Set in Amber

Things you need to know

Generic Setting

  • Amber is the centre of the known universe, at the centre of a huge trade group.
  • The technology level over the whole trading group is pre-gunpowder, but the culture may be advanced.
  • Any of the Golden Circle trade partners may be or contain major powers in their own right.
  • Gods abound, and often come into Amber, but only ever peacefully.
  • The worlds, and their inhabitants, are more powerful the closer you get to the centre.
  • The paths laid down by Amber that criss-cross the places nearby are so common that you can get to just about anywhere you desire, if you have the money.
  • Many lands want to trade with each other; this is allowed, but the paths are patrolled and taxed.
  • Sorcery is rare but often very powerful.
  • The game began its first chaper, for those who know the books, just after Corwin disappeared. This is now the reign of King Bleys
  • The game is designed so that every adventure runs within one session, avoiding the need for everyone to be present all the time, and to know everything - areas are often written and briefed on during the evening.

Amber Specific Setting

  • Amber has a generally old-fashioned society. Duels are common, marriages do not require consent from anyone but the families involved.
  • The Royal Family of Amber rules the City.
  • Most powerful of all Kings is Bleys, brother of the other Princes of Amber. He rules mostly with their support.
  • Prince Corwin of Amber is in constant low-grade warfare with King Bleys, but has never been brought to justice for it.
  • Honour and Trade are almost completely exclusive, but the Princes opened the trade routes originally.
  • Amber calls the outer lands 'shadows', and Amber Citizens tend to be stronger and more healthy than the inhabitants, if they visit the outer lands.
  • If you are a citizen of Amber, you can be called up to serve on Amber's behalf.
  • Historically, the Day Watch and Night Watch were merely palace bodyguards, but they were under the command of Captain Benedict. Over the millennia they have taken over running most of Amber's armed forces, while their Captain moved on but kept advisory control.
  • Amber's primary reflections are in the sea and in the sky, and can both be reached by magical stairways under the right circumstances. They are Rebma and Tir Na-Nog'th respectively.
  • Oaths are important. To be foresworn is to lose your good name. Magical being must be doubly aware of this.

Things you should know to keep you alive

The Royal Family

The immortal King of Amber, Bleys, is the highest authority in the land. His father was King Oberon, who had many children:
  • Before Benedict, there are heroic, dead names; Osric, Finndo, Sandringham, Delwin, Aude.
  • Older even than Benedict is Brammimonde, who looks far younger than her years, and seldom visits Amber. It is said they are full brother and sister. Brammimonde has only emerged from hiding.
  • Benedict is the oldest surviving child of Oberon, according to genealogies published before the reign of Bleys. He is famed for loyalty to the Crown and competence in battle; Benedict is illegitimate, but once was a Prince. Since the first year of the reign of Bleys, he has seldom been seen in public. He is styled Duke of Amber.
  • Eric was born before the King married the lady Faiella. He has never formally been adopted. He is said to have affinity with the land of Tir. His hair is white, but he does not look old enough to match it.
  • Eric's legitimate siblings are Corwin and Deirdre, of whom Corwin is often in open or covert rebellion against the King. Deirdre is known for refusing the roles of her sex.
  • Caine, son of Rilga, is said to be older than most of his other sibs. He is known for casual murder and naval prowess.
  • Bleys, Fiona and Brand are the (legitimate) children of Clarissa. Brand vanished, believed dead. Bleys died a hero, and then turned out not to be dead, and was Crowned on the day of his return. Fiona died in shadow shortly thereafter.
  • Llewella was born to the queen of Rebma while Oberon was married to Clarissa. She was officially made a Princess by him.
  • Julian and Gerard are the sons of Rilga, born safely in wedlock.
  • Florimel was the daughter of Queen Dybele of Amber. She is often used to smooth over diplomatic incidents and create treaties.
  • Random was the son of Queen Paulette, and is often seen as a cheap version of his brothers.
  • The children of Princes are rare, and as they are seldom mentioned when gone, the number is unclear.
It is generally agreed that the Princes (save those in rebellion) work hard for Amber.

Reflections/Shadow/The Golden Circle/Wives

  • Shadow contains most of those things that historically were found on Earth.
  • After Amber, the most powerful place in shadow is Altergon, land of Clarissa, and other mages. Altergon is currently closed to most travel following a powerful civil war.
  • Faiella, technically Oberon's first wife, came from the Sky City Tir, and her ghost walked down to Rebma, making a stair.
  • Every Golden Circle shadow has at least the potential for unknown powers, angry gods, and quick-response baying mobs.
  • The Golden Circle is not fully defined on purpose - there is always room for more adventure and betrayal.
  • Nobody knows where Cymnea, Benedict's mother, was from.
  • Rilga's portraits have Julian's fair skin. Caine is much darker than either of his parents.
  • Dybele was a famed beauty; Flora inherited the looks and her father's brains.
  • It is rumoured that Paulette had a twin to Random who died at birth, and that drove her eventual suicide.
  • Oberon was engaged to the heir to Harl, a tiny but sovereign island just offshore of Amber Harbour, and a genuine problem for shipping. After Bleys was crowned, he married the heir instead.

Specific things/Exception Handling


This information is likely to be restricted IC:
  • There can be no spell without a counterspell; some of those are very difficult.
  • Magic is highly addictive.
  • Magic requires tools to alter the flows of the magical world. Tools that have a grain to encourage the flow are most efficacious.
  • The most popular, useful tools, are wands and staffs, respectively dagger and battering-ram scale.
  • The colour red has magical effects. So do dawn, dusk, and anything alive. Altergonians are famous for red tape.
  • Specialists in magic, mages, tend to be better at one particular thing.
  • Generalists in magic, sorcerors, tend to be good at a wide range of useful things.
  • Most sorcerors can manipulate force by manipulating a flow and sending it back into the physical world.
  • The most powerful sorcerors tend to wrestle a while with power then embrace it, and need to be put down by others.
  • A ward is a form of magic that triggers something - a warning or a trap or a prepared 'spell'.
  • A ritual, always drawn in red chalk, takes and twists the magic in the area into something new.
  • A 'spell' is a method of changing one sort of flow to another, minor or major.
  • Inlaid ritual circles can be activated, but are truly nothing more than complicated wands.
  • A ritual, once started, is self-sufficient no matter what the type of circle. They can be used as prisons for magical beings, therefore.
  • A sorceror relies on the purity of their soul and their name, which are linked. If a sorceror breaks an oath, their magic will fail them.

Important NPCs

These people may or may not be known to PCs:
  • Colonel Tanya Alexandrovna Garin, Head of the Night Watch.
  • Sir Rein, Knight of Prince Corwin, believed to be under arrest in Amber's dungeons
  • The Mcillan, head of Clan Mcillan of Upland Albion
  • Rhoda Mcphalon, daughter of the Mcillan, and widow of her house
  • Lord Astor, King of Luna, overlord of Umbria

And Finally...

Caveats, Warnings, and Expectations

  • The very existence of Trumps is a state secret limited to the Princes.
  • Mind control is always ultimately under PC control; you cannot be forced to any action, but you may be heavily hinted at.
  • Illusions are difficult at best.
  • There is no chance of PC discovery of gunpowder without engagement with current plots.
  • PC plots that break the arrangement of the world are allowed and even encouraged. PC plots that break the game universe are likely to fail, or result in the PC's player running the game for a while.
  • The game is designed so that any in-genre character is playable. You do not have to be Royal, Noble, or anything else in particular.
  • Being a child of a Prince or Princess will make you the target of Oberon's enemies, who were many. Think carefully if you want to play one. You can design a character just as cool outside that career path.
  • If you do want to play the child of a Prince, it is at GM discretion whether you are actually the child of your supposed parent. You will likely be unknown to the public at game start.
  • Characters are not immortal, although it usually takes two solid, stupid mistakes in close proximity to kill one.