Thursday, October 26, 2017

Set Fantasy to Low - Low Fantasy Gaming RPG


It has been a bit since I posted about RPG products but I felt that it was time.

Recently I discovered a set of rules for low fantasy gaming aptly named, "Low Fantasy Gaming". It is an independent game written and produced by S. J. Grodzicki and it works hard to produce a game that appears, upon initial perusal, much like an OSR game but with further reading it becomes clear there is a bit more going on.

Available as a free PDF or print through Lulu, the rules make an honest and successful attempt to blend old and new fantasy RPG conventions into a game than provides an old school while accepting that some good ideas have come out of the new school, mixing situational modifiers with and advantage/disadvantage mechanic that I love from D&D 5E.
Classes are handled in a pretty standard fashion with lower level maximums and a lower power ability creep than one might be used to in higher fantasy games. There are some interesting collaborative elements in character advancement, with the GM and player working together at certain levels to create unique abilities for the character. This is a subtle, simple mechanism that really relies on the old school idea that the DM is a force of ruling in a game and not just a referee of dice and printed rules. It also helps for each character to develop uniquely, something that is often lost in games with everything spelled out along a character's career path.

Monsters are handled with a simple, old school style, short format that allows for a really quick reference when needed. Statistics are kept to a minimum with monsters being kept special through certain power moves or a Boss Monster template that can beef up any monster to make it a greater challenge. Monster categories help by applying blanket rules to broad groups of monsters rather than spilling out abilities and vulnerabilities repetitively on every monster description.

The rest of the game is filled out by various sets of rules for situations like chases and environmental rules. There are magic items but, keeping with the low fantasy angle, they are handled slightly different than most fantasy RPGs. The goal is to keep them unique and scarce and to make items of power and wonder seem truly as such.

The game is supported by a Patreon that provides a steady stream of mini-adventures at $1 per structure. The adventures are put together in a clean, professional short layout that packs a lot into a few pages (the largest I have is 11 pages). Each of these is good as they are but could also be chained together  or expanded upon for longer adventures. 

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