From the publisher:
The Phaethos RPG Core Rulebook is a 266 page full color pdf document that allows you to instantly get started playing in the world of Phaethos. The Core Rulebook features an extensive Table of Contents which has been bookmarked for ease of use, an in-depth index, black and white and color artwork and all the rules and information you need to get started playing.
The Phaethos Role Playing Game is a fantasy RPG from Simian Circle LLC. The game takes place in the world of Phaethos which is basically a mash up of Fantasy and Western genres. Phaethos is heavily influenced by the impact cartoons in the 1980s U.S. had on me when I was growing up. While the game does not reflect these influences directly in all cases, these influences have contributed to many ideas and concepts that exist in Phaethos.
Like most RPGs, the Phaethos RPG is all about imagination, excitement, entertainment and fun. It is designed around a core set of rules that expand outward allowing for players and GMs to expand the game as they see fit. The core rules are given as guidelines, with examples (like Kore Magic Spells) which can be used to expand the game as needed. Phaethos offers players and GMs the ability to freely create spells, abilities, items and pretty much anything else they can think of.
Phaethos utilizes a d10 dice pool where participants roll and take the highest number and compare it with a Target Number or against an Opposed Roll. All conflict resolution in the game is handled in this way whether it be Skills, Abilities, Combat, Social Combat, Attributes checks, Magic, Psionics etc.
Phaethos offers 12 starting class templates which reflect the area of training the character has at the time of creation. These templates are starting guides for the players and allow them to begin with a better than average set of skills and abilities. As the game progresses, players may choose to build their characters as they see fit. In a nutshell, Phaethos utilizes class templates to start and then allows players the complete freedom of upgrading their characters however they see fit.
Experience Points in Phaethos are used to show character progression. There are multitudes of ways in which characters can gain XP; accomplishing a task, rolling dice, using teamwork, defeating an enemy or solving a puzzle etc. Experience can then be used to purchase upgrades for the characters as the players see fit. Character upgrades can be anything from a new ability to weapon proficiencies to health upgrades. This system works well in allowing players to create classless characters that don't have to conform to a rigid template. However, if a player wishes to play a rigid character class, say for instance Thief, that is an option also.
While everyone who has ever played an RPG finds battles and combat to be loads of fun (and this is a main feature of the Phaethos RPG) there are often other aspects in a game that go overlooked. One such aspect the Phaethos RPG Core Rulebook covers is social interactions and combat between player character and non-player characters. Phaethos has an in-depth Social Combat system which utilizes a character's Skills, Attributes and guile to interact in the world of Phaethos. The Social Combat system allows players to actually argue and debate to gain bonuses as they role play their characters. For players who like rolling dice, the Social Combat system accommodates this as well.
You don't have to be a math wiz to play Phaethos. The d10 dice pool makes the game intuitive and fun to play. The openness of the system and its expandability is designed to allow those who enjoy the game to create their own additions and supplements for the game. Finally, Phaethos is designed to be both crunchy and rules light depending on who is playing. You can go by every rule in the book or simply use the core rules as a guideline by which to have adventures in the world of Phaethos.