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Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook $15.95
Average Rating:4.6 / 5
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Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
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Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by YANN E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/16/2018 08:42:37

This is a primer on the AGE system (used in Blue Rose and Dragon Age), it is (hence the name) fantasy oriented and it is not provided with an specific universe, the core three class and the mechanics are provided and a few specialties, spells and equipment plus several GM's advices.

I think the goal is to have a basic fantasy core book that a GM can build upon as it is less complete than Bluse Rose & Dragon Age but that's not the goal of this book.

Still a good product for beginners and people curious about AGE.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by James B. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/29/2018 06:37:54

On the whole I like the AGE system. The stunt mechanic is interesting, task resolution is generally fast and smooth and it is generic enough to build a homebrew setting around pretty easily. The system and this pdf do however have a few glaring problems that I find no one is talking about. First, the combat relies too heavily on the stunts system to add interesting choices. There are very few mechanical options in combat beyond "hit guy with my weapon using my most appropriate talent" and if you don't roll doubles or roll crab on your stunt die that makes for a very dull turn. Second, the mechanical effects of the different talents and specializations just feel uninspired and bland. It doesn't feel like there is really a significant difference between playing say a two-hander warrior and a sword and board warrior. Yeah you get a couple of small stat differences and very minor ability riders but nothing that makes the game experience notably different or varied. Third, I can't find animal statistics anywhere in the book. This is especially frustrating because they include mounted combat rules and animal companions (especially with the Beastmaster option in the Companion) but no actual animals to use. So several of the options that might actually make the game fun to play with aren't actually useable.

The pdf itself is very poorly put together. The bookmarks are an absolute mess. They are often out of order and there are sub-marks under headings that make no sense. For example, after the classes in the book there are a few pages dedicated to the final touches of your character (calculating defense, starting money, character goals, gaining XP and the like). Only about half of them are given a bookmark and all the bookmarks are submarks of the Warrior class bookmark. That is only one of a few example of very poor bookmarks. To make this even worse, the pdf is locked so you cannot even change the bookmarks manually.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Jeff P. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 05/05/2018 07:32:24

The AGE system (short for 'Adventure Gaming Engine') was originally the set of rules used in Green Ronin's Dragon AGE, and later used in Will Wheaton's Titansgrave campaign podcast. It's a great little game system: easy-to-learn, rules-light, and fast-playing. The Fantasy AGE Basic Rules takes the AGE system and strips away all background and setting information, giving players and Game Masters a complete set of rules-- everything they need to enjoy their own unique campaign settings, in 120 short pages.

Did I mention that this book is only 120 pages long? That's an important point. Without any setting or background info, there isn't a lot of fluff here. If you're a Game Master looking for a set of rules to power your original campaign, this book is perfect, because you won't need to disentangle any setting information from the rules provided as you build your campaign from the ground up. On the plus side, it can be very liberating to work from a blank slate when you're creating a campaign from scratch, and the AGE system is so simple that it's easy peasy to create scads of unique obstacles, opponents, and NPCs for your players to vanquish; on the other hand, though, Fantasy AGE doesn't provide you with a setting that can be used right out of the box.

So what do you get in this book? As mentioned earlier, the AGE system is extremely rules-light, and almost every rule in the game is summarized on a single page of this book (page 6). Without any background information, and without needing to dedicate much page count to rules systems, the Fantasy AGE Basic Rules still pack a lot into 120 pages. There's a chapter on character creation, a full chapter going into more depth on the rules (which, as I mentioned, were previously summarized on page 6), a chapter on character options, a chapter on money and equipment, a chapter explaining how magic works in the AGE system, a chapter on stunts (really the best part of the game-- see below), a chapter about how to Game Master, a chapter with suggestions for the GM about how to implement the rules in the book, a short selection of adversaries/monsters (with advice about how to create/modify entries for original adversaries in your game), guidance on player rewards, advice on adding setting to the game, and a full adventure-- plus a glossary of game terms and an index.

For 120 pages, that's a lot of terrain covered.

The system itself is really easy. Characters have 9 different ability scores, which are generally rated from -2 to 4. For any test in the game, players roll 3D6, add the appropriate ability score, add any modifiers, and compare the result to a predetermined difficulty number. The 'meat and potatoes' of the game are in its "stunt" mechanism; one of the three dice rolled should be of a different color than the other two, and whenever a successful 3D6 roll results in doubles (on any of the 3 dice), that player gets as many "stunt points" as the odd-colored die's result. These "stunt points" can be spent to purchase a variety of special game effects-- perhaps knocking an opponent prone in combat, or gaining an extra attack, or doing additional damage. Since players get to spend their own "stunt points" to achieve whatever effects they desire the most-- and if they have enough points to spend, they can even select more than one-- this mechanism gives players a degree of agency within the game's narrative.

As of this review's date, there are three supplements available for Fantasy AGE. The Fantasy AGE Bestiary expands upon the selection of monsters from the basic rule book, and the Fantasy AGE Game Masters Kit includes a GM screen, a couple of reference cards for players, and an initiative tracker. The Fantasy AGE Companion is going to expand upon character options even further, with rules for chases and a mass combat system.

Fantasy AGE is a great system for fast, rules-light roleplaying, particularly for GM's who want to create their own unique campaigns without getting bogged down creating complicated stat blocks. Well worth checking out!



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/14/2018 21:52:04

I have run this game more than any other in the past two years (and ran Dragon Age more than most other games in the few years before that) and I really do like this system! It gives you a basic D&D like game without all the B.S. like Alignments (none), encumbrance (none.. just use common sense), or spell slots (there are spells you know, and you use magic points to use them). I also like how you can play an orc, and that half breeds are "optional" (I personally think that those things were just min-max tools that usually don't live up to a story that the player is supposed to roleplay). And I like their focus rules vs. the standard skill points of other games (tho, they do have too many focuses).

What makes the game more modern is the stunt point system, which works really well with combat, and magic, but is a bit awkward with roleplaying, and exploration (those two can work, but your group has to really try to make it work well).

For the size of the book, it has a good selection of monsters/opponents, magic items, and spells (tho, there are some spells are are kind of worthless, like "Arcane Spring"). I tell my players to level up (and it actually has that as an optional rule), but I do like how each encounter has an X.P. amount based off of difficulty, instead of having to calculate that stuff. It seems more organic. But.. just like with D&D and all of it's clones, I think 20 levels is too much (13th Age has it right on that).

The art is also great (it's a mix of art from some of their other games, and some made just for Fantasy AGE). And to top it off: It comes with a great adventure! Since the days that they had the Warhammer license, they write great adventures, and "Adventure in Highfalls Swale is no exception."

The bad things: Combat just takes too long. It is a combo of most good opponents armor rating (which you always subtract from most damage), and the small amount of damage most people can do. This usually leaves you with long combats (compare it to Pathfinder length), or having to limit the amount of opponents (or modifying opponents if the story calls for several). To me, this really gets annoying after a while (I had to use home brew rules of bonus damage, and mob/mook type of rules that I borrowed from other games like Fate and 13th Age).

The other bad thing... and to be honest, this was not a problem for me, but I can see people coming from D&D or Pathfinder finding this an issue: Not a lot of variety compared to those two other games. There are only three classes. You do end up customizing your class with the options you take (especially after 4th level when you get your first specialty), but I feel the game drives the story more than trying to give you a bunch of fluff (and that is fine with me).

So, my only real complaint is that combat takes too long because of the limited amount of damage one can do to someone with good armor. But if you are wanting an easy system with some neat gimmicks (sunt point system), and more modern rules that cut out the old school trappings like Alignment & spell slots, I highly recommend this game!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Timothy B. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/11/2017 15:05:07

Originially posted here: http://theotherside.timsbrannan.com/2017/07/review-fantasyage-and-fantasyage.html

Fantasy AGE is the "generic" Fantasy game based on the ruled that appear in both Blue Rose and DragonAge. While there are some repetitions, the tones of all three games are sufficiently different enough to make each book worthwhile.

Chapter 1 gives us the basics of Character creation. The Usual Suspects are here; Elf, Dwarf, Human, Halfling, and Orcs. You get your Backgrounds with some basic ideas. And our three AGE classes; Mage, Rogue, and Warrior. Too bad the classes are not Adept, Guardian, and Expert. Also included here is the experience for level advancement table.

Chapter 2 discusses the AGE system. I am not sure if the AGE system will ever "fall into the background" the same way d20 or Unisystem do for me, but it could get really, really close. The system itself is very easy to grasp. In AGE you really only need three six-sided dice. Two of which should be the same color. The off one is called the Drama Die. We will get to all those in a bit. The rolls of 3d6 + Ability +/- mods vs. Test Difficulty are simple enough. Test Difficulties start at 7 (Routine) and increase by 2 for each level. So 9 is Easy. The feel is the same as d20's Target Numbers or even Unisystem's Success Levels. Like most systems, an "opposed" test will be one set of rolls vs another set of rolls.

Chapter 3 details Focuses, Talents and Specializations. Every Ability has multiple focuses. The Fighting Ability has a focus on Axes and another, Polearms for example. You can gain a new focus for everytime you go up a level. Talents are something else. These are only granted under special circumstances. They might be restricted by class and many have prereqs. These include abilities like Animal Training, Dual Weapon Fighting, or Psychic. Specializations can almost be thought of as "Sub Classes", these include Assassin, Elementalist, and the like.

Chapter 4 gives us basic equipment. Pretty self-explanatory.

Chapter 5 covers Magic and the magical arts. While anyone can have arcane ability, only Mages can master them. There are 12 Arcana here with various magical powers.

Chapter 6 details Stunts. These are the life, and soul of the AGE system really. If you get doubles on any roll of the dice you may perform a Stunt on that roll. So if the roll was a combat situation then you can perform a Combat Stunt. The roll you get on your Drama Die (the off color one) is a number of Stunt Points you get. You have to use them right away. So if you get a 4 you have 4 SP and can buy any of the stunts listed for 4 or under. These are things like "Knock Prone" or "Lethal Blow". As characters go up in level they gain access to more stunts and can buy others for less SP. There are also non-combat Exploration and Role-playing Stunts as well. There are even Arcane Stunts that can be used in either.

Chapter 7 is the GM's Section. This covers running adventures and adjudicating the rules. There is a good section on adventure planning that is good for most games.

Chapter 8 is about Mastering the Rules and dealing with ability tests and combat.

Chapter 9 covers Adversaries and Monsters. All the regulars are here.

Chapter 10 is all about rewards. Which includes, but is not limited to, treasure.

Chapter 11 gives us our hook to Freeport, GR long-running setting and Chapter 12 is an adventure.

Fantasy AGE is a solid fantasy game that keeps from being a Heartbreaker and carves out new territory of it's own.

I don't say the following lightly.
Fantasy AGE could give Castles & Crusades a run for my 2nd Favorite set of Fantasy Rules. (D&D and it's variants are #1). Yes. It is that much fun.

It is better than Pathfinder, 13th Age and pretty much everything else.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Robert L. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/14/2016 12:09:42

This review appeared originally at www.forgotmydice.com

In a world where D&D exists, one of the questions I often find myself asking when I read fantasy RPG systems is this: Why am I playing this when I could be playing D&D? It’s a simple question, and not every game system has a satisfactory answer. Fantasy Age, however, is one system that not only do I like a lot, it also has two answers to that eternal question. Firstly, there are three classes in the game, and none of them are a cleric. It is a system that from the ground up has no plans for the divine world and the player character world ever touching. You can make that happen obviously, but again it’s not baked in. Secondly, Fantasy Age reminds me a lot of the old D&D Rules Cyclopedia. It is a complete RPG system in one book, which is helpful when you want something a little lighter.

The Basics Fantasy Age is the core rule book of the AGE system, which stands for Adventure Game Engine. It is the system that was first used for the excellent Dragon Age RPG. They have been talking about separating the system out for years, but sadly it was released just after D&D 5th edition, which meant it got over-shadowed by the big kid on the block. Luckily, Fantasy Age got a boost when Wil Wheaton used it for his own YouTube series Titansgrave. So soon after release, the game had a long adventure campaign that you could run. Plus, Titansgrave is set in a science-fantasy world, so you get the added bonus of playing a game with some robots and blasters thrown in, which was a nice change of pace if you have been playing traditional high fantasy D&D for a while.

Fantasy AGE by itself is a generic high fantasy game. The overview of it covers all the bases you will probably want. You got Elves, Dwarves, Gnomes, Halflings, Humans, and Orcs. The three classes are Mage, Warrior and Rogue. It has a short section on monsters and how to make more (sadly the book doesn’t come with enough monsters on its own, but fortunately the internet has more than made up for this). Plus there is a small intro adventure in the back. All of that in one hardback book for $29.95 MSRP… that’s a lot of value in-between those covers!

One of the biggest draws for me for the Fantasy Age system is that a lot of “fantasy” stories out there are difficult to translate to D&D. The main reason is that one of the core classes of D&D the cleric class, but very few popular fantasy stories feature clerics (at least, D&D clerics which have direct links to known gods which are also the source of magical power for these clerics). Fantasy Age is a very solid and simple game engine. So settings where the gods and religion are much more a matter of faith rather than gameplay, such as Dragon Age or Game of Thrones, you have a rules system that is much easier to for it to plug into.

The Rules Characters are created using a similar system to 5th edition D&D, including picking a Race, a Class, and a Background. Also, much like D&D, early in level players pick a specialization that gives them extra powers and focuses them around a particular sub set of abilities. Unlike D&D, players eventually learn two of these specializations, so mixing and matching these can lead to some very interesting combinations.

Characters also get “talents” as they level up, which in D&D terms can be thought of as feats. What I like about this system is that talents have three levels of mastery: novice, journeyman, and master. It’s up to the individual player how their character will progress. They can focus on and master a few talents, or spread out the points and be novices in many, random talents. So even though there are only three initial classes to pick from, they can be customized to be different in a myriad of different ways.

The dice mechanic in Fantasy Age is different as well. Instead of rolling a single dice, you roll 3d6. Two of your dice should be the same color, and one of them should be a separate color to symbolize the Stunt Die. Whenever you roll, if you roll doubles on any of the 3 dice and the total roll equals a success, you generate Stunt Points equal to what you rolled on the Stunt Die. For combat rolls, this allows you to add riders onto your attacks. For skill checks, this allows you to add different dramatic effects so you complete a skill with particular panache. I’m also a fan of this system as it makes figuring out the difficulty level of tasks easy. Because you’re rolling 3 dice most of the time, the most common roll result is 10. So if you ever find yourself needing to roll a number higher than 10, especially 12+, you should probably spend some resources or use a class ability to get yourself a bonus, or just use a different tactic to solve the problem.

Finally, in D&D, the Strength or Dexterity stat gives you a straight bonus to your hit and damage rolls. In Fantasy Age, the stats are more nuanced, resulting in the stats Accuracy, Dexterity, Fighting, and Strength, among others. This means you can have the stats reflect the fluff of a character, such as a creature that is super strong but has a hard time hitting things, like a Ogre. But when one stat affects both those aspects, it means you can’t have a character with a low attack bonus but with a high strength stat. So this system allows the Game Master more creativity when creating monsters for the players to fight. For instance, you can make something very skilled at applying weapons to adventurers but also with weak strength (like say a Sprite) so the little sword hits don’t do much damage. Or you can make a big giant that will hit you like a truck but has a hard time connecting with the humans that only come up to its shins.

Final Thoughts This is a really great book, and I have a fondness for any game system that manages to fit everything you need in one volume. The game system itself is much more rules-light and narrative than D&D, but still has enough crunch to make things interesting. It is definitely on my list of games I’d like to play or run, either by running Titansgrave, or by converting it to another setting. Anyone looking for a similar game system should give it a try.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Matthew D. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 10/04/2015 22:41:33

I'm writing this review about 2 hours after completing our first game using the Fantasy AGE system. We played the starting adventure in the back of the book. The entire session lasted about 5 hours, including character creation and some heavy role-playing in the beginning to get used to the system.

Some general comments and thoughts:

-Character creation was pretty straight forward. There were four players and they took about 15-20 minutes make characters. All were experienced role-payers, but none had played Fantasy AGE prior to tonight. -Any confusion or ambiguity in the rules was easily explained with the short glossary or a quick index check -The pdf file was nice. Bookmark links worked. Index page links worked.

-Role-playing was smooth, with things like persuasion or empathy checks being completed easily -Everybody loved the Stunt mechanic. It added much fun and variety to the game.

-Combat clipped along, never felt like it was lagging. Players commented after the game that they really noticed how fast and smoothly turns progressed and the rounds flew by -We used Spellsheets for the casters that I found online that had all spells (with stats, cost, TN, etc.). None of the casters took much longer than other players. Everything was simple and straight-forward for magic-users. -Before the game, I had printed several copies of the combat/spell stunt tables and major/minor action lists for the players reference. It made things much easier for everybody.

Overall, I feel this was a fun system for a quick pick-up game, a one-shot, or short campaign. It's perfect for introducing people to table-tops for the first time. I have reservations about how efficient or easy this will remain for a longer or deeper game. It seems like it could fall apart or burn out at higher levels, but I guess we'll have to keep playing and find out. For now, we love it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Roger (. L. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 09/26/2015 02:57:48

http://www.teilzeithelden.de/2015/09/26/rezension-fantasy-in-gruen-fantasy-age/

Nach dem großen Erfolg von Dragon Age als Tischrollenspiel bringt uns Green Ronin die zugrundeliegende Würfelengine generisch überarbeitet als Fantasy AGE, und Wil Wheaton hyped gleich heftigst mit. Oliver fühlt sich stark an seinen persönlichen Favoriten D&D5 erinnert – mit ein paar netten Zusatzelementen, die den Kampf und die Würflerei beleben.

Rezension: Fantasy in Grün – Fantasy AGE

Seitdem Wil Wheaton seine Titansgrave-Kampagne angefangen hat, findet man das zugrundeliegende Regelwerk Fantasy AGE jeden Tag auf den vorderen Verkaufsrängen bei RPGNow. Einen besseren Start hätte sich die generische Variante des Dragon Age-Tischrollenspiels kaum wünschen können. Was also hat dieses schlanke und dennoch relativ vollständige Regelwerk zu bieten? Die Spielwelt

Fantasy AGE ist die Veröffentlichung der AGE-Regelengine ohne ein großes beigefügtes Setting. Es soll sich für 08/15-Fantasy eignen und bringt darum auch nur die typischen EDO-Rassen mit. Wer ein AGE-angepasstes Setting will, sollte zu Dragon Age, Midgard, Blue Rose oder Titansgrave: The Ashes of Valkana greifen.

Die Regeln

Die Probe in Fantasy AGE ist einfacher Wurf gegen einen dem SL bekannten Zielwert. Hierbei werden 3W6 geworfen und zwei weitere Modifikatoren hinzuaddiert: das Attribut und der Focus.

Attribute rangieren zu Beginn von -2 bis zu +5. Sie werden direkt auf die passenden Würfe aufgeschlagen und drücken die generellen Fähigkeiten einer Spielfigur in neun Bereichen aus: Strength, Intelligence, Dexterity, Constitution, Communication, Perception, Willpower, Fighting und Accuracy.

Foci stellen das Fertigkeitensystem dar. Bis einschließlich Stufe 10 darf man einen Focus nur einmal erwerben, er verleiht in dem betreffenden Skill einen Bonus von +2. Erwirbt man ihn ab Stufe 11 ein zweites Mal, so gibt es einen fixen Bonus von +3.

Typische Proben in Fantasy AGE wären zum Beispiel Tests auf Constitution (Stamina) oder Dexterity (Acrobatics). Das bedeutet, dass man das entsprechende Attribut zum Wurf hinzuaddiert. Den genannten Focus auch – aber nur wenn die Spielfigur diesen auch erworben hat.

Zielwerte rangieren von 7 bis 21. Da ein Wurf von 3W6 statistisch gesehen Ergebnisse im Bereich von 9 bis 12 beim Wurf am wahrscheinlichsten macht, kann man auch ungefähr davon ausgehen, dass man eine Schwierigkeit von 11 + Attribut + Focus sehr gut schaffen kann. Anders als beim W20-Wurf sind extreme Ergebnisse unwahrscheinlich bis sehr unwahrscheinlich.

Beim Kampf ist der zu übertreffende Zielwert hingegen 10 + Dexterity + Schild. Da der Schildbonus nur von +1 bis +3 variiert, kommt es hauptsächlich auf die Geschicklichkeit des Ziels an, wie leicht es zu treffen ist. Haben der Angreifer und der Verteidiger ähnlich hohe Werte in relevanten Attributen, ist der Treffer ein sehr wahrscheinliches Ereignis.

Die Basis-Regeln (ohne Charaktergenerierung) für Kampf und Proben passen auf elf Seiten. Der Systemkern selbst ist schlank und gut verständlich.

Ein echtes Umdenken ist hier meiner Meinung nach für D&D-Spieler nicht nötig. Die Unterschiede in der Basis-Engine von Fantasy AGE zu gängigen D&D-Varianten und -Derivaten sind marginal. Das muss nicht schlecht sein. Die Einarbeitung ist sicherlich für Spieler dieser Systeme gering – ein attraktiver Markt für einen Verlag, und Green Ronin hat sich ja auch in der d20-Ecke reichlich herumgetrieben. Umgekehrt macht Fantasy AGE auch im Detail vieles anders, und wenn es denn auch nicht der große, neue Systementwurf sein mag, so ist es doch eine reine Geschmacksfrage, welchem System man letztlich den Vorzug gibt. Stunts

Stunts sind bei bestimmten Wurfergebnissen möglich und sind ein Alleinstellungsmerkmal der AGE-Engine. Alle Proben werden mit 3W6 absolviert, wobei einer der Würfel als „Stunt Die“ erkennbar sein muss – also durch anderes Design oder andere Farbe. Der Stunt Die bestimmt nicht nur den Erfolgsgrad einer Probe (je höher desto besser, später auch modifiziert): Zeigen zwei der Würfel in der Probe die gleiche Augenzahl, so generiert die Probe auch so viele Stunt-Punkte wie die Augenzahl des Stunt Die.

Hierfür kann man Stunts kaufen. Im Kampf sind das Manöver, die mehr Schaden oder andere Effekte bewirken. Bei Proben außerhalb des Kampfes kann man sich gemäß einer Optionalregel auch Zusatzeffekte aus einer Tabelle kaufen. Durch Talente kann man die Stunt-Punkt-Kosten bestimmter Manöver senken oder weitere mögliche Stunts über die Standardauswahl hinaus erwerben. Vor allem der Kampf gewinnt dadurch an Spannung. Außerdem ist dieses System besser für 3W6 geeignet als zum Beispiel die Extremwerte 3 oder 18 als Auslöser für besonders gelungene Aktionen zu verwenden, die statistisch eh nur einmal alle 216 Würfe vorkommen.

Stunts eignen sich auch, um Monsterpowers abzubilden:

Eine Medusa kann Stunt-Punkte dazu einsetzen, Gegner ihrem versteinernden Blick auszusetzen. Dies kostet 2 SP pro Gegner. Es kommt zu einem vergleichenden Wurf zwischen der Kreatur und dem Charakter. Versagt der Spieler, erhält die Spielfigur 4W6 Schaden und Abzüge von -2 auf alle Aktionen bis zur nächsten Rast. Fällt man durch diesen Schaden auf 0 Trefferpunkte wird die Spielfigur versteinert.

Hier zeigt sich auch gleich, wie ähnlich sich Fantasy AGE und D&D5 in vielen Designaspekten sind. Der vergleichende Wurf ersetzt den D&D-typischen Rettungswurf. Auch viele Monster aus dem D&D5 Monster Manual bewirken sofortigen Tod oder andere extreme Effekte nur dann, wenn sie die Spielfigur auf 0 Trefferpunkte drücken.

Magie Fantasy AGE unterscheidet nicht zwischen Klerikern und Magiern, sondern bietet nur eine Klasse Zauberwirker an – den Mage. Nur diese Basisklasse darf magische Talente erwerben, die wiederum den Zugang zu den Zaubersprüchen darstellen.

Gezaubert wird hierbei ganz einfach – man muss einen Intelligenzwurf ausführen. Hat man den Focus einer bestimmten Magieschule erworben, kommt der mit +2 auch noch drauf. Übertrifft man die Zielzahl des Zaubers, so gelingt er. Zum Spruchwirken muss man Magiepunkte ausgeben, die man mit der Zeit wieder regeneriert. Diese sind auch perdu, wenn man den Zauberwurf versiebt. Dafür kann man beim erfolgreichen Wirken eventuell die Kosten durch Stunt-Punkte drücken.

Die Spruchauswahl ist stark beschränkt. Alle Sprüche sind fix durch die Magieschule festgelegt, man hat also nur die Wahl, welche Schule man durch ein Talent erwirbt und zu welchem Grad. Es gibt drei Grade. Auf dem ersten erhält man zwei Sprüche und für die beiden anderen Grade je einen. Man beginnt das Spiel mit zwei Anfängertalenten und somit insgesamt vier Sprüchen. Je nachdem, wie man steigert, können das bis Stufe 5 maximal acht (leichtgewichtige) Sprüche werden. Steigert man eine Schule gezielt auf den höchsten Grad, kann man einen Hammerspruch wirken, dafür kennt man aber insgesamt nur sechs Sprüche. 9 Seiten reichen hiermit auch, die gesamte Spruchauswahl im Grundbuch abzudecken.

Charaktererschaffung

Die Charaktererschaffung setzt sich aus den folgenden Schritten zusammen: Man erwürfelt die neun Attribute. Ein simples Kaufsystem ist optional. Man wählt eine Rasse. Man darf dann aus zwei Foci wählen, ein Attribut um 1 erhöhen, außerdem gibt es rassenspezifische Spezialfähigkeiten wie Dunkelsicht. Zusätzlich darf man noch zweimal auf einer ebenfalls rassenspezifischen Tabelle weitere Boni erwürfeln. Zwei Würfe bestimmen die soziale Klasse und die Ausbildung des Charakters, zusammen bilden diese den Hintergrund der Spielfigur. Jeder Hintergrund hat zwei Foci zur Auswahl. Danach wählt man eine der drei Klassen: Mage, Rogue oder Warrior. Diese legen bis zur 20. Stufe fest, welche weiteren Fähigkeiten und Talente man pro Aufstieg erwerben darf. Auf Stufe 1 erwirbt man die Standardfähigkeiten der Klasse wie Zaubern oder die Fähigkeit, Rüstung ohne Abzüge zu tragen.

Damit sind die eigentlichen, für die Attribute wichtigen Schritte auch schon vollzogen. Warum man sich bei der all der Würflerei vorher schon sein Charakterkonzept überlegen soll, ist mir schleierhaft. Da man nach Standard eh keine Auswahl beim Hintergrund hat, ist das etwas hanebüchen, aber naja. Es liest sich gut.

Interessant wird das Ganze beim Stufenanstieg. Die Klasse legt nicht nur spezifische Aufstiegspfade, sondern auch vier primäre und fünf sekundäre Attribute fest. Auf jeder Stufe darf man einen neuen Focus wählen und ein Attribut erhöhen – wobei das bei sehr hohen Werten teurer wird. Hierbei darf man auf geraden Stufen aus den primären Attributen und ihren Foci wählen und bei ungeraden aus den sekundären. So rundet sich der Charakter mit vielfältigen Attributen und Fertigkeiten ab und so wird auch das Powergaming begrenzt. Zusätzlich gibt’s noch mehr Treffer- und Magiepunkte.

Auf den Stufen 4, 6 und 8 darf man eine erste Spezialisierung wählen und sie auf den höchsten Grad steigern, auf den Stufen 12, 14 und 16 eine zweite. Beispiele für Spezialisierungen sind Attentäter, Wunderwirker oder Scharfschütze – sie kommen den Prestigeklassen aus D&D3 oder den Heldenklassen aus Dungeonslayers nahe. Es gibt also reichlich am Charakter zu entwickeln und zu individualisieren.

Spielbarkeit aus Spielleitersicht

Der SL-Teil des Buchs ist mit 39 Seiten sehr dick, insbesondere gemessen an der Gesamtzahl von 145 Seiten. Meiner Meinung schon eher zu dick, zumal es deswegen im Anschluss nur für 14 Monster und vier Seiten magischer Gegenstände reicht. Bei einem D&D-ähnlichen Spiel ist das ein Totalversäumnis, und es steht zu hoffen, dass Settingbände oder eine Monstersammlung diesen Missstand ausgleichen.

Insgesamt ist die dargereichte Information sehr gut aufbereitet und sollte SL-Novizen einiges an Handreiche bieten, um gute Spiele zu leiten. Bei den zwei Seiten zum Thema Gefahren und Fallen hat man sich dann jedoch nicht mit Ruhm bekleckert. Regeltechnisch reicht dies völlig aus, nur bleibt es einem dann selbst überlassen, Fallen und Gefahren auszugestalten. Drei Beispiele mit je einem Absatz sind doch eher wenig.

Am Ende enthält das Buch ein Minisetting und Abenteuer mit einem Dutzend Seiten Umfang.

Die Regelengine hingegen leitet sich mit vielleicht zwei Blatt Papier zum Spicken (Stuntlisten) ohne Probleme. Was will man mehr?

Spielbarkeit aus Spielersicht

Das größte Problem für Spieler dürfte der unzureichende Charakterbogen sein. Es wird wohl den Fans überlassen sein, einen besseren zu entwickeln, auf dem all die Spezialisierungen, Talente und Foci übersichtlich und mit ihren Graden Platz haben. Der im Buch enthaltene taugt jedenfalls nichts.

Ansonsten gilt das selbe wie für den SL: Eine knackige Engine, leicht einzuüben.

Preis-/Leistungsverhältnis

Knapp über zehn USD pro 100 Seiten – das Buch liegt meiner Meinung nach gerade noch im grünen Bereich, was die Bepreisung angeht. Das hochwertige PDF mit Bookmarks wird dem Anspruch an ein solches Produkt jedenfalls gerecht.

Spielbericht Ohne Testspiel.

Erscheinungsbild

Das Layout ist schlicht, übersichtlich und augenfreundlich. Informationen und Tabellen wurden übersichtlich gestaltet und dargestellt, die Textmenge pro Seite geht auch vollkommen in Ordnung. Stimmungsvolle Illustrationen sind vorhanden, wenn auch nicht auf jeder Seite. Index, klickbares Inhaltsverzeichnis, Bookmarks – das ist weitestgehend Stand der Technik im PDF.

Bonus/Downloadcontent

Die Homepage von Green Ronin behandelt das neue Produkt sehr stiefmütterlich. Also fast gar nicht.

Fazit

Fantasy AGE erinnert mich sehr stark an D&D5. Es hat eine schlanke, leicht einzuprägende Engine. Ich finde es sogar so ähnlich, und auch in so hoher Qualität ausgeführt, dass ich ihm die selbe Note logischerweise nicht vorenthalten kann – der klare Daumen nach oben. Es ist meiner Auffassung nach letztendlich Jacke wie Hose, ob man D&D5 oder Fantasy AGE spielt. Unterschiede existieren nur im Detail und beide wollen wohl die genau gleiche Zielgruppe ansprechen.

Daher bleibt es wohl den Settings überlassen, welchem System man den Vorzug gibt. D&D5 eignet sich halt hervorragend zum Bespielen der 40 Jahre Altlasten. Die AGE-Engine muss sich mit Dragon Age und anderen oben genannten Settings aber auch vor niemand verstecken.

Das Gesamtprodukt wirkt jedenfalls rund und man kriegt Regel- und SL-Teil in einem Produkt. Es müssen halt nicht immer 300+ Seiten sein! Sowohl Einsteiger als auch alte Haudegen werden mit Fantasy AGE Spaß haben – auch wegen den Stunts, denn die verleihen einer bewährten Formel ganz neue Würze.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Philip T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/04/2015 16:08:08

Fantasy AGE provides a simple rules system with a lot of flexibility and just enough crunch for those who want to get stuck into it. Character creation takes 10 minutes or so, with the familiar staples of earlier Fantasy games and reminiscent of D&D 3/3.5; even for folks new to tabletop, it will all be smooth and easy. Using D6s makes entry into the game easy, since everyone has some lying around. Although three base classes seems stingy, it's the variables for Background, Focuses and other character traits that makes a PC stand out from the herd. Add the Stunt system to the mix and you have a unique character that feels like they can make their mark on a campaign. The GM section lays out the basics in simple format. Fantasy AGE is generic, so a great deal of the GM section is dedicated to creating a campaign world, and provides some good, solid advice and a range of perspectives. A small Bestiary rounds it out with most of the Fantasy stereotypes, from Goblins to Dragons, and the humanoid monsters can easily be converted into base player races with only a little effort. What lets it down some is the order of things. For someone who has spent time with established, refined systems and source materials, the greatest improvement to be made for Fantasy AGE would be in the provision of Appendices for all these easy-look-up tables. Even as a seasoned player and GM, there was a lot of flicking back and forth between Chapters, and several important tables or references are tricky to find. The order of components isn't as fluid or refined as other products. The PDF compounds the issue slightly with fairly haphazard bookmarks.

Pros: Simple system. Flexiblity. Stunts. Supporting Community on GR Forums and Google+. Cons: Poor flow. Bad Bookmarking.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Joey M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/27/2015 23:46:04

Very good generic fantasy system. same system used in the titans grave web series on geek and sundries. Although slightly modified it is also the core system in the Dragon Age roleplaying game.

It's a good basic system. the real charm of the system is the stunt system. on a roll of doubles you get between 1 and 6 stunt points to spend on a menu of special maneuvers.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Stephen Y. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/11/2015 03:41:08

Out of 144 pages, 143 are the content (including pc sheet, index, and contents page).

Appears fairly easy to 'get into', using 3d6, 9 abilities. Abilities: roll 3d6 and consult the abilities chart (abilities ranging from -2 to 4).

After spending a few days going through the PDF; it appears 'incomplete'. The bestiary for one was disappointing. Converting DA monsters to FAGE takes a little time. It appears 80%-90% similar with DA, with some changes here and there (magic) The usual typos, errors, etc.

Green ronin need to update this PDF (hopefully soon), and make it worth it's price. After spending a few decades playing & GM-ing RPGs, it's always good to see new ones appearing (hopefully playable ones). This one shows promise (it's fairly good, but not great).

It's good to see people making it work with new ideas, house rules, etc (Google+, Roninarmy forum, etc).



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by A customer [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/09/2015 19:31:38

Ring Side Report- RPG Review of Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook Originally posted at www.throatpunchgames.com, a new idea everyday!

Product- Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook System- Adventure Game Engine Producer- Green Ronin Publishing Price- $16 here http://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/153066/Fantasy-AGE-Basic-Rulebook TL; DR-A strong successor to Dragon AGE. 92%

Basics-The Dragon AGE has ended, but that doesn’t mean all the stories you wanted to tell in the AGE system have. Fantasy AGE is the basic rule book for the previous Adventure Gaming System(AGE) system that came out with Dragon Age RPG providing all the basics any generic Fantasy RPG could need. Let’s break this down piece by piece and see what I think of them individually.

Mechanics or Crunch- Game Basics- Fantasy AGE uses the same basic mechanics that Dragon AGE did; each player will roll 3d6 for an action, find the sum of the dice with some modifiers, and that will determine the outcome. Contested rolls work exactly the same with the higher sum winning the roll. This is a quick and easy way to have numeric diversity and an average in your dice rolls.

Stunts-One of the more interesting things with this system is stunts. WHen you roll your dice, two of the dice are one color and the third is a different color. If two of the dice have the same result, you get stunt points equal to the result on the differently colored die. These stunts have point values and will allow you to add extra flare and effects beyond hit a guy, cast the spell, or bluff the guard. Each type of action has it’s own stunt point chart that you can select icons to spend your points on with the more points spent, the stronger the effects. When I first read about this system, I was a bit put off, but then my math geek showed through. It’s easy to think that you won’t roll doubles often, but out of three six-sided dice, you roll doubles a little less than half of the time! Again, this is a fun addition to the standard "roll dice, hit guy, next person in initiative" we’re all used to.

Character Generation-Fantasy age characters make a few important choices and have to let some dice fall. When you make a character, you get to choose your race, background, class, and then you let the dice fall where they may! Lots of this system involves you randomly rolling for effects on your character. This results in your average character of a race having some average abilities and likely traits, but overall, I don’t like that part of character generation. While I’ve played older RPG editions, I prefer to let choice occur when you build your person. This system does downplay the negative aspects of low ability rolls, but I still prefer point buy. It’s an option, but most of the book tends to focus on rolling for your character.

Statistics:This game doesn’t have a ton of bonuses to your basic dice roll and that is great thing. Each person has a number of statistics being: accuracy ( weapon accuracy), communication (talking to people), constitution (body toughness), dexterity (agility and coordination), fighting (heavy weapon accuracy), intelligence (what you know), perception (situational awareness), strength (physical ability), willpower (mental resolve). You can generate these via point buy or just rolling 3d6 and hoping for the best, so your number will be between 3 and 18 white the modifier for your dice rolls roughly equal the modifiers most role players have from D&D. You can further focus in these abilities by getting ability focuses like Accuracy(Blades) where you add 2 to your dice results for all blades attacks. Thus, you will really only add two numbers to the three six-sided dice rolls. I do love any system that squashes power gaming at the start and builds in a mean and standard deviation for its die results!

Classes and Advancement-Much like the Dragon AGE RPG, there are only three core classes: mage, rogue, and warrior. These classes are much like you would expect. Mages cast spells, rogues are nimble and skillful, and warriors are heavy people-at-arms. Each level a character will get new options such as ability focus, talents (abilities in sequence like feat trees in DnD/Pathfinder), or class specific bonuses. The talents provide the bulk of the customization in the game. Every warrior has the same basic class abilities, but the warrior focusing on close combat and social interaction will be like that because of the talents he or she choose. You don’t get that many choices, but you do get a method to differentiate yourself from the press of other individuals out there.

Magic-Magic in this system is a point based system where players have a mana pool that is spent to cast a spell. Spells themselves come from the talents that players choose with each level of the talent providing more spells. It’s a simple system that reminds me of Final Fantasy and the Dragon Age video games. Not bad company to be in, but since you don’t get tons of different talents, you won’t have the abundance of spells you’re used to in different RPGs like Pathfinder.

Combat and Damage-Just like this games D20 cousens, combat flows in a turn based manner following every player rolling initiative. On your turn, you can do either two minor actions like moving or a minor and a major like attacking. Players and monsters have a defence rating that you attack just like any other skill in this game. If your attack roll equals the defense, you hit the enemy. Damage is done in this game based on the type of weapon you're wielding with armor reduces the damage that a character takes instead of providing a bonus to your chance to dodge the attack. This doesn't reinvent wheel, but why fix what isn't broken?

Summary-You can see the Dragon AGE in the Fantasy AGE. That’s not a bad thing as I liked the Dragon AGE RPG and the Dragon Age video games for speed and elegance of the systems. However, my major problem is that the character and players don’t have many options. Sure, it’s fun, but I’d like a bit more crunch to my characters. That said, it is a good, quick, and simple system that you can easily use in any fantasy setting. 4.5/5

Theme or Fluff- It’s always hard to judge generic RPGs for their fluff content. By their nature, there can’t be a significant amount of fluff in this book since any fantasy setting should be able to be played with in this system. But, the book does have nice art, good general fantasy additions, and all the standard fantasy pieces you will need for your toy box. Just don’t go in here expecting Tolkien as this book can’t have that level of detail and still be general enough for everybody. 4.5/5

Execution-This book reads relatively quickly and has a decent layout. I can quickly get through the book, find what I need and make a character in under 10 minutes. I’d like more pictures, and some extra tables to make scanning the book easier like in the talents section. I prefer to see something similar to how Pathfinder does summaries of feats before the full descriptions. The book even has a small bestiary with some monsters to throw at your players. It’s not large, but for the $15 I paid for the book, I’m pretty happy to see a complete system, game mastering guide, and monsters in one book. This book even comes with a small adventure, so you can jump into playing after you buy only this book. Overall, good book with a few minor problems keeping it from perfect. 4.75/5

Summary-Fantasy AGE is going to be an awesome RPG if Green Ronin can bring more out for it. Titengrave is coming out, and that will provide an awesome series of adventures and a setting for this game. That is what this book really misses-the fluff. The crunch is good. It might not be my all time favorite gaming system, but it’s well-designed, thought-out, and easy to use-all the things a quality RPG needs to be viable long term. I’d like more options, but that’s my old D&D 3.5 gamer heritage showing through. As for the book itself, it might not be my favorite layout, but it is a great way to present a games information. If you joined the Fantasy AGE for Titan Grave, you will not be disappointed! 92%



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Doga E. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/25/2015 13:00:50

Fantasy AGE is something I've been looking forward to since far before it was announced. When Green Ronin first revealed that they obtained the licensing rights for a Dragon Age tabletop RPG and that it would use a new system, my first thought was the inevitable release of a new edition of Blue Rose based on the underlying ruleset. After Wil Wheaton's Titansgrave show and the Blue Rose kickstarter, I just had to buy this book.

It's good. Good, but not great.

The system itself is fairly basic. Each character has nine abilities, which are added to a roll of 3d6 to determine success in most regards. You can have a variety of focuses for your abilities, which give you a small bonus to your roll in applicable tests. If you roll doubles in your 3d6 roll, you get a number of points to customize your action and perform better in combat, in a mechanic called stunting. The stunts can be used in combat, roleplaying and exploration contexts, each of which getting its own list of stunts. If you are familiar with Green Ronin's earlier game True20 or WotC's Dungeons & Dragons, there are few surprises in the general flow of mechanics.

Therefore, outside the stunt system, the system relies more on its add-ons to differentiate itself. After the abilities, each character gets three basic units of customization. The first one is the races, which give you a number of set bonuses and two more selected from a small list. The options in the book are fairly standard fantasy RPG fare, as popularized by D&D, though the bonuses granted might not always match the popular view of the individual races. The second unit of customization is the backgrounds, which give you a single focus chosen from among two different ones available to your background, but they also come with some color attached (a Sailor and a Dilettante might both get a Drinking focus, but they probably prefer different kinds of booze). The background also determines your starting funds.

The third unit is classes, of which there are three: warrior, rogue and mage. Warriors fight; rogues fight not as well as warriors, but they get more tricks in exchange; mages cast spells (some of which are used to fight with). Each class gets 20 levels of advancement, where each level gives you something specific to your class, no matter how minor, in addition to more generalized advancements. For mages, the most obvious gains are new spells, but all classes also get talents, which come in three levels, with each level progressively giving new benefits in a specialized area. Many talents are class specific, ensuring that while each class can perform in most areas, they won't surpass the class that focuses in that talent - warriors and mages might deal with traps and locks, but they won't get the Thievery talent bonuses Rogues can get.

In addition to differentiating themselves from other classes, each character can also get up to two specializations in the course of their career to differentiate themselves from others of the same class. There are four specializations for each class available, each having three levels, much like normal talents. Dragon Age players might recognize some parallels between the available specializations and the ones found in Dragon Age - mage hunter / templar, sword mage / arcane warrior, miracle worker / spirit healer, to name a few.

Mages are unique in that they get spells, which come in categories called Arcana (such as Fire Arcana, Shadow Arcana and Heroism Arcana), which are themed after a specific element and have three levels (notice a pattern yet?). The first level gives two spells, and each other level gives one more. The spells use a resource called magic points, and require a roll to cast. They also get their own stunt list, which is a nice touch. While the spells given in the book are quite specific in their effects, a permissive GM might find that the arcana also work for more narrative, freeform feats, if you are willing to assign arbitrary MP costs.

There is an old school feeling to character generation and advancement, with your abilities, background, two racial bonuses, health points, magic points and starting funds being randomly determined (though the latter three are added to a comparatively large starting point, meaning you are not entirely subject to the vagaries of the RNG). This feels like an oddity in the age of modern RPGs and their tightly calculated math. For those who prefer the modern approach, the game does offer options for a point-buy system. The weapons and armor list is also very generalized, with weapon category getting three weapons that can be used to simulate a variety of closely related examples, and armor comes in six levels. Far from a weakness, this means that you can stop worrying about finding the perfect tool and quickly get to playing, though SCA members and Riddle of Steel players might be disappointed. The rest of the equipment list feel similarly nostalgic, though the GM is encouraged to ignore the specifics to suit their games better.

So what's the problem?

The lack of options. As a generic fantasy RPG, there are some awkward design choices. The races get specific descriptions and bonuses, even if there is no setting to explain why those bonuses are chosen. There is little cross-pollination between the classes, and you cannot multiclass or play hybrids. Sword mages, for example, can wield swords more effectively than other mages, but they cannot spend their talents on improving their fighting skills further instead of more cerebral pursuits. There are only six specialization combinations for each class, and while the order you take them in does matter until later levels, the specializations themselves are quite rigid in their bonuses. While mages can get 15 to 22 spells over their career, the spells they get lack versatility and come in a narrow group of 12 focuses, especially in comparison to the powers of Green Ronin's previous releases, True20 and Mutants & Masterminds.

It is not very difficult to see the system and math underlying the options in the book, so with some trial and error, GMs can add their own contributions to their settings, but I could not find any design suggestions for creating your own races or specializations in the book, which is a glaring omission in a generic fantasy game as reliant on additions instead of subtractions as Fantasy AGE is. Hopefully this will be rectified in a future release.

Fantasy AGE has a potential to be great. It has a solid framework, and the details are passable enough as a starting point, but it simply needs more to reach its potential. There is a feeling on incompleteness to the book as it stands, and that holds me back from giving it the 5 Star review I so badly wish I could give. Even so, Green Ronin's new addition to its stable is a good game that can be played as is without much trouble and very quickly, so you could do far worse with your $16 when it comes to making tabletop RPG purchases.



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
Publisher: Green Ronin
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/23/2015 03:16:04

Fantasy AGE is technically a generic fantasy RPG that will let you play the heroic characters in the well-known adventure fantasy style of play made popular by D&D. If you're familiar with the 3.X era of rules of D&D, some of the concepts and ideas used in Fantasy AGE will be familiar to you, as the AGE System draws much of it's inspiration from True20, which in turn was an offshoot of D20.

The book itself is beautifully illustrated, and well laid out in an easy to read fashion. As a generic fantasy ruleset, it doesn't come with a setting, so those looking for a new game with a complete world might be a bit disappointed.

That said, what IS here is a complete ruleset for running fantasy, with a few innovations that break away from the norm, while sticking to a few sacred cows that could use a bit of simplification.

Basic Mechanics

The Resolution system for the AGE system is a 3d6 + Ability roll against a set difficulty. The twist here is that one of the three dice you roll should be a different color, as it serves as the "Stunt Die" which serves several different purposes.

If a player rolls doubles, then the value of the Stunt Die determines how many Stunt Points is made available for the character for that action. The Character may then execute any number of Stunts that they can pay for with that pool of Stunt Points.

It's a neat mechanic, and the addition of Stunts certainly adds a bit of dynamism to an encounter.

Character Creation

Making a character in Fantasy Age is pretty straightforward, and might trigger some deja vu from D&D players. The first step is to determine a character's Abilities. These are:

Accuracy Communication Constitution Dexterity Fighting Intelligence Perception Strength Willpower

Unlike D&D, there's no need to derive further stats from these, as the values in your Ability are the ones you'll add to your 3d6 roll. I appreciate how this cuts out an unnecessary step and just keeps the useful bits.

Abilities can be rolled and assigned in order, rolled and assigned by preference or bought in a point-buy system.

Ability Focuses are an area of expertise within an Ability. This is the "skill" system of Fantasy Age, and each of the Abilities has at least 4 different Focuses in them. For example, Strength Focuses include Climbing, Driving, Intimidation, Jumping, Might and Smithing.

There are six races to choose from in Fantasy AGE: dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, human and orc. Each one has it's own package of Modifiers to the character, as well as a small table of randomly determined additional Benefits. It's a nice touch as it makes certain that two characters of the same race will still have something to make them different from one another.

Once you have your Abilities and Race squared away, you move on to Backgrounds. This trend of adding backgrounds with mechanical impact is a good one, and I'm glad to see it here.

Backgrounds are determined by making a couple of rolls and a lookup in a table. Backgrounds are sorted by Social Class, which ranges from Outsider to Upper Class, and each of those has a smaller list of Backgrounds to come from. Each Background bestows an Ability Focus to the Character.

Finally we get to Classes. There are only three Classes in Fantasy AGE: Warrior, Rogue and Mage. Each of these Classes has a package of traits, including recommendations for primary and secondary Abilities, starting Health and Weapon groups that the character can wield. Each Class also has a large list of powers, that expand with every additional level up to the cap of level 20.

Each level either bestows new abilities or gives opportunities to learn Talents, which are like D20 Feats, though each having a 3 tier progression from Novice, to Journeyman and Master levels.

The only derived stat I could see in the entire character creation process would be the calculation for the character's Defense value, which is done by adding up 10 + Dexterity + Shield Bonus (if applicable.)

Character Specializations

Here's the fun part. I know I said that there are only 3 classes in Fantasy AGE, but they get to add back a lot of variation by adding Character Specializations. These are micropackages that are tacked onto an existing character, bestowing benefits at certain levels. Again these benefits are ranked as Novice, Journeyman and Master and have certain requirements for a character to obtain.

Equipment

The Equipment chapter of Fantasy AGE feels surprisingly... old. There's a lot of bean counting, with perhaps only the absence of encumbrance and weight as the only improvement from the classic D20 stuff.

That said there's an audience for this kind of stuff, so if you'd like listings for mundane tools, services, goods, food and lodging, the game has those too.

Magic

The Magic system for Fantasy AGE works on the basis of 12 Magic Talents, each covering a different Arcana. Mages begin with 2 of these (each one granting 2 spells each), and they advance in rank as they level up.

Spells require Magic Points to cast, which are calculated by a simple formula: 10 + Willpower + 1d6. This value goes up every time the Mage levels up as well.

Mages learn multiple Arcana, making them surprisingly flexible.

Stunts

Perhaps the biggest mechanical highlight in Fantasy AGE would be the Stunts System. It's neat and easy to remember, and when used outside of just combat, it lends to some unpredictability that can be a lot of fun. The book also includes tables for Exploration and Roleplaying related stunts, which should help jog the imaginations of the players as they go through their adventures.

The GM section

The rest of the chapters goes into some very thorough GMing advice, and covers all the important bits from running the game, to coming up with your own setting, to a chapter on monsters and a sample adventure. It's a great template to follow and the kind of content that I'd love to see in more games of this kind.

Conclusion

The Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook is beautiful, well-laid out, accessible and sits on the lighter side of rules complexity. There's a lot to like here, much like in 13th Age, as it improves on an existing ruleset but doesn't innovate where it doesn't need to just to be different. Each innovation in this book has a purpose and it comes together perfectly.

It feels solid, and the Stunts are a nice touch. I can certainly see introducing this game to new players and getting them started with little trouble. With new Settings coming out soon, it's definitely worth your time and attention.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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