Amazing Heroes is a deceptively powerful and deep RPG that on first look, appears simple (and it is) but in fact it has a lot more to offer beneath its surface.
The game is a rules-light narrative RPG that is easy to play and takes very little setting up.
This game is a lot of fun, quick to learn, fast character generation and a perfect toolbox/sandbox to expand upon with your own custom rules or added depth if you want it – and if you don't, it's a perfect quick pick-me-up for your Supers roleplaying fun.
Character generation is very light and simple. There are no lists of powers, but you don't need them as you'll see. This in fact offers unlimited freedom in creating any character you want. If you want a power like 'Master of The Seven Seas', or 'World's Greatest Marksman', you can have it. Assign a die to it, explain what it does and away you go.
The game uses a D6, D8, D10 and D12. Each die represents a level of power or skill, all of which are determined by the players and the GM.
The players in collaboration with the GM, discuss the scale of play and assign values to those dice to create their own benchmarks. You can in effect, run any kind of campaign with these rules (not just supers) since you and your players decide the scope and scale of what those die ratings mean. 'Occupations' are similar - these represent skill sets or specific skills - it's up to you. Assign a D6 to D12 and you're done.
For my Supers campaign I referenced the benchmarks from the Marvel Heroic RPG (the Cortex-based Marvel RPG) and then fine-tuned it. In fact, if you are familiar with Cortex Prime, you can adapt it into Amazing Heroes for a light and streamlined alternative.
The core mechanic is a simple but powerful narrative tool.
You roll the relevant die against a difficulty, whether a task or against an adversary. If you roll a 1 or a 2 you suffer a 'Condition'. Conditions are similar to FATE Aspects. They can be literally anything. If you suffer the exact same Condition again, it gains the 'Really' prefix and you gain a -1 penalty to all further rolls. If you suffer that same condition a third time you become 'Hurt'. If you suffer three 'Hurt' conditions, you are taken out of play, K.O. humiliated, dead etc.
It's possible to have multiple Conditions at once, like Exhausted, Really Scorched, Really Bruised, Confused, Humilated, and so on.
If you roll and fail the check, you can fail normally but the GM can also 'Escalate' things with added events or twists happening in the scene. There is world of narrative possiblity here and Escalations add to the drama and action enormously.
Failing a roll with a 1 or 2 means that that the Condition can be literally anything, but it affects you: You suffer a counter-attack, you are shaken, disturbed, become humiliated, uncertain, unfocused, distracted and so on. Characters can also suffer conditions like 'Reckless', 'Crude, Unfeeling' etc, that will impact them socially or on the media etc. Literally, anything is possible.
Failing a roll that is not a 1 or 2 but a fail, means the situation can Escalate and something as a result of the scene, gets worse or more interesting: you stop the fuel truck but it tears, leaks fuel and catches fire.
The way that things develop and escalate from rolling a 1 or 2 or failing the roll will keep any scene dynamic with evolving options and developments.
The system is so adaptable and light, I literally created an afternoon's worth of play just by bullet-pointing some scenario ideas and statting the adversaries, which is an incredibly easy and rewarding experience. There are rules for mobs and mooks which work great.
If something isn't in the book, you can easily stat it up, make a rule etc. and it works great within the game. If you want more depth of crunch, I think it's a true RPG Sandbox, and any GM will easily be able to expand it in many ways beyond its default state - which is a great streamlined, fast RPG that's a lot of fun to play.
ERRATA : In the PDF version there are a couple of errors - a line of text is repeated on page 21 ('If a hero gains the same condition a second time it') and also there is broken text stretched across an image on page 76 near the character's head. Update please Martin !
Five stars without hesitation. An amazing game.
Example of Play:
In a game I ran with Iron Man fighting an armed gang of bank robbers in mid-town Manhattan, the player fired his Repulsors D8 into the robbers (difficulty 4+) as they fled the bank and rolled a 1 which gave Iron Man a Condition. Not only did he miss, he destroyed part of the bank's entrance. This gave him a 'Reckless' Condition.
He then fired rockets at them just as they ran behind cover and rolled a 2. This blew out more public property and he got the 'Really Reckless' Condition. Bystanders were filming him on their phones and it was across social media in minutes. The player then decided to use fists, and knocked out the robbers easily in two rounds. The player then stated he'd use fists in future, when fighting in built-up areas, and leave the weapons systems for open areas.
The 'Really Reckless' condition wasn't removed after the scene, and the story of 'Stark's Recklessness' ran on media through the day. The player decided to have Tony Stark go on TV and offer to repair all the damage and reimburse anyone affected. He rolled his Billionaire Playboy D8 Occupation and got a 6 against a difficulty of 4+, succeeding.
This reduced it to 'Reckless', The media then ran the story for a few more days until Stark did a brief PR campaign to clean things up.
All this from failing two combat rolls.
EDIT: Hi Martin, - I just downloaded the PDF and those errors haven't been fixed.
[5 of 5 Stars!]