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Ascendant Destiny
by Shane K. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/14/2018 01:32:22

Disclaimer: I'm a friend of the designer, and have played some version of this system for many years.

Ascendant Destiny is a flexible and versatile system. It supports highly customisable, rich, and distinct characters who grow into beings of legend throughout a campaign.

Its progression system is class-less, focusing instead on specific skills and abilities (broadly variations on fighting, knowledge, social, technical, exploration, and magic skills) allowing characters to develop in their own way. Many different approaches and styles are supported and able to contribute to a party or story, including any combination. Magic in combat, in particular, is treated via a skill just like any other fighting skill, allowing a character to fight all day in any way their player can imagine, in addition to casting specific spells which are handled via a separate magical knowledge skill.

Its progression system is meaningful, with a strong fantasy for different skills and approaches including distinct types of magic, fighting styles, and ways to influence and support others. This continues into the late game with significant and memorable powers as characters 'ascend' into legend.

It has an elegant and fast core system that supports creativity and variety. You can treat the skills quite broadly and descriptively if adopting a narrative approach to running the game, in particular the profession skills can fill in for character concepts such as 'big damn hero.' But there is also enough depth to satisfy those who prefer a more tactical approach, with rewards for character optimisation and numerous optional rules for extra detail.

The core dice system involves rolling a number of d10s equal to the character's rating in a relevant skill or ability. The results are used to generate a single number that is compared to the check's difficulty to determine success, failure, or in between. My rough simulations show that the average result is about 'number of dice plus six,' with the result usually falling within three of this average. I've seen many players prefer a multiple dice distribution like this (i.e. closer to a bell curve, compared to a single die system where every result is equally likely) as it tends to make their characters feel more competent over time and reward investment in a skill or ability. But this system also retains the simplicity of a single result for a fast determination of success, and preserves and celebrates extreme results.

Finallly, it is a a heavily customisable system, with support for creating your own feats, powers, and specialities, as well as the ability to adapt the system to any setting or genre beyond high fantasy. I've had a blast playing with this system and I hope you do as well.

[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ascendant Destiny
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