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When I was at university — so many years ago — a game was released based on the works of Roger Zelazny. Called Amber Diceless Roleplaying, it cast the player characters as the sons and daughters of an immortal, immensely powerful family, who were basically gods. The purest expression of this came during the game known as a Throne War.

In that, the characters were vying for the throne of Amber. Whoever ended up on the throne was the winner of the game. Not the case in a Throne War. There was definitely a winner in that game! An auction at the beginning of the campaign determined how good the players were in relationship to each other in four basic statistics: Warfare, Endurance, Strength and Psyche. The initial bidding helped set up the rivalries between the characters.

You wanted to be the best spellcaster? Well, that person over there beat you! And, because you were rarely working together, that meant something. It meant that if you wanted to beat them, you needed to be tricky. Or have allies. And there came the fun of the game. Amber was a great game to role-play in.

And it helped promote role-playing because the best allies for your character were the other characters. So, you had to talk to them. Did they work together to defeat it, or did some take the opportunity to gain an advantage? The fact is that role-playing between the player and the Dungeon Master is somewhat limited. It often devolves to one-on-one, or at least has a very limited participation rate.

It will primarily be one or two people talking, with others contributing a much lesser amount. And the Dungeon Master also needs to concentrate on other matters. So, the more role-playing the characters do with each other, the better the overall role-playing experience will be. The trick here is to provide a character that is interesting to interact with… and can be interacted with in separate ways by different PCs. That gives rise to an interesting situation.

Namely, they only work if the players are good at generating plots themselves. Part of this comes from a lack of knowledge about the setting.

It very much helps players if the DM can suggest some potential goals for characters, giving a view as to what directions the campaign may go. Of course, these things can be changed and adapted when the campaign starts, but at least have a starting point.

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Amber Diceless Role-Playing: Diceless Role-Playing System

What this means of course, is that the players have to trust their GM — in who final authority lies. Any group who has an antagonistic relationship will not have any fun. GM : You missed. He whips out his gun and shoots you. The game also requires — in my experience — GMs and players who have a bit of poetry and storytelling blood in their veins. Nor is Amber particularly good for those who play RPGs in an attempt to accurately simulate reality — reality is random, and dice introduce that element to the game.


Amber Diceless RPG

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Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game

The Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game is a role-playing game created and written by Erick Wujcik , set in the fictional universe created by author Roger Zelazny for his Chronicles of Amber. The game is unusual in that no dice are used in resolving conflicts or player actions; instead a simple diceless system of comparative ability, and narrative description of the action by the players and gamemaster , is used to determine how situations are resolved. Amber DRPG was created in the s, and is much more focused on relationships and roleplaying than most of the roleplaying games of that era. This often means that the only individuals who are capable of opposing a character are from his or her family, a fact that leads to much suspicion and intrigue.

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