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Information
RPG
Genre
Series Code
 
Category
Mechanic
Designer
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Publisher
Year Published
2000
Primary Name
Phantasmal Lights
Alternate Names
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ObjectID: 186976
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PDF Version
Publisher: (Web published)
Year: 2000
Electronic (PDF, DOC, eBook, HTML, etc.)
178 pages
Size: 11.00 x 8.50 inches
English
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Description Edit | History

User summary:

The peculiar core rule book includes interleaved chapters of game rules and fiction in about equal proportions. Early game chapters deal with role-playing from an introductory perspective. The game uses fairly unique terminology to refer to fairly standard role-playing aspects (for example, the Game Master is referred to as the Director). Character creation is inordinately complex and heavily numeric; task resolution is fairly simple. Generally, tasks are resolved by rolling 1d10 and adding a modifier, then comparing the result to a target difficulty. Determining which modifier to use may be problematic.

Character creation begins with Personality Factors which are intended to guide the character's action during the game. There are ten Personality Factors and each one has a pair of sub-factors. Personality Factors always have a Rating of 10, but those points are distributed among the two sub-factors in any combination from 1:9 through 5:5 to 9:1, indicating how extreme the behavior of that Personality Factor should be. The Personality Factors are Brave/Cowardly; Caution/Impulsive; Energetic/Indolent; Extrovert/Introvert; Forgiving/Vengeful; Gentle/Cruel; Honest/Deceitful; Modest/Proud; Optimist/Pessimist; and Trusting/Suspicious.

Characters next have ten Primary Characteristics divided into Mental and Physical Sets. The Mental Set includes Determination, Education, Intelligence, Intuition, and Presence. The Physical Set includes Dexterity, Essence, Physique, Stamina, and Strength. All Primary Characteristics start at 1 and the player then distributes 20 additional points among the Mental Set and 20 additional points among the Physical Set. If any Primary Characteristic is ever reduced to zero the character dies. Characters next have several Secondary Characteristics which are either randomly generated, derived from Primary Characteristics, or purchased from a points pool. Secondary Characteristics include Age, Height, Initiative, Kick, Life, Load, Mass, Punch, Speed, and Throw.

Characters next have Abilities (normally called Skills in typical RPGs). All characters have at least on Ability and most characters will have more. Abilities are divided into Career Abilities and Life Abilities. Abilities have a Rating ranging from 1 to 5 and are purchased from a point pool. Abilities also have Concentrations (specific areas of expertise within the Ability), Designates (a particular area the Concentration covers), and Specializations (specific areas of expertise within the Concentration). A few pages of sample Ability/Concentration examples are provided.

Magic is handled as an Ability (Skill) with additional axes. The Magic Ability is divided into Principals (normally called Schools in typical RPGs) and Disciplines (normally called spell type in typical RPGs). For example, the Magic Ability might have the Principal of "Death/Life" and the Discipline "Destruction". Likewise, combat is handled as a series of Abilities.

Characters also may have Attributes (normally called Advantages/Disadvantages in typical RPGs). Several pages of sample Attributes, with associated Levels, are provided. Characters receive an Allowance (a monthly income) and a narrative background. Characters gain Development Points through game participation; these may be spent to improve numeric Ratings.

As expected, the included character sheet is two pages long and resembles a spreadsheet.

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