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Jul 19 09 11:10 AM

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Well I don't know where I'm going with this. I've never run a PBP game of any sort, much less Amber, but this forum got me thinking about it and Pkmoutl said I could repost his stuff from the Flyingstove game... so here it is. If this generates any interest, well, post it in this thread and we'll see where it goes from there.

From Pkmoutl:

(My standard Amber introduction begins here)

There are only two Real Worlds; Amber and Chaos. All others are but shadows of Amber and Chaos. The world we live in now is but a Shadow, surrounded by other Shadows. We are but Shadows of people living in Amber and Chaos. Our world is a dream of the Real Worlds.

Amber represents Order and Civilization, represented by the Pattern of Amber, which bestows upon those of Royal Blood the ability to travel through and to manipulate Shadows. Chaos represents the more primieval aspects, represented by the Logrus, the heart of Chaos; ever-changing and sometimes dangerous to those who attempt to walk it's paths. Logrus allows those of Chaos to pull themselves through Shadow or to pull things from Shadow to themselves. The two have been diametrically opposed for centuries.

No one really knows why.

(End Standard Amber Introduction)

In Amber, you will be playing children of the Royal Family. One of your parents is a member of the Royal Family (I get to choose which one). Chaos is the Boogeyman they told you about when they wanted to frighten you. You've never seen Chaos, some of you have never seen Amber.

The setting of Amber itself is kind of a semi-medieval setting, but Amber isn't usually where the real action is. Most of you will have grown up in Shadow (your choice), and your world can be whatever you want. Some of you just live in Shadow, some of you already "own" your Shadows in some way.

Since you are all going to be Royals, you are used to things like politics, vendettas and most of all, not trusting anyone.

The Pattern is something earned. If you choose to have the Pattern ability at the beginning, then you will be a bit more familiar with the Family and it's ways than those who do not. Some of you may know each other, as communication is done through Trumps. A Trump is basically a Tarot card with a person's picture on it--or maybe a place as well. By concentrating on the Trump, you can psychically contact someone and speak directly to them. You can also "step through" the Trump and go to them, like a magic door, or you can pull them through the Trump, and they will immediately come to you, again, like a magic door.

There are other, lesser powers like Conjuration, Sorcery and the like, and those will be made available as well. Combining minor powers with major powers (Pattern, Trump Artistry) can have interesting effects.

Logrus is something most of you won't have access to. I don't want to delve into Chaos too much at first, as it gets kind of confusing. Also, I find that Chaos people in an Amber-dominant game tend to be left out and, well, bullied.

For the most part, you will be dealing with each other. Those older than you are usually a little too wrapped up in their goings-on, although I will throw them in now and again. But for the most part, you'll all be doing your own thing across Shadow. There will probably be character-to-character conflicts, since personalities are going to be varied and wide. Or at least I hope so.
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#1 [url]

Jul 19 09 11:27 AM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

From Ringo - This would be properly formatted, but I'm having a problem with the Post Reply Vertical Scroll Bar, it's bouncing around all over the place while I typed and it's making it close to impossible to edit the majority of the post. If anybody has any idea what could be causing it, send me a PM.


Anyway, I'm still working on some specifics, but I think I may start you off with something relatively weak, like 50 or 75 point characters. 100 or more makes it so that no one really wants anything in the future, so character development is kind of a moot point.

Characters begin with four basic Stats: Strength, Psyche, Warfare and Endurance.

Strength, as you can probably guess, governs any physical activity, like jumping, swimming, lifting or more importantly, fighting. Any kind of combat that uses no weapons is regulated by Strength. So, if you are wrestling, boxing, using martial arts or just trying to tackle someone, it is governed by your Strength.

Psyche isn't so much an Intelligence/Wisdom sort of thing so much as it is a Psychic Strength sort of ability. Those with high Psyche tend to be more of the intelligent type, although some people who appear to be less than hyper-intelligent may actually have a high Psyche. Psyche also dictates things like awareness, reaction time and that sort of thing.

Warfare is any kind of combat using a weapon. So swords, guns, artillery, crossbows, lances, broken chair legs and big rocks all go under Warfare. Warfare also dictates things like being able to spot an ambush, being able to estimate an opponent to tell if you are outclassed or not and that sort of thing. It also dictates knowledge of weapons and their use. Warfare is usually the most popular stat for some odd reason.

Endurance. Someone once asked me, "what is the point of Endurance? Everything else seems to be covered by the other three stats, but Endurance doesn't really seem to cover anything." Well, that's not true. In all things, it is important to take Endurance into consideration. The higher your Endurance, the longer you can do something. In one of the books, Corwin talks about how he and his brother Eric had a swordfight that lasted several days. As I pointed out to the person who asked the question, someone with a normal Human-level Endurance would not be able to accomplish such a task. However, someone with Corwin and Eric's Endurances would. So Endurance is kind of the ultimate Tie-Breaker in most cases. You and another character may have an equal Psyche or Warfare, but whoever has the higher Endurance will outlast the other. Endurance also sort of determines things like your health and how quickly you heal. To give you an example, Corwin is always the highest in Endurance as far as NPC's are concerned (unless Corwin isn't in the game). It's kind of a given. This is because Corwin was able to grow back a pair of eyes in just over five years.

Yes, he was able to regenerate a pair of eyes that had been burned out with a hot iron poker. Read the books, it's right there.

Stats are scored regularly. 10 points, 20 points...17 points...whatever. The number is somewhat arbitrary. What matters is Ranking.

Once everyone has their character made and approved, I put the scores into a quick Spreadsheet and I put each Stat in order. Whoever has the highest score is Rank 1. The next under them is Rank 2, then Rank 3 and so on. In the case of a tie, whoever submitted their character first (thank the Unicorn for time/date stamps) gets the full rank, and the others get the "half-rank." In all concerns, the half-ranked people are equal to the full rank, except if they come up against the Full Rank in the same stat. Other half-ranks in that stat are all equal.

So I don't understand. How many points is Rank 1?
I don't know yet. Once people start sending me their characters (DO NOT SEND THIS SHIT IN YET), I will know. However, I'm not going to tell you. That's part of the trick of the game. No one knows. It's all secret.

What you will get is your Rank in each. A typical Amber character looks like this:

Dick Hymen
Son of Osric

Strength: 12 Rank 2
Psyche: 2 Rank: 5
Warfare: 16 Rank: 1
Endurance: 10 Rank 2

Now, there are other ranks besides numbers. These are known as Zero Ranks. They are Amber, Chaos and Human.

Amber Rank is 0 points. It costs nothing. So, if you don't give two shits about Strength, you can put nothing into it. Amber Rank is equal to your everyday person who lives in Amber (not Royals). So you would have a Strength equal to the head Chef or Droppa MaPantz, the Court Jester (yes, that is his fucking name).

Chaos Rank is -10 points. It means you are ten points lower than your average Amber-dweller, but equal to your common dweller in Chaos, or some of the lesser Chaos Demons.

Human Rank is -25 points. You are twenty-five points lower than your common Amber-dweller and five points lower than your common Chaos-dweller. However, you are...well, Human. This means you could be as strong as you or I, or as strong as Arnold Schwartzenegger. It is a wide range, from weakest to strongest, but in a relatively small grouping.

So why take Zero-Point Stats? It seems like they make you weaker.
Well, this is true.

However, when you take Chaos Rank in something, you get 10 points to put elsewhere. When you take a Human Rank in something, you get 25 points to spend elsewhere. Keep in mind that your Stats are not the only place to spend points. You still get to buy Attributes.

Attributes are the other abilities of your character. Call them Powers if you will, but that isn't really an accurate description. Attributes give you access to certain powers, which is why they aren't powers.

Your Attributes are divided into three groups: Major, Minor and Artifacts.

The Major Attributes are Pattern Imprint, Trump Artistry, Logrus Mastery and the Advanced versions of the three.

The Minor Attributes are Conjuration, Sorcery, Shapeshifting, Advanced Shapeshifting, Power Words and Broken Pattern Imprint.

Artifacts are only broken up into two categories: Items and Constructs.

Each one has its own cost, and when you get into Artifacts, the costs vary. I will get into those later on. For now, let's just soak in the Attributes section before we get too complicated.

Okay, so if I make a character with a Zero Rank Stat, how does that stack up against someone with a Ranked Stat?

Terribly. If you take a Chaos or Human rank in Warfare, you won't really want to go up against anyone else with a weapon. Maybe a Shadow native, but not another PC. You might do it if you just want to be an asshole and test the waters to see if there's anyone as weak as or weaker than you, but I wouldn't reccommend that sort of behavior.

So if I take a Zero-Rank Stat, how will that look on my Character Sheet?


Strength: -10 Rank: C
Psyche: -25 Rank: H
Warfare: 0 Rank: A
Endurance 0 Rank: A

I will almost never ask you for your actual points. No one should. If anyone does, that's technically breaking the rules. You can give them your Rank if they ask (or if I ask), and that's all they need know.

A little scene from my first Amber game:

Maximus: Okay, we've captured this spy from Chaos. What do we do with him?
Arvid: I say we go through his brains and see what he's hiding in there.
Daphne: You mean like open his skull and just start rooting around in there? OH YEAH!
Arvid: Uh, actually I meant psychically. You know, reading minds and that sort of thing.
Daphne: Oh, you're no fun.
Hans: Look, why don't we just take that weapon of his away from him and shove it up his ass?
Maximus: Sounds good to me. Any detractors? Right.
Liandra: So... Who has what Rank in Warfare?
GM: Actually, I'm going to rule that this is Strength-based. You're not assaulting him so much as just jamming a black mace up his ass.
Liandra: Right. So Strength. I'm Rank 3
Arvid: Don't look at me, I'm Human Rank.
Maximus: Amber.
Hans: Rank 4
Adolf: 2nd!!
Daphne: FIRST.
Maximus: My vote goes to Daphne.
Liandra: Mine too
GM: You see the spy is sweating and beginning to cry as you make this decision...

Basically, if you have a Stat that you don't think you will need, you can take a Zero Rank in it. That doesn't mean that you can't build it up in the future.

But that's something for a bit later. Advancement is a little...complex.

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#2 [url]

Jul 19 09 11:30 AM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG


Okay, now I'm going to talk briefly about Attributes.

First, there are the Major Attributes, or Major Powers, which are Pattern Imprint, Trump Artistry and Logrus Mastery. The cost in points is the number in brackets.

Pattern Imprint. [50 points]
Pattern Imprint is caused by walking the Pattern of Amber. It can only be walked by those of Royal Blood (most others can't take that kind of punishment), and allows them to "shift" through Shadow. They can walk from one Shadow to another by using the Pattern to adjust their surroundings. It also allows them to affect objects in Shadow. For instance, someone with Pattern can change money from one Shadow's currency to another with very little effort. They can't create it, but they can change it.

Advanced Pattern Imprint [75pts (Pattern Imprint + 25 points)]
Advanced Pattern gives the Pattern user more power over Shadow, including the Pattern Lens ability, which allows them to peer into Shadow without having to physically go there. Advanced Pattern Imprint is not available at character creation.

Trump Artistry [40 points]
Trump Artistry allows characters to draw Trumps. It also gives them a little more control over them than someone who does not have Trump Artistry. It also allows the Trump Artist to detect when a Trump is being used in their presence.

Advanced Trump Artistry [60 points (Trump Artistry +20 points)]
Advanced Trump allows greater control over the use and creation of Trumps. A character with Advanced Trump Artistry can memorize a Trump and use it without actual physical contact with the Trump. Advanced Trump Artistry is not available at character creation.

Logrus Mastery [45 points]
Logrus Mastery is the power over Shadow that denizens of Chaos use. It comes from walking the Logrus, an ever-changing, constantly twisting pathway which always causes a bit of insanity. Logrus is more active than Pattern, in that it reaches through Shadow with tendrils and pulls the Logrus Master to the Shadow or pulls the Shadow object to the Logrus Master. Logrus Mastery has a prerequisite of Shapeshifting, as it is impossible to survive the Path of the Logrus without being able to shapeshift. Logrus Mastery may only be taken with GM's approval. Which means you better be able to give me a damn good reason why you would have Logrus.

Advanced Logrus Mastery [70 points (Logrus Mastery +25 points)
The abilities of the Advanced Logrus Masters are dark and dangerous powers, and generally require the Logrus Master to take the Path a second time, increasing their insanity. Advanced Logrus Mastery is definitely not available at character creation. Not even as a joke.

The major powers have a little bit of a pecking order to them. Pattern is more powerful than Logrus, but Trump is able to cancel out the other two. However, combining Trump, Pattern and Logrus generally causes a violent chain reaction.

Now let's discuss the Minor Attributes, which are Broken Pattern Initiate, Conjuration, High Compelling, Power Words, Shape Shifting, Shadowcrafting and Sorcery.

Broken Pattern Initiate [10 points]
Broken Patterns exist in Shadow. They are imperfect reflections of the True Pattern, and are therefore not as powerful. Broken Patterns can still allow you to travel through Shadow, but the path is through "flaws" in the Shadow. Basically, a rift or tear in Shadow acts as a gateway from one Shadow to another, and the way is not always the path you would choose to take. Most flaws appear in the worst areas of a Shadow, such as in the center of an abbatoir or a site of a terrible slaughter. One Flaw leads to another Flaw and so on and so forth. Since Shadow is constantly changing, it is nearly impossible to always take the same path from one Shadow to another, and even going back through a Flaw doesn't necessarily mean you will go back to the previous Shadow. Broken Pattern cannot be used in conjunction with Pattern or Logrus, but it can be used by anyone, including Shadow dwellers.

Broken Pattern Adept [25 points (Broken Pattern Initiate +15)]
An Adept of the Broken Pattern has greater control over the powers of the Broken Pattern, and gives the Adept the ability to use tendrils, much like the Logrus Tendrils used by Logrus Masters. Broken Pattern Adept is not available at character creation.

Conjuration [20 points]
Conjuration gives a character the ability to conjure objects out of thin air. Conjuration takes time and concentration, depending on the item being created. A simple dagger with nothing special about it can take only a few seconds, but a magic sword that talks and can kill nearly in a single blow takes several days.

High Compelling [25 points (Conjuration + 5 points)
High Compelling is a form of "advanced" Conjuration. However, instead of being able to conjure up physical items, High Compelling allows you to conjure thoughts, emotions and the like into the minds of others. This of course is dependent on Psyche, as it is nearly impossible to use High Compelling on someone with a higher Psyche than you. High Compelling is allowed at character creation.

Power Words [10 points*]
Power Words are akin to Sorcery, only quicker and not as easy to direct at a single target. When a Power Word is used, all within hearing distance are affected (Psyche and/or Endurance can counteract this). There are 20 known Power Words, each with their own effect. When you spend 10 points on Power Words, you get 5 at creation. After the first 5, you get 1 Power Word for your 10 points. You may buy Power Words more than once during creation, but every 10 points after the first only gives you one Word.

Shapeshifting [35 points]
Shapeshifting allows the character to be able to modify their physical appearance. They are allowed to take animal forms and to shift their features so that they have extra arms, legs, eyes or other features. They also can assume the Chaos Form, or demonic form. Shapeshifting into a form with wings allows you to fly, gills and fins allow you to swim more efficiently and breathe underwater. Horns, claws and talons also work just as well as if they were natural weapons. Shapeshifting also can help heal wounds.

Advanced Shapeshifting [65 points (Shapeshifting + 30)]
Advances Shapeshifting allows greater control over Shapeshifting, including being able to assume forms beyond animal forms and Chaos Form. Advanced Shapeshifting, although it is a very useful Attribute, is not allowed at character creation.

Shadowcrafting [5 points]
Shadowcrafting is sometimes seen as a minor offshoot of Conjuration or Shapeshifting. It allows the Shadowcrafter to shape Shadow around them. It only affects non-living objects. They cannot make any major changes, and most changes are aesthetic. With a touch, a Shadowcrafter can change the color of a tree or a rock to suit their whim. They can also "Shadowsculpt" any solid material into any shape they choose. The cost is rather low because it really isn't that helpful of an ability.

Sorcery [15 points]
Sorcery is the casting of spells. However, spells are more difficult to cast than they are in other systems. Most spells take several hours to cast, making them somewhat ineffective. For 15 points, you can learn five spells. Sorcery also allows you to create your own spells (which takes some time and research). You only need to buy Sorcery once. The trade-off is having to deal with Sorcery by the rules. It is possible to "hang" a spell, or more accurately, you semi-cast the spell, leaving out particular elements, known as Lynchpins. For instance, the target is a common Lynchpin. A lightning bolt spell can be hung, waiting for the proper Lynchpin in order to activate it completely, allowing it to be cast in one round rather than four hours. The trick is, the spell must be pre-cast, leaving out the Lynchpins, which takes several hours of preperation time. Sorcerers generally spend several hours a day replacing hung spells.

So if I take Sorcery, I can only hang one spell?
No...not exactly. You can hang one spell basically on yourself. It's known as hanging it in the air, as it hangs more off your personal aura than your physical presence.

That seems kind of useless. How can I have more than one spell readied?
Well, you can have other things to "hang" spells off of. You can hang spells off of artifacts that are created for that purpose, like a magic wand, staff, ring or something along those lines. How much you spend on the item in Points determines how many Spells can be hung on it (that comes later in Artifact Creation).

There are two other ways to hang spells. One is hanging spells off the Broken Pattern. Adepts of Broken Pattern can hang up to 10 spells on a Broken Pattern. However, because of the nature of the Broken Pattern, hung Spells tend to "go bad." If they have been hanging for a long time, the spells tend to become corrupt, and either the effect is not quite what it should have been, or the spell could backfire.

The other way is to hang Spells off the Tendrils of the Logrus. Chaos Sorcerers are feared for their ability to hang Spells on Logrus Tendrils. If a Logrus Master is powerful enough and has a high enough Psyche, he can hang an almost unlimited amount of Spells on the Logrus, or so it is said.

The cheap, easy and preferred method is usually Items. Especially if you take Sorcery and Conjuration. Then you can use Conjuration to create items without spending the points (you just have to spend the time Conjuring the item(s)).

I want to take Logrus Mastery. It sounds really cool.
Logrus has its pros and cons, but Logrus can be dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced player, and it could make you a target in Amber. Chaos and Amber are not on the best of terms, and anyone "smelling" of Logrus (that's the polite term for it) is not only suspect, but will probably find themselves with a dagger in their backs rather soon.

FIFTY POINTS for Pattern? But how am I supposed to buy things like Stats and other Attributes?
Well, there are two ways. One, take Zero Rank stats in something you don't think you'll particularly need. Chaos Rank stats aren't all that detrimental, especially if it is in something you don't think you'll usually use.

The other way is with Bad Stuff. You can create a "point debt" by taking Bad Stuff. Basically, after you finish creating your character, any points you have left over are converted (point-for-point) into Good Stuff. Think of Stuff as "Luck" or "Mojo" or "Karma." Good things happen to people with Good Stuff.

And then there's Bad Stuff. You can overspend on your character, but every point you use above your allotted amount will give you Bad Stuff. Bad Stuff doesn't necessarily mean that you are always going to get it in the ass, but it is taken into consideration when you are doing things just by the skin of your ass.

To give you an example, Superman has about 70 points of Good Stuff. Batman has about 30 points of Bad Stuff.

And as a GM, I LOVE Bad Stuff. It's what dreams are made of. No, wait, it's what broken dreams are made of.


From the makers of the Oh Shit Handle.

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#3 [url]

Jul 19 09 11:35 AM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

Hmmmm... I could've sworn I originally had more stuff. Oh well, I guess I'll see about getting my hands on the source material. Anyway, that was enough to originally hook me, so I guess you guys can tell me what you think.

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#4 [url]

Jul 19 09 6:31 PM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

Alright, this sounds really clever. I take it Ranks carry forward beyond the PCs, right? So that once they're determined by the PC-order (lowest to highest etc.) everything else in the campaign is ranked in the same way?

Pretty sure this is something I could get behind, although I'd have to think about the attributes.

P.S., I have the exact same scrollbar problem! No idea what's causing it, but so far it's meant I've had to do all my formatting outside of the forum and copy-paste it later. Annoying!

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#6 [url]

Jul 20 09 7:27 AM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

Damn, I'm not usually one for tabletop games or trying to figure out stats and what not, but damn this sounds pretty damn cool.


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#7 [url]

Jul 22 09 8:42 AM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

Here I Come To Save The Day...

[Power Words]
There are a total of 20 Power Words. Each one is unique in power. Each time you purchase [Power Words], you get any five from the list. Taking a Power Word multiple times just means you are an idiot and can't tell when you've already taken something. I generally rule that in order to use a Power Word, the actual word (in parentheses) has to be shouted. This not only makes for good drama, but it also is quite hysterical seeing people try to pronounce them.

1. Magic Negation (NOGTZ)--This allows the disruption of magical energies. As someone with Sorcery casts a spell or releases a stored spell, the Power Word disrupts the elegant structure of the spell and renders it useless. If used fast enough, it can cause spells to fizzle before they even take form. The effect only lasts an instant, so there is no lingering "Anti-Magic field". Also, if used against someone of superior Psyche, the effect may not be as complete as expected.

2. Chaos Negation (POLRZ)--This can only be used to defend yourself against the powers of Logrus or Logrus-based effects.

3. Psychic Defense (SHAGSK)--This creates a burst of internal Psyche, and is enough to disrupt any Psychic contact, including Trump contact. This also works against others trying to reach into your mind or for mind-affecting invasive spells. The effect is Psyche-based, so someone with a far superior Psyche can attempt to maintain connection.

4. Psychic Disrupt (ASKIIR)--This affects a creature or other being. If used as a directed affect (naming the target before using the word), it will be more effective. If used without being directed at a target, it covers an area around the speaker. The size of the area is relative to the user's Psyche. The affect will break the concentration of anyone attempting to use Trump, Sorcery, Conjuration, Pattern or Logrus. Again, being a Power Word, it is governed by the Psyche of the user, and those with higher Psyches can resist.

5. Neural Disrupt (KROLAK)--This is basically a verbal Tazer shot. Like Psychic Disrupt, it can be directed at a particular target (and therefore be more effective) or can cover an area if undirected. It will basically shock the system of any living creature affected by it. However, those with a superior Stamina will tend to break from its affects more quickly.

6. Lifeforce (LIEVZ)--This word generates a burst of living energy. It doesn't do any actual healing, but it will break up any destructive energies. It can also be used to stabilize someone or to give someone a burst of "feel good" energy. The word is generally a directed effect, although it is possible to use it undirected.

7. Resume True Form (SCHANG)--This forces a person or thing to revert back to their true form. This is useful against those with Shapesifting or using a magical disguise. It can be used directed or undirected, but it will require a Pscyhe advantage in order to work. If your Psyche is not as high as the intended target, the word may not work, or it may not work permanently (GM's discretion).

8. Defensive Luck (FORTZ)--This creates an instant rush of Good Stuff, and either results in more a fortunate outcome of events or minor accidents befalling the opponent. It can only be used once in a Combat location (so if your duel goes through several Shadow worlds, you can use it again in each new location). Also, timing can be crucial, such as using the word just as the enemy leaps over a pit.

9. Pattern Negation (LEGANT)--Like Chaos Negation, this word is used to defend against the effects of Pattern or Pattern-based effects. It can also defend against Broken Pattern and Broken Pattern effects.

10. Pain Attack (VOILE)--This gives a jolt of pain to a directed target. It is not enough to cause damage, but it will disrupt them and throw them off-guard. The effect is instantaneous, and Psyche does not resist against it, unless it is used as an undirected effect.

11. Trump Disrupt (JASK)--This can be cast either on a Trump card, instantly blocking any connection, either active or incoming. It can also be used to defend against Trump effects or Trump-based effects. However, the Trump of the person the effect is directed at or your own must be used in order for the word to work.

12. Process Surge (MAGIQUE)--This adds an extra burst of energy to any Sorcery, Conjuration or other magical effect. It will cause spells to do more damage, or conjured items to be less likely to break or dispel, but the effect is only temporary. It can also affect such things as elemental or shadow energies. Again, what Process Surge can and cannot affect is up to the GM's discretion.

13. Process Snuff (QUIMK)--This will dampen any sort of magical, elemental or shadow energy. It is basically the direct opposite of Process Surge, and can completely shut down a type of energy. This is temporary, and will last basically as long as the GM feels it should last.

14. Shade (OMBRE)--This adds to the darkness of all shadows in the area. The effects are spooky and forbidding, but it can also be used to confuse, disorient or even aid in sneaking around.

15. Light Strobe (LUUM)--This creates a quick burst of bright light. It can emit from the user or from any object held by the user. It can temporarily blind an opponent if used properly, but is not really useful for illumination.

16. Spark (AFLAK)--This creates a single spark, much like when flint hits steel. It can be used to start a fire, or if used against a living being, it can startle or cause a small amount of pain. It generally is created at the fingertip, but you can have it manifest at any point on the body.

17. Burst of Magic (HURG)--This generates a pulse of magical energy in your body, and will affect the next magical effect used, including a Power Word. It has a similar effect as Process Surge, but only affects Power Words, Sorcery and Conjuration.

18. Weaken Structure (MARSK)--This can be used to weaken the molecular structure of an inanimate object. The effect is based on Psyche, at least as a measure of how large or how "real" an object can be used. For instance, it would take someone of superior Psyche to affect anything that is in or from Amber or Chaos, or anything with a Pattern Imprint or Trump Power in it. However, shadow items will crumble to dust or dissolve into the breeze.

19. Thunder (HAGGK)--This Power Word is transformed into the sound of a thunderbolt, as if the stroke of lightning came from the mouth of the speaker. It is used mainly for dramatic effect, but it can cause temporary deafness or even scare the hell out of someone.

20. Burst of Psyche (ZZAAQ)--This boosts the user's Psyche for an instant. It can give you an edge against someone with a slightly higher or equal Psyche when in a Psyche battle or Trump Contact. It doesn't permanently raise your Psyche, but I generally allow it to cause the user's Psyche to jump up two or three ranks in effect.

The thing about Power Words is that they are magical in nature, and the energy used to fuel them comes from the user, much like Sorcery. So using a Power Word is as straining as casting a spell in its entirety, but doing it all in one instant. Only those with Amber or better Stamina should ever be allowed to use more than one Power Word without a brief rest in-between. It was once described by another Amber GM as, "running a marathon while shouting the word the entire time."

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#8 [url]

Jul 22 09 8:44 AM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

PS: If you want the stuff on Sorcery, it'll cost you.

Actually, if I find it, I'll post it here. Sorcery is confusing as hell, and it isn't like any magic system in any other RPG.

Also, the pages up above don't mention things like Personal Artifact Items and Constructs. If I can find my summaries on those, I'll post them up when I get a chance.

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#9 [url]

Jul 30 09 9:49 AM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

Sorry I haven't posted the Sorcery stuff yet for you guys, but I've had a bit of a meltdown on my desktop PC. So I've been a bit busy trying to get things back up and running, and this old shitty Gateway laptop I got for $500 about five years back just isn't really cutting it.

Sorcery is not how it usually works in your usual RPG's. Sorcery takes time and effort, and a lot of preparation.

How Sorcery works is that you spend a particular amount of time preparing a spell, but you leave out certain portions of the spell, called Lynchpins. These are generally things like Target, Duration and so on. However, just because you are leaving out certain parts of a spell doesn't mean that it takes less time. On the contrary, Lynchpins make it longer to cast.

But if it takes so long, how does one cast a spell? When you cast a spell and leave out the Lynchpins, you basically "hang" the spell. It pretty much just hovers in the air around you, waiting for the Lynchpins to be plugged in, and then it'll fire off. The trick is, you can only hang one spell on yourself, so you basically can only have one floating around your head at a time. But there are ways of getting around this.

1. Pattern/Logrus: Pattern and Logrus allow you to "Rack" a certain number of Spells on them. Pattern is a limited number (five, I think), and Logrus' potential is based on your Psyche. The higher your Psyche (or if you have Advanced Logrus Mastery), the more spells that can be hung on those Logrus tendrils.

2. Items and Personal Artifacts: You can make a Personal Artifact that can "Rack" spells.

3. Constructs: Some Constructs (which are basically just Personal Artifacts with a little more kick) allow you to hang spells on them as well. The problem is, you have to be in the presence of the Construct in some manner in order for it to allow you to use those spells.

How I usually run Sorcery is that everyone with Sorcery must keep me informed as to what Spells are hung where, and what Lynchpins are left out of them. You guys can do it however you want, but I've found that it's much easier on the GM's side to do it that way. Also, as with anything else, what spells you have Racked or are hanging around you are to be kept secret.

There are only 15 spells in the rules, but I've had players make up their own spells from time to time. I'm not going to list the Lynchpins for each spell, as they are pretty much always things like Dispel Word, Target, Shadow Location and those sorts of things. I've let my players make up their own Lynchpins from time to time, and most of them are pretty much common sense. In most cases, any spell that attempts to affect the Psyche or body of another is considered an Invasive Spell, and there is generally a Psyche comparison involved. Spells will almost always work, but the Psyche difference will tell you how much of an effect.

1. Quell: This allows you to put someone to sleep. You must overcome the Psyche of the target. The Duration depends on whether or not someone or something disturbs them, but otherwise, they will sleep either until they are fully rested or until you release the spell. Base Casting Time: One Hour, with an additional ten minutes per Lynchpin. Variations:Can be modified to affect any natural bodily function, by either speeding up or slowing down the natural processes.

2. Cardiac Arrest: You can stop the heart of your victim. The effect is instantaneous. Those with a Human Endurance will collapse and most likely die. Those with a Chaos Endurance will have a minor heart attack and require some medical assistance. Those with Amber or better Endurance will have a sudden blackout, but it will be pretty harmless in the long run. Base Casting Time: One Hour, with an additional ten minutes of casting time for each Lynchpin.

3. Stone Binding: This changes the time rate inside the victim, so that they are slowed down to immobility, relative to their environment. This is an invasive spell and Requires a Psyche advantage to work. Those with Chaos or better Psyche may be able to resist, and only be slowed. Time will eventually allow the spell to wear off in most Shadows, and in Chaos or Amber, they will only be in such a state for an hour at most. Base Casting Time: 90 Minutes, with an additional 15 minutes per Lynchpin.

4. Invisibility: This turns the subject invisible, or if desired, partially transparent. One big drawback is that with complete invisibility, light passes through the body, so there's no light for the eye to pick up, and you are effectively blind. Therefore, it is generally a good idea to only become partially invisible. 95% invisibility will make you invisible enough not to be noticed, but allow you to see enough to function (but no details) in broad daylight. Remember also that invisibility doesn't cover things like noise or scent. Base Casting Time: One Hour, with an additional 10 minutes per Lynchpin.

5. Strength Drain: You can drop a target's Strength to Human level, or lower if the target has Human-Rank Strength. This usually has a dispel word attached, but if not, it will wear off in time. It requires physical contact of some sort. Base Casting Time: 2 Hours, with an additional 20 minutes per Lynchpin.

6. Mind Touch: This opens a mind link between the caster and the target. This link works exactly like a Trump contact, allowing the two minds to touch. This requires overcoming the Psyche of the target. The exact location of the target is required for the spell to succeed, which is not a problem if the target is in sight of the caster. Base Casting Time: 30 Minutes, with an additional 5 minutes per Lynchpin.

7. Bodily Defense: This is basically a personal shield which is devoted to blocking out all external influences. It can block physical attacks, Magic, Trump, Pattern and Logrus. The spell lasts for up to one hour or until dispelled by the caster. Base Casting Time: One Hour, with an additional ten minutes per Lynchpin.

8. Defensive Shield: This works exactly like Bodily Defense, except that it creates a barrier rather than simply protecting the body. The shield can be used to protect multiple allies, and will defend against Magic, Fire, Weather, Cold and physical attacks. The size of the shield is determined by the caster (via Lynchpin). Base Casting Time: One Hour, with an additional 10 minutes per Lynchpin.

9. Magical Drain: This creates a portal through which all magical energy is drained away. This effectivaly limits the magic in an area, up to 2 miles in diameter. Any spells cast while the spell is active will either fizzle out or be less effective (Psyche advantages will determine effect or non-effect, as it were). Previously cast spells will be weakened, and will be easier to dispel or disrupt. Power Words will become ineffective during the drain, but the Power Word user will still feel the strain of casting it. The standard duration is about 30 minutes. Base Casting Time: One Hour, with an additional 10 minutes per Lynchpin.

10. Defensive Psyche Ward: This is placed on a doorway or a circle is drawn on the ground, and creates a barrier which will repel any Psyche or Trump contact with those in the room or within the circle. It is possible to break through the barrier. The caster can attempt to defend against any Psyche or Trump contact attempting to break through with a regular Psyche battle. The barrier will remain for 24 hours, or until dispelled. Base Casting Time: One Hour, with an additional 10 minutes per Lynchpin.

11. Defensive Material: This gives any object the qualities of an invulnerable shield, making it invulnerable to conventional weapons. It is also invulnerable to fire, electricity and other natural energies or compounds which would normally destroy the item. Because the item has no Psyche, the effect cannot be dispelled via Psyche. Base Casting Time: One Hour, with an additional 10 minutes per Lynchpin.

12. Lightning Bolt: The caster opens up a conductive line between some highly charged place in Shadow and a target or target area. Duration is instantaneous, but the "channel" must be defined before the portal in Shadow is opened or the caster will be the primary target. There is enough "lag time" when the spell is cast for those with a superior Psyche or equivalent abilities (Danger Sense) to dodge out of the way. However, it works great against stationary targets or those with a lower Psyche than the caster. The chances of hitting a target are dependent on the caster's Warfare. Casting Time: One Hour, with an additional 10 minutes per Lynchpin.

13. Pressurized Lava: Much like the lightning bolt spell, this spell opens a Shadow portal from a place in Shadow where lava is under high pressure, and allows a chunk of the super-heated rock to blast out at a target. The size of the chunk is defined by the caster, but anything over 200lbs is risky because of the intense heat. It doesn't have the greatest of ranges, and the chance of hitting a target are based on the caster's Warfare. The range is also dependent on the size and weight of the chunk. If it is relatively light, it can fly a couple hundred feet, whereas a huge chunk will only go a few feet at most. Casting Time: 30 Minutes, with an additional 5 minutes per Lynchpin.

14. Replicate Shadow Object: This forms a duplicate of an item out of Shadow material of any object. You can replicate living things as well, but they may not act like the actual person or animal or what-have-you. Also, any duplicated item does not have the powers, abilities or other attributes of the original. It will last until dispelled or until it is removed from the Shadow where the item was created. If you want permanent items, buy Conjuration. Casting Time: 30 Minutes, with an additional 5 minutes per Lynchpin.

15. Self-Teleport: This transports the caster (and only the caster) to a specified location. The caster must have prior knowledge of the location, and the effect is instantaneous. It requires a Lynchpin in order for your personal items to be transported with you, otherwise you will show up naked. Casting Time: 30 Minutes, with an additional 5 minutes per Lynchpin.

Those are the basic 15 spells. Buying Sorcery will allow you to choose 5 spells, and you must purchase Sorcery again in order to gain another spell. Yeah, it's expensive, but that's how things go. Also keep in mind that all Sorcery spells may be subject to things like Power Words that either strengthen, weaken or disrupt Magic, and many can be disrupted via Pattern, Trump or Logrus. The Big Three always win against Magic effects.

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#10 [url]

Jul 30 09 9:26 PM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

Hot damn, thanks for that. Definitely enlightening and I'm definitely interested

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#12 [url]

Aug 5 09 3:56 PM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

At some point, I'll have to put up the Pattern, Logrus and Trump stuff for you guys.

I know I used to have it on my other computer, but I may have a copy on an old FTP somewhere.

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#13 [url]

Aug 11 09 2:28 AM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

Finally got my hands on the sourcebook for this, so I'll take some time to go through it and digest it.

In the meantime, if anybody else wants to volunteer to kidnap and clone Pkmoutl so we can have our own fully functioning copy that has no use for such things as "jobs" and "real life" feel free. Otherwise you'll just have to wait for me.

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#14 [url]

Sep 1 09 11:06 AM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

Do you have both books?

The main book is the real Meat-and-Potatoes of the game, but there's some interesting stuff in the Shadow Knights book, especially since the Construct rules are in there, and there's nothing that really messes with people like an intelligent Construct gone awry.

There's also rumor of a 3rd book, the Rebma Sourcebook, but it was apparently only distributed in small numbers at one of the AmberCons several years back. I also talked to Erick back in like 2004, and he was working on re-publishing the system in one easy-to-use book, including the stuff from the Rebma book and some new things he had been working on. However, both the publishers he had lined up (one of which was Guardians of Order) went bankrupt.

I kind of forgot about this place for the past couple weeks. Sorry. If I get a chance, I'll throw some Pattern, Logrus and Trump stuff up here.

I'm kind of in the middle of interviewing for two jobs right now.

Well, not RIGHT NOW, because it's like 11pm, but you know what I mean.

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#15 [url]

Sep 1 09 11:11 AM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

Yeah, I managed to snag both of them. And then I got sidetracked. Whoops. This has not been a good month for projects of mine.

Interviewing for two jobs at the same time, eh? Kinky.

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#20 [url]

Dec 3 10 1:39 AM

Re: Amber Diceless RPG

Edcrab wrote:
I can't unlock the No-Life Pod, it's really goddamn annoying


Yeah actually I'm cool with it being left open. I was originally worried about starting an insular sub-community but in retrospect I don't think I was giving the folks here enough credit. Play nice everyone!

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