Sandboxing Basic Fantasy

I have really been enjoying running Basic Fantasy RPG for the Bearfoot Marauders. The game is light rules, even if there are more charts, and things move pretty fast. I describe combat encounters in BFRPF as different than Dungeons & Dragons 5e. It’s not better or worse, just different. 5e tends to be more cinematic–the abilities of the characters are very powerful, even at mid-level, so it makes for more flashy encounters 1. BFRPG is more tense, and even unnerving at lower levels, because the characters are not very powerful. I find both styles of play enjoyable, and don’t understand why there are portions of tabletop roleplaying circles which feel they can only be justified in their preference if the other style isn’t condemned as terrible 2.

But it is different from what modern players know, so I wanted to record a combat demonstration showing of how Basic Fantasy’s combat works. In the embedded video I’m using FoundryVTT for my table top, which has one big downside when using BFRPG–no one’s created an official system install for this application. To overcome this, I’m running my game using the Sandbox system, which I’ve managed to set up to automate a number of the key calculations players will need. This means I lose some of the nicer bells and whistles Foundry offers, but it’s functional 3.

I apologize for the fan noise in advance, I need to change my screen recording setup a bit to overcome this.


  1. And, yes, it does take more time. One thing I’ve noticed among 5e DM’s is the trend of advice on keeping the interest of players during combat because individual turns can be rather long. 
  2. To me, that comes across as insecurities being presented as bravado. 
  3. And I feel a sense of achievement for figuring this out as much as I have.