Approximated Fray at a Glance – from the rulebook introduction
This section is intended as a short introduction to Approximated Fray as a a whole and its basic concepts.
The cards concept
Approximated Fray is built around the concept of using cards for most game mechanics. A player character or a creature is described by a set of cards that it can use to interact in the game. They come in three different types; Combat, Generic and Roleplay. Combat cards are used in combat Scenarios, Roleplay Cards in roleplay scenarios and Generic cards that can be used in either. The cards defines everything the Character does during a single turn. What cards are available to a Player Character is defined by his choices when creating and developing the character.
Player character creation
To build a player character the player first chooses Ancestry for his character, basically choosing a race for the Character. The choice of Ancestry makes a set of cards available for the character. Second step is to choose a background for the Character. The Background represents the creature’s upbringing and social class (Noble, Scholar, farmer etc). This choice also represent the choise of a set of cards that becomes available. The Player can then choose to add a few advantages and disadvantages to the Character represented by specific cards. The biggest choice when creating a Character is the choice of Career. The Career chosen will make a set of cards available for the character through out his progression.
Player Character progression
Approximated Fray features a level system making the Character Progressively more powerful as more adventures have been played. The level ramp the Characters power by adding a modifier equal to the level to any combat action the Character attempts, i.e. to all combat cards that he can play. It also ramp his versatility as it allows him to pick more cards from the pool of cards made available to him through the choice of mainly his career. As the Character progresses further there will be additional choices of Domain and Destiny, but that will be detailed further in an expansion.
The Cards made available to the Character is divided into tiers and so are the levels. When the Character progresses into a ne w tier a new set of cards will become available based on the choice of Career.
Every adventure in AF is divided into different “chapters” called Scenes. A Scene can be a either a Combat Scene or a Roleplay Scene. The basic principal of play is the same in both types of scenarios; The players and the GM chooses actions for their characters by choosing a card and placing it face down in front of him and notes down the target of the action the card represent where applicable. When all are finished the cards are flipped over and executed.
The Combat scenario
In a combat scenario the round is divided into three phases; first, middle and last, with the addition of a “mop up” phase in the end of the turn. All cards carry a designated phase they are executed in.
After choosing what cards to play during the round the first phase actions are executed and any effects from it applied to the characters. Secondly the middle phase is executed in the same way and after that the last phase. After the last phase the mop up is being done, removing effects and resolving what cards are returned to the hand of each player etc.
Combat Card mechanics
Every cards holds all data needed for play. It defines the creatures attack power, the special outcomes of a successful attack etc etc. The basic parameters is Attack, Attack type, Defence, Phase, Keywords, prereqs, Return and Description. The attack value is a number that is used together with the outcome of a d12 roll to determine if an attack is a hit or not. The combined value must overcome the targets Defence value given on his card. All attacks also have a type; Physical, magical etc and a range; Line of Sight, Adjecent Area or Melee and a target definition; a single target or an entire Area.
When using a Combat Card a Target must also be specified, it can be a creature or an area but if the target for some reason no longer is valid when the card is to be resolved the card will no longer have any effect.
One of the most important pieces of information is in what phase the card is played as all first phase cards effects affect the creatures from the start of the middle phase etc.
All cards also have a number of keywords defining it and also defining what other cards that may affect it. I.e. the “Run” card has the “Move” keyword and can hence be affected by a Immobilizing spell stating that all cards carrying the keyword “Move” is cancelled.
Certain cards also carries a requirement meaning that a certain condition must be met in order for the card to be valid to play. I.e. a finishing blow can only be delivered to a hurt creature.
The Return value is important for the mop up phase of a round. If the Players roll higher than this value they can return the card to their hand. If not it must remain in the scrap pile and hence not be available for play during the next round thus limiting the options of the character.
The Effects and Conditions Concept
Several cards will cause it’s target to carry a condition or effect. The effects can be both boosts; i.e. empowered or competent or nerfs; i.e. weakened or vulnerable to a certain form of attack etc. These effects remains for the remainder of the battle or until shaken. In the mop up phase their is a roll to “shake” any effect affecting him. I.e. removing an immobilizing net, fight the effects of a spiders poison or simply to stand up. Conditions are basically the same as effects but can not be shaken. Conditions are used to indicate damage to both to the body and to morale.
To determine the outcome of any action in Approximate Fray the same basic mechanism is used. A d12 is rolled and a difficulty must be overcome. To the roll any modifiers from caqrds or conditions are added and if it is a roll to attack or an opposed roll in any way (a game of skill between two creatures) the creatures level. The creature’s level is also added to his defence value.
The Roleplay scenario
The roleplay scenario does not have phases as the combat scenario and s played out a bit differently. The players choose a card to define or support what they are to do. The cards are then played out in an agreed order to support the ongoing roleplaying.