The Body in the Library: Overview

An Amber Cross-Over to Lords of Gossamer and Shadow

Author’s Note: This is the first in a series of blog posts which will set forth a complete adventure for use by Diceless GMs and Players.  Today’s installment is the Overview.  This will be followed by the following chapters: Introduction & Opening, Investigation & Complications, Climax & Resolution, and Conclusion & Aftermath

“The Body in the Library” is an introductory adventure for Amber DRPG groups to use as an entrée into the setting and modified Diceless RPG system of Lords of Gossamer & Shadow.

This adventure serves as a quick-and-dirty method of throwing player characters from Amber headlong into the world of Lords of Gossamer & Shadow, introducing them to the grand conflicts and major aspects of the setting. This adventure is purposefully written with a number of variable options to allow customization for a GM to adapt it to their campaign and group of players but nothing in here – or more importantly the absence of something here – should not preclude a GM and players from making changes that work for them and their game.

Adventure Overview

The characters find themselves in Castle Amber or something draws them to Amber – a resounding “alarm” transmitted through Trump that draws them to the Library in Amber for example.  They arrive at the library to find the door locked from within and once inside the body of a strange yet vaguely familiar figure is sprawled dead (or nearly dead) of odd wounds, clutching some Trump and a key in his hands.  The victim’s “attackers” are dark amorphous shapes buzzing and hovering about above the body.  The creatures can be dispatched and will flee through a strange rift into darkness if overmatched.  If the characters arrive soon enough the victim may yet be alive enough to identify himself as a much-changed Prince Brand and he will impart a dire yet cryptic warning that the Door must be sealed and Shatterlight must be warned or Amber and the Grand Stair will be destroyed.   The clues can lead the players to different avenues – most importantly, the Corridor of Mirrors where they may find the Door to match the Key held by the victim.

The shadow creatures return as the players investigate in the Library to pursue and attack whichever player character might hold the Key.  This time they are accompanied by two humanoid figures, Dwimmerlaik, who wield power and seem intent on destroying the player characters and demanding return of the Key and the location of the Door.  The players have to fend off this strange threat, follow the clues, find the Door, discover the Grand Stair and where Brand has been since falling in the Abyss, find out who the Dwimmerlaik are, what and where is Shatterlight, save Amber….oh and who locked the door to the library?

Steps of this Adventure

This adventure  follows the five-step adventure outline described in the Lords of Gossamer & Shadow Core Book, CHAPTER ELEVEN: CREATING ADVENTURES in that it provides an Introduction (the arrival of the player characters and the initial mystery – the titular Body in the Library), an immediate Conflict (an attack by mysterious creatures out of darkness), a Climax (discovery of the Door to the Grand Stair and all that entails), and can then lead to further Complications (there are multiple strange parties demanding the Key and the information the PC’s possess regarding the Door and its location and the fact that new dark and powerful enemies have nowentered Amber) and a longer-off… Resolution (sealing the Door in the Corridor of Mirrors which offers easy access from the Shadow of the Dwimmerlaik to Shatterlight and the Grand Stair as well as Amber itself).

This adventure also contains seeds and hooks for on-going adventures in the Grand Stair by introducing the PCs to key figures in the Grand Stair, the great conflict between the Dwimmerlaik and the Wardens of the Stair and even a mysterious group known as the Nine who’s agenda and allegiance are unknown. In the alternative, this adventure can be used in an Amber campaign with the Grand Stair as a set of shadow worlds offering a multitude of new possibilities for an Amber campaign, new connections to the mystery of the Abyss and more.  Finally, this adventure provides some modifiable components for adaptability to campaigns with variations – Brand’s already dead in your campaign?  No problem, the body is a different elder Amberite with a mysterious past etc. That’s the overview, next week we’ll post the second installment which provides the detailed Introduction & Conflict.

Published by adamgamer

Husband, father, attorney by day, tabletop RPG game writer, designer and enthusiast by night. A long time fan and player/GM of Amber Diceless RPG and a contributor to Rite Publishing's Lords of Gossamer and Shadow Diceless RPG and a freelance writer for other game publishers.

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