Friday, December 18, 2009

Freeport & Fantasy Craft: A Match Well Made?

My gaming group has a mild affection* for Call of Cthulhu. They also have enjoyed my Spycraft games in the past.

As for me, I'm I historically long-time fantasy GM, having long run D&D. However, it has been some time since I have run D&D and I am getting a fantasy itch again.

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition is right out. My group has almost zero interest in it, and I have less, for reasons I won't re-hash again in this particular blog.

I had been toying with both Pathfinder and Fantasy Craft for some time, having run well-received one-offs and game day events of each. I'm finding that Pathfinder scratches my itch for dungeon crawling, defeating evil, and taking its stuff. But Fantasy Craft seems more suitable to the sort of more nuanced campaign with secret plots and power plays I liked to run but D&D's assumed character types and combat focus never quite accommodated.

Some of my group are really not that fond of dungeon crawl play and are burnt out from our last bout of it. That being the case, and still having that fantasy itch, I decided that I'd try to sell my group on Fantasy Craft. Much like its parent system Spycraft 2.0, Fantasy Craft recognizes play based on skills and interaction as just as valid a central driving mechanism for a game as combat, and provides more detailed handling of skills. (Fantasy Craft skill rules are not quite as rich as those of Spycraft 2.0, but if the need arises there is enough portability between the systems that I can borrow Spycraft 2.0 features with relative ease.)

And what to run to accommodate this sort of play? Once upon a time, I would stitch together my own setting, power groups, detailed NPCs, and nefarious plots. But these days, I'm a bit too busy to do that all on my own. It only makes sense to dip into my considerable collection of gaming products to help me out here.

Freeport seems a natural for what I need here: city-based with many detailed NPCs, and a touch of the Lovecraftian Horror my players love, and enough fantasy to it that it will scratch my Fantasy itch.

This has been something I've wanted to try for a while, but finally got off the ground with the few extra days off around the holidays. If Fantasy Craft and/or Freeport interests you, stick a round for a bit; I'll be posting a few posts examining my play experience using Fantasy Craft for Freeport.

* - An understatement, really.

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