mercoledì 19 luglio 2017

Dark Albion Fantastic Heroes & Witchery Appendix 3

The Dark Albion setting book is an excellent exercise in how to use the old rules in a historical setting, we have said something on the whole book in the Dark Albion Cult of Chaos and the Rose War reviews and we will come back to the two books in some future, and separate, post. Since a brief description as in the previous review is just not enough to transmit the exceptional value of the two books.

In this article we will concentrate on a small part of the book, Appendix 3 which weigh 21 pages on 275 pages of contents. 

And this 21 page are very interesting, classes that perfectly fit into Dark Albion and rules tuning for using the Fantastic Heroes & Witchery retro-rpg in the Dark Albion setting.

So let's get back to Appendix 3 of Dark Albion, it's divided in 7 subsection:
  • Character Races
  • Character Classes
  • More character Classes
  • Albion as a Low-Magic Campaign Setting
  • A Simple Cosmology
  • New Spells
  • Summoning Magic

Character Races

Since in the Dark Albion setting we have only human, this is quite a short paragraph, but longer than what you could expect. We are introduced to three "non human" that look very human: the Changeling, the Cursed One and the Fey Touched. The three of them are reskinned races from the FH&W rule book.

Character Classes

In this chapter we have new classes for the Fantastic Heroes & Witchery (see next paragraph) that are lovingly tailored to the Dark Albion setting, they are:
  • The Cleric (of the Unconquered Sun): this are a fighting friar with skill in armor and combat plus the prayers as presented in the FH&W book (you can call upon specific powers rolling a dice, each time you call upon a specific power the difficulty to beat rise by one starting by 0; also turn undead is a prayer; the dice goes from 1d6 at 1st level to 3d12 at 13th)
  • The Cymric Bard: an almost classical bard, spontaneous casting (as sorcerer of 3.x edition) of nature and illusion spells, countersong, inspire allies and legend lore.
  • The Demonurgist: a bad news character class, more apt for NPC or for an evil bent campaign. Quite interesting
  • The Hedge Witch: A nice presentation of the witch, a mix between druid and magic user. Not an evil class, but surely a class that will have some problems in the Dark Albion setting.
  • The Magister: a twist on magic user coming from Cambridge or Oxford, must choose between white or gray magic at the start but than can try to learn black magic with great risk and slowly loosing his previous spells. Furthermore the Magister is a master of rituals and from 9th level can memorize spell in higher level slot to apply meta-magic effect to them.
  • The Noble Knight: master swordsman in shiny armor. In a setting where being part of the aristocracy is an huge advantage the Noble Knight know how to make their status part of the equation.
  • The Warrior: master of the fight, are further detailed in 3 "sub-classes" with specific class skill and special abilities: Bandit, Gallowglach and Knight-Errant.
  • The Yeoman: master of the Bow, they are higher up than peasant and dedicate themselves to mastering the bow gaining the ability (at 11th level) of doing impossible shots.

More Classes

Here we have almost a full page discussing which classes from the FH&W book can be used and how much they would feel out of place in the Dark Albion setting, this is necessary because the FH&W rule set has lots and lots of classes, if you consider just the main rulebook you have: 

14 Traditional Fantasy - Core Classes (fighter, thief and so on; p. 27-39)
10 Traditional Fantasy - Racial Classes (your elf eldritch archer, halfling scout etc.; p.40-49)
7 Weird Tales - Alternate Classes (psychic, rifleman or wild brute; p. 51-58)
6 NPC Classes (Fighting-man, clergyman etc.; p.129-131)
4 religious variant classes of previous core classes (p.147-149)
30 religious variant classes based on type of deity (p. 149-153)
3 Champions classes (agents of law/chaos and neutrality - the classic clerics and druid; p. 157-159)
6 Additional Classes (in appendix 12; p.394-402)

to all this classes you can add the ones you find in the free downloads section of the Heroes and Witchery site where you can find also a compiled list of all classes (except the ones in Dark Albion).

So it's easily understandable why it's needed a page just to discuss which class can be adapted to the setting and which would prove more alien to it.

Albion as Low-magic

Two short paragraph for two options, the first option introduce spell failure (that goes from 0% of failure for spell cast at night to 10% of failure (per level of the spell) for Necromancy (and others) spell cast inside a temple of the Unconquered Sun; the second option suggest using the optional "Danger of preparing spells" mechanic from the FH&W book.

Albion's Cosmology

Almost a full page on the planar aspects of Dark Albion, a fun read that present 4 plane (underworld, celestial realm, ethereal and astral).

New Spells

Two new spells related to the underworld

Summoning Magic

Here are presented two incantation (rituals as presented in the FH&W book) related to demons: Call Infernal Myrmydon and Infuse Demonic Talisman.

Conclusions: a very fun and useful appendix for a great (really great) setting book. A nice addition to the plethora of classes and option that are the signature of the FH&W system.

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