I ranted about BareBones Fantasy many years ago on the old blog and for some odd reason it popped back into my head. Maybe it’s all my thoughts about non-D20 based games of late.
So the first thing that some might say, “Hey, I thought you just rambled about old-school games.” Well, yes and no. I ramble about what ever happens to catch my fancy at the time. But I will say this. I consider BareBones Fantasy an “old-school” game. Why? Well, first remember StarFrontiers? It’s basically the same system.
So let me give you the low down. It’s based d100 rolls and d10’s. That’s it. Attributes are ranged from 1-100 and the “Skills” actually correspond more to “classes” So there’s skills such as Warrior, Spellcaster, Cleric, Thief, etc. So yes. Thief is one skill. How old school is that? Races give bonuses to Attributes and/or skills. And some races give a bonus only to specific uses of a skill. Characters do game levels in their skills and there is an abstract level system to gauge a character’s overall competency. And that’s the basic of the system.
It’s not more difficult than most games. I wouldn’t call rules lite and it a little more involved than many of the D&D retroclones. But it’s not overwhelming and the learning curve isn’t that steep. Most players will be able to pick it up rather quickly if they are used to role playing games.
I only had the chance to kick the tires on it once. I ran a little one-shot when the game first came out. It was fun but there a little resistance based on the good old “but in D&D we do…” It’s nice little compact game. The basic book clocks in at 84 pages and there’s a few supplements and other little handy things available on Drivethru.
So yeah. It’s another one of those games that got buried on the harddrive but it’s still a good little game to pick up if you want to do fantasy but what a different rules system.