Rule Modifications for "Battle of the Bands"
Anyone familiar with the Amber DRPG knows that rules are hardly the most important aspect of an Amber game. However, the rules do have an effect on what players will do with their character designs and what the characters can do during the game. Thus, to better fit the changed setting and to put some firewalls around a few things the GMs would rather keep starting characters free of, we present the following rule modifications.
Good and Bad Stuff
Primal Powers (Pattern and Logrus)
Artifacts and Constructs
Allies and Devotees
NEW POWER - Chi Focusing
Please note that Strength includes martial arts training and Endurance is the primary attribute for the new Chi Focusing power (defined below). Psyche & Warfare are still as valuable as ever.
Also note that the GMs put special emphasis on being first ranked. Even if only better by a single point, the first ranked character is significantly better than any lesser-ranked character.
It is also significant to note that, in this version of things, the ability to gain a Primal Power does not seem to be based on bloodline. Most of the Elders are not related. A character with a power is able (depending on their Psyche and knowledge of the power) to identify others with the potential to control that power. But it is still a matter of much study, self-development and risk. Navigation of the Pattern or the Logrus is never without risk, even to someone who has previously survived the ordeal!
"I do not like Rock 'n Roll music. It is too loud. I like folk music- soft, nice music. Eh? Polka, waltz, anything." - Russian General, "Six-String Samurai"
Little is known of Chaos, but that they seem to be more than a little... square.
Shadow Allies cost 1 point each.
Ally in Hong Kong or Chaos costs 2 points.
A Hong Kong or Chaos Devotee costs 5 points. Note that having a Hong Kong or Chaos Devotee in no way assures the ability to survive the Pattern or Logrus.
Chi Focusing is the ability to harness the always-present flow of Chi to augment a character's abilities. By using Chi Focusing, a character is able to perform feats beyond the limits of his or her attributes. Use of Chi Focusing is quite tiring, so a good Endurance will help make Chi Focusing a more usable power.
A character studied in Sorcery could strengthen or weaken the flow of Chi in an area (by changing the feng shui of the area), which would affect the function of Chi Focusing. A character with control of the nature of a Shadow could do likewise, potentially to the entire Shadow. However, the flow of Chi is so basic to reality that neither Pattern nor Logrus can directly change it.
Chi Focusing comes in 8 types, each of which cost 5 points during character design. Advanced forms of each are also possible, though not during character creation.
Mechanically, Enhance does three things.
First, it allows a character to best someone of slightly higher rank. Thus, it can be thought of as a slight, temporary, and exhausting bonus in an attribute for offensive/external effect. Note, however, that the first ranked character is unusually hard to best in this fashion.
Second, if the character is not given a win by the first effect, Enhance creates fairly broad 'tie range' above the Enhanced character's attribute. This means that an Enhanced character that would normally fail in their attack will, instead, tie many targets. Ties will be broken by comparing a tiebreaker attribute determined by the GMs (frequently Endurance, since the Chi Focusing will have to be maintained to keep the Enhance in effect).
Finally, Enhance Endurance also allows a character to duplicate legendary 'Chi Healing' abilities, potentially projecting their own healing ability to others. All Enhance abilities can be used to produce similar "special effects" as the GMs determine to be acceptable, within the general rule that Enhance abilities are, as said above, offensive/external by nature.
Mechanically, Resist does three things.
First, it allows a character to successfully defend against someone of slightly higher rank. Thus, it can be thought of as a slight, temporary, and exhausting bonus in an attribute for defensive/internal effect. Note, however, that the first ranked character is unusually hard to defend against in this fashion.
Second, if the character is not given a win by the first effect, it creates a fairly broad 'tie range' above the Resisting character's attribute. This means that a Resisting character that would normally fall to an attack will, instead, squeak by with a tie. Ties will be broken by comparing a tiebreaker attribute determined by the GMs (frequently Endurance, since the Chi Focusing will have to be maintained to keep the Enhance in effect).
Finally, Resist Endurance also allows a character to display stoic resistance to mundane pain and exhaustion, such as walking barefoot on hot coals or broken glass or running for days without any obvious discomfort. All Resist abilities can be used to produce similar "special effects" as the GMs determine to be acceptable, within the general rule that Enhance abilities are, as said above, defensive/internal by nature.