Let’s add to the current combat chart for the AGE system. I think a bit more will help with things.
|1||Good Position: You move to an advantageous position and gain a +1 to your next attack roll against the target.|
|3||Great Position: You gained a bit more of an advantage and gain a +1 to your next attack roll against the target.|
|5||Excellent Position: You move to the best position you can find and gain a +3 to your next attack roll against the target.|
Product– Game of Crowns
Set-up/Play/Clean-up– 30-45 minutes (4-9(!) players)
TL; DR-Love Letter Evolved. 94%
Basics-In the Game of Crowns, you manipulate, scheme, triumph or you die! Game of Crowns is the next step in the evolution of Love Letter. Players take the role of one of several different noble houses trying to take the top spot in the kingdom. This is done over the course of three turns. Each turn, a player will play one card or attempt to trade cards. Trading is simple. The active player offers one card. Then, all other players have to offer a card in response. The active player can add a second card to his/her offer, and all players have to follow suit. Any player can sweeten their deal by offering crows (the main currency in the game). Finally, the active player chooses one other player, and they exchange cards. Playing cards is equally as simple. On a player’s turn, that player selects one card from his or her hand, and plays it for its action. You start with coinage and knights. Coinage is just choose a player, steal a random card, and then give them coinage. Knights are the main combat power of the game. When you use a knight you choose a player. Then, all players choose secretly if the defender or the attacker is the winner. After all players reveal their chosen side, all players can then spend crows to increase the power of their chosen side. Whoever wins gets to look at the other player’s hand, choose one card, and steal that card or to take a card from a random deck of cards that provides new ways to score points. The knight that started the fight is then discarded, and the losing side gets all the spent crows. After three rounds, players score points based on the cards in their hands. Some cards only give you points such as the trader (coinage), princess (knights), and castilian (crows). Another card, feud, gives you points if you have the most of it compared to all the other players. Who ever has outmaneuvered their opponents the best and has the most points at the end is the winner and the new king!
Mechanics-This game is simple and quick. It’s the the speed of Love Letter’s draw one, play one, and the added depth of microgame Dominion. I like the variety of different ways that players can play this game by focusing on the different paths to victory. It’s not perfect; if your group of friends just won’t see how you losing to your other friend makes them all lose, you won’t enjoy the combat much. Pick your battles well, but keep in mind that the people shape this game to a high degree. 4.5/5
Theme-AEG is a great company for theme. Sure, you could play this game and ignore the theme completely, and some players will. However, AEG builds on this game by having a few pages that must describe the families in the game. They didn’t need to do that, but those touches help draw me in that much more. It’s not perfect as you’re still only do some minor story things in game terms, but I do feel like a noble family maneuvering through intrigue in this game. 4.5/5
Instructions-The game has great instructions with only one fault. I wrote the instructions out in one paragraph above, and that right there is all you really need. The rule book does that well, and give you a bit more. The only real problem is the Feud cards. There is some debate if Feud provides exponential points or just increases as you gain more cards. If you check Boardgamegeek, you find that those cards are just scored according to the most cards, but other sites say the opposite. I’d like a bit of clarification, but overall, if you decide among your friends how that is played, you will easily be able to pick up the game and play this out of the box no problem in under 10 minutes. 4.75/5
Execution-I’m going to complain about something I thought I would never say-the game box is too big! That’s pretty weird to hear me say, but this game almost fits in a Love Letter bag no problem. That said, that’s an awesome problem to have. Too many games don’t fit in the box they came in. This game has great card art, good card stock, and crow meeples! Top notch work, AEG! In fact, if you want I’ve made an unboxing video here (http://youtu.be/5B7hC3svWng) if you want to see all the components of the game. 5/5
Summary– I love AEG. They constantly put out top notch games that don’t require hours to play. Sure I love my 4 hour Euros, but this one is a simple game that plays quick, and can even include non-gamers without spooking them away like a round of some other games. And the player count is amazing! Up to nine people can play this game. That’s a true blessing. I’ve had way too many game days at the local store where they couldn’t handle the fifth player. Now you can run that fifth player and his friends. Good rules, great mechanics, and some well-written, if slightly flawed, rules all make this game a pleasure to play. This game isn’t that expensive and if you want a bit more meat on the bones then Love Letter gives you, Game of Crowns is an excellent addition to your library. 94%
How about being friendly? I don’t want to tell people off, I don’t want to command, I just want to make a nice introduction and make some friends quickly.
Classes: Mage, Rogue, and Warrior
You know how to make an entrence.
Novice: When you make a Communication(Persuasion) test and dislike the result, you can reroll the check. You must keep the second result.
Journeyman: Reduce the stunt point cost of the And Another Thing and Flirt roleplaying stunts by 1. Only reduce the cost for the first use of each in a single roll.
Master:Increase your bonus for Communication(Persuasion) by 1, and you also gain 1 additional stunt point when you gain stunt point normally for a Communication roll.
Product– Fantasy AGE Basic Rulebook
System– Adventure Game Engine
Producer– Green Ronin Publishing
TL; DR-A strong successor to Dragon AGE. 92%
Basics-The Dragon AGE has ended, but that doesn’t mean all the stories you wanted to tell in the AGE system have. Fantasy AGE is the basic rule book for the previous Adventure Gaming System(AGE) system that came out with Dragon Age RPG providing all the basics any generic Fantasy RPG could need. Let’s break this down piece by piece and see what I think of them individually.
Mechanics or Crunch–
Game Basics- Fantasy AGE uses the same basic mechanics that Dragon AGE did; each player will roll 3d6 for an action, find the sum of the dice with some modifiers, and that will determine the outcome. Contested rolls work exactly the same with the higher sum winning the roll. This is a quick and easy way to have numeric diversity and an average in your dice rolls.
Stunts-One of the more interesting things with this system is stunts. When you roll your dice, two of the dice are one color and the third is a different color. If two of the dice have the same result, you get stunt points equal to the result on the differently colored die. These stunts have point values and will allow you to add extra flare and effects beyond hit a guy, cast the spell, or bluff the guard. Each type of action has it’s own stunt point chart that you can select icons to spend your points on with the more points spent, the stronger the effects. When I first read about this system, I was a bit put off, but then my math geek showed through. It’s easy to think that you won’t roll doubles often, but out of three six-sided dice, you roll doubles a little less than half of the time! Again, this is a fun addition to the standard “roll dice, hit guy, next person in initiative” we’re all used to.
Character Generation-Fantasy age characters make a few important choices and have to let some dice fall. When you make a character, you get to choose your race, background, class, and then you let the dice fall where they may! Lots of this system involves you randomly rolling for effects on your character. This results in your average character of a race having some average abilities and likely traits, but overall, I don’t like that part of character generation. While I’ve played older RPG editions, I prefer to let choice occur when you build your person. This system does downplay the negative aspects of low ability rolls, but I still prefer point buy. It’s an option, but most of the book tends to focus on rolling for your character.
Statistics:This game doesn’t have a ton of bonuses to your basic dice roll and that is great thing. Each person has a number of statistics being: accuracy ( weapon accuracy), communication (talking to people), constitution (body toughness), dexterity (agility and coordination), fighting (heavy weapon accuracy), intelligence (what you know), perception (situation awareness), strength (physical ability), willpower (mental resolve). You can generate these via point buy or just rolling 3d6 and hoping for the best, so your number will be between 3 and 18 white the modifier for your dice rolls roughly equal the modifiers most role players have from D&D. You can further focus in these abilities by getting ability focuses like Accuracy(Blades) where you add 2 to your dice results for all blades attacks. Thus, you will really only add two numbers to the three six-sided dice rolls. I do love any system that squashes power gaming at the start and builds in a mean and standard deviation for its die results!
Classes and Advancement-Much like the Dragon AGE RPG, there are only three core classes: mage, rogue, and warrior. These classes are much like you would expect. Mages cast spells, rogues are nimble and skillful, and warriors are heavy people-at-arms. Each level a character will get new options such as ability focus, talents (abilities in sequence like feat trees in DnD/Pathfinder), or class specific bonuses. The talents provide the bulk of the customization in the game. Every warrior has the same basic class abilities, but the warrior focusing on close combat and social interaction will be like that because of the talents he or she choose. You don’t get that many choices, but you do get a method to differentiate yourself from the press of other individuals out there.
Magic-Magic in this system is a point based system where players have a mana pool that is spent to cast a spell. Spells themselves come from the talents that players choose with each level of the talent providing more spells. It’s a simple system that reminds me of Final Fantasy and the Dragon Age video games. Not bad company to be in, but since you don’t get tons of different talents, you won’t have the abundance of spells you’re used to in different RPGs like Pathfinder.
Combat and Damage-Just like this games D20 cousins, combat flows in a turn based manner following every player rolling initiative. On your turn, you can do either two minor actions like moving or a minor and a major like attacking. Players and monsters have a defense rating that you attack just like any other skill in this game. If your attack roll equals the defense, you hit the enemy. Damage is done in this game based on the type of weapon you’re wielding with armor reduces the damage that a character takes instead of providing a bonus to your chance to dodge the attack. This doesn’t reinvent wheel, but why fix what isn’t broken?
Summary-You can see the Dragon AGE in the Fantasy AGE. That’s not a bad thing as I liked the Dragon AGE RPG and the Dragon Age video games for speed and elegance of the systems. However, my major problem is that the character and players don’t have many options. Sure, it’s fun, but I’d like a bit more crunch to my characters. That said, it is a good, quick, and simple system that you can easily use in any fantasy setting. 4.5/5
Theme or Fluff- It’s always hard to judge generic RPGs for their fluff content. By their nature, there can’t be a significant amount of fluff in this book since any fantasy setting should be able to be played with in this system. But, the book does have nice art, good general fantasy additions, and all the standard fantasy pieces you will need for your toy box. Just don’t go in here expecting Tolkien as this book can’t have that level of detail and still be general enough for everybody. 4.5/5
Execution-This book reads relatively quickly and has a decent layout. I can quickly get through the book, find what I need and make a character in under 10 minutes. I’d like more pictures, and some extra tables to make scanning the book easier like in the talents section. I prefer to see something similar to how Pathfinder does summaries of feats before the full descriptions. The book even has a small bestiary with some monsters to throw at your players. It’s not large, but for the $15 I paid for the book, I’m pretty happy to see a complete system, game mastering guide, and monsters in one book. This book even comes with a small adventure, so you can jump into playing after you buy only this book. Overall, good book with a few minor problems keeping it from perfect. 4.75/5
Summary-Fantasy AGE is going to be an awesome RPG if Green Ronin can bring more out for it. Titansgrave is coming out, and that will provide an awesome series of adventures and a setting for this game. That is what this book really misses-the fluff. The crunch is good. It might not be my all time favorite gaming system, but it’s well-designed, thought-out, and easy to use-all the things a quality RPG needs to be viable long term. I’d like more options, but that’s my old D&D 3.5 gamer heritage showing through. As for the book itself, it might not be my favorite layout, but it is a great way to present a games information. If you joined the Fantasy AGE for Titansgrave, you will not be disappointed! 92%
Shadowrunners want more bang for their buck when it comes to chrome or spells. Let’s add to their limits to see how that goes.
Push Past Limits
The character can spend a point of Edge to remove any safety inherent in their actions. When a character with either cybernetic or magical enhancements to their ability scores spends a point of edge and uses this ability, add their the bonus they gained to that ability from magic or cybernetics again to their dice pool and increase their appropriate limit by that same number. After the result are determined, a character must make an physical damage soak roll using only their body with the damage being the number of hits above their normal limit as the strain on their bodies damages them. The damage from this ability is physical. A character may spend another point of edge on any of their rolls to add their edge to the roll or to reroll the results.
Been reading Pathfinder books for the contest. Here is something fun that came to mind for armor.
Sometimes having too much fluff in the middle is a bad things. Then there are the times where a hammer hits your stomach and you thank the gods that you had the extra felt built into the breastplate! This armor adds a bit of extra layers between you and the enemy granting your DR 5/piercing or magic weapons. It will turn aside your average hammer and give you a few precious inches between a slicing blade, but it won’t help against your average rapier or magic blade
Cost: +1,000 gp; Weight: +5 lbs.
It’s almost RPG superstar time. Let’s get the design juices flowing and make a item. Here is my Coin of Chance for Pathfinder!
Minor Coin of Chance
Aura faint enchantment CL 7th
Slot –; Price 5,000 gp; Weight –
This coin is a two faced coin with one side showing a grinning woman’s face while the other shows a skull. When a spell is cast, as a free action a caster can toss the coin in the air as part of a somatic component of a spell or adding a somatic component to a spell that has a saving throw. The caster rolls a d6. On numbers 1-3, the saving throw DC decreases by 1. ON a 4-6, the saving throw of the spell increases by 1.
Requirements Craft Wondrous Item, a coin won in a gambling game;Cost 2,500 gp