Let’s start off this bit with some full disclosure. Stephen J Grodzicki did pass me a comp copy of the Deluxe Edition. Also, I previously did do a review of the original free edition of Low Fantasy Gaming. Now I haven’t gone through each book with a fine-toothed comb to find every minor difference.
Now let’s get the low down on Low Fantasy Gaming. This game is geared towards a grittier and dare I say more Weird Sword & Sorcery type vibe. Magic is dangerous and mysterious. It uses as its base a set of rules that will seem familiar to anyone who has played just about any edition of D&D. Now there are some differences and I’ll go into what I think are coolest later but when reading through the rules of Low Fantasy Gaming, most folks will see the DNA of many other games. Because there are so many similarities, I’m going to stick with what makes Low Fantasy Gaming Cool. Magic is Dark and Dangerous: IMHO even the original editions do that great of job of making magic mysterious. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun and that it ended up being as video gamey as later editions. In Low Fantasy Gaming, magic is dangerous. The more a magic-user casts spells, the more likely it is that something bad (and sometimes very bad) happens. I did notice that the Deluxe Edition did rename the spells as something more evocative and there’s a handy chart in the back to reference original spell names with the new ones. The Deluxe also adds the Cultist which is at its most basic is the replacement for the Cleric. Instead of list of spells, the Cultist gains a set of abilities that pretty much mirror the most common cleric spells. Like magic-users, there is some risk to their spell casting. Just like the cleric of Dungeon Crawl Classics, the Cultist can suffer the displeasure of their god and face some pretty mean consequences. Unique Features: This is pretty cool. At 3rd level and three levels after that, player characters gain a unique feature. So what exactly is a unique feature? Well, much relies on the GM discretion and the player’s imagination. It’s basically any extra bonus for the character. What I like about this is that it’s one of the few times that I’ve seen a rulebook the suggestion to use inspiration from any other game. That’s right may be you like a feat or something from Pathfinder or 5E. Well, convert it and use it. So there’s no long list but some suggestions. Also, this little bit is sure to make all the characters and even the campaigns unique since this opens up so many options. Luck: I like luck mechanics. While not a standard in many games, it is a standard in lots of fiction. So I got no problem with that. Luck is a save and a resource and it diminishes so make your choices wisely. It’s not just burning points for better results. This also is used in Major Exploits. These basically do something really, really cool. Not only would the character have to succeed on an attack, skill, or attribute roll but then they’d also have to make a Luck check to do the really cool thing.
For old grognards, I will say that the game has a skill system too. Now, it’s not as crazy as things were with 3.x but it a little more detailed than 5E. It’s a solid system that doesn’t inflate the skill levels and offers a new mechanic with a re-roll pool for characters attempting things that they are skilled at.
So do I recommend it? Well, yes. Yes I do. It’s a solid game that takes a lot different bits and pieces from various games and editions and puts them together in nifty little package. Am I actually going to play it? Probably not but I still recommend it. Like I said, lots of cool stuff from various other games which you can port into your game with very little effort. Plus there’s some handy pretty system neutral charts for GM’s like the NPC generator and as mentioned before Dark and Dangerous Magic.
The Deluxe Edition, the free version, and various other goodies are available on DrivethruRPG.
Also check out the Low Fantasy Gaming website for more good stuff.
If you’ve been following the blog then you know I’ve ranting about two possible campaigns. First, there was New Bay City using Dark Streets & Darker Secrets. It’s a modern horror/urban fantasy setting that I’ve run before just with different systems. And then there’s my sudden love affair with The Blight. Well, just follow the link. I put forth both to the gaming the group. They decided they wanted The Blight. And for system? Well, just like the survey I recently posted, they decided to try Swords & Wizardry. By coincidence, I’m also working on my YARC (Yet Another Retroclone) project which is basically house ruled Swords & Wizardry. So there will be a bunch of house rules.
With all that being said, I just can’t leave things alone plus like many GM’s I like to put my own spin on things. I base this on what I like and what I think the players will like. So I’m going to put a few little tweaks to make it a little more fun for us at the table and easier to use for me since the book is nearly 900 pages. Most of the changes are going to be player facing. By that I mean opening up some classes and races that aren’t normally an option. So stay tuned for all that. While the work begins now, it’ll be a couple of months. They’ve got a couple more adventures to survive in the Labyrinth Lord game.
A very special episode. I’ve done a few tweaks here and there but you want to hear about the episode. Because as I said, it’s that time of year where already start planning and setting goals for the upcoming year.
So what’s this episode about? It’s about Celebrity D&D, Social Media, Gate Keeping, and the direction I plan on taking my own old-school projects. Like the title says. Give it a listen. It’s only getting better.
Yes, I’m behind on the old production schedule this year but that means the end of the year is going to see a whole flurry of activity. So here it it my own little supplement/fanzine for Dark Streets and Darker Secrets.
Back Alleys has three new archetypes (The Chosen One, The Average Joe, and The Face). Some nasty artifacts like Grandma’s Butcher Knife and the Necromonicon Ex Dementia. Plus a host of monsters inspired by some classic horror movies.
Enjoy! You can find it right here on DrivethruRPG.
Yes, I know I’ve been silent for a bit. It’s that post GenCon thing. You see I take that time to sit back and do a little mental house cleaning, goal setting, and planning for the next year. So yep and things are back to their normal and crazy posts are going out again. And to get the ball rolling, let’s start off with a a new social media network for gamers, Gamerplus.org.
So yes. It’s a bare bones set up but it’s just starting out. It’s not some big corporation or anything like that. It’s normal folks getting together and trying to make something cool. Now, I know that some where out there in Internet-land, there’s some pearl clutcher trembling and whining about it. It doesn’t matter. Check it out for yourself. Who knows maybe you might find a new friend or two in the gaming community.
Like I said right now, it’s very bare bones but if it grows and garners support (right now there is Patreon), I’m sure that more bells and whistles will come about.
Like I said, go check it out for yourself at Gemerplus.org and join in the conversation. And yes I’m there.
Dirk Stanley is pushing out the fulfillment to Kickstarter backers and I got mine. And boy is it pretty sweet. So in case you missed it, there was a Kickstarter for an OSR version of Far Away Land. Far Away Land has been out for quite a while and uses it’s own system which is pretty cool. I ranted about it in a much earlier post. So you can read that and get quick overview on that. Let me do a little recap on the setting. To put it simply, Faraway Land is a strange gonzo setting. That may put some off but you can go as gonzo as you want. And for me personally I like coloring outside the lines of Tolkien and weird stuff. Sure it’s weird but doesn’t rely on shock to be weird. It’s weird just because it is. And it’s that fun kind of weird.
But this rant is about the OSR version and like I said. It’s pretty sweet. Setting-wise it’s still the same but many of the creatures, races, and spells have been converted over to an OSR system. And yes I know there are many OSR systems. In this case, Dirk used White Box or more specifically Swords & Wizardry Continual Light as a base for the rules. So most of the rules should be pretty much familiar to many.
The biggest change for FALOSR is the magic system. It’s pretty simple in a useful sort of way. First, there technically aren’t clerics in the game. There are Light Mages which are sort of like clerics and Chaos Mages which are more like your standard blow-stuff-up Magic-User. Spells are broken down into three categories White, Gray, and Black. Gray spells either of the classes can cast. However, a Light Mage casting a Black Magic spell takes a penalty to casting. And vice versa for the Chaos Mage casting White Magic. They can do it but there’s a penalty. Also, the number of spells a mage may cast is simplified. It’s Level+3. And no preparation of spells. If you know it then you can cast it. Basically. Once again there is a little exception and difference. Spells are broken down by level which corresponds to character level. This makes what level a spell is totally different than other OSR games that mimic the original sources. So a 2nd level character can safely cast second level spells. They can try to cast higher level spells but it’s pretty dangerous. Like I said, the actual spell levels have changed because of this and FALOSR’s own internal logic. A prime example is that Sleep is an 8th Level spell. You read that right. But there’s plenty of new and interesting spells to play around with.
So in case you were wondering, the other two classes are Fighter and Thief. That’s it. Just the classic four classes. For races, you have the standards less Halfling and then the Far Away Land specific races: Agnun, Blonin, Clockwork,Exions, Glacerian, Numan, Orka, Poomkin, and Simian. Plus there’s a few of the monsters you can easily convert. FALOSR has a whole host of little rules tweaks and mini games as well. Want to do 0-Level funnel. No problem. Collaborative wording building? It’s there too. Plus there’s vehicles and naval combat. Special weird powers and training montages. There’s a ton of little useful bits in there.
So if you were already a fan of Far Away Land, chances are you backed the Kickstarter. If you’re a collector of OSR rules sets. Grab it up for your collection. Heck, the art is even fun in the one. If you are an aficionado of White Box games then definitely grab this one up. There’s virtually no conversion to do. So you’re just adding to what you are already using. That’s what I plan on doing a crazy mash up of my own tweaks on the White Box rules and FALOSR.
As of this writing, the Far Away Land-OSR Version hasn’t hit the virtual shelves. You can keep track of that over on DrivethruRPG. And you can learn a whole lot more about the world and the whole product line, a wiki, and some adventures over at FarUniverse.