Variant Rules for the Amber DRPG

This is a variant system of "points" for the Amber Diceless Roleplaying Game.

The Amber DRPG is published by Phage Press. These variant rules are not endorsed by Phage Press.

The purpose of this variant is to enable players to construct more powerful beginning characters. At first glance, the obvious way to do this would be to increase the starting number of points from 100 to 150 or 200 (or more). But this arbitrary increase will inevitably lead to the players and the GM focussing on the "atomic level" of the game's design, to wit, the level of individual points. With such a level of focus, many players and GMs have transformed the game's design (for their campaigns) into a "partial powers" system, whereby a character has a few "pieces" of this power, a few "parts" of that power, eventually "nickel-and-dime"-ing the character write-up into poverty (Bad Stuff).

With this variant, players can have whatever powers they desire, but they still face the critical decision of how much to put into power(s) vs. how much to put into attributes.

In this variant, each player has twenty (20) points to use when building their character. However, each point in this variant has the "buying power" equivalent to 15-25 points in the "standard" game mechanics.


Buying down an attribute to "Chaos" rank gives the character one (1) extra point. Buying down an attribute to "Human" rank gives the character an additional point, for two (2) points total for that attribute.


Powers are (relatively) cheaper in this system. The "basic" level of a power costs only two points (exception: the "basic" level of Magic costs only one point). However, characters can spend as many extra points on their characters' powers as they want, in order to establish a rank in that power (just as if it were an attribute!).

As usual, a character must have at least "Basic" Shape Shift before acquiring Logrus Mastery.

List of Powers

Here is a complete list of Powers and their associated costs.


Certain combinations of powers will give the characters a one-point ("+1") discount.

Other Powers

Certain other powers have costs associated with them. In each case, however, you must get permission from the GM in order for your character to have the power.


Items, (etc.)

Items, creatures, and shadows, as well as various "contacts" (Demon Friend, House Support, etc.), are usually only one (1) point each, except when they're free (see below).

Characters who have three or more points invested in a particular power may have one personal item, etc. (even a construct, if the GM approves) at no cost (i.e., "zero" points), provided that the item, etc., in question is somehow related to the power in question.


Characters do not receive any bonus points for "contributions" during initial character generation. Such points can be awarded during character advancement (improvement). If, in the GM's opinion, the player has fulfilled the requirements for a particular type of contribution (some of the "usual" ones are listed below), that player's character receives a bonus of one (1) point. However, no character should receive a total number of bonus points greater than half (50%) of the "base" number of advancement points.


Characters can have up to two (2) points in either Good Stuff or Bad Stuff.



Here is an example list of powers for Merlin, based on the second quintology. Note that, as a player character, Merlin would still have ten (10) points left for his attributes!


Here is another example list of powers, this time, for Fiona, based on Corwin's chronicles.