Originially posted here: http://theotherside.timsbrannan-
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.
[5 of 5 Stars!]