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The (not so) Amazing Engine


Godwin's Lawman
Validated User
I know there is a write-up in the "example campaigns" section of d20 Future. Is that what you meant, or is there something else as well?
There's a specific Bughunter advanced class in there as well and it suggests you use the d20 Modern clone rules. I borrowed the Moreaus from the d20M core, as well (I thought they made a good rival group of modded soldiers). The write-up ignores the "big reveal" of the Bughunters setting, mind you. There's not enough there to run a campaign from if you don't have the original setting, but it does allow you to port over two decades worth of gribbly things from every other d20 sci-fi/horror game.


Registered User
Validated User
I have all the AE books, not because I needed them all for the trip but once you get locked into a serious drug RPG collection the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  1. The books are visually boring with few good illustrations in the entire series. Most of the books have a giant clip art clusterfuck header image and then two columns of way too small font text.
  2. While the universe books have interesting kernels, they're pretty underdeveloped or just poorly developed. There's a wide range in setting detail/quality between the different books.
  3. The rules are not fun.
The universe books are useful for their kernels of good ideas but I would not bother with trying to play them with the AE system. If you want to do a Bughunters-like game there's some good Cepheus Engine Aliens-with-the-serial-numbers-filed-off supplements on DriveThru. BRP and GURPS would also do well but require a little more work on the part of the GM to generate creature stats.


Registered User
Validated User
just checked and it looks like back last year WOTC put up all of the Amazing Engine books up on DriveThru, not only in PDF but in POD format as well, and for surprisingly low prices too for either format, might have to get my hands on a print copy of Bughunters in the near future...


Slightly Crazy
Validated User
Yah, Amazing Engine had some good game (well at least ideas), but system was just OK and there was issues with character generation (as pointed out skill tree's could cause issues).

For me one thing that stood out was how poor the "core" rule book was made. It had info you needed to play the game, but not enough for it to be used on its own. I have similar sized system core books (Action System and Fuzion) that at least provide enough stuff to do basic real world setting. Sure magic/super science would be limited, but at least gave you something playable.

I will note I do like settings and thanks for info the stuff is up on DriveThru.


Registered User
Validated User
The Amazing Engine, with the benefit of hindsight, reads like TSR taking a look at things like the Storyteller System or GURPS, and saying, "Hey, we're the industry leader, we can do that better than them!" while unfortunately not really getting what makes those games work. That, and an attempt to advertise their failing Amazing Stories magazine.


Registered User
Validated User
The most interesting idea is the one of playing characters in different systems from a common core. This cries out to me to revamp the whole thing as a kind of 'Eternal Champion' thing, where you live a series of lives in different worlds, building up your power to finally confront Chaos or whatever.

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