what’s good about Amber Diceless

Story Games for Everybody – What’s good about ADRP? (ADRP=Amber Diceless Roleplaying)
Some sharp folks get excited about the good stuff in Amber Diceless.

My comments:

Imagination as system. Upwind lots of comments talk about it. Giving the NPCs and Family relationships a ‘face’ is “imagination as system” to me. Providing for shadow creation by Players. Providing for legends surrounding the items/artifacts/creatures that are attached to your PC is another imaginative system use.
A lot of this is seamless with the game system and very easy to explain to Players. It is also even easier for the GM to “cost out” elements that Players describe as part of their character. You can carry those rules in your head, just about.
Zelazny’s mastery of the character sketch sets up the NPCs. Then Wujcik steps in and gives you three or so versions of those elder NPCs that could make sense to the setting. Again this sets an “imagination system choices” and reinforces the magic of the author’s theme of mystery and “peeling an onion” to discover what the family is really like and what relationships are really important. Every campaign ‘Benedict’ is supposed to be owned by the PCs as distinct and unique to their relationships. Customization is king.
The GM notes talk about conflicts and significance a bit. Imagination overcomes obstacles. Imagination evens disadvantage in combat. Imagination finds new uses for Attribute skills. Imagination is the secret most important attribute.
Every character is a badass in their own mind.
You can find almost anything you can imagine.



  1. Seems to me (and I haven’t read the entire thing yet) they are really missing out on several aspects of the game. Most of the best games I’ve played in wouldn’t fit into the pigeon-hole these guys want the game to go into: whether we’re playing mostly cooperative early elders founding Amber in that ACN game of yours (Bloody Grievance) or children of Corwin in Corwin’s world in that other ACN game of yours (Argent Rose) or in Kucharski’s local campaign. Playing the non-royal movers and shakers in Ill-Met in Amber, or the completely re-jiggered Amber/Milton world of To Reign in Hell.
    It seems to me the great thing about the Amber rules is that Erick realized that it would be impossible to write mechanics to cover the details of doing everything possible in every shadow out there, and so threw away almost all mechanics to go with simple ideas that can capture almost anything you can try to do. It is the perfect way to play larger than life characters, and the great strength of the game, because it lets the game be anything, as long as the characters are big.

  2. Or (now that I’ve read the rest of it), to put it better, “imagination as a game system.” Well said. To me, that is the key.
    The family relationship thing is big, but I don’t know that it tells you that much, because family relationships can have so many wildly different forms.

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