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Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook $59.95 $29.95
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook
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Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Cedric C. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/14/2012 21:54:12
Introduction: I'll admit not having played Final Fantasy or other Japanese video roleplaying games. I'm still familiar with genre, and even visuals alone will tell you that these fantasy games are quite different than their western counterparts. And, while Japan has its tabletop RPGs, few have been translated to American markets. Indeed, Anima, which looks on the surface to be a tabletop rpg version of Japanese computer rpgs, was originally published by Edge Entertainment in Spain. That doesn't make it any less qualified to be a thorough and detailed treatment of the genre. However, its complex character generation rule may put gamers off.

Character Generation: Anima character generation is flavorful but highly detailed and complicated. If you're the type who approaches character generation as a spreadsheet budget, or someone who must create a super-exotic mondo-unique uber-butt-kicking character (or, much worse, have a player who wants to be one), expect to spend quite a bit of time going through several chapter's worth of character creation options. But if you limit first characters to the same basics the sample character uses (yes, Ki, Magic, and Psychic abilities are not basic!), you should be able to play soon enough. After their first game, players you can your players recreate their characters or introduce new ones. If you do a search on "anima roleplay character generation", you should be able to find jmbowman's Anima character generator.

Combat: Anima combat is straightforward, with optional complexity. Each turn you have an action, often an attack. In an attack, you and your opponent both do a "skill die roll" of an attack skill (eg. Attack Ability) versus a defense skill (eg. Dodge). You then cross-index the difference (negative numbers can cause counterattacks!) against armor. This results in a percentage which you multiply against your weapon's damage to determine how much damage you actually do. (This is easier done than said, since Anima provides a table and 100% damage is a multiple of ten.) Additional rules and modifiers are provided for ranged and optional hand-to-hand and ranged attacks.

Sourcebook: Much of the gamemaster's section is source material: Gaia's history, Countries and Cities, Organizations (factions), The Supernatural World, and Powers in the Shadow (conspiratorial organizations influencing Gaia), Hell (supernatural worlds and their races), Light and Darkness (deities and mechanics for their gifts), and Supernatural Presence (how much of the world's reality is centered around a character -- including the PCs).

Gamemaster: Other gamemaster sections include gamemaster advice and guidelines, Common Characters (common NPC stats), Creation of Beings (detailed mechanics for creating special creatures), Creature Compendium (example creatures), and a character sheet.

Art and Layout: Bring out your iPads. At 322 full-color pages, you're not going to print this out. It's too bad that Anima doesn't have a printer-friendly or text-only version.

Conclusion: This is not a casual roleplaying game. The system is complicated, and the source material extensive. However, if you're looking for a detailed tabletop treatment of a Japanese video game, Anima is a definite choice.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Michael W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 04/10/2011 16:59:06
Anima Beyond Fantasy is a very good-looking roleplaying game that is heavily influenced by Japanese Anime and JRPGs. If you are into games like the Final Fantasy series, you will definitely like Anima's setting. The rules of the game remind me a lot of Rolemaster. It almost looks like a direct clone in certain aspects. While I am normally into more rules-light games, I found Anima's system strangely compelling.
The campaign setting included in the book is a mixture between fantasy and historic elements. As noted before the artwork is top-notch and I could see people picking this title up for the artwork alone.
The only drawback is the steep price. While the hardcover edition is well worth its price because of the high printing quality and size of the book, I find $30 are a bit too much for a PDF. But aside from that, I wholeheartedly recommend Anima Beyond Fantasy.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by Richard T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/19/2010 09:28:44
First impressions here... A solid product. Good mechanics, love the richness of the game world. Character creation is not simple or quick, but I feel like this helps add to the customizability and depth of the characters. Magic users and ki users characters are even more involved. Overall, Anima is a welcome departure from the standard 'MMO on paper' that seems to have taken over mainstream gaming. Pick it up today!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Anima Beyond Fantasy: Core Rulebook
Publisher: Fantasy Flight Games
by James b. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 08/23/2010 14:56:21
WOW! I curse myself for not getting this sooner then I did. Amazing in almost every aspect, definitely something I am going to get my group to take a serious look at when it comes time for a new campaign.
From the rules, simple but can get as crunchy as ya like, to the general feel of it all, it works wonderfully. A nice break in the world that seems obsessed with the D20.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
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