A Throne War
Hosted by Franklin W. Cain
( firstname.lastname@example.org | http://members.tripod.com/fcain )
This scenario is set in the distant future of Amber, when virtually every character mentioned in Zelazny's fiction has died of old age or misadventure. Martin, the ancient King, is on his deathbed. You, the characters, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Elders, have assembled in Amber to pay your respects to the dying King, and to seize your birthrights by whatever means necessary.
Each character has 500 points (yes, I said five hundred points). However, as everyone is supposedly a scion of Amber, each and every character must spend at least 50 of those points on Pattern. In addition to the usual auctioning of Attributes, I will also be auctioning the Advanced Powers (Adv. Pattern, Adv. Logrus, Adv. Trump, Adv. Shape Shifting, Adv. Sorcery, and Adv. Conjuration; see the special rules for more details).
In addition to establishing the structure of Ranks for Attributes and Powers, the Auction also has several other "goodies" specific to this scenario. As this is a throne war, several Positions of Authority are up for grabs, as are some Items of Power. To simulate the influence that the character's attributes and powers would have on his suitability for these Positions and Items, these bids will be weighted (based on the player's Initial Bids for his character's attributes and powers; see the special rules for more details).
No selling down of any Attributes. Psyche and Endurance must both be Amber Rank or better for Pattern, and Strength and Warfare are absolutely essential in a Throne War.
And while I'm on the subject, no "Bad Stuff". In fact, "No Stuff" will be treated as if it were "Bad Stuff". "Good Stuff" will be auctioned and Ranked.
The Positions of Authority to be auctioned are:
- The Lord (or Lady) High Marshal of Arden
This person is responsible for the Forest Patrol of Arden, the army that protects Amber from invasions by land. Your character has virtually total control over this important land route. In the ancient days of Corwin's chronicles, Julian held this position.
The Lord (or Lady) High Admiral of the Northern Fleetand the Lord (or Lady) High Admiral of the Southern Fleet
These persons share the responsibility for guarding Amber from hostile navies. These two share the control over all sea-going routes to and from Amber. Thus, they share virtually total control over the nations of the Golden Circle (save only Amber and Rebma). In the old days, these posts were held by Caine and Gerard.
- The Lord (or Lady) High Captain of the Castle Guard
This person is responsible for the security of the Castle. Your character has virtually total control over the layout of the Castle and its military forces. You have complete knowledge of all secret passages and hideaways within the Castle walls.
- The Crown Prince (or Princess) of Rebma
Many centuries ago, a dynastic marriage gave hereditary control of this nation to a cadet branch of the House of Amber. Rebma is unique among all nations of the Golden Circle in that it is the only such nation, other than Amber itself, to have a reflection of the Pattern within its control.
The Items of Power to be auctioned are:
- The Swords of the Pattern
Grayswandir and Werewindle
These indestructable weapons are attuned to the Pattern, and they do Primal Damage to creatures of Chaos.
- The Jewel of Judgement
Winning this Item in the Auction does not mean the character has the Jewel of Judgement in his possession. It only means that the character has achieved Mastery over the Jewel.
If the character starts the game in Amber, attending the King at his bedside, then he will receive the Jewel from the King just before the King dies. Otherwise, the King will hand the Jewel to someone else, and charge that other person with the responsibility of giving it to your character (but do you really want to trust someone else's "good nature"?)
Note that each character who bids for this Item will be Attuned to the Jewel. As such, non-winning bids on the Jewel are not fully refunded. Instead, ten points are retained to cover the cost for the Attunement (the remaining points are still refunded).
- Three Trump Decks
Each of these Trump decks is a legacy from one of the three most popular Trump Artists in Amber's history:
- King Martin of Amber
- King Merlin of Chaos
- King Rinaldo of Kashfa
Each of these decks contains Trumps of every person who was ever involved with Amber (save only those who had died before the artist had a chance to meet them). Some of the oldest of the Trumps show various Amberite Elders as they appeared in their prime, while the more recent ones show the Elders in their final days. There are also Trumps of each of the player characters in each of these decks, as well as Trumps of various locations, such as the Castle (just outside the front gates).
The owner of a particular deck can decide what additional Trumps may exist in his deck, based on the Artist who created it. For example, the deck created by Luke would contain the infamous "Trumps of Doom", a Trump leading to the Cave of the Tragoliths, a Trump of the Keep of the Four Worlds, and Trumps of Kashfa, Begma, and Eregnor, while the deck created by Merlin would contain Trumps of various Demons and various locations in the Courts of Chaos, a Trump of Ghostwheel, a Trump of Corwin's Pattern, and so on. Martin's deck would also contain Trumps from the Courts of Chaos (albeit not so many as would Merlin's), as well as Trumps of locations and notable people in Rebma, and Trumps of the Royal Court of Amber.
Note that any character with Trump Artistry may have his own personal Trump deck. These personally-created Trump decks will not contain Trumps for many of the Elder Amberites mentioned in the published chronicles, as these Amberites would have been dead long before the character had a chance to meet them.
Here are the various forms and worksheets for this scenario: