In the interest of disclosure, I would like to state that this review is made possible by the generosity of Patrick Kapera of Crafty-Games, who provided Life and Times of a Philippine Gamer with a PDF review copy of the Fantasy Craft Adventure Companion, the latest product from their excellent Fantasy Craft series.
Crafty Games has made a reputation for itself in the industry for having very well thought out mechanics to back up all their products. The Fantasy Craft Adventure Companion is no exception, and boasts of a staggering array of new campaign and character options.
This chapter doesn’t waste any time or space, kicking off almost immediately into a listing of the new character Specialties that would work well for the Cloak & Dagger, Epoch and Sunchaser Campaign settings, but can work in any Fantasy Craft Campaign. I noticed that these Specialties cover a good range of lower-class origins, with Beggar, Slave and Peasant standing out, and giving more opportunities for concept-oriented players to build according to what they had in mind rather than having to make do.
The chapter then continues with a host of new Classes, some of which have been released earlier on in the Call to Arms series of pdf releases. For those curious, these are the new classes in the Adventure Companion (those formerly released in the Call to Arms series will be marked with “CtA”):
- Emissary (Base) – A completely new Base Class focused on espionage, and social manipulation. While not a strong combat class, the Emissary can wreak havoc in an enemy nation with an entire assortment of class abilities that make him a dangerous social saboteur. This class is perfect for political settings like Cloak & Dagger.
- Martial Artist (Base; CtA) – The Martial Artist raises fighting to an art form, and is a more spiritually-oriented counterpart to the Fantasy Craft Soldier.
- Bloodsworn (Expert; CtA) – The ultimate Bodyguard: extremely hard to kill and devoted to taking damage to keep the more fragile party members alive.
- Deadeye (Expert; CtA) – The penultimate ranged specialization, the Deadeye is extremely deadly with bow or gunpowder weapons.
- Force of Nature (Expert; CtA) – Channeling their intimate connection with the elements, a Force of Nature raises the art of collateral damage to a new level.
- Gallant (Expert; CtA) – Urbane combatants at home in both the court and the battlefield, the Gallant shows that just because you’re a warrior doesn’t mean you can’t be civilized.
- Monk (Expert; CtA) – Paragons of virtue, the Monk’s specialized vows grant them an enlightened state above that of normal men.
- Monster Slayer (Expert; CtA) – One of my favorite Expert Classes, the Monster Slayer is part researcher, part hunter, and has the advantage of getting better when facing off against truly terrifying monsters.
- Dragon Lord (Master) – This Master class transforms the character into an avatar of Dragons, with the most notable feature being the ability for non-Drake characters to assume a Drake form, and vice versa.
- Regent (Master) – It’s good to be King, and the Regent personifies this, with access to bigger holdings, even more reputation and even the ability to summon followers in the midst of a Dramatic Scene without the Reputation penalty if they die in your service. (Fans of the A Song of Ice and Fire might get a chuckle out of the ability names.)
- Spirit Singer (Master) – A shaman with connection to the spirits, the Spirit Singer can bestow a host of incredible boons to the party via the intercession of the spirits. These boons are substantial, from a free reroll of a failed skill check, knowledge check or saving throw, to restoring a party’s health back up to 1/2 their vitality.
- Wind Knight (Master) – Astride a Griffon, Hippogriffon or a Pegasus, the Wind Knight leads the charge, inspiring his team to even greater heights of heroism and gallantry.
The fact that you get a hefty chunk of the Call to Arms expert classes alone makes the Adventure Companion a cost-effective purchase, and the new Master Classes are definitely ones worth looking forward to when playing or running a long campaign.
The chapter continues with a host of new Feats and Advanced Actions and Tricks. This is definitely going to have my players chomping at the bit, as it expands the Fantasy Craft feat selection by a lot, and the new Species Feats are perfect to fill in the missing blanks. Most notable of these are the “-Blood” feats that allow for making racial hybrids. (Half-Elf and Half-Orc fans, rejoice!) Another neat thing about the Feats section is a callout box with a huge list of examples of how to use the Fantasy Craft system to recreate all sorts of Fantasy Races from Aasimar to Yuan-Ti Hybrids.
The Advanced Actions / Tricks section details a plethora of maneuvers that can be used in play. I’m a big fan of Advanced Actions and Tricks as they’re perfect means to add a little more than just the standard “I hit, you hit” back and forth of a lot of games. Given that the corebook only had about 18 or so of these, the addition of 49 more is a definite improvement and will delight players who enjoy adding a lot of style to their characters without alienating mechanics-oriented ones.
Finally, the Chapter and the book wraps up with 4 more Campaign Qualities that GMs could apply to their games.
This chapter is the payoff for fans of mechanics. The sheer variance of options and new rules already makes the Adventure Companion a must-buy for fans of the system. Even if Cloak & Dagger, Epoch and Sunchaser somehow fail to interest you, there’s still plenty here to go over and play with to make it well worth the cover price.
Tomorrow, I’ll wrap up this series of reviews with my thoughts and conclusions on the Adventure Companion.
The Fantasy Craft Adventure Companion PDF is available now at DrivethruRPG for $14.99