Adventure Fantasy Game: the Way of the Arts

Adventure Fantasy Game does not have traditional classes.

Characters, every time a level is gained, decide which Way to pursue to increase in experience. The Ways presented in the handbook are the Way of Steel for Fighters and the Way of Magic for Casters.

So a character can start as Caster 1, then get a couple of Fighter levels, then another couple of Caster levels and end up as Caster 3/Fighter 2, which is able to cast most of their spells even in armour.

The two Ways are of course not the only ones supported by the system. The Way of the Arts has not been included in the handbook because back then I wasn’t really happy with it, but now it’s ready to be shown in public.

The Way of the Arts

Characters who embark in the Way of the Arts are known as Practitioners. The Way of the Arts focuses training and growth on practicing mundane arts and crafts. Practitioners can be artisans, renaissance-men, artists, con-men. Practitioners roll 1d6 to determine Hits for each level gained in the Way of the Arts, receive training in using light armours armours but not shields.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practitioners spend a lot of time honing their skills. Each time a character gains a level in the Way of the Arts the character can distribute 5 EXPERT letters on their tasks.

A fair day’s wage for a fair day’s work

Practitioners in the same sector all know each other, and should the need rise they are able to find a  job. Each time a character gains a level in the Way of the Arts the character can spend 6 months working and gaining some money using a specific Task. The character will net 1d6 thalers each week spent working, -1 if less than EXPERT in the Task, +4 if MASTER, +1/-1 depending on the stat relevant to the Task. Since this is done during adventuring downtime and assumes full-time employment starting characters can directly add the same amount of money to their initial savings, while existing characters will not be able to adventure while they are working. It’s noteworthy that it’s possibly to use pickpocket or lockpicking as a Task to get some money. Whether this causes problems with the law is to be left to decide to the Referee.

Bookbinding course

I spent the past two saturdays learning how to bind books.

Bookbinding is well cool. Handbound journals are fantastic gifts and, well, you know better than me that can you print all the PDFs you use all the times and bind them together. My first attempt was Pelinore + AFG + Book of War + Transcription of the Lost Pages vol. 1 and, to be honest, it’s been a success. Handy, compact and, well, it’s really hard to forget an handbook if you only need to pick up one handbook.

Anyway, as some people liked the looks of my handmade books, I thought I should post some pictures here, in sparse order. I decided to bind Jack W. Shear’s Tales of the Grotesque and the Dungeonesque because it’s full of good stuff useful for the Western League, my grim fantasy campaigns and I can see using it for a long time. And I put two ribbons in it because one ribbon for handbook is never enough.

Burgs & Bailiffs: more submissions please!

Want more grimness in your fantasy setting?




Burgs and Bailiffs is a collaborative project aiming to give you, discerning DM, free material to bring some Middle Ages grittiness and despair to your campaign world. B&B will not be a boring history journal, but will instead contain small articles on specific topics and how to integrate them with your campaign.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday the 22nd of August, while a first draft is the 24th of September 2012. We can be flexible with deadlines, but not too much.

This is the current list of proposals:

  • Pestilence, Putrescence and Pustules
  • Realistic Medieval Archery
  • The Importance of Being Earnest: intricacies and ambiguities of medieval feudalism
  • On Agriculture: Toiling the Land for Fun and Famine
  • To Feed an Army

If you want to contribute send me an email ( ) specifying:

  1. the title of the article
  2. a two line summary of the content
  3. expected length (a very rough estimate)

If you want to write on a topic already covered, don’t let this stop you. There’s no limit to the number of articles on diseases we’ll print. 🙂

The Middle Ages were Horrible. Burgs & Bailiffs: call for submissions

The Middle Ages were horrible.

I’m not talking about lack of wifi and lattes, but about famine, disease, violence, tyranny, disease, heavy taxation, war, lack of sanitation, abysmal civil rights, disease, lack of healthcare, servitude and disease. And the cherry on top is that Feudalism, the main form of government in Europe, existed mainly to field bigger armies so kill more enemies and grab more land.

Fantasy RPGs often are sheltered from this kind of problems. Escapism often tones down grimness and replaces it with orcs. But sometimes you want to grab your setting and give it a spoonful of historical horrible mixed with gravel.

Burgs & Bailiffs turns your setting’s grimness up to 11

Then punches it in the face and steals its beer

the cover is not final

Burgs & Bailiffs is a collaborative effort aiming at bringing more grimness and suffering to your fantasy campaign world and we’re going to release it on a Creative Commons licence. If you want to collaborate with a small article (400 to 4000 words) that allows a fellow GM to “grim up” a campaign, send me a two lines proposal via email. The deadline for proposals is in a week, Wednesday 22/August/2021, while the deadline for the draft is the 24th of September 2012.


Fantasy F*uckin’ Italy and the Game Police

Saturday I ran my first Google Plus hangout game, set in Fantasy F*ucking Italy. The setting, more specifically, is Milan in May 1491 and the game system is Adventure Fantasy Game. Fun was had, liberties were taken and Saturday we are going to play again.

But I’m not going to write about the setting, or the game, or the period. I’m going to write about the Game Police.

The Game Police stops you from having fun your way. Because your way is not proper. Because you’re not allowed to walk off the path. Because our pasts are full of shipwrecked campaigns and bad games, and surely these suck sewage. And the Game Police knows what’s good for you and wants to protect you.

The Game Police first weapon is Nagging. It might be from people on your social network of choice, on, your friends. It might even be your inner self-criticizing voice. Nagging mostly consists of reminding you that you are not doing justice to the material or the rules by not being 100% accurate in preparation or execution. If you’re not accurate you’re engaging in some kind of lame, distorted version of the proper setting or game. The Game Police frowns on that.

The Game Police second weapon is Fear. Fear that you might fuck up and it’s gonna be your fault if it’s horrible. The problems might happen now or later if you’re not conservative. Fear stops characters from messing with your setting, stops you from exploring and stretching its boundaries, stops everybody from being daring with toys. Because you might ruin everybody’s game now and in the future forever.

Nagging and Fear are terrible weapons, and the Game Police knows it. They keep you away from fun by threatening you with terrible consequences, stopping you and your group from hopping off the steep Cliff of Failed Campaigns and the Crevice of BadWrongFun. Keeping you safe. Nagging delays you, forcing to prepare so much that it’s not feasible and making gameplay clumsier in playing rules as written. Fear stops you from being daring with your material, your setup and with in-game consequences.

It’s for your own good, really. Truth is the Game Police also stop you from being utterly & freakin’ awesome.

Ignore the Game Police: nobody ever reached the summit of Mount Awesome without risking anything.

The best way to the top of Mount Awesome is a magical trebuchet.

Chthonic Codex: a couple of illustrations

Chthonic Codex is the temporary project name for an AFG monster handbook. It’s going to be tied to the Western League campaign but due to the nature of the tie it can be easily used elsewhere and for other games.

Here at AFG Central we’re debating whether to double-stat the content for both AFG and generic-OSR (like LotFP material) or make it compatible with S&W.

The art side of it will be daring. Christopher Stanley is a young and talented local artist and will illustrate the great majority of the book, if not all of it. And as all “monster” entries will have an accompanying illustration, we are talking about a lot of art. Enjoy some preliminary studies. 🙂