:: Tuesday, March 26 ::
Ambercon (ACUS) 2013, Livonia, Detroit
Wonderful con with a decent amount of social time with friends I see once a year (when I'm going there!)
Some very good character play and lots of action. Some time as a player with GMs handling genres that I love.
I'm going to do my usual summaries of games below, even though I've not said much about Amber gaming in these pages of late. So this year I'm hoping to do more, stretching format a little to talk about how I design games and how they turn out. No game survives contact with the players. On the other hand, would you really want it to? I don't think so.
:: there's more »»
:: Friday, August 3 ::
the long and winding current, queen, year one
One year ago, Celina failed to save her love from Death on the Pattern of Rebma. Now she is Queen of Rebma. The City pledges to her will.
She swears to defend it with her life.
Celina has gathered good fortune, many of the other Kings (all the other Patterns are led by Kings) have pledged to assist her, especially as it does not harm their own realms. She also has specifically gotten great assist from cousins, most older and wiser than she.
And yet, her tasks to understand Order and defend the Rebma Pattern can be only mastered alone. (In game, time moves slowly... it has been perhaps a month since Khela died on the Pattern.)
Alone, she looks to discover the heritage of Moins and revive the City for a new era. So what was Moins like? What did Moins want for Rebma? What prompted Moins to dare a Pattern of her own when she was young?
What made Moire dare to take on Moins Pattern with no Pattern, no mystic will, no message, no heritage, no crown?
On other fronts, Celina has good help. Politics. Magic. Strategy. Justice. Volunteers are being very kind. Life goes better.
Year One. Celina grabs in the dark for a message that is cold still quiet several centuries. This is a long journey of small steps.
:: Thursday, February 16 ::
as befitting a Prince of Amber...
Sergeant Oddball: "These engines are the fastest in any tanks in the European Theater of Operations, forwards or backwards. You see, man, we like to feel we can get out of trouble, quicker than we got into it." 'Kelly's Heroes'
If you were a Prince/Princess of Amber walking the worlds... the above casual comment from Sgt. Oddball is a worthy bit of experience. It is my guiding principle is answering questions from experienced family members for those younger or more impatient.
The first threshold of immortal experience might be, "why do I care?"
The second threshold might be, "how likely am I to be treated ill-fitting a scion of Amber?"
For the large range of shadow walking adventure, your own innate doubt and caution will influence your shadow travel in a safe fashion. The Rule of Three applies. But there is always the arrogance of "I know what I am doing" or the impatient of "I want it now".
The best rule of thumb for all this is, "ask for what you know" ...much like a strange restaurant in a new town.
If you've never had pickled Cthulhu...why you don't know what you are missing. But Fiona does.
oh, btw, comments on the front page are broken again. Not to worry...you can comment on any individual entry just by clicking through to it.
:: Wednesday, February 15 ::
Rank the elders! Warfare
Leaving out the dead folks.... because that would get into a long story about who trained Benedict and the scions of Oberon that everyone has forgotten.
Oberon (no one's trickier)
Eric (holds Amber against external enemies as well as Corwin AND Bleys, fighting as well as Corwin)
Corwin (even better one on one, this style being developed for a couple Earth centuries, as Eric finds out, dirty tricks specialist)
Dierdre (better with social warfare than all the men above, even Oberon)
Bleys (Master of Armies)
Julian (Master of Constructs, monster fighting specialist)
Caine (Fleet Commander, unconventional warfare specialist)
Florimel (political warfare specialist)
Gerard (Fleet Commander, political warfare specialist)
Llewella (exotic environ warfare specialist)
Random (demonstrates enough endurance, strength, and magical talent in the canon that he can't be really tough on warfare)
So we go from several thousand years of a King in Amber who is total Warfare savvy to a King in Amber who is least among his sibs in Warfare.
Across the range of shadow civilizations, we watch the King is a Badass become, the President is the Face of State.
:: Wednesday, January 25 ::
Action, Sex And A '70s Vibe: The World Of 'Amber' : NPR
Hellride to here: NPR
Pretty good review of what is another in the 'guilty pleasures' series.
:: Wednesday, December 21 ::
Love this found old post from Jvstin.....
"Mother has put some thought into trying to undo them." Shannon says. "Unfortunately, she has come to the conclusion that while it might be possible, it could be a cure worse than the disease."
"What does that mean?" Valric says.
"It means" Shannon says "The Spikards were made and constructed, in some part, to tame rogue and out-of-control Shadow Powers, Powers that were Old when the Pattern was drawn. And to undo a Spikard would be to unleash that Power upon the universe again, with *no* safeguards. The Spikards are a very imperfect way to bind those Powers...but unless someone comes up with a better binding, the alternative to it is worse. We must see to its binding."
"Now you know" Shannon says to William "what nightmares my mother, my brother, uncle and I sometime have. And why Sand and Delwin are so dangerous. Even Uncle Brand wasn't crazy enough to try and meddle with the Spikards, except for one."
"I think I need more port, please, cousin." Shannon adds.
Now that's the way to instill a narrative yardstick for Spikards.
:: Wednesday, July 13 ::
the Great Book of Amber, re-read, immortal dating and pickup lines
wandering thoughts...all started in this series here
... the older a misogynist gets, the more difficult it is for him to tell a 30 year old from a 15 year old female.
--me being flip in comments of blog above
Set aside for a moment, that Oberon, King of Amber, is so old that any wife he takes is lucky if she is a tenth his age. (It is easy in canon text to believe Oberon is ten thousand years old. If he marries a 100 year old woman from some slow maturing race, he's considerably robbing the cradle. Of course, she should have some clue as to what she is getting into.... right?)
In our fantasy stories, what do we make of mature immortals who fall in love with other people much younger?
Whether we say that twenty-one years is mature, or thirty, or even fifteen years...none of those 'ages of maturity' compares to some vampire, demi-god, or amberite who has walked the worlds for five centuries. But we get this often in our contemporary fantasy.
OK, so we know that thirty year olds are seldom attracted to ninety year olds in Real Life. But we also know that the physical form of our fictional immortals is not usually subject to time and often not a clue to the young protagonist that they are getting involved with a person who has forgotten more about life than the younger has been exposed to.
Is that right? Is it very very wrong?
Why do we read that stuff? Why do they write it? Is it only: 'celebrity picked me in all the world' love? Or is it the tragic side of relationship: 'we want this but it cannot work and that conflict will drag across at least three books'.
What the hell is the immortal really thinking? Let's apply the minimum amount of 'real life' experience to the issue: relationships separated by decades stumble and fall on the baggage of self growth and common understanding.
Or is it really just a horrible manipulation on a dozen different levels?
Or is it a one-year stand?
Or does it only look like a relationship because we readers are not immortal. It is really only casual sex?
Hard to find 900 year old lady friends?
Why is it often an immortal guy and a fresh young twenty-something?
Just about any story in Greek myth regarding seduction is straight out creepy and tragic.
Why does Angel feel attracted to Buffy? She's in high school. That's totally....odd.
Why does Corwin fall for Dara? He believes her to be 17 (or so).
Edward and Bella?
Is it just the trend in young romance fiction? Er, no. Don't think so.
Y'know, when women do this in fiction, they are often clearly painted as monsters.
Once Bitten (1985) or The Hunger (1983)
So, in your Amber rpg gaming, have the PCs ever raised the issue? In the Amber fanfic ranks, is Benedict romancing a warrior queen from shadow considered normal stuff? Because canon text explains Benedict is oldest on-screen sib and that 1500 Amber years extended through shadow adventures easily makes Benedict some 4500 years old.
* * *
IMC, this issue has come up from several levels and directions.
Time sliding around as loose as it does, Amber royals just mostly seem to ignore the age of the person they are sleeping with. One might say, they neglect the consequences as much as they neglect impacts of entering and leaving shadow lives at various points in the canon.
And not to get into second series deeply, but the consequence of bumping a life off-track and then just walking out results in the Julia Barnes plot.
I haven't got a conclusion on this one.
I don't have my fingers around it yet. Perhaps because the entire thing seems tilted at a crazy angle that you just accept if you immerse in the concept of Amber.
By all means, comment.