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Anima - Beyond Fantasy RPG

by Hawke Robinson published Dec 14, 2011 01:45 AM, last modified Aug 15, 2015 12:14 AM
I bought the core rulebook and the Gaia Volume some time ago, but folks we not quite ready for learning yet another system.

Finally one of my eldest son's friends was visiting and is a big fan of anime, so wanted to play the game (though my son wanted to play Vampire: The Requiem). The only problem is that the character creation process is quite lengthy. At first I began to think it was going to be as long as Rolemaster, then I began seeing many similar charts to Rolemaster, which can be either a really great thing, or terrible, depending on your perspective and play style. However, though there are Rolemaster-isms, they are scaled down a little bit...

This game is by Fantasy Flight Games, the same folks who make Warhammer. But fortunately the Anima RPG does not require the ridiculous amounts of dice, cards, tokens, etc. that Warhammer Fantasy Role-play ( WHFRP) does. It is a system based primarily on percentages, d100, or simpler d10 depending on the area being rolled for.

The initial character creation so far has been lengthy but straight forward, as least compared to the RPGs of the past decade or so. What is it with all these newer game writers that they are so horrible at organizing the books in a fashion that can make it much smoother to create a character? Systems in the 70's, 80's, and 90's did not require so much chapter flipping back and forth as so many do now. And also, most have terribly weak Table of Contents and/or Indexes, though the Anima core book is fairly decent at least in being able to look up in the index what is needed (though not quite as strong as I would like).

The character sheet is 4 pages long, though whether one needs to use all 4 (or even 5 for spell casters) varies on the class chosen. Simpler professions may only need 2-3 sheets. I have read some reviews absolutely lambasting the system as a horrible mish-mash, too-retro (especially Rolemaster), and other criticisms. Though so far it clearly has flaws, it is so far not so terrible, but until we actually complete these characters, and get some game time under our belts, I really don't have much of an opinion one way or the other yet, except to say that I have in recent years had far worse starts to the character creation process than we have had to far with Anima. It's clearly a more involved system than, for example, Margaret Weiss Productions' Cortex RPG system, which is an extremely simplistic system. On first blush Anima RPG is a pretty complex system, but so far does not seem overly so. Time will tell. I will post more when we return to the process.

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