Saturday, April 27, 2024

Adventurous Fantasy RPG from Dawn Fist Games Review

What follows is a short review for the fantasy RPG, "Adventurous" from Dawn Fist Games. My goal is to put a really awesome RPG that you may not know about on your radar.

Adventurous is written to be an introductory level game for players new to fantasy role-playing games. Within this context, the experience that it seems to deliver is very similar to one that a player might experience when playing Dungeons And Dragons for the first time. All the character classes sound like Dungeons And Dragons character classes, and all the powers and abilities of those classes have (for the most part) a focus on combat options. This is not a knock against the game. I think that it succeeds in everything that it's trying to do. It's just an observation.

While Dungeons And Dragons may inspire the contextual nature of Adventurous, the game system is very different. The game uses six-sided dice exclusively. I feel this was a smart choice for a game aiming itself at new and "non" players. Almost everyone can find standard six-sided style dice laying around somewhere.

The book spends a few pages up front going over the game system. Players roll a number of six-sided dice depending on an Attribute score. 5's and 6's on the dice indicate successes. A single success is known as a weak success, while two or more successes are a strong success. If two of the dice that contribute to a strong success are 6's, then you have a strong success with benefits. The player who rolled the double sixes gains an Experience Point, and if they don't already have it, the party gains Momentum. (More on that in a moment.)

A weak success is good enough for most things like making an attack or climbing a wall, but if the task is something that is impossible to do without specific training like reading a magical script or picking a complex lock, then a strong success is needed. In combat weapons do damage based on your level of success. A weapon's damage might be listed as w3/s6. This means that the weapon inflicts 3 damage on a weak success and 6 damage on a strong success.

Adventurous has its own version of Advantage and Disadvantage. If you have Advantage in doing something you simply add an extra die to your roll. If you have Disadvantage at doing something you take one die away. These effects can cancel each other out, but they don't stack.

In place of 5E's Inspiration, Adventurous has Momentum. A party gains Momentum when any player rolls double sixes. Momentum is a toggle value like Inspiration. You either have it or you don't. But unlike Inspiration, this is a party resource. Anyone can spend it, and then a roll of double sixes from any player can restore it. Neat! Momentum lasts until the party rests in any capacity. When you slow down and take a break, you lose momentum. Makes sense.

Characters have five attributes: Strength, Dexterity, Willpower, Knowledge, and Charisma. 1 is the lowest any attribute can be, and 5 is the highest. Five is the highest value possible even with magic effects and modifiers. Players will never roll more than 5 dice.

The first step of character creation is to choose your character's race. Your choices are Human, Elf and Dwarf. The options here are pretty slim, and they are also purely aesthetic. A player's choice of race has no mechanical benefit. Personally, I really like this. It sees players making a choice based solely on role-play, and I think that's a good habit to get into. Also, it means that if a GM wants custom races in their game as player characters, this is super easy to do. I can play that Holstaur that I've always wanted to play.

Following Race, the player must choose a Class for their character. There are eight Classes to choose from: Warrior, Rogue, Wizard, Paladin, Hunter, Cleric, Warlock, and Druid. Each class has a sort of "signature" special ability. And then every class has an "at will," an "encounter," and a "daily" power. One of each. 

Each level after 1st players gain one new special ability but there are only 4 such abilities per class, and max level in Adventurous is 5. This seems perfect to me for an entry level RPG, or for experienced players looking for a good low stress option for a short campaign. 

The game book includes rules for exploration, hirelings and social encounters. It also includes a bestiary and various examples of treasures, mundane, magical, and cursed. There's even an example campaign setting: the Westlands. This setting is both small in scope and light in details. This is just the kind of thing that I like to see. I like a loose framework to get me started that I can then build on. The Westlands are perfect for this.

The game book doesn't include a sample adventure, but there are some good ones available from Dawn Fist Games on their DriveThru RPG page. I like Adventurous a lot. This is a great game to just jump into and start playing. For beginners and for seasoned gamers looking for a comfort food RPG experience Adventurous is awesome!

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