l o g r u s l e s s
C H A O S
for Amber Diceless RPG
Why Logrusless Chaos?
Because I think the Logrus and all it implies about Chaos are pretty obviously an
invention of the second Amber series.
First of all, in all the years of Oberon before the Interregnum, through all the shadow
wandering, there does not seem to have been a single significant encounter between a Chaos
Lord and an Amberite. That's rather unlikely, if the description of the Logrus in ADRPG is
the least bit accurate. For Logrus Masters are capable of Shadow movement, potentially
capable of traveling the entire distance between the Courts and Amber. Why didn't
any of them ever show up in Amber? Come on. For centuries after drawing
the Pattern, Dworkin and Oberon were the only Royals in Castle Amber. If I was a
Logrus Master, I'd have gotten together with a few of my buddies and kicked their butts.
Moreover, if Logrus (or something like it) existed in Chaos, why go to all the trouble
of manipulating the younger Amberites, damaging the Pattern, and creating the Black
Road. Why not just tendril over to the Golden Circle with an army?
No, it seems pretty obvious that in the original conception of Amber, there was no
Logrus, and the Chaosites were locked away from Amber itself by the deeps of Shadow.
Therefore, these pages present one possible version of a Logrusless Choas, using the
Corwin series as a guide.
The Limits of Chaos
Listed below are the ways in which my Logrusless Chaos resembles and differs from
standard-issue ADRPG :
- Lords of Chaos cannot travel past the Tree of Yigg. This means they cannot access
the Shadow realms near Amber, and they are hardly ever met by Amberites. Even
Shadows distant from Amber, like Fiona's prison Shadow are on the Amber side of Yig and
hence inaccesable to Chaosites.
- All Shadows on the Chaos side of Yig sare unstable. Stay in one for a week, a
month, a year, and the contents will slowly change around you. Lords of Chaos are
renowned for their ability to shape the contents of such Shadows, but even they cannot
stave off the inevitable drift. Chaosites can control the destiny and contents of
Shadow quite easily, and have other unnamed, bizarre powers over it.
- Chaosites do not have a human form. Why else would they need to breed Dara? The closest
Chaosites undescended from Dworkin can come to human shape are abominations such as the
Hellmaids, the faceless woman, Stywaggir (sp?), or that skinless guy who rode around with
Merlin. Maybe there's nothing special about the human form at all, and
its just a shape Dworkin happened to like. (Actually, this explains a lot of the
structural oddities of the human body: the appendix, nipples on men, etc - Dworkin was
nuts!) Most Chaosites do not look like demons (another invention of the second
- Chaosites are excellent magicians. They have refined this art to an extent greater
than most Amberites can imagine.
- Chaosites are either the originators of Trump or they learned about it from Brand, Fiona
Here are my tentative suggestions for Chaosite Powers. I leave advanced and
exalted forms to your imagination - be assured, they do exist!
Chaosite Shadow Walking (15 points):
This most basic of powers allows a Lord of Chaos to walk in Shadow
up to the boundary of Yigg. In practice this works like Amberite Shadow Walking only
slower and less reliably. Without the Pattern to guide them, Chaosites must aim for
a specific feature of the landscape and work towards changing it. In all cases, the
Shadow will slide around them, assuming various odd forms, as the Chaos Lord tries to
force its features to conform to his or her will. Once the desired Shadow has been
achieved (or a close facimile thereof) it will begin to change: slowly if it is near Yigg,
more rapidly near Chaos. In the courts themselves, nothing remains unchanged for more than
a few minutes unless its is stabilized by powerful magic. Hellriding and the Royal Way are
impossible for Lords of Chaos, as are attempts to manipulate probability or to find
Shadows of Desire.
GMs may wish to distinguish between those Chaosites with the
strength of mind and body to learn the technique of Shadow Walking, from those too weak to
attempt it. If that is so, a Chaos Devotee is required to learn Chaosite Shadow
Walking later in life.
Chaosite Shadow Walking requires at least a Chaos rank
Endurance. Amberites cna learn the technique, although Pattern is much more
Chaosite Shadow Manipulation (30 points ... or 15 if you've
got Chaosite Shadow Walking or Pattern):
This power allows a Lord of Chaos to change the destiny, content and time-flow of a
Shadow. On the Chaos side of Yigg, this power is mostly used to hold Shadows into
place as realms, buildings or fortresses, and to forestall the natural change in Chaotic
Shadow. Such requires daily maintainance or the Shadow will warp and become
unuseable. Chaosites can also use this power to give a Shadow any of the Shadow
Properites listed in the ADRPG book, such as control of destiny, guardians, etc, or to
build Shadow Paths. They cannot become part of the destiny of anyone or anything on
the other side of Yigg. An additional note: on the Amber side of Ygg, all such
changes are perminant. Useful, no?
Chaosite Shadow Manipulation requires a Chaos level Psyche and either Chaosite Shadow
Walking or Pattern.
Logrusless Logrus or Go-Fetch-It (15 pts):
Remember when Julian talked about how Brand could retrieve
objects with his mind. Not specific objects, but generic ones? Doesn't that
sound a bit like ye olde Logrus? Well, it is. An Inititate of Logrusless
Logrus must concentrate, bringing to mind a series of tendrils which can then go and fetch
object (much as Logrus does). Unlike Logrus, this Power cannot be used to transport
the Initiate through Shadow, nor does it have any other Logrus-like feature. It
cannot form Psyche contacts, be used as a weapon, or hang spells. Its just a
go-fetch-it power. In its advanced form (another 15 points?) the tendrils can
be animated independantly.
Amber rank Psyche is needed for Go-Fetch-It.
Sorcery (15 points):
What's this? Isn't Sorcery a basic power? Well, maybe
not. I'd recommend that only Chaosites or those who have studied under them have
Sorcery in a Logrusless Chaos game. Chaos was able to do some things Corwin or even
Bleys seemed incapable of. Remember the faceless women who bewitched Corwin on the
Black Road? The strange grass? The burning goat? All classic Choas
powers. Try limiting the Amberites to Power Words for a while.
Beyond (?? points):
The real potential for Power comes in the combination of Chaosite
Shadow manipulation with Advanced Pattern. Chaosites have a highly refined
understanding of Shadow and its structure even if they cannot wall beyond Yigg. They
could make the Black Road, channel forces through Shadow track the younger Amberites and
all kinds of things. Imagine what they could do if they got their hands on Pattern
Imprint, too. Then, they could combine a potent understanding of Shadow, slowly
garnered though centuries of testing their limits, with the raw muscle of the
Pattern. That is what Amber most fears, I imagine, and that knowledge is what the
younger Amberites most covet. Such advancement would be a learning process, perhaps
aided by Brand or Dworkin's notes, and could potentially reveal the secret of
"Living Trump", Fiona's Pattern shortcuts, or Oberon's ability to reverse-Trump
Howard La Pierre'sAlternare Versions of the
The Logrusless Chaos abilities and modified Shapeshifting rules which Howard La
Pierre developed for his Avalon Campaign now have thier own page. Follow the link
Paradoxically, Logrusless Chaos is more of a threat to Amber than Logrused Chaos.
Why? Because in the Merlin books, Chaos was already free to roam in Shadow -- and
they were not so dangerous or different than Amberites, after all. But Logrusless
Chaos is insane. Think of the Corwin books, goat-headed men, women without faces,
cities indescribable and perhaps unimaginable to an Amberite's mind. Plus power,
lots of power: Chaos, though trapped, is an ever present threat to Amber.
Amberites do not want Chaos running loosing in Shadow. Last time that happened,
Amber was nearly destroyed. Yet they may not be organized or powerful enough to stop
Choas. Doubtless, Chaosites now have trumps of the Amber royal family, and of the
Shadows near Amber. They have Dara, who has walked the Pattern. And they have
the Amberites themselves, Bleys, Fiona, Merlin and even Corwin, Benedict, Caine and Julian
all of whom have now been to the Courts.
Amber's hegemony of the Sahdows beyond Yigg is now threatened, and Royals cannot be
sure that there are no enemies in the Shadows among which they walk.
As I mentioned above, most of the Elder Amberites entered Chaos after the war.
How many came out again? From Corwin's descriptions, Chaos was not the friendly,
happy psuedo-medieval funhouse described in Merlin's saga. No, Chaos is filled with
nastier things than horned demons. It is indescribable, no euclidean,
mindbending. Even the stones at Corwin's feet are maddeningly indestinct. And
into the center of all this went the "victorious" royal family. Were they
driven insane? Killed out of hand? Did illness take them? Corwin himself
was unsure that he would ever leave Chaos alive. What if he did not, and Benedict,
and the rest persihed with him: leaving only Gerard and Random to man Amber Castle.
Scary thought, no?
Last Updated 6-24-98