Legends of Anglerre

Legends of Anglerre
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Then there are stunts, which are kind of similar to what feats would be like in D they are special abilities or maneuvers you can undertake only if you've purchased the relevant stunt. Stunts are generally tied to a specific skill.

Stunts can range in effect from giving you a fixed bonus to a specific element of a skill, or to letting you use the skill in some situation you normally couldn't like say, a sneak attack stunt that lets you use your sneak roll as your attack roll when you take someone by surprise , or to give you some greater bonus or letting you use some special power if you spend a fate point. Ah yes, Fate points. The system is named after these things. They are basically like hero points, or determination points, or conviction points, etc.

You can alternately spend a fate point and invoke an aspect in order to get a reroll of a roll that went poorly. You can also spend a Fate Point to "tag" an aspect of another character, or the environment, either to assist a companion, give you an edge on an enemy's known weakness, or to use some "aspect" in the environment for example, a tannery might have a "horrible stench" aspect, or a tavern might have a "slippery patch of floor" aspect.

Finally, and here's where it gets tricky, in the FATE system you can theoretically use a Fate Point to make a "narrative declaration", inventing some element of your environment out of nothing. This is an element of the FATE system having been originally influenced in its creation by Forge-style story-Swine, and in some games that use the FATE system, this element is very strongly emphasized, essentially turning the game into a kind of "storygame".

In Starblazer and Anglerre alike, this element of Fate Points is still present but hardly emphasized at all. In Anglerre it is clearly stated that the GM has a veto over the use of Fate Points in this way, no big emphasis is placed on this rule, and it ends up being all but an optional rule. Obviously, in my own Starblazer campaign I have forbidden this use of Fate Points altogether, and it in no way affects the game.

Fate Points have a "refresh" score, that is the number of Fate points you begin each session with, or are restored to if you have less than that number if you somehow have more than that number, you're allowed to keep the extra points. Aside from that, you can gain Fate points in the course of the game session itself if the GM chooses to give you some as an award for some particularly clever gaming; or through "Compels".

The GM can "Compel" any of your aspects but particularly the negative ones , essentially presenting you with an ultimatum: accept his "compel" and you have a certain penalty or must do certain things because of your persona. If you accept the compel, you gain a Fate Point. On the other hand, if you wish to reject the "compel", you must spend a Fate Point.

The "health" mechanic is measured by two types of damage tracks: physical and composure stress. Physical stress is damage taken from injury; composure damage is damage taken from mental strain which can be used to reflect things like psychic attacks, or fear, or even social conflict if you're into that kind of stuff. By default, you start with five points of each, but you can get more in either if you take certain skills or stunts. If you should take damage that would fill your entire "stress track"; you would be "taken out" what that means depends on the way you've been "taken out"; being taken out from sword blows would probably mean you're dead; being "taken out" from a terror effect would probably mean you're a wet-trousered babbling catatonic wreck.

Whenever you take damage, you can opt to redirect some of your damage away from the stress track and into the form of "consequences", which represent injuries again, physical, or mental. Thus if you take a consequence you can keep fighting, but these injuries create penalties for you. You can take a minor, major, severe and extreme consequence. They represent penalties of -2, -4, -6, and -8 respectively.

Once you've taken all the possible consequences, any further injuries will leave you no choice than to be "taken out" though in some cases you may prefer to be "taken out" before you've taken your fill of consequences, if you think the result of being "taken out" won't be particularly awful for you; because consequences generally take longer to heal then regular stress track damage. All maneuvers, actions, and combat are based on the same mechanic. Roll the D6-D6 resolution, add your bonuses, and compare that to either a difficulty or an opposed roll. If you get the higher result, you "succeed".

A result of 3 points higher than the difficulty is called a Shift. Generally, each shift represents some additional benefit to your success. In combat, the difference between your attack and your opponent's defense is generally the basic damage dealt modified by the damage bonus of any weapon you may be using.

Character creation rules in Anglerre let you create characters at different levels of power: good characters meant to be relatively inexperienced or gritty , great characters meant to be experienced professionals , and superb characters who are already likely to be quite famous or powerful from the get-go. Anglerre presents a step-by-step descriptive system of designing a character, or alternately a set of random lifepath tables. Frequent readers need not be told which of the two I prefer being quite the fan of random character creation. The lifepath system of character creation was present in Starblazer as well but here it is far more fleshed-out and complete.

So on the whole, that's a big improvement. Another interesting change is the introduction of the idea of "future aspects". Future aspects represent not what the character already is, but what they are seeking to achieve. In a way, this isn't so much an innovation as the clarification of something I think many people were doing; I know for example that in my own Starblazer game some characters had goals in the place of aspects "seeking to find the Earth", for example.

But its good to quantify this and clarify that its a permissible way of expressing an aspect. Legends of Anglerre includes rules for non-human races, of course, in a much more central way than the loose building rules of Starblazer. You get basic builds for Elves, Dwarves, "little people" meant to be halflings of course, not midgets ; and dragons, centaurs, and fauns are written up as examples of "unusual races".

Guidelines are provided for creating your own races, and of course the choice of which races are permissible is up to the GM depending on the type of campaign he's running most Sword-and-sorcery games tend to be humanocentric, if not human-exclusive. Builds are also provided for sample "occupations", detailing which would be the key skills, typical stunts, equipment, and aspects for each occupation.

Sample occupations include fighters like the "sword and shield fighter", the "large weapon warrior", the swashbuckler, the archer, the phalanx fighter, barbarian warrior, or martial artist. Magic user builds include wizard, summoner, necromancer, alchemist, elementalist; or Priests like the cleric, druid or holy warrior.

Rogues include builds like the thief, ranger, pirate, explorer, scavenger, or bard. Professionals also have builds, like the artificer, merchant, diplomat, or noble.

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Each of the broad types, and some of the specific occupations, have examples of specific stunts that they could take. Essentially, the toolkit nature is emphasized here; you can create your own occupations for your game, or not use occupations at all.

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The chapter on Equipment is pretty complete; and fairly typical for the most part. Armor gives you penalties to magic skills or some physical activities, but can absorb their own consequences giving you some extra buffering in combat.

Magical armour can reduce the penalty of the armour or increase the number of consequences it can take. Weapons provide a bonus to damage, and some have specific qualities usually aspects you can invoke. The weapons section includes black powder weapons and explosives, in case you want to use those in your campaign. The chapter on "skills and stunts" covers nearly 60 pages of the book, but here it also represents a significant practicality improvement over the Starblazer book; in the latter the skills chapter and the stunts chapter were two different sections, requiring in actual play that a GM often have to page through the book to see what you can do with a skill in general, or a stunt related to that skill in particular.

Here, the description of the skill and its basic uses are in the same section as the special stunts related to that skill, which is really just common sense. The chapter on "Powers" is next, and it details both special abilities and magic. Special abilities are basically taken in the form of stunts, usually requiring an explanation for how one might have these abilities, and usually an aspect to cover this explanation.

For example, a character who has "Trained with the Elven seers" as an aspect might then get the "astral sight" stunt. Magic, on the other hand, requires that one take special "power skills". There is a list of key power skills, which are meant to cover the typical magic spectrum some examples include Alchemy, Elements, Warding, Life, Divination, or Telekinesis; there are 18 core power skills in all.

Thus, the system theoretically allows you to create characters who are everything from dabblers to guys totally dedicated to magic, depending on what restrictions the GM wants to put on the purchasing of magic. Like any other skill, a magical power skill will have certain basic "trappings" ie. So with the "Domination" power skill, for example, you have the basic trapping uses of hypnosis, charm, read mind, change emotion, bewilder, speak to mind, and mind shield.

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There is a brief bit before we get to the stat blocks about how to balance an encounter; this can be tricky in games like Fate because you don't have the easy balancing tools like "levels" or pre-defined abilities to work from. After this chapter, there's just a section with all the tables from the book, then the character sheets, and that's it. You can easily create and define anything from a bustling city — to a secret organization — to an elite unit of spearmen, using the same basic system as used in character creation. Elites are used to either face off against Superb characters, or as "boss fights" with lesser PCs with a minion group or two added on to taste. Publisher: Cubicle 7 Entertainment Ltd.

Like most other stunts, many of the more powerful stunts for the skill have weaker stunts as their pre-requisite. Magic can be further defined for the specific campaign world by imposing particular rules on how powers operate. The rules provide a variety of possible rules for power use how long it takes to cast a spell or what it requires, for example and for possible power limitations.

For example, you can define that in your game world, magic has potential backlash, meaning that you take the difference from failed magic skill checks in composure damage; or you can require memorization, meaning that spells must be memorized previously to use. Or you can put restrictions on powers that make the wearing or wielding of metal impossible for magic users of certain types or of all types.

This evening: Legends of Anglerre

Basically, the system provides the guidelines for making magic as easy or as hard as you might like, depending on whether you impose no restrictions, or a few, or a lot. The following, somewhat related chapter is on the subject of devices, artifacts, and magical items. Rules are provided for creating non-magical devices that improve on standard quality items, as well as traps, magic items, magical allies, bound creatures, and magical items. Since certain skills or power skills relate to the creation of items and magic items, there is the risk that a savvy manipulator of these rules could end up becoming an item-factory, overpowering the game.

To create an item you need to roll your artificer skill versus the "cost value" of the object, and have tools of a level of value equal to the item you are trying to create.

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Items or their component parts can be restricted by rarity or even by law, making the process more difficult. The time it takes to build an item is also based on its cost, though you can take more time to make it in order to get a bonus to your construction check, or take less time in exchange for a penalty. Making magic items is essentially a similar process but requires the appropriate magical skills.

The system is created to try to make some kind of balance, but it is all very dependent on either the strictness of the GM or the goodwill of the player. Item creation rules are always a minefield. A list of sample magic items are provided at the end of this chapter. Ditto for the Creatures chapter, which gives you guidelines for creating your own fantasy creatures.

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This chapter includes the great "Argh! Also online magazine publisher and writer. I do lead a busy life! You must be logged in to post a comment. Previous Supernatural : Guide to the Hunted. Next RuneQuest: Cults of Glorantha. About The Author. Paco G. Jaen Born in Spain with a talent for dyslexia, I am gamer, player, graphic designer, photographer and psycotherapist.

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