Amber Game



  • So since there was discussion, what about a new future Amber game that @Autumn suggested? What sort of game system would it even use?



  • @Luna said:

    So since there was discussion, what about a new future Amber game that @Autumn suggested? What sort of game system would it even use?

    I like the modified d10 system that L5R uses. It preserves a sense of growing skill while rewarding true mastery with a near immunity to failure.



  • @Silver That's definitely worth looking at!


  • Pitcrew

    I don't really have a strong opinion on what system to use, but I think that:

    • It should probably be fairly simple to pick up; the Amber player base is not exactly habituated to nWoD levels of system complexity.

    • It should be aimed to handle the conflicts that the game will be about, so figuring out in advance what those are should probably be a big part of it (e.g., Amber never came up with a satisfying way of handling military action, RtA tacked on the flagpole system as an afterthought, etc.)

    • If it can avoid requiring staff intervention for everyday use, that's probably a good thing.


  • Pitcrew

    It needs to be able to handle a broad variety of things, from sci-fi level weaponry and gear to sword-and-sorcery... and fairly adjudicate when they interact.



  • Agreed on all of this. I also like the gossip system, maybe I'm alone in that.


  • Politics

    So. What is Amber?


  • Pitcrew

    Amber is a series of ten short novels and some short stories written by the late, great Roger Zelazny from a period ranging from the 70s to the early 90s.

    Simple version: all conceivable realities are the shadows cast by two polar dimension primes -- "Amber", the city of which all cities are but a shadow, and the Courts of Chaos, which is a little bit like a giant Dali painting if you had to live in it and it was ruled by massive, feuding noble houses. Amber is ruled by one noble house, whose founder was a rebel against and refugee from the Courts of Chaos. His children spent a very long time being absolute shits, until the shittiest of them woke up from a coma and drank a very big glass of grow-up juice.


  • Pitcrew

    Because of the diversity of the setting with infinite shadow worlds, I would suggest a universal system that is flexible enough to have rules for the various worlds encountered.
    I don't really have a suggestion as to which one since I am in general not a fan of universal systems, honestly if you were looking low crunch I would say Fate, since it is fairly easy to do large conflicts with by making large corporate entities as characters and run with normal fate rule.
    Though a lot of people don't like lack of crunch. For high crunch GURPS or Hero could work but either one would be hell to deal with on a much. sadly I have yet to see a middle ground generic system I have liked.
    though I would love just about any Amber game that had rules less byzantine then the ones RtA uses.


  • Pitcrew

    Actually FATE would be the perfect system for it, since it adapts very well to narrative flow, and can account for someone like Benedict saying "Well, you may have reckoned on these guys, but you didn't count on my five hundred thousand reinforcements."


  • Pitcrew

    If you guys figure out a system that works for Amber, keep me in the loop with the modifications made with it to make it work. I have an Amber OTT I have on hold currently because lots and lots of reasons, but one of the major problems I have with picking it back up is finding a system that isn't ridiculously awful that my players won't stab me for. Amber Diceless seems awesome as long as everyone is on the same page, but at a certain point things break down.Partial powers does NOT help. I hate conjuration and sorcery with a passion, because as ST I have to regularly say no, with a reasoning of 'because it'll cause a problem' and then there's that whole fight and I end up wanting to stab people in the face and....yeah.

    Keep me updated. ;)


  • Politics

    I'd be up for this, save that I have very little code knowledge. I did try to start a game like this not so long ago, Legends of Amber, where the Princes were long gone, and it was set in the Courts of Chaos. I could do the desc'ing etc, just not the code necessary, and the coder I had was just doing it on his free time, which he didn't have a lot of (totally understandable), so it never got off the ground. I think I still have the site address etc.


  • Pitcrew

    I never understood the train of thought that goes "I love this setting, and I'd love to play in it, except we need to throw out everything about it." Amber without the Princes and Princesses, Transformers without Optimus or Megatron (c'mon, it didn't even work when the actual SHOW did it), Star Wars without Luke, Leia, Lando et al.

    I mean, I guess I understand that you don't want those characters usurping the story? But it's a little like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, innit?



  • @The-Tree-of-Woe said:

    I never understood the train of thought that goes "I love this setting, and I'd love to play in it, except we need to throw out everything about it." Amber without the Princes and Princesses, Transformers without Optimus or Megatron (c'mon, it didn't even work when the actual SHOW did it), Star Wars without Luke, Leia, Lando et al.

    I mean, I guess I understand that you don't want those characters usurping the story? But it's a little like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, innit?

    It is precisely like that.


  • Admin

    @Silver The Jedi and Sith are causing such problems for Star Wars. Off with those robed fools!


  • Pitcrew

    Now see, I don't like the Sith Fanboying, but the Sorcerer in The Old Republic did it right.

    Do you want to do the kinda evil thing, the evil thing, or the super evil thing? There is a right answer, and it involves force lightning.


  • Pitcrew

    Inevitably, when you run an Amber game, you have two choices. You can make the Princes and Princesses be qualitatively no different from any other character, in which case people will object because an Amber where Benedict can get thrashed by someone no one's ever heard of doesn't feel much like Amber.

    Or you can make them qualitatively different from other characters, in which case everybody else will be second-class citizens, and that also doesn't feel like Amber, because that's not really a setting that's about any of the protagonists willingly being second-class citizens. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    That was part of what led me to suggest having the descendents organized by bloodline houses -- so the ideas of Deirdre, Bleys, Llewella, Corwin, etc., were still in the setting, and their mythic archetypes and character stereotypes were things that could be invoked consciously by both players and by characters, without having the actual characters around to present their usual Hobson's choice. But I'm certainly not about to suggest that's the best way to do it.


  • Admin

    @Autumn What keeps you from having the Princes as NPCs only, to be used for events and special things like that which move the plot forward?


  • Pitcrew

    @The-Tree-of-Woe said:

    I never understood the train of thought that goes "I love this setting, and I'd love to play in it, except we need to throw out everything about it." Amber without the Princes and Princesses, Transformers without Optimus or Megatron (c'mon, it didn't even work when the actual SHOW did it), Star Wars without Luke, Leia, Lando et al.

    I mean, I guess I understand that you don't want those characters usurping the story? But it's a little like throwing the baby out with the bathwater, innit?

    The setting is divorced from the specific characters is divorced from the books' plot. To throw out some counter examples, why would you have a Firefly game without Mal? Why would you have a Pern game without F'lar? Mass Effect, without Shepherd?

    I'm not interested in Cain's story or Corwin's story, I'm interested in a brand new story with brand new characters, exploring the world and learning things about the setting, how the world works, all of that fun stuff.It's set up as a very coherent way to handle a story that spans the complete multiverse in such a way that this week the Queen of Rebma is in her underwater Kingdom, and the next week she's decided she'd rather go fuck off and play space pirates, so here kid, have a crown and a Pattern.

    Even to actually look at the RPG books that were produced for the series, one of the options presented is to just use the setting.

    ETA: Using the characters from the books locks down a lot of your options. Throwing them out and saying 'Oberon exists, but none of the rest of them do, I've thrown out about half of the metaphysical stuff established so nobody actually knows how these things work or what REALLY happened in Chaos to make Oberon leave, go figure it out' turns into a fun, fun game.


  • Pitcrew

    I guess a counter argument could be this: If you're gonna get rid of the Elders, why not just make it a Lords of Gossamer and Shadow game? (I have not played this game. I have not read anything beyond the free stuff that's posted. It pretty much seems like the Amber theme with a bunch of stuff renamed.)

    Also, I'm something of a purist, so the idea of an Elder being bested in their area of expertise by a non-Elder makes me twitch. When people whine about how much it sucks that they can't skewer Benedict, or bench press more than Gérard, or regenerate their eyeballs more quickly than Corwin, or out magic mojo Fiona or Brand, I feel zero sympathy.

    Oberon didn't simply run roughshod over the noble Houses or the Golden Kingdoms or even Rebma. Those people still needed to be appeased for one reason or another, and I'm pretty damn sure those reasons had nothing to do with direct one-on-one challenges.


  • Pitcrew

    @Arkandel The short answer is "Nothing!", of course, but that's not very helpful. :)

    I'd expect that doing that would give more flavor than even a very carefully crafted offstage setup (assuming that staff are good at playing the Princes). It brings with it the usual issues that accompany having very powerful in-setting characters run as NPCs, and it wouldn't surprise me if Amber players as a group are sensitive to some of those issues due to past history, but just because something has worked out badly in the past doesn't mean it can't work out well in the present.

    Removing them from everyday life also runs the risk of suggesting that things that the Princes can't be arsed to deal with aren't particularly important. When they do come out, it's a special occasion, but does that make it less special when they aren't around?

    I don't think there's a simple yes or no answer. It's about what you want out of a game. To some people Amber is the Princes and Princesses being awesome and doing the things that make them awesome. To other people it's less about those specific characters and more about the environment they exist in. Do I sound wishy-washy? It's probably 'cause I am, since I feel a little uncomfortable with both ends of the debate.


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