in the Shadow of Greatness


September 3, 2004

E.T. Trump Home

Claimh Solais: Amber: Infinite Diversity, continued
One of the tougher things to deal with if using shadow as an adventure source is the ability to trump home. If you want the characters to sweat the situation as "strangers in a strange land", it will lose the effect if they trump their favorite uncle and go to his place...or just trump home to Amber.
So I was thinking about the StickySerial again these past few weeks. A project that will probably never happen unless GoO decides to put out such a supplement aimed at GMs who want a 'classic Amber' game that can be played across multiple GMs.

Trump as plot breaker.

A lot of TV shows (less in movies or books) rely on a story type called 'trapped' or 'boxed' where you have fenced the Characters into a setting that doesn't let them go for help or count on the usual outside resources.

Trump makes this sort of plot impossible.

In addition, a quick and painless use of Trump will decrease the frequency of walking the shadows. As a GM, you may desire to see characters use Pattern more than Trump—-but adding negative baggage to Trump is probably not the way to do this.

Possibilities of Trump:

  1. Trump calls establish relationships
  2. PCs with relationships will use Trumps to talk to each other.
  3. Some methods of discouraging Trump use also break down the PC relationships
  4. while the rules of Amber DRPG seem to discourage having a rational foundation to the power of Trump, technical glitches in Trump are a lot like tech failure in cell phones—by which I mean that sometimes things that work very well don't work in the particular place you are standing. IMC, this seems to be something that is easy for PCs to accept in rational fashion.
  5. GM cosmology is still the hurdle for the StickySerial concept

IMC I accept some of the notions presented in the Merlin books, one of which is that Trumps don't work everywhere—-despite Dworkin saying they will except for places unlikely to be traveled to. From the Master of the Line's perspective, why would you travel to a blue crystal cave that blocked Trump?

One of the best 'stoppers' of Trumping home is "how long to, and if, you will get back to where you started."

A PC who Trumps home is counting on a PC left behind to Trump back to. If that shadow resident PC is busy, or caught up in plot at a shadow-time rate, there is a very good chance that PC @ Amber is going to cool his/her heels. If you Trump home solo without a friend in shadow, then you are walking back and that may take a week.

If you were dealing with a plot or crisis in that shadow, will it wait a week or more?

Filed under : Amber at 03.09.2004