Strength | Endurance | Psyche
Physical Damage
Combat : Strength and Warfare


Much of what is said about how Strength works in the combat system (such as it is) is not compatible with the books. Brand's Strength is always totally inferior to Deirdre's, yet he can keep a tight hold on her on the rim of the Abyss; Corwin pulls Julian off his horse and into a car easily, so Julian's Strength becomes not just lower than Corwin's but inferior to just about everyone's, even most of his (non-combat) sisters. In many cases Deirdre's Strength is higher than Corwin's or Bleys' for no real reason.

Deirdre is an example of a character the authors must really like, while Julian is one they must hate. It's the only thing that makes sense.

Besides that, it is tricky to determine the exact physical strengths of characters. Corwin can casually throw around armchairs without effort and lift four hundred pound rocks with ease when physically debilitated. And together he and Random can lift a one and a half to two ton car between them "two feet off the ground" and move it about six feet, through mud, back onto the road.

Deirdre can break men's backs over one knee.

And, of course, Gerard's strength is LEGENDARY.

But without knowing exactly what a character is capable with a certain Strength, things can quickly degenerate into a truck-throwing contest.



Is Endurance as good as they all say? Can you really fight for a whole day without getting tired with Amber Endurance?

The answer is no.

Corwin and Random FENCED for twenty six hours before stopping so Corwin could get ready to go out on a date. Does "fenced" mean the same as "fight"? Unless they were trying to kill each other it does not. If they were just trying to see how long they could go for, who knows how many small breaks they might have taken for a quick snack (probably brought along in a hamper or something) or to demonstrate a move to each other? Even if they did not take any breaks like that, unless they were putting their full effort into it that oft-quoted time period means nothing in a real combat situation.

They would certainly go on for longer than normal folks but not that long.



Pretty much everything that can be done with Psyche is total fantasy.

None of the "Psyche Moves" in the gamebook exist in the books. No physical contact, no mindrapes, no suggestion planting, none of it.

There is some evidence (from Corwin's encounters with Strygwalldir and the talking cats) that one can leech information from someone's mind just as you are about to die and have eye contact, but what real use is that?

It is completely unknown what might have happened if either Eric or Corwin had won the only example of a psychic battle anywhere in the books. The struggle certainly caused some pain; Corwin states that whoever lost would "come under the other's power" (whatever that means).

So what can you do with Psyche? Unless you can justify the "Psychic Moves" somehow, all it does is allow Mind Touch spells to work on people with lower Psyches and govern the use of powers.



Exactly how do Amberites take damage?

It appears that they take less damage from impact-based wounds (fists, kicks, clubs) than they do from other wound types (blades, guns, crossbow bolts). This is born out by the fact that though Corwin and Gerard slug it out with their incredible superhuman Strengths and seem to come out with only slight bruising, both Corwin and Brand get laid low by relatively weaker knife blows (Brand more so; Corwin's was more of a glancing shot).

Of course, both knife blows would almost certainly killed a normal person, but Corwin's fists hitting Gerard's stomach would have pulped the body of a normal man. So there does appear to be some kind of resistance to that kind of attack.

Of course, when one then looks at the combat system in the gamebook one almost immediately becomes confused as to the effects of the Amberite resistance to injury. Is a "Serious Wound" serious to a human or an Amberite? What is the effect of deciding it is one or the other of those two options? How does "Deadly Damage" on an item work with regard to this? By ruling that such weapons cause a bigger injury by making a more decisive hit, does that not mean their Warfare has been improved instead?

It can get really quite confusing.



The Attribute Ranks produce some real flaws with regards to combat. Someone with twenty points in Warfare or Strength always beats someone with nineteen? It seems a little odd to say the least.

There are many fine examples of solving this problem out there on the Net and on this very Webring; you just have to find them. Or you could always come up with your own.

Even more complex is Endurance. Endurance is not really figured into the system in the gamebook; one has to use the erroneous descriptions given under the descriptions of the Endurance attribute.