Epic Fantasy

Complete Fantasy Role-Playing Game

Young Adult - Fantasy - Epic
452 Pages
Reviewed on 09/25/2023
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Bruce Arrington for Readers' Favorite

Epic Fantasy: Complete Fantasy Role-Playing Game by Mr. Jonathan Nolan is a 452-page long volume that features everything about fantasy role-playing games. Targeting young adults, this work lays down rules, stats (rank values, weights and measures, and more), action charts, and about everything else you’d need to start playing your own role-playing game, either alone or with others. I remember back to my high school days when I watched friends of mine playing the new and exciting Dungeons and Dragons. These games would last for hours or even days, and often I watched my friends argue about the rules of the game or other such details. The reason I raise this potential area for conflict is that if you adhere to the rules and everything else set out in this book, you can spend more time playing and less time pointing fingers and arguing about the barbarian culture whose technology is limited to throwing rocks.

A lot of time and painstaking effort was channeled into this book just from looking at the numerous charts and descriptions. Everything is neat, orderly, and easily accessible. The accompanying fantasy illustrations are a plus. By simply using this guide on its own, the reader can spend years of role-playing time and remain engaged. That’s how much information is contained on its pages. If you are into role-playing fantasy games, solo or in a group, and want to have a quick and easy way to go about it, look no further than Epic Fantasy by Mr. Jonathan Nolan.

Asher Syed

Epic Fantasy by Mr. Jonathan Nolan is an all-in-one role-playing rulebook combining retroclone FASERIP and the open game content SRD from a well-known fantasy RPG. It features numerous classes, modular monster creation, and a heroic scale for epic adventures. The book includes day/night encounter charts, rules for barony ownership, weather, world generation, and more. Epic Fantasy allows easy conversion of other games, self-rating for immersion, and offers a wide array of more than the standard creature features. The adaptable FASERIP ability system allows players to embody any living being, and there's a conversion system for other OSR and d20 SRD games, over 450 pages of content, and both full-color and black/white sketched artwork by over 100 artists.

In his tabletop RPG game Epic Fantasy and the book that transports players easily into a rich and imaginative new collection of possibilities, author and creator Mr. Jonathan Nolan achieves the most important aspect of any RPG luring in future devotees: it is user-friendly. From a player standpoint, this is down to Nolan's effective streamlining of the work that balances its comprehensiveness. I tried really hard to find something to critique and, hand over heart, I can't fault any aspect. From a literary standpoint, the user-friendliness is the conversational nature of the text. It's not like reading a game insert, it's like a friend telling you what's up. Conversion assistance for dice is there but, otherwise, the game, the style, the settings, and the artwork are singular and unique. I'm excited to see where the universe takes it, and where a future Gamemaster takes me.

Jamie Michele

Epic Fantasy by Mr. Jonathan Nolan is a cooperative tabletop roleplaying game where players gather to create stories under the guidance of a Gamemaster, utilizing a 1d100 dice. The gaming world is filled with magic, missions, and conflicts with evil forces. The Gamemaster manages the plot and obstacles while allowing players to play individually, in groups, or via the Wesely-Arneson technique. Characters have one action per round, and time is measured in rounds. For a variety of activities, 1d100 dice are used, with 00 denoting critical success and 01 denoting critical failure. Characters have intensities and ranks, and Karma is a tool for development. Character alignment violations result in Karma loss. The game promotes dramatic storytelling, a straightforward main plot, the existence of a Dark Lord, world exploration, interpersonal interactions, conflict, and a concentration on ranks over riches, allowing players to construct their own inventive secondary universe.

I grew up playing the very traditional roleplay game Dungeons and Dragons with the old school books that we saved for months to buy. I have never personally played a different style, and, sadly, over time we stopped playing. I really like Epic Fantasy by Mr. Jonathan Nolan for a few reasons. The standout to me is the Karma value system, which is unique and keeps players from forcing their characters to do things that contradict who and what that character is and, in fact, penalizing for breaching those boundaries. Nolan's creation of the game in its entirety, as it is presented in this book, is a remarkable feat. It is mind-boggling how much detail went into its planning, but also how such a massive number of features could be so accessible. The reality is that if a game is not accessible, then none of this matters. Epic Fantasy is wonderfully accessible. Whether a player and their character find themselves on a salt flat, experiencing psychological impairment like going mad due to a siren, or having the Barony usurped, there is a guide for it all. There is also artwork, which is truly gorgeous. Very highly recommended.

Rabia Tanveer

Epic Fantasy: Complete Fantasy Role-Playing Game by Jonathan Nolan is another complete fantasy role-playing guide for those who wish to create their own game using FASERIPopedia. Similar to the book Camelot, Epic Fantasy is a guide to an epic fantasy game universe where the players can set their own rules, create their own characters, and have the satisfaction of doing more than just playing the game. Jonathan Nolan crafts the rules and gives full character sketches, gameplay, universe, relationships, fantasy creatures, and gods and even shares information about open game licenses users would need to create their own Epic Fantasy. He goes into full detail about each of the aspects of creating your game, plus the illustrations give direction to the reader’s imagination.

Author Jonathan Nolan is very passionate about RPGs, and it is apparent in his dedication to writing such detailed guides. The step-by-step guide is so easy to follow that someone like me was able to understand each and every aspect and feel inspired as well. Everything was structured perfectly; the tables made it easier for me to decide which aspects or characters I would enjoy more in my personal Epic Fantasy the most. I believe the execution of the world will be very easy, especially for those people who are used to the FASERIPopedia platform and understand RPG gameplay more intimately. The illustrations are the perfect addition to help players get a visual before they decide what they want in the game. I highly recommend this book to gamers and those who want to create their own Epic Fantasy using an open-game license.

K.C. Finn

Epic Fantasy: Complete Fantasy Role-Playing Game is a work of fiction and gameplay mechanics in the fantasy, adventure, and action subgenres. It is suitable for readers of all ages interested in RPG gaming and was penned by author Jonathan Nolan. The work is comprised of a massive, 450+ page role-playing game that promises an epic fantasy experience without the usual "murder hobos" mentality that can plague some tabletop RPGs. The book is an adaptation of the SRD (System Reference Document) to the FASERIP system, creating a complete fantasy role-playing game with its own unique flavor.

Author Jonathan Nolan has crafted a truly comprehensive system that’s easy to pick up and promises non-stop adventure once you’re into it. One of the standout features of this book is the extensive coverage of monsters, including hybrid creatures and various equivalents of templates. The inclusion of modular monsters adds depth and variety to encounters, making the game world feel more vibrant and unpredictable. It's evident that a tremendous amount of effort has gone into this adaptation, and it strives to preserve the classic essence of fantasy role-playing whilst also offering more convenience, flexibility, and resources than ever before. The treatment of encounters, items, classes, races, and level progressions is comprehensive, making it a valuable resource for both novice and experienced players for a real ‘plug-in and play’ experience. A special mention must also be made for the artwork throughout the book, which is truly striking and adds to the immersive experience. Overall, Epic Fantasy is a rich and ambitious tabletop RPG that offers players a comprehensive and morally grounded fantasy world to explore. It's a must-have for those seeking an epic and immersive gaming experience and I would certainly love to give it a try!