The Scions of Amber
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So you want to be a Scion of Amber:
Great! There are just a few things you need to do before the first session. Some of them should probably be done before the Attribute Auction (session 0), some can be done at the very last minute if you like. What follows is a brief list of stuff to get ready for the game, after that is a quick list of this Amber game’s initial setup as far as points and attributes and all that jargon.
- Have some kind of concept:
- It’s fine to not know exactly what your character will be like, be unsure about his or her personality, and all that. But it’s good to begin with some kind of general concept. This can be as broad as: “A daughter of Benedict”; “A Strong, and Smart Lord of Amber”; or “Someone obsessed with Pattern”. Conversely, you may have some sort of specific beginning planned out for your character, but not be sure where they’re going to go from there.
- When to do: You should probably start here!
- Get a Name:
- Names are sometimes tough to come up with, but they are important. They often help shape both your perception of the character and that of others. Give it some thought. Assign a name you’ve always liked, one from a favorite character from a book, movie, game, or simply one that sounds like it fits your concept well when you say it.
- When to do: Before the Attribute Auction.
- Discuss the character with the GM:
- At some point, the GM is going to need to know stuff about your character. The sooner and better this discussion happens, the more easily your character will be integrated into the overall story of the game. So chat me up online, in person, whatever. Nothing has to be nailed down here for certain, it doesn’t have to be a long discussion, but it’s good to have some input on a character that will hopefully be part of a long, epic story.
- When to do: Before or after the auction, depending on what works best for you.
- Answer Five Questions:
- Five specific questions from the Wujick book about your character need to be answered. I’ve provided them here on the wiki. I’m going to be a hardass about this one! You literally cannot play if you don’t answer all five questions. If session 1 comes around and you haven’t done it, then we’ll work you in for session 2 and you can spend the first session’s time getting the questions done!
- The questions should take you no more than a half-hour to an hour or so to answer at most, you don’t need to write an essay for each one, just 2-3 sentences are fine. If you want to write more, feel free. If you want to answer other questions as well, that’s wonderful, and will almost certainly improve how well you know your character as well as how well the GM can provide cool stories for you.
- If you answer at least 5 extra questions they will be counted as a Journal the first time you miss one, allowing you to slack off some week with impunity!
- When to do: Must be done before Session 1!
- Figure out why you’re on Shadow Earth:
- The game begins on Shadow Earth, in New York City, specifically in Central Park during a fun summer fair. The date is Present Day. Your character might be on Shadow Earth because she lives there. He might have stopped by to see what all the fuss is about this shadow. Perhaps the reason is to visit Aunt Fiona, or one of the other Player Characters or NPC Scions. Perhaps the character was simply wandering in Shadow and felt drawn to the place. You decide!
- When to do: Anytime before I ask you why your character is there at the start of session 1.
- Points: Characters begin with 100 points, to split between auction, powers, and any extras.
- Attributes: We will be using the 4 classic attributes, Psyche, Strength, Endurance, and Warfare. We will also be using Cunning as a 5th attribute.
- Type: I strongly encourage players to create an Amberite character. If you propose a Chaosite, my default answer will be no. If you have some very well thought out reason why the character you love will only work as a Chaosite, I might be convinced. Maybe. I am more likely to be convinced if the character has some Amber ancestry, like Merlin or Dara.
- This doesn’t mean you can’t have been to Chaos; have Chaosite friends; or a Chaosite Wife, Half Chaosite Children, and a Chaosite Dogbeast in a nice Ways with a black picket fence.
- Powers: Amberites will get Pattern for free, at its most basic level. As long as you choose to have your character known to at least some of the family when the game starts, your character has already walked the pattern. Complete unknowns will begin with the points spent but the Pattern unwalked.
- Artifacts & Companions: One artifact or companion to a character please! It may be possible to get more in-game but I want artifacts of real power to be rare and precious, not commodities. That said, minor items of magic that are no more useful than earth-level tech (watches, phones, etc) are fine, and don’t require points.
- Extras: You may want to save points in your plan until you look at the Extras page! A few non-standard items will be biddable or buyable at the start of the game.
- Stuff: Good and Bad stuff will be used in the game, but you should check out the pages on them as they are slightly different now.
- When in doubt: Ask! I’ve tried to tune the rules and initial conditions of this Amber game to create what I think will be a really fun story for everybody, but I want to allow for freedom to create good characters to join that story. Some things I’ll be more flexible on than others, so if you’re not sure, just ask me.