House Rules and Clarifications

         My Amber event(s) will be run using more-or-less the basic Amber Diceless rules. There are a number of clarifications. In general, rules will not be as important as the general sense of the series. Still, I will try to stay consistent with what is written.


         The rule of thumb seems to be that Warfare is considered especially valuable, while Psyche and Strength are less so, and Endurance is minor. I will be trying to make all four of roughly equal in importance.

The primary use of Psyche is in sensing all sorts of hidden traits and forces -- as well as attacking and defending in mind battles. It is explicitly compared for psychic battles and is related to certain powers such as Pattern. However, it is also central to any sort of perception. For example, to see who wins a poker game, Psyche is the natural stat to compare. Note that psychic contact can be initiated by skin-to-skin contact or close (arm's length) eye contact -- but it takes a second or two to establish. So if you warily shake hands you can potentially break off before contact is made, but unwary shaking turns it to Psyche.
This is the basis of weaponless hand-to-hand and also soaking of damage. i.e. How much a dagger through your lung affects you in a psychic battle is based off Strength.
Canonically, this is the basis of speed of healing and time to fatigue. This is often not useful if the PCs are fully rested with each encounter. To counter this, I will try to push such that activity tends to be continuous. Those with the Endurance to keep going will have a distinct advantage.
This defines all sorts of fighting, except for weaponless hand-to-hand. This is not a stand-in for any skills except for those directly involved with armed warfare and strategy games. While the Amber book extolls Benedict's greatness, within the series he is a narrow specialist who was never much use for anything except mundane armed combat.


Advanced Pattern
"Walking the Pattern of the Mind" in order to teleport is faster than walking the real Pattern, but it still takes more than half an hour and leaves you as utterly wiped out as if you'd walked the real Pattern. This is too wiped out to be of much use in a battle after.
This is often not useful in a one-shot. To balance this, anyone who picks up Trump has pretty much any Trump they want, and no one else has anything but the family and one of Amber. i.e. No trumps of favorite places, shadows, or anything else. One or two extra might be given to those with Good Stuff, but that is the limit.
You can pull stuff out of the air in no time, pretty much, and have all the schmancy gear you want for free. This is generous, but if you can Conjure, why wouldn't you have made yourself all the stuff you want? I would charge anyone only for items that are guaranteed to have a useful effect in the story, and I charge what I think they'd be worth.
This is a difficult power to judge. In general I will strictly limit its capabilities, but it is fairly reliable across shadows. Remember that to affect someone's person directly there's first a Psychic battle step. I will want a list of the spells you have racked, and there is rarely time in a one-shot to replenish them.


John H. Kim <jhkim-at-darkshire-dot-net>
Last modified: Sun Oct 30 14:01:35 2005