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Adventure Companion
 
$24.99 $14.99
Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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Adventure Companion
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Adventure Companion
Publisher: Crafty Games
by Jay S. A. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 07/06/2011 07:14:38
The Fantasy Craft Adventure Companion is one of those rpg supplements that really *does* have something for everyone. The three Campaign Settings included in the book are all interesting and evocative, and cover a wide range of interests, whether or not your group prefers Sword & Sorcery, backstabbing politics or high adventure. Even if you don’t particularly like any of the three options, the fact that the book goes one step further and pops open the hood to let you see how all three of them tick using the Fantasy Craft system is still worth having. Furthermore, fans of the Fantasy Craft system will enjoy the plethora of options offered, improving the flexibility inherent in the corebook. Players and GMs alike will likely find something that they can use.

If I do have any sort of criticism towards this product, I’d say that I wish they could have expanded the settings a little further. Maybe there’s a future for all three of these settings as their own stand-alone products, but as they are, they feel like they’ve been cut down to fit the pagecount. There’s a lot of potential to these settings, and I hope that Crafty-Games decides to spin any of these off to their own setting books.

Another point would be the fact that there were no rules on making your own Specialties or Human Talents. While I believe there are guidelines for these on the wiki of Crafty-Games, having an “official” DIY would have been great.

Overall, I believe that the Fantasy Craft Adventure Companion is a must-have. It expands the Fantasy Craft core rules, gives three distinct and well-done Campaign settings that can serve as examples or be used for play, and contains nearly all the new classes from Call to Arms. If you were to buy only one supplement for Fantasy Craft, then I would strongly encourage you pick the Adventure Companion up.

---

This is an excerpt from the last part of my detailed review. To see a breakdown of each of the chapters, please visit:

Chapter 1
http://philgamer.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/fantasy-craft--
adventure-companion-review-part-1-cloak-dagger/

Chapter 2
http://philgamer.wordpress.com/2010/11/23/fantasy-craft--
adventure-companion-review-part-2-epoch/

Chapter 3
http://philgamer.wordpress.com/2010/11/24/fantasy-craft--
adventure-companion-review-part-3-sunchaser/

Chapter 4
http://philgamer.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/fantasy-craft--
adventure-companion-review-part-4-a-heros-journey/

Conclusion
http://philgamer.wordpress.com/2010/11/26/fantasy-craft--
adventure-companion-review-part-5-conclusion/

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Companion
Publisher: Crafty Games
by Nicolas F. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/27/2011 07:35:19
The Adventure Companion is a great book, with a lot of new interesting settings and even a dense chapter of new rules for crunch addicts. The only remark I could make is that the book could definitely benefit for a few more pages! But hey, the quality/price ratio is still very, very high. Let's make a quick overview.

Cloak & Dagger, as expected, is a blast. The authors have put all the experience and knowledge they had from modern tradecraft (from Spycraft) into a Rome-like fantasy setting. The era, the geopolitical situation (the brink of the collapse of the empire actually), the conflicting nations very "7th Sea" in the spirit, the threats all over the place, the real-world similarities, all this contribute to make it a very convincing setting with a immense potential. Just reading it, you have tons of adventure seeds that come instantly to your mind. Plus it's a real pleasure to play a fantasy game with only humans, for a change! As a side note, this is the setting that would benefit the most from a few dedicated adventures.

Epoch, I wasn't expecting all that much. Sword & sorcery, dinosaurs, mad sorcerers, that's just something Conan does very well, dinosaurs aside. Well, Epoch is just completely different and it was THE good surprise - no sorry, EXCELLENT surprise - of this book. Take a few aspects of Conan, the most barbaric ones (Picts, Stygia, etc.), mix this with an Apocalypto feel, add a little northern Amerindian folklore on top of it and you have a better idea. The ancient tribes (humans and a few fantasy races) are on the brink of extinction since the invasion of eastern conquerors who wield magic and make pacts with demons. These conquerors are just too much like our "civilized" ancestors who wiped entire civilizations out. This time, you're on the other side. What would you do to protect your life, your family, your entire nation from extinction? Coming back to Conan, it would be a little like if you were playing a Pict, and Conan and his troops where marching toward the last Pict village still alive ...

Sunchaser is a little bit more classic in its form, but still quite entertaining. This high fantasy settings is all about playing glorious adventurers wandering four kingdoms the free races have created after they escaped the dominating grasp of The Crone (and evil subterranean race ruled by an even more evil queen). Starting small, your deeds will soon lead you to accomplish epic quests and maybe even protect the four kingdoms from the long feared return of The Crone. This setting is well written and simple enough not to suffer from the lack of more pages. It is perfect for a simple, one-shot adventure.

The final chapter is dedicated to game mechanics. There are two excellent new base classes: the Martial Artist which is of course all about combat; and the Emissary which is the investigator/spy of Fantasy Craft. The expert classes coming after that are quite interesting as well, as are the first master classes finally published. Special note for the Regent, a wonderful way to become a true power player, in the political sense. There are also a lot of new, excellent feats, and a frightening host of Species feats particularly. Don't be afraid like I was at first! These feats are there to let you emulate nearly any fantasy specie ever devised: With Bear Nation, you can make Nyss elves, with Desert Clutch and Dragon-Tailed, you can make nagas, with Orc Blood, you can make half-orcs! The options are almost limitless. After that, a little bit too much new Advanced Actions, a few nice Campaign Qualities, and you're done.

All in all, it is an excellent book. I repeat, while it could have benefited from a few more pages, particularly for Cloak & Dagger and Epoch, it is still an excellent work for the price. All settings are well written, nicely described, and probably fun to play. The rules chapter is worthy, balanced, and completes well the existing Fantasy Craft mechanics. A must have.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Companion
Publisher: Crafty Games
by David R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/26/2010 14:08:06
The book itself is well written and lives up to what i have come to except from Crafty Games. My biggest issue is that they reprinted all of the previously released classes. I don't mind making that avaliable for people who didn't buy them, but a heads up would be nice, maybe even a small price break for those of us who bought them all.

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Companion
Publisher: Crafty Games
by Critical H. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/13/2010 20:46:50
The Fantasy Craft Adventure Companion presents three unique and well-conceived settings with a scattering of crunchy rules. The settings each expertly evoke a different genre, but herein lies the problem: at best only slight more than 1/3 of the book will be useful to most GMs. The crunch chapter is short and sweet, but only the most ardent gamers will make use of all three settings within one book.

Good

Cloak & Dagger: This setting imagines an empire modeled after an alliance of some of the greatest classical Western civilizations complete with decadence, ancient threats, and corruption. PCs tend to take roles as the brave souls that travel between the different camps of the fractured empire currying information and doing grisly work. For me, this is the setting that I loved.

Rules: Includes new classes, feats, master classes, and interesting tidbits. These can be incorporated whole-hog into an existing game or cherry picked for a supported setting, or your own custom setting. I thought they had a lot of interesting ideas and cool concepts.

Fight Against the Fantasy Rut: The system purposefully distances itself from the D&D model. Say what you will, but D&D feels like a tactical combat game that has non-combat adjudications available. FantasyCraft actively encourages characters to take a rich set of abilities aimed at overcoming obstacles and conflicts.

Bad

Multiple Settings: I struggled about how to cope with this issue in my review. I felt “bad” for not being terribly interested in the well thought out other settings: Sunchaser, a high adventure campaign focused on good/evil and Epoch which is a more primal (no D&D power source baggage intended) and savage setting. The more I think about it though, the more I think this is an inherent flaw in the book. With the depth and history presented its inevitable each reader will gravitate towards one offering and away from another. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with the other work, it’s just that I could not get drawn in after I realized that Cloak & Dagger held the most interest.

Ugly

Master Classes: When the system debuted, I griped about the existence of master classes but their noticeable lack of inclusion in the basic game. People more knowledgeable than me have argued that breaking a game up between tiers can be a good way to refine game play and conceptualize a product. However, having only a few master classes to choose from without truly focusing on it seems like a disappointing half-measure.

Final Verdict: B. FantasyCraft is still an amazing system. For anyone currently running the game this purchase is a no-brainer. However, the fact that the book, as a whole, is hard to find a use for keeps it from being an A.

(originally published at http://roll.critical-hits.com/2010/11/13/fantasy-craft-adven-
ture-companion-review/)

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Adventure Companion
Publisher: Crafty Games
by Michael W. [Featured Reviewer]
Date Added: 11/09/2010 23:39:42
Please note that this review first appeared at my blog Stargazer's World (http://www.stargazersworld.com).

When you have read my blog for quite a while you probably noticed that I have a soft spot for Crafty Games‘ Fantasy Craft. But Fantasy Craft is a more complex game than the other games I usually recommend. I have to admit that Fantasy Craft’s rules complexity is sometimes just a bit outside of my usual comfort zone.

But that said I am also convinced that it’s the best game that evolved from the d20 system. The Fantasy Craft core rules open a lot of options for interesting campaigns that don’t follow the classic high fantasy model. And a lot of the concepts in Fantasy Craft is meant to make the GMs job much easier than in D&D for example.

With their latest supplement, the Adventure Companion, the good folks at Fantasy Craft show how versatile their rules system can be used. The 145-paged book which has been released a couple of days ago in PDF format, contains not just one but three unique fantasy campaigns, and a plethora of new options for your Fantasy Craft game, like new expert and master classes.

With the first campaign in the book, Cloak & Dagger, Fantasy Craft comes full circle. You probably know that the Master Craft system first appeared in Crafty Games’ spy game, Spy Craft. Now Cloak & Dagger is a fantasy campaign where the player characters are secret agents for various warring houses in an empire inspired by the classical era, basically it’s Spy Craft in ancient Rome.

If you ever wanted to play in a game freely based on ancient Rome, Cloak & Dagger will be for you. It’s also very refreshing that the book’s author, Alex Flagg, opted to make C&D a human-centric setting. I sometimes get pretty tired of standard fantasy with elves and dwarves, and the lack of non-human player races makes it easier for GMs to use the material in the book for a historical campaign set into classical Rome.
The second included setting, Epoch, reminds me more of sword & sorcery settings but with a twist. The most intriguing fact is that the setting is partly inspired by Aztec mythology instead of European one. The premise of the world of Epoch is that the free tribes of the Children of the Dawn fight the invasion of the Keepers of the Gate, who are in league with the ghula. The Keepers of the Gate bring with them civilization and magic which both taint the savage lands. The champions of the last free people stand up to fight the demonic ghula and their followers. Epoch is another great example for a non-standard fantasy setting.

The third setting included in Adventure Companion is called Sunchaser which Alex once described as Lord of the Rings on the Mississippi river. And that’s actually a pretty good description. Humans are the newcomers in the Thousand-Rivers Valley, a place thrive with adventure and home to almost all the races described in the Fantasy Craft rulebook. Among the three campaigns in the book it’s the most “classical”. If you’re looking for a high fantasy setting for Fantasy Craft with elves, dwarves, drakes, magic, feudal lords and ancient ruins to explore, then Sunchaser is definitely worth a look.
Each of the three settings contains several pages of background information, new talents, feats and other setting-specific rules, new monsters and an extensive rogue’s gallery. There are even tips for what kind of adventures you could run in these settings. It’s actually astounding to see how many content they managed to squeeze into a 145-paged book. While the three settings are not as detailed as if they released a book for each, they give GMs enough information to make the campaign world their own. I actually prefer this approach to overly-detailed settings like the Forgotten Realms, where every small hamlet had it’s own sourcebook at some point.

The last section of the book contains options for the three campaigns or basically every Fantasy Craft campaign. There are over 150 Specialities, feats, 12 new classes (including Base, Master and Expert Classes), as well as new tricks and Paths. I have to admit the number of new stuff in the last part of the book can be a bit overwhelming but if you’re a veteran Fantasy Craft player or GM you should feel quite at home.

All in all I think Crafty Games’ Adventure Companion is a great product for a reasonable price. The PDF version sets you back $14.99. The printed version will be available for only ten bucks more later this month. Even if you’re not playing Fantasy Craft right now you could probably make good use of the three campaign settings. The rules options in the back of the book can probably be used in your home brew Fantasy Craft games as well, even if you’re not that interested in the campaigns.
Please note that this review is based on a read through of the PDF version of Adventure Companion which has been provided by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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