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November 27, 2008 / jadettman

Blood of Amber

Blood of Amber is the working title for my Houses of the Blooded Amber hack. If anyone is interested, here are my thoughts so far:

BLOOD OF AMBER

ATTRIBUTES
Beauty, Cunning, Prowess, Resolve, Strength, Wisdom
Choose a Weakness: One of your character’s Attributes is his Weakness. A character’s Weakness must always be lower than his other Attributes and at least 4 ranks lower than his hightest Attribute. A character’s starting Weakness is 1.

Assign the following numbers to your remaining Attributes: 5, 4, 3, 3, 2

Beauty: Used for creating Art, Creatures, and Trumps. Also used for romance, seduction, and fashion.

Cunning: Espionage, perception, and sneakiness.

Prowess: Leading armies, and fighting with weapons.

Resolve: Endurance, willpower, determination, and sheer cussedness.

Strength: All physical tasks, and fighting bare-handed.

Wisdom: All feats of memory and knowledge, also facility with Powers.

– – – – – – – – –

POWERS
Logrus, Pattern, Shape-shift, Sorcery, Trump
Spend 3 points on Powers: You have 3 points to spend on your character’s Powers. For each point spent, increase your character’s rank in that Power by 1.

Note: Ranks in Logrus require at least 1 rank in Shape-shift.
Choose Gifts: For every rank in a Power, choose a Gift from that Power that your character possesses.

Logrus Gifts:

  • Logrus Sense: [Requires Survival Shifting] Your character is able to sense the the ebb and flow of Shadow.
  • Summon Object: [Requires Logrus Sense] By summoning the image of the Logrus to mind, your character can command a Logrus tendril to seek through Shadow for an object of your desire and have the object brought to you.
  • The Black Path: [Requires Logrus Sense] By summoning the image of the Logrus to mind, your character can command a Logrus tendril to seek through Shadow for a location of your desire and create a path that you, and a small number of companions, can use to travel to that location.
  • Logrus Sight: [Requires Logrus Sense] By summoning the image of the Logrus to mind, your character can see the ebb and flow of Shadow as well as hung spells and Powers actively being used.
  • The Black Road: [Requires The Black Path] By summoning the image of the Logrus to mind, your character can command a Logrus tendril to seek through Shadow for a location of your desire and create a vast Black Road that you can use to lead an army to that location.
  • Logrus Gauntlet: [Requires Summon Object] By summoning the image of the Logrus to mind, your character can summon a Logrus tendril to manipulate objects at a distance or use as a weapon in Combat.
  • Alter Shadow: [Requires Logrus Sight and Logrus Gauntlet] Your character is able to make minor, temporary adjustments to a Shadow he is in. If unopposed, he may do this in Combat for the cost of 2 Wagers. If opposed, this may initiate a Duel of Wills.
  • Edit Shadow: [Requires Alter Shadow] Your character is capable of making significant and lasting changes to a Shadow he is in. For every Wager spent, a Shadow Trait can be reduced or increased by 1 rank or a rank 1 Shadow Trait can be added or removed.
  • Summon Primal Chaos: [Requires Logrus Sight and The Black Path] By summoning the image of the Logrus to mind, your character can command a Logrus tendril to summon destructive Primal Chaos.
  • Logrus Sorcery: [Requires Logrus Sense, rank 1 Sorcery, and Survival Shifting] You can empower your spells using the Logrus making them less dependent on on Shadow sources of magic.

Pattern Gifts:

  • Pattern Sorcery: [Requires rank 1 Sorcery and Pattern Sense] You can empower your spells using the Pattern making them less dependent on on Shadow sources of magic.
  • Shadow Walk: You are capable of slowly moving through Shadow toward a destination with a small number of companions.
  • Open the Way: [Requires Shadow Walk] You can lead large groups through Shadow.
  • Hell-ride: [Requires Shadow Walk] By focusing only on your destination, you are capable of traveling rapidly through Shadow.
  • Alter Shadow: [Requires Pattern Sight] Your character is able to make minor, temporary adjustments to a Shadow he is in. If unopposed, he may do this in Combat for the cost of 2 Wagers. If opposed, this may initiate a Duel of Wills.
  • Edit Shadow: [Requires Alter Shadow] Your character is capable of making significant and lasting changes to a Shadow he is in. For every Wager spent, a Shadow Trait can be reduced or increased by 1 rank or a rank 1 Shadow Trait can be added or removed.
  • Pattern Sense: [Requires Shadow Walk] Your character is able to sense the direction of the Pattern, and the ebb and flow of Shadow, making Shadow easier to traverse.
  • Pattern Sight: [Requires Pattern Sense] By summoning the image of the Pattern to mind, your character can see the ebb and flow of Shadow as well as hung spells and Powers actively being used.
  • Pattern Defense: [Requires Pattern Sense] By summoning the image of the Pattern to mind, your character can reduce, or even ward off, the effects of a Power used against you.

Shape-shift Gifts:

  • Survival Shifting: Your character’s body instinctively adjusts itself to keep him alive in harsh conditions. He has no conscious control over these adjustments.
  • Elemental form: [Requires Survival Shifting] Choose an elemental shape that resonates with your character’s nature. When choosing your form, it is not necessary to restrict yourself to the classical elements. Forms of dust, salt, or molten glass are just as reasonable as earth, fire, or water.
  • Animal form: [Requires Survival Shifting] Choose an animal shape that resonates with your character’s nature. When choosing your form, it is not necessry to restrict yourself to real animals, though you are restricted to a form that is the same size and mass.
  • Mimicry: [Requires Animal Form] Your character is able to take on crude features that resemble creatures he has come into contact with.
  • Shift Features [Requires Mimicry] Your character is able to make fine adjustments to his facial features and other minor physical traits. This can give the character a rough similarity to another individual but small differences will still remain and give tell-tale clues to those who know to look for them.
  • Alter Other: [Requires Shift Features] Your character may, with permission, alter the shape of another character using any of the Gifts available to him. If using this Gift without the other character’s permission you must first subdue your victim in a Duel of Wills.
  • Healing Shift: [Requires Elemental Form] Once per wound, you may reduce an Injury by 1 rank. This can be done in combat at a cost of 2 Wagers.
  • Shift Mass: [Requires Elemental Form] Your character is able to increase or reduce his mass in a relatively short amount of time. A character’s mass can usually be halved or doubled in an hour of shifting.
  • Combat Form [Requires Elemental Form and Mimicry] Your character has a form optimized for hand-to-hand fighting. While in combat your character may use either Strength or Prowess (whichever is greater). Additionally, choose a number of ranks in Creature Traits equal to your Shape-shift ranks that your character possess while in his Combat Form.
  • Doppelganger: [Requires Shift Features and Shift Mass] Your character may take on the perfect physical appearance of another individual. This does not confer mannerisms or hidden knowledge.

Sorcery Gifts:

  • Sense Magic: Your character is able to sense the flows, fonts, and sources of magic in a Shadow.
  • Create Shadow Portal: [Requires Sense Magic] Your character is able to open a portal between two adjoining Shadows or two Shadows that he is familiar with.
  • Alter Shadow: [Requires Sense Magic] Your character is able to make minor, temporary adjustments to a Shadow creature or object. If unopposed, he may do this in Combat for the cost of 2 Wagers. If opposed, this may initiate a Duel of Wills.
  • Edit Shadow: [Requires Alter Shadow] Your character is capable of making significant and lasting changes to a Shadow creature or object. For every Wager spent, a Shadow Trait can be reduced or increased by 1 rank or a rank 1 Shadow Trait can be added or removed.
  • Summon Shadow: [Requires Alter Shadow] Your character is able to summon a Shadow creature or object. If he knows where what he wants is, the summons can be done quickly. If he doesn’t know the location of what he wants, the summons will take a variable amount of time depending on availability.
  • Imbue Shadow: [Requires Edit Shadow] Your character can give Shadow creatures and objects that he Alters, Edits, or Creates some of the magical Gifts that he possesses.
  • Create Shadow: [Requires Edit Shadow] Your character is capable of creating a Shadow creature or object.
  • Create Glamour: [Requires Sense Magic] Your character is able to craft an illusory experience.

Trump Gifts:

  • Trump Sketch: Your character is able to create a single-use Trump image.
  • Create a Person Trump: [Requires Trump Sketch] Your character can create a Trump card depicting an individual person.
  • Create Location Trump: [Requires Trump Sketch] Your character can create a Trump card depicting a specific location.
  • Create Unconventional Trump: [Requires Create Person/Location Trump] Your character is capable of imbuing unconventional depictions of a person or location with Trump qualities.
  • Trump Gate: [Requires Create Location Trump] Your character is capable of creating an open gateway to a location while using a Trump of that location.
  • Trump Spying: [Requires Caller ID] Your character can, by touching the Trump of a person in an active Trump contact, sense that person’s side of the conversation.
  • Trump Sense: [Requires Trump Sketch] Your character is able to sense that an object possesses Trump qualities.
  • Caller ID: [Requires Trump Sense] Your character is able to sense the identity of the person attempting to contact you via Trump before accepting the contact.
  • Trump Memory: [Requires Create Person/Location Trump] Your character may make a Trump call to any person or location that he has created a Trump for.
  • Trump Jamming: [Requires Trump Memory] Your character may block Trump contacts within his immediate vicinity.

– – – – – – – – –

RELATIONSHIPS
Examples: Family, Friend, Contact, Rival, Vassal, Parent, Enemy

Choose three Relationships that are important to your character. These are people, groups or individuals, that are important in some way to your character.

Choose an Aspect for each group or individual that you have a Relationship with. If you’ve chosen another Player Character, it would be kind to allow the other player some input when giving her character an Aspect but it isn’t required.
– – – – – – – – –

ASPECTS
Choose, or create, 4 Aspects for your character.

I’m talking full-on Spirit of the Century -type Aspects here, not the handicapped ones from Houses.
– – – – – – – – –

MANEUVERS
Choose 3 Maneuvers for your character. Your character may not possess more Maneuvers of a specific type than he has ranks in the Maneuver’s governing Attribute, i.e. if your character has rank 3 Prowess he may have no more than three Prowess-based Maneuvers.

Beauty Maneuvers

  • Disarm

Cunning Maneuvers

  • Feint

Prowess Maneuvers

  • Bind
  • Defend
  • Injure
  • Parry
  • Press
  • Riposte
  • Sap

Resolve Maneuvers

  • Lunge

Strength Maneuvers

  • Bash
  • Block
  • Break
  • Dodge
  • Grab
  • Hold
  • Punch
  • Squeeze
  • Step
  • Throw

Wisdom Maneuvers

  • Recover

– – – – – – – – –

BONUS POINTS
Spend 10 points among the following options:

  • Increase an Attribute: You may increase one of your character’s Attributes 1 rank by spending a number of Bonus Points equal to the rank the Attribute will advance to, i.e. increasing Beauty from rank 5 to rank 6 would cost 6 Bonus Points.
  • Improve a Power: You may give your character a new Power at rank 1 or increase the rank of an existing Power by 1 rank by spending 1 Bonus Point. A starting character may not have a Power with a rank higher than 5.
  • New Relationship: You may spend 1 Bonus Point to give your character an additional Relationship.
  • New Aspect: Spend 1 Bonus Point to give your character a new Aspect.
  • New Maneuver: Spend 1 Bonus Point to give your character a new Maneuver.
  • Shadow: Spend 1 Bonus Point to give your character a new Shadow at rank 1or to increase an existing Shadow’s rank by 1. a starting character may not have a Shadow with a rank higher than 5.
  • Item or Creature: Spend a number of Bonus Points to give your character an Item or Creature with a rank equal to the number of Bonus Points spent. a starting character may not have an Item or Creature with a rank higher than 5.

– – – – – – – – –

FOCUS
Each character begins a Season with an amount of Focus equal to his Resolve plus 5.

Focus can be used for the following:

  • Tag another character’s Aspect.
  • Compel another character’s Aspect.
  • Refresh one of your Aspects.
  • Use a Gift that you don’t possess. Your character must still meet the Gift’s preconditions.
  • Use a Maneuver that you don’t possess. Your character must still meet the Maneuver’s preconditions.
  • Re-roll any number of dice in a Risk.

– – – – – – – – –

SHADOWS
For each rank that a character has in a Shadow choose 1 trait possessed by that Shadow.

Shadow Traits:

  • Stronghold
  • Industry
  • Trade:
  • Primal: This Shadow has something of Substance to it. Gifts that alter Shadow are particularly difficult to use on or in this Shadow.
  • Chaotic: This Shadow is weaker than most. Gifts that alter Shadow are particularly easy to use on or in this Shadow.
  • Golden Circle: One or more kingdoms in this Shadow have a trade agreement with Amber.
  • Black Zone: One or more kingdoms in this Shadow have a trade agreement with Amber. Alternately, this Shadow has been subjugated by a House of Chaos.

– – – – – – – – –

ITEMS & CREATURES

Traits:

  • Intelligence: a creature/item with rank 1 intelligence is capable of understanding and following orders. Rank 2 grants the ability to speak and react to situations independently. Rank 3 grants the abiltiy to reason and think creatively.
  • Shadow Traveler: the creature/item can slowly move between Shadows. For each additional rank, increase the rate at which the creature/item can move through Shadow.
  • Unnatural Speed: The creature/item is capable of moving unnaturally fast such as running as fast as a car (this is not reaction time). For a creature this is an increase in its normal movement speed. For an item not normally capable of movement, this grants the ability to move independently.
  • Armored: The creature is unusually resistant to damage. Reduce any Injuries inflicted on the creature by an amount equal to its Armored rank.

– – – – – – – – –

SEASON ACTIONS

Each character gets a number of Season Actions equal to her ([Cunning + Wisdom] divided by 2 +1). So a character with a Cunning of 1 and a Wisdom of 5 would have 4 Season actions ([1+5]/2 +1). Fractions are rounded up.

So, what can you do with Season Actions? Here’s a list:

  • Acquire a new Shadow.
  • Improve a Shadow you control.
  • Cause Trouble.
  • Sabotage
  • Spy on a Location.
  • Spy on a Person.
  • Improve an Attribute. (This requires a number of Season Actions equal to the Attribute’s new rank. Only one Season Action may be used to improve an Attribute per season and you can only improve one Attribute at a time.)
  • Learn a new Maneuver.
  • Gain a new Aspect.
  • Create a new Relationship.
  • Create a new Item.
  • Find a new Creature.
  • Improve a Power. (This works the same way as improving an Attribute.)

– – – – – – – – –

Now, obviously these rules are a little rough around the edges, requiring some playtesting, knowledge of the Amber setting, a copy of Houses of the Blooded, and, probably, a copy of Fate or Spirit of the Century for the full-out Aspect rules.

If you have access to all of these things and get a chance to try out these rules, it would be damn awesome of you to tell me how it goes.

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