hits? All easily done.


All in all, I can't recommend FantasyCraft too highly.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by Raymond K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2009 11:21:27

FantasyCraft, a Crafty-Games game. A D20-based Fantasy-genre RPG. In an already crowded category, I won't post that this book features Dragons and Elves. At this point, what book doesn't? I WILL, however, what makes me choose FantasyCraft over the various other options.




  1. The Skill System: FantasyCraft's skill system, while still very familiar to the D20 formula, is a staple within the engine. Not a small sidenote to accent your character's Damage-per-round like in other systems, but an actual fleshed out system to handle everything (and probably thensome) of what a character would want to do.




  2. The NPC creation system. Remember spending hours upon hours trying to drudge up and balance NPCs in other systems? The mind-numbing death spiral of time spent that went into creating 'bosses' for your group to fight? Not any more! FantasyCraft's NPC system is, perhaps, the most fluid, easy to use system I've ever seen. The NPC design scales (almost effortlessly) to fit the party. ..and it's actually FUN (again..) to create NPCs!
    2b. OGL Monster Conversion. Want to toss in your favorite D20 monster? Worried about how X ability will match up in
    FantasyCraft? They did the worrying for you. The OGL conversion chart is amazingly verbose and flexible.




  3. Cheating Death. It's an optional rule within the book aimed at preserving the player's character, but at the same time creating a DM twist. The optional rule is almost worth the price of the book alone! lol. Okay, maybe not that drastic, but 'Cheating Death' is very unqiue and very fun.




  4. For the newbies out there, the book will help you flesh out your own Fantasy World even if this is your very first venture into RPGs.




  5. Feats. Just like in Spycraft, the Feats in FantasyCraft are one of the strongest character options to date. It gives your player tricks, tools and a flair that most other systems just don't bother with.



  6. RPG friendly. That may venture the question, "How can an RPG book be RPG unfriendly?" Well... just look at other systems. It treats RPGing as second nature, and merely a small diversion to hacking and slashing. In FantasyCraft, your skills and your imagination can lead the way. Not everything is about Damage....


I could go on and on, but those are my main positives on FantasyCraft without spoiling the entire book. All in all, it's an amazing product that'll rekindle your "want" to play a Fantasy RPG. (...and minis are optional...)


5 Stars out of 5. And that's from a guy who didn't enjoy FantasyRPG 3.X.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy Craft Second Printing
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/09/2009 09:12:21

FantasyCraft is another great roduct from the folks at Crafty Games. The game is the first to be published under the "MasterCraft" system logo and let me tell you, it is top of the line.
My favorite part of the book is chapter 6: Foes. It allows you to build any type of npc that you can dream up. The OGL conversion section makes me glad that I never threw out my 3.x monster manuals. If you are familiar with the excellent SPYCRAFT game system then you know what I am talking about.
I pre ordered the print version of this game through my FLGS. Being able to see the finished product before hand is just an added bonus. Thanks CRAFTY!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spellbound: The Seer
by max l. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/07/2009 14:05:39

Spellbound presents the magic engine for Spycraft. Every pdf contains all the rules, including spells that you need to play the presented class and school of magic. The system is easy and fast but more variable and balanced than other d20 systems. Spellcasting classes can wear armor without penalty, which means that they do not suck completely in non-magical combat like in many other d20 systems. Also you have an unlimited number of lvl. 0 spells! You get access to the Spellcasting Skill, which works like any other skill accept that it is limited to magic users. The higher the spell you want to cast the higher the dc.
This pdf contains the Seer which, simply put, is a Gandalf like class. The pure beauty of Spellbound is that a sorcery class like the Seer is as useful and fun to play, as a very offensive caster like the Channeler.
I’m very satisfied with this product; so far it is the best d20 magic system I know.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spellbound: The Seer
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Origin of the Species: Transmechs Revised
by Carl A. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/03/2009 15:46:29

I bought this shortly after I received the email about the release and though I was skeptical, I'm glad I bought it. The rules are quite well done and balanced. The feats do a good job of covering all the bases without eating up too many of your precious feat slots. So far, this is the best system I've seen for role playing the Transformers.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Origin of the Species: Transmechs Revised
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Origin of the Species: Transmechs Revised
by Marcin S. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/02/2009 06:53:38

I was quite surprised by the unannounced release of this toolkit. After buying it I must say that it almost completely covers the Transformers, with their sometimes unique technology. Included are feats that allow the creation of combiners, pretenders, triple-changers etc. The only missing element are the headmasters (and all other "masters"), but their inclusion would probably require more rules to make them work.


This high quality pdf is a must for every transformers fan/spycraft gamer.
For it's price it includes more than enough for several campaigns filled with gigantic transforming robots.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Origin of the Species: Transmechs Revised
by Marc R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 06/27/2009 07:44:34

It should first be noted that I am not at all familiar with how Spycraft has been altered since it's d20 roots, or even just Spycraft in general. I bought this product mainly for the NPCs. Only problem with that being: they are all but unusable for normal d20. As I apparently now know, Spycraft is not backwards compatible with general OGL / d20 products. As such, I'd have to ay I was disappointed to say the least. If you play Spycaft, this might be worth getting, but otherwise.... Avoid.



Rating:
[2 of 5 Stars!]
Spycraft 2.0 Control Screen
by Ronald W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/30/2009 08:58:58

If you run Spycraft 2.0 then you will find this product vey helpful. Everything that you need right away is right in front of you.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Spycraft 2.0 Control Screen
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