Over the next few days I'm going to be breaking down each of the four core books in the Far Away Land RPG to give folks an idea of what is being offered, the type game FAL is, design goals, and that sort of thing. I have been fairly heavy in showing the art of the game and its time to get into the real meat of the project. So here goes...
Far Away Land is a quirky and lighthearted fantasy tabletop role-playing game which uses a simple d6 system. It has elements of micro and macro levels of play (this will be expanded on as the books themselves are described) as well as narrative gaming and dice rolling. It is meant to be a basic and simple introductory rpg while also allowing the use of optional and house rules to make it a bit more complex. The setting of the game is the world of Far Away Land, a unique fantasy world with its own history and cultures , some of which are familiar to fantasy and others which are unique to FAL.
Far Away Land Core Rules
FAL Core Rules is really the centerpiece of the game. It's 60 pages in length, full color, and offers all of the core rules to play FAL on the most basic level (optional rules are also included). FAL keeps things simple. Six-sided dice are used. Dice rolls are rarely double digits. Calculating rolls and opposed rolls is fast which leads to fast conflict resolution. While the rules given are specific, the game presents an openness and flexibility to allow for great deals of crunch, dice rolling, or narrative based game play (this is especially so in the Companion Rules which I'll talk about later) depending on the type of game the players and GM want. So, here is a brief breakdown of what the Core Rules has to offer...
Basic Conflict Resolution Mechanic
The basic mechanic of FAL is a simple d6 system where players roll the specified amount of dice and take the high roll. The high roll is then compared with a target number or an opposed roll. Bonuses and Penalties modify the number of dice rolled. Rolling a six (or multiple sixes) activates a bonus which can stack and give players higher scores (like 7,8,9,10, etc.).
Character creation is fast and easy. Starting PCs can easily fit on an index card. PCs have three base stats. PCs also have boons and flaws which can be modified as the game is played. Character creation is open and characters are defined not only by their stats and descriptors, but by the way they behave in game over a period of time.
FAL Core Rules gives a bunch of options as to how XP is gained for everything from role-playing and reaching goals to general awesomeness and hilarity. Gaining XP allows PCs to purchase specific upgrades such as a raising a Boon or fixing a Flaw.
There are rules for magic along with an extensive list of spells (around 100). Each spell has a one or two sentence to describe it along with some basic information as to the spells effects. Most spells provide only a brief summary of the spell allowing the players and GMs to modify and interpret spell effects to their liking or game play style.
There are the core combat rules as well as optional combat rules which allow players and GMs to create the level of crunch they want in their game. Combat is active for both attackers and defenders. Margins of Success influence damage. Combat is generally fast and brutal. PCs can stave off death by taking a Battle Scar which leaves them with a physical reminder of the time when they were nearly done in.
Gear and Equipment
Armor and weapons are simplified in FAL, broken down into categories to make them easy to use and light on bookkeeping.
FAL offers a short section on crafting items with information on everything from materials, to difficulty, to rush jobs, etc.. Again, everything is simplified and placed into categories to streamline and keep bookkeeping to a minimum. Crafting covers everything from normal items and weapons to potions to magic stuff.
The FAL Core Rules feature an extensive section on NPCs and their use in game as well as their creation (which is just like making a PC). NPC goals, emotions, and strengths are covered. There is also a list of standard fantasy NPC templates.
The Abilities section of the Core Rules breaks down all sorts of abilities from Shape Shifting to Piercing Scream to Rotting Touch. Abilities are set up in a way similar to spells. Abilities were included to allow GMs and players a basis on which to create their own abilities and powers by providing a similar ability as a guide. With the Abilities listed players can make any type of character they want, whether its a super powered type character, a psionic brain melting monster, or an undead, flesh eating abomination.
If you read this far, thank you. Come back and read next time when I talk about the Creatures Vol. I book.
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