John's Amber Throne War Page

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 Big Daddy Gendo, or clamber your way their over a pile of bodies on the battlefield, it's up to you.

The situation is that King Gendo is about to die. The players will all have recieved a summons to come see him one last time when the scenario begins. We'll play until it either gets too late or someone manages to become King or Queen and either removes all competitors or gains their assent.

The canonical Elders do not exist. Several extremely non-canonical elders do exist whose allegiance can be gained by bidding on them. You can find them here.

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 Chaos connections or Chaos 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, and if no one bids, the role will be assigned to one of your NPC siblings. 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).

There are two special cases: the role of Spymaster will be determined by the intial secret bid (whoever bids highest right off the bat gets it), and will not be publically announced. What's in the Box's winner is announced, but only the winner learns 'what's in the box'.

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 King Gendo.  Anyone who buys Pattern is automatically an heir to the throne and a child of Gendo by one of his wives or mistresses.   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 Chaos (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 Chaos: 2 points

You have the heritage of Chaos 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 gives you a random ally on the level of power and importance of the secondary court officials (Head Chambermaid, head cook, royal judges, commanders of castle guard divisions, etc).

Chaos Ties: 15 points

A House of Chaos loves you and will back your bid for the throne. This gives you an army and a lot of moderately powerful allies, but keep in mind that most Amberites react adversely to Chaosians and their friends...  This does not convey Blood of Chaos; they can like Amberites too, even if it's rare.

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 a house of Chaos, 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