A) Introduction B) Player Section 1) Character Concepts 2) Attributes 3) Psionics 4) Pattern 5) Shape Shifting 6) Logrus 7) Trump Artistry 8) Magic 9) Mystic Powers 10) Item Creation 11) Shadows 12) Constructs 13) Allies 14) Contributions 15) Character Development C) GM Section 1) Combat 2) GM-ing Powers 3) Designing New Powers
This 'manaul' has been divided into three sections: the Player's Section, which details character creation; the GM Section, which describes various systems and methods for adjudicating an Amber Campaign; and the Campaign Section, which describes various Tournament-style games as well as the various important NPC's taken from the "Amber" books.
All original material is Copyright 1995 by David Coram; Version Oct 1995.
I'd like to thank the following people, who introduced me to gaming and influenced the creation of this work:
Shad Van Den Hul
These questions are enough to develop the mechanics of the character, but the player should really develop their character's personality to a greater degree beforee finalizing the character's mechanics.
There is, however, one piece of information that the GM must provide, before the Player can truly plan out their character; and that is How many points are available. While this can vary from campaign to campaign, a suggested value is 175-250 points. These points can be spent in a number of areas: Attributes, Powers, Items, Shadows, Constructs, Allies, etc. Player do have the option of gaining more points by developing Contributions for their GM. Each of these areas will be discussed in greater detail within the pages that follow.
While creative and innovative players can come up with unique character ideas, Character Concepts generally fall into four categories: Lords of Chaos; Supernatural Beings, which include Demons and the Fey; Shadow Dwellers; and Scions of Amber. Since most players should be familiar with the works of Roger Zelazny, details on these categories should not be necessary.
However, "Supernatural Beings" covers a wide area; from Demons to Faeries, Dragons to Pegasi. Unlike your typical Shadow Dweller, Supernatural Beings tend to have access to more, innate, mystic abilities. A number of these abilities have been designed for this manual, but players may come up with new ones. All of these abilities fall under the category of Mystic Powers, which will be described along with the more standard powers of Pattern, Logrus, Shape Shifting, Trump, and Magic.
Psyche is the rating of a character's Mind, and has little to do with intelligence. In this system, Intelligence is soley determined by player character role-playing. This does limit characters somewhat, as a player can only create a character as intelligent as themselves. However, the character can have many more skills than the player. If a player feels his character's skill(s) should provide information, then the GM should provide the necessary details.
This Attributes can cover a number of areas; including Will, Force, Mental Agility, and Perception. Normally, a player puts points into their character's Psyche, and these points cover all possible areas of the Psyche stat. However, by using the Optional Attribute System describe below, the character can specialize in specific areas. This does, however, reduce the effectiveness of all other areas.
Strength is the rating of a character's muscles, and covers such areas as Lifting Capacity, Damage Resistance, Damage Capacity, and Grappling. Note also that Strength can play an important part in areas of Combat which do not directly involve Grappling, such as the manneuvers 'beat,' and 'bind.' Player's can use the Optional Attribute System to specialize in various aspects of Strength.
Endurance comes into play in virtual virtually every endeavor. Whether it is extensive combat, long hours travelling through Shadow, Shape Shifting, or any use of a Power; Endurance is a factor. While seemingly not as virsatile an Attribute as the others, Endurance does cover a few specific areas; Stamina, Healing Rate, Constitution, and Fitness. A player can specialize in these areas by using the Optional Attribute System.
Ah, Warfare. Many players tend to focus on this Attribute, as it governs all aspects of comabt; from tactics to weapons, stradegy to manual dexterity. It can also be a kind of general awarness which allows one to make general assumptions about a given situation. Other areas which fall under Warfare's perview include all games of stradegy, theiving skills, and leadership. As for the other Attributes, the Optional Attribute System may be used to specialize.
OPTIONAL ATTRIBUTE SYSTEM
Many characters are more specialized in their strengths for various Attributes. This optional system has ben developed to account for this kind of specialization. Basically, a player assigns a set value to the actual Attribute, be it Psyche, Strength, Endurance, or Warfare. Then, they set point levels on various aspects of the stat, including the area "All Others." This average of the points in these areas must round off to the points placed into the actual Attribute.
GM's have the right to veto any abuse of this. On can't put 50 points in Warfare and specialize up to 75 by dropping all other areas to 25. Individual GM's can develop a range around the stat in which specializations and weaknesses can fall. A suggest range is plus or minus 10 points.
There are four basic forms, or Disciplines, within Psionics. These are Clairsentience, Psychokinesis, Psychoportation, and Telepathy. Each of these Disciplines has a variety of skills. With experimentation and creativity, other skills may be developed, either at higher levels or through combination of multiple Disciplines.
No Psionic Potential(-5) - If, for whatever reason, th eplayer decides that the do not want their character to EVER be able to learn Psionics, they can ake this point break.
Empathy(5) - This is the ability to sense the emotional state of others.
Mental Communication(5) - This is essentially the ability to contact another individual's mind, so long as they are not actively blocking such contact. Line of sight is required for use of this ability. This ability can be combined with Clairsentience or Real Power to increase the range or method of sight.
Psionic Interference(5) - Also know as Anti-Psi, this is the ability to interfere with the psionic use of another individual or within a vicinity. Generally, this ability only makes concentrating on Psionic Powers harder. The blockage can be overcome, but such pressure against the block will most likely result in a Battle of Wills. (prereq: Mental Communication)
Psychometry(10) - This allows the psionicist to gain information about the history of a place or an object. (prereq: Mental Communication, Clairvoy/Audi)
Clairvoyance/Clairaudience/Astral Sight(5) - Essentially, this is the ability to perceive things which are hidden or at a distance. Clairvoyance equates to sight, Clairaudience equates to hearing, and Astral Sight combines the two with touch and three-dimensional sensing.
True Perception(10) - This gives the psionicist a full range of senses no matter the condition of their sensory organs. Senses are also expanded to encompass all directions. This sense is selective; meaning that one could focus on a locket and perceive the picture inside it without opening it. (prereq: Clairvoy/Audi)
Shadow Sight(10) - This allows the psionicist to extend their Clairsentient abilities from one Shadow to the next. (prereq: True Perception)
Self Teleport(5) - This allows one to teleport themselves from one place to any other well-known place within the same plane. Combining it with a Real power allows one to teleport from one Shadow to another, provided the target Shadow is well-known or a complete psychic image of the location is provided. NOTE - a small field surrounds the Teleporter, allowing them to transport their clothes and personal belongings with them. To teleport something not in contact with the teleporter requires the next level of power.
Teleport Other(10) - This allows one to teleport inanimate objects and willing entities in the same manner as one can teleport themselves. (prereq - Self Teleport)
Shadow Travel(10) - This enables one to breach the veils on a single Shadow, enabling them to teleport to another well-known Shadow which has no barriers. (prereq: Self Teleport)
Levitation(5) - This allows one to lift themselves up off of the ground, effectively granting them the power of flight. One's velocity is dependent on their Psyche.
Telekinesis/Hydrokinesis/Aerokinesis(10) - Also known as Telekinesis or TK, this ability allows one to influence the behavior of nearly all forms of matter by an act of will.
Pyro/Cryokinesis(10) - A greater degree of Psychokinesis, this allows one to influence the temperature of a given object or area. (prereq: TK)
Illusions(5) - This sophisticated form of photokinesis allows one to create complex visual illusions. (prereq: TK)
Audiokinesis(5) - This essentially allows one to control sound waves. Note that sound needs to be present in order to alter it, but his ability can also be used to create an area of silence. (prereq: TK)
Holograms(10) - This allows one to form seemingly real objects through the combination of illusions and directed force. Such objects will continue to exist only so long as the psionicist maintains them. (prereq: Illusions, Audiokinesis)
Electrokinesis(10) - A more powerful version of energy control, this allows one to manipulate nearly all forms of naturally occurring energy including electricity, radiation, and photonics. This control is generally limited to guiding or impeding the energies flow, and some control over the flows direction. (prereq: Illusions, Audiokinesis)
Molecular Manipulation(10) - This allows one some control over the molecular structure of inanimate objects. Various effects can be produced using this ability. Practitioners of this form of Psionics should consult the GM for more specific details. (prereq: EK)
Atomic Manipulation(10) - This level of psychokinesis allows one to manipulate matter on the atomic level, though it certainly doesn't allow one to split the atom. (prereq: Molecular Manipulation)
As merely a force of pure Order, Pattern isn't very useful; but altering its perspective to be Control, it gains a great deal of versatility at different levels. Since walking the Pattern is a very draining experience, Endurance is a prime factor in surviving the initiation.
Pattern Initiation(0) - One has walked the pattern and gained access to those abilities which tap into it. (prereq: 25+ END)
Shadow Walking(10) - Shadow-walking refers to the ability to gradually ease one's self through Shadow along lines of congruency. (prereq: Initiation)
Hellride(5) - Hellriding involves rapid movement and quickly changing Shadows. Such journeys are often very dangerous. (prereq: Shadow Movement)
Shadow Short Cuts(5) - Short Cuts shorten the necessary travel time of Shadow- walking and also enables one to pass through certain restricted Shadow Veils. (prereq: Hellride)
Pattern Teleport(10) - Pattern Teleportation allows the individual to travel to any place they can envision by a simple act of will; just as if they were at the center of the Pattern. (prereq: Shadow Short Cut)
Shadow Sight(10) - Shadow sight covers a number of areas. It allows one to 'read' fluctuations in Shadow to gleen useful information about general happenings and trends. It enables one to perceive the use of Shadow Manipulation and can even be used to sense motion through Shadow in nearby areas. It can also give one the ability to gague the levels of reality in an area, as well as the focus of such energies. (prereq: Initiation)
Control Probability(10) - This ability allows the initiate to control the 'odds' of something either occurring or not occurring. (prereq: Initiation)
Control Shadow Landscape(5) - This allows the initiate to control various aspects of the inanimate world within a given Shadow. (prereq: Control Probability, Shadow Sight)
Control Physical Laws(5) - This allows one to control the basic physical and chemical laws within a vicinity of Shadow. (prereq: Control Shadow Landscape)
Pattern Lightning(10) - This allows one to manifest the resistant energies of the Pattern. One focuses the Pattern energies within themselves, and then 'walks' the Pattern in their mind, evoking the sparks which rise up as one proceeds. One then 'twists' reality and expels the built up energy. This can manifest as a single bolt, or as a pattern of bolts. (prereq: Control Physical Laws)
Stillness(10) - This invokes all the force of Order, stopping all motion within a vicinity. In practice, this is generally used to paralyze others. (prereq: Control Physical Laws)
Control Shadow Composition(5) - This allows one to control the entire fabric of a Shadow, altering it to suit one's wishes. (prereq: Control Physical Laws)
Control Temporal Ratio(5) - This allows one to control the relative rate at which time passes in one Shadow with respect to another. (prereq: Control Shadow Composition)
Pocket Shadow(5) - This allows one to form a kind of sub-Shadow, contained within a Pattern-based framework. This sub-Shadow can link two Shadows together, be bound to a single place, or be bound to a person. The Shadow Pocket's reality is completely determined by its creator at the time of formation, and the creator has complete control over its makeup. Note that high levels of Shadow Manipulation will disrupt or even destroy such constructs. (prereq: Control Shadow Composition)
Personal Items(5) - By walking the Pattern with an item prepared in a special way, it is possible to bind that item to one's self. Afterwards, it can be 'found' in Shadow, either through walking in Shadow a short distance, or manipulating Shadow so that it will appear. (prereq: Initiation)
No Shape Shifting Potential(-5) - If, for whatever reason, th eplayer decides that the do not want their character to EVER be able to learn Shape Shifting, they can ake this point break.
Parts/Wounds(5) - The most preliminary technique of the Shifter is the art of altering portions of their body. For example, altering facial features, changing a hand into a claw or paw, and turning skin into scales. This technique finds wider appeal in its application for healing wounds. Minor and superficial wounds can be knitted back together and healed using this technique. More extensive wounds require the next level of ability to heal properly. (prereq: 25+ END)
Internal Structures(5) - The next technique learned is the art of altering, and even augmenting, internal body structures. This can involve the restructuring of bone and muscle, the evolution of new or redundant organs such as the heart or nervous system, or even the rapid regeneration of lost body parts. This last, of course, takes time and a lot of nutrition. (prereq: Parts/Wounds)
Animal Forms(5) - Having mastered the art of changing all parts of one's body, the shifter can now learn to reform themself in the image of some other creature, such as a mammal, reptile, or bird. Mass is unchanged, but experience can lead one to learn of ways to absorb or release mass. Once in the new form, the shifter gains all the normal abilities of the creature. They must, however, practice the form for some time before being able to use all of these abilities. One does not learn to fly in a moment. (prereq: Internal Structures)
Animal Abilities(5) - As an alternative to becoming an animal, one can learn to add certain animal abilities to one's own form, such as growing large wings while still in humanoid form. (prereq: Internal Structures)
Remembered Forms(5) - After a time, a Shifter will become quite familiar with certain forms; forms which they assume often. At times of stress, they can quickly shift between these forms. For gaming purposes, GM's should limit the number of these forms to somewhere between three and five. (prereq: Animal Forms, Animal Abilities)
Automatic Shape Shift(5) - Experience has taught the shifter to allow their body's instincts to take over in dangerous situations. Having once learned to deal with a particular situation, the body will respond faster than the mind when encountering it again. Thus gills will almost instantly form if there is the threat of drowning; or gliders will sprout when falling from deadly heights. (prereq: Remembered Forms)
Instinct(10) - What this technique involves is allowing one's inner psyche and instincts to completely take over. Naturally, more basic drives are thus released; the most common being fight and flight. The inner psyche is dependant, however, on the experiences of the body. While it will attempt to assume the most appropriate form for the current situation, the body may not have had the right kind of experience to deal with the probleem. It will try to compensate for lack of experience, but side effects are known to result from this. Since this is usually a last resort technique anyway, the Shape Shifter usually has extensive experience with which to deal with the difficult situation. (prereq: Automatic Shape Shift)
Creatures of Power(10-50) - Once all other physical techniques of Shape Shifting have been mastered, one can learn to adapt themselves into creatures which have innate special powers. Many levels of power exist using this technique. Common powers gained through this technique include, but are not limited to: Movement through Shadow, Rapid Size/Mass changes, Chameleon effects, Damage Resistance, Increased Damage Capacity, Enhanced Senses, Invisibility, Desolidification, and other interesting abilities. Examples of some types of Creatures of Power can be found below. (prereq: Animal Forms, Animal Abilities)
Form Evolution(10) - This allows one to permanently gain one 10 point power available through Creatures of Power. Basically, this implies that the shifter has used the ability so many times, it has become a natural part of them. [Note that this can be purchased multiple times. Note also that assuming Creatures of Power with such abilities becomes easier.] (prereq: Creatures of Power)
Shaped Clothing(5) - This skill allows one to shape-shift their skin into the semblance of clothing. This pseudo-clothing can even be removed, but will revert to a protoplasmic state after an extended period, determined by the relative levels of Order and Chaos in the area. (prereq: Internal Structures)
Creatures of Blood(5) - Having learned much about their own blood and bone, as it were, a Shifter can learn to reshape quantities of their own blood into new living, and independent, creatures. (prereq: Internal Structures)
Shape Shift Aura(5,10) - By shifting the electro-magnetic patterns of one's brain, one can alter their psychic aura. This basically masks an individual from normal psychic searches. One can attempt to mimic the psychic patterns of others, but this is extremely dangerous; often leading to madness. (prereq: Internal Structures)
Shape Shift Others(5) - Mastering one's own abilities of Shape Ahifting allows one to help another in their own attempts at Shape Shifting. So long as the entity has even a latent potential to shape-shift, an experienced Shifter can activate their ability. The Shifter can only induce those changes in another which they can produce in themselves. (prereq: Creatures of Blood)
CREATURES OF POWER
Below are the powers and abilities of various types of Creatures of Power. The point cost listed next to each is the minimum needed in Creatures of Power for a Shifter to assume such a form. The GM may alter them as necessary for the campaign.
No Further Shape Shifting(-25) - This modifier indicates a restriction within an assumed form. When this modifier is present, the Shifter cannot use any of their other Shape Shifting abilities. In order to do so, they must release their current form and resume their birth form. They can then utilize any other technique, including taking on a different Creature of Power form.
Animal Senses(5) - Night vision, Discriminatory Smell, Ultrasonic Hearing,...
Rapid shifting between Were forms(5) - forms are human, beast, and hybrid
Armor Level 1(5) - indicating toughened hide or other natural damage resistance
Enhanced Movement(10) - x2 to Running or swimming; x1.5 Flight or Tunnel
Enhanced Regeneration(15) - x1/2 to Healing time
Communicate with other animals of same species(5) - a werefox can talk with foxes
Damage Level 2(10) - indicating extremely sharp claws and teeth
Vulnerability to Silver(-5) - Silver weapons and projectiles ignore the lycanthrope's natural armor. Physical contact with silver can cause burns of up to second degree. And finally, Enhanced Regeneration is ineffective against wounds caused by silver; even normal Regeneration becomes less effective during prolonged contact. No Further Shape Shifting(-25)
These are the typical abilities of nearly all types of Lycanthropes. Individual species and those from more unique Shadows may have higher levels of these, or even other, abilities.
The powers and abilities of vampires vary greatly, and shifting into one is rather difficult, and sometimes dangerous, as one must study them for a time first. In most vampiric societies, there are different clans with different abilities; each clan having a different metabolism. Discuss the nature of the vampires being studied with the GM when learning to become this type of Creature of Power. Below are various abilities used by 'known' vampires.
Telepathy(5), Clairsentience(5+), Enhanced speed(5+), Quickness:Enhanced Warfare(10+), Mind control and manipulation(15), Armor(5+), Invisibility(15), Psychic Neutral(10), Identity Impersonation(10), Increased Damage(5+), Increased Strength(5+), Empathic projection(10), Drain emotion(10+), Shape Shifting(5+), Sorcery(5+), Illusions(15), Healing(20)
No Further Shape Shifting(-25)
One must also ask their GM what effects occur when a Vampire drinks the blood of either a creature or an individual with innate arcane abilities.
Supernatural Senses(5) - varies by species
Rapid Flight(15) - x2 flight speed
Armor Level 3(15)
Damage Level 3(15)
No Further Shape Shifting(-25)
Shadow Seekers (15)
Shadow Seekers are a category of chaos beast which has the natural ability to move through shadow according to areas of congruence. They come in a variety of different forms; some can even shift into a couple other forms. It is therefore rather easy for an advanced shape shifter to learn how to add the ability of Shadow Movement to their own form. While maintaining this form is a somewhat complex process, most have little trouble; though some lack the concentration to shift into any but their Natural Forms while using the Shadow Walking ability.
Invisibility(15) - can be turned on and off at will
Desolidification(15) - can be turned on and off at will
Armor Level 1(5)
No Further Shape Shifting(-25)
Logrus Initiation(0) - One has negotiated the Logrus and gained access to those abilities which tap into it. (prereq: 25+ PSY)
Shadow Sight(10) - The Shadow Sight of Logrus differs greatly from that of the Pattern. Pattern's Shadow Sight is more of sixth sense and enhanced perception. The Shadow Sight of Logrus acts more like a lens or filter. The images and perceptions of the normally observed world are changed and enhanced, allowing the Logrus master to discern the deeper and more profound layers of reality. (prereq: Initiation)
Extend Tendrils(10) - The manipulation of the quasi-solid manifestations of the summoned Logrus Sign is a fine art. By far the most interesting aspect of Tendril use is the ability to reach through shadow with them to find any desired object. Another major aspect of their power is the ability to lift, move, and otherwise manipulate physical objects. The existence of a Tendril is rather nebulous, and requires a good amount of concentration to maintain; after all, they are extensions of normally uncontrollable Chaos. A Tendril will almost immediately be disrupted and become ineffective if it makes contact with any kind of Greater Power. (prereq: Shadow Sight)
Tendril Combat(10) - This is the technique of using the Tendrils of the Logrus in a Combat situation. They can be used as piercing and slashing weapons, or woven into a shield; they can even be energized with unique forms of energy. Normal attacks using this power will fall under the category of Level Three Damage(Deadly Damage); and the defense provided by the shielding is also Level Three. (prereq: Extend Tendrils)
Primal Chaos(10) - This is the ability to invoke or dissipate the forces of Primal Chaos. Primal Chaos is a very vague conception, and may vary from one individual to the next. In the Amber books featuring Merlin, its destructive nature is paramount. In the Amber books featuring Coriwn, its effect is only seen within the wave of Chaos which swept from Amber to the Courts after the repair of the Pattern. (prereq: Tendril Combat)
Tendril Sensitivity(10) - Another application of Tendril use is the technique of shaping the force of the Logrus into extensions which are far more powerful, and more flexible, than normal Shadow matter. These extensions can also greatly enhance, tune, and expand the senses of touch, taste, and smell. (prereq: Extend Tendrils)
Logrus Servants(10) - Another interesting aspect of Logrus Tendrils is their ability to be separated into independent, thinking 'creatures.' These so-called creatures have limited intelligence but will faithfully obey simple commands of the Logrus master who formed them. (prereq: Tendril Sensitivity) Shadow Roads(5) - By extending a Logrus Tendril through Shadow to a desired destination, then focusing it into a kind of pathway, an initiate can travel through Shadow. The greatest manifestation of this ability was seen during the Patternfall War. The Black Road was a massive working, involving several Shadow Roads laid down together. Note that these Shadow Roads have many dangers, though the initiate who formed them has some control over their environment. (prereq: Extend Tendrils)
Shadow Holes(10) - This allows one to warp the fabric of Shadow in such a way to open a portal from one place to another. Such holes can also be maintained by Logrus servants. This mode of travel is even more dangerous than the Shadow Roads, and while one can pinpoint a Shadow, they cannot be any more specific. One such a gateway is open, however, it can be maintaied at the same location. (prereq: Shadow Roads)
Randomize Probability(10) - This ability allows one to upset the 'odds' of events within a vicinity. Basically, 'chance' becomes the rule rather than the exception. Note that this can cause 'chance' to favor the opponent as well as the initiate. (prereq: Initiation)
Disrupt Shadow Landscape(5) - This allows the initiate to change various aspects of the inanimate world within a given Shadow. The Shadow will go through rapid changes, but the initiate can stop when it becomes close to what they wish. Note that Shadows altered in this manner need to be maintained in some fashion, or they will revert back to their original state. (prereq: Randomize Probability, Logrus Sight)
Disrupt Physical Laws(5) - This ability interferes with the natural state of physical laws, which are based on some kind of ordered system. While one can focus their attention on what laws are being affected, they cannot control how such laws will change. (prereq: Disrupt Shadow Landscape)
Personal Items(5) - By walking the Logrus with an item prepared in a special way, it is possible to bind that item to one's self. Afterwards, it can be 'found' in Shadow, either through walking in Shadow a short distance, or manipulating Shadow so that it will appear. (prereq: Initiation)
The actual power of Trump is actually somewhat independent from how it is focused. Indeed, those with greater understanding of the principles involved can establish a Trump connection without an actual Trump Artifact. So, another aspect of Trump Artistry is the underlying principle of 'connection,' be it person-to-person, person-to-place, or even place-to-place.
No Trump Potential(-5) - If, for whatever reason, th eplayer decides that the do not want their character to EVER be able to learn Trump Artistry, they can ake this point break.
Sensing Trump Energies(5) - One has the ability to sense Trump Energies. This is required before any other Trump Technique can be learned.
Scrying(5) - One has advanced their ability to Sense Trump energies to such an extent that they can use ambient Trump Energies as a sensory device to scry within shadow. Trump Artifacts and Artists will become instantly recognized as such when scrying is attempted. Things of greater reality will also stick out amongst the lesser things of Shadow, due to the increased ambient Trump energy associated with them. The identities of people sensed in such a manner will only be known if the Artist is familiar with them. (prereq: Sense)
Identification(5) - Due to past experience, one can deterine the identity of whomever is attempting to contact them via Trump, so long as such contact has been established in the past. Generally, a Trump Artifact of the caller is required in order to identify them, though one with Trump Memory can do so without one. (prereq: Sense)
Memory(5) - Due to extensive experience, the Artist has learned to use Personal Trump Energies in such a way that the physical medium of a Trump Artifact is not necessary. This ability, of course, can only be used to Teleport to familiar places, or to contact familiar people. This also allows one to open Trump Gates to these familiar places, and accomplish other effects which normally require artifacts. (prereq: Sense)
Jamming(5) - One has learned to disrupt the flow of Trump Energies in regards to another. This tends to block virtually all Trump communications to and from the target. This target can either be a location or an individual. A Trump artifact of the desired target is required unless one is jamming their current location. (prereq: Sense)
Blocking(5) - Similar to Jamming, this prevents transportation in the same manner that Jamming prevent communication. (prereq: Sense)
Spying(5) - One has advanced their ability to Sense Trumps to such an extent, that they can perceive the use of other Trump techniques and can even tap into conversations between others in Trump contact, provided a Trump Artifact(usually a card) associated with each is available and in physical contact with the Artist. (prereq: Sense)
Redirection(10) - An advanced form of Jamming or Blocking becomes possible when one gains more experience. The art of Redirection allows one to change the target of any perceived active Trump Artifact or the utilization of a Trump technique which does not require an Artifact. The new target must be one which is familiar to the Artist. A Trump Artifact of the individual being affected is required unless one has Trump Memory and a very strong mind. (prereq: Jamming OR Blocking; Spying)
Surface Contact(10) - Experience has taught the Artist to insinuate their attempt at contact into the Trump Energies which are always associated with an individual. This allows them to contact people via Trump Artifacts or Trump Memory without the possibility of being blocked, although Trump Jamming will still be effective. As soon as the Artist takes any action save 'sensing' with the target's senses or listening to surface thoughts, the target will become aware of them and can take any appropriate action. (prereq: Spying)
Create Trump Images(10) - This allows one to create standard Trump artifacts, usually Trump Cards. Those who have other areas of artistic expression, such as sculpting, etching, or weaving, can create Trump images using these art forms. (prereq: Sense, artistic ability)
Build Trump Devices(5) - This allows one to create other types of Trump Artifacts. These artifacts can be made to simulate certain Trump techniques; such as Identification, Jamming, and Spying. (prereq: Create Trump Image)
Gates(10) - One has learned to focus those Trump Energies associated with a particular place in order to open up a bridge, or portal, to that destination. A specially designed Trump Artifact depicting the destination is required. (prereq: Building Trump Devices)
Traps(10) - One has learned to warp Trump Energies in such a way as to make a Trump Artifact activate immediately upon either touch or sight. Such artifacts are keyed, so that the Trump Artist is not affected by their own Traps. (prereq: Building Trump Devices)
Prisons(10) - One has advanced the art of Trump traps to the point where they can 'physically' trap an entity within the fabric of the Trump Energies associated with the Trump Trap. The entity is effectively caught in 'limbo.' Such trapped entities can, however, use their own Trump techniques or Trump artifacts in efforts to escape. Moreover, they can speak from within their prison and be heard. (prereq: Traps)
In this system, Magic is essentially a form of energy which can be manipulated through specified means. The 'origin' of this energy and the means to use it tend to vary from Shadow to Shadow, but the basic idea is essentially the same. One draws upon the energy available, focuses their intent in a certain manner, and channels the energy through themselves. The stronger the mind, the more general their specifications need be.
For example, a starting mage with an average mind must be specific about the 'type' of magical energy being used and the methods to use it within their current Shadow; while a mage with a powerful mind can generalize the 'type' to be simply 'magic,' and the method to be simply their intent.
No Magic Potential(-5) - If, for whatever reason, th eplayer decides that the do not want their character to EVER be able to learn Magic, they can ake this point break.
Sense Magic(5) - With this ability, one is able to sense and feel the forces of Magic.
Cantrips(5) - This ability allows one to produce very simplistic magical effects. (prereq: Sense Magic)
Sorcery(10) - This is the art of casting spells. The complexity and power of spells able to be cast are dependant on the practitioner's Psyche. (prereq: Cantrips)
[While individual GM opinion may vary, below is a chart showing one method of categorizing how much different levels of Psyche can accomplish with Sorcery.]
Psyche Magic 'type' required Method required --------------------------------------------------------------- 5 Shadow Specific long rituals 10 Shadow Specific daily memorization 15 Shadow Range 'hanging' spells 20 Shadow Range focused intent 25+ All Magical Shadows focused intentPowered Sorcery(5) - This allows one to power their Sorcery with one of the Greater Powers of the system; be it Pattern, Logrus, Trump, or something specific to the campaign. (prereq: Sorcery, Greater Power)
Conjuration(10) - This is the art of creating something out of nothing or enchanting something already available. The level of power able to be invested within a creation or enchantment is dependent on the practitioner's Psyche. (prereq: Sense Magic)
Powered Conjuration(5) - This allows one to power their Conjuration with one of the Greater Powers of the system; be it Pattern, Logrus, Trump, or something specific to the campaign. (prereq: Conjuration, Greater Power)
Notes on Conjuration
Items and Creatures with powers can have them derived from one of the powers possessed by the Conjurer. A mage is limited to magical effects, while a Pattern initiate can have their creatures' Shadow Movement based on Pattern principles. Also, the permanance of a conjured item or creature is dependent on the amont of time invested in its creation.
Complex Magic(10) - This is a specialized form of magical working. The main use of this ability is the creation of Wards; fields of magic energy designed to produce a specific effect when certain conditions are met. This ability also allows the mage to combine their Sorcery and Conjuration in other ways, such as creating spells of conjuration. (prereq: Sorcery and Conjuration)
Magic Manipulation(10) - An enhanced ability of the mage is the technique of influencing lines, walls, or areas in which magical energies are already present. (prereq: Complex Magic)
Dissipate Magic(15) - A highly experienced mage can essentially absorb and harmlessly dissipate most magical energies which come into contact with them. The amount og energy able to be dissipated safely is dependent on the mage's Psyche. (prereq: Magic Manipulation)
Store Magical Energy(10) - An even further application is to store the energies absorbed instead of dissipating them. Such energies can later be used for personal needs. (prereq: Dissipate Magic)
Magic Domination(15) - The culmination of magical knowledge. So long as one is not very close to primal energy sources, the mage can warp, dampen or energize nearly all fields of magical power in the vicinity; gaining nearly complete control over all the magical energy in the area; not to mention how it can be used, and by whom. (prereq: Store Magical Energy)
Preternatural Senses(5) - These senses cover a wide area, and the 5 points gives the character any or all of them. They include sight and hearing above and below the norm for Earth-type humans, as well as enhanced senses of smell and touch. Examples include Infa-red and Ultraviolet Vision.
Enhanced Senses(5 each) - These senses allow one to perceive things beyond the scope of normal senses. Examples include the ability to sense such things as the force of Order, the force of Chaos, Magic, Temporal ratios between Shadows, the presence of Shadow Veils/Boundaries, the physical laws of a Shadow, etc.
Non-Human Movement(5 each) - These methods of movement are those which are not naturally available to normal humans. They include flight, deep water swimming and tunneling.
Enhanced Movement(10,15,20) - This is simply an enhancement of the standard moving types of running, swimming, jumping, flying, and tunneling. At the 10 point level, the individual can move up to twice their 'normal' velocity. At the 15 point level, they can move up to five times normal velocity. At 20, this increases to ten times normal velocity. NOTE: Warfare governs how well an individual can control the increase in velocity.
Shadow Movement(5-15) - Those from Order and Chaos are not the only beings capable of moving through Shadow. This power represents an innate, non-powered, ability to traverse Shadow. Three levels of this power exist; the ability to Follow Shadow Paths and Trails(5), standard Shadow Walking(10), and Hellriding(15).
Damage Protection/Armor(5/level) - 'Armor' is a broad term used to describe an ability to protect one's self from harm. This can typically take such forms as scales, thick hide, plates, force fields, entanglements, and wall manifestations. Each level of armor allows one to treat damage from weapons and attacks of that capacity as if a normal weapon were striking chain mail, lesser weapons will have virtually no effect.
Level 1 = Resistance to Normal Weapons(5) - non-magic swords, arrows, etc. Level 2 = Resistance to Firearms(10) - high velocity physical projectiles, low-powered magic arms, etc. Level 3 = Resistance to Energy(15) - direct energy attacks, moderately powered magic arms, etc.Damage Potential(5/level, additional +5 for a ranged attack) - Each level of damage capacity increases the armor category necessary to treat the attack as 'normal.'
Level 1 = Exceptional normal Weapons(5) Level 2 = Low powered magic arms or high velocity projectiles(10) Level 3 = Moderately powered magic arms or energy attacks(15)Shadow Manipulation(10) - This indicates the ability to influence reality in a limited area. It allows simple changes such as altering currency or finding 'lost' mundane items.
Alternate Forms(5) - One can assume up to three distinct, pre-defined, forms. There is a cost of +5 if one or more of the forms is of different size or mass.
Drain(15,30; +5 for ranged) - Each level of this ability allows one to temporarily reduce a target's END by 10 points.
Desolidification(10,15) - At the lower level, this fixes an individual in a non- corporeal state. At the higher, it allows an individual to switch their physical body between material and non-corporeal states. So long as barriers and weapons are not enchanted to hinder such a state of being, they will not affect an individual who is non-corporeal.
Invisibility(15) - This ability allows one to be undetectable to sight or hearing. This would also include all Preternatural Senses based on sight or hearing.
Regeneration(15) - Normal characters already have some form of Regeneration via their Endurance Attribute, but they can halve their healing time by purchasing this power. Items with this ability will mystically repair themselves if damaged in some fashion.
Powered by a Greater Power(+5) - The power purchased with this modifier derives its power from one of the Greater Powers of the campaign; generally Pattern, Logrus, and Trump. A Mystic Power can be derived from Magic at no cost. Note that an item can contain a Trump Image for 5 points through this modifier; image of person or place(0), powered by Trump(+5). [Typically, this power only applies to Shadow Movement and Shadow Manipulation. Players should discuss any other areas in which they want to apply the power with their GM.]
Luck(up to +/-4) - Basically, this represents the 'luckiness' of the character. Positive points yield Good Luck, and make the character luckier. A player can choose to take Bad Luck, making an unlucky character, if they need a few more points. Each point of Good Luck uses up one character point. Each point of Bad Luck provides the player with one more points to spend.
Resistance to Primal Force(-20,-15,-10,-5,0) - Outside their own environment, some Supernatural creatures will quickly sicken and die(-20). Over time, the metabolism of such creatures can change in response to the Force opposite their nature. Those based on Chaos will slow down and eventually turn into statues. Those based on Order will speed up and become unconscious living flames(-15). Other beings can withstand the opposing Force for about a full day before suffering the affects of a changed metabolism, but they may lose some of their powers while under the influence. After about a week of this, the full effects of Order or Chaos will take hold(-10). Many can survive for about of week of exposure before their primary powers become uncomfortable to use; and eventually take up to twice as long. They are otherwise unaffected(-5). The supernatural being suffers no ill effects from exposure to their opposing Force(0).
Vulnerable to Summoning(-10) - The character belongs to a race for which the summoning techniques and formulas are well know to Lords of Order and/or Chaos.
Vulnerable to Binding(-10) - The character belongs to a race for which the binding techniques and formulas are well know to Lords of Order and/or Chaos.
Owed Service(from -5 to -25) - The being is bound to protect, guide, and/or serve; on a permanent basis. This lifetime service is in regards to a specific target, usually a loved one of the one doing the binding. If this 'target' ever dies, the being is free to go its own way(-25). The being accepts the goals and ambitions of its servitude without question. Essentially becomes the ally of the one who bound it(-20). This is a long term deal, where the being works towards more general goals(-15). This involves some specific duty or job which must be performed. This 'geas' is generally limited to obeying the one who bound the being(-10). A single thought is implanted into the being. Whenever faced with the implanted situation, the being will behave according to its 'programming,' otherwise it acts as it normally would(-5). No strings, no compulsions; a free agent(0).
Supernatural creatures, are often summoned by wizards, mystics, and Lords of Order or Chaos; to name a few. The time involved in such summoning varies with the being, the purpose of the summoning, and the quantity being summoned. Consult the GM for specifics.
Items can be purchased which have any of the powers or attributes available to characters. If such items are purchased with Psyche and/or Warfare, the player may wish to consider buying they as Allies instead; especially if the 'item' is sentient.
The control of items comes in different levels; only the item possesses the power, the item gives the power to its wielder/wearer, the item can only be used by a single individual, the items lends the power to its wielder/wearer and retains the ability as well. Modifiers for each level apply individually to each power possessed by the item. Note also that each Attribute possessed by an item costs the character one fifth the level contained in the item.
Characters can also purchase multiple items at a reduced cost. Multipliers apply to the total cost for the item(s) after all modifiers have been taken into account. Individual GM's should set limits on the total number of points players are allowed to invest in their character's items.
Modifiers ---------- -10 = Only item possesses power; minimum of 1 (for 5 point powers) or 2 (for 10 point powers) -5 = Item gives power to its wielder/wearer; minimum of 2 0 = Only a single individual canuse the power; psychological focus +5 = Item lends the power to its wielder/wearer, but also retains its use Multipliers ------------ *2 = Several items, up to 10 *3 = Many items, up to 50 *4 = Multitude of items, up to 100A special power of items is their ability to provide their wielder/wearer some kind of bonus to one or more of the character's Attributes. This bonus costs the character two thirds of the cost for the increase. No modifiers can apply to this power, it automatically applies to whomever the item is currently possessed by.
Such items sould, of course, have limits. A bonus to Psyche implies that the Item itself has a Psyche it can meld with the character. Generally, such items have high psyches of their own; possibly even unknown to the character. They may even have their own agendas. Long term use of a Strength Bonus can actually reduce a character's base Strength, since they are not really using their own muscles anymore. Endurance modifiers are essentially energy batteries. As such, they will errode away in time, and then re-energized in some manner. Warfare modifiers essentially control a character's fighting to some extent. While a temporary advantage, opponents with a Warfare rating above that which the character normally has can compensate for the changes given time. The following power can be included under Mystic Powers available only to items.
Attribute Bonus(2/3 x Bonus level)
Personal Shadow(1) - This is an entire Shadow, or universe, set to personal tastes. Any inhabitants, any combination of technology and magic, any society. For example, one could "buy" a version of Shadow Earth, but which happens to still be experiencing the Eighteenth Century. Or, if preferred, a fairie Shadow inhabited by elves, dwarves, dragons and magi. Or, just as easily, a high-tech Shadow featuring a galactic empire and ships travelling faster that the speed of light. The possibilities are limitless.
Shadow of the Realm(2) - This is like a personal Shadow, but located in close proximity to Order or Chaos. Such a Shadow will be close enough to the center of things so it's only a relatively short trip. It's even possible that the denizens of the Shadow will be capable of moving through the Trade Zones of Order or Chaos. On the down side, some Shadows of the Realm are too close to Order to allow for really free shifting of Shadow. Another drawback is that the royal family of the nearby court will know of the Shadow, and will likely have an interest in what happens there. Naturally, being close to a center of power limits the types of environment and physical laws found within such Shadows.
Primal Plane(5) - As with a personal Shadow, the player can describe it in any way. However, this Shadow contains a bit of reality, something left over from the creation of the Pattern and/or Logrus, possibly even pre-dating either of them. Such a Shadow is innately resistant to Shadow Manipulation, and will likely return to its original state if the changes are not maintained.
Shadow Barriers (more expensive barriers include the features of the cheaper ones)
Communication Barrier(1) - The Shadow is barred against certain methods of reaching from one Shadow into another. Pick any or all from Pattern, Logrus, Trump, Magic and Psionics. The barrier can restrict incoming calls(from outside the Shadow), outgoing calls(from inside), or both. Communications barriers are all-inclusive, which means the player can't make a barrier that blocks all Trump except their own.
Restricted Access(2) - The Shadow can only be entered through a limited number of means or access paths. The entry points can be limited to a certain geographical feature, say across a great mountain range; or through a particular type of feature, like any rug merchant's shop. Or a character would have to go through an elaborate ritual in order to cross into the Shadow.
Guarded(5) - Some guardian, or class of guardians, will be set to intercept any and all who attempt to pass into the Shadow. The instructions given to the guardians are, of course, up to the character 'owning' the Shadow.
Control of Shadow Destiny (more expensive ones include the features of the cheaper ones)
Contents(1) The character can manipulate the Shadow's material, creatures, society, history, reality, and physical laws. For example, the character can decide that magic will cease to function within the Shadow. Or, as another example, the royal family of a kingdom will not have existed, and another form of government will take its place. (prereq: some means of Shadow Manipulation)
Time Flow(2) - The character is able to influence the Shadow's "clock," either speeding it up, or slowing it down, relative to the universe's only absolute; that of the center of Order. For example, if a character, fleeing some threat, needs a few hours to heal and recover, it's possible to speed up the Shadow. That way the hours of healing can take place while only few minutes pass elsewhere. (prereq: some means of Shadow Manipulation, Sense Time Ratio)
Shadow's Destiny(5) - A shadow can exert its influence over those who walk through infinite Shadow, putting itself in the way of a person or class of creatures. For example, it's possible for a Shadow to become part of Corwin's destiny, so the next time he moves through Shadow, he'll find himself entering the Shadow. (prereq: some means of Shadow Manipulation)
These manifestations are generally some kind of item, but are sometimes a type of creature; with different levels of connection to the Construct. The abilities of the Construct, which can be lent to its Manifestation(s), are dependent on those abilities possessed by its creator(s). These can include all levels of Trump, Pattern, Psionics, Logrus, Shape Shifting, Magic, Local Power, Local Technology, and General Mysticism.
Since Constructs are so powerful, they will be treated as NPC's. If they are treated badly, or manipulated by another, their creator can permanently lose all control over them. [Note that starting characters must be the creators of those Constructs they own at the time of character creation.]
Create Manifestation(s) (v)
Manifestations are artifacts that act as a portable extension of a Construct. They should be created as normal items with the following 'Mystic Power. No modifiers apply.
Innate Connection(1) - The manifestation is physically connected to the Construct in some way. This means that it has limited mobility, and cannot leave the Construct's Shadow and still maintain its connection.
Constant Connection(2) - Some force or energy connects the manifestation to the Construct. This is usually based on one of the powers of the Construct. Either end of this connection can seek to reestablish contact if the link is broken. This link is constant unless broken, and has the possibility of being traced.
Variable Connection(5) - The manifestation and Construct have a sophisticated link, one that can be snapped on or off instantly. Usually, such a connection can not be tracked from the manifestation to the shadow of the Construct.
Personal Initiation(10) - This is essentially some method by which a character becomes a kind of Manifestation for the Construct. Examples of such could include walking the Pattern, negotiating the Logrus, and the Bath at the Keep of Four Worlds. This level of manifestation is usually only bought by allies of the Construct's creator, as the creator should already possess all the abilities that the Construct provides to initiates and manifestations.
Create Shadow(s) of operation(v)
Create as normal Shadows, then apply the modifier found below.
Single(*1) - The construct exists in only one Shadow. It must have a manifestation to affect things in other shadows.
Multiple(*2) - The construct exists in, or is operational in, a number of shadows; up to ten. These Shadows are generally closely aligned and share some common qualities. EX: Keep of Four Worlds
Region(*3) - The construct has access to a large number of power sources in a region of Shadow, and can manifest itself in these shadows if it has the abilities required. Such shadows are similar in respect to the power source the Construct is tapped into. EX: Ghostwheel
Degree of Construct Development(v)
Machine(0) - The Construct has no real self-awareness; nor does it possess any kind of morals. It will accept any order delivered by any 'authorized' individual. [Psyche: 0-25; Endurance: 100 * # of Shadows]
AI(5) - The Construct, while still just a machine, has an advanced Artificial Intelligence. While its code of conduct will vary with how it was built, and by whom, it has the capacity to make its own decisions. [Psyche: 25-50; Endurance: 150 * # of Shadows]
Self-aware(10) - The Construct has some degree of sentience, allowing it to formulate is own values and morals, which may conflict with those of its creator(s). [Psyche: 50-100; Endurance: 200 * # of Shadows]
Influential(15) - The Construct is extremely well developed, to such a level that its power equates to that of Greater Powers within its own sphere of influence. [Psyche: 100+; Endurance: 250 * # of Shadows]
Allies can be designed by the player or by the GM. Either way, the number of points the character invests in the ally dictates the over-all power level and friendship of the Ally. First, the player should determine approximately how many points the ally is to be based on. Then, they need to determine the political and/or military position of the character. And finally, they must decide how close the relationship between the character and the ally is going to be. Note that these are just guidelines. The GM has final say on how much allies cost. Note that the minimum cost of an ally is one point.
Point Range Base Cost -------------------------- 0-100 1 101-200 2 201-300 3 301-400 4 401+ 5 Casual Friend Close Love no significant power -1 0 1 2 minor political or military 0 1 2 3 Major political or military 1 2 3 4 Ruler of Order or Chaos 2 3 4 5EX: King Random is worth about 500 points, and is the ruler of Order. To have him as a loving father would cost 5+5=10 points.
EX: Benedict is worth about 400 points, and represents a major military power. Therefore, to have him as a casual friend would cost 4+1=5 points.
EX: Flora is worth about 300 points, and is a minor political figure. Therefore to have her as a close friend would cost 3+2=5 points.
Depending on the GM's style of play, points from contributions may be immediately added to the character, or may be held off and added to the character during the GM's regular advancement period. It is suggested that no more than 25 points total be added to a character through the use of contributions.
One method is to award 'advancement points' for each session. How many points to award should be based on how quickly the GM will allow characters to advance. A possible suggestion would be something like 2-4 points per session. As a combination of game mechanics and role-playing, the GM can require that the training of new abilities can only occur when there is sufficient 'lull' in the advancement of the plot(s).
Well, this is alright for Powers, but what about Attributes. While one can envision Warfare and Psyche being increased, how does an Amberite get stronger or gain more endurance? One possibility is to have players design their character's maximum potential in such areas during character creation. The exact method would have to be up to individual GM's.
Combat should be just another aspect of the story-telling nature of a campaign, and the degree of detail used to describe a fight should reflect this. Use a low level of detail when dealing with simple combats, ones in which one opponent is completely outclassed and the interaction is not important to the overall story. Use a higher level of detail when the combat is important, and can perhaps go either way. This allows others to learn more about their opponent as the combat progresses, thus giving them a possible increase in their chances of winning.
Fighting can occur on a variety of fronts. The most common of which are discussed below.
Hand-to-hand and/or Melee - This can be subdivided into armed and unarmed combat. The original rules state that armed combat falls into the province of Warfare, while unarmed combat falls into the province of Strength. The issue is somewhat confused when the rules go on to say that actually making contact with an unarmed attack uses Warfare, and that Strength often plays a large part in armed attacks with such maneuvers as 'Bind' and 'Beat.'
Studying the normal practice of Martial Arts, one of the most common and popular forms of unarmed combat, it can be seen that it is primarily skill and concentration, not Strength, which governs effective use of Martial Arts. Therefore, it is suggested that the GM get together with their players and tell them exactly how they deal with melee style combats. Strength should only be considered in those combat situations where it truly applies, primarily in grappling and holding one's opponent(s).
Ranged - Strictly the province of Warfare, this aspect of fighting deals with all forms of single target combat at a distance. Standard weapons used would include the bow, crossbow, and guns or other hand-held firearms. The larger the weapon, and wider the effect, the more likely the weapon will fall under the category of a Large Scale Battle type weapon.
Large Scale Battles - These include large wars, sieges, and other mass attack and large population conflicts. Normal individual fighting skills take a back seat to the more subtle aspects of Warfare, that of Strategy and Tactics. If a large scale battle occurs in a campaign (it is highly suggested that they be avoided), make sure the characters have experience in such battles if they plan on being the leaders of their forces.
Mental - A completely different kind of battle, mental combat pits Psyche against Psyche. So long as there is no interference, and no physical contact, the stronger mind will almost always win. The only case with these conditions in which it would lose is if the two minds are closely matched, and the other possessed more Endurance. The exact nature of how to run Mental conflicts is entirely up to the individual GM.
Combat, of course, will invariably lead to some kind of injury, at least in physical conflicts. The degree of such injury is usually governed by the relative levels of the combatants and the damage capacity of their weapons. The exact nature of which type of injury results in any particular combat is up to the individual GM. Injuries can fall into several categories, including Scratches, Bruises, and Scrapes; Cuts, Pricks, and Sprains; Slashes, Stabs, and Serious Blood Loss; Life-Threatening; Maiming; Mortal; and Death.
The best advice is probably to gp with the flow. Let the characters do whatever they want, until it interferes somehow with the GM's plans. Keep going, and if the player continues to press the matter, go onto another player for a while, telling the 'offended' player that you'll discuss the matter later. This not only keeps the game going, but allows the GM time to retrofit the story and come up with a valid in-game reason for their decision.
If the new power has no similarities to the others already described, that's when the GM must go to work. The overall level of power and usefullness are the basis by which the power's cost is determined. Individual GM's may rate new powers differently, so players must consult their new GM if translating their character from one campaign to another.