May 27, 2020, 09:43:58 AM

Author Topic: Atlantis - The Second Age  (Read 2770 times)

Offline Yora

Atlantis - The Second Age
« on: February 11, 2015, 01:34:15 PM »
I got this game yesterday, having seen it mentioned a couple of times as recommendation for Sword & Sorcery games.
My first skimming was far from being impressed, but on a second closer look this game looks just totally awesome!

There are lots of RPGs that call themselves Sword & Sorcery games, but usually those are just regular generic games where humans are the only character race and all magic is demonic and that's about it. Atlantis is very different. This game seems to have been designed from the ground up to get players to do dramatic and heroic things.
Instead of experience you get renown. Slaying legendary monsters (or famous villains) can get you quite a good amount of renown, but fighting ordinary soldiers doesn't get you anything. But you do get additional renown for fighting them in cool ways, like fghting without a weapon or with no armor, and of course for fighting heroically when the stakes are high. Slaying bandits doesn't get you any renown. Slaying bandits that try to kidnap a princess may get you quite a lot. The best thing is, you don't even have to succeed at these things to get renown. Even if you fail you still get more famous for your heroic struggles.
As your fame increases, you can get some additional points to improve your character skills and abilities, but I think even at the maximum amount of fame you can get, you still have only about twice as many point allocated to skills, attributes, and talents as a completely new character. You already start pretty strong and it's more additional customization than significantly increasing your strength.
But what you also get from getting legendarily famous is having more Hero Points to spend during each Adventure. By using your Hero Points you can increase your dice rolls, deal extra damage, negate damage you take from enemy attacks, or get more actions on your turn in the combat round. Not only do you increase your amount of Hero Points you have, but also the limit how many Points you can use at once. The amount of Hero Points a character can have is not particularly high (between 5 and about 20), but you can get new Points back in the middle of the adventure. Which you do by being dramatic. You can shot yourself in the foot by using one of your disadvantages and suffering whatever consequences the Gamemaster comes up with, or plead to the gods to grant you strength. You can also Tempt Fate: You get up to six free Hero Points to help you in any situation, but if the attempt still fails anyway, your hero gets Fate Points. Once the hero has 10 Fate Points he meets his doom. The only thing that can save you from being destroyed by the gods for your hybris is having accomplished a sufficient number of Great Works, like becoming a king, avenging your father, and things like that. But even that only gives you a reprieve and fate is still coming to get you eventually.
Another great way to get Hero Points is Indulgence. Go on a night of carousing and debrauchery to raise your spirits. If you get lucky, you not only get a lot of Hero Points back, but actually increase your renown as well.
Since you don't get a lot stronger after character creation, Hero Points are vital fighting the most powerful monsters and performing the most impressive feats of strength and daring.

This game seems amazing. It enables you to become stronger and do more cool things by doing cool things! It rewards you by escalating drama and badasstitude but also has doom hovering over the hero which gets closer the more powerful and legendary he gets.
I thought Barbarians of Lemuria was cool, but this looks a lot better.

I also got the monster book and it's quite impressive too. There are lots of creatures I've never seen anywhere before with only a small number taken from popular mythology, and all of them seem pretty cool and none silly or goofy. Probably my favorite is the ancient sacrificial stone which has gotten sentience and a malicious will from the thousands of human sacrifices performed on it over the eons.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor

Offline DDRRead

Re: Atlantis - The Second Age
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2015, 12:49:59 PM »
Is it based on Taleslanta/The Omni system? I seem to remember an Atlantis game that used that system.

If you're into S&S RPG stuff you might like Sword & Sorcerer. It's a supplement for Ron Edward's Sorcerer RPG (which is a Narrative/Storytelling RPG about demons and the sorcerer's who control them).

Sword & Sorcerer is about using the Sorcerer rules (which have a contemporary setting as its default) to play S&S, but you don't need to play or even own Sorcerer in order to get a lot of value out of the Sorcerer & Sword supplement. It has a great essay about the history of S&S fiction and lots of advice for running S&S games that is pretty system neutral.

Offline Yora

Re: Atlantis - The Second Age
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2015, 01:11:52 PM »
Yeah, it's the latest edition of that game. Though I heard it changed quite a bit and was not just polished up.

Sorcerer & Sword was an interesting read, though I think mostly for beginners. I've been flipping through it again a few days ago and didn't really find anything really special about it this time.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor