Brainstorming an Amber Idea

Ok, trying to solve a problem for Amber, and this is the current brainstorm. The problem is that Amber has super-competent protagonists, but at the same time, some of them are EXTRA competent within their field, and this needs to be respected.

Imagining an aspects as approaches system, it’s easy enough to express the idea of a paragon – that’s a +4 aspect, easy peasy. Those are basically unique, and super potent..

I could leave it at that, just allow players to buy one of those, or offer some tradeoff (more points or whatever) if they do not. But there’s also the question of powers. Historically, Amber handled powers on a different axis than stats, so there was no real interplay between them, excepting that they were bought from the same point pool (which NPCs blithely ignored). And since one stat[1] tends to control powers, you get a weird lopsided-ness where some characters are spiked in a stat and a power.

I find this kind of unintuitive, so I want to pull from the same bucket, so to speak, and make power flexibility as much of a signature as an apex skill.

The most obvious solution seems to be buckets. Is you character focused (so he can apex a skill), Flexible (so he can apex a power) or Forceful (so he can apex an attribute)? Maybe there are other potential buckets too, but I like this question since it also partly explains why you could pull this off and others couldn’t (or maybe could, if they’d chosen something else).

But the more I think, the more I believe I’m overcomplicating it. Allow a +4, no problem, and the trick is going to be how the bonus gets built. Aspect-Appoaches assumes two things, theoretically a skill + an aspect/approach, but I wonder if even that is overly constrained. Maybe I go full bore and just say “pick two aspects” and then allow fate point expenditure to bring in more of them.

Huh. That might work.


  1. Psyche, which I don’t use, since 90% of Amber’s problems can be traced back to the utterly crazy rules for this stat. I replace it with cunning (or craft).  ↩

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