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Author Topic: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying  (Read 569 times)

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Offline CorinthiTopic starter

Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« on: May 26, 2009, 10:24:19 PM »
I'm just testing the water for if anyone would be interested in playing in or running a Amber Diceless Chronicle.

For those who are unaware, Amber Diceless is based of the Chronicles of Amber by Roger Zelazny. As a general rule, the PCs are effectively all interrelated demigods who travel the multiverse and scheme against one another. The most common sort of Amber Chronicle is a Throne War, in which the King of Amber (The single most powerful place in the multiverse) has died/disappeared/been murdered, and his children (The PCs) wheel, deal, scheme, and battle for the throne.

Amberites (Common term for members of Amber's Royal Family), are basically extremely long lived, nigh immortal beings who are stronger, tougher, stronger, and faster than the average human, but not quite superhuman. They do, however, possess the ability to travel through the infinite shadows that make up the multiverse, which gives them an incredible advantage. Imagine trying to track someone who can literally walk around a corner and end up in a different universe.

Because of that singular advantage, the only individuals that can really, genuinely pose a long term threat to an Amberite is someone else that can move between worlds... like a family member.

Now, Amber Diceless is a System. Characters are defined by how they spend their points, splitting them between 4 stats and various powers. When a conflict occurs, the person with the highest applicable stat wins, all else being equal. The game revolves around making certain that A. You enter a conflict on your terms, and B. if you must face someone in an arena that favors them, you cheat.

For example, Bob's character might be the finest swordsman in the realm. Bit if Tiffany, Paul, and Jordan all team up to jump him while he's in the middle of a tryst with his lover, he's going to have a very bad day.

Swords, Sorcery, Political Intrigue, Betrayal, Family Ties, Exotic Locations, and High Adventure. I love Amber.

Honestly, I'd prefer for some other Amber fan/masochist to run it. Although if there's enough interest and no one else crazy enough to do it, I could try to put together a Chronicle.

So, any interest?

Offline Max

Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2009, 03:06:28 AM »
I would be interested in playing this.  Really interested.

Offline MadPanda

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Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2009, 08:22:46 AM »
Had one around here that died due to playerus vanishingus.  I might be willing to resurrect the idea, given interest.  :-)

http://elliquiy.com/forums/index.php?topic=8563.0

(Not, mind you, that I have any aversion to a more 'traditional' sort of Amber game!)
« Last Edit: May 27, 2009, 08:36:35 AM by MadPanda »

Offline Xillen

Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2009, 08:30:32 AM »
I loved the Amber series (especially the first 5 books, the ones around his son weren't up to match).

I don't know anything about the system, though.

Offline Oreo

Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 09:16:10 AM »
I loved Zelazny's Amber Chronicles (points to my wiki page top ten books list), but I know nothing about gaming :(

Offline CorinthiTopic starter

Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2009, 09:32:11 PM »
The nice thing about Amber Diceless is that it's really well made for forum based RP. Here's the bit that loses a lot of system players.

Amber runs entirely on GM fiat. If you don't trust your GM to treat you fairly and impartially, don't play, it's not worth the hassle. The only game mechanics happen at the very beginning of the game, during character creation. There are four stats:

Warfare: Your character's ability to fight with weapons and wage war, be it with swords, machine guns, or platoons. Benedict is widely acknowledged to be the Prince with the highest warfare in the Chronicles.

Strength: Your character's raw strength and ability in hand to hand combat. A high strength character is generally better at taking a hit than a low strength character. Gerard was the paragon of strength in the Chronicles.

Endurance: How long it takes you to tire and how quickly you recover from injury. Corwin, the protagonist of the first Chronicle was the paragon of endurance. He regenerated his eyes after they were burned out of his skull. That's badass. Gamewise, so long as an Endurance based character can take their time and fight defensively, they can wear out their attackers.

Psyche: A measure of a character's mental strength and gift for sorcery/higher arts. Psyche can be very potent, because if you can make a mental link with another character, say by spell, Trump, or even intense, prolonged eye contact, you can, with a sufficient Psyche advantage, do horrible things to them.

Now, all the players get a set number of points as determined by the GM. They divide those points, generally by auction, but some GMs just have PCs spend their points however they like. After your points are assigned, you're Ranked, and your ranking is what really matters. The points are kept for reference, but Rank is the real measuring stick.

If you know another character outranks you in Warfare, be very careful about getting into a sword fight with them. Of course, combat is very narrative. You don't have hit points. Instead, the GM gives you feedback. Very, very rarely will a character get one shotted, and then only if you've made a serious tactical blunder. Imagine Brand picking a fist fight with Gerard, and you have an idea of what it'll take for someone to get taken out without some warning things are going sour. Generally what happens is you pose what you're attempting, and the GM give you feedback, and you decide how to continue from there.

Example:

Player:
Corinthi frowns at the peasant who just spilled a drink in his lap. While the peasant was almost 7 foot tall and built like a tank, Corinthi was a bloody prince of Amber, and was three kinds of drunk. He grabs the peasant by the shoulder and smashes a bottle over his head.

GM:
The bottle shatters in a satisfying manner, sharps of glass and beer showering down over the giant. Who slowly turns toward you with an 'annoyed' expression. Pain explodes across the side of Corinthi's face as it feels like someone hit him in the cheek with a sledgehammer. The prince staggers back against the bar, head ringing and mouth filling with blood. He hadn't even seen the punch coming and is nearly certain he can't take many more hits like that.

Player:
'Holy shit' warred with 'Oww' for the dominant thought in Corinthi's mind as he reeled from the blow. Who the hell had he picked a fight with, Gerard? He could draw his blade, but he was already seeing double and wasn't entirely certain he could stab his assailant before being beaten to death. Perhaps discretion was the better part of valor in this situation.

No dice, just judgment based on the information the GM provides. Which means Amber /needs/ a good descriptive GM or it's unworkable.

Offline Oreo

Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 09:56:05 PM »
Is it played with canon characters?

Offline CorinthiTopic starter

Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 10:03:58 PM »
It can be, although it doesn't need to be. Mad Panda's game above is an example of doing your own thing with Amber.

In the games I've played in the past, we always seemed to play the 2nd generation of Amberites, AKA the children of the characters in the books. I've played Eric's son, Brand's son, and Bley's son in different games.

The Elder Amberites make good obstacles/tools for the GM to move the plot with.

Offline Myrleena

Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 10:06:23 PM »
Since ShamshielDF is interested, and working on posting, I'll indicate my interest. ^_^

Offline ShamshielDF

Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 10:17:23 PM »
*Adds a bit of info and adds her interest*

Your stats (the big four) come in four basic tiers:

Amberite:  This is where you start for free.  Without bidding for rank or selling the attribute down, this is default.  Amber strength puts you stronger than the strongest man on earth.  With Amber warfare you could defeat any strategist or swordsman of earth, etc.

Chaos rank:  One step down, you gain 10 points.  Puts you on par with the best humans of earth.

Human rank:  Two steps down, worth 25 points.  Human average.  Expect your more-than-mortal kin to beat you silly in anything to do with this stat.

Ranked Amberite:  This is where you start spending points on things.  This is typically handled via bidding (described loosely below).  Whoever spends the most points is teh bestest.  Except warfare, because Benedict will always win.

The bidding!
By the book, you start with a blind bid.  All the players may submit bids (privately) to the ST.  You may also start with "no bid".  If you spend any points on the bid, they are spent forever.  Even if you only bid one.

Live auction starts with the highest bid of the blind bids, and progresses from there.  If you didn't bid in the blind portion, you're welcome to still.  If you did, remember, any further point bids are spent.  In the end, whoever spent the most, is the highest rank.

Now, those who are below the highest rank (even those who didn't bid!) can buy up to any rank above theirs, but it has to be bought to an even rank (example below ^_^).  The best part:  Even those who didn't bid in the blind and didn't participate in the auction can buy up to any rank.  Mind you, this does come with a corollary: if second place spends up to tie with first he's really only 1.5.  Anyone else is welcome to buy up to his old rank and he will be vastly better than them, but he will never be as good as first.  Not quite, at least.

Sample bidding war:
Players: Arthur, Beatrice and Corwin, with Dominique as the ST.

For the blind Arthur bids 5 points on strength, Beatrice declines and Corwin bids 10, so, the auction begins at 10 points.  At this point no one knows who's bid it was.

Arthur opts to up the ante to 15, having a particular character in mind that's highly strength dependent.  Corwin returns the favor, bumping it to 16.  After a bit, Dominique decides the bidding is stalled out so might pester players to keep it going.  If it stays there the ranking ends up with:

Corwin: 16
Arthur: 15
Beatrice: Unranked

Now later, Beatrice comes in and spends 16 points to tie with Corwin, placing her between them at 15.5, but when the play starts, nobody knows if she actually bought up or sold down or stayed at Amber rank.

(And yes, I recommend the blind if you go with the auction system, having seen the bidding for psyche start at 115 points in a 100 point game.  We also played third gen Amberites.  The generation after the second set of books and the last ones that can destroy the pattern.)

Offline MadPanda

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Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2009, 09:05:38 AM »
Okay, so there's interest, at least.
Anyone wanna GM?

As I said, I could re-do my game, if folks don't mind a slight variation on the usual themes (which was written so that people who don't know Zelazny from Vance can play...).  If I go canon, though, I'll have to take some time to think of something.

I should also note that I agree with Xillen: the Merlin Saga was okay, but not great, and the rules are clearly slanted toward the first five books.

And remember: the character with the highest attribute will win in a fair fight.

Offline ShamshielDF

Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2009, 10:09:24 AM »
Amber: Diceless RPG is pretty heavily bent towards the first five books.  Shadow Knight, the only expansion published, leans more towards the Merlin saga.  Pattern Ghosts, Ghostwheel, Broken pattern adept...yum!

If I had plot ideas I might offer to run...mayhaps I need to reread the series...

Offline Siberian

Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2009, 05:07:52 PM »
VERY interested.  Was playing before Erick actually published the rules (have my first char sheet from 1987)

Offline BenedictWolfe

Re: Interest Check - Amber Diceless Roleplaying
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2009, 10:49:40 PM »
I might be interested: I've read all ten books and I own the rulebook.