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There were times that called for the use of ancient and powerful words, the acknowledgment of humans in a crisis everywhere and everywhen since language was first invented. This was one of them. "Shit." Aurora said.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:19 pm 
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So I mentioned in the introduction thread that I'm currently running Amber in Savage Worlds. If you're not familiar with the system, it's very similar to the Serenity game. If you're not familiar with either... uh... bear with me? :wink:

The players, with two exceptions, don't know Amber, or rather, only know what I've said about it. I started them off as slightly extraordinary humans on Earth, hired by Bleys to keep an eye on Brand in the days leading up to Corwin's little trip to Greenwood.

I think the most painful part so far is writing up the powers. Savage Worlds powers work on a sort of... umm... feat-type thing. You pick up what's called an "Arcane Background", which gives you a skill, a set number of starting powers, and a number of power points to spend when you use the powers. Ordinarily, the Arcane Backgrounds are only available at character creation, but givent hat most Amber powers can be picked up late in life, I had to throw that out the window. I'm using the powers from the ADRPG, basically, but with some changes. Because of the "powers" thing, I've had to break down Pattern into a bunch of partial powers and a Shadow-shifting skill that you gain simply because you walked the Pattern. Logrus and shapeshifting are similar. I threw all of the magics - sorcery, conjuration, power words, and high compelling - into one grab-bag "magecraft" background, with the ability to select ONE of the types when you get the background and then a certain number of spells if you're a sorcerer, for example.

I gave them all a one-step buff to all stats; I'd originally intended to make it two steps for Amberites and one for Chaos (with a couple of exceptions), but I spazzed the night of character creation. :)

But, as the title says, there are certain things I've learned...

1. While it is good that Brand beat the crap out of a PC who decided that rushing him to get into a room was a good idea, it is equally not so good that Corwin UTTERLY FAILED in his attempts to get away from the PCs. Either I need to help out the elders a bit so they are consistently a challenge in the areas where they SHOULD be a challenge, or I need to stop rolling the dice, or I need to rebalance this all somehow.

2. My players, having no knowledge of Amber, are doing things that I would never have considered. Like holding Corwin captive while attempting to boost his stats and FORCE him to remember things.

3. Seven players, ten directions. I knew that, but it's still kind of bemusing.

4. Monsters that are supposed to be dangerous will have to be adjusted, I think. Two party members took out a chimera single-handedly, though I will grant that they used magic to do it. Three others took out a manticore with a 9mm pistol and some dynamite. This doesn't gel with the books, where Corwin was at least slightly concerned by the appearance of a manticore and Merlin had difficulty beating up an overgrown, ugly dog.

5. I need to better limit conjuration next time I run this. Part of the reason Corwin failed to escape is that someone conjured a brick wall inside a window and then conjured two steel doors in quick succession.

6. Similarly, sorcery may need adjustment. Fireball with some extra power points spent = 9 d6 worth of damage = crispy gryphon in one case and crispy chimera in a second. Again, not quite gelling with the books.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:16 pm 
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Shadow Walker

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Quote:
While it is good that Brand beat the crap out of a PC who decided that rushing him to get into a room was a good idea, it is equally not so good that Corwin UTTERLY FAILED in his attempts to get away from the PCs. Either I need to help out the elders a bit so they are consistently a challenge in the areas where they SHOULD be a challenge, or I need to stop rolling the dice, or I need to rebalance this all somehow.


Translating Amber into a diced game is hard. I should post about my own efforts to use SOTC with Amber. SOTC has the advantage though of being based off of a system that the designers DID use for their Amber gaming (FATE). so its not that bad of a port.


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 Post subject: Amber with dice
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:23 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:45 pm
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Location: South Carolina
I will state in no uncertain terms, I will stick with my diceless Amber.

But some other systems would have a chance of working or be so unsuitable as to be laughable.

BAD
Rolemaster: The kobold rolls. Uh oh. Uh oh. Open end. Uh...holy cra...E critical 98. Um. Damn. Gerard goes down. His corpse falls on top of Benedict's and the kobolds are +10 for the next three rounds. What does Corwin do?

D20: How much XP is a...what is this...Benedict worth?

A LITTLE BETTER
Hero System: Fiona uncorks a 40D6 Fireball. What is your ED? Checking. Um, is that magic? Yes. Damn. My defenses don't work against magic. How much body? 42. Superman dies.

Call of Cthulhu: I think I found out what Brand's problem is.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:34 pm 
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The Anti-Canon
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SilverFox wrote:
1. While it is good that Brand beat the crap out of a PC who decided that rushing him to get into a room was a good idea, it is equally not so good that Corwin UTTERLY FAILED in his attempts to get away from the PCs. Either I need to help out the elders a bit so they are consistently a challenge in the areas where they SHOULD be a challenge, or I need to stop rolling the dice, or I need to rebalance this all somehow.

Problem 1. Dice
Quote:
2. My players, having no knowledge of Amber, are doing things that I would never have considered. Like holding Corwin captive while attempting to boost his stats and FORCE him to remember things.

Ignorance breeds thinking outside the lines? Stupid is as Stupid does? Those who know no rules, know no limitations?

Quote:
3. Seven players, ten directions. I knew that, but it's still kind of bemusing.

:)
Quote:
4. Monsters that are supposed to be dangerous will have to be adjusted, I think. Two party members took out a chimera single-handedly, though I will grant that they used magic to do it. Three others took out a manticore with a 9mm pistol and some dynamite. This doesn't gel with the books, where Corwin was at least slightly concerned by the appearance of a manticore and Merlin had difficulty beating up an overgrown, ugly dog.

It may just be me, but if comparing Corwin with Merlin is a terrible sin! (ha!)
Also, I think Corwin was slightly more worried about the guy on the giant white horse than the manticore. :)
Quote:
5. I need to better limit conjuration next time I run this. Part of the reason Corwin failed to escape is that someone conjured a brick wall inside a window and then conjured two steel doors in quick succession.

Just wait till someone combines sorcery and conjuration to make a "Falling boulders" spell. Instant barriers and death!
Quote:
6. Similarly, sorcery may need adjustment. Fireball with some extra power points spent = 9 d6 worth of damage = crispy gryphon in one case and crispy chimera in a second. Again, not quite gelling with the books.

Well, the one of the times we see heavy duty spell casting, it almost brings down Castle Amber. Giant steel ball bearings for the win!


Your game sounds like fun, though I know not of these dice you speak of.
:)


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:42 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

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Location: South Carolina
Quote:
Just wait till someone combines sorcery and conjuration to make a "Falling boulders" spell. Instant barriers and death!


One of Brand's symbols was supposedly the Falling Star. One of my characters uses the Falling Star spell. It's big. It's a heavy f-ing rock. It would never in a million years hit anyone who wasn't asleep.

But it does wonders for urban renewal.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:45 pm 
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Pattern Adept

Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 6:02 pm
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Sounds like fun. Also sounds like many of the hands-on control techniques that are recommended for Amber GMing (like making sure the elders win, etc.) have to be discarded once randomizers enter the picture.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:46 pm 
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The Anti-Canon
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Shrapnel and collateral damage are the wizards best friends.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:31 pm 
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Tech Goddess

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 1:54 pm
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Jvstin wrote:
Translating Amber into a diced game is hard. I should post about my own efforts to use SOTC with Amber. SOTC has the advantage though of being based off of a system that the designers DID use for their Amber gaming (FATE). so its not that bad of a port.


I used FATE for my last diced Amber game, and I actually found that character creation was a problem for the players; it wasn't entirely the same group, but many of the key players are the same. There was just too much freedom for these guys - they're used to D&D and Star Wars and such. The game went well, but character creation was so much more frusterating than it was this time.

Cynwyd wrote:
I will state in no uncertain terms, I will stick with my diceless Amber.

But some other systems would have a chance of working or be so unsuitable as to be laughable.

Somebody help me out here - isn't there an Amber d20 floating around on the 'net somewhere? :)

Honestly, for me - I run dice-lite no matter what system I'm in. So the system matters a lot less to me when it comes to XP and rolls. That said... non-fixed XP systems are a little better suited than "you get X xp for that monster" systems... unless you set the expectation with the players that they don't get to know how much of the XP was actually monsters.

battlebooze wrote:
Problem 1. Dice

LOL I would rather say that my Player-Dice-Fu skill has not transferred to my GM-Dice-Fu skill... As a player, I consistently roll high. As a GM... apparently not so much!

battlebooze wrote:
It may just be me, but if comparing Corwin with Merlin is a terrible sin! (ha!)
Also, I think Corwin was slightly more worried about the guy on the giant white horse than the manticore. :)

*cough* I don't hate Merlin's chronicles like some, but... big ugly dog vs. manticore? I know which one's winning there...

I seem to recall that he saw the manticore first... but it's been a while since I last read that part.

battlebooze wrote:
Well, the one of the times we see heavy duty spell casting, it almost brings down Castle Amber. Giant steel ball bearings for the win!

Well, but there we get into first series Amber vs second series Amber. Almost no sorcery vs big bloody explosions. And I'm not really interested in beating that dead horse right at the moment...

TonyLB wrote:
Sounds like fun. Also sounds like many of the hands-on control techniques that are recommended for Amber GMing (like making sure the elders win, etc.) have to be discarded once randomizers enter the picture.

Almost certainly. I've stacked the deck as much as I can in their favors, but there's only so much I can do. It's extremely unlikely that they'll utterly fail (ones on three dice? I know ONE person that could do it...), but that doesn't mean they won't simply fail to achieve their desired result...


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 Post subject: No more dice!!!
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:50 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:45 pm
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Location: South Carolina
You are standing by the Abyss. Corwin is crying and sobbing uncontrollably. There is no sign of Brand or Deirdre. Caine is down, holding the side of his head. His hands are covered with blood. Random, Fiona, Flora, Llewella, Bleys and Morgenstern are laughing. Benedict is eating soup with chop sticks. Julian is on the ground, punching the clods of dirt with his gauntleted fist. You think he's having a hard time breathing and he might have wet himself.
"What the hell happened?"
After a few moments, Julian regains his remarkable self-control.
"It was Caine. He was...ha ha ha ha ha, he went to fire a silver arrow at Brand and..."
Flora and Fiona are holding each other up, and are roaring with laughter. Benedict laughs so hard soup shoots out through his nose.
"He FUMBLED!!"
Sure enough. Caine's ear is on the ground, next to his dice which show the ominous numbers 0 and 1.

Dice? We don't need no stinkin' dice!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:08 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice
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Man, oh, man, a fumble in front of the siblings. That's a beautiful image there, everyone laughing at Caine while blood spurts out of his head. I'll be smirking for days.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:15 pm 
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The Anti-Canon
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The only difference that fumble would make is the arrow would have hit Brand after going through Deirdre's head... (OUCH!)


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:01 pm 
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Pattern Master
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Well, I prefer a diceless version of Amber but am always looking for other ways to run my game.

If anyone has links to their house rules for diced-Amber (Savage Worlds, or whatever) I'd like to see some posted. I'm pretty sure at some point I've seen Amber done with d20, FATE, and Unisystem. I'm sure there are others....

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Kingmaker of Amber
Amber Diceless RPG Player since 1993
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 3:31 pm 
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Shadow Walker

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 9:26 am
Posts: 147
Location: Circle Pines, MN
finarvyn wrote:
Well, I prefer a diceless version of Amber but am always looking for other ways to run my game.

If anyone has links to their house rules for diced-Amber (Savage Worlds, or whatever) I'd like to see some posted. I'm pretty sure at some point I've seen Amber done with d20, FATE, and Unisystem. I'm sure there are others....


Okay, my rules for my forthcoming TBR game are here:

http://www.all-roads-lead.net/jvstin/journey/main.html#buildpc


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 Post subject: Can you imagine??
PostPosted: Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:06 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

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Location: South Carolina
battlebooze wrote:
The only difference that fumble would make is the arrow would have hit Brand after going through Deirdre's head... (OUCH!)


"Arrgggghhhhh!!!! You bastard!!!!" Screamed I. A silver arrow had decided that the shortest point between two foes was indeed a straight line. The arrow had struck my beloved sister Deirdre betwixt the eyes and continued into Brand. They fell into the Abyss. All was silent. "God damn Caine, that was pretty cold. What Hostage Rescue Team did YOU work with." Random chided. "Aghhh" Quoth Flora. "Yikes." Commented Fiona, as she donned a steel mask. "You ASSHOLE!!" I tackled Caine, who I seemed to recall had died and began pummeling him. Into every life some interference must fall, and in this case, it was Julian. "Corwin, stop. Please." Caine scrambled away from me, almost knocking over a horrified-looking Bleys. Wasn't he dead too? Caine shrugged. "Oops. I must have fumbled." I drew Grayswandir and began to hack at him merrily. Five swings, nine, a dozen, I was nearbing twenty hacks when I heard Benedict scream and curse most foully. "WTF?" He yelled. I looked back, and though he be my weapon master, and gentle, he was now missing his good arm, which layeth on the ground. His blood was on my sword. "I wasn't trying to stab you." The remnants of Caine gurgled. "Oh, did you fumble?"

Yeah, that's just not going to work.

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PostPosted: Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:48 pm 
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Pattern Master
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Jvstin wrote:
Okay, my rules for my forthcoming TBR game are here:

http://www.all-roads-lead.net/jvstin/journey/main.html#buildpc

Gave 'em a quick look-over and I like what I've seen. I'm a big SOTC fan anyway, so this just fits right into what I had been thinking about recently.

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Finarvyn
Kingmaker of Amber
Amber Diceless RPG Player since 1993
Original D&D Player since 1975


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2008 9:01 pm 
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Pattern Adept

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For those that wish to play a amber game with dice, John Wick's new game "Houses of the Blooded" may fit in great. Its new, having the pdf released to those that pre-ordered (like me) just last week, and they have rules for romance, revenge, poison, and alot of other stuff that most people think of when you talk about Amber. The ven the race you play, are pretty much amberites in many ways. Passionate, violent, self-serving, real total bastards. The book also has rules for your lands, improving them, and how they give you dice towards certain skills. Like having a garden, it gives you 2 dice towards any one beauty/romance roll once per season.

For those looking for a rule base game for Amber, check this one out.


http://housesoftheblooded.com/


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 8:08 am 
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Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:28 am
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Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Some time ago I stumbled across rules for GURPS Amber. I'm pretty sure I'd never want to run it.

http://www.rpglibrary.org/settings/gurpsamber/


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:10 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

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Wow! Somebody really had a lot of spare time on their hands.

Of course, if you want to see my blood pressure go through the roof, just ask: "How many xp is Benedict worth?"

Grrrr.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2008 11:55 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:28 am
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Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Cynwyd wrote:
Wow! Somebody really had a lot of spare time on their hands.

Of course, if you want to see my blood pressure go through the roof, just ask: "How many xp is Benedict worth?"

Grrrr.


Well, if you believe Corwin, Benedict can be bested by a patch of grass, so presumably grass is worth more xp than Benedict. :twisted:


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:35 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

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If I believe Corwin, aye, there's the thing that rubs.

I think we covered it elsewhere, but it bares repeating.

CORWIN IS A LIAR.



Thanks for the tip. I'm going to go out and mow my lawn and get my level.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2008 8:23 pm 
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The Anti-Canon
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Oh come on now, Corwin didn't lie about that fight.
Benedict just rolled a one on his saving throw....

That 5% critical failure will get you every time.
Damn dice!


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 2:00 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

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I guess it would be okay if they made it like the original Traveller game, where your character could die during character generation.

Roll. Okay. You gain honors from Oberon.
Next year. You gain honors from Oberon.
Roll. Doh. Caine killed you.

Start over.

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 5:36 pm 
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Wide-Eyed Newbie

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Better systems for conversion have been stated above (SOTC, FATE, Ubiquity). But if you're looking to stay with Savage Worlds, I'd suggest picking up the Necessary Evil book. The power points system in there is used to purchase abilities at a flat fee; none of this "pay as you use it" stuff. We're currently using it for our Sunday night Supers game, with great success (three of the past four sessions have resulted in combat that left 0 bennies on the table at sessions' end).

Personally, I thought the Game of Thrones system would make a good fit, what with their breakdown of social edges. It was math heavy at creation, but once you got the numbers down was smooth in play.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:50 pm 
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Check this out:

http://amberconarizona.theiforum.com/am ... e-t58.html

Using dice for an Amber game is blasphemous... But everyone's doing it! :D
*peer pressure(TM)*

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 25, 2008 1:49 am 
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Nihilistic Mind wrote:
Check this out:

http://amberconarizona.theiforum.com/am ... e-t58.html

Using dice for an Amber game is blasphemous... But everyone's doing it! :D
*peer pressure(TM)*


A friend told me about you trying that, Nihilistic. Myself, I was thinking rather then try and run a Amber/HoB rules game with playing the normal way (amber brats) with pattern and the rest...instead try to run with the PCs being the sons and daughters of Amber Nobles. Then you could use the 'Seasons" rules, and rule the Princes and Princesses of Amber fall under the Suaven rules. In other words, the players can't effect the elders by game mechanics (style points, etc).

Maybe its just me, but I would find it interesting to play a class of people you rarely seen much in the normal amber setting (or at least, the games I played in, ran, or read about).


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