I love this system. I've been GMing it for a while and my players love it. It's quite similar to two other games we love, The Strange and Star Wars: Edge of the Empire.
Feng Shui 2's two strongest points, the Setting and Mechanics, are also a bit difficult to describe simply. I hope the following comparions help inform GMs as they consider buying this book.
Setting-wise, the game is similar to Monte Cook Games' The Strange RPG and Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman's book series The Deathgate Cycle.
- Multiple settings exist in which there are different rules for each, providing a large variety in scenery and situations.
- A dangerous "space between worlds" exists where the players/protagonists can go and use to travel to different settings.
- Portals weave the worlds together, and are important strategic points.
- Many factions exist and often entice the players/protagonists to work for them.
Mechanics-wise, the game mirrors Fantasy Flight Games's Star Wars: Edge of the Empire.
- In combat (which is the game's main activity), one roll resolves both hitting and damaging the target.
- Weapons and other attacks have preset damage values, modified by the characters' attributes and attack rolls.
- Enemies have multiple tiers of difficulty, and the lowest level of enemy (mooks for FS2, minions for EOTE) goes down on any successful hit.
- Characters advance by choosing "Schticks", closely resembling the perk/talent tree of EOTE in terms of power level or abilities added.
I should mention that the mechanical similarities to Edge of the Empire stop there.
- No custom dice required. Regular 6-sided dice will do.
- Actions have binary outcomes.
- To create a character, you print the archtype you want, add a name, and add a story hook.
- Advancing a character requires little book-keeping.
- No huge number of splat books (there are 2 or 3, as opposed to EOTE's 20+). Truthfully, you could buy this book and have everything you need to play a long-term campaign.
[5 of 5 Stars!]