Blade & Crown is a full-featured fantasy roleplaying game, suited for courtly intrigue, far-flung wilderness exploration, thievish derring-do in the bowels of a city or even dungeon-delving. Blade & Crown is ready for adventure — are you?
How does it feel to play Blade & Crown? It's a gritty system, with lots of detail. There are twelve basic characteristics, a pretty extensive (but not overwhelming) skill list, and no "classes" or "levels". You'll see a lot of influence from 1980's "realism".
But the game is also strongly influenced by modern, indie design. There's a strongly unified mechanic; the vast majority of the time, you roll the dice the same way. The system includes active enticements for players to design adventurous, complex characters. The system also gives you bonuses to your die rolls for describing your actions in unique and interesting ways.
And the system gives you, the player, some control over the narrative. Every character has Traits that can be used to make your character's life easier, or harder. If you use a Trait to help yourself, you gain dice or narrative control. If you use a Trait to make your character's life harder — which is to say, more adventurous — you gain tokens to allow helpful Trait use later on, and you gain experience points. Each character's unique Traits bring your roleplaying alive and help immerse you in your role.
Magic provides another way for players to have narrative control, as does religion. Magic has a mysterious, mystical air; religion reflects the vast array of beliefs and practices possible.
Social Class is important. Your wealth is derived directly from your social rank, for one thing, and if you're trying to enter a city yet look like a serf, the guards are unlikely to let you in. Wealth is abstracted, putting the emphasis on getting back to the game, instead of tracking pennies.
Blade & Crown errs on the side of having complete rules, rather than saying every situation comes down to GM or player fiat. There are rules for a variety of tactical situations in combat, developing magic spells, travel, and more.
The game is suited to a wide variety of adventures: plying trade routes in a cog, traveling the land as a company of actors, mapping the unexplored realms, solving mysteries in a manorial estate, tragic tales of love and conviction, seeking treasure in ancient ruins — all these stories and more are possible. The rules are flexible enough to make play fun for a variety of campaign types, and for a variety of play-styles.
177 pages of content (not including introduction and other prefatory material).
A two-page quickstart rules section.
Full rules for designing characters, doing tasks, buying & selling, researching and employing magic, practicing religion, conducting combat, traveling and more.
Extensive GM notes and references, including how to build an effective setting, a large bestiary, instant NPCs, rules for disposable NPCs ("mooks") and more.
An introductory campaign seed, "The Gift Map", including deck plans for the cog The Jade Swan, and dozens of adventure seeds.
Character sheets and other reference forms.
Extensive index and bookmarks.