Saturday, November 10, 2012

Armchair Reviews: Fading Suns Player's Guide (Revised Edition)

Any time I talk about Fading Suns, I tend to rattle off many, many, many things. There's just something about the setting that fires the imagination and resonates with my inner GM. So, I'm going to try to keep this short for once:
  1. if you've ever wanted to game in a science fantasy setting that is the Dark Ages in space by way of Dune and Hyperion, this is the RPG for you;
  2. if you're a follower of the Fading Suns brand from a prior edition, this is the confusingly named Fading Suns Player's Guide (Revised Edition), which is different from the prior edition of this RPG -- Fading Suns Revised Second Edition.
  3. if you're an owner of the aforementioned Fading Suns Revised Second Edition, here are the new things that you can expect to see:
    • Timeline advanced to 5002 -- some interesting tidbits for longtime followers
    • Incorporates information on Minor Noble Houses -- some interesting stuff for longtime followers
    • Victory Point System tuned for simpler calculation of VPs -- good
    • Removed high fail/fumble factor from previous edition -- great
    • Spirit characteristics replace opposed Passion traits -- must playtest before deciding
    • Lifepath System streamlined and more flexible -- liked it before, seems improved
    • Number of Skills reduced -- good
    • Traits updated and Fighting Styles added -- must playtest before deciding
    • Psi and Theurgy refined for Spirit characteristic changes -- good
    • Combat system overhauled for faster play -- good
    • Cybernetics updated -- good
    • Expanded Technology and Transport chapters -- great
    • More weapon and armor options in the Armory -- good
    • Guidelines for player activity on Starships -- good
    • More sample Starships -- great
    • Lots of optional rules and sidebars -- good
    • Comprehensive Contents and Index -- great
    • (PDF) Fully bookmarked and hyperlinked throughout -- fantastic if you've got a digital copy
  4. Surprisingly, the list above doesn't highlight a lot of the moderate changes to the Theurgical rules that really make the feel of Theurgy more plausible and 'lived in' for a very religious culture in the future. This will probably be the focus of a future blog post on.

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