Sunday, December 19, 2010

Review: Amethyst: Foundations Pt. 2

My continuing look at Amethyst: Foundations continues today as I take a look at the player character races that you have access to.

One of the things that I thought was very interesting is the road that Amethyst chose to take when it comes to player character races. Although the majority of content available in classic D&D 4e is available for use and functions perfectly with Amethyst, all of the races that are presented in the core rulebooks are outlawed (except for the humans). I was at first a little skeptical about this choice. For me, the player character races presented in the core books have a lot of background to them and players tend to have a strong preferences when it comes to these races. However, I really think that Amethyst does it well.

Amethyst presents rules for 7 new player character races as well as the rules for creating half-breeds between the Fae Races and the Evolved Races. The races in Amethyst all fall into these two categories. You can equate the Fae races with a lot of the classic D&D races such as elves, Halflings, and Dwarfs. Although a lot of the imagery in Amethyst is a bit more realistic, you can still pretty clearly see the fantasy equivalent in the pictures that accompany the racial descriptions and stat blocks.

All of the races presented here come with a hefty amount of description and background. The amount of detail that is provided to the player really helps to make up for the fact that you have to learn new races in order to play this game.

I have always enjoyed playing dwarfs and Halflings, so looking at the characters here, I really liked the descriptions of the Gimfen and the Narros. I will probably be rolling up a few characters in the next couple of weeks and I can guarantee that a few of these characters will be Gimfen. Because the Gimfen race really mixes well with the high technology in the world, rolling up a few of those little guys sounds like a lot of fun.

Stay tuned for more in my continuing series of reviews of Amethyst. Next time I will be tackling the Organizations section and explain why I think that Wizard's should have thought this up first.


  1. Interesting approach to the races, and the rules for creating half-breeds sound like a sweet thing. I may have to pick this one up just for that! I wonder if something could be extrapolated from it that would work with other races ...

    Of course, I've never been a by-the-book kind of guy when I can avoid it, so I suspect it would be pretty easy to port the a few of the PhB races forward with a few tweaks and use 'em anyway.

    Looking forward to part 3! :)

  2. Sure. The only thing that would make it difficult is the feel of the world/the fluff of the world. You could pretty easily bring over anything that you want as long as you had the proper explanation for it. Actually, the rules for halfbreeds that are included are fairly easy to adapt and could easily be used for a basic 4e game; that halfbreed might be a bit powerful, but it looks reasonable enough.