Man, Oberon will have sex with anything!
An Introduction for New Players

The Basics

You are making one of the most powerful beings in Creation, a Prince or Princess of Amber.
  • You have 150 build points to spend on your character, with an option of 10 more from taking the full 10 Bad Stuff (that can be spent on anything) and up to 10 more from Background/Grudges/Favors (that can only be spent on Toys).
  • You do not have to be Human, but you must be Humanoid. Just because you are the child of Oberon and a Storm Cloud does not mean you are not Humanoid. You could be made of living lightning, but still have 2 arms, 2 legs, and a head for a crown.

Concept

When considering your character, please remember the basics--
What's your name? How old are you? What do you look like? How do you act? How long have you been in Amber? What was your home Shadow like? What was your mother like? What are some of the careers you've held? What have you done since gaining your Powers? How's your relationship with Dad? What do you love? What do you hate?

Look into the books as well. Zalazney does a very good job characterizing the many children of Oberon, and those give you some archetypes to work off of.

Auctions

The majority of your stats are determined from the Auctions. Remember to plan accordingly for your points, don't spend too much. The GMs will try to warn you if you are getting into the dangerous territory, but they are running the Auction and will have their hands full.

Toys and Magic

These things have a static cost and are not bought in an Auction. Characters have a max of 40 points they can spend on Toys, but no max on Magic. You can also receive 10 bonus points with which you can only spend on Items or Personal Shadows as stated below.

Stuff and Finishing Touches

First off, your excess/negative points turn into Stuff, either Good, Bad or Neutral. Remember you cannot have more than 10 Stuff, of either kind. You also cannot have both Bad and Good Stuff. Next, you want to make sure that you have read all The Rules, not just the rules for your powers.

Background

All characters will be expected to do a certain amount of mandatory character development. Failure to complete any of these items will result in creatively improvised penalties from the GMs.

First, all players must email a sketch of their character’s history, description, personality, and background to the GMs prior to the Character Overview meeting so that everyone has an idea who everyone else’s character is. We’re not looking for Shakespeare here, but a paragraph or a few sentences to get across who you are to the other players would be the minimum required. We do not want 5 page long sketches. Look at the write ups for the world as well to get some inspiration on people or places to include.
Second, there will be an abbreviated character quiz which should be answered to the GMs via email. This will be worth 4 of your Toy points. Questions on that will include, but are not limited to:
  1. The first time you walked the Pattern, where did you have it send you? Why?
  2. Describe the circumstances under which your actions resulted in someone's death. If there are many deaths, pick a particularly memorable one. Do you regret it?
  3. Why do you wish to rule Amber? (“I don’t,” or any of its variations, is not an acceptable answer. Being the power behind the throne though...)
  4. Write out 3 example Blood Curses you might use.

Grudges and Favors

In addition to the required background info, players may opt to take on up to two grudges and one favor for two points each. The GMs have never seen a player not take full Grudges and Favors.

Grudges are something nasty and memorable that another character at one point did to yours. This can range from an insult over dinner to the murder of a loved one, and could have been intentional or accidental-- but it must have been significant to your character.

Favors are something pleasant and memorable that another character at one point did for yours. The other character could have gotten yours out of a jam, taught them something important, or just been polite to them when no one else was. Whatever they did, it made a positive impression on your character-- you owe them, respect them, or both.

All grudges and favors are mutually defined; both players must agree on the history, write it down, and get it to the GMs.

The objects of both grudges and favors are determined randomly; you decide how many grudges you're willing to put in for, but the targets are basically drawn from a hat of other people who put in for grudges. Thusly, every grudge or favor you take will also result in a grudge or favor that you've done-- one grudge per grudge and one favor per favor. If someone else did something nasty to you, then you also did something nasty to somebody else. Taking a full two grudges and one favor means you'll potentially be in relationships with six different characters.

It is possible to have multiple grudges, or a grudge and a favor, from the same character. That just means your relationship to them will be extra complicated. You may, of course, always invent more grudges and favors if you so desire, but they're not worth any points.

Obviously, this doesn’t cover your entire character—feel free to develop your role as much as you want, and share that by emailing the GMs if the information is sensitive. We have the right to reject anything about your backstory though. For instance, you are not Dworkin after using a Mental Shift. You could be the secret love child of Oberon and his dead sister, as an equally wierd counter example.

Sidebar

Form follows Function, function follows form

Sometimes you don't really have a good concept for an Amberite yet, so you can always do it after the auction. Having your Powers and Attributes determined can help give you some ideas. A character concept helps inform your Auction plans, but it is not entirely required. Many people only have vague sketches going into the Auction, after you have some concrete stats you can then work out what all they do for you.
Changes in your Bid Plan happen, maybe you bought Shape and Strength because they were going cheap and your Erudite Scientist concept doesn't exactly fit anymore. It's not the end of the world! Just because you are strong and can become a giant rampaging monster does not mean that you must abandon SCIENCE!

How Not to Play Amber


Character Sheets