Set in Amber: System

The Philosophy

What goes onto a sheet?

  • The system uses stats and bonuses, to try to reach target numbers set by the GM.
  • The conflict system is the same for any form of conflict, combat or not.
  • There are 4 stats: Command, Control, Grit, Style
  • Stats represent an approach to any problem, so the same stat can be used in a fight, for throwing off pursuers, or breaking into a house. Anything that has a conflict can have stats used
  • Areas where you have special knowledge or skills are represented by buying statements or bonuses.
  • Bonuses should be narrow enough to apply to one thing, either in or out of combat, but not both. Combat is about 50% of conflict in the game.
  • Statements allow any bonus that is reasonable. The statement 'I am in the army' might allow bonuses in weapon use, endurance, brawling, and first aid. It would also allow you to understand the orders process and fake being in a regiment where you do not belong.
  • Statements make things possible. Bonuses make things easier.

Examples of Stats and what they do

  • Command: Easy intimidation, things that work through force of personality, violent solutions. Command can be used to break down a door, shout NPCs into obedience, sail straight through storms, and use very big weapons to end fights fast.
  • Control: Precise timing and decisions, overpreparing events, long practice. Control can be used pick locks, to have the right answers to NPCs who ask awkward questions, to set sails perfectly, and to use weaponry suited to the opponent and the environment.
  • Grit: Grit is about sticking it out, grinding through pain, staying awake despite the difficulties. Grit can be used to cut through doors with inadequate tools, to outlast the NPCs who would otherwise get in the way, to be the one setting the vital sail on the upper mast after the topgallant has broken, and to fight on despite exhaustion and wounds.
  • Style Style is about being seen to do things right, an apparently magical mix of luck, timing and charisma. Style can be used to arrive just as a servant opens the door, to perform the dance of getting past NPCs without them realising you were not just being polite, to pull in the sails just before the squall, and to put a perfect riposte onto your opponent's wrist, shaming them while looking merciful.

The Mechanics

Unsheeted NPCs/Environment

  • The GM will give out a target number, or ask you to roll.
  • Choose the stat with the approach you want to use.
  • For the first applicable bonus, add d6 to the stat.
  • For the second applicable bonus, add 1 to the previous number.
  • For the third and subsequent applicable bonus, lament how you can't add anything more, and amuse the peanut gallery.
  • Tell the GM if you hit, exceeded, or failed at the number, or say what you got.
  • The success or failure, and to some degree the width of success and failure, dictate how the situation goes.
  • Consequences for the roll tend to be an end result, with RP used to get to that consequence
  • Usually, but not always, there is a single roll per encounter/conflict. There can be more than one encounter in short order.

Sheeted NPCs/PCs

  • Choose the stat you will use, A, and any applicable bonuses.
  • Your opponent chooses the stat they will use, B, and any applicable bonuses
  • Add A+B - your stat plus their stat. If they choose the same as you, you still add up.
  • Add d6 for the first bonus, +3 for the second, +2 for the third, and +1 for any after that.
  • Warning: When used in CSI setting, this is d6 and then +1.
  • Compare numbers - highest 'wins' and can choose the next narrative twist or consequence.
  • A difference of 4+ indicates an overpowering difference.
  • For the main features of the campaign, those NPCs who are named in the books, more than one round of fighting may be called for.