John's Amber Throne War ''Stuff" Page

What are 'Stuff Points' in Amber?

Everyone in Amber either has 'Good Stuff', 'Bad Stuff', or 'Zero Stuff'.  Characters who have unspent Character Points after they buy everything have that much Good Stuff.  Characters who spend more than the # of Character Points they have, have to go into Bad Stuff points to pay for it.  Perfectly balanced characters have Zero Stuff.  Good Stuff gives you good luck and makes NPCs tend to like you.  Bad Stuff means they don't easily like you and you have bad luck.  Zero Stuff means you make your own luck.

What is a scale for Stuff?

I do not allow more than 20 points of 'Stuff' at a time.  Unspent points past 20 won't give you more luck, and you can't go more than 20 points in the hole in Bad Stuff.

Good Stuff:

Zero Stuff:

Bad Stuff people tend to be uncooperative.  Good Stuff people are mildly cooperative.  Other Zero Stuff people are neutral.  You rarely have much good or bad luck.

Bad Stuff:


Examples of Stuff in action:

Ryouga has 5 Bad Stuff.  Nabiki has Zero Stuff.  Usagi has 5 Good Stuff.

Game Playing

Ryouga, Nabiki, and Usagi play Poker (Poker skill is based on Warfare, although one can use Psyche to help cheat and bluff.  Ryouga is third in Warfare, Nabiki is Seventh, and Usagi is Sixth).  Ryouga is the most innately skillful player, but Poker has a strong luck component, which makes Stuff especially applicable.  His bad luck is crippling here.  Usagi, while much lower ranked, has five good stuff and tends to get the cards she needs.  Nabiki can only win by using her wits and Psyche to bluff out the others, as Usagi beats her in skill (warfare) and luck (Stuff).  Still, Ryouga will sometimes win hands because of his skill.

If they play Chess, which is pure strategy, no luck, Ryouga will crush either of them, unless Nabiki Psyches him out.

If they play Roulette, Usagi's Stuff will carry her over the top every time.

NPC reactions, take 1

Ryouga, Usagi, and Nabiki go down to Bloody Brand's, a famous bar that changes owners frequently, inhabited by some of the rougher types.  As they walk in, everyone shouts, "USAGI!" and waves at her (Good Stuff at work).  The bartender, whose job it is to be friendly, greets Nabiki with a pleasant smile, and asks her what she'd like to drink (Zero Stuff at work)  A mildly drunken tough comes over to Ryouga and asks him why he's bothering these two ladies with his ugly presence (Bad stuff at work).  But when Usagi tells him Ryouga is her brother, he backs off (Good Stuff).  She then strikes up a conversation with the man, who it turns out knows where to find Six Finger Jonah, an assassin they believe tried to kill Makoto.  Nabiki, meanwhile, has gotten the same information by greasing some palms (Zero Stuff).  Ryouga starts asking around, and has the misfortune to stumble into another drunken bruiser, who attack him (Bad Stuff).  Ryouga easily beats the man down (Second in Strength vs. Amber Strength.  Ryouga's bad luck only slows him down a little).  But then half the bar goes after Ryouga.  Usagi is unable to calm them (Good Stuff only goes so far), while Nabiki conjures some gold to pay for the damages, and starts taking bets on who will win.

NPC Reactions, take 2:

Amber's leaders decide to send an ambassador to Kashfa to meet with Prince Rinaldo as a preliminary to settling the Kashfan/Begman war over Eregnor.  Rinaldo is a Zero Stuff character.  Let's see how Rinaldo reacts to various ambassdors:

Touga (10 Bad Stuff)
Rinaldo hates him on sight, and hates him more after Touga spends the first day of negotiations treating him like a recalcitrant child.  When he tries to get Rinaldo to agree to split Eregnor down the middle, Rinaldo expels him, sending him back to Amber, resisting the urge to have him assassinated.

Ryouga (5 Bad Stuff)
Ryouga starts things off by being late, causing Rinaldo to dislike him right off the bat.  He then gets into a shouting match with a lord who insults his taste in clothing, fights a duel, and beats the man down.  When he tries to get Rinaldo to agree to split Eregnor down the middle, Rinaldo demands the whole thing, and refuses further negotiations unless Ryouga yields.  Ryouga, being stubborn, doesn't yield and negotiations break down.

Ranma (1 Bad Stuff)
Ranma fails to impress Rinaldo with his sloppy dress and crude language and bad table manners.   On the other hand, he is fairly honest and open.  When he tries to get Rinaldo to agree to split Eregnor down the middle, Rinaldo demands the whole thing, but with a little effort, he may be able to get Rinaldo to agree, in return for other concessions.

Nabiki (Zero Stuff)
Rinaldo isn't sure what to make of Nabiki at first, but she soon brings him around to see things her way, convincing him trade concessions from Amber are more important than getting all of Eregnor.

Makoto (Three Good Stuff)
Rinaldo finds Makoto to be attractive and charming, and her company is quite pleasant.  He listens willingly when she works to convince him that splitting Eregnor could bring a permanent peace and that the increased trade with Amber she can offer would redound to his benefit.  He still strikes a hard bargain.

Usagi (Five Good Stuff)
Rinaldo finds himself mildly smitten by her loveliness, and is open to all her proposals.  She flirts and makes half-promises, and soon is able to convince him to split Eregnor with Begma in return for some trade concessions to be agreed upon at the main peace conference.

Tylor (18 Good Stuff)
Tylor tells Rinaldo he'd rather show Rinaldo around Shadow than negotiate some boring treaty.  They go out and have a good time for three weeks, then return and pass out for another week.   When Rinaldo wakes up, he agrees to renounce all of Eregnor in return for the trade concessions and directions on how to get back to all the places they visited.

NPC Reactions, take 3:

The Serpent of Chaos hates all Amberites fanatically.  He meets an Amberite on the road.  What does he do?

Touga (10 Bad Stuff)
The Serpent of Chaos attacks him and will chase him all the way to Amber, and might even try to follow him onto the Pattern, in his desire to taste Touga's blood.  He also blood curses Touga if he can't catch him.

Ryouga (5 Bad Stuff)
The Serpent of Chaos tries to kill him, and if he fails, swears eternal vengeance on Ryouga, although he may not act immediately.

Ranma (1 Bad Stuff)
The Serpent of Chaos tries to kill him, but if he fails, he only makes an occassional effort to finish the job.

Nabiki (Zero Stuff)
The Serpent tries to kill her, but when she offers to help him get his eye back, he's willing to listen, although he doesn't trust her.

Makoto (Three Good Stuff)
The Serpent tries to kill her, but if he knocks her out, he might take her hostage instead, as she would be more valuable to him alive.

Usagi (Five Good Stuff)
The Serpent settles for gouging out one of her eyes as a punishment, and sends her back to Amber to tell the others he's coming for them.

Tylor (18 Good Stuff)
As the Serpent rears up to strike, Tylor plucks out his own eye as an apology and offers it to the Serpent in place of the one he lost.  Touched by his gesture, the Serpent takes the eye, then tells Tylor that he is free of the Serpent's wrath, and that since Tylor amuses him, he's going to give Tylor to the King of Chaos' daughter, since she needs a husband.  He gets carried off.

Emptying a bucket:

For whatever reason, the people below have just emptied a bucket of water out a window over the courtyard of Castle Amber.  What happens next?

Touga (10 Bad Stuff)
The water lands on the King's head and the enraged king sends him into exile.

Ryouga (5 Bad Stuff)
The water lands on Lina the Court Mage's head, and she challenges him to a duel.

Ranma (1 Bad Stuff)
The water lands on Kasumi the Head Chambermaid.  Later, Ranma can't sleep because she put itching powder in his fresh clean sheets.

Nabiki (Zero Stuff)
Nabiki creates mud.

Makoto (Three Good Stuff)
Makoto happens to be over the gardens, and the water helps the flowers grow.

Usagi (Five Good Stuff)
Usagi accidentally douses a visitor from Rebma, who finds the water reminds him of home and looks favorably upon her.

Tylor (18 Good Stuff)
The water falls on Princess Juliana from Therin, who just arrived in Amber to try to find someone who can break the hideous curse that will kill her by the end of the year.  The cure to the curse turns out to be having a bucket of water accidentally dumped on you from an upper story window of Castle Amber.  She asks Tylor to marry her.


The Limitations of Stuff

Stuff is luck, but luck will only carry you so far.  In situations of true total chance, Stuff is a powerful factor.  Otherwise, it may help you, and if things are close, it can decide matters, but you shouldn't rely on it to save your butt.
 



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Last Update January 14, 2000