Class Act

[Fantasy Craft] Class Act: The Avatar (Master Class)

The Avatar is one of Fantasy Craft’s latest releases in the Call to Arms series. As a Master Class, it represents concepts that are open to the higher level characters in the game.

In the Avatar’s case, we’re looking at characters that are living embodiments of faith, the pinnacle of religious unity between man and god. It’s an interesting concept, and is a recurring theme in a lot of Fantasy fiction, and I’m eager to sink my teeth into what this class can do.

As with the other classes, the Avatar can take a myriad of specific concepts. From a reincarnated master to an offspring of the gods come to further the agenda of his divine parents. This is the kind of flexibility that I’ve come to expect from Fantasy Craft and I can already see how this can be useful in a Wuxia campaign, for example.

Unlike the Base or Expert classes, the Master Class does not begin with a Core Ability.

The Avatar begins, appropriately enough, with an ability called Alpha. Each teammate that can see or hear the character, and any other character who shares the same Alignment who can see or hear you becomes immune to negative morale penalties and Morale effects. These characters all automatically succeed with Knowledge checks made to recognize the Avatar.

While this doesn’t seem like much, immunity to negative effects is always handy. The added value of being able to be recognized on sight by those of your faith is a nice touch.

So it was Written… allows for the Avatar to reroll a failed save, attack check or skill check a number of times in a session equal to the Avatar’s Class Level.

Path of the Devoted has the Avatar take a Step in their chosen Alignment.

Sliver of Divinity is an interesting power that allows you to bestow your teammates a Step in a chosen Path. It might not sound like much, but this means that the entire team gains extra abilities or powers by virtue of having the Avatar among them.

…So it is Done allows the Avatar to apply the So it was Written… rerolls for their teammate’s failed rolls. I can imagine Avatars being everyone’s best friends at this point if they aren’t already.

The Avatar’s final ability, Omega is literally awe-inspiring. Once per session they can reveal the full glory of their Alignment to unbelievers. Those who do not share the Avatar’s alignment must make a Will save or immediately be sprawled and frightened for 3d5 rounds. Thankfully this power does not affect teammates.

As a fan of support classes, I’m pretty pleased with what the Avatar brings to the table. Combined with some of the earlier Base or Expert Classes, this can be made to simulate all sorts of divinely powered Chosen Ones. They might not be the damage dealers, but their ability to supplement their team and bestow immunities and even rerolls are incredibly useful for a broad range of situations.

Of the three Call to Arms classes in this wave of releases, I think that the Avatar is perhaps one of the most interesting in terms of story potential. Already I can see how the Class works to simulate a Boddhisattva or other enlightened beings.

Call to Arms: Avatar is available from DriveThruRPG for $1.75 or roughly Php 70.00

[Fantasy Craft] Class Act: The Inquisitor (Expert Class)

For a matter of record, I will avoid making any Monty Python jokes in this article.

The Inquisitor is the newest Expert Class to be released in the 4th wave of Fantasy Craft’s excellent Call to Arms series of supplements. As always, the Class is not a specific thing, but covers a wide variety of interesting character concepts ranging from the classical Church agent that hunts down heretics to cruel enforcers that protect the powerful from popular disapproval.

It’s an interesting class that is essentially a Religiously motivated Spy. If the Crusader is a warrior with zeal, the Inquisitor’s methods don’t always involve combat, but are more focused towards ferreting out secrets by both social and covert means.

I love that the Core Ability of the Inquisitor’s core ability is Disconcerting. It’s a great way to make an entrance or a dramatic reveal, as the character may declare their affiliation with the Inquisition to spend and roll an action die. They may then choose a number of characters equal to the roll’s result that become shaken until the end of the scene or until the start of the next combat, whichever is first.

Yes, there’s an opening right there for a Monty Python reference.

Hammer of Heretics bestows ranks of Noble Renown and bonuses to Intimidate and Investigate checks equal to the character’s Noble Renown. This ability increases with levels, allowing the Inquisitor to gain the Menacing Threat quality as well as a passive ability to counter attempts to lie or conceal the truth from you.

Condemn allows for the Inquisitor to levy a pronouncement with such force that you can make the target suffer a morale penalty with Charisma-based skills equal to the Inquisitor’s Wisdom Modifier. Higher versions of this power inflict Stress damage equal to the Inquisitor’s Class Level. While this doesn’t seem like much at the moment, given the context of Fantasy Craft’s system, this is as harsh an attack as you can make in a social setting. The penalty to Charisma-based skills equal to the Inquisitor’s Wisdom is pretty crippling for all but the most suave of characters, and could very well lead to a spiral of doom as their attempts to assert themselves in the scene only result to further ruin.

Phoenix Wright fans will definitely enjoy using that power.

Incorruptible is a nice touch as it grants Damage Resistance against an Alignment of choice. However, I was wondering if it would break in any way if I allowed the Inquisitor to change their choice of Alignment where Incorruptible would apply if they ever complete a Subplot that invalidates their choice.

Path of the Devoted allows the Inquisitor to proceed along the Steps of the Alignment they serve.

Agent of the Church is a nice touch, as the Inquisitor suddenly gets extra Reputation that they can spend to get Noble Favors. This represents how the Inquisitor’s patrons pave the way for the character to get whatever they might need to pursue their investigations.

And finally, one of the most amusingly named game-breaking abilities for the Inquisitor: Torches and Pitchforks. I don’t think I need to go into that much detail, but this allows the Inquisitor to whip up a frenzied mob hostile towards characters of your chosen Alignment and immune to negative Morale effects.

The Inquisitor is a prime example of just how Fantasy Craft is more than just a game of combat (even if it does that really well.) Having a Church Spy works for a lot of interesting concepts, and brings me happy memories of a character I once played that served in this regard.

While it might not seem so powerful outright, the Inquisitor’s abilities focus on information gathering and control, as well as the use of said information to gain necessary leverage. While it might not be an optimal class choice for a dungeon delve, many of the more political games can benefit greatly from having the Inquisitor in play.

Call to Arms: Inquisitor is available from DriveThruRPG for $1.75 or roughly Php 70.00

[Fantasy Craft] Class Act: The Crusader (Base Class)

After a bit of silence, I’m thrilled to see that the awesome Fantasy Craft RPG is back in action with the latest release of three new classes in their Call to Arms series. Today we’re looking at the Crusader, the latest Base Class to join the fray.


The Crusader is the iconic Holy Warrior. Unlike the Priest, the Crusader expresses his devotion to his religion through martial skill. Of course, this being Fantasy Craft, the Crusader Class encompasses a huge amount of possible concepts. Anything from the iconic Paladin to a vicious zealot to witch-hunters all fall under the purview of the Crusader class for as long as we’re talking warriors with religious fervor.

The Crusader’s Core Ability is Purifier, which allows the character to spend 1 action die to boost an attack or opposed skill check targetting a character with a different Alignment. This pretty much is a microcosm of what the Crusader is all about, smiting heathens, which is a perfectly awesome thing to do.

A Crusader also starts off with Called to Arms, a chain of Class abilities that tie into the Subplot mechanic from the Fantasy Craft core rules. While pursuing this Subplot, the Reputation reward for the adventure increases, and completing it grants 1 rank of Renown in a track of their choice. The Crusader also gains their Alignment’s ritual weapon at no cost. I love this particular series of Class Abilities as it emulates the Questing nature of the Crusader. Whether it’s to liberate a holy land, cleanse witches or find a sacred artifact, it’s a neat way to fold in mechanics with a compelling story that further motivates the Crusader and makes him a force of change rather than just someone that is content to wait around a tavern until some mysterious stranger hands him a map.

Starting from the second level, the Crusader also gains access to Battle Chants, another chain of Class abilities that allow for them to grant beneficial effects to themselves. These range from bonuses to attacks, Defense or various resistances. As the Crusader gains further levels he can access more chants and grant their benefits to a comrade as well. It’s a great way to emulate the prayers before (or during a battle) that make playing such a character more flavorful and rewarding.

The Path of the Crusader chain represents how the Crusader moves along his Alignment’s Paths, gaining abilities relevant to the Path that the Crusader is pursuing.

The ever-popular Smite power is here, allowing the Crusader to lay down divine wrath upon their enemies. The Crusader chooses the type of opponents that suffer from his wrath. When the Crusader spends and rolls an action die to boost damage, they may replace the action die’s result with half their Career Level. This is a neat little safety built in so that there’s never a point where the action die is “wasted” by a bad roll.

Sword of Faith is another interesting power as it infuses sacred weapons with divine power. When wielding their ritual weapon, the Crusader can bestow an Essence (aka magical effect) upon it. The further abilities on this chain allow for additional effects to stack, creating truly fearsome (and customized) weapons.

Divine Virtue allows the Crusader to grant immunity to baffled, fixated or frightened conditions as long as your allies can see or hear you. Furthermore, all of them are considered to share your Alignment. Advanced applications of this power grant further immunity to shaken, sickened and slowed as well.

The game-breaker of the Crusdader Class is the aptly named Wrath of God. Once per session, a Crusader can opt to use the ability upon hitting an opponent with an attack. If the target is a standard character, it dies. If the target is a special character, then they get to make a Will Save or die.

As a big Paladin fan, I find the Crusader to be downright awesome. It takes on the role of a divine warrior and plays it to the hilt. The high standard of quality when it comes to Fantasy Craft classes shines through in the Crusader, and as always it gives options without restricting player creativity.

The fact that it is actually possible to play a divine sniper of sorts as a Crusader, or to run around as a Solomon Kane-ish character with the Class is all the more reason to like it.

Call to Arms: Crusader is now available from DriveThruRPG for $2.00 or roughly Php 80.00

[Fantasy Craft] Class Act: The Swashbuckler (Expert)

Swashbuckler by Inkthinker

The Swashbuckler is the daring rogue with a ready smile, razor wit and the swordfighting skills to back it up.  As the expert class that mixes the role of a combatant with a talker, the Swashbuckler is one Expert class that I am instantly drawn to.   Swashbucklers might not be able to deal the sheer amount of damage that the Edgmaster can, but they have a whole bunch of other advantages that revolve around their ability to make a name for themselves.

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[Fantasy Craft] Class Act: The Rune Knight (Expert)

Both the Mage and the Soldier are symbolized by their tools: Magic and Weapons.  It’s no surprise therefore that the Rune Knight wields both, by imbuing their very weapons with magic, creating weapons attuned to their user, delivering blows both of physical pain and arcane punishment.  They deal death at whatever range they prefer, imbuing guns and arrows, or getting up close and personal with imbued axes and swords.

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[Fantasy Craft] Class Act: The Paladin (Expert)

After a (very) long hiatus, the Class Act series for Crafty Games‘ awesome Fantasy Craft rpg is back, having been requested by reader Jay Vee.  I’ll be putting up the rest of the Expert Classes available from the core book.   I’ll need more time to evaluate the Call to Arms series as the PDFs themselves do a great job in describing the ins and outs of their respective classes, and I don’t want to end up repeating stuff that’s already on the pdfs.

Ultimately, the Paladin Expert Class is about conviction.  Powered by a fervent, unrelenting faith in an ideal or a god, the Paladin serves as both a powerful combatant, as well as a support role, bolstering his allies when the fighting gets tough.  Their devotion is a source of hope to their allies, and a source of despair to their foes.

Paladins differ from a pure support role in the sense that they’re right in the thick of things.  Paladins are aware that their role is that of an example, so they cannot afford to hang back and spew platitudes and scripture.  Their faith is writ large in deeds that celebrate their faith.

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[Fantasy Craft] Class Act: The Edgemaster (Expert)

The Edgemaster is all about style.  This is the Class to get if you want to graduate from “killing things”, to “killing things with flair.”  This is the class of the Gladiator showman, the cocky Wuxia swordsman, or the foppish yet deadly duelist.  It is in the Edgemaster’s flashy displays of dominance that his allies find the courage to redouble their efforts in battle.

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