AMP: Year One is the latest game from the incredibly productive Eloy Lasanta of Third Eye Games. Many of you will likely have heard of him through his previous work, which include Part-Time Gods, and Wu Xing: the Ninja Crusade, both of which have been covered in this blog before.
In the interest of disclosure, I was given a PDF review copy by Eloy, and this Let’s Study series will be conducted with the use of that product.
AMP: Year One is a supers RPG that takes place in the first year of the appearance of super powered individuals known as AMPs (those with Accelerated Mutant Potential).
AMPs are the unintended product of a top secret series of experiments to create supersoldiers. While the original project was scrapped, the descendants of the test subjects have just recently begun exhibiting superhuman powers in a world that isn’t ready for it.
The premise of the supers game is intriguing as it follows the events of normal people who have developed powers and what they would do with it. With so many people getting powers, it’s inevitable that you’ll have the selfish and the cruel among the altruistic and the benevolent.
The first chapter of the book talks about the events that led to the creation of the AMPs, starting with the ominously named Project Black. Presented in broad strokes, the book goes on to talk about the objectives of Project Black and the resulting fallout of their experimentation.
What follows after is a timeline of 2015, the year which marks the appearances of the AMPs. This serves as both a reference and a metaplot. Various characters relevant to the overall story of AMP:Year One. While a lot of relevant things happen to the characters in the Metaplot, nothing really stops a creative GM from replacing the characters with those of the players.
There’s certainly advantages to being able to run within an established timeline of events. If anything you have a narrative structure that serves as a spine for your stories, and you never lose the option of breaking it in one way or another to deviate from established canon. I do this a lot with my Legend of the Five Rings campaigns, so having this sort of metaplot is a good thing for me as it also helps preserve the identity of AMP: Year One from becoming just another supers game.
It’s a compelling setting, and one that reminds me of one of my favorite comics: J. Michael Straczynski’s “Rising Stars.” If AMP can help me run a game that is even a fraction of that, then that would definitely be a success in my book.
Tomorrow we’ll try our hand at creating a character for AMP: Year One, hopefully a painless process as many supers games can be an exercise in patience when it comes to character creation.