ambers spiritual heir rpg

Download Ambers Spiritual Heir RPG

Post on 08-Nov-2014




1 download

Embed Size (px)


It is a roleplaying game where the players are really powerful. It is diceless and is based on the Amber Dicless RPG.It has been called Lords of Gossamer and Shadow. Search for it on


Rite Publishing Presents

Lords of Gossamer And ShadowAuthor: Jason Durall

This work is dedicated to many folks, to the wonderful patrons who made it possible, and to the memories of Erick Wujcik and Roger Zelazny. Additional thanks go to my wife and daughter for their love and support; to Steve Russell for his persistence and patience; to Eric Todd and Edwin Voskamp of Diceless by Design; to the Zelazny Estate; to the authors listed at the end of the book for their creative inspiration; and to the Amber community for keeping the flame alive these many years. Additionally, an immense debt of gratitude goes to Kit Kindred who served as an invaluable aid, informal editor, and sounding board throughout the writing of this manuscript. Special thanks to our patrons: [insert patron names here!]

Consulting Developer: Editor: Cover Artist: Interior Artists: Cartography: Cover Layout Artist: Interior Layout Artist: Trade Dress Graphic Designer: Powered by Erick Wujciks Diceless Roleplaying Logo: Publisher: Dedications:Perry Grosshans Jason Rainville Jason Rainville Jonathan Roberts Marie Small Steven D. Russell

Christopher Kit Kindred

James Devin Night Hazelett

James Devin Night Hazelett Claudia Burgos

Lords of Gossamer and Shadow Copyright 2012-2013 Steven D. Russell All rights reserved. Erick Wujciks Diceless Role-Playing and associated marks and logos are trademarks of Diceless by Design Publishing, LLC, and are used under license. See for more information on Erick Wujciks Diceless Role-Playing.

Early concept art.

IntroductionLords of Gossamer & Shadow is a new diceless role-playing game based on the system presented in Amber Diceless RolePlaying (1991), written and designed by Erick Wujcik and based on the ten-volume Chronicles of Amber novels by Roger Zelazny. Ericks revolutionary design had an important influence on contemporary game design, more than earning the dedication diceless gaming has achieved. Signature aspects include a character generation system open to player creativity and creating intense player rivalry, a quick and immersive tactical conflict resolution system, and an evocation of deep role-playing and player involvement during gameplay that carries on between game sessions. Interestingly, according to Erick, the game didnt start out diceless. In the long and difficult road that led to Amber, Erick originally began with dice, but began paring them out of the design when they werent necessary. At a certain point, Erick realized they were entirely irrelevant for the gameplay he was striving for, and that the use of dice actively worked against his goals. His publisher disagreed, and after a friendly parting of ways, Erick published it himself through his new imprint, Phage Press. Thus was born the first official diceless role-playing game. Since its publication, Amber Diceless Role-Playing has been immensely popular, with regular conventions across the globe and an insanely dedicated fan base. It was followed by Shadow Knight (1993), a series of twelve Amberzines (1992-2005), and little else. Phage Press ambitious publishing schedule never materialized, with several projects cancelled, stalled indefinitely, or never getting started. The license changed hands more than once, and it seemed unlikely that Ericks brilliant design would see print again. Lords of Gossamer & Shadow reverses that trend. In 2010, Steven Russell, head of Rite Publishing, approached Jason Durall about a new game, with an original setting, using Ambers critically-acclaimed diceless system. Jason had almost two decades of experience with Amber: he worked on Shadow Knight; contributed to Amberzine; co-created, wrote articles for, and provided art for an Amber fanzine called Trump Call; and he wrote the unpublished Rebma sourcebook for Phage Press. Jason was more-than-eager to pay tribute to the debt he owed Erick and Ericks creation of Amber Diceless Role-Playing. What you see here is the result of that collaboration, a game using Ericks brilliant system with a setting designed specifically to evoke the same sense of wonder, player investment, and wild experimentation that Amber Diceless Role-Playing did two decades ago. Unfortunately, Erick Wujcik left this world all-too-early at the age of 57. He left a legacy of incredible games and innovative design, his work inspiring countless game players, writers, and designers. He was an inspiration, a mentor, and a friend. This game is dedicated to Ericks memory.


Chapter One: The World Of Lords Of Gossamer & ShadowImagine your world, in all of its sprawling complexity and simplicity. Now know that it is but one of countless many, an infinitude of parallel-but-different existences, each real to those who dwell within it but made more substantial only by the intervention of true magical power. However, all of these many worlds are but veils of the faintest, most ethereal matter... as if made of gossamer. For this reason they are called the Gossamer worlds. Between them is only shadow and emptiness... utter nonexistence. True power is what makes the Gossamer real, and lends substance to that which is without. There are two great and everopposed forces in the universe: stasis and entropy. Know these powers by their true names: Eidolon and Umbra. The Eidolon is form, the ideal structure of the universe a sublime organization of form. The Umbra is its opposite, a shifting, entropic disorganization which is pure chaos and ultimately destruction. All of our world and all parts of the countless otherworlds exist solely through their collision and their collusion. Because of the sheer, unimaginable power of these forces and their intricate interplay, the Gossamer worlds are both similar and dissimilar, and echoes of them ripple from one to the next, twist and grow strange, or echo with familiarity. For this reason, Gossamer worlds may resemble their neighbors in all but the most minute details, or they may bear no similarity at all. Those folks with power may occasionally glimpse other Gossamer worlds. The veils between them may be weak, and those worlds that inhabit your myths, come from your legends, even your flights of fancy... those places may be Gossamer worlds glimpsed and visited countless times throughout history and in the time before history. Now imagine an immeasurably long, unimaginably complex, forked and branching staircase, a span of steps and landings and halls, corridors and by-ways of near-infinite complexity. That is the Grand Stair. All along it are Doors... Doors that open into the Gossamer worlds. The Grand Stair connects all of the Gossamer worlds through the Doors: some Gossamer worlds have many Doors opening into it, while some have few or but one... and some Gossamer worlds have no Doors and cannot as of yet be reached. Between the Gossamer worlds lies the Shadow, an unfathomable depth of void and emptiness... and the Shadow is active, claiming Gossamer worlds sometimes temporarily, sometimes forever. It is not known whether the Grand Stair was always there, unknown and waiting for the first beings able to pass through its Doors and walk upon it between worlds, or whether it was made within recorded time. Its mysteries are yet to be unlocked, but its use was readily apparent. The Doors of the Grand Stair opened occasionally, allowing random souls to wander its span... sometimes a simple step between one world and another, sometimes affording a fragment of a glimpse of the myriad of worlds it accesses. To those who could recognize what it represented, the Grand Stair represented the universe! Before the Grand Stair made itself known, passage between the Gossamer worlds meant crossing the veil of Shadow, a rare and near-impossible feat, or an extraordinary freak occurrence. Now other worlds could be visited reliably, allowing privileged voyagers to amass secret knowledge about the hidden infrastructure of infinity. The greatest of discoveries soon followed, outstripping even the notion of other worlds... these adepts became aware of the Eidolon and the Umbra, and earned the power to change reality itself by those dualistic, opposed principles. Quaint, barelyfunctional magical traditions were given newfound potency, and powers such as Invocation, Wrighting, Cantrips, and Sorcery were codified and improved. The dross of one Gossamer world could be priceless in another, and items and creatures with nothing remarkable about them revealed immense power in other worlds, artifacts to be sought, quested for, or wars waged to possess. The most amazing benefit conferred by the Grand Stair was of a personal nature. Those who traveled its length were forever changed... they grew stronger, reflexes quickened, life-spans increased, and magic ability and force of will were magnified considerably. These gifts were sometimes passed along bloodlines, sometimes appearing anew with no prior heritage, but the constant was that it was the first walk upon the Grand Stair which activated this higher state of being. Those who could walk the Grand Stair appointed themselves the Wardens of the Grand Stair, and they used it to explore the countless other worlds it linked to, ruling as sovereigns of Gossamer and Shadow. It would have been easy for these lords and ladies (self-dubbed the Gossamer Lords) to become the masters of the multiverse, but they were opposed... by the Dwimmerlaik, terrible savants of the Shadow. The Dwimmerlaik stalked the lengths of the Grand Stair, warring against its self-appointed Wardens, and sought to rule the Gossamer worlds themselves. The Dwimmerlaiks ways were strange, their motives unfathomable, and they had access to the same powers the Lords and Ladies of the Gossamer worlds had unlocked... and, perhaps, other secret disciplines. For millennia now the battle between the Dwimmerlaik and the Gossame