EDIT : The Kickstarter for Burning Games Core 2.0 book has about 1 day left. Check it out HERE
we also did a Show & Tell about their Kickstarter and Garden in Hell – listen HERE.
Associate Professor Brad Knipper (@ForceAndDestiny on twitter) here with a review of Faith: A Garden in Hell – Starter Set from Burning Games. This is a complete starter set, which is currently available for pre-order, contains everything you need to jump into the universe of Faith and dive right into plasma-slinging action.
What is Faith – A Garden in Hell?
Faith – A Garden In Hell is a complete campaign for use with Faith: the Sci-Fi RPG set in the far future of our universe. The starter set is designed for two to five players and should give you a solid 7-12 sessions worth of play. The player characters take on the role of group of marines who have crash landed on a hostile planet. Their mission is to capture to the Ravager Queen, the swarm mother of the Ravagers, and if the gods are willing, extract enough information to turn the tide of the war.
The starter set retails for $32 and in my humble opinion, it’s worth every penny. The starter set contains the campaign book, NPC and gear card decks, the faith card deck, character folios, the GM Guide, and the Faith version 1.5 rulebook. It’s clear that Burning Games pulled out all the stops. All of the materials are high quality and in full color. The artwork is absolutely beautiful and helps to establish the ambiance of the Faith universe. The campaign book is laid out in a way that teaches the rules of the as you go. This is perfect for new players, to both Faith and RPGs in general, in that it helps you dive right into the action. It should also be appealing to experienced Faith players as it will quickly allow them to see what rules have changed for version 1.5.
The setting and background material for Faith is very rich. It’s a big universe and there is a lot going on.There are four characters, each with a fully fleshed out character sheet, artwork, and story in the character folio. The characters are excellent written, each with their own personal strengths, flaws, and relationships. As far as character sheets, I think that they are rather well designed. There is plenty of empty space on the sheets for notes and they do not feel overcrowded.
Player Decks, Cards you Say? Where’s the Dice?
Simply put, there aren’t any. Faith uses a deck of poker cards to resolve conflicts, which are referred to as confrontations in the game. Cards range in value from one to thirteen. There are four suits, which have been reskinned from spades, hearts, diamonds, and clubs, to space, urban, OS, and wilderness. Each card has beautiful artwork which really adds to the ambiance in play.
Although I’m a huge fan of poker and I love games such as Deadlands utilize playing cards in their mechanics, I intrigued, when I learned that Faith completely lacked dice. There is something uniquely satisfying about the roleplaying experience. Picking up a hand full of dice and trusting the fate of my character to the dice was part of the experience for me. So how does Fate, and it’s lack of dice, hold up?
Rather well actually.
I found that the game moved along quickly. Players didn’t have to search through their large piles of dice to find two d10’s or mistakenly rolled a d8 instead of the d20 they were supposed to role. Faith’s attribute and skill system was intuitive and easy to learn. It also removed some of the element of uncertainty that comes with rolling dice and allows you to choose strategy. At the start of the scene, you already have you cards. You know their values. If you really need to shoot the ravager so it doesn’t eat your face off or get away with the McGuffin, you can play those thirteen’s you’ve been holding on to.
If you haven’t been able to tell, I really enjoyed my time with Faith: A Garden In Hell Starter Set. The team at Burning Games has put together a complete product featuring an intriguing story line, a solid and robust system, all featuring beautiful artwork that brings the world to life. This starter set is provides a taste of what the wider universe of Faith has to offer. It’s an excellent product. If you’re looking a new RPG to try or are looking to get into roleplaying for the first time, Fate: A Garden In Hell Starter Set is a good place to start.
If you’ve like you’ve read so far and would love to hear what a play session of Faith might sound like then you should check out our actual play of Faith. Carlos, one of the creators of the game, ran a great session for Michael, Matt, and Scott.
Image Credits: The images used in this write up are from the Burning Games website. And be found at http://burning-games.com/en/faith-a-garden-in-hell-sci-fi-rpg-starter-campaign/