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Amber
 
$22.95 $12.00
Average Rating:4.7 / 5
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Amber
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Amber
Publisher: Diceless by Design
by Cliff S. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 03/23/2009 03:14:10

First of all, DO NOT assume this is a game about some chick named "Amber" because of the picture on the front cover. That's the mistake I made some twenty years ago when I first passed this in the gaming store, and I passed by it dozens of times before I ever picked it up. It wasn't until a year or two later that friends introduced me to this game and the novels it was based on, and I realized this is one of the great role-playing games ever. The game system is still the most brilliant I've encountered. But let's get to the story.

Amber is about a family of gods who live in a golden city named Amber (as in gold). This family has the birthright to control "Pattern" magic, which is a magic aligned with the pole of order in the universe. Located at the other pole of reality is the Courts of Chaos, and the Chaosians are the only true rivals to the Amberites in the universe. Between these two poles of reality are an infinite number of worlds, called "shadows", and lords of Amber and Chaos have magics that allow them to travel these worlds, build fiefdoms in these worlds or even destroy the worlds as they see fit. Yes, Amber is a cosmic game where a player character can destroy an entire plane of existence with a shrug of the shoulder, and the next minute travel to an exact copy of that same world.

When becoming a king or god among the shadow-dwellers is mere simplicity, the only thing that has any meaning in the universe is the constant balance-of-power back in Amber. You're essentially ageless and used to getting your way, and the only people you really consider your equals or rivals are the members of your own family (and maybe the Lords of Chaos), so your interactions with these people are what gives your life meaning. Amber is meant to pit one player against another, or induce you to form alliances against other potential enemies in the family. And if you're playing it right, you'll probably end up loving half the other PCs and hating - really, really hating - the other half.

Because a prince of Amber has access to any world they can imagine, you can pretty much any type of character you can imagine. Generally speaking, these will be among your most memorable and favorite characters you'll ever play.

The game system of the Amber RPG is brilliant, using a diceless system to make the action fast and decisive, because whoever is higher at a statistic (Psyche, Strength, Endurance, Warfare) wins. Still, the system is flexible enough to leave more wiggle room than you would imagine with something so straightforward, due to tactics, minions, hidden allies or just plain luck.

If you love role-playing, you and your gaming group have to give Amber a try. I cannot recommend this game highly enough.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amber
Publisher: Diceless by Design
by Robert W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 02/07/2009 09:22:01

A hefty size scan.

However this is Amber. One of the most innovative games I've read.

Fans of the novels will enjoy it and gamers will find the system a interesting departure from what you've seen before.

Pick it up and throw a Throne War for your next one-shot. You will never regret it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amber
Publisher: Diceless by Design
by RAISTLIN W. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 07/20/2008 09:19:58

This review assumes you are familiar with Roger Zelazny's "Amber" novels. If you're not, don't bother -- the rulebook assumes you've read at least the first five books (the Corwin arc) and is nigh-incomprehensible if you haven't.

An absolute tour de force, one of the most innovative RPGs ever created. Re-creating the ultra-powered Amber universe, where player characters can essentially create planets of worshippers in a matter of minutes and destroy universes on a whim, would be impossible in the standard wargame-based RPG setting. (Witness the Dragonball Z RPG, a valiant attempt at not-quite-as-powerful characters that ends up an algebra textbook.) By using a minimalist rules structure and ranking PCs against each other instead of on a concrete scale, Amber RPG manages the task abstractly.

PCs are built on a certain number of points; they bid these points against one another in auctions to purchase their basic attributes, then go on to use the leftover points to buy powers, strongholds, and artifacts. (Lesser magical items and allies can be created on the fly.) Players have the option of overspending, which will produce a dark character plagued by ill luck, or understpending, which will produce a more likeable character smiled upon by fortune.

The powers and abilities on offer are mostly very flexible. Sorcery is a pain in the butt (but, then, the characters in the novels also whined about its complexity), but the universe-spanning powers Pattern, Logrus, Trump and Shapechanging can all be used as the basis for strong characters. Since most of what a power actually DOES is up to player creativity, duels between characters end up resolved most often not by raw point expenditure but by a combination of planning and tactics.

A wealth of GM information is also provided, including all of the characters from the first five novels (with multiple interpretations of each, yet, including evil interpretations of heroes and neutral views of villains). There are pages and pages of advice on helping players develop great characters, constructing a campaign (including Amber-like universes using Zelazny's core concept but none of his worldbuilding), controlling basically uncontrollable PCs, and adapting the rules to your own tastes.

All in all, this is about everything you could want from an Amber RPG (except, well, any coverage whatsoever of the Merlin books, but that's why they published the Shadow Knight sourcebook).



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amber
Publisher: Diceless by Design
by Douglas T. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/29/2006 14:30:03

One of my all time favorite games, I was glad to be able to find it again here. Definitely for role players and not beginners, players will face enemies that could just be simply better than them, and no "lucky 20" rolls can save them here, but the right strategy playing to the players strengths are needed to prevail. Contacts and alliances with the established characters from the Zelazny books make for a rich background, and one of the best parts of gamemastering it is the players can have a very hard time telling who the "bad guy" in the adventure is, and if they figure it out, you can always make it into an even bigger plot by someone else to trick them into pursuing the wrong person.

The character creation is quick and easy, but allows for player creativity in learning new tricks as the characters progress, and I always found the players thinking up new uses for the basic powers that I never expected. All in all, one of the best and most imaginative role playing games I've ever seen



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
Amber
Publisher: Diceless by Design
by Augusto C. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/05/2005 13:20:26

If you, like me, appreciated the saga wrote down by Roger Zelazny, you will love what this manual contents. If you, like me, are tired to play entire evenings just throwing dices, and need a roleplaying game you may play even by email or in car while driving to holidays with friends, well, this is the product for you. I would not recommend this game for a newcomer in role-playing games. But if you, like me, play them by a lot of time and are looking for more, then, well, this may be the game for you. The rules are rich enough to let you play an incredibly rich multiverse without the need to have a single dice, nor a single need of randomize anything. And this without be rusty, without let you feel stuck nor slow in any way the game. And avoiding superficiality, letting you go as much deep as you like in things, asking you just to try to be narrative (so if you don't like narrative role-playing games, well, this is not for you). I loved Zelazny multiverse, the books and the infinite possibilities of a campaign with that background. And soon discovered this RPG fits perfectly the mood, letting the player (and the master) completely free, giving them anyway a great help at the same time. I love it.



Rating:
[5 of 5 Stars!]
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