I am looking into trying out a new RPG and for awhile I have been looking at the artwork of Anima as well as reading the description here at FFG. I have played many RPG's in the past from Exalted to DnD. (All of which are very fun games.) From what I understand this is a very unique RPG. Can anyone plz explain to me what makes this game so awesome and why it is a good investment? I appreciate your help on this and look forward to hearing from Anima fans.
The bigger they are, the more likely they will cause internal bleeding.
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The game's great strengths, as a game system (not talking about the setting yet), is that it is versitile. It's not "rules light", but it also isn't published by BTRC or Leading Edge Games. Although it is "class-and-level", the classes determine costs to purchase certain traits (thus, combat Abilities are more expensive for non-combat classes, while the summoner's Abilities are cheap for the Summoner class). The levels are just breakpoints where you're awarded points to purchase traits (also, every two levels you get an attribute point).
Monsters are created similar to PCs. The major provisio is the potential to purchase gnarly wacky traits to represent their monstrous advantages - a similar system was actually used to make the Nephilim (humans with inhuman souls) and the true inhumans, who have templates that modify the base human character at "zero cost".
There are extremely dynamic systems for combat, magic, psychic powers, super martial arts, and stuff like that. Even if you strip away the setting, the game system itself is really excellent.
The setting isn't explained in depth in the core rule book - it actually is kind of vague in there. When the Gaia sourcebook gets translated (don't hold your breath - we're working on FFG's production schedule), you'll discover that there's actually a whole lotta setting, and while there's plenty of room for your stuff there's also a strong foundation for each of the nations of the setting, and all of the political factions. The basic setting is a classically anime alternate history fantasy with a questionably-moral Church and several futurist and counter-futurist factions operating behind the scenes, as well as even more obscure factions behind them.
The versatility of the system is the real jewel of the core rules. There is no serious difficulty to producing a character with one or two traits "off-type" (like a Gandalf, who is a wizard who can lead armies and fight with a longsword, or a Radagast, who is a wizard who also has the "ranger" skill set). It won't cost you dearly, and indeed a multifocal character is a great deal of the fun of the game.
Hatred has purity.  Hatred has size.
Hatred has purpose and hatred has eyes.
Hatred has honor and hates to hear lies.
Hatred has energy.  Hatred is near.
Hatred has carnge and hatred is clear.
Hatred is frustrating love for fear.
Hatred is human and hatred is here.
-Ship of Fools, The Residents
The best thing about Anima is it really puts control in the hands of the player on what you want your character to be able to do. The mixed Archetype classes really shine in this way. Of particular note is the way martial arts is treated. You get 10 basic styles and 10 advanced styles, but these are only the tip of the iceberg. The real innovation is the rules for martial techniques. These allow you to customise signature moves that no one else has (unless you set up a dojo in the game and train people!). Moves I have seen in games include a fast, brutal and long range wire fighting kick, one where you swing your Katana over your head leaving after images of it behind that shoot out and slash your enemies in a 30 foot radius and the 9 premade ones in the book. The key is thinking up the cool description first and then using the rules to make it come alive. It is equally true for Psychic abilites and creature creation. It's like a toolbox of powers that you put together however you want it to be. In 29 years of roleplaying it's the most versatile system I've seen that actually has the rules to back it up. The only downside is the rules are dense and spread out in the book, it's not a game you will pick up and start playing in 5 minutes. But with a bit of dedication you begin to see how they have put the system together. I found that once I had mastered one of the special power sections I was able to apply what I had learned to the others and they were much easier to understand. So pick what you like the best, master it and the whole system just falls into place.
There is no innocence, just corruption not yet withstood
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