my experience building a character for Goodman Games' Amethyst. Amethyst is a campaign setting putting the characters in a futuristic America where the fantasy mixes quite thoroughly with the sci-fi. You've got elves, halflings, and vampires (a playable class!) thrown together with laser-guided rockets and mecha powered armor.
Character generation was a little rough. Part of this was because of how big a crutch the D&D Insider Character Builder (CB) software is. Sure, it's nice and conventient in that it does all the math and tells you exactly what you need to pick from. The CB can be handy, but it also makes you weak! 4th Ed. characters can be quite complex (and in fairness to the system, we were building level 16 characters in a new system from the ground-up - we've never built anything bigger than a level 9 character from scratch before).
Now that we've gotten a chance to play it for this past Friday's gaming night, what did I think? Keep reading to find out!
I'm going to be upfront about this - Amethyst is pretty awesome. I don't want to bury the lead or make people wonder what I think about the actual game play of Amethyst. I liked it a lot, and, as I repeated numerous times to the group Friday night, I felt like the game captured something really right with how they implemented the controller role.
Tacarm from AT-43 (we all used AT-43 mini's for the PC's) which worked our perfectly since my mobile motor armor was a 2 x 2 large character.
I guess my parting thought on Amethyst for now is its complexity level. There are enough rules here that it can feel a little overwhelming when you first start out. From ammo types to weapon traits to the mechanical corruption, it can get a bit heavy. I'd say the amount of crunch added onto the existing 4th Ed. rules is comprable to one of the fatsplats (like Vampire, Werewolf, or Mage) and how much they add on to the World of Darkness core rules. Everything is translatable from 4th Ed. rules, but there's a thin extra game laid over the top of it. It's more complex and adds more to the game than something like Day After Ragnarok does to Savage Worlds. It's definitely worth a look at what a different design team can do with the 4th Ed. rules in a completely different setting than the standard put out by Wizards. I'm excited to hear that Amethyst Evolutions is going to be following up the core book we have already (Amethyst Foundations). I can't wait to see what epic destinies they include to expand upon their nice list of paragon paths. Hopefully we'll get something to follow-up on our Brothers of Blood - that would make two grounders very happy!