I recently found out about Emberwind and it looks like it would be extremely right up my alley. * It has a very strong vibe of what I like to call “post-4E” (meaning it has a lot of the mechanical and aesthetic pieces from D&D 4E, but riffed on and made into its own thing). It’s got grid combat, synergistic power combos, and monsters that practically run themselves. But they’re all handled in clever ways. And the default setting is some extremely high fantasy in the mold of Final Fantasy or Guild Wars 2 – which I dig so much. * The rules are extremely modular – you can play with or without a GM, you can build your character the familiar dice-roll way or by choosing modifier packages tied to a list of adjectives, and dice themselves are even optional (you can play with cards instead if that’s your thing). * The monster design is extremely cool. Each creature write-up has its own set of default behaviors, a potential override or two, and a set of basic attacks and other, specialized abilities. Here’s where it gets interesting: each monster write-up also has a “random turn” table, where you roll to see which of these attacks and special abilities fire. A seasoned GM can choose to ignore the routines or supplement the table with even more options, but the default is still plenty interesting and, because you’re leaving the decision-making to chance, can be run without a GM. * Unlike D&D’s very black-and-white combat system, Emberwind has a middle tier of combat success. Armor in Emberwind is damage reduction, so a success roll can succeed or fail as normal, hit and bypass armor, or hit and bypass armor and maximize damage. It’s a bit to wrap one’s head around, but it’s really cool.
I can’t wait to try out the system. I’ve got some concerns, but I will leave them for until I play it. I’ll follow up this post if/when that happens.