Psyche trumps Strength? No!

Guardians Of Order Online Discussion Forums – Psyche trumps Strength?
Psyche trumps Strength?
Not as I read the rules. Quite a range of answers from a number of good contributors. Sixty plus comments to the original call for help.

update salvaged from the extinct forum data by Google:
Re: Psyche trumps Strength?
First of all, even without House Rules, the ADRPG does give information about speed and reactions of the Attributes against each other.

Originally Posted by MaElKoth
Okay, I am trying to resolve an argument between two of my players.
Player #1: Psy #1 [35] Str A End A War #2[31]
Player #2: Psy H Str #1[33] End #3[14] War #3[27]
Any suggestions?

IMHO, Player #1 is hosed on several counts. It depends on whether Player #2 is going to use his attributes well or not, which is the point that Finarvyn is making, I believe.
Let’s start with Endurance. First Rank Psyche can pound away on a Human Psyche while all the defenses crumble—-slowly. That’s what endurance does. Yes, #1 will win, but not nearly fast enough. Endurance is “always on” by default in the rules. Player #2 may be screaming in mental agony, but he won’t drop dead fast enough to make the tactic pay off.
Strength. This is the real kicker. Player #2 already has contact and in his First Rank Attribute. He is in control and certainly will sense Player #1 switching tactics. When the big brain burn starts, who’s next move is it? Right. The First Rank Strength with his hands on your throat. How many seconds is your brain going to work with no blood flowing to it? Hmmm. GM call, of course, but my guess is not long.
How long is your brain going to work with the floor stones being slammed into your skull from behind at five or ten G’s of force? Four seconds, tops.
Player #1 switches to a Psyche contest.
Player #2 feels the pain and starry vision start. Stiffens his resist (though Endurance has already kicked in.)
Player #2 pounds #1 senseless four seconds later.
End of story.
BTW, in my game, and check the rules on this, switching Attributes in a fight gives up a ‘hit’ to the other guy’s attack. So even though #1 gets to start his attack, because Psyche is faster than Strength, #2 wins because #1 never gets another go.
More on same subject: “Faster than a speeding…”
…and if #2 continues to hesitate long enough, Endurance will be ‘trumped’ by the greater Psyche (35 over 14) and #1 will win the day.
BTW, ignoring the rules section on speed of Attributes is one of the most obvious and dangerous screw-ups of the Amber rules system. I see it happen at conventions quite often, where folks should know better.
I’ve been in convention games where all reactions were determined by Warfare as soon as the combat started. Imagine how painful that is for folks who put points in powers.



  1. Perhaps as it relates to trumps, psyche might trump strength.
    And if psychic contact is already established…..then I’d think that psyche rules.

  2. OK, reading the example in question on the GOO boards….
    …why can’t characters ever wear *gloves*? Wouldn’t that be the smart thing to do? I mean, come on. Not only does it negate the whole psychic contact question, it also protects against contact poisons. And (probably) splinters. And a lot of other things you’d encounter in lethal situations.
    How do character get themselves into these situations? Really. How does someone gamble that they can get into a wrestling match and use their psyche to save themselves (especially with a higher warfare)? How does someone sell psyche down to Human and not protect against psychic attack?
    I think now we know why so few of Oberon’s children survived.

  3. Part of the problem is that the rules in question don’t model the books very well. The books aren’t consistent, but the rules for the RPG as applied by the players don’t model the feel of the books wrt psyche contact very well.
    This is the point where we remember that the PCs would always form Voltron in the first scene, making a very short cartoon. RPGs are NOT books, and rules that make the extraordinary feats in the book possible don’t account for the fact that players will push to the max every time. Game rules need to account for that fact.

  4. One of the few things I recall as working very well in the highly-Voltron-inspired Mekton system was that, thanks to its damage system, you were encouraged to plink away with numerous tiny attacks for the first several rounds, doing nothing but reducing the target’s Armor, before “forming Voltron”, pulling out the Nova Sword, and ending the fight.
    Game rules can be made to serve desired story structure and/or setting as opposed to serving to distort and malform it. I know I don’t really need to tell anyone here that, but it’s one of those points that bears repeating over and over because there are so many people who will loudly say the opposite.

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