Image source: FGO SPS公式‏ on Twitter

Fate/Grand Order. It’s a thing. You might have heard of the smartphone game—namely because Toshi doesn’t shut up about it. But did you know there’s now an official analog version of the game?

Twelve Upcoming Servants You Should Save Up for in Fate/Grand Order

Fate/Grand Order is a smartphone game based on the popular Fate franchise where players take the role of a lone Master tasked with saving the world by summoning various legendary heroes to fight and defeat enemies. The game has gained extreme popularity, making it one of the most popular smartphone games in Japan. Aside from the actual game itself, there is also an AR game, a VR game, and now, a pencil game. What? That’s right. A pencil game.

Image source: FGO SPS公式‏ on Twitter

Released last month is the new game, Fate/Grand Order – Summon Pencil Servant. Based on the smartphone game, Summon Pencil Servant utilizes the Pencil Battle system; a method of games popular among elementary school children, where players roll pencils for various random results depending on the game and rules that have been applied. Because old school pencils are hexagonal, they can double as a D6—someone just outed themselves as a D&D player—that players can roll. There have been various Pencil Battle games released in the past of varying popularity, but most people who spent their childhood in Japan are at the very least aware of this type of game.

Summon Pencil Servant is basically the battle system of Fate/Grand Order with the randomized rolls of pencils added to it. The way it works is each Servant has a cost that ranges from 0 to 5—basically the star rarity designation from the video game. Players select up to three Servants to be in their party, but the sum of the Servants’ cost can’t exceed 10. Players then take turns rolling and determining the results as they try to eliminate all of their opponent’s Servants.

Image source: FGO SPS公式‏ on Twitter

Obviously, just rolling for damage over and over is rather monotonous, so there are other game elements that are included for more strategies. Each Servant has three skills they can use once per game. Servants can also power up by Ascending, which increases the effects of their attacks. Servants also have their Noble Phantasms which can be used to do loads of damage but need to be charged first.

Image source: FGO SPS公式‏ on Twitter

There are more details to the rules but, needless to say, with the various effects of skills and the individual Servants’ HP, the game is best played with some paper on the side to keep track of things. Depending on the Class of a Servant, they’ll deal and receive bonus or reduced damage and certain skills add or reduce different percents of damage to and from attacks, so a calculator would also be a good idea.

The game is currently being sold in starter sets and booster packs. The starter set contains a rule sheet and a play sheet that makes it easier to keep track of things and three Servants, Mash, Cu Chulainn (Caster), and Altria Pendragon, and their skill and Noble Phantasm cards. The booster packs each contain one of 24 random Servants and the Servant’s skill and Noble Phantasm cards because it wouldn’t be FGO without some random draw elements.

Image source: FGO SPS公式 on Twitter

Overall, the game very accurately takes the battle system of the video game and makes it into an analog table top game. In fact, with the character data and a six-sided die, one could probably even build a campaign adventure of their own. Conveniently, the data for all the Pencil Servants released in the game so far is available on the game’s official homepage. It’s the perfect way to kill the time between scheduled and unscheduled maintenance breaks when you can’t play the smartphone game.

Image source: FGO SPS公式 on Twitter

Fate/Grand Order – Summon Pencil Servant is currently being sold in Japan at various stores and through the Aniplex Plus online store. There is currently no word on an English version release.

Fate/Grand Order can be downloaded from the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store. The anime special inspired by the game—Fate/Grand Order – First Order—can be viewed with English subtitles on Daisuki, Crunchyroll, and AnimeLab.

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