Archives for: November 2009
November 22nd, 2009
Published on November 22nd, 2009 @ 09:18:32 pm , using 515 words, 1617 views
Just came back from 2012 and saw the latest trailer for Avatar. I had seen it online weeks ago, of course, but it reminded me of a featurette I had seen hours earlier on the official movie page, which talked about the technology used by mankind in the film. I have been an apologist for the film as most of my friends have discounted Avatar was a tired retread of a plot seen a dozen times prior, from Pocahontas and The Last Samurai, to Lawrence of Arabia and the recent animated Battle for Terra. I have some faith that it will rise above its cliché and be entertaining. I am bringing this up because of this featurette. Now Avatar does pit the high technology of man against the primitive ways of the alien Navi. Mankind flaunts fanjet attack vehicles and powered armor. On the surface, there is an element of Amethyst to all of it. Of course, we pit technology against magic, a far more even conflict. Specifically, this featurette refers to a concept often ignored in these films. Carl Sagan and Arthur C. Clarke said it best (and no, this was not dealt with the featurette, only suggested) that an race capable of interstellar travel arriving at a new world incapable of interstellar travel would appear so technologically advanced that not only would they appear as gods, but the level of technology would be so vast superior that a conflict would be hopeless for the lesser advanced species. If you can travel faster than light, then no race of bows and beasts can measure up, no matter what regional advantage they may boast. Avatar apparently acknowledges this point and tries to propose that the world of Pandora as one with magnetic fields so strong that it not only allows the suspension of massive rocks disobeying gravity, but it...ahem...disrupts the high technology mankind used to traverse the vastness of space to arrive here. As a result, instead of plasma weapons and gravity tanks, there are fanjets and chemical propelled projectiles. So...as technology increases, the greater the chance it won't function. This includes a scene of the pilot of a fanjet complaining about the lack of proper radar. Annoyed? Not particularly. Beyond the fact that I hope this will finally dismiss the accusations comparing Amethyst to Shadowrun, Avatar doesn't deal with the philosophical points proposed by Amethyst...that and the entire "magic is cool" idea. This is not to say that I don't think Avatar and Amethyst share several points. I think visually Avatar could very well share moments where it blurs the line with Amethyst.
Biohazard is finishing layout and several websites will be receiving previews of this adventure this week, before it gets posted. Meanwhile, NeuroSpasta continues its drive for detail. I just made South Africa fall to a Military Junta and the land from the Congo to Rwanda just got turned into a no-man's land called Hetgwauge, the African myth of Hell. Oh, and I wiped out The Netherlands...sorry guys. That's what you get for being below the water line.
November 12th, 2009
Published on November 12th, 2009 @ 01:22:35 am , using 495 words, 536 views
My internet was cut off this week for reasons which will take too long to explain. So as I shift providers, I am going to have sporadic communication with the outside world. Everything should be back and running by November 20th. However, I can now finally announce something I had been sitting on for a few weeks. Dias Ex Machina & Goodman Games will be releasing a mini-module similar to the Hearts of Chaos module introduced at free RPG day.
This new adventure, Biohazard, is not set in the Amethyst canon universe. Instead, it is intended to showcase what you can do with our new technology-based rules outside of the setting for all those readers out there interested in home-brewing your own techno-fantasy or pure science fiction adventure. Biohazard introduces the latest phase of our rule revisions so those already familiar with our Hearts of Chaos module should read these over to see the new changes and alterations based on feedback received. Those with issues with that system should check out the latest version as we have addressed and fixed many of the problems you reported and we found ourselves. As before, there are five pregenerated characters using our four techan characters included in the Amethyst rulebook.
What is the module about, you ask? Good question. The answer is simple…zombie apocalypse. Our latest module has the players take control of a modern/near future Special Forces team called SPIDER as they are stranded in a small town being overrun by hordes of running and screaming infected.
Biohazard includes five new monsters, from infected animals and guards to gargantuan behemoths. It includes rules for burst fire, grenades, and planted explosives. Although many of the impending encounters involve small numbers of opponents, the final battles contain dozens upon dozens of swarming undead as the players fight to escape the infestation. The module attempts to play homage to the recent wash of zombie movies, games, and novels on the market. Clichés and melodrama are the norm.
It is important to mention that the rules in Biohazard, like the ones in Hearts of Chaos, are still being tested. To that end, we invite all players and readers to post their comments and advice on the forums of either company’s sites. The final rules based on this feedback will find themselves in the final book upon printing.
Of course, the leads us to the final point, price. Biohazard will be released FREE TO ALL. That’s right. Everyone is invited to download this module and run your own zombie apocalypse. In only a few short months, we will have yet another free module showcasing what our new classes can do, this time with paragon builds as a precursor to the final release of the main sourcebook. Amethyst is more than just powered armor and plasma rifles. Half the book is still fantasy with numerous new races, lifepaths, and paragon paths.
Expect Biohazard within a few weeks.