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Each player starts out with 50 points. These points are distributed between Attributes, Powers, Toys, and a few other things. It should be noted right off the bat that you do not have hard and fast rules for things like “skills” or “age” or “appearance” or anything like that. Do you want your character to be good at medicine? You simply say that your character went to medical school. Do you want your character to be 100 years old? Poof, she’s 100 years old. You can even say that she’s 100 years old and still have the body of a 16 year old. And it costs you nothing. Additionally, there are no rules for buying mundane equipment. Do you want a sword? You have a sword. Do you want a walrus? The walrus is yours. You can even have a really cool sword for free, but there may be drawbacks to it.

Character Concept

You can be from damn near anywhere. Hyrule. Battlestar Galactica. Narnia. Here are some general guidelines:

  • You are part “human.” The other part can be damn near anything so long as a human could meet it, get friendly with it, and make a baby.
  • You are physically superior to humans. Even the biggest sissies among you can lift up a racing motorcycle and chuck it a good ten feet. You also heal faster than your typical human
  • In terms of power scale, you are more on par with “action film” than “superheroes.”
  • You have a close relative that seems to share many of the same abilities as you. This could be one of your parents, or perhaps an “aunt” or “uncle” or “family friend” that takes a close interest in your affairs.
  • Make your character original. If you’re from Hyrule, don’t make your character “Link.” Make it someone else from Hyrule. You can know Link, hang out with Link, give Link a wedgie on a regular basis. But do not make your character Link.
  • You are free to have characters that know each other, so long as you are from the same setting.
  • Two characters could be from the same setting at different points in time. If two people want to be Jedi Knights, and one wants to be from the Clone Wars and the other from the Rebellion Era, you can do that. You can’t know each other in that case, but it is possible that you’ve heard of each other.

There are four attributes in Amber that define in broad terms your capability. They are:

  • Psyche: Your mental kung fu. This covers not just your ability to use arcane abilities, but also to deftly handle social situations and engage in subterfuge. This covers stabbing someone in the back in addition to being a smooth talker.
  • Strength: This is your general ability at close combat and other physical activities. Running, jumping, leaping, etc.
  • Endurance: This is your ability to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’. This determines your ability to sustain any activity for prolonged periods of time, whether it’s surfing, swordfighting or casting spells. It also determines how quickly you heal.
  • Warfare: This is your tactical and logistic ability. Where Psyche is subtle and intuitive, this is hard and rational. It also covers your ranged combat ability. A character can also try to use this for some hand-to-hand combat applications, particularly when they are able to use a weapon to keep an opponent at a distance while wearing him down. But this is not very useful if your opponent has a higher Strength attribute.
In general, points spent in attributes help determine your relative ability compared to other people. If you put 100 points into Warfare, it doesn’t give you some specific ability. It simply means that you are better than the guy who put 80 points into Warfare. If two attributes in a conflict are pretty close, another attribute may be used for a tie-breaker. You’ll never really know just how good you are until it’s too late. If you put any points into any attribute, you are considered “ranked” in that attribute.

If you put no points in an attribute, you are considered “Amber Rank.” This means that you are generally very good at that attribute. Maybe not the best in the world, but you could hold your own among some serious badasses.

You can also get more points by selling down your attributes. You can get 10 additional points if you sell an attribute down to Chaos Rank. Chaos Rank means that you are just a bit above average. You are of “professional” grade rather than “expert” grade.

If you sell down even farther, to Human Rank, you get an extra 15 points for a total of 25. This means you are about as good as your average person in our world. That’s not very good. I will be using myself as a gauge for what “average” is.

So, to recap:

-25 = Human Rank
-10 = Chaos Rank
0 = Amber Rank
1 or more = Ranked

[ Standard Amber Powers | Rebman Powers | Bending | Jedi Powers ]
[ Elven Powers | Garou Powers | Ninja Powers ]

These are the ways that you really break the universe. You won’t have access to any of the really big guns starting out, but that won’t keep you out of trouble. Rather than detail out a bunch of possibilities, I thought I’d just toss out some sample things that may get your attention. Plus, I’ll put in some of the more standard powers. The way that most people breakdown powers is with a bit of an outline that shows the different parts of a power that you can learn. So a power like Sorcery could look like this:

    [5] Magical School
      [5] Cantrips
        [5] Enchantment
        [5] Spellcasting
          [5] Rack Spells
      [5] Additional Schools
So, the first thing you’d have to learn is a Magical School before you could learn anything else. From there, the only things you could learn is either “Cantrips” or an additional school of magic. After learning Cantrips, you could learn Enchantment or Spellcasting… and so on.

There are some racial abilities that you can gain that don’t require any sort of special training: wings, darkvision, etc. I won’t make a list. If you have something you want, ask and I’ll give you a cost.

It is also possible to learn a power as a skill. Which is to say, it would be free. But you get what you pay for in this instance. So, for instance, you are from a place where anyone with time and patience can learn to cast spells. It is no more difficult an ability than becoming a doctor or an engineer. You are trained in certain local cosmological laws that allow you to hurl fireballs, fly, teleport, whatever. But outside of your world, those laws no longer applies. You might be lucky and the really low powered stuff might work in some places, but the really big magic will generally fail.

In a similar vein, you can have “environment specific” abilities. The environment you were raised in may have granted you unusual abilities: faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locamotive, etc. These, again, could be free. Once you leave that environment, those powers go away.

Standard Amber Powers



Magic in Amber is a bit different from D&D. And, for those who have played Amber before, I run magic differently from how you may have seen it. I go for a lower-powered, grittier and more stylized version of magic than you get in the normal Amber rules.

Sorcery is different from the powers I described above in that it allows you a lot greater diversity. You can hurl fireballs, talk with spirits, fly or whatever. The drawback is that it generally takes longer to cast a spell with sorcery than use some innate magical ability.

Each sorcerer learns a school of magic, which determines the general thematic feel for how they approach their magic. There is very little you can do in one school of magic that you can’t accomplish in another school. So you may have a school of magic that works like alchemy and creates potions and elixirs that create certain effects. Another character might be have a druidic style of magic that revolves invoking nature spirits and controlling plants and animals.

Creating a magical effect can take a while. At least an hour, if not longer. You can prepare a single spell in advance (like memorizing a spell in D&D) and then release it when you need it. But you can only ready one spell that way, and if you fall asleep or get knocked unconscious, you lose that spell. There are a couple ways to get around that.

The first is that you can store a spell in a special item that will keep it fresher for longer. These items are called “spell racks” and can look like whatever. A ring, a staff, a penguin, etc. For 1 point the item can rack one spell. For 2 points the item can rack up to twelve spells. For 4 points you can rack 12 spells in the item and it will cast the spells for you.

Alternately, if you have “Enchantment” you can create single-use items that can replicate spell effects.

Psyche determines how powerful your spell is, and how well you can resist a spell. Warfare is important for ranged spells (or avoiding such). Endurance can also help you resist some spell effects or recover more quickly.

    [5] Magical School
      [5] Cantrips
        [5] Enchantment
        [5] Spellcasting
          [5] Rack Spells
      [5] Additional Schools
For clarification: Learning a Magical School means that you have been initiated into a school of magic. This means that you can sense and analyze magical effects. Cantrips represent “magic for beginners.” You can generate minor magical effects connected to your school. Spellcasting means you can cast spells. Enchantment means you can enchant an item. Rack spells means that you’ve learned how to store your spells in a special item.

Shape Shifting

This is your ability to change your physical form. This does not change your clothing. So if you turn into a wolf, your clothes may not fit.

I break shape shifting into two broad categories. The first is “archetypal forms” and the other is “physical sculpting.”

An archetypal form is often a drastic and radical shift from your standard form. Coherent light, living blizzards, pillars of flame, etc. You are not restricted by mass as much as you are with physical sculpting. You can become a dragon that is bigger than your normal form. Not much bigger, mind you, but bigger in general.

Physical sculpting means that you can rearrange your body. You are restricted to the same mass. You can become a hawk, but it’s a person-sized hawk. You can become a dog, but it’s a person-sized dog. You can become a mouse, but it’s a person-sized mouse.

    [5] Shape Shifting Potential
      [5+] Archetypal Forms (cost varies depending on how powerful the form is. You can take this more than once.)
      [5] Physical Sculpting: Shift Non-Facial Body Parts
        [5] Shift Wounds
          [5] Shapeshift Facial Features
          [5] Shift to Animal Shapes
          [5] Automatic Shape Shifting (w/ Involuntary Access to Primal Form)
            [5] Voluntary Access to Primal Form
Some things to note:
  • Shape Shifting Potential has some benefits depending on who you’ve gained your shape shifting ability through.
  • “Shift Body Parts” means you can change the shape of your body parts, but not grow new body parts. You can make your arms longer, you can make your nails tougher, but you can’t re-grow a missing limb or grow wings.
  • Shift Wounds means you can will a wound to stay closed, but it requires your attention to keep it closed until it closes up naturally.
  • Automatic Shape Shifting means that you allow your body to take over things. If you fall into a lake in a storm, you can let go of conscious control of your shape shifting so that your body will automatically adapt. This does not mean you will grow gills, but it will mean that your body will start to need less oxygen and will shift fat deposits to keep you from freezing. From there you can figure out some other way to keep from drowning.
  • Your Primal Form is basically your body’s innate survival instinct made flesh. How it looks depends on your character’s needs for survival and his/her personality. Turning on Automatic Shapeshifting means that you risk entering your Primal Form involuntarily. Your need for survival may become so great that your subconscious mind takes over and you wake up some time later half naked on a rocky out-cropping. Safe, but vaguely confused.
Trump Tricks
    [2] Trump Familiarity: You have a Trump Deck that you are very familiar with the use of. This is not a point-paid-for item that you can pull out of a tree when it becomes lost. It’s simply a deck that you’ve gotten very comfortable with. If you lose this deck, you must spend a while working on attuning yourself to a new deck. Not all abilities require that you use this deck. General use of this deck is faster than with a deck just picked up.
      [3] Sense Trump Use
        [5] Trump Caller ID (requires a Trump Deck)
        [5] Trump Divination (requires a Trump Deck)
Rebman Powers


If you have some degree of Rebman heritage, either through Llewella or through children of a Rebman and another royal, you can spend 10 points to have the all-around underwater survival ability.


Another option for those of Rebman heritage. Though there are many Rebman sorcerers, they also have their own abilities that are a bit more useful abilities for use in the pelagic depths of their kingdom. Empathy allows them to sense and communicate with each other even in the cold darkness that you sometimes find in Rebma.

    [5] Sense Psyche
      [5] Recognize Auras [5] Sense Surface Thoughts
        [5] Empathic Probing
          [5] Emotional Manipulation
        [5] Psychic Communication
      [5] Psychic Neutral
Rebman Mirror Magic

Within Rebma, the common form of communication is through enchanted mirrors. More experienced practitioners can make mirrors that are enchanted. This ability mainly allows you to sense mirrors that have been so enchanted and activate them for communication.

    [3] Sense and Activate Mirror Enchantment
      [2] Mirror Divination


    [5] Airbending Potential
      [5] Airbending Novice
        [5] Airbending Adept
          [5] Airbending Mastery: Compact Vortex
          [5] Airbending Mastery: Massive Whirlwind
    [5] Earthbending Potential
      [5] Earthbending Novice
        [5] Earthbending Adept
          [5] Earthbending Mastery: Quicksand [5] Earthbending Mastery: Earth Leap
    [5] Firebending Potential
      [5] Firebending Novice
        [5] Firebending Adept
          [5] Fire Bending Mastery: Lightning Bending
    [5] Waterbending Potential
      [5] Waterbending Novice
        [5] Waterbending Adept
          [5] Waterbending Mastery: Healing Touch [5] Waterbending Mastery: Sense the Water of Others
The Avatar
    [0] The Avatar Spirit (Requires Airbending Potential, Earthbending Potential, Firebending Potential and Waterbending Potential.)
Jedi Powers

The Force

    [5] Force Sensitive
      [5] Metabolism Control
      [5] Telepathy
      [5] ESP
      [5] Telekinesis
Elven Powers

Racial Abilities

    [10] Night Elf Racial Package

    This includes the following abilities:

    • Low-light vision: You can see better in dim light.
    • Shadowblend: In dark or twilit areas, you can blend in better.
    • Cosmetic heat and cold resistance: You are able to briefly withstand heat and cold with no ill effect. This means that climate extremes generally do not bother you, and you can even briefly put your hand in a flame.
    [10] High/Blood Elf Racial Package

    This includes the following abilities and drawbacks:

    • Low-light vision: You can see better in dim light.
    • Innate Magic: You have some minor magical abilities that you can use about 4 times per day. These include things like detecting magic, reading magical script, creating magical sigils, and small bits of prestidigitation.
    • Empowered Magic: When using arcane/magical abilities, your Psyche is considered higher than usual.
    • Magic Addiction: You must spend an hour each day mastering your addiction. If you do not, you will not be able to focus. Time spent basking in a source of power, like a moon pool, allows you to avoid doing this.
The Stormlord’s Gift

This basically draws a lot of inspiration from the Airbending abilities. It’s expanded a bit further into some of the more advanced abilities.

    [5] Stormlord Potential
      [5] Novice of the Winds
        [5] Adept of the Winds
          [5] Wind Mastery: Words on the Wind
          [5] Wind Mastery: Vortex
      [5] Novice of the Lightning
        [5] Adept of the Lightning
Life-Giving Touch

The thing to keep in mind about healing in Amber is that: It’s usually not as good as D&D. And something like this is very exhausting.

    [5] Healer’s Potential
      [5] Stop the Blood
        [5] Knit the Wound
Firelord's Blessing
    [5] Craft-User Potential (Pyrokinetics)
      [5] Flame Crafting
        [5] Flame Defense
        [5] Flame Weapons
        [5] Flame Tools
      [5] Heightened Senses
        [5] Perpetual Heightened Senses
        [5] More Heightened Senses
      [5] Heightened Reflexes
        [5] Perpetual Heightened Reflexes
        [5] More Heightened Reflexes
    [5] Flame Resistance
      [5] Flame Immunity
      [5] Magma Resistance
        [5] Magma Immunity
        [5] Nigh Invulnerable to Heat Resistance
          [5] Nigh Invulnerable Heat Immunity
Night-Elven Druid Sorcery

This is basically the normal sorcery power, but tweaked to include some rules from World of Warcraft. You essentially commune with nature to gain your spell-casting abilities. The reason I offer this is: In the d20 World of Warcraft rules, Druids have healing spells as well as nature-oriented spells. Like wind and lightning. The costs for stuff below seems a little long, but you could get what you wanted to do for 15-20 points, and be able to do other stuff besides that.

    [5] School of Magic: Night-Elf Druidism
      [5] Cantrips
        [5] Turn/Rebuke Animals
        [5] Pass Without Trace
        [5] Enchantment
        [5] Spellcasting
          [5] Rack Spells
            [5] Spontaneous Casting: Summon Nature’s Ally
              [5] Wild Shape
                [5] Dreamwalker
Also note that the Rack Spells option requires you to have an item to rack spells in. This costs 1 point to rack 1 spell, 2 points to rack up to 12. Racking spells means you can prepare spells in advance and cast them more quickly.

Garou Powers

Garou Racial Package

Garou Magic

In the normal Werewolf rules, those magical abilities that you don’t gain from just being a Garou break down into two forms: Gifts and Rites. Gifts represent magical charms that you learn. They can allow you to speak to animals or open gateways to the Umbra or run hundreds of miles per hour. Rites are more the rituals and ceremonies that can have a magical effect. They require time and devotional space.

Neither of these resemble the more flexible Amber Sorcery. So, you have a few options:

School of Magic (Garou Sorcery) [5]: This would be a generalized approach to Garou magic, the focus of which would depend on your Breed, Tribe and Auspice. Homid magics tend to revolve around human society and tool-use, Red Talons represent the vengeance of nature. As for Auspice… A Ragabash might have magic that allowed him to sneak around better or disguise himself. An Ahroun’s magic would make him better in combat. The first step only allows you to sense and analyze magic. Cantrips would allow you low-end magics (the ability to converse empathically with spirits, simple rituals to appease the powers-that-be, etc.) Spellcasting and Enchantment would let you do the really cool stuff. Also, this is not the fast, instant-power ability of the traditional Garou gifts. Spellcasting takes a long time to do unless you also know how to store spells in something.

Garou Gifts [5+] You could also take the Gifts as individual powers. I’d have to determine cost on a case-by-case basis. Amber and Werewolf work on different progression scales for power costs.

Garou Items

Most Garou magic items are made by binding a spirit to an item. You could probably make your own with Enchantment if you take the Garou Sorcery school of magic. However, there are two items of note that you may want to be aware of.

The first is a “klaive.” This is the ceremonial dagger of the Garou. It’s usually made of silver, and has a War-spirit bound into it so that it causes horrible, horrible wounds to non-Garou as well. This would cost you one point. Because it is silver, it would reduce your Psyche by 5 points as long as you have it on your person.

The second is a grand klaive. This is a ceremonial sword, also made of silver. It is like a normal klaive, only bigger and nastier and can hold two spirits. Costs 2 points. Because it is a whole hell of a lot of silver, it reduces your Psyche by 10 points.

Ninja Powers

Ninja Sorcery

This is basically the normal sorcery power, with a few notes on stuff. Generally these are spells that focus on stealth, deception and evasion, rather than brute force.

Enchantment would allow you to spend an hour or three to imbues throwing stars with a magical effect that would last for several days. Spellcasting would let you summon creatures. You could summon a smaller, more lithe and sneaky dragon with normal Spellcasting.

Also note that the Rack Spells option requires you to have an item to rack spells in. This costs 1 point to rack 1 spell, 2 points to rack up to 12. Racking spells means you can prepare spells in advance and cast them more quickly.


Because there is no randomizing elements in a Diceless game, you can choose how lucky you are. This is broken down into “Good Stuff,” “Bad Stuff” and “Zero Stuff.” You can only have one of those. Here are your options:

Good Stuff: By putting points into Good Stuff, you are considered generally lucky. Things go well for you and people tend to get along with you. You can spend anywhere from 1 to 10 points on Good Stuff. 1 means you’re kinda lucky. 10 means you are absurdly lucky. This does not mean that nothing bad will ever happen to you, but even when it does you tend to come out less damaged than if you didn’t have Good Stuff.

Zero Stuff: This is free! You can choose to be “luck neutral.” Good things happen to you, bad things happen to you, you have good days and bad days.

Bad Stuff: You can get points back by deciding that your character is unlucky. Things tend to go bad for you, people tend to dislike you. You can get up to 10 points back for taking Bad Stuff. 1 point means that things are just generally rough. 10 points means that you are likely to lose at least a body part every few sessions. You won’t die, but you may wish you had.