I bought Anima as a X-mas pressy for my girlfriend, since it is still wrapped I was wondering, what is the general difficulty of the system it self.
Is it as easy to learn as say Warhammer, Dark Heresy or D&D (Shivers).
Or is a lot tougher to learn?
"A dirty mind is a joy forevera terrible thing to waste"
"Innocence Proves Nothing"
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I my opinion it is a little easier than DD3.5, because there are not as much exceptions in the rules. But it's not as easy as World of Darkness for example ! Maybe a little more complicated than Warhammer 2nd. Anyway, there is a big community to answer all her questions if there is any problem ^^
- We carry all our dreams on a single beam of light -
Member of the french Anima community
Web master of Projet Anima JDR (all stuff by the french community, some in english, and soon in spanish too)
So I've noticed XD
Been trying to find the character sheet online in english, so that I have it at hand but not sure if there is an english version? I know the french version is available.
I would say Anima is pretty easy to learn compared to many games, but I think it could be very hard to learn for people who have not played many RPGs.
Also, I want to mention the difference in difficulty between playing and learning:
The basic rules of the game are very simple to learn and use. The dice mechanics are pretty simple and stay consistent throughout the rules. Spells and special abilities are straightforward and easy to use. Monsters and characters use essentially the same rules so the GM doesn't need to learn much extra stuff.
On the other hand, making characters and playing the game can be much harder than some games because there are so many things to think about. The first person I tried to teach the game to made a warlock and it was surprisingly complicated to balance combat, magic, and secondary abilities on one character. Making a character in D&D or Dark Heresy is much easier because you don't have as many options to choose from. Also, things like making Ki powers can be very complex.
It may be a case of "Easy to learn, difficult to master", which is probably a good thing because many of the best games in history are described that way. If you want to keep things easy at first, I recommend sticking to human characters with the simple, single-focus classes (warrior, wizard, mentalist, thief). That should cut down on the number of things each player needs to worry about while they are learning the rules.
Just to chime in here,
I would say that the game itself is fairly easy to play (about on par with WHFRP), the rules flow nicely and pretty much do what they say they do.
However making that first character is actually quite difficult, partly due to all the options you have and partly due to trying to figure out just how the rules work in practice. Its all too easy to make horribly unbalacnaced characters or to inadvertantly break the generation rules (somthing my group did several times during our first session)
Once you get past this part though the rules work quite well in my experence. And once you get your first character down its pretty easy to see how the creation system works.
To counter some of the previous comments:
The system at its base is relatively simple to learn and use. However, the RPG is plagued with a lot of (needlessly) specific rules and unintuitive mechanics. Add in a mediocre translation and editing job, and you can miss the base system's simplicity completely until you have read it and used it for a while.
Due to the above comment, Anima is difficult to compare to other RPGs. It should be simpler that WFRP and Dark Heresy, but both of those systems are more intuitive and as a result I find them much easier to learn. As it stands, the extra (and again IMO needless) redundancies in Anima mean that it is about the same as D&D 3e in terms of difficulty to learn from the outset, though if you make it past those initial issues, it should get easier as you go along more quickly that D&D.
Harder than D&D 4th Edition (and maybe core 3.5E, I always found 3.5E to be pretty easy except for grapple/trip/combat manuevers) easier than HERO and Rolemaster, about on par with Shadowrun 3rd and WFRP/Dark Heresy. . It tends to give off an air of being more complex than it really is, but its definitely not the most difficult RPG I've learned. The hardest thing to digest (but IMO one of the best aspects of the system) is probably Ki.
The only thing I dislike about it mechanically is Characteristic checks, which work completely differently than the normal d100 mechanic of the system much like how 2nd edition D&D required low rolls for some things and high rolls for others.
Overall, should be very doable with some reading. It is pretty dense, though.
It definately has some "crunch" to it and can look pretty hefty if you haven't played in a lot of different systems. Once you have played a few games though it runs rather smooth and cinematic (atleast it has for me).
Every wolf suffers fleas. 'Tis easy enough to scratch!- The Lord of Darkness
The only "hard" part is using the character sheet for the frist time. After that its no problem.
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