Equipment Questions And Answers
Q) Can one use 'Packing' Proficiency for saddlebags, and if so, does it effect them all as a whole or does the deduction of Encumbrance count for each bag?
A) One can indeed use his Skill to better pack any saddlebags, though the reduction of Encumbrance only counts for the beast of burden, indeed all the bags it has as a whole, not for individual bags, as it is all about balancing bulk and weight for the ease of the one carrying it. That, and if the reduction counted for each individual bag, animals would be able to carry way too much, unbalancing the game itself.
Q) When making Acquisition Rolls, does one need to roll once for each type of item being sought, or for each specific item? In other words, does one roll once to see if 'longswords' are available, or does he have to have 3 consecutive successful rolls to have 3 longswords available?
A) One roll must be made for each specific item to be bought. Under Acquisition Rolls at the beginning of Chapter 5, the rules state that one must roll for each 'item', singular, not 'items' plural. Hence, the blacksmith may have 2 swords worth buying and no more, but on a different visit to that same smithee, he may have 5 swords available, depending on how long one can continue to make successful Acquisition Rolls.
Q) When one buys a saddle, does he get a bridle as well?
A) Yes, indeed with a 'saddle' one gets all equipment necessary for riding a horse. We originally had this item called 'saddle and bridle', but it cramped the equipment list, forcing considerations about abbreviation, which we did not want to do. In the end, we decided that to simplify the name was worth more than making a chart seem contrived or crowded. This may seem trivial, but making a good role-playing gamebook involves a lot of subtlety and psychology, for indeed a book that reads more easily allows one to read its rules faster, remember them better, and thus enjoy them more. And, on a more personal note to touch on horses and their care, the lack of any mention of bridles and other gear is a regrettable one, for one of Matt deMille's dearest friends raises horses (it is she whom Matt went to for horse details for Supplement S4), and thankfully she does not play RPGs as she would have his head for simplifying these animals and the equipment it takes to ride them.
Q) Is there any way that Player Characters (or NPCs) can make arrows?
A) Certainly. One who makes arrows is called a 'fletcher', and while there is no Skill or Skill Point cost for such a trade, one can certainly have such a skill worked into his Character's tale. However, to qualify, he will have to have Proficiency with 'bows' at Level 2 or higher. If he does not, he simply makes bad arrows that don't shoot straight and thus will not be of any use to him (believe me, there is an art to making arrows that is much more that just sharpening a stick). In addition, even if one makes his own arrows, they will statistically encumber and run out the same as any normal quiver, so all one will be doing is saving himself the cost of purchasing arrows and be able to resupply in the middle of an adventure.
Q) Is it possible to use dice other than the one listed on Table 21 for specific Acquisition Rolls in one settlement, such as in an alchemist's shoppe?
A) Yes, at the GM's discretion. In the above example, an alchemist living in a human settlement would almost certainly have wares unattainable with the normal D8 or D10, and so his shoppe specifically would use the D20 or perhaps even the D30. However, the rule of thumb is that one must either make a Searching Check (which 'people and places' Skill helps for) to find anyone who uses a different dice than the establishment's norm, or that a limited number of Acquisition Rolls are allowed for each different dice type, say 3 or 4.
Q) Why is a flail called a 'morning star' in Fantasia?
A) Fantasia often makes a deliberate effort to rename things from history, for various reasons. For example, Wizards are no longer male Witches, because we have grown to enjoy the Gandalf stereotype much more than the Wizard's historical roots. In the case of the flail/morning star, in history, the names make it confusing to tell the difference between a morning star and a spiked mace. Indeed, there really is no difference there. Plus, artistically speaking, 'morning star' just sounds better for the spiked ball on a chain, as 'flail' sounds kind of wimpy for such a lethal weapon.
Q) Is war paint magical?
A) Yes. One can find or mix any kind of war paint he likes for free, but it will not avail any statistical bonus. Only those rare, exotic brews made from the blood of Dragons and beasts from other worlds evokes such ferocity.
Q) How would one have a double-bladed sword, like Darth Maul or D&D?
A) I noticed the beginning of a trend for the double-bladed sword when I skimmed through the new D&D books years ago. I might have put it into Fantasia, but thought better of it, as such a specific weapon would go against the concepts of the Fantasia game. That is, to let one's imagination decide the details of the world, rather than the rules of the game (it's all too easy to fall into the trap of losing one's imagination and letting the rules dictate the only variety offered in the imaginative, fantasy world). The weapons in Fantasia are in their basic, raw forms, to be stylized according to one's own ideas and innovation. In Fantasia, a double-bladed sword would not offer any statistical advantage over the weapons listed anyway. So, to have a double-bladed sword, a Player would simply buy a 'battle-sword', and say that its higher Base Damage than other swords is not the result of special steel or a jagged edge, but rather because it has two blades and thus slices up one's enemies all that quicker.