Monday, April 11, 2016

Classic Fantasy for Mythras (the game system formerly known as RQ6) is in the wild - first impressions review

It's still in pre-order status, but you can get the PDF for free and then the book ships around June 1st. I've pre-ordered by copy, and am now hopeful based on the contents that Classic Fantasy will work for my own dark purposes....especially now that it looks like Magic World won't ever see it's other supplements come to fruition! You can pre-order the book and PDF here (PDF downloads immediately).

Here's the final cover:


Classic Fantasy provides a sort of skeleton on which you can drape the Mythras system in the veneer of classic D&D-style dungeon delving (and other assorted adventuring). That means it's the usual BRP-style system, but it gives you all the plug-ins needed to keep the game focused on a certain style. But because it is actually Mythras (RQ6) you get a much more involved and interesting take on that D&D experience. I'm already kinda sold on seeing if I can get my group to dive in to it, ASAP.

Here's what it contains:

Character Races: the usual littany (human, elf, half elf, gnome, halfing, dwarf, half-orc)

Classes (framed as professions with more stuff): bard, cavalier, cleric, druid, fighter, magic user, monk, paladin, ranger, thief, thief-acrobat, berserker.

Combat: I need to read through this section but cannot help notice that it's loaded with tactical minuatures-based combat options. Interesting....

Magic: this takes classic BRP/RQ/Mythras magic and turns it on it's head. We've now got arcane and divine magic that much more closely resembles D&D style quasi-Vancian magic in feel. There are 82 arcane spells and 77 divine spells. It looks like we get enough spells to mimic D&D up to around the 8th to 10th level of caster experience.

Monsters: there are about 80-90 odd monsters here. It's a literal "who's who" of D&D Monster Manuals, and if you combine this with the RQ6/Mythras core, maybe add Monster Island, you'll have pretty much every possible beast covered. CF does not duplicate any monsters from the core rules, unless the D&D version requires a new entry to handle its variant style. I'm really quite impressed....this is a major hurtle for many GMs who (like me) might want to pull a setting in to Runequest but have to do some footwork to add in beasts introduced from D&D campaigns. Now the work is all done....need some dark elves, lizard men, liches, stirges, bugbears or classic D&D trolls in your Mythras game? Here they are.

Treasure: this section is loaded with D&D-esque treasure, includes treasure tables, and is pretty much going to feel very comfortable to D&D fans. Those who like RQ6, Magic World and other systems but wished the design supported more treasure will be pleased as well...although how well the system works if pulled from it's proper place "in situ" remains to be seen.

Other stuff:

Passions: this is basically an alignment system for Classic Fantasy.

The Planes: there's a whole disucssion of this after treasure. It also talks deities a bit, and identifies the deities of "Greymoor" which is presumably totally "not quite Greyhawk and not quite Blackmoor, but the result of what happened after Mordenkainen's time-space accident." (that's just my take)

Wandering Encounters: there's some decent charts in the back of the book.

Indexed: it looks decently indexed to me in the PDF, which matters to a lot of people.

.....Okay so my initial impression is that this is the proper answer to people who really like the D&D style and feel of gaming, but maybe aren't so thrilled with specific aspects of D&D, and much prefer the more realistic skill system, combat, hit mechanics and injury rules of Runequest/BRP. This product is dramatically better than the Classic Fantasy Monograph which was released many years ago for BRP.....don't even bother thinking about that book in comparison to this one; this new edition is complete, very tightly designed, and incredibly efficient at what it is designed to do.

It also looks like it was carefully designed with the idea that you could grab any classic 1E AD&D module and run it with this system with minimal or zero conversion.

I'll probably talk more soon and may try to set up a scenario or two with it for the blog. Probably, almost certainly, going to try and run this with the regular group ASAP. It does such a good job at blending the feel of D&D with the style of Runequest that I am simply blown away at the fact that the new Classic Fantasy pulled it off.

I'm thinking maybe my Altavir setting I keep trying to start off the ground might find a good home with Mythras's Classic Fantasy. Hmmmm.








19 comments:

  1. I'm glad you addressed the old Classic Fantasy Monograph. I believe I paid about $20 for that and was...less than disappointed. While I know The Design Mechanism is far above that, paying that much again, has me thinking hard on it.

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    1. I know how you feel....I had the disappointment of the old one very much in mind going in to this, but my fears were completely assuaged...the new CF is amazingly good.

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  2. Many thanks for the overview Nick - much appreciated.

    Mark, there is a free preview you can download from DTRPG that gives you an insight into the contents. Hopefully that will assuage any concerns.

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    1. No problem! Already hoping a sequel is in the works....

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    2. Thanks for the review Nick. It was a long time in production, but I believe the extra time has really paid off. Yes, another book is in the works, but there are a few other things I want to do to support it first.

      Rod

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    3. I'm very eager to see what you have planned!

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  3. Darn you Nicholas, you are tempting me with yet another game/system. I may have to do some research into this one. I've never played Runequest.

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    1. It's a great system, blending hard fantasy with a realistic set of mechanics that aren't too hard to figure out.....but I suggest two things: 1: first time you run combat will always be awkward (second time you run it will be amazing). 2: wait for the Mythras version, which should be out soon with the new name. I think (hope) they will fix the font, which I --and others!-- have long despised. The bad font is gone in Classic Fantasy, speaking of which....small miracles!

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    2. You mean you didn't like the ligatures? Ah, well...

      Yes, by popular demand, we've removed them, and Mythras will be in a similar, ligature-free font (Baskerville, same as Classic Fantasy) when released.

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    3. Ligatures! Yes, now I have a name for my visual foe. Honestly, for a while I thought I had some issue (probably still do!) in which hitting the ligatures as they looped letters together gave me the same mental "pause" that running across a printing error or an especially bad typo would....it is, in all honestly, most of the reason I haven't done much with RQ6 (which is crazy, I concede). So yep, I'll be buying Mythras for certain when it goes to print.

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  4. I believe CF doesn't only add "dungeon delve" gaming to RQ6/Mythras; it also adds mediaeval weapons, armour, etc. to a ruleset that is basically rooted in the Bronze Age.

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    1. RQ isn't strictly a bronze age game, but it is designed to support such easily. You can actually run RQ6/Mythras right now from prehistoric settings right on up to modern day (Luther Arkwright, for example). So it's prepped for many eras of gaming.

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  5. HI
    I was part of the play test and you will find a campaign story of the test here
    https://chrisbrann.wordpress.com/role-playing-games/rq-classic-fantasy/
    Yes a few things have changed over the test and since we finsihed it but it might be helpful for some.

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    1. Thanks for the link! Will check it out tonight.

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  6. HI
    I was part of the play test and you will find a campaign story of the test here
    https://chrisbrann.wordpress.com/role-playing-games/rq-classic-fantasy/
    Yes a few things have changed over the test and since we finsihed it but it might be helpful for some.

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  7. Two questions if you please:

    1) Would it work with ADnD 2nd
    2) I can I use Legend off the bat with it (as I own many books for it) instead of getting Runequest 6?

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    1. on 1. you could convert scenarios with this easily enough.

      On 2. absolutely, Legend is pretty well compatible with minimal effort.

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    2. Cheers!

      Any tips for the conversion?

      Keep up the good work!

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    3. Somewhere on my blog is a BRP/D20 conversion for stat blocks....I'll try to find and update it....

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