The following is a review of the Revised Edition of Fading Suns and will highlight the differences between this edition and the 2nd Edition. A review of the 2nd Edition can be found at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=12829.
The following review covering the Revised Edition of Fading Suns was originally posted at Roleplayers Chronicle and can be read in its entirety at http://roleplayerschronicle.com/?p=28312.
After a brief hiatus, Fading Suns comes back to life in the form of a Revised Edition (as opposed to a 3rd Edition) and within the hands of the renewed FASA (bringing all titles from RedBrick over to FASA). But this is not a simple tweaking of the core mechanics or a repair of any errata, this is an actual revision that remains backwards compatible (with a few minor adjustments) while cleaning up those core mechanics. Fading Suns already has a rich history and an in-depth setting that has seen a fair amount of life. The core aspects of the setting have not been changed, rather they have been expanded and the timeline has been moved ahead ever so slightly. The result is a beautiful update to a fantastic game with an even more fantastic setting.
The Revised Edition of Fading Suns is absolutely brilliant! The writers obviously did a thorough scrubbing of the entire game and probably did so with the backing of the Fading Suns community. As such, they have removed all the clunky mechanics, cleaned-up the available options, streamlined character design, and made combat quicker by once again removing clunky mechanics. Additionally, the Player’s Guide sticks to the core aspects of Fading Suns and definitely does the game and the setting justice.
Publication Quality: 9 out of 10
The Player’s Guide is a beautiful black-and-white book. Most, if not all, of the original art has been retained (because it was good artwork to begin with) along with some new ones added. However, it’s the general layout and formatting that have seen a significant overhaul (in addition to the smaller form factor) with improvements to general layout, ease of referencing, ease of reading, and the flow of the content. It could benefit from additional illustrations depicting the character equipment available, but otherwise the book is a fantastic read.
Mechanics: 10 out of 10
This rating is in regards to the cleaned-up mechanics of the Revised Edition over the 2nd Edition. Some of the mechanics from the 2nd Edition were a bit bloated and sometimes a little confusing. In addition, the combat system was extremely bloated and needed a lot of TLC. This has all been fixed and the system is definitely trim and should play a lot faster than previous renditions allowing you to focus more on the storyline and less on the lengthy combat and deciphering dice rolls.
Desire to Play: 10 out of 10
The best part about this Revised Edition is that its still the same game as before and GMs and Players can optionally add some of the advanced material back in without breaking the system. Being backwards compatible with only minor changes makes for a truly excellent game-play environment as all your old supplements and adventures are still valid. Yes some of skill names have changed and the Spirit characteristics have been cleaned-up, but none of this is so different from before that the two are not compatible. I think fans of Fading Suns are truly going to enjoy this Revised Edition.
Overall: 10 out of 10
A definite homerun for Fading Suns fans and FASA. The writers appear to have gone through the old content with a fine-toothed comb, listened to their fan base, and sat back to think how can they truly make the game better without making the old material obsolete. The result is the Revised Edition and although the core rulebook has been divided into a Player’s Guide and Game Master’s Guide, there are WAY more options here than before and player’s may be in awe of how much more they can do with this one core rulebook compared to before. This is a definite revision that was necessary to keep a great game existing by supporting their current fan base and reaching out to a new one.
[5 of 5 Stars!]