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Forward... to Adventure! $6.00
Average Rating:3.7 / 5
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Forward... to Adventure!
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Forward... to Adventure!
Publisher: Better Mousetrap Games
by Maxwell T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 09/01/2007 08:05:43
Sure, there are hundreds of "old school D&D...my way!" products out there, but this one really stands out and has its own character. From the character class system to the truly engaging combat system (like tunnels and trolls with some twists...very well done), this game stays focused on its own path, making something very original in the process.

The game just seems so "playable" right from the start. There's even a highly detailed and easy to use random dungeon generator included to get things going right away. That yawning portcullis on the cover isn't just for looks...this game wants you to get on into that labyrinth and show the bad guys what you're made of!

Liked: Unique flavor of rules focused tightly on central "mission' of the game. Rules aren't too long or too complex; every element seems to be balanced just right. Great combat system and random dungeon generator.

Disliked: Not much. Could have used more monsters in the bestiary, maybe. The art is mostly suited to the task, but the style used kind of "falls" down when it comes to certain monsters.

Overall: Great game, 4 stars.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Forward... to Adventure!
Publisher: Better Mousetrap Games
by Zack H. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/07/2007 21:08:22
FtA! will doubtless be deemed a "Fantasy Heartbreaker" by many, but this is a book that doesn't apologize for, but rather embraces, its old-school roots. It manages to bring together a lot of elements that seem to be solid design concepts from the history of gaming and cobbles them together to make a cohesive, fairly smooth whole.

The game shares enough in common with D&D that it should be an easy pick-up for players of that game; however, character creation is simplified, as are the overall rules, to provide a rules-light RPG for dungeon crawling, adventuring, etc., without worrying about extensive or timely character generation or having to wait on the research of rules lawyers. The game also bears some resemblance to games like NetHack and ADOM.

Instead of Feats, FtA! uses stunting, which is the use of character skills in combat and other situations to pull off impressive moves, improbable shots, and generally encourage combat to be more creative and descriptive. This simple idea turns out to add a lot of fun and enjoyment to the game, and is one of the biggest selling points, and succeeds where I've seen a lot of more complex ideas fail.

The melee combat rules, where upon the total attack for both sides in combat is added up, and then damage is parceled out by the GM according to common sense, if players have positioned themselves in the thick of combat, or even what works best for cinematics, is another big selling point, and flowed very well in actual play. Groups really need to work together, as "lone wolf" tactics and stupidity can quickly be the death knell of the unwise character.

The magic system is basic, easy to use, and uses an increasing difficulty per conditions, fatigue,and spell failure to limit magic-users.

Monsters are fun, easy to keep track of, and delightfully old-school. Charts in the back you can roll on for magic items and to create dungeons step-by-step add to the fun feel of the game. Charts through the book for things like spell failure, background, etc., often seem a bit random, and add to that delightful, old school feel without making the game clunky. In fact, this game would likely be further enhanced with a book of charts just like these.

For a game the author hopes to one day target novice gamers in South America, FtA! needs some help in terms of presentation before that happens. I'd have liked to seen a bit better flow and layout for the character generation parts, for sure. I was a happy to see a full index, which helped matters, though. The art is typical of Flying Mice products, which you either like or don't.

For a pick-up, rules-light fantasy game, you could do far worse than FtA! There are enough good ideas in here to make this game worth the price of admission.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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