FAITH: A Garden in Hell ~ REVIEW
A month or so back I got a preview copy of “FAITH: A Garden in Hell”. It was a sort of starter kit including a rule book, an adventure book, four pre-generated characters, a deck for play, and a bunch of other goodies.
Set in a future where human civilization has fallen and aliens offer humans the chance to be soldiers or workers of various types. The aliens, The Corvo, are buglike and are at war with an aquatic race called the Iz’kal. Locked into this silent, cold war of sorts, the two groups are stalemated with neither side gaining the upper hand. In comes the Ravagers, a third group to the party and you get the game you are waiting for.
The game is one of many that has gotten rid of dice and opted for cards. While I like card based games, I fear the long haul of what happens if the game is no longer on the market. Currently you can also get the cards from the Burning Games website if you want to print your own. The art on the cards is not bad and the mechanics work well. It is one of the few card mechanics that really makes you think and that creates an element missing in many RPG’s.
FAITH’s mechanics revolve around the use of an illustrated poker deck to solve actions and confrontations. Each player, including the GM, will draw up to 7 cards (8 if your character is human) they’ll use to determine their fate during confrontations.
Combined with a Skill-Attribute system that dictates your base action value and how many cards you can play to increase that value, this creates the core of a system that allows you to manage your luck:
- Not much at stake? Play your low cards.
- Want to succeed at all costs? Play your court cards.
This is a game about storytelling how you want to, instead of letting the dice decide.
Based on the name, religion is a big part of the game. Faith is one of the core attributes and your choice of deity influences not just the flavor of your character but even you chances of success. The game is missing social skills and that is a flaw in my opinion but not a terrible one. The combat mechanics and other mechanics work well. The game includes male and female character sheets t get you started as well as card with big bosses and gear.
Role Playing Games are a dime a dozen these days. Systems vary but the games themselves require world building to be successful. FAITH has some great world building elements and the potential to be a classic. The boxed set is nice and harkens back to box sets from the early eighties. I think a solid core rule book would fit my taste better as I dislike many pieces and components that can be easily lost. Still the game has its charms and is well worth checking out. If you want to look over the rules, check out the Burning Games website for a free download.Lets look at a few reviews:
Gaming Trend: “[…] Faith heralds the start of a fresh intellectual property that will be sure to create memorable experiences for years to come […]”
Runkle Plays Games: “[…] yes at its core stripped down from all the extra bells and whistles that FAITH comes with to make it look so beautiful at the table. It is a good game. Congratulations Burning Games!”
ClubFantasci: “Burning Games has done a great job at creating a beautiful design in Faith that is meaty but easy to learn.” “[…] solid, easy to play sci-fi RPG that offers a lot of adventuring right out of the box […]”
Little Metal Dog: “The fact that everything works so well means I will certainly recommend it”. “[…] who wouldn’t want to play something that gives you such freedom? Trying this one was a pleasure […]”
Undead Viking: “[…] ease of use: no dice, no nothing, it’s just like the action is fast, and everybody is involved, and everybody is talking […] my group has really really enjoyed Faith and I’m excited to see what the game will look like once it gets published, and see all the final art […]”
Board Game Couch: “Burning Games, you did a really good job, you have yourself your first backer […]”
RPG Academy: “I was very impressed. The quality of the product put together is top notch, an elegant core mechanic. […] A+ all the way around.”
Geekline415: “Oh, we WILL be playing again”
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