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PhishStyx
08-30-2007, 06:31 PM
I've been thinking for awhile about how I want to do my next Amber game, and at the moment, I'm not sure what game system I want to use. The one thing I do know is that I want to venture well away from Erick Wujick's diceless rules (well ok, I also know that I don't want to use any version of D20 that I've seen so far).

Any suggestions?

fmitchell
08-30-2007, 09:33 PM
You probably want something with a more cinematic and rules-lite bent, like Prose Descriptive Qualities (PDQ) (http://www.atomicsockmonkey.com/freebies/di/pdq-core.pdf). It's the foundation of Truth and Justice (http://www.atomicsockmonkey.com/products/tj.asp), a superhero RPG, among others. Having played it once, I can tell you the rules don't get in your way at all.

Another possibility is to adapt HeroQuest (http://www.glorantha.com/support/) to the Amber milieu; the Mastery mechanics simulate characters with supernatural and nearly godlike abilities. There's already one official adaptation to Russian Myth (http://www.firebird-productions.com/), and some fan adaptations to Firefly (http://random.average-bear.com/HQFirefly/HomePage) and Lord of the Rings (http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/prod/dialspace/town/pipexdsl/p/apdf37/me/hw.html). (There's even a general version of the system called QuestWorlds (http://www.glorantha.com/news/ann_05_01.html), due Real Soon Now.) Caveat: I've never played HeroQuest, but I'd definitely like to.

PhishStyx
09-07-2007, 02:22 AM
You probably want something with a more cinematic and rules-lite bent,

That's true, I've grown very keen on lighter rules in the last several years. In fact, I think I was started down this road by the ADRPG, not in spite of it.


like Prose Descriptive Qualities (PDQ) (http://www.atomicsockmonkey.com/freebies/di/pdq-core.pdf). It's the foundation of Truth and Justice (http://www.atomicsockmonkey.com/products/tj.asp), a superhero RPG, among others. Having played it once, I can tell you the rules don't get in your way at all.


I read up on it, and it seems interesting. You mention the rules don't get in your way, but what do they really do? PDQ seems a somewhat like Theatrix in that the primary stop-gap on your character is you, the player.



Another possibility is to adapt HeroQuest (http://www.glorantha.com/support/) to the Amber milieu; the Mastery mechanics simulate characters with supernatural and nearly godlike abilities. There's already one official adaptation to Russian Myth (http://www.firebird-productions.com/), and some fan adaptations to Firefly (http://random.average-bear.com/HQFirefly/HomePage) and Lord of the Rings (http://dialspace.dial.pipex.com/prod/dialspace/town/pipexdsl/p/apdf37/me/hw.html). (There's even a general version of the system called QuestWorlds (http://www.glorantha.com/news/ann_05_01.html), due Real Soon Now.) Caveat: I've never played HeroQuest, but I'd definitely like to.

As it happens, I've never played HQ and don't know anyone else who has either. It probably is quite good, but I'm a bit iffy delving into the Glorantha business at the moment.

I considered briefly using the Tri-Stat materials I already have, but that never felt like a good fit for Amber to me.

I started on a Classic Unisystem Amber (I know there's a guy named Fred, who's already done one), but I never did finish it (still thinking about it).

Back in the 90's, I almost got a Shadowrun translation of Amber finished, but ultimately it became too top heavy so I put it aside.

The only other system that I've deeply looked at for Amber is Theatrix, but that quickly becomes about scaling as much as writing the abilities sensibly.

fmitchell
09-07-2007, 07:31 AM
I read up on (PDQ), and it seems interesting. You mention the rules don't get in your way, but what do they really do? PDQ seems a somewhat like Theatrix in that the primary stop-gap on your character is you, the player.

Comparing PDQ to "heavier" systems like D&D, Hero, GURPS, and so forth, there's no list of feats, advantages, disadvantages, skills, armor classes, weapon damages, and so forth. By abstracting a character's difference from the norm as "Qualities", players and GMs can pit Quality against Quality, or a static Difficulty, and get a straightforward result. It takes a certain amount of "winging it" and trusting the GM, but in the end PDQ enables characterization and setting to take precedence over die rolling and looking up rules (if that's your thing).

HeroQuest works in the same way, albeit with more detailed lists of abilities and the "mastery" mechanic. Mythic Russia and various adaptations on the net show you can use the system without any of the Glorantha background.

FATE is another game with Aspects that work a little like Qualities, plus a dozen predefined Abilities (skills and basic stats mixed together) and stunts (a bit like feats). I'm playing in a Spirit of the Century game right now, and it's pretty cool. However, I can't say how well it would represent the godlike abilities of Amberites.

Nobilis is on my shelf, but I haven't read it yet. Supposedly it's all about godlike entities in the mortal world.

PhishStyx
09-07-2007, 10:30 PM
Comparing PDQ to "heavier" systems like D&D, Hero, GURPS, and so forth, there's no list of feats, advantages, disadvantages, skills, armor classes, weapon damages, and so forth. By abstracting a character's difference from the norm as "Qualities", players and GMs can pit Quality against Quality, or a static Difficulty, and get a straightforward result. It takes a certain amount of "winging it" and trusting the GM, but in the end PDQ enables characterization and setting to take precedence over die rolling and looking up rules (if that's your thing).

I'm reading it now, looks interesting.

Two of my 4 current players are primarily GURPS, one has only played D&D, and the other has played in several of my WitchCraft games.

So far, I like the general direction of the PDQ stuff if I can convince the 3 newer players that it isn't too rules lite. However, one of the GURPS guys seems increasingly uncomfortable without a solidly drawn map and minis and so on.




HeroQuest works in the same way, albeit with more detailed lists of abilities and the "mastery" mechanic. Mythic Russia and various adaptations on the net show you can use the system without any of the Glorantha background.



FATE is another game with Aspects that work a little like Qualities, plus a dozen predefined Abilities (skills and basic stats mixed together) and stunts (a bit like feats). I'm playing in a Spirit of the Century game right now, and it's pretty cool. However, I can't say how well it would represent the godlike abilities of Amberites.

I've given some thought to FATE, but its peculiar dice would necessitate that all my players buy new sets of their own. So no.



Nobilis is on my shelf, but I haven't read it yet. Supposedly it's all about godlike entities in the mortal world.

I have Nobilis and like it a lot, but it isn't Amber and in too many ways, can't be. Although Amber can influence Nobilis to an extent, Nobilis is all about controlling what's going on in the mundane world I'd really rather not run the latter until I get to play in at least one or two game sessions of it.

ignimbrite
11-22-2007, 12:14 AM
have you looked at the Burning Wheel system? I have not played it but I know someone who uses it all the time.
I am actually planning on using Burning Wheel lifepaths to help players flesh out their higher level characters and give small circumstance modifiers to skill checks based on the lifepath choices; e.g. take the blacksmith lifepath and then get a +1 misc modifier to Craft blacksmith.

Another system that is more rules heavy would be World of Darkness (just skip on Vampire and Werewolf specifics). This rule set is nice because it features varying degrees of success. This mimics some of the Amber effects - e.g. the amount of time it takes to travel from Earth to Amber, etc.

I think that any system that contains varying degrees of success would be worth exploring as an Amber ruleset.

PhishStyx
11-22-2007, 12:43 AM
have you looked at the Burning Wheel system? I have not played it but I know someone who uses it all the time.
I am actually planning on using Burning Wheel lifepaths to help players flesh out their higher level characters and give small circumstance modifiers to skill checks based on the lifepath choices; e.g. take the blacksmith lifepath and then get a +1 misc modifier to Craft blacksmith.


Hrm, perhaps, however in Amber you have a situation where an Amberite would quickly (in "off-screen" time) learn all the available skills. Amber works almost in complete absence of skills. In fact, there are no skills listed on character sheets in the ADRPG system.



Another system that is more rules heavy would be World of Darkness (just skip on Vampire and Werewolf specifics). This rule set is nice because it features varying degrees of success. This mimics some of the Amber effects - e.g. the amount of time it takes to travel from Earth to Amber, etc.

I think that any system that contains varying degrees of success would be worth exploring as an Amber ruleset.

I played 2nd edition Vampire, Mage, and Werewolf for a couple years, but the system never really entranced me. For me, if the choice is between WoD and Classic Unisystem (Armageddon/WitchCraft), then Unisystem wins every single time.

Digital Arcanist
11-22-2007, 01:07 AM
I'm a fan of the color, song, and mineral but that is all.

PhishStyx
11-22-2007, 01:15 AM
Hrm?? Whatcha talkin' bout?

Digital Arcanist
11-22-2007, 01:18 AM
The color Amber as it was the color of the hair of the first girl I...er...became intimate with. I played the song of the same name by 311 during.

I also like the mineral/semi-precious stone of the same name.

PhishStyx
11-22-2007, 01:27 AM
Remarkably, the stone and color have virtually nothing to do with the Roger Zelazny novel series that I'm talking about.

Digital Arcanist
11-22-2007, 01:28 AM
The stone plays no part in the setting? Interesting!!! Maybe it was the name of a daughter or wife he used for the place.

PhishStyx
11-22-2007, 01:32 AM
I don't think so, but I'd have to look it up in one of his biographies to be sure. I do know that he named at least one of his children after characters in the book.

(huh, I jumped a level!)

Digital Arcanist
11-22-2007, 01:34 AM
To the Abyss with you!!! I jumped a level as well but I must start a lot of thread sand post everywhere to catch up to you.

PhishStyx
11-22-2007, 01:47 AM
BWAHAHAHA, you'll never catch me!

ronpyatt
11-22-2007, 07:41 PM
So far, I've enjoyed every game of PDQ I've played. Playing Amber with it would feel like such a natural transition.

PhishStyx
11-22-2007, 07:50 PM
Yeah, PDQ is on my short list for Amber.

At the moment, my list is:
Classic Unisystem (using Armageddon as the basis)
PDQ
Risus
Theatrix
Wushu

boulet
01-05-2008, 01:37 PM
What is turning you down with the diceless RPG already existing ?

rabkala
01-06-2008, 01:33 AM
I loved the books. I read all of them, more than once. I would love to use it as a game setting.

I was not a fan of the diceless games I have tried. I have little experience with most of the fringe systems and know very few who would be interested.

Anyway, an Amber game would be great.

Malruhn
01-06-2008, 02:00 PM
I'm going to say something bizarre here for a second...

I played diceless one time - and it didn't feel right. It felt like we were playing... pretend.

Yeah, I know we were playing a stupid game involving Elves, dragons and unicorns, but the loss of the dice just made it feel so very... make believe and juvenile for me.

Of course, your mileage may vary (and probably will!).

boulet
01-06-2008, 05:45 PM
So casting dice makes you feel more mature ? Interesting thought.

I know it's disturbing at first, and I wouldn't advocate diceless system for every game. But in the very case of Amber, I think it makes sense. And I can assert that after a few dozens hours of running the game with experienced players who had played many different RPGs before.

For instance, take a fight between Corwin and Benedict (one of the best moment in the first part of the cycle isn't it ?)

Corwin, whatever the weapons, on a flat ground, without any tactical advantage, is completely overwhelmed by his old brother's warfare skill. Corwin knows it, Benedict knows it. Now if the circumstances are a bit different, say Benedict is missing one limb and Corwin is riding for his life across the shadows. Maybe if the latter is smart enough and finds some place where he can level the advantage his brother has, like bringing him into a trap then the outcome of the fight can be bent to his profit.

Well it means in diceless Amber RPG, you need smart players who are able to describe a course of action which can lead to defeat superior foes. And smart in this case means also : when fighting a enemy of an unknown talent, use caution try and estimate how skilled he is, and if he's really better then you... run for your life dammit ! Sometimes too the issue of a confrontation is not so much to know if the PC are going to win. Say they only have a fight with some minions of lesser importance, but are they able to do it quiety enough and not cause an alarm, or are they able to keep one alive and obtain informations, or how many wimpy peons can you take at the same time (3, 10, 30 oops they're annoying) ?

The adventures I ran were much more investigation/experimentation of powers/social interaction with Amber family oriented than say hack'n'slash oriented. That may explain why the absence of dice were not that noticeable. My players were so busy drawing trump cards, having fun with logrus, trying to bullshit one of the princes that it didn't matter much if any dice were implied or not.

Malruhn
01-07-2008, 08:42 PM
I didn't say that it made sense...

There I was playing a silly pretend, let's-play-with-mini-dolls, story-telling game, and I was thinking that without the dice, it was just... juvenile.

Just my opinion. Really stupid, I know, but it doesn't change how I felt.

Oh... and don't ask about what I think about people that play with those stupid toy train sets... :eek: :cool::rolleyes: