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Aspects of Fantasy Finally Released

June 21, 2014

Finally released Aspects of Fantasy out one DriveThruRPG and RPGNow. Definitely glad to have it done. Here’s a description of the game from the back of the book:

Welcome to Aspects of Fantasy, a fantasy roleplaying game that takes the familiar D20 rules system and updates it with rules and concepts from the popular Fate rules engine

In Aspects of Fantasy you will find:

  • A streamlined version of the D20 system
  • Rules for using aspects and fate points with characters, equipment, adventuring parties, and creatures
  • Quick character creation rules with 8 races (clurichauns, dwarves, elves, gnomes, halflings, humans, orgars, witchbloods) and 8 classes (adventurer, barbarian, cleric, fighter, knight, mage, ranger, rogue) along with a number of backgrounds and traits
  • Rules for using fate points as a commodity to power traits and maneuvers
  • Critical and fumble rules along with an easy to use skill system
  • A D20 magic system that better integrates with aspects and fate points along with over 150+ spells
  • Conversion information for using Aspects of Fantasy with your Pathfinder and D20 products, along with a dozen sample creatures to get you started

Aspects of Fantasy can be used to integrate elements of Fate into any version of your favorite fantasy roleplaying game, or it can be used as a way introduce your D20/Pathfinder players to concepts in the Fate rules system.

Here’s the cover for the game from the artist, Trevor Smith:

AspectsofFantasyCover

More on Trevor and the game in another post…

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16 Comments leave one →
  1. June 23, 2014 8:45 am

    First, thanks for putting out a great game.
    Second, could you put up a character sheet for download.

    Thanks,
    –Lou

  2. June 23, 2014 8:34 pm

    Lou,

    Thanks for the kind words! I’ve placed a link to the character sheet for Aspects of Fantasy on the right side menu.

    -Steve

  3. Jon Mattson permalink
    June 24, 2014 1:31 pm

    Hi!

    I just picked up AoF at DriveThru, yesterday, and have been looking it over. I just wanted to say that, so far, I quite like what I’m seeing. Seems like a nice smooth mix of the two types of games. I play a lot of both Pathfinder and Fate, and I had been toying with the idea of doing a mix, like this, myself – but you did the heavy lifting for me! 🙂 Just wish I had known about the Kickstarter, back when it was going on, as I would have happily got involved.

    As an occasional game-tinker, myself, I also just wanted to say that a lot of your design decisions seem very sensible to me. I can tell that this game has actually been *played* and that your experience has molded it.

    My only real concern, so far, revolves around the Spellcraft DCs, which seem kind of high. Unless I’m missing something, a typical beginning wizard, who is probably only adding around +4 (maybe +5) for a DC of 15, seems to have only a 50/50 chance of casting a spell (without invoking an Aspect, I mean). I can almost see this for attack spells that have no hit roll, since the Spellcraft check kind of replaces that roll (although that opens up the problem that most attack spells allow a save for reduced damage, which is not an issue, when you just hit something with a normal weapon). But, for other sorts of harmless spells that normally work automatically in d20, that seems kind of cruel (and potentially embarrassing). And, since the DC goes up by +3 per spell level, with the wizard’s bonus only going up by about +2 per spell level (that is, +1 per character level, assuming Intelligence is a prime – which it almost certainly would be)… it will just keep getting harder and harder to cast your best spells, at any given level (in effect, the chance drops roughly 5% per spell level, after 1st, ignoring rare Intelligence increases). And this is assuming that you have none of those unpleasant modifiers, on page 123 (all of which are negative).

    Am I missing something, here? Is there some other way to increase the Spellcraft bonus? Or are you just assuming that a wizard casting a higher level spell will pretty much always invoke an Aspect? Just wondering.

    Anyway, aside from that one (possible) quibble, I think we’re going to be very happy trying this out!

    Thanks!
    – Jon

    • June 24, 2014 9:57 pm

      Jon,

      Thanks for the comments!

      As for the spell DCs, these were created to make a more balanced Mage class in comparison to the other classes. Also, a typical AoF Mage can potentially throw a lot more spells than their D20 counterpart, the DCs balance that out a bit. That said, during playtesting our Mage playtesters often invoked Aspects when making Spellcasting DCs.

      The trait Lore of the Stars, and the Spirit Bag aspect enhancer help with the casting of spells. The raven from the Familiar trait can potentially help as well with a d20 re-roll. Still, I’m not dismissing your feedback. You’ve given me some things to think about.

      -Steve

  4. Jon Mattson permalink
    June 24, 2014 7:10 pm

    Hi, again!

    I’ve been delving a little deeper into the book and have come across a few glitches, so I thought I might as well pass them along…

    Arcane Gift: References spells by rank, but pretty much everywhere else notes them by level (I presume this is just a terminology snafu).

    Destiny Points: This isn’t a big deal, but I could not find anywhere that actually says how many you get, initially. I assume 1, unless you have some trait that changes that (e.g. Halfling Luck), but I could not find any one spot that actually said that, point-blank (on page 13, for example). Admittedly, this may be an oversight on my part, but a document search seemed to confirm the problem.

    Fate Point Refresh: The sample character on, page 14, has a base of 2, for some reason. Shouldn’t this be 1, as indicated on pages 13 and 48? Or am I missing something?

    Second Sight: Pages 55 and 189 say +8 and imply that the bonus applies to detecting invisible targets; page 64, under the actual description, says +10 and says that detecting invisible targets has a DC of 10, instead of 25.

    Shocking Bolt: The range says Encounter Area (not Close) and the description says “you *fling* a bolt” (which implies at least a little range), but the target says, “One creature or object *touched*”

    Anyway, everything else looks great! I particularly like the idea of using Aspects for spells like Jinx and as traits for gear, which nicely rounds out some weapons, etc., without adding a bunch of ticky-tacky rules. The team Aspect rules are nifty, too.

    – Jon

  5. June 24, 2014 9:50 pm

    Jon

    Ack! I could have sworn I updated Arcane Gift months ago. I originally used the term ranks instead of levels for spells as I’ve always disliked how D&D has used the term level for both spells and classes since its inception. However, a design goal was to make it easy for players and GMs to convert material from other D20/Pathfinder products and I thought using the term rank to describe spell level would hinder that a bit. So I changed Spell Rank back to Spell Level. That’s a really bad miss and I do apologize for it.

    You’re right about Destiny Points, the sample character is wrong, Shocking Bolt should be creature or object in Encounter Area, and Second Sight is definitely contradictory.

    I’ll update the PDF and push an update to DrivethruRPG/RPGNow tomorrow. Thanks for the feedback, Jon.

    -Steve

    • Jon Mattson permalink
      June 25, 2014 4:28 pm

      Hi, again!

      Thanks for the info. One more related question, though: which Second Sight is right, the main entry or the two other charts? Its not a rhetorical question, as I’m making a character that has that trait. I’m guessing the former (+10, DC 10), since that’s in the actual write-up, but just thought I’d check.

      I found a couple of other minor issues, now that I’m actually making characters:

      Hit Points: The sample character on page 14 has 26. Shouldn’t he have 23 (10 base + 3 for Con + 10 for Tough)? Or am I missing something?

      Initiative: Page 83 says to use your Dexterity *attribute* (mod + level, which makes sense to me); character sheet says Dexterity *modifier* (just mod; not liking this option as well).

      Encumbrance: Not a problem, so much as an observation. It seems too easy for characters with an average Strength to go overweight. I made a character with 10 Strength, no armor, just a single short spear for a weapon, and no gear beyond the basic suggested package (adventurer’s kit, arcane focus, common outfit, mage pouch, scroll case), and she started off lightly encumbered, right out of the gate (1 for the kit + 1 for five L items = EV 2, ER 1 for her Strength, so modified ER of -1). And the minute she picks even a few more coins or other loot, this is pretty quickly going to turn into -2 or heavy encumbrance, which will utterly ruin her Dexterity attribute. Seems a bit excessive. It may or may not be realistic, but, from a game point of view, it seems awkward and a bit ticky-tacky. Basically, anyone with a normal Strength who takes the (always recommended) adventuring kit is going to run into this problem. I guess you could toss the kit, when trouble starts (which is realistic), but still…

      BTW, I see what you mean about Lore of the Stars, Spirit Bags and the raven familiar – that’s what I get for commenting before I had completely read the book. Still, Lore of the Stars won’t apply to most characters (they either won’t have a good Wisdom or won’t have the trait) and Spirit Bags are very conditional (if you have one, if it hasn’t run out, if you have a fate point, etc.) and pretty much the same as invoking one of your own appropriate Aspects (which is something I did mention in my post). Raven is a good solid benefit (for this and other things), however, and I can see a lot of mages wanting one (although, of course, only a conjurer can start with one).

      I actually have a good solid example of the Spellcraft thing, now, as I just made a hedge wizard (thus, the Second Sight question). As I guessed, she ended up with a +4 Spellcraft bonus, so she only has a 50/50 chance of casting a 1st level spell. Seems kind of strict for something like Protective Ward or Unseen Servant. Maybe some spells should have a DC modifier or something, to make some easier or harder to cast? Again, though, I see your point about balancing the extra possible spell use, so I guess I’m going to have to really test this one out in actual play.

      Anyway, I’m having fun making characters (far more fun than in the D&D Next playtest… heh, heh) and am looking forward to playing and/or GMing!

      -Jon

  6. June 25, 2014 9:28 pm

    Okay, first off, I’m adding your name to the ‘thank you’ section of the game. Thanks for this info. Second Sight is +10, DC 10 though I think I need to even write the trait up more clearly.

    You wrote:

    Hit Points: The sample character on page 14 has 26. Shouldn’t he have 23 (10 base + 3 for Con + 10 for Tough)? Or am I missing something?

    Nope, you are correct. This was missed, I originally had characters starting out with their Con score as their base hit points but this caused a surprising amount of confusion.

    Initiative: Page 83 says to use your Dexterity *attribute* (mod + level, which makes sense to me); character sheet says Dexterity *modifier* (just mod; not liking this option as well).

    Yeah, adding the attribute was a last minute change and it was done for the exact reason you mention, it just made more sense. Missed it on the character sheet.

    As for spellcasting we really found in playtesting that even with a DC of 15 caster’s were throwing more spells, especially when you factor in Aspects. That said, I was talking to one of my playtesters last night and he did point out that, at higher level, he was always using Aspects to cast his highest level spells, especially in important situations. He often offset this by throwing his lower level spells – which he was fine with. Still, I’m not sure if I like characters always being forced to invoke an aspect when throwing a higher level spell. I may offset this somewhat by incrementally increasing the DC by 3-2-3 instead of 3. I’ll think about this.

    Looking at Encumbrance a little closer, you mention your hedge wizard has the following equipment, I’ve listed the appropriate EV in parenthesis:

    adventurer’s kit (1), arcane focus (-), common outfit (-), mage pouch (L), scroll case (-), short spear (L)

    So 3 of the listed have dashes listed for their EV. From the rules: “If an item just has a dash (-) listed for its EV it is never counted for purposes of encumbrance (within reason of course).”

    So your hedge wizard currently has a 0 ER (1-1) and is unencumbered. She would need 3 more L (Lightweight) items to reach an ER of 1. (Though I noticed I do not have the EV listed for an arcane focus, I’ll take care of that.)

    And the minute she picks even a few more coins or other loot, this is pretty quickly going to turn into -2 or heavy encumbrance, which will utterly ruin her Dexterity attribute.

    The rules state:
    * Coins – Sacks of coins also have an EV. Every 100 coins you are carrying is worth 1 EP.
    * Rings, broaches, necklaces, etc are generally small and have no EP value and are never counted for purposes of encumbrance.

    So a few coins are not going to affect a character’s ER, nor are other types of light treasure. Also, I did notice a typo: “Every EP you are over your Encumbrance Rating is subtracted from your Dexterity requisite.” That should be ability score. Requisite is an old term I got rid of awhile ago (somehow missed using find/replace). So while your ability score is affected, your attribute may not be. (Though your movement would still be affected).

    This system is designed to be simple and abstract and is really meant to keep the players honest.

    One other thing you brought up:

    Spirit Bags are very conditional (if you have one, if it hasn’t run out, if you have a fate >point, etc.) and pretty much the same as invoking one of your own appropriate Aspects (which is something I did mention in my post).

    Just to be clear, aspect enhancers are used to re-roll aspect dice. They are not activated using fate points though, of course, the actual aspect invoked has to be. I think that’s clear in the rules but wanted to make sure that’s what you were reading and it was clear to you.

    far more fun than in the D&D Next playtest… heh, heh

    Yep, I with ya.

    Thanks Jon!

    -Steve

    • June 25, 2014 10:53 pm

      Found an issue with the Hedge Wizard background. The background does not have the starting trait Arcane Focus, so it shouldn’t have an arcane focus listed under equipment. Instead, it should have a spirit bag.

      I’ll be pushing all of the changes up we discussed tomorrow.

      Thanks again.

      -Steve

      • Jon Mattson permalink
        June 26, 2014 6:51 pm

        Oh, I also figured the scroll case to be an “L” item (since it’s not listed), but “-” sounds good, too.

      • June 26, 2014 7:17 pm

        Yeah, in equipment it’s listed as Case (scroll or map)…I’ve changed it on the Hedge Wizard

    • Jon Mattson permalink
      June 26, 2014 6:41 pm

      I like that idea. Again, though, I’ll have to try the original way in play, to see whether I’m even right about this whole thing. I’m not surprised that your player said he was using Aspects all the time for higher level spells, though – I figured that would be the case.

      Yeah, I’m still giving it some thought as well. I have a gaming session this Saturday with some of the playtesters – I’m going to get their take as well.

      But, according to the sample character’s sheet, on page 15, the Common Outfit is an “L” item, so I did the same thing (I hadn’t noticed, in the equipment section, that it’s “-” – I’ve been using the sample character as my guide, a lot).

      Ack, need to change that obviously

      I certainly think basic clothing ought to be, anyway. I mean, obviously it weighs something and is bulky if you are carrying it, but, when you’re actually wearing it, it’s unlikely to be noticable.

      Completely agree, that’s why I have it that way in equipment.

      Ak! Okay, maybe I really am screwed up on one thing, then. I thought *all* mages, including hedge wizards, get Arcane Focus, i.e. a hedge wizard would get Arcane Focus and Arcane Gift (as mage Starting Traits), as well as Herbs and Spiders and either Wild Empathy or Second Sight (as hedge wizard traits). This rules seems to indicate this (unless I’m reading them wrong), and the sample character has both that barbarian and the sea raider starting traits, so I never questioned it. Am I looking at this wrong? If so, then the starting character needs some more fixes. Please say it ain’t so! Although, I’ll take the spirit bag, too, if you like. 😉

      Jon, completely disregard what I wrote. It ain’t so! Lack of sleep. You were correct the first time. All characters get their class starting traits AND their background traits. I simply forgot that Arcane Focus was a Mage class starting trait and didn’t scroll up the page to look(!).

      I am leaving the hedge wizard with the Spirit Bag – that item just ‘works’ for a hedge wizard. The scholar mage also has an aspect item.

      Thanks again!

      -Steve

      • Jon Mattson permalink
        June 26, 2014 7:43 pm

        > I am leaving the hedge wizard with the Spirit Bag –
        > that item just ‘works’ for a hedge wizard.

        My hedge wizard thanks you! 🙂

  7. Jon Mattson permalink
    June 26, 2014 6:43 pm

    > That means that its takes 2 EV to knock
    > down your actual Dex modifier/attribute

    Ooops! I mean 2 EP. Duh.

  8. Bumper permalink
    June 22, 2015 1:24 am

    I recently bought Aspects of Fantasy and am very excited to play it but I had a question that I cannot seem to find an answer for. Where does the stat “Speed” come into play? What does it do precisely?

    • June 22, 2015 11:00 pm

      Thanks for purchasing ‘Aspects of Fantasy’!

      Also, thanks for asking your question. To make a long story short, sometime during the editing process the Speed rule seems to have been truncated. It’s supposed to be in Chapter 5: Areas and Encumbrance. Here’s the rule:

      “MOVEMENT
      Speed
      Your speed is how many Areas you can move in a round. Speed is found in a character’s racial profile and is generally based on size (medium characters have a speed of 2, small a speed of 1, etc.). A character can move up to his speed and still perform the Engage maneuver.

      Running
      A character can move double his movement in a round but can perform no other action except the Charge maneuver. (See “Charge” on page 87.)”

      I cleaned up version of this chapter with the ‘Speed’ rule will be uploaded in the next couple of days. Thanks again and let me know if you have any other questions.

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