It's not hard to argue that the d20 OGL revitalised much of the gaming market, and that plenty of quality systems derived from it saw the light of day and are still hugely popular, even after the release of the 4e GSL. One such game is Spycraft, from publisher Crafty Games, which contains a neat set of mechanics and innovations based on the OGL. Recently, however, Crafty Games has released Fantasy Craft, an OGL clone similar to other OGL based games like Pathfinder and Trailblazer. Fantasy Crafty utilizes much of the content that made Spycraft so successful, and creates a stunning OGL game that builds on the OGL in creating a neat and elegant d20 OGL game. This product, Call to Arms - Gallant, is one of several products in the Call to Arms series, each supporting the recently released Fantasy Crafty by providing new classes and associated game material.
This 6 page product comes with both a print and a screen version, and is very neatly and professionally presented. It includes an excellent cover, credits page and OGL page, leaving 3 pages of content to spice up your Fantasy Craft game with. The writing and mechanics are clear and well done, although there could've perhaps been a little more flavor and roleplaying advice associated with the class presentation. Overall, this is a splendid looking product that fits in nicely with other products released for Fantasy Craft.
The Gallant, much like the name suggests, is a social troubadour, a brave and noble warrior that lives the life of high society and knows how to play the system. In many ways, this class reminds me of the bard class, though more specific in that it requires some sort of noble and/or wealthy upbringing. The overall feel and flavor is one that should be quite familiar to most players - a dashing, thrill-seeking noble with society and finance on his or her side. As such, this concept offers not only good combat abilities, but also plenty of social abilities and skills for roleplaying. The class won't always fit into most campaigns, but will do exceeding well in others. I wonder if this isn't in a way an inherent flaw, as the class will either shine or it won't. There doesn't appear to be much of a middle ground here, something that is often associated with classes built on very specific concepts. The pdf does give several useful examples of where the class fits in, and these can guide players in deciding how best to approach this class.
Mechanically the class looks really good, with a well-balanced offering of abilities that will make the character fun to play in combat and social scenarios. It's the kind of extroverted class that always attempts to shine, with abilities like Victory Flourish and Famed Blade enhancing combat ability temporarily in any scene to give the Gallant the chance to show his mettle. While the class may seem quite specific, on paper it looks quite enticing if you like that dashing noble concept, and I have to admit I've not seen something in standard 3.5e OGL that can compare in flare and mechanical execution based on this concept. For that Crafty Games have done really well. To add support to the class, several new feats are presented, mainly focused on the Sword-Circle combat feat and upgrades.
I really liked this product. For all it's specificness and potential pitfalls of that, it does make for an appealing and fun class to play. There's plenty of opportunity to use the mechanics and shape the class to fit a broader style and concept, if you're up to the challenge. Players and DMs will find this class quite useful for both PCs and NPCs, and create exciting characters that should be very memorable. Good pdf.
[5 of 5 Stars!]