Fortitude, by the docks of big lake – PDF version
Great value for money, great production values and a useful tool for helping the GM (sorry, ‘HG’ in this game) make the transition from the usual RPG style to something more home-spun, slower paced and wonderfully rich.
This supplement to the Chuubo's Marvelous Wish-Granting Engine RPG is a valuable addition to the game.
Around 70% of everything you need to run a game in the Fortitude setting is here; but you will still need the core rules. For those of you who already have the core rules you will be pleased to learn that the writing style and the arrangement of the book is excellent (better than the core book). There is a fair amount of repetition of core content, but that is no bad thing. The layout is superior, the writing style clearer. The whole product is far more polished. The artwork is lovely and very much in keeping with the setting. You also get a large selection of new ‘quest’ cards/ideas that presented really well.
Fortitude itself contians a selection of specific characters (the ‘Sacred Child’, brief descriptions of the 'Regional Council'). There is a vast amount of information on the local food, an almanac of the seasons and events throughout a typical year and a very detailed description of the Shrine Families of Fortitude and their relationship with the ever present ‘Dust’ that blows in from the pan-dimensional chaos of the outside.
Fortitude is a slow paced, pastoral style game (think studio Ghibli). It can feel a little intimidating to get a group to go from a more traditional combat oriented RPG, to a setting where pranking the school bully, or going fishing with friends at the weekend, is the key event of a game session. This is the first game book I have encountered that has a entrie chapter dedicated to household chores! Once you have read the book (and set aside some time for that; because this supplement is vast!), the pastoral game style works very well, far better than I anticipated.
Another key strength to the supplement is the inclusion of other settings/genres as well. If the pastoral game is not quite working for you one week, there is some additional detail on some of the other settings in Town. A trip to ‘Blue Bell Park’ is the perfect place for some Saturday morning anime style madness. Or if you want a more epic adventure feel then perhaps switch genre/location and explore ‘The Far Roofs’ or ‘The Big Lake’.
We have been playing the game for a month or two (as of the time of writing) and we are settling into the pattern of 'pastoral', every day slice of life stuff while the PCs are in school (with the obligatory weekly pranking of a school bully) and then a ‘weekend’ adventure that will either be exploring Fortitude itself, or a brief a genre slip to somewhere else before getting back to Fortitude in time for supper.
I can not wiat for the 'Glass Makers Dragon' campign to be published for this setting!