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I recently acquired at some considerable cost a copy of Amber Diceless Role-Playing, which I had long wondered about. Knowing of some potential players of the game at my local game store, I posted on their website asking about interest in getting a game together.

No sooner had I done this than I was bombarded with demands that I announce how I would deal with the problems with the stat auction process — which quickly became mildly acrimonious, causing me to withdraw the suggestion altogether.

What are the known issues with the bidding process, and what fixes are there for them?

I've combed the web but the majority of the search engine hits are dead links now, and the sites I do find are moribund.

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closed as not constructive by Jadasc, F. Randall Farmer, Jmstar, Dave Hallett, Mark Rogers Nov 30 '10 at 22:28

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I think this title is in grave danger of being "too subjective and argumentative", even though the question that follows is reasonable. How about "Does the Amber Diceless System bidding process have known issues, and if so, how can they be fixed?" –  Dave Hallett Nov 29 '10 at 22:19
I also think it might be better to give an example of the issues you've encountered - it's pretty vague right now. –  Dave Hallett Nov 29 '10 at 22:19
Yeah, if I were a normal guy and not a mod I'd vote to close on this due to vagueness and argumentativity. –  mxyzplk Nov 29 '10 at 22:23
I read the guide for posting very, very carefully before I asked. The moderator may remove it if it really is that offensive (though the actual answers given would suggest people here are a little more balanced and adult than they are being given credit for). The question was serious and the phrasing carefully chosen. Those who are in a position to know what is wrong with ADRPG will not be confused by the perceived lack of examples in my post. Argumentative people with no useful knowledge will not have a basis on which to begin a flamewar. I thought this was the ideal. –  Roxysteve Nov 30 '10 at 15:20
The problem with the question is not it's content, but the title. The question should be "How do you deal with the issues surrounding the points bidding process?", asking about whether Amber is "broken" is a one-way ticket to closeville. –  Mark Rogers Nov 30 '10 at 20:04

2 Answers 2

There are issues with the auction process that can be dealt with in multiple ways. One would be to skip the auction and have all the players design their characters within a points budget decided by the ref, then assign ratings based on actual points spent.

This is likely to end up with players who have no idea how they rate against the other players and this will affect play (you don't know how to scheme against the other players successfully, if you have no idea how their stats compare to yours). This isn't necessarily bad, but does affect play.

Another possible solution is to have a two-round auction, with the ability to give a second bid, after the initial ranking has been read out.

Then, of course, you can just run with it as written, it does have some charm and if one (or more) players are dead set at being 1st in one attribute or another, they can easily end up with fewer points left than they initially intended.

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Is there an accepted "right" way in the player community? A consensus? –  Roxysteve Nov 30 '10 at 15:27
Not that I've seen, as long as you get a consensus in a player group, you've done well. –  Vatine Nov 30 '10 at 15:34

It's impossible to determine from the information you give what "the" problem with the attribute auction is. There are certainly well known ways to try to game the system - they're even noted in its Wikipedia entry - but they are arguably part of the cutthroat competition aspect of the game. Some folks have proposed alternate schemes to the auction to mitigate these perceived problems.

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