- From levels 2 through 10 you gain Constitution + 1d6 Health (Minimum 1).
- From levels 11 through 20 you gain your Constitution in Health (Minimum 1).
- On even-numbered levels you gain Advancements to apply to your class's primary Abilities.
- On odd-numbered levels you gain Advancements to apply to your class's secondary Abilities.
- On even-numbered levels you gain a Focus for one of your primary abilities.
- On odd-numbered levels you gain a Focus for one of your secondary abilties.
- Starting at level 11 you gain the ability to improve existing Focuses to provide +3.
- Each class provides improvements based on a scheduled rate, often allowing for new Talent training.
- Upgrading to anywhere from -1 to 5 costs 1 Advancement
- Upgrading to anywhere from 6 to 8 costs 2 Advancements
- Upgrading to anywhere from 9 to 12 costs 3 Advancements
- It does not seem possible to upgrade past 12.
The campaign starts in media res with a fortress under siege from an invading force. The characters include a newly ordained priest, her guardian who is a church official, the friar who taught her, and a ranger from the garrison. They face several waves of invading warriors before clearing the fight and being sent over the walls to track where the invaders came from.
Flashback to Kallistas's ordination ceremony as a Priest of the Wooded Eaves. She has to go through a rehearsal and some hostility from her peers and teachers who didn't like the acceptance of someone of tainted blood like her. What's next, a demon blooded? At the end of the session, after her graduation, the murdered body of one of the priests is discovered and the party investigates.
The investigation from the previous session leads onward toward a potential witness. This presents some interesting information and then suddenly bizarre creatures appear trying to murder the witness. The creatures are defeated but this leads straight to a new combat scene as they try to get the witness to safety and the judges where they can provide proof as to the murderer and their intentions.
Rogue Level 2 - Stunt Bonus: You become more adept at finding the weak points in armor, you can perform the Pierce Armor stunt for 1 SP instead of 2.
+1 Communication, Dexterity Focus (Acrobatics), +8 Health (38)
With the name of the noble who hired the assassin necromancer uncovered, the party is sent to apprehend the mastermind. They have to fight through some of his guards but he escapes through a passage somewhere. Finding the passage leads to a trapped section before finally they are able to get clear and catch up to the noble, taking him prisoner.
A trial begins and it is quite easy to prove the noble as a traitor to the land, but then soldiers appear via magic to rescue him from the grasp of the land. The characters have to try to fight their way past the soldiers and protect the civilians and officials of the land while the noble gets further and further away from them.
Rogue Level 3 - Novice Archery Style Talent
+1 Willpower, Willpower Focus (Faith), +4 Health (42)
Examining the trace of the portal that was used to teleport the noble away, the characters are able to prove that he has vanished into the heart of another nation and must appeal to the ambassador of that nation for permission to enter and search. Unfortunately, they are a xenophobic nation to some degree and especially disdainful for people of such blood as the orc and the gorgon. Eventually they manage grudging permission to at least present their case. Traveling there, they are attacked by monstrous wolves but it is unconnected and they have a mildly problematic encounter with the night guard to get themselves admitted in past the closing of the gates.
A mugger tries to shake down the group and fails miserably. In the confusion, their permits to cross into the other nation to present their case are missing. Tracing the scene, they track down the mugger's pickpocket partner and stumble into him along with the gang of thugs. This is a terribly difficult fight with surprisingly effective bandits and then ending with thumping the pickpocket unconscious.
They face more trouble as they go deeper into the other nation, finding people who just look for reasons to be antagonistic. They're involved in such a conflict when the party notices signs that something is wrong and uncover evidence of an attempted assassination. They manage to stop the assassin from killing the official but find that there are more attackers on the way since the first failed.
Rogue Level 4 - Novice Arcane Dabbler Specialization, One Novice Spell: Spell Ward
Magic Points = Willpower x5 + Intelligence, +1 Accuracy, Communication focus (Persuasion)
+7 Health (49)
The second wave of combat is defeated followed by an argument with the targeted official and then preventing the incoming guards from mistaking the party as the attackers. As things are settled down, and even more dangerous group of monsters and assailants strikes at the characters revealing that the fortress is under attack and catching up to the beginning of the campaign.
Skipping ahead to the end of Session 1, the players fight another group of soldiers and manager to catch one of them prisoner and interrogate him. This leads to a quick assault and intimidation of more of the attacking troops, taking the pressure off of the fortress.
Rogue Level 5 - Journeyman Archery Talent, Take Aim - Aim action now gives a +2 bonus.
+1 Constitution, Fighting Focus (Light Blades), +6 Health (55)
With the bulk of the assault stopped, the characters seek out and eventually track down the enemy camp, sneaking their way in and sabotaging the enemy forces. They are spotted on the way out and have to fight their way clear as their tricks, traps, and started fires bear fruit behind them.
The party convinces the official to send someone with them when they present their case and it is agreed. They then have to travel through severe weather and harsh terrain to beat the moving enemy forces to the nearby city and warn them in time.
Rogue Level 6 - Journeyman Arcane Dabbler Specialization, One Novice Arcana: Antidote,
Reduce strain of casting in Armor by 3. Stunt Bonus: That Makes Me Wonder exploration stunt can be performed for 2 SPs instead of 3.
+1 Dexterity, Communication Focus (Negotiation), +4 Health (59)
The characters are able to ambush and eliminate a unit of enemy scouts as they come into the city and then are presented with talking their way into an emergency meeting with the governors of the city, explaining the danger, and giving the governors advice on the monsters that they will be facing.
The first assault by the enemy comes and is turned back. The players have an easy time but other places the walls take serious damage and the players have to help rally the foreign soldiers and citizens who really don't want them there. Watching in the distance, they are able to spot an attempted trick by the enemy and, with great effort, repel the potentially terrible assault.
Several waves of combat by monster and warrior push against the city and the party once again makes an attempt to find the author of all this chaos. They are able to track down to the enemy base camp and discover the noble they captured way at the start acting as one of the generals of the enemy armies.
Blame is cast at the party indicating suspicion that this has been the doing of their land the entire time and the traitor noble is just a ruse. The party offers to bring the noble captive to the city as proof of their good faith. They are able to get to his tent easily and defeat the guards quietly without alerting the rest of the enemy forces. Then they have barely a confrontation with the noble himself before capturing him.
Rogue Level 7 - Journeyman Contacts Talent, Stunning Blow
+1 Willpower, Intelligence focus (Military Lore), +4 Health (63)
They have to argue their case with the evil noble undercutting their every effort, followed by a return of the magical warriors that rescued the noble before. This time, the players are ready for it and are able to defeat and recapture him easily. He taunts them with goings on back in their home before one of the local knights beheads the man. This forces them to investigate his belongings they took for any sign of what he was talking about and getting into an argument with their guests.
The last remnants of the invading army are shoved aside, but it is clear the horde has only been dulled, not defeated. The magical and martial forces of the enemy vanish in a bewildering manner using a mix of unsummoning monsters, portal magic, and simple stealth. Discussions are made deciding what to do and eventually the players decide to return to their homeland to see the state of things there, possibly arranging an alliance with their neighbor against this new threat.
Kallistas, Priest of the Wooded Eaves - Level 7
Elf-Blooded Gorgon Rogue Priest
Stunt Bonus: Pierce Armor (1)
Stunt Bonus: That Makes Me Wonder (2)
Journeyman Archery Style
Journeyman Arcane Dabbler
- Spell Ward - Novice Protection Arcana Spell
- Antidote - Novice Healing Arcana Spell
Fantasy Age behaves like most level and class based advancement methods. The three classes do start out feeling rather limited, but a quick look shows that they were very flexibly designed. The ability to increase stats and add a focus every level allows characters to spread out from the basic design of the class quite quickly. Warrior can be the heavy armored warrior or stay in heavy armor and remain a bit nimble. There are some things, ranged weapons are almost entirely the province of the rogue. The ranger I made in her traveling companions suffered for my choice to make him a Warrior, as an example.
Most of the Talents, however, are available to every class though the Specializations are often tied to specific classes (The Companion has a lot of Specializations that are available to all three classes while the Core book Specializations each apply to a single class). However, if you can't find a specialization you're interested in and have no interest in creating your own, you are allowed to take a normal Talent in its place. Every character will have up to two Specializations taken to Master rank by level 20, but the number of Talents they have will depend heavily on whether they spread out their capabilities or focus on improving abilities that they already have.
It's not exceptionally unique as character creation goes, but it is extremely flexible within its genre and is just an extremely solid system. I could get into the discussion of the Stunts and such, which is where the game has introduced some elements heavily unique to itself, but that does get into gameplay, so I'll hold off on that.