Nine Senshi in Crystal Amber

What is a Throne War?

A Throne War is a one-shot Amber RPG session in which the players compete to try to become King or Queen of Amber, no holds barred. Whether you want to intrigue your way to the top, poison everyone at the funeral of the monarch, or clamber your way their over a pile of bodies on the battlefield, it's up to you.

Where is this Throne War set?

It is set in an alternate Amber known as Crystal Amber, a great shining city of gold and silver and crystal at the western end of a great gulf that opens eastward into the Sea of Dreams.

Untold millenia ago, the gods made war, reducing the universe to rubble.  Among the ashes walked the great dreamer, Naoko, who saw a vision of a shining place.  Riding the Unicorn, she rode to the ends of the universe, and taking up the Gizinishou she drew her visions into reality.  Thus was created Amber, the Perfect City.

Naoko had a daughter, Queen Serenity, into whose hands she entrusted the Eternal City, while she rode off into shadow, seeking a new great work to do.  She passed the Gizinishou to Serenity, telling her to keep it safe.  For untold centuries, she ruled over Amber, until the time came when dark powers from the other end of the universe found Amber and made war upon it.  The Queen was forced to send the folk of the Kingdom off into shadow to be reborn, in order to save them from the wreck of Amber, and the Pattern itself was sorely damaged.  The Gizinishou shattered into the seven Rainbow Crystals, which hid themselves in shadow.

And so, for centuries, Amber lay in ruins.  Until finally, the heir of Queen Serenity, Neo-Serenity, gathered the Rainbow Crystals and summoned forth the Gizinishou.  With it, she repaired the Pattern, and Amber was reborn as Crystal Amber, the city of her dreams.

For a thousand years, Queen Neo-Serenity has ruled over Amber, but even the Gizinishou cannot delay death forever.  Now she lays dying, and has sent out the word for her heirs to assemble.  You, the players, are her potential heirs.

Character Creation

All players will recieve 250 character points; there will be no contribution points, but you're free to load up on bad stuff if you think you need it. (Or sell down attributes if you feel suicidal)

All players must be Elder Amberites, although you can buy Dark Kingdom connections or Dark Kingdom blood if you really want it. You don't have to buy Pattern, but I'd rather strongly suggest it.

If you haven't played Amber before, I suggest you check out my auction page before continuing.

In addition to the usual attribute auction, and all the other things you can spend points on, auctions will be held for the following jobs, items, or goodies:

You do not have to bid in any of those auctions if you don't want to. These auctions are held in this manner: Opening bids are secret, bids after that are public. Winner of the auction is announced. Only the winner actually has to spend the points (since only one person can have each of these things).

The Cost of the Powers

A brief introduction to the major powers can be found here.
Those familiar with Amber may wish to use the Partial Powers System found here.

Pattern (50 points)

Pattern is the fundamental power of the Royal House of Amber.  It is the heritage of Neo-Queen Serenity.  Anyone who buys Pattern is automatically an heir to the throne and a child of Neo-Serenity by one of her concubines or consorts.   Pattern gives you several nifty benefits:

But it does have some flaws: Advanced Pattern (aka Pattern 2.0):  Pattern + 25 points

You can upgrade your knowledge of Pattern to learn some of the more obscure arts of Pattern.  This enables you to:

Broken Pattern (10 points)

The Pattern casts reflections of itself through Shadow.  Those reflections gradually become imperfect, enabling those not of the blood of Amber to walk them...but they also don't work as well as the real thing.  Broken Pattern gives you several nifty benefits:

But it does have some flaws: Broken Pattern Adept:  Broken Pattern + 15 points

You can upgrade your knowledge of Broken Pattern.  This enables you to:

Shapeshifting (35 points)

Shapechanging can be learned by any PC, Amber or Chaos, although it's rare in Amber and common as rocks in Chaos.  It is a prerequisite for learning Logrus.  It enables you to:

But it does have some flaws: Advanced Shapeshifting (aka Shapeshifting 2.0):  Shapeshifting + 25 points

You can upgrade your knowledge of shapeshifting as well.  This enables you to:

Logrus: (45 points) + Shapeshifting

Those who have the Blood of the Dark Kingdom (Free at character creation if you buy Logrus at that time) can walk the Logrus.  Those who also possess Shapeshifting actually survive walking the Logrus.  The eternally shifting Logrus grants powers to those who walk it:

But it does have some flaws: Advanced Logrus (aka Logrus pi):  Logrus + 30 points

You can upgrade your knowledge of Logrus as well.  This enables you to:

Trump Artistry: 40 points

Trump Artistry is the knowledge of how to create Trumps and use them most effectively.  Trump Artists are rare but powerful.  To create Trumps which reach across Shadow, once must either have Logrus or Pattern, or must have the Blood of Amber or Chaos.

But it does have some flaws: Advanced Trump (aka Trump 2.0):  Trump Artistry + 20 points

You can upgrade your knowledge of Trump as well.  This enables you to:

Power Words: 10+ points

Power Words are words of power which produce simple magical effects fueled by the user's Endurance.  They work anywhere, but using too many of them will tire you out.

But it does have some flaws: Sorcery: 15 points

Sorcery is the art of creating and casting spells.  More details can be found on my sorcery page.

Conjuration: 20 points

You can create something from nothing, molding Shadow into the forms you desire.  This level of conjuration allows you to create items with any of the 1-4 point values on the Throne War Items Page.

But it does have some flaws:

High Compelling (aka Conjuration 1.5):  Conjuration + 5 points

High Compelling enables you to 'conjure' geases and compulsions into beings, in order to try to control their minds.  You can also plant geases on objects, which will then compel whoever meets some set condition.  This requires a victory in a psyche battle to succeed.

Advanced Conjuration (aka Conjuration 2.0):  High Compelling + 15 points

You can upgrade your knowledge of Conjuration as well.  This enables you to:

Buying Allies and Blood Ties

Blood of Amber: 6 points

You are a child of Gendo, but you have yet to walk the Pattern.  This gives you a claim on the throne without the need to spend the full 50 points for Pattern.  You can walk the Pattern during the game if need be.  All players in this throne war MUST BUY THIS if they do not start with Pattern.  If you buy Pattern, it comes along for free.

Blood of the Dark Kingdom: 2 points

You have the heritage of the Dark Kingdom in your veins.  You can learn Shapeshifting and walk the Logrus, but Pattern Blades will do bad, evil, nasty things to you.

A Spin on the Wheel of Allies: 10 points

Ten points will get you a spin on the wheel of Allies. This will get you some court official of some importance and influence, from the Head Chambermaid to the Chief Diplomat.

Golden Circle Ally: 10 points

One of the Golden Circle kingdoms loves you and will back your bid for the throne. They're not so powerful as the Dark Kingdom or Amber, but they're also less likely to alienate the population of Amber if you come to power with their backing.

Shadow Purchase Costs

Shadows have three aspects you can buy up. The first one is obligatory (Location), while the other two are optional.


Defenses Control of Contents

Example Characters and Examples of Play

For some examples of what can be done with 200 points, you can find some sample characters on my Throne War Sample Characters Page.  For some examples of how various things are played out in practice:

Useful Links

Last Update March 3, 2001