Coyote (and How He Averted the Apocalypse)

We play games other than Amber at AmberCon. Some are homegrown diceless rules, some use the Amber system but not the Amber setting. This was the game where we used the Amber system to play gods. Real gods, spirits, ascended beings, all historical, no Cthulhu or other fictional beings. It was organized by Mark MacKinnon, who owned Guardians of Order and was originally interested in publishing the Amber Diceless rulebook when Erick was having troubles publishing it. The setting for the game was that the Apocalypse was underway (also known as Ragnarok, which we would later discover) and he played Lucifer, who invited the other gods and like beings from around the world to come to Mount Olympus to help stop it. (Mount Olympus, we discovered, being the biggest, fanciest Las Vegas casino.)

When I read the description of the game, I knew I wanted to play Loki. I was planning on playing him with the attitude “I just got this Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Card and its the end of the world, so let’s PARTY!”

One of the gamemasters agreed with the choice, but then I was told that the other gamemaster had previously let another player (who happened to be the guy I was sharing a room with) take that choice. So, I said I would play Coyote, who could come disguised at Loki! After all, he wasn’t expecting Loki to be able to show up.

Defining Coyote

Coyote as I remember was built using the Amber Diceless system, except that it removed the Amber-specific material such as Pattern and Logrus. That meant 100 points with which to buy character stats and abilities.

First off, I put half of that 100 points into the stat Endurance. Coyote may not always succeed at what he does, but he always survives it. I also added Regeneration for 8 points. I remember putting points into Warfare, because Coyote, despite his failings, is still a respected warrior, and, also, that is the stat for plotting and scheming, and probably some in Psyche, but I’m pretty sure I left Strength alone. The rest I can’t remember, although I’m pretty sure there were a few other abilities listed. The one thing I didn’t give him was any Good Stuff or Bad Stuff: Coyote was pretty balanced in how the Universe treated him, except for him, the range of good luck to bad luck was pretty extreme.

What I missed adding was Running, to allow for Coyote to run across any surface, physical or metaphysical. According to some stories, he ran across the sky spilling out the stars from a pouch he carried in his teeth.


The whole operation was run by Lucifer. Besides him, there were the four Archangels, Mephistopheles, Gautama Buddha, Odin, Hela, Hercules1, Mannanan mac Lir, Dionysus, Inanana and a Sufi spirit of enlightenment. And some others I can’t remember.

It was a fun game.We all tried to think of ways to stall the Apocalypse. Dionysus grew grapevines everywhere to counter Famine, for instance. Hercules went underwater in a submarine to fight Jörmungandr, which Thor (an NPC) was supposed to fight, but Thor was up in a Space Shuttle attacking the comet (the falling star that threatened to turn all the world’s water bitter) that was going to destroy Earth.

Every so often one of the gamemasters would announce the news of the world. One such time he announced that all of the planet’s military ships were beached, noting the picture of the USN aircraft carrier Enterprise laying upside down on a beach in Hawaii. All I did was mention doing something with all those warships around the world. The player playing Mannanan mac Lir, the Irish god of the sea, just happened to be listening.

In the end, the Apocalypse was averted. The various deities caused so much chaos and confusion (of which Coyote helped) that the final Horseman never appeared. Lucifer ascended to the Throne (actually, since the player stepped out of the room and into the suite’s bathroom, he did approach a throne) to resume his position as the conscience of YHWH.


After it was all over, I realized there was something Coyote should have done. One of the Archangels was carrying around The Apple. Coyote should have swiped it, in such a way that the theft wouldn’t be noticed until later, then get caught taking a bite out of it (which would actually be a fake apple, another Coyote trick) and just waiting for one of the Archangels, likely Michael, to skewer him. Since we were using the Amber Diceless system and I put half of the 100 points into Endurance and more into the special power of Regeneration, I figure it would only have stung a little. I even considered seeing if the hotel kitchen had any apples available.


1 When Hercules was first introduced by Lucifer, I starting singing the theme song to the old “Hercules” animated series: “Hercules, hero of song and story, Hercules, winner of fame and glory’ ” I didn’t sing it loud enough for many people to hear it, though. It was definitely a Coyote thing.

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