Sunday 4 December 2011

Peryton Fantasy Role-Playing Game review {Reviews}

Recently Paizo released its Q2 sales figures, which showed that Pathfinder was beating Dungeons and Dragons 4e in sales, which is a pretty big deal. More people are being drawn to the new old hotness and for good reason: it's a streamlined, well designed game that ironed out most of the problems inherent in 3.5. While 3rd edition still splits opinion, there's no doubt that Pathfinder rekindled people's love for the system. Enter the Peryton Fantasy Role-Playing Game, a creation by Peryton Publishing that seeks to take 3rd edition and trim the fat. Is the game a valiant champion or just another adventurer who's just run into a Gelatinous Cube?

The first thing that becomes apparent with PFRPG is that it's not just a carbon copy of 3.5. While the core OGL system that we know and sometimes love is there, there is a variety of creative differences. Classes have been cut down considerably to: Berserker, Fighter, Rogue, Mystic, Wizard and Templar. Sure there are a few familiar faces, but what about the new guys in the hood? The Berserker is a Barbarian for all intents and purposes and the Templar is a Paladin-Cleric cross breed. The most interesting is the Mystic, who is like a non-martial Monk with a thirst for knowledge. These guys shun armour in favour of dexterous combat and mind powers, becoming immune to all sorts of effects at higher levels. 

Another change and a more 'indie' addition to the system are 'knacks', which are a more evolutionary version of skills. Instead of presenting you with pages of skills and feats, PFRPG has the knack system, where successful checks in the game can lead to new skills applied when levelling. Say your character had done a good few days research in the library and succeeded in finding the whereabouts of an ancient treasure, the DM would note down these checks and come up with a new knack for the player, such as 'Gather Information'. This freeform skills system works well, but it does require more book-keeping for the GM, which could be a pain. However, it makes the game quicker to get into and provides a more logical  method of acquiring new skills. 

The usual class abilities are present here, as well as all the spells a growing wizard could ever need. In addition, PFRPG has a cool alchemy system that lets players brew their own potions in a unique way. Alchemical mixtures are made from essence, oil and salt, of which the first two need to be harvested from plants and minerals. For instance, Black Moss contains Oil of Wisdom and Essence of Intelligence as well as a mundane salt. Using a solvent will extract one required aspect and render the other useless in the process. Putting an essence and an oil of the same type together will create a potion that gives a limited attribute bonus, but certain salts allow different oils and essences to be matched to create something completely new. It's a great little system that doesn't need pages of rules and lets players and the GM let their imaginations run wild with new concoctions.

Of course, the game wouldn't go anywhere if the rules weren't clear and fortunately the system is well-presented and easy to understand. The book contains everything needed to play, including a GM section, monsters and a run down on how to create adventures. Illustrations, although infrequent, are generally of high quality but there are some the stand out as fairly amateur. 

Combat rules are kept relatively simple, tossing out much of the tactical crunch found in the original game in lieu of letting the GM decide what's best in a certain situation. Those who prefer a more tactical miniatures game may be put off by this, but if combat is sped up as a result of a) not having to flick through the book or, b) incessant rules-lawyers, then this more rules-lite approach can only be a good thing. 

If you're looking for that 3rd edition vibe without most of the fiddly rules and a dose of indie inspiration then PFRPG is well worth picking up. It doesn't take huge leaps with the system, but the streamlined rules and versatile skills system make this a game that's easy to pick up and play. 


  1. Hmm...a review of a game for a publisher whom you've worked for, and will work for in the future? Kinda "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours"? Is that what this is about? Self-serving, no? Or, unlike the publisher's blog and gaming products, you can actually spell and phrase sentences correctly, so he gets you to write a review of his lame-ass game? Is that one it?

    Peryton FRP? Not interested.
    Peryton Publishing? Doubly not interested.
    Tom Loney? Learn how to spell and use proper syntax.

  2. Stop deleting my comments.

    You have a very serious question that needs answering. Why are you reviewing a game for a company that you work for? And that you intend to work for in the future? Don't you find that a conflict of interest?

    Regardless of whether you do or not, you need to address the issue, and stop deleting comments that ask the obvious question. Your ethics are at stake here.

    Okay, I won't post my personal opinion of the publisher of Peryton, whom I know is a jerk. But nonetheless, answer the question, or haven't you the guts, and would rather hide behind censoring us dastardly fellows that have the unmitigated gall to call people like you out on their questionable actions?

  3. Only losers delete comments.

    Let it be known your ethics are questionable, for having the audacity to "Review" a product for a company you work for.

    Censorship and No Freedom of Speech is alive and well in Scott Malthouse's England. Bravo, Scotty Boy. Bravo !!

  4. @Bennet Hi, internet troll [insert desired reaction here]

  5. You didn't insert a MR for the Internet Troll.

    Well, I brought up a valid point, giving you a reason to discuss a dubious practice, and you've decided to respond by calling me a troll, but not before first deleting the first two posts that I brought up the question in. Reviewing a product for a company one works for is "wrong" on so many levels. Dubious at best.

    You're a dubious one, Scotty Malthouse, a dubios one, indeed.

  6. @Bennet I haven't deleted a single one of your comments, so I'm not sure where you've got that from.

    I don't work for Peryton, I just do some freelance adventures for them. It's not at all dubious or unethical to review another product that company has put out. I have no obligation to them. Some popular bloggers have written material for Wizards of the Coast but still review D&D stuff. It makes no difference.

  7. It doesn't make a difference? So, if you were to give them a bad review of this game, they wouldn't suddenly start refusing your submittals? But maybe you want to remain in good standing with them, "scratch their back for scratching yours," as they say. So, you give them a good review, and both them and you remain warm and fuzzy toward one another. Just because you don't see the inequity doesn't make it so.

    I don't know. I posted a comment yesterday. It was gone 10 minutes later. I posted again; gone in 10 minutes. The above was my 3rd attempt at posting before it stayed longer than ten minutes. Okay, we'll say you didn't have anything to do with it. Case closed.

  8. It's funny how trollers think everyone is as petty and vindictive as they are.

  9. I assume it must have been a problem with Blogger - I take a hard stance against any kind of censorship.

    You make a couple of assumptions. One is that I'm willing to stoop to massaging a publisher's ego to get a few adventures published that I do on the side as a hobby and makes no financial impact. Another is that Peryton can't take criticism and would actively shun those who criticise it. I see no reason to think that's the case. I have had no problem calling members of the company out when I don't agree with them and they have done the same with me. I have no problem with it and I'm damned sure they don't.

    So you're wrong. I didn't say I like PFRPG because I want to stay "friends" with Peryton, I said it because I actually like the game. It's the hard work that goes into my writing that gets submissions approved, not "scratching someone's back".

  10. @Bennet I found your comments in Blogger's spam folder and have marked them as 'not spam' so they now show up. You seem like such a lovely person.

  11. Scott M said: Another is that Peryton can't take criticism and would actively shun those who criticise it. I see no reason to think that's the case. I have had no problem calling members of the company out when I don't agree with them and they have done the same with me. I have no problem with it and I'm damned sure they don't.

    You've called them out, have you? I'm sure you can submit proof online somewhere, that I can check now.

  12. "I won't post my personal opinion of the publisher of Peryton, whom I know is a jerk."

    This is one of the best throwaway lines I have ever seen.

  13. You've called them out, have you? I'm sure you can submit proof online somewhere, that I can check now.

    Why is the blogger obligated to prove anything to you?

    Should he have posted a disclaimer? Yeah, probably.

    Is it the end of the world if he didn't? Hardly. This is a bunch of guys publishing clone rpgs, not insider trading.

  14. My 2¢: I've never worked for Peryton, but I do know them personally. They play a mean and lean game. Give it a try, kick the tires and see what you think. Me? I think you'll like they way they've set this all up.

    If you don't like it (a big IF IMHO), you're out a few bucks, you send in some comments for feedback (after all, they're a small publisher) and they revise things with your ideas. Would WOTC do that? And what would WOTC charge for the mistakes they publish?

    Just some food for thought.

  15. First off, while I am the type of jerk who deletes Bennet's posts from my blogs AND I am a jerk, Peryton FRPG is not one of my works. Does anyone who hates my writing every bother to read what I've written?

  16. Tom "Kopfy" Loney Baloney wrote: Does anyone who hates my writing every bother to read what I've written?

    "every bother"?

    See what I mean about the publisher of Peryton being unable to spell/phrase sentences correctly? It wasn't just me "ranting." And it's not just this sentence. Look at the recent blog spot on T&T assassins where the great wordsmith writes "wizard and assassin" when he should be writing "wizard AN assassin."

    With two small sentences to serve as an example, you've botched them both. I'm truly amazed at the profound lack of knowledge you exhibit as a writer, which is only matched by the profound depth of your gut and triple chins.

    Unfortunately, Loney Baloney, I have read your tripe, and your lousy blog, and it's filled with sentence structure/spelling errors. You want to be a writer but fail at basic writing skills that any 5th grader would know.

    But what makes you a total ass wipe is you get on Ken St. Andre's wall at Trollhalla spouting the way everybody should be acting if it doesn't fit in with your distorted, delusional double-jelly-doughnut worldview, including Ken himself. You do this on Ken's blog because you haven't the talent or skill to attract a following yourself. Then when someone asks a legitimate question on your godawful blog, you drone on for four paragraphs, saying nothing, other than to insult them, and, of course to amaze your readers at what you DON'T know about the English language.

    In short, you ain't "all-that", you need to read a 4th grade reader, learn it, and then cleanup the prose on all your crappy publications, you fat, piece of shit.

  17. I wish the Peryton folks good luck and wouldn't mind learning more about it, but I hope they don't take to referring to their game as PFRPG, since that acronym has pretty much already been claimed by Pathfinder (which not only came out first, but has been reported as outselling D&D for two quarters now).

  18. Hey, Theodoric, thanks for the interest and the good wishes! About that acronym, the first edition of Peryton RPG actually came out before there was even a reason for Pathfinder RPG to exist. Despite that, we did start making a conscious effort to avoid using "PFRPG" once the Internet decided that it meant something else. It had never been a part of our official trade dress, and we didn't want to introduce ourselves to the vast hordes of Pathfinder fans by bitching about an acronym.

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