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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Amazing Adventures, mini review

 Here is my small review of Amazing Adventures from Troll Lord games written by Jason Vey (The Gray Elf), of Elf Lair Games.

First a small disclaimer: I really love pulp settings. Back in middle school I ran across a Doc Savage novel. And from there The Shadow and a whole slew of Pulp novels and comics. So if in this review I seem like a gushing fan boy, Its because I am.

Second small disclaimer: I am a big fan of the troll lords. I'm a big fan of Castles and Crusades, So I will not really be saying much about the siege engine itself, But will touch on a few things that differ with this product, If you want to know more pick up the Castles and crusades quick start here. Just assume I like the system. And again, I'm a fan boy.

Amazing Adventures is a Siege Engine roleplaying game for running games in the pulp era. The pulp era setting would be the style of the pulp serial comic, television shows, movies, books, and radio shows of the 1920s through about the 1950s. Encompassing a great many styles and moods. From hard boiled detectives to masked vigilantes. The horror that is The call of Cthulhu to the heroics of Indiana Jones are all examples of Pulp.

 The Amazing Adventures book starts out with character creation. There is more than one method for generating ability scores. There are eight classes in this games, All of which cover a lot of ground and are broad enough to cover a lot of different play styles. These classes are.
The Arcanist
The Gadgeteer
The Gumshoe
The Hooligan
The Mentalist
The Pugilist
The Raider
The Socialite

While Amazing Adventures is a Siege Engine game there are some notable differences in the system. For one the values for secondary and primary challenge bases are 10 and 15 rather than 12 and 18 as it is in Castles and Crusades. It was stated this was done for simplicity's sake and to capture a more heroic feel. Traits are added to help describe your character. All traits have and benefit and a drawback to them. I think this is a great way to flesh out a character.

Also worthy of a note is unlike C&C where a classes prime is set for spell casters (Int for wizards and Wis for paladins) Players choose Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma to be prime depending on the source or the magic powers. Each with its own spell list. While some spells over lap, others are unique to one source of magic. This is a great way to further customize Archaists.

Chapters one and two are all about character customization. Chapter three is paranormal, all about Arcanists and Mentalists. Chapter four is rules of the game. Chapter five is Bestiary. Chapter six is all about how to run a pulp game.

While this game looks to be an good stand alone game. I think the addition of a lot of the C&C books will add a lot to the game, especially monsters & treasures as well as castle keepers guide. Amazing Adventures looks to be every thing needed to run an excellent pulp game. I think Amazing Adventures will be very useful for most modern game as well, Just give the classes new names.

Really looking forward to putting this book to use.

Edit: It has been pointed out to me that I posted wrong about the Prime / Non-prime in AA. In castles and crusades Primes roll against a 12 and non roll against 18. But some players like to keep all rolls against 18 and give a prime roll instead a +6. This option in C&C is the default in AA. All rolls are against a  base 15. Prime rolls get a +5 to their rolls.


  1. Thanks for the review, Ronin! Just a quick correction: the CB is a flat 15, with Primes granting a +5 bonus, not 10 and 15 for Prime/non-Prime.

    This is an important distinction as it easily allows direct comparison of roll results just by using the "who rolled higher?" method, instead of calculating who made their success by a wider margin.

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  3. Thank you Jason for pointing that out for new players.

    Since many people are familiar with C&C's 12/18 I think its an easier explanation than explaining that 12 is just 18 with a +6. Then explaining how AA is different.

    As a C&C player I see that as 10/15. Like C&C's 12/18, You can call it a 15 difficulty with a +5. Its still a 10 to me.

    I understand that having a single difficulty could speed up calculations. But just as easy to me to calculate how much higher or how much lower you missed your roll by in the 10/15 method.

    Having that option is one of the siege engine strengths.


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