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    Amethyst - Hearts of Chaos - 4E $4.99
    Average Rating:4.5 / 5
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    Amethyst - Hearts of Chaos - 4E
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    Amethyst - Hearts of Chaos - 4E
    Publisher: Dias Ex Machina Games
    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.

    [5 of 5 Stars!]
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