Thursday, October 31, 2013

The FATE Freeport Companion - Brian Engard and Clark Valentine

An elegant adaptation of Dungeons and Dragons flavour with an interesting setting. Taking FATE Core type Skills and using a FATE Accelerated minimal list that are the classic six D&D abilities brings this rich setting to life. Full of evil cults and Hobgoblin bartenders for some classic low fantasy possibilities along with the pirates and sea monsters. An explanation of how to do the various classes with archetype builds, magic guidelines and a very nice beastie and flavourful NPC section make this a book well worth the time. Enough so I have now read it twice. As has been suggested, a fine FATE gateway for d20 fantasy players as well as a good game. The only thing lacking perhaps...although the downloads of FATE core and Accelerated are easily had: is a quick cheat sheet style ladder/action/outcome summary guideline page or four in the back. 4.5 out of 5

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cryptworld - Daniel Proctor and Tim Snider

A refreshing later edition to some degree of a book that goes for an old school eighties horror movie flavour in the main, along with an eighties style length. Designed as a generic people vs monsters game Cryptworld gives suggestions for running games from camp to cosmic horror, with different theme advice as well. Skills are a little different...where in Basic Roleplaying like Runequest and Call of Cthulhu you start off as being really bad at things, the range of d100 skills in Cryptworld is 26-80. Abilities are rolled on 3d10. You then double it and add 20 to get that middle of the range band, so the average is a bit over half. Untrained skills are based on Abilities but the three levels of specialised skill bonuses give you an extra +15/30/55 to the skill rating. Skills are often the average of two abilities...if these were both a standard 56 or thereabouts, adding +15 gives you an initial specialised Skill level of 71. A bit better than Rurik the Restless trying to read. There's a section of various types of monsters and an adventure, all in 90 odd pages. Resolution is on a Universal Table type mechanic, where how much you succeed by determines the severity column...so a two stop procedure that perhaps could be simplified, but is certainly different. Cryptworld definitely retains its charm. 3.5 out of 5

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Agency - Matt Machell

A solid DC based introductory game of Swinging Sixties spies vs the supernatural. A secret agency with flashy character with some simple skills and character traits and flaws...plus Karma Points. Would be a fine introductory game for people that liked that sort of thing, whether straight up superspying or supernatural superspying. 3 out of 5