Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Another Clone, but is this the Rosetta Stone?

There is another retro-clone game out on the market.  Fantastic Heroes & Witchery.

Now, while I enjoy clones I am not sure we need yet another one.  So I took a look at this.

FREE PDF: http://www.dcrouzet.net/temporary/Fantastic-Heroes-Witchery_screen.pdf

Print: http://www.lulu.com/shop/search.ep?type=&keyWords=dominique+crouzet&x=-1004&y=-8&sitesearch=lulu.com&q=

First it is really attractive has some great layout and some very cool old-school art.

Plus once I started reading through it I recognized the art and finally the name of the author/artist.
It was made by an old friend Dominique Crouzet.
Dom had helped me back in 2000 on the original Netbook of Witches and Warlocks.  We had also submitted a game world (Shadow Earth) together to WotC.  They went with this other world, Eberron.
(Some of what was to be Shadow Earth lived on in Eire and in Eldritch Witchery).

What I think is best about this game is in how it tries to be the middle ground between the pure old school games of Basic and 1st/2nd eds, but also the newer 3.x games and the OSR games.
Critics will say there is nothing at all new here. Sure, but that misses the point I think.

What we have here is a game framework that can either be played as a game (and it looks like it is a fun one) OR used as a Rosetta Stone when translating other game products.

Dom put a lot of work into this.  This isn't some "cheap copy and paste job on Lulu". It is a fully playable game with ideas that are very familiar and some new ones as well.

The current PDF is free and there are print versions on Lulu.
And it is pretty much 100% compatible with The Witch.  Just use the Wizard advancement table and replace "Signature Spell" with "Ritual Spell".

EDITED TO ADD: Dom actually uses The Witch as an example on page 393.  He says:

Lets take for example the witch class from The Witch by Tim Brannan (this is a PDF ebook available on rpgnow.com). In this case you could distribute its special abilities as follows: “Least, Herb Use” at 1st level; “Lesser” at 3rd level; “Minor” at 5th level; “Medial” at 7th level; “Major” at 9th level; and “Superior” at 11th level.

I completely concur!

I wish Dom nothing but the best on this!


Rachel Ghoul said...

I don't know if it's quite the Rosetta Stone, but it's doing some damned interesting things with Clerics and unconventional fantasy elements. I've certainly found things to plunder from it.

My biggest complaint is the spread-paged layout of the PDF-- I eventually had to convert it to an XPS, which is an extremely frustrating format, and it's far too large for my usual file converter to manage with.

Lee B said...

I like how this work makes many edition/universe particulars easily compatible with one another. I wonder if the free S&W complete is as exceptional.

Nathan Irving said...

I haven't studied it in this regard, but it seems like his classes and my classes become very similar in their layout of abilities and features. A bonus in my book. It's...I dunno. There's something about it I really like. Maybe the unabashed toolkit feel to it, and the fact that he wasn't afraid to pull from contemporary and classic sources.

Ynas Midgard said...

@ Rachel Ghoul
I believe the final, for-profit PDF version is going to go with single-page format, and is going to be fully indexed and bookmarked.