If you like the pulps, and I know I do, then this just might be the role-playing game that you have been looking for. I'm going to get this out of the way right from the get-go, Jason Vey is an (dare I say it?) amazing designer. If you haven't seen his work on the Unisystem stuff from Eden Studios, or his own retroclone Spellcraft & Swordplay, you are surely missing out.
If you're not familiar with the heroic pulps of the 30s and 40s, they were a precursor to comic books that featured crime-fighting men and women who became embroiled in global whirlwind adventures. Some of the best known of the characters from the heroic pulps would be Doc Savage, The Avenger, The Spider and The Shadow. Other famous literary precursors to the pulp traditions could be characters like Tarzan, Sherlock Holmes, Nick Carter or the insidious Dr. Fu Manchu. More modern neo-pulp characters could be ones like Indiana Jones, Buckaroo Banzai or even someone like Jack Burton. Big, bold, larger than life characters against a backdrop that is just as large, and as dangerous, as they are.
Amazing Adventures is from Troll Lord Games, publishers of Castles & Crusades, and features a modified version of the SIEGE Engine d20 variant that powers that game. Vey has taken a number of variants that take the SIEGE Engine out of traditional fantasy play and move it towards heroic fantasy characters and adventures. He also mixes in some bits from the d20 Modern SRD, as well. Even if you are not a fan of the pulps (or aren't one yet), this game can still hold an interest for you because of the fact that it can also serve as a streamlining and updating of WotC's old d20 Modern stuff for you. One of the things that I never liked about d20 Modern was the sort of attribute-based classes. That is gone in this game, with a more traditional take on character classes. A variety of the pulp archetypes are represented in these rules, classes that could easily be modified backwards for those looking for a more Steampunk style of gaming, or modified forwards for contemporary era role-playing. Actually, this game impressed me a lot more than Castles & Crusades did, and it I were to run a fantasy-based SIEGE Engine game, I would reverse engineer it out of Amazing Adventures rather than play Castles & Crusades. Maybe there will be a special edition (or supplement) featuring the rebuilt iconic fantasy classes for play in Amazing Adventures some day. I would like something like that.
It was also nice to see some Lovecraft seep into this game. Amazing Adventures has a nice little sanity mechanic, for those who want those sorts of things in their games, and a few Lovecraftian monsters managed to sneak their way into an already ample bestiary. For those who have wondered if Pulp Cthulhu was ever going to come out from Chaosium, this is the substitute that you have been waiting for.
[You can read this review in its entirety at http://dorkland.blogspot.com/2012/1-
[4 of 5 Stars!]