Amber Diceless: our new campaign – played with Everway rules

We’re starting our new “Amber Diceless” campaign on Monday. After a 20-year hiatus, we’re finally playing Amber again. But not with the Amber Diceless rules. This time around, I’ll be using the Everway rpg rules.

Everway has been a reliable source of fun for us for a very long time. Ever since the game was published (1995), we’ve been using it (on and off) for a lot of different genres: Hong Kong action, Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, heroic fantasy, horror.

“Patterntech” is the name of the campaign, and it starts the player characters on Shadow Earth, set a hundred thousand years from now. Cross-shadow movement exists, but to the characters, it’s hyperspace travel. Magic has made a frightening comeback, and there are old gods that have awakened from their dreams.

The player characters all start in one of the many Houses of Nobility. They have no clue what Amber is, what the Courts of Chaos are, what Pattern is, what the Logrus means, and so on. These are secrets that will be discovered in due time. For now, all they know is, they’re living in Terra City, on planet Earth, with a dozen different routes into hyperspace (=adjacent Shadows).

We’re using the Everway rules, with a few tweaks. The biggest and most important rule change is the Attribute Auction, or better: Element Auction. 100 points, just like in the Amber Diceless rules. When the bidding war is over, I divide the scores by 5 to get down to Everway level. With the rest of their points (20-sum), they’re going to by their Powers, artifacts and creatures.

Everway, and Amber as well (when played like Erick advised) is essentially a freeform game. And that’s right up our alley. I’m stoked!

Here’s the audio teaser I made for the game. It’s in German, but I think it sounds pretty cool.

****** EDIT

Well well well… change is the only constant, they say, and they’re right (whoever they may be). Something about the rules did not feel right, so I tweaked and tweaked… and, finally, dropped them altogether.

What I’m using now is Arref Mak’s super-tight 17 Canon Attribute system, an elegant and genius twist of regular Amber Diceless. It rolls attributes, powers, artifacts, sorcery and all the other subsystems of ADRPG into 17 attributes. You can model the books really well with it, way better than the original four attributes plus powers. I had Aref’s system sitting on my harddrive for, what, 12 years. And today, I finally remembered them. Perfect, and they go well with the Everway Fortune deck.

Kriegsmaschinen.: an Into the Odd mecha setting

I’m working on a Mecha game for Into the Odd. Its name is “Kriegsmachinen.”, and yes, I chose the German name deliberately because it sounds so cool.

Being a huge fan of miniatures on the table (even if I lack ANY skill to paint them, and WON’T do that), my idea is to write a setting and simple rules for miniatures, based on Into the Odd.

First ideas.

1-3: slow (d6 ramming damage)
4-7: mid-speed (d8 ramming damage); move miniature one length of a pen
8-9: fast (d10 ramming damage); move miniature 1.5 lengths of a pen
10: super-fast (d12 ramming damage); move miniature 1d4+1 lengths of a pen

1-3: light (d6 ramming damage); armor 0
4-7: mid-weight (d8 ramming damage); armor 1
8-9: heavy (d10 ramming damage); armor 2
10: super-heavy (d12 ramming damage); armor 3
11: titan class (d20 ramming class, not available for starting pilots)

Roll 3d6 for Power (STR), Mobility (DEX) and Sensors (CHA/WIL)

Roll 2d6 for Hit Points.

Mobility Class
2: Spider-mech
3: Quadruple/walker-mech.
4-8: Humanoid-mech
9: Jump/Leap-mech
10: Vehicle-mech (1-2: wheels; 3-4: tracks; 5-6: other )
11: Flying-mech
12: Swimming-mech

On-board Armaments
Roll 1d6 times to determine weapon systems; then roll 1d6 for each: 1-3 close combat weapon, 4-6: ranged weapon
1: light weaponry, d6
2-5: medium weaponry, d8
6: heavy weaponry, d10

Using On-board Armaments
Circle through your list of weapons continually, depending on the range of combat. You have two lists: one for close quarter/melee weapons, and one for ranged weapons.

Damage against Mechs
Muscle-powered attacks: 0
Firearms and power tools carried by humans do 1d2 damage, but can’t take it below 1hp.
Mecha-weapons do damage as listed.

Each time a Mech is wounded, but not critically hit, make a (second) Power save for each on-board weapon system. A failed save means this system is shut down because of structural damage (1-3) or overheating (4-6).

Mecha damage against persons
All damage inflicted with a mech-weapon is x3 against humans. Forget armor.

Ramming and Overrunning (taken from Chris McDowall)
causes damage depending on the vehicle’s weight or speed, whichever is better.
Light/Slow (d6), Mid-Weight/Speed (d8), Heavy/Fast (d10) or Super-Heavy/Fast (d12). If one vehicle is heavier than the other, damage against it is Impaired. Vehicles take no damage for running over soft targets like people.

Uses DEX saves for risky situations, or may simply incur damage to the mech.


Let’s try what we have so far:

My mech is a fast (d10 ram), light-weight (0 armor, d6 ram) Humanoid mech, 11 PWR 13 MOB 7 SNS, 5 HP,  armor 0, with 4 ranged weapons (3x medium d8, and 1x heavy d10) and 2 melee weapons (medium d8 and heavy d10).

When I’m piloting my mech and attack, using my ranged weapons, I circle through my list of 4 ranged weapon systems so no weapon gets used twice in a row. Some goes for melee: here I’m circling through my list of 2 close-range weapon systems.