[Let’s Study: Fantasy AGE by Green Ronin] Part 4: Character Options & Equipment

Posted: August 6, 2015 by pointyman2000 in Fantasy AGE, Let's Study, Roleplaying Games
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Today we’ll be looking at the various Character Options available in Fantasy AGE. These are: Focuses, Talents and Specializations. Then we’ll do a quick segue to the Equipment rules.

Focuses and Talents are gained during character creation, and acquiring new ones happen as the character gains new levels. The chapter begins with a quick overview of each of these, noting that Focuses and Talents are a good way to also bake in some more detail and backstory into the character you plan to play.

Specializations are different in that they are advanced techniques that a character attains upon hitting the higher levels. Each Specialization bestows new talents that are unique to that Specialization alone.

FOCUSES

Focuses are something between a skill and a specialization in other systems. Fantasy AGE does away with skill points / ranks entirely, and just adds a +2 to Ability Tests related to the Focus.

That said, at higher levels, characters can take a focus a second time to improve the focus up to +3 rather than +2.

TALENTS

Talents are areas of natural aptitude or special training that grant characters special actions. Each Talent is divided into Novice, Journeyman and Master levels, and are restricted by Class and may occasionally have further requirements.

The progression of Talents often conveys small benefits that add up over time to make a truly formidable individual once they reach Master level.

Fighting styles are modeled using the Talent system.

SPECIALIZATIONS

It might help to think of Specialization as alternate paths that branch off from the basic Class of Warrior, Rogue and Mage and bestow further benefits to the character.

Fantasy AGE has a goodly number of Specializations to choose from including: Arcane Scholar, Assassin, Berserker, Duelist, Elementalist, Guardian, Knight, Mage Hunter, Miracle Worker, Sharpshooter, Swashbuckler and Sword Mage.

The benefits of Specializations are formatted in the same way as Talents, with a Novice, Journeyman and Master level benefit. I can’t say much for how balanced these are as I’m going by a simple read through for now, but I’ll see if there’s a way for me to get a sample combat done in a future post.

THOUGHTS ON CHARACTER OPTIONS

I’ve always been wary of “Feats” since 3.x having been overwhelmed by the sheer choice and how many people keep warning me off “traps” and bad selections in the pool. Somehow I don’t get that feeling in Fantasy AGE.

I suspect it might have to do with the fact that the decision points are small (if numerous) and that helps you from being overwhelmed. Does this mean that the game is immune to those who would prefer to make a build up to level 20? Probably not, but it does a good job insulating people like me from analysis paralysis.

EQUIPMENT

The next chapter of the book talks about Equipment, starting off with a quick section on currency, which is a simple 1 Gold Piece = 10 Silver Pieces = 100 Copper Pieces conversion.

ARMOR AND SHIELDS

Armor has the following stats: Armor Rating, Armor Penalty and Cost. Armor Rating detemines by how much incoming damage is reduced before being applied to the character’s health. Armor Penalty is a penalty applied to the character’s speed and Dexterity. Being trained in the armor negates the Dexterity penalty. Cost is pretty self-explanatory.

Shields on the other hand (bad pun, sorry) have two stats: Shield Bonus, and Cost.

Shield bonus is a bonus that is added to the character’s Defense rating. Cost, again is self explanatory.

WEAPONS

Weapons come next, with a quick note on Weapon training. Characters who don’t have training in a particular weapon group suffer a -2 penalty to attack rolls AND inflict only half damage when using those weapons. Pretty punishing, honestly.

Weapons are categorized into Melee and Missile Weapons. Those are further broken down into various Weapon Groups like Axes Group, Black Powder Group, etc.

Damage Ratings are listed with the strongest I’ve noticed being 3d6 for a Two-Handed Axe and Two handed Sword. Note that weapons often get the character’s Stength added to it for determining damage, and giving the Minimum strength rating of 3 on those we’re looking at some serious hurt.

EVERYTHING ELSE

The rest of the equipment chapter goes into lists and descriptions of everything from Traveling and Adventuring gear, various containers, tools, clothes, food and lodging, as well as home and hearth items.

It’s a surprising amount of stuff there, and while it isn’t really my thing, I imagine there are players out there that will enjoy going over these lists.

The Equipment Chapter is pretty straightforward, and has all the things you’ll need to deck out your character. There’s a lot of weapon groups, and three weapons for each of them. It’s very utilitarian though, so nothing here is going to sell you the game.

Next up, we’ll take a break from the standard coverage to try my hand at a mock combat, using Roscoe from my Character Creation article against something from the Fantasy AGE antagonist section.

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The Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook is available in PDF format from DriveThruRPG for only $15.99 or roughly Php 720.

This Let’s Study series made possible by Patreon. If you’d like to help me secure more titles to cover in detail, please consider becoming a patron!

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