Amazing Adventures Book of Powers for the Amazing Adventures RPG is really, really interesting book. Interesting in that it opens up the Amazing Adventures game, and thus Castles & Crusades and Victorious RPGs into new and interesting realms of play. It does in a sense to Castles and Crusades what the BESM d20 rules did (or could have done) to d20 rules.
Let's start with the basics and then move into specifics.
The Book of Powers (BoP) is a slim book, 48 pages. The covers are full color, the interior is black & white. The list price is $14.99 but as of this writing, the PDF is on sale for $10.99.
We get right away to my first gripe about the book. The cover. I love Peter Bradley's work and this cover is gorgeous. However, it is not really "pulp" to me at all. Sure if this were a modern supers game (which in fact you can use this book to turn AA into) this would be a great cover, but acrobatic girl with green hair, in skin tight lycra/spandex outfit with plunging cleavage isn't my idea of the 1930s. Sorry. I mention only because I fear that people might not grab it.
The premise of this book is pretty cool. Take AA's Gadgeteer class and turn gadgets into powers. These powers can be used along side gadgets and other powers to make some truly heroic characters. I did a few quick and dirty character creations this morning and I am pleased so far with what I was able to do.
Expanding on this idea Vey also presents a "Sorcerer" class, a magical power wielder that could fit in right next to the Arcanist class in AA OR even the Wizard in C&C. For my next character I want to create an AA style sorcerer for a Castles & Crusades game to see how well it works.
Expanding on these powers even further we are given rules on how to make Vampire, Demon and Angel characters. Now this is a REALLY cool option. I don't often pull this card, but today I will.
Jason knows his shit here. We worked together on WitchCraft, All Flesh Must Be Eaten and of course the Buffy the Vampire Slayer RPG. Jason is above and beyond qualified to give us these rules. And these rules are really fun. So much so that one idea I had for a supers game I want to now convert over to an AA game with powers, sorcerers, vampires, angels and demons. It's actually quite silly how well it work for me.
The book also has a host of new character options including a modified skill check system. I *believe* is the same as the one in Victorious. Though I am not 100% sure. It's a nice simple system. Though reading it I realize I almost never do skill checks in C&C/AA; just ability checks.
There is also a new advantage system or perks for each class. Totally optional, but allows for greater customization. Not enough here? They are similar enough to feats to allow importing from other d20 games. Add these to Castles & Crusades and you basically have D&D5.
Speaking of which there is also a section on "Amazing Crusades!" with guidelines on how to get Amazing Adventures Peanut Butter into your Castles & Crusades Chocolate. I would also add that you can add the sweet, sweet creamy caramel of Victorious to this.
I was going to like this book anyway since it does a lot of the things I tend to do in my games anyway. It also has a lot of things I love adding to my games. So how do I give an unbiased opinion?
Well, I will say this. If you love Amazing Adventures, then you should check this out.
If you want some more flexibility with powers and even races in Castles & Crusades, you check this out.
If you want more Steam Punk gadgety goodness of Victorious then definitely buy this.
I highly recommend this.
Disclaimer 1: I received of a copy of this book in the mail as thanks for being a playtester. No review was ever mentioned, promised or implied.
Disclaimer 2: I was a playtester for this book.
Disclaimer 3: I am good friends with the author, Jason Vey, and we have worked on many RPG projects together over the last 16-17 years.
Disclaimer 4: All links are affiliate links. Your clicks support my book habit.