Some of you may now that I have talked about what is standard fantasy. I talked about how none of can agree on what it means, but yet we all seem to claim there is one. Well, I happy to say that Adventure Companion by Crafty Games is anything but Standard Fantasy.
As a matter of fact, it contains only one campaign world that is even close to what some may call standard fantasy. I say only one because it contains three detailed campaign worlds and a slew of classes and feats that go along with each one. Now Adventure Companion is for Crafty Games' Fantasy Craft. I don't think that should stop you from picking it up and reading it thought. It might just fuel your imagination for the next game you run.
I'm going to start off with my favorite of the three settings. They call it “Cloak & Dagger”. If one were to try to put it in a nutshell, I think I would call it Roman Empire with political infighting. For players, I know that being set in a roman era may take a bit of getting use to. After all, there are no fighters wearing full plate wielding a long sword walking down the street. Instead, you have a roman like centurion wearing a breastplate holding a gladius. But that's not the only change for most people. Players are involved in the political battle between various factions of the empire trying to control it. For those that might not know what adventures players may have, I suggest you watch the old Three Musketeer movies. I should note that I like the ones with Michael York myself over some of the more modern versions (yes Disney, I'm talking to you).
The next setting is a little more familiar to people. Called 'Epoch', it is more of a swords and sorcery type of setting. Although, I'm not sure that exactly does it justice. The players are the barbarians/tribesmen that are trying to stop the evil that lurks and disguises itself in the form of civilization. Unlike most games, the players are not going to be able to go into town and just replace and buy new equipment all the time. As a matter fact, it is suggested that the player be allowed to repair their equipment. Magic is a form or corruption and is a enemy rather than a tool to be used by the players without consequence. If you look at movie like Conan (the first one and not the second one) and Beastmaster, you get an idea what kind of setting and adventures one can have here.
Lastly, they have as setting called 'Sunchaser'. This is a more typical High Fantasy game. I say that because it assumes that the player are going to be doing epic things. It is a setting where little is know about the old world before the coming of the new world. This allows for many things to be found by the players. Ancient knowledge and hidden ruins await the adventure who dares to tread into the unknown. It is a call of the Hero type setting. That is to not say that it is boring but it does give you a slightly better grasp of what the setting is about.
Each campaign has information to help you play in that setting. These things include various classes and feats. It also takes about trade and gear for each settings. Each section provides a list of adventure concepts, themes, oppositions, and rewards. Each campaign also gets a few monsters specific to that setting.
Overall, I had to rate this purchase as a buy. If you play Fantasy Craft, you are going to want to get it in hardcover. Even if you play another fantasy game, I'd suggest that you pick it up in PDF format, so you can use it as a source of inspiration for your next campaign.