Friday, August 5, 2011

[Adventures in Fantasy] Book of Adventure Pt. 2

Quick Recap
I began exploring the Book of Adventure in my last post.  I didn't make it past the generation of the basic characteristic scores and was already confused. Here's what I know for sure:
  1. AiF characters have 7 basic characteristics; 5 standard and 2 optional.
  2. The standard characteristics are Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Charisma, and Health.
  3. Characteristic scores are generated on a 01-100 scale.
No problem with that at all. The confusion over the characteristics come from one simple fact.  The rules only list Stamina as an optional characteristic but states there are 2 optional characteristics.  Even after some more reading and digging around I can not find anything about another optional characteristic.  Hopefully, it will become apparent after reading the rest of the manuals. Now I will continue on with the rest of character creation.

Hit Points
Hit Points are determined by a simple math formula involving all 3 physical characteristics.  Oddly, Stamina is included in this formula even though it is an optional characteristic.  That seems counter intuitive and just bad rules design since an optional characteristic is used in a standard formula.  Adding to the confusion is the fact that Hit Points are not defined.  Sure, anybody with a little role-playing experience will know their purpose but this is supposed to be a beginners set of rules.

Social Status
Social Status is generated by two simple D100 rolls cross-referenced on a result table that determines the yearly income, rank, and position; characters can range from serf and on up to King! There are a few basic guidelines concerning social structure but not much detail.  It is interesting that these rules enable play from the lowest to highest social positions in society.

Starting Age
A chart is rolled against to determine a character's starting age and the effect on the basic characteristics.  The effects of aging, sicknes, and the chances of natural death are also covered in this section. 

Funds & Equipment
At this point, the starting funds are generated for the character.  Each character basically given one year's income according to their social rank plus a little extra.  The rules also state on page 7 that the price list of items is "below" but does not actually start until page 16.

There are 26 skills available for player characters.  The list seems pretty standard and includes language, horsemanship, weapons, crafts, and some trades.  If I recall correctly, most games of this time did not include a skill section so this part of the rules would prove valuable for players that like to "borrow" from other rules for their D&D games. Something that really sticks out to me in this section is learning the skills.  A character can learn them earlier than the required time needed, right at the time needed, or take longer than the time needed.  A nice little touch of realism and variety that does not use a cumbersome set of additional mechanics to simulate.

Impression So Far...
My only previous experience with AiF was just flipping through the rules occasionally.  It seemed like simply "D&D with a D100".  I thought it would be pretty close to D&D.  It is in some respects but it also follows the (O)D&D example of being unclear and disorganized.  AiF could use a good edit and reorganization of some of the sections to help clear up confusion.  I still think there is a "good game" lurking in these rules.

Next: The GM section of the Book of Adventure....

edit 1 - spelling nazi.

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