Monday, October 10, 2011
Amber Diceless Roleplaying, Arcane Recall
More so than any other game based on licensed materials you will want to have at least recently read the source material once. It has been years since I read them and can recall parts of it but this has not been enough and if I were to run and even play the game I would feel the need to read the books again. This will be a negative to many making this a game for only serious fans of the game.
The premise of the Amber series of novels does not allow it to become a fact book like many other products. The Amber novels in which the protagonists can pass between an infinite number of versions of the real true Amber. The game allows the settings to change at the whim of the players with some judgment from the DM. This game more so than others allows the players a great extent of the control. This might be the ultimate sandbox game.
The system as a whole is complicated. In a game where the players can be anything, create almost anything and go anywhere you would think a system like GURPS would be called for. This is not the case for good and for bad. The character creation process is a point buy system where the points spent on different attributes are not as valuable as those spent on others. Did I forget to mention that you will also be bidding against other players for the right to have the best attribute. In a system where you compare levels based on attributes this is important. This captures the ever scheming, interpersonal conflict nature of the books well though.
The game system has four attributes of which only two might have consistent direct impact in the game. The game then has a number of Powers and then not one, not two but three different types of magic systems. Going into more detail would require much more writing and time. There is a huge amount of web based released by a devout following of the game online. This content helps correct the perceived shortcomings in the game.
An Amber game works better when there are a large number of players. The game will also be much more focused on the individual player than the group as a dynamic. It will also take a much more adaptive GM than many other games. In this one you can not have the adventure detailed down to the Nth degree as the players will simply go to another shadow where things will work better for them. A GM in this game will need to be able to ad-lib almost any aspect of the scenario.
I know I have not done it justice and in some cases may have made it sound much worse than it is. This game falls into the love it or hate it realm. There is not much room in the middle. Odd for a game where the setting is all shades of gray (shadows) of the real world. If the players (and the GM) like structure, dice rolls and player cohesiveness this will not be the game for them. If there is a fondness for randomness, creativity and a Machiavellian nature to you then this might be your cup of tea. Since the game can be found in the upper tier of cheap range this is worth checking out but you will want to read the first five novels before delving too deep.
From the back of the book:
- A Complete new role-playing system!
- Three complete adventures, including "Thron War," "Battleground on Shadow Earth" and "Into the Abyss!"
- Attribute Auction system where players big against each other, creating a unique family of immortals!
- Enter a universe where Pattern lets you "walk" to any world you can imagine, where Logrus tendrils can reach across infinite dimensions,and where Shape Shifting lets characters sprout wings!
- A mature, demanding, and time-consuming system that puts character development above all else!
- Over 100 pages of tips on role-playing style and technique with dozens of crystal-clear examples!
Ares of Effect: Caster
Casting Time: 1 Segment
Saving Throw: None
By means of this spell the magic user will be able to recall spells. These will be in part from the previously cast spells that the caster had memorized and used for the day and from any spells that the caster knows.
When the spell is cast the caster will immediately be able to recall any one spell of their choice. The spell that the recall will need to be one that they have already cast for the day. There is no limit on what spell is recalled except that that spell can not be Arcane Recall.
In addition they will have two spells recalled along with the initial spell. The spell level for these spells will be determined randomly. These spells are also limited to spells of sixth level or lower. The DM will need to roll a d6 to determine the level and then determine the exact spell of that level randomly as well.
This spell will allow a player to actually have more spells memorized than they should for a period of time. Once Arcane Recall is cast if the character has too many spells they will have one round per point of intelligence they possess to get rid of any excess spells. The spells cast need not be those recalled though. Players will only be able to cast Arcane Recall once in any given 24 hour period due to the powerful nature of the magic involved.
Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.
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