Azamar is a fantasy RPG that gives a few interesting twists to the traditional fantasy tropes. A good portion of the setting is typical fantasy fare – the history, for example, features a long history of war and a tyrannical leader of the dark forces bent on world domination. The details of the setting diverge from the norm, however – full-blooded humans are rare rather than dominant (so rare that a limit of 1 per adventuring party is recommended by the rules). Some of the character races bear likenesses to familiar fantasy folk – the dwarflike Immyr and gnomish Enfri are two examples – while others are a bit more unique to the setting, such as the impish Shrave. Each of these races is presented with the typical attitudes that they may have towards members of the other races.
The world of Azamar is interconnected with many others through a metaphysical barrier called the Fabric. Magic users can manipulate this barrier to create magical effects, and can even travel through mentally, spiritually, and physically into another realm called the Blur.
The system uses a modified version of West End's versatile d6 system – players who want their characters to attempt an action roll a number of d6s equal to the appropriate attribute or skill number, and try to beat an assigned target number. One die in every roll is designated as a wild die that “explodes” on a 6 (that is, it's added to the total and rolled again as a bonus) and indicates a fumble on a 1 if the target number isn't reached
Character generation is a point-buy system – dice are assigned to attributes and skills, and a pool of points is spent on Character Features. An optional table allows players to roll a random background for their character. Magic users can choose a faction to align with – Asceromancers, Elementals, Zamaranth, Tatuaxe, Weavers, and The Order – and each bestows special abilities to the spellcaster.
As with many RPGs, Azamar contains a “brownie point” system – rewards for creativity, roleplaying, defeating enemies, etc. In this case, it's been named Cinema Points, and any that are earned can be used to improve die rolls, activate Character Features, or improve character aspects during downtime. One of my favorite elements of this game is in the Cinema Point mechanics – a series of multipliers are given that are to be applied to any CPs that the GM gives out for defeating opponents, which results in better rewards for outwitting, capturing, and even converting opponents over killing them. It's a great little touch that encourages roleplaying over brute force.
The book is rounded out with a ton of Azamar lore – strange deities, calendar and cultural holidays, locations, a bestiary of some very unusual and alien creatures, an extensive section on GMCs, a brief sample adventure (Road to Azamar), and 22 character sheets (several for the different races, and one blank sheet).
My only criticism of the product would be the organization, which seems a bit haphazard at times. The equipment and combat sections, for example, come near the end of the book after the bestiary, instead of closer to the front where the character creation and general rules are.
Azamar a unique fantasy RPG that's packed with potential for many adventures, and would be a great RPG for beginning players or young people.