RPGNow.com
Close
New Account
 
  
 
 
You will lose your chance to get the free product of the week.
One-click unsubscribe later if you don't enjoy the newsletter.
Close
Log In
 
 Forgot password?
 

     or     Log In with your Facebook Account
Browse









Back
Other comments left for this publisher:
Amethyst: Destiny (Fate Edition)
by Dillard R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 09/09/2014 15:14:03
You absolutely have to have knowledge of how to play FATE from another source. This book discusses how the FATE hack works for this setting but the amount of rules discussion in this product (less than 20 pages FATE specific) would leave most players completely uninformed or totally confused or both using just this book. There is no discussion of Campaign Aspects or how to create them. There is no discussion of Situation Aspects how to create them use them...anything.
From a purely game mechanic standpoint Amethyst is a good game. It explains the FATE hack and how it works with the FATE rules well enough. It cannot possibly stand alone. It is not a stand out in the FATE powered games presently available. It finds itself firmly in the middle in my opinion. It has some interesting concepts that can be used by players and GMs alike. Instead of using FATE dice you use a hand of five FATE cards from the Deck of FATE. The author encourages players to have 2 decks for use in the game. (This is not a small cost) There are discussions of how to use Fudge dice and die 6s. However the preferred method is the Deck of FATE, because several of the stunts available are predicated on the use of the Deck of FATE. I personally like the use of Vocations instead of Skills in this product. I wouldn’t do this for every FATE product out there, but it works for this setting. Vocations are just like they sound, a broad range of skills used for a particular profession. If you are an Investigator +2 it is assumed that you have the necessary skills and resources to perform the functions of an Investigator of better than average level, etc. There are a wide range of Vocations listed in the setting. The Vocations also have associated stunts and summaries of how those Vocations would be used in play. The Vocations are further broken into Species Vocations, Regional Vocations and Organization Vocations. Species Vocations define how you would act and what traits you have as a particular type of Fae. Organization Vocations define what kind of resources you have and how you would act as a member or a particular type of organization. Regional Vocations are used mostly by humans to define how they may differ based on where they come from. There is one adventure in the book. The setting is huge; all of North America. It is more of a sandbox style and the authors invite you to dig deeper and create your own adventures and campaigns. There is a small amount of advice on how to do this and a small amount of advice on what some typical campaigns may look like. I have gone to the Dias Ex Machina website and FB page and have found only one other adventure available, so there doesn’t seem to be much support beyond the primary sourcebook. (Remember this isn’t the first version of Amethyst and I am including the other versions in this as well)
My biggest concern is the setting itself. Not the idea. I love the idea of Fantasy impinging on the modern world and how humans would react and interact with magic and magical creatures. What I don’t like is the underlying preaching that goes on in the setting. The setting as written is very a-theistic. Unapologetically it seems. The fiction used to illustrate the concepts of the setting features a character that is angered at a supposedly non-existent God. In the first few pages of story he mentions the non-existence of God as many or more times than he thinks about the differences of living in a technological world assaulted by the appearance of fantasy creatures and magic. Limshau the setting’s primary city for fantasy aligned characters is discussed as being enlightened and growing because of this enlightenment. But, the authors go on to say that this enlightenment consists of the outlawing of organized religion and corporations; the only organization allowed to exist is the government. Vice is not only legal, but the setting description goes on to mention prostitution several times in a way as to make it seem to be an ordinary occupation as valid as any other. Citizens are not allowed to be armed; only the police (Custodians and militia) are allowed weapons heavier than short swords (it doesn’t address that fact that spellcasters are walking weapons, or that some species are equipped by nature to be veritable tanks). Given that Limshau is ruled by a very long-lived hereditary oligarchy only exacerbates the Government’s power. When I grew up this wasn’t called enlightened it was called despotic, or totalitarian, or Stalinist Communism. I would hope that the amount of energy the authors put into the art, the fiction, the description of the various fae species, would find itself into the background of the setting, but it doesn’t. Teaching that Vice is ok and should be legalized, teaching that organized religion and organized business are detriments to a growing culture are not just counter-intuitive, but are lacking in logic and evidence. We, the human race, have tried communism. It failed. Nations around the world are trying to legalize vice to varying degrees and are finding that it is creating more cost (financially, physically and emotionally) than good.
The Authors have responded well to questions on this site which I appreciate greatly. I will use this setting because I like the idea. I am going to have to rework the various communities so that they make sense in a cultural, economic and political way. I am going to have to create my own campaign and adventures. This isn't crippling. This isn't necessarily bad. However, it would be nice if this had been part of the description of the game and its setting before I had spent 15 USD on it. (PS I have a BA in Social Studies Composite with an emphasis on History and a MA in US History. I lived in Europe for three years and in Asia for six.)

Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
Amethyst: Destiny (Fate Edition)
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Amethyst: Destiny (Fate Edition)
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 08/16/2014 12:38:45
A long piece of fiction preceeds the introduction of the core premise of this game: what if storybook concepts co-existed with the real world around us? Most of us, certainly in the community of role-players, have active fantasy imaginations, but what would it be like if those imaginings became real, not as a replacement for the real world outside the window but alongside it? In answering such questions, we have the game, the setting, that is Amethyst.

Amethyst is not new. It's been around for quite some time now, growing and being revised, being changed to fit different rulesets - D20, D&D 4e, Pathfinder and now Fate. For the first three, the ruleset itself provided the framework for the fantasy aspects, bringing their monsters and magics out into a 'real world' setting which is easy to provide: we live there.

The introduction continues with the background - in character - as to how the co-existence of fantasy and real worlds came about and the tensions, conflicts, that this causes. Magic is real, but quite rare. Monsters too are mercifully rare but devastating when they do show up. And deities? Nobody knows if they are real or not, but there are plenty that believe... just like in the real world.

Chapter 2: Fate of Amethyst touches on the setting's history before launching into an explanation of how it works with Fate and, for those new to it, how Fate Core itself works. For this is a stand-alone book, all the rules you need to play are here, although if you do have access to Fate Core it can be helpful. You will also need a Fate Deck or Fate Dice, and alternative methods of generating the required random results are discussed. The character sheet is explained, leading into an explanation of how to generate characters coupled with information on how to use the character mechanics within the game. There are some variations from standard Fate Core mechanics, mostly brought over or modified from previous incarnations of the game using various class/level mechanics: instead of Fate skills you have rather broader Vocations, for example.

The character creation process itself is detailed clearly and well, being described as 'part of the game' rather than a precursor to it. In devising a character, you'll need to understand his background, and so you are already beginning to tell his story. As such, it is best done as a group activity with the entire party and the GM working together. The next few chapters go into depth on the choices you have to make: species, vocations and so on. Delve deeply and pick wisely. Throughout, snippets of fiction - some from the original story, others singular bits relating to the topic at hand - serve to illustrate what is being covered. Illustrations too are rich and varied and give a feel for what is being discussed. Many fascinating snippets of information are buried here, it's worth reading throroughly. For every choice, however, there is also a summary box which tells you what a character making that choice will be capable of - if the summary appeals, consider that choice in detail.

That dealt with, what of the world in which your character will operate? This is covered in Chapter 5: The World. Although the concept is fantasy meets real world, the game is not actually set on 21st century Earth, but in an imaginary world with fantasy elements intertwined with technological development of what is a modern society. Remember that it did not develop that way, rather a significant event released the fantastical parts on a more normal society - many of whom resist the idea and reckon fantasy still belongs in a book! Player Characters, even the non-fantasic ones, generally are a bit more aware of what is going on from the outset. It is a rich and varied background, and again this chapter is worthy of serious study to get the feel of the world in which the game takes place. Depending on where a character comes from, he may have access to abilities and knowledge that others do not, so again choose carefully based on what kind of character you want to play. And if you don't care for any location in this rich backdrop, rules are provided for creating your own!

Chapter 6: Equipment looks at the kit and caboodle your character can accumulate. Most is abstracted, you are assumed to have all the ordinary things you need for day-to-day life, it's only the gear that will become important when adventuring that matters. You'll need to know the tech level of the things you want and how well it can resist magic. Different species (and vocations) have their own preferred weapons and equipment, although your character may choose to buck the trend a bit it will make things harder and the character stand out. Weapons vary from basic mediaeval ones to wildly-futuristic, and there's a similar range of armour too - right up to combat exoskeletons and power armour. Tools, drugs, vehicles and more are also covered.

Chapter 7: Magic delves into the underlying philosophy and mechanics of spell-casting as well as exploring the actual spells that can be cast and what they do. Although the rules are quite precise spells are not - it is more a case of dreaming up the effect that you want to have happen and then applying the rules appropriately. There are plenty of sample spells to get you going. Magic items and alchemy are also covered, and there are notes on converting spells from other game systems if there's one you particularly like.

Next, Chapter 8: Monsters details some of the quite outlandish - and dangerous - beasts with which the characters will have to contend. This also includes NPCs. There are sample monsters, notes on devising your own, hazardous environments and much, much more here.

Finally, Chapter 9: Campaign deals with what you'll actually be doing once the game begins. The contrast between the familiar and fantasy should be at the heart of everything that goes on, but just about any plotline can be followed or story told within that context: exploration, intrigue, conflict, investigation... whatever takes your fancy. Running the Fate system is also discussed here, as it has quite an influence on the way in which your stories will be told. This chapter is really for those who want to GM rather than only play, but makes interesting reading whichever role you are planning to fill. There's advice on constructing and locating adventures, and a short sample one to get you going.

Beautifully written, a rich backdrop cunningly crafted and visually spectacular as well (with one flaw, a very dark figure in the lower left of the standard background that often renders a few words of text illegible), if you are already a fan of the Amethyst concept you'll want to add it, if you want to see just what can be done with Fate Core given a strong idea this is of interest... and if you are in search of a unique and different game, you may well find it here.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultramodern4
by Merlin R. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 08/15/2014 18:35:15
Finally, a modern ruleset for 4e!

I liked d20 Modern well enough, I really did. It introduced certain elements like Damage Threshold (making guns very scary things even when the PCs had buckets of HP), heroes based directly off of a particular stat, and easy multiclassing that gelled well.

Now we have Dias Ex Machina's offering, making the D&D 4th Edition game system viable with firearms, grenades, even up to futuristic robots, nanomachines and laser/plasma weapons. You choose from a Ladder which helps offset the need for enchanted gear by using enhancement bonuses granted every few levels, then you select a Class. There's quite a few to choose from, and while some Ladder/Class combinations are more optimal when paired together, there's really no useless selection to make (with the understanding you may have to strain your attributes a bit).

The system can do anything from Civil War to Wild West to Space Opera. It's not a standalone, instead a supplement to the WotC 4e books. Well worth the price of admission, I give this one 5 stars.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultramodern4
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Amethyst - Hearts of Chaos - 4E
by Megan R. [Featured Reviewer] Date Added: 06/17/2014 09:44:51
Opening with a concise overview of what the Amethyst setting is all about - a contemporary world overrun by a fantasy one, with the resulting conflict between magic and technology - this adventure is itself designed to introduce players to Amethyst's concepts.

To help players come to grips with the setting, their characters should all come from the 'technology' end of things. Pre-generated ones are supplied, or you can create your own with that constraint - that, and they are also members of an international mercenary company tasked with finding a former senior member of the unit who has gone rogue and vanished into the deep wilderness, where fantasy and magic hold sway. Worse, he has a lot of knowledge about the group and poses a severe security risk.

There is a lot of information for the DM to absorb to run the adventure effectively, but it is all laid out clearly. If he is already familiar with the Amethyst setting, all to the good, but there is sufficient here to get by even if this is his first encounter with it. Of particular note is the incompatibility between magic and technology - if there's magic around, your tech doesn't work so well and eventually breaks down, and so the DM has to administer the effects of being out in the wild fantasy lands on everything the characters are using. This is explained in great detail so provided the notes are studied in advance you should have little difficulty.

The adventure begins with the party several days into their mission, although things have been peaceful so far. Needless to say they will not remain so quiet for long. Everything is laid out clearly and is easy to run, with all the details - and even hints to pass on particularly if your players are new to the setting - provided just where you want them. The only drawback - and this is throughout the work - is an overly-heavy background which, although quite beautiful, sometimes makes it difficult to read every word. When appropriate maps are provided (there are a whole bunch of separate images provided with the download, as well as full-page ones included in the PDF).

The real joy of this adventure is the profound moral dilemma it poses the characters, based on the very essence of the setting's tension: fantasy or technology? This ought to get the players thinking about what makes this setting unique, as well as what their place in it is, and what it might become. Yet this is not the only challenge to ideas and motivations, there is an underlying struggle between different forces out here where fantasy holds sway as well. Fear not, however, this is not an adventure of quiet contemplation or even heated debate, there's plenty of combat to keep everyone occupied.

Not just a good introduction to Amethyst, but an exciting and thought-provoking adventure in its own right.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amethyst - Hearts of Chaos - 4E
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Ultramodern4 - OGL
by Zero C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/23/2014 19:57:26
I am very happy with the Ultramodern4 OGL. Despite some minor typesetting issues and typos (the most notable being "d28" in several places where it should be "2d8", this is a quality product full of useful game info. As far as I know, it has all the crunch and at least some of the fluff from the full-game product. You do need a copy of the 4th edition D&D Players Handbook or D&D Essentials Rules Compendium to use the OGL in a game.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ultramodern4 - OGL
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Amethyst: Renaissance 2.0 (Color)
by Kevin W. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/26/2014 19:32:52
This is a great refresh of the original product. It looks great, and read well. A lot of errata and other updates are slipstreamed into the text. This is the first product of a huge update and expansion of the Amethyst line, including support for Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition (when 3pp is fully defined and live) along with Fate Core, 13th Age and Savage Worlds in addition to Dungeons and Dragons 4th edition and Pathfinder.

The author and team did a great job with the original product and this refresh ups the bar for independent game producers.

If you want a science fantasy setting, this is one of the best ones on the market. It is versatile enough to accommodate most playing styles easily.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amethyst: Renaissance 2.0 (Color)
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Amethyst: Renaissance
by James F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/23/2013 11:50:52
I picked up Amethyst through Drive Thru RPG. Loved it!! I just started gaming again after 20 years away and went with Pathfinder so Amethyst was a nice addition to my gaming library. I literally stayed up all night and read the book straight through. (400 Pages folks 400) Its been a long time since I have done with with any gaming book. Looking forward to more. Keep up the good work.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amethyst: Renaissance
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Apex
by Josiah B. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2013 10:30:57
APEX is the latest in a great line of supplements for 4th edition D&D. I use the term supplement in it's truest sense, all of the DEM products bring completeness to the 4e library of games.

APEX is no different, it brings to the table a great set of rules to use with almost any kind of super hero genera. From X-men to jumper, its a good tool kit for an supers game.

Though there is a bit of a balance issue, namely there isn't much. But it is part of the whole super experience. But once you can get past that the game looks great!

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Apex
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Apex
by dwayne b. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/30/2013 02:02:36
I have been a DM from 1st edition D&D to every incarnation in between and at first did not even like 4th but after some friends made me read the books found the game very easy to run and simplistic in a good way reminded me of 2nd edition in some ways, with it ease to run. And then Dias Ex Machina came along and took it to the next level I have bought every book he has put out pdf download and hardback, the man sense of humor and ability to use and understand the spirit of the game and system is phenomenal. This is a company to watch as they are to 4th edition as pathfinder was to 3.5 so if you have not picked up or looked at 4th please give this companys books a look, who knows you might find something you never knew you missed.

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Apex
by Jesse C. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 07/29/2013 10:57:03
If you are a DnD4e gamemaster or even player and you've been looking for a way to bring your Role Playing into the realm of Supers from D.C. or Marvel, then this is your vehicle! As is or combined with D.E.M. Games excellent "Modernized" DnD4e product - Ultramodern4, APEX will provide the spark to fire-up your Super Hero Slug-fest! The combination of Ultramaodern4 and APEX will allow your RPGaming to step up from straight fantasy and step out into modern times - Victorian Steampunk thru the Last Century and into the 21st Century and Beyond! D.E.M. Games has set the standard for 4e modern and has no apparent challengers. --G.M.Adeptus, 2013.07.29

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Ultramodern4
by Jordi F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 05/29/2013 10:36:49
It seems I deleted my previous review trying to edit it ... (is what happens when the site doesn't have all the buttons for other languages) ... so I'll put a short version of it.

If you wan't a d20 Modern version of D&D 4e ... this is it.

Have a nice day.

You need more? ... ooooookey ....

You'll have classes, ladders (a typical D&D class has been divided in two, class and ladder, and you combine them as you please), new skills, feats, equipment, monsters and new rules involving firearms and such. I suppose clases and ladders could have even more powers and such ... but I suppose this would be more expansion related or maybe web features.

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ultramodern4
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

NeuroSpasta (FREE PREVIEW)
by Chris F. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/17/2013 17:15:15
NeuroSpasta looks like its going to be an excellent cyberpunk campaign setting, one obviously inspired by great anime like Ghost in the Shell and Appleseed, as well as computer games like Dues Ex. I'm looking forward to the full release. I'm not even much of a D&D 4th fan, but I really like the twists Dias Ex machina has put on the rule set. Just an aside to the authors: lower the opacity of the 'circuit' page borders, please. Those things are so dark they're very distracting.
CHRIS

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NeuroSpasta (FREE PREVIEW)
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Publisher Reply:
The full game has been released. We'll address the page border opacity with the next update. Thanks for the positive comments.
NeuroSpasta - 4E
by Jefferson D. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 04/15/2013 10:57:26
So this is not a proper review yet since I just received this but I wanted to give a five-star shoutout to all the folks at Dia Ex Machina for putting this out. I've been looking forward to this ever since it was mentioned in Ultramodern4 & I will be using up a lot of my spare time reading & digesting this. Hakcing for 4thEd - Hells yeah!

Review to come later....

Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
NeuroSpasta - 4E
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Ultramodern4
by Rodney G. M. T. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 01/25/2013 20:41:45
Ultramodern 4 is a sci-fi rpg and you are going to need Dungeons and Dragons 4 editions rulebook. Now, this book was written before Essentials in mind, so just remember that. Also, this book is a mixture of D20modern and D20future.
The ladder system is a much more robust version of WoTC’s themes. The seven ladders look like classes and give option all the way to level 29. The ladders and class can almost seem like an easier version of multi-classing. Also, the ladders are a source of enhancement bonus.

You don’t have as many powers for classes in this game compare to 4th edition, but the ladders make up for it. There are eleven classes, and along with the ladders you can still multi-class like in DnD 4th edition. There is a lot of optimization for your character.

The class of the specialist I felt that many of the powers could have been gear. He is the combat medic, and the powers are named after drugs, but that is easy to house rule. You can always use the powers, but less potency than the Specialist.

I really liked the way the powers were written in this book as they don’t feel like the same powers. As you know DnD 4th edition was plagued with, and the powers can be pretty entertaining as hell.

Now this game does not have rules for cybernetics or space travel, but what it does have will keep you busy for a while. It has different levels of range weapons and armor which can be collection of rifles to laser and tactical vest to power armor. I know the upcoming book Neurospasta is going to have cyber rules, so be on the lookout. Most of the equipment rules have to deal with weapons and armor. Also there is a tech level, so you can decide how far into the future you want this.

One of the bad things I have to say is the PDF book marks a name just Ultramodern4 chapter one, Ultramodern4 chapter two, and so on. The contents pages have no links to them either. For these omissions, I give 4 out of five stars.

I really can’t wait to get a game together for this game and really put this system through its paces. I do go a little be more in depth about it on my YouTube channel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mb0oLf86YLc&list=PLi3QsKz-
s_6sJhXmgEp5yFRi8FTf4fN_Wr&index=3

Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
Ultramodern4
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Amethyst: Renaissance
by Angel G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 12/15/2012 14:32:27
First of all, let me say that Amethyst Renaissance is a superb product, lavishly illustrated and full of awesome content. It is one of the very best RPG settings I've read and the best supplement for the Pathfinder game system (with the Midgard Campaign Setting from Kobold Press).

So, why the bad rating? Well, I bought the hardcover printed book.
Had I bought a PDF, I certainly would have rated Amethyst Renaissance a shiny 5/5. Sadly, the printed product barely deserves a 1/5.

The binding is correct and seems solid, though both covers tend to bend naturally toward the outside of the book. I would rate this just one step lower than traditional (non-POD) binding from most rpg publishers.

The glaring problems lie with the print job. The printing is so dark it is often impossible to see anything of the illustrations. It is plain ugly. I could do a better job with my personal laser printer and this is definitly not professional quality printing.

I received this book some time ago, and took the time to read it before posting this comment. The content is really good and Dias Ex Machina can be proud of the work done. But even then, I can't rate it better than 1/5. The final product delivered through Drivethru is a complete shame.

Rating:
[1 of 5 Stars!]
Amethyst: Renaissance
Click to show product description

Add to RPGNow.com Order

Publisher Reply:
Thank you and we appreciate the praise. If you'd prefer, we'd love to offer you complimentary PDF. I would like the opportunity to earn those four stars back.
Displaying 1 to 15 (of 32 reviews) Result Pages:  1  2  3  [Next >>] 
0 items
 Hottest Titles
 Gift Certificates
Powered by DrivethruRPG