Friday, March 6, 2015

Review - Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game + Field Guide

The Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game is in their own words a "rules-light game system modeled on the classic RPG rules of the early 1980's. Though based loosely on the d20 SRD v3.5, Basic Fantasy RPG has been written largely from scratch to replicate the look, feel, and mechanics of the early RPG game systems."

The Basic Fantasy Field Guide, is a collection of additional monsters for The Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game, is similar to the Fiend Folio, QuasarDragon's own Treatise of Twisted Terrors, and numerous other monster books.  It adds additional monsters to the Basic Fantasy Game, mostly classic D&D monsters, but some are new.

I'm not going to o into too much detail here because both of these are available as free PDF downloads HERE. However, I do want to strongly recommend the print versions if you like what see in the PDFs. The production quality if far better than you would expect for such a cheap price.

Old School Credentials: The Basic Fantasy Role-Playing Game is very much an "old school revival" game system, feeling a bit like a streamlined, compromise between the old Holmes Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set and 1e AD&D.

The Good: The game just feels right. It is a good introduction to old school gaming and it has enough depth for a decent length campaign. The art ranges from charmingly amateur to good old school style. 

The Bad: There's not really much new, there's no label on the spine of  The Basic Fantasy Field Guide, and much of the the art will not be to everyone's taste.

Likely Use: While more experienced gamers are very unlikely to make this their game of choice, it is an almost perfect for new and casual gamers. This would make a good, cheap gift to a potential gamer.

Value: Exceptional! I just purchased the the print versions of these two for a combined total of $7.68 from Amazon! That's probably even less than the Holmes D&D would have cost in 1980 and unlike that one, this doesn't stop at 3rd level. The binding and print quality are about the same as the typical softcover game book, which makes the value even more shocking.

Overall: This is an easy A. Even if you just skim it and put it on a shelf, it's a bargain. It really captures the spirit of Basic D&D, but has enough detail for a lasting campaign. 

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