d6 Fantasy

d6 Fantasy

d6 Fantasy

From: West End Games

Reviewed by: Ron McClung

d6 Fantasy is a new Core RPG Rulebook from West End Games.

Much of this review refers to my previous review of d6 Space and d6 Adventure Because d6 Fantasy is very similar to d6 Space and d6 Adventure in many ways, this review will only cover the differences.

From the back cover: “ One die, infinite possibilities.”

Fantasy was one of those genres least explored in the d6 and Masterbook era of the original West End Games lines.  Torg touched on it some in one of its multiverses, but I can not remember one particular game that touched on it in full.  Of course, with the dominance of D&D then and now, why would anyone try to compete with that?  I feel that d6 is probably best suited for high fantasy, however.  For non-level based high action and adventure, d6 is perfect for fantasy.

Content: The content is very similar to d6 Space and d6 Adventure.  It starts with a general introduction and then goes into character creation.  It also has a similar Advantage/Disadvantage/Special Ability system.  Other than some genre-specific text, these sections are virtually identical to d6 Space or d6 Adventure. Skills are slightly different, aside from the ability score name change, but they are expected differences for the genre.

The system, combat, and skills are also virtually identical, except for the changes in ability score names (see below). One of the first differences one comes across is the racial templates.  Like d6 Space, d6 Fantasy outlines several non-human racial templates specifically for its genre including dwarves, elves, and gnomes.  

The other big difference is, of course, the supernatural powers for fantasy.  This is discussed further below.  

The remaining content is similar to d6 Adventure or d6 Space. The equipment is appropriate for the genre and uses either the Funds attribute system or the hard currency system for purchasing.  The book ends like the others do, with Gamemastering tips as well as sample NPCs and monsters, as well as several character templates.  

System: The character generation and core system is basically identical to d6 Space and d6 Adventure – rolling a bunch of d6 including one Wild Die Like in Adventure, the surprising change was the change in ability names.  I am not sure why they did it, but despite the name changes, the abilities remained the same.  Skills vary to some degree based on the setting, but more or less are the same. Oddly, nowhere in any of the three books (d6 Space, d6 Fantasy, d6 Adventure) is a conversion system from one genre to another.  However, just as I found it, one can find it in the web enhancements for the forthcoming d6 Creatures. They did some odd shifting and renaming of abilities, but in general, these still do the same thing.

From the back cover: “ It is a time of heroes and heroes of legend, for powerful wizards and mysterious races.”

The magic system is identical to the one presented in d6 Adventure.  Spells are based on a specific magic skill – Alteration, Apportation, Conjuration, or Divination – and have a casting difficulty.  These skills are based on the Magic attribute.  Also like d6 Adventure, the book supplies the reader with a spell creation system using a version of the old Masterbook/Torg system.  There are also a few precalculated spells – some are the same as what is given in d6 Adventure, while some are not.  Contained within these pages also are special rules for scrivened spells – spells written on scrolls. There are nineteen precalculated spells including Sense Past, Feast, Glow Stone, Carrying Wind and Charm.

The other supernatural ability in d6 Fantasy is Miracles.  Based on the Miracle extranormal ability score, miracles are magic obtained through a higher divine power.  Miracles differ from magic in that they are more powerful but also more focused and restrictive in effect.  The basis of miracles is the character’s religion, and a simple religion/mythos creation system is given.  There are three miracle skills that miracles are based on – Divination, Favor and Strife.  Miracles can be created like spells, and guidelines are given.  There are sixteen sample miraculous invocations contained within the miracle sections including Detect Living, Spiritual Shield, Bless Armor, and Undead warrior.

One important thing that I have not commented on before in the other books is that all three do supply an alternativep system to rolling a bunch of d6 dice.  If a particular GM does not like rolling 10d6 for a particular damage roll, all three books supply a 5d6 plus fixed value system. The Die Code Simplification system included in the appendices of each book gives a table a GM can use for those gamers that do not have a massive amount of d6 dice.  One option – the maximum amount of dice one rolls is 5d6.  After five dice, the player adds in a fixed value – for example a 6D die code converts to a 5D+4 (plus any extra pips) or 10D coverts to 5D+18.  Another option is to just roll the Wild Die and add in fixed value – 2D converts to Wild Die +4 or 10D converts to Wild Die+32.  This is an interesting option for those that do not like a lot of dice or may not have access to a lot.  

Layout:  I feel the same way about this book as I did about d6 Space and d6 Adventure.  The book is a sharp-looking book.  It is not full color, but it is what I have come to expect from West End Games.  It is a hard-bound book with black and white art throughout.  $30 may seem to be a lot to pay, but if you compare it to what Wizards of the Coast is charging, it is competitive.  The art is again on par with what West End Games used to look like, and they even use some old art I recognized.  I have never bought West End Games books for the art and I would not buy this one for the art, but it is not bad. Overall, comparing it to the industry averages for core rule books, I would say that this is a reasonably good value.

One thing to note about the layouts of all three books – despite the fact that much of the text of each book is the same, they did go to the trouble and reformat and change the layout to fit the genre.  They made an honest effort to supply a genre book for each genre people play, recognizing that some may buy just one or all three, but all three books have a different look and feel.  

In conclusion, this is a great book on par with the rest.  D6 is a great cinematic system for heroic games and fantasy is the greatest genre for those types of games.  I would recommend buying all three to complete the set, but if you only play fantasy and are tired of the dominant systems out there in that genre, try d6.

For more details on West End Games and their new Core RPG Rulebook “d6 Fantasy” check them out at their website http://www.westendgames.com and at all of your local game stores.

d6 Fantasy

From: West End Games

Type of Game: Core RPG Rulebook

Written by: Greg Farshtey, Douglas Kaufman, Fred Jandt, Peter Schweighofer, Bill Savicsek, Bill Smith, Ed Stark, George R Strayton

Contributing Authors: Ron Fricke , Rachael Gibson

Game Design by: Nikola Vrtis

Editted by: Steven Marsh

Cover Art by: Chris Dien

Additional Art by: Marshall Andrews, Tim Bradstreet, Leanne Buckley, Bob Cram, Tim Eldred, John Paul Lona,  Christopher Martinez, Aaron Nakahara, Allen Nunis, Shawn Richter, Daniel Schenstrom, Brian Schomburg, Lee Smith, Doug Schuler, Tyson Wintibaugh, Chris Watkins.

Number of Pages: 144

Game Components Included: Hard cover rule book

Game Components Not Included: Dice

Retail Price: $ 29.95 (US)

Item Number:  WEG51013

ISBN:  1-932867-02-3

Website: www.westendgames.com

Reviewed by: Ron McClung