Eloy is a very talented designer who I first encountered through his previous game Part-Time Gods, a brilliant RPG about playing as people who have gained a spark of divinity, and their struggles to balance their humanity against their divine power. So once I heard he was making a supers themed game, well, I was 100% in. Sure enough, when it arrived, it was everything I’d wanted it to be.
So, let’s take a look at it shall we?
AMP: Year One is set in a present day (or near enough) alternate world where people known as AMPs (Accelerated Mutant Potential) have appeared. I don’t want to spoil too much of the back-story, but I will say that it involves genetic experimentation and shady organisations. The story of the setting opens up in 2015, when the AMPs have begun to emerge. They’re still in hiding, and learning what they are and what they can do. The AMPs are classed based on their Strain, which determines what powers they have access to. All the core archetypes for supers are there, Blasters (energy manipulators), Bulks (the Hulk, or the Thing), Elementals (pretty self explanatory), Ferals (varying animal based powers, such as control or taking on animal aspects), Mindbenders (illusionist and mind controllers), Psychs (traditional psychics such as telepaths and astral projectors), Shapers (transmutation and physical manipulation), Shifters (ranges from Mr Fantastic to shapeshifters), and Travelers (teleporters, speedsters, time manipulation and so on). Within their Strain, AMPs have access to three of the powers available (designated as Primary, Secondary and Tertiary), which can then be modified by way of Augments. It allows for a lot of customisation within the game, and can lead to some really cool characters.
AMP: Year Two, continues the timeline of the setting into 2016, when AMPs are known to the public, and the backlash against the mutants is starting (this will feel like pretty familiar territory to any X-Men fans reading this). More organisations, both for and against AMPs, are being introduced, new major players are appearing, and new powers are being discovered (there’s one new power for each Strain, as well as a sort of pseudo strain for non-AMPs called Gadgeteer that lets them make gizmos, just in case someone wants to play Batman). Old organisations are splitting off as schisms form within them, and loyalties are being tested. All in all I’m really excited to see where this goes, so of course I’ve backed already for a hardcover copy of the book. This book is really just an expansion, so it does still require AMP: Year One to play.
Let’s talk a little about the system. AMP, like Part-Time Gods before it, uses a variation on the Dynamic Game System (which I believe Eloy created for Apocalypse Prevention Inc., which has itself been kickstarted for a second edition). While Part-Time Gods used a variation called DGS-Lite, where the resolution mechanic was a basic 1d20 + Attribute + Skill against a target number, AMP uses DGS-Combo, which is 1d20 + Skill + Skill (if there are two skills that make sense together for the roll, such as Speed + Athletics to sprint) or 1d20 + Skill x 1.5 (if only one Skill applies). AMPs power their abilities with Juice, which can be regained in a number of ways (being heroic, being in danger, and so on), and also have an instinctive reaction to other AMPs they’re unfamiliar with called the Law of Attraction, which causes them to have to make a check to prevent themselves from becoming automatically hostile to the newcomer. Building a character is very similar to building characters for World of Darkness, in that you get a certain number of points to work with and divide them up among your skills, powers and so on. How much you spend determines your rating for that particular aspect of your character. From what I’ve seen, the system plays fast and fun, and encourages players to describe all the cool stuff they’re doing by getting the GM to hand out bonuses to rolls where the player does something particularly awesome.
The campaign is currently completely funded, and we’re now working towards stretch goals. For every $1500 above the goal that’s received (we’ve already cracked the first one), a guide for one of the Affiliations (the organisations that players can join or work against) will be created and provided to backers. The first chosen Affiliation is the United Human Front, who are basically the people who are terrified of AMPs and think they’re a dangerous menace to humanity.
What’s really impressive about this project is that it hit 100% funding in the first day. I think it shows just how much faith fans of Eloy and AMP have in him, and how much we want more content for the game. Whether you’re a returning fan of AMP, or new to it, I really do suggest you go and check out the Kickstarter project for it and help make it as awesome as possible. There’s even a reward tier that will get you the AMP: Year One book as well as the new one if you’re new to the game and want to grab them as a bundle.
Once again, you can find the campaign here: AMP: Year Two Kickstarter
I’ve got an AMP game in the works, and will be blogging about it as I get closer to actually starting (we’re a few months away from it at the moment, but it is definitely happening).
Written while listening to Shiv-R, a dark electronica/aggrotech project. I really love their stuff, particularly the album Wax Wings Will Burn. Great music to work to, good heavy thumping beat and a really cool sound.