Thursday, December 6, 2018

Gorgon Archer - Fantasy AGE - Characte Advancement

Character Advancement in AGE is done through levels. There's two ways discussed to determine when levels are gained. The first is to apply levels based on when the characters do something significant. Such as when they've completed the current adventure, made some incredible discovery about the world, or otherwise done something in the narrative to warrant an increase in ability. The second is to use experience points. This occurs more like you would expect though the level of increase may be a bit unfamiliar to some. In most games that use experience and levels, the amount needed to get to each new level increases fairly swiftly, but in Fantasy AGE, levels 2 through 6 each require 2,000 XP to earn; levels 7 through 12 each require 3,000 XP; and all remaining levels require 4,000 XP. The level cap is 20, there appears to be nothing in place for post 20 advancement outside of roleplaying rewards and the like but that represents a quite long campaign. You cannot multiclass, but the use of Specializations and Talents can allow some drifting between the classes.


At each level some advancements are gained:
  • 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. 
As a further note, Advancements to abilities are not exactly one for one. Dependent on the new rank of the Ability you would get the cost is as follows:
  • 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.
Experience is rewarded by the Encounter with 0 XP for a routine encounter, 100 XP for Easy encounters, 250 XP for Average encounters, and 400 XP for Hard encounters. An example short session provides three encounters: in a tavern, an ambush by thugs, and convincing a militia captain not to arrest them for fighting in the streets. The book gives 650 XP for that session, noting it as one Routine, one Average, and one Hard encounter.

I am going to assume 4 encounters per session over 18 sessions. Encounter difficulty will be determined randomly (2d6: 2-3 Routine, 4-5 Easy, 6-10 Average, 11-12 Hard). I'm actually assuming a higher rate of Routine, but that on 2-3 the Routine aspects stretched on longer than usual. The nature of each encounter will also be determined randomly (1-2 Exploration, 3-4 Social, 5-6 Combat)

Starting Stats

Session 1 (1000 XP)
Average Combat
Average Combat
Average Combat
Average Exploration
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.

Session 2 (1850 XP)
Easy Social
Average Social
Average Social
Average Exploration
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.

Session 3 (2700 XP - Level 2)
Easy Social
Average Combat
Average Combat
Average  Social
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)

Session 4 (3400 XP)
Easy Combat
Easy Exploration
Average Exploration
Average Combat
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.

Session 5 (4250 XP - Level 3)
Average Social
Easy Combat
Average Combat
Average Combat
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)

Session 6 (5100 XP)
Easy Exploration
Hard Social
Average Combat
Easy Social
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.

Session 7 (5750 XP)
Routine Combat
Average Exploration
Hard Combat
Routine Combat
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.

Session 8 (6600 XP - Level 4)
Average Social
Average Social
Easy Exploration
Average Combat
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)

Session 9 (7450 XP)
Average Combat
Easy Social
Easy Social
Hard Combat
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.

Session 10 (8150 XP - Level 5)
Average Combat
Average Social
Easy Combat
Easy Social
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)

Session 11 (8950 XP)
Easy Exploration
Easy Exploration
Average Exploration
Average Combat
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.

Session 12 (10100 XP - Level 6)
Average Social
Average Exploration
Hard Exploration
Average Exploration
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)

Session 13 (10800 XP)
Easy Combat
Easy Social
Average Social
Average Social
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.

Session 14 (11950 XP)
Average Combat
Average Social
Average Exploration
Hard Combat
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.

Session 15 (12950 XP)
Average Combat
Average Combat
Average Combat
Average Exploration
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. 

Session 16 (13400 XP - Level 7)
Easy Social
Easy Social
Average Combat
Routine Combat
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)

Session 17 (14400 XP)
Average Social
Easy Combat
Hard Exploration
Average Social
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.

Session 18 (15250 XP)
Average Combat
Average Social
Easy Social
Average Exploration
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

Accuracy 3 (Bows)
Communication 3 (Leadership)
Constitution 3
Dexterity 4
Fighting 0
Intelligence 3
Perception 1 (Seeing)
Strength 1
Willpower 4

Health 63
Magic 23
Defense 14
Speed 14 yds
Armor Rating: 4 (Heavy Leather)

Weapon Groups: Brawling, Light Blades, Staves, Bows

Rogue Abilities:
Pinpoint Attack
Rogue's Armor
Stunt Bonus: Pierce Armor (1)
Stunt Bonus: That Makes Me Wonder (2)
Stunning Blow

Talents:
Journeyman Contacts
Journeyman Archery Style

Specializations:
Journeyman Arcane Dabbler
  • Spell Ward - Novice Protection Arcana Spell
  • Antidote - Novice Healing Arcana Spell
Longbow
20 Arrows
Short Sword
Light Leather Armor
Traveling Garb
Backpack
Waterskin
61 Silver

Kallistas was raised and trained by Ailine Stonered, an official of the church.
Her church and the army rangers were trained by the same archer, so she knows Donal.
Her classes in religious lore were taught by the Orcish friar, Feldra.

Further Notes


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.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Computer Games I'd like to see

I'm going to organize this by Game Genre first and then Story Genre and list some similar games and things I was dissatisfied with on th...

Popular Posts