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Scores above 0 are "ranked", with the highest score being ranked 1st, the next-highest 2nd, and so on. The character with 1st rank in each attribute is considered "superior" in that attribute, being considered to be substantially better than the character with 2nd rank even if the difference in scores is small. All else being equal, a character with a higher rank in an attribute will always win a contest based on that attribute.
The character who bids the most for an attribute is "ranked" first and is considered superior to all other characters in that attribute. Unlike conventional auctions, bids are non-refundable; if one player bids 65 for psyche and another wins with a bid of 66, then the character with 66 is "superior" to the character with 65 even though there is only one bid difference. Instead, lower bidding characters are ranked in ascending order according to how much they have bid, the characters becoming progressively weaker in that attribute as they pay less for it.
After the auction, players can secretly pay extra points to raise their ranks, but they can only pay to raise their scores to an existing rank. Further, a character with a bid-for rank is considered to have a slight advantage over character with a bought-up rank.
Through the competitive Auction, characters may begin the game vying for standings. The auction serves to introduce some unpredictability into character creation without the need to resort to dice, cards, or other randomizing devices. A player may intend, for example, to create a character who is a strong, mighty warrior, but being "outplayed" in the auction may result in lower attribute scores than anticipated, therefore necessitating a change of character concept.
A willingness to spend as many points as possible on an attribute may improve your chances of a high ranking, but too reckless a spending strategy could leave a player with few points to spend on powers and objects. With two or more equally determined players, this can result in a "bidding war" where the attribute is driven up by increments to large sums.
An alternative strategy is to try to cow other players into submission with a high opening bid. Most players bid low amounts between one and ten points in an initial bid in order to feel out the competition and to save points for other uses.
Psyche in Amber DRPG compared to the Chronicles[ edit ] Characters with high psyche are presented as having strong telepathic abilities, being able to hypnotise and even mentally dominate any character with lesser psyche with whom they can make eye-contact. This is likely due to three scenes in the Chronicles: first, when Eric paralyzes Corwin with an attack across the Trump and refuses to desist because one or the other would be dominated; second, when Corwin faces the demon Strygalldwir, it is able to wrestle mentally with him when their gazes meet; and third, when Fiona is able to keep Brand immobile in the final battle at the Courts of Chaos.
Shadow Knight does address this inconsistency somewhat, by presenting the "living trump" abilities as somewhat limited. Pattern: A character who has walked the pattern can walk in shadow to any possible universe, and while there can manipulate probability. Logrus: A character who has mastered the Logrus can send out Logrus tendrils and pull themselves or objects through shadow.
Shape-shifting: Shape-shifters can alter their physical form and abilities. Trump: Trump Artists can create Trumps, a sort of tarot card which allows mental communication and travel.
The book features Trump portraits of each of the elder Amberites. Magic: Three types of magic are detailed: Power Words, with a quick, small effect; Sorcery, with pre-prepared spells as in many other game systems; and Conjuration, the creation of small objects.
Each of the first four powers is available in an advanced form. Artifacts, Personal shadows and Constructs[ edit ] While a character with Pattern, Logrus or Conjuration can acquire virtually any object, players can choose to spend character points to obtain objects with particular virtues — unbreakability, or a mind of their own.
Similarly, a character can find any possible universe, but they can spend character points to know of or inhabit shadows which are in some sense "real" and therefore useful. The expansion, Shadow Knight, adds Constructs — artifacts with connections to shadows. Stuff[ edit ] Unspent character points become good stuff — a good luck for the character. Players are also allowed to overspend in moderation , with the points becoming bad stuff — bad luck which the Gamemaster should inflict on the character.
Stuff governs how non-player characters perceive and respond to the character: characters with good stuff will often receive friendly or helpful reactions, while characters with bad stuff are often treated with suspicion or hostility.
Conflict resolution[ edit ] In any given fair conflict between two characters, the character with the higher score in the relevant attribute will eventually win. Close ranks result in longer contests while greater difference between ranks result in fast resolution.
Smith admired the professional production qualities of the page rulebook, noting that because it was Smyth sewn in page signatures , the book would always lie flat when opened. However, he found the typeface difficult to read, and the lack a coherent hierarchy of rules increased the reading difficulty as well. Smith admired the Attribute Auction and point-buy system for skills, and the focus on roleplaying in place of dice-rolling, but he mused that all of the roleplaying would mean "GMs have to spend quite a bit of time and creative effort coming up with wide-reaching plots for their players to work through.
However, I certainly do think that the Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game is destined for great popularity and a niche among the most respected of role-playing game designs. He also believed that being a gamemaster would be "tough work.
Proceed with caution. He concluded, "The intensity of the Amber game indicates [game designer Erik ] Wujcik is on to something. When success in every action depends on the role and not the roll, players develop a sense of both control and urgency, along with creativity that borders on mania. For gamers who have an aspiring actor or actress lurking within their breast, or for someone running a campaign via electronic mail or message base, Amber should be given serious consideration.
Some Amberzine issues are still available from Phage Press.
Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game
Kevin Siembieda, best of friends, I owe him most of all. Thanks to the early Amber players. They made the game come alive. To Daniel F. First, last, and always, thanks to Roger Zelazny.
Diceless role-playing game
It uses the Futhark rune set to resolve all game mechanics. Dread role-playing game uses a Jenga tower or similar to determine the success of actions. Frankenstein Atomic Frontier , an Australian role-playing game, uses cards with players drawing a quantity equal to their trait, counting Aces, Kings, Queens, Jacks and Jokers as a success. Marvel Universe Roleplaying Game uses a resource-management system inspired by collectible card games. Active Exploits a diceless set of role-playing game rules by Precis Intermedia Gaming. Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game uses no randomization, although secret information does create uncertainty for players. Golden Sky Stories, a Japanese heartwarming, non-violent role-playing game, uses resource pools, called Wonder and Feelings, rather than dice.