in the Shadow of Greatness


April 5, 2006

House of Cards, sign of the times

In other universes, we find Celina reaching a crossroads. Or to be honest, she's past the crossroads and finding out now what lurks on the other side. Big things ahead. Big things just behind. And more wacky right around the corner. The GMs are just out of sight rubbing their hands with glee.

Snik. Another piece of plot trouble falls into place.

JG is offering a archeological dig of the 'House of Cards' game over here for Livejournal users. I look forward to his posts there.

There will soon be a Celina update to current thoughts on the Family.

'House of Cards'
Amber in the tradition of Zelazny

So really, if you were looking at feedback on a campaign where would you look and what would you ask first?

Is it fun? Are you having a good time? Does it seem like the genre is well represented? Is there danger, mystery, thrills and aha’s?

Oh, yes. 'House of Cards' is a damn fine time.

You can almost pick up each thread and cruise forward and backward through the narrative labyrinth that most Amber games would envy. But where a lot of games are sprawling or never quite on the same page, 'HOC' is nearly always in context. I give the mechanics of a public mail list some props for this.

Credit the GMs and their vision for that in both those elements: context and mechanics.

As with Roger Zelazny's fictional perspective through Corwin, the reader gets a sense more so than the protagonist of why the plot is as troubling as it is and where things might be headed; even when the protagonist isn't being honest with themselves. Part of the reader's joy is having a better feel for the entire tapestry than the characters' feel.

This isn't to say there is no mystery--because there is.

Why has Moiré played out such a secretive and paranoid hand? How can Rebma be saved from an 'echo effect' of Oberon's death? What bit of history leashes the 'dragon' of Rebma?

Or is Rebma's dragon actually a collective sentient entity called 'tritons' that is the 'scion' of the Dragon 'Emerald Death'? “We are the Tritons. Resistance is futile.”

Ooky and very captivating, that's 'House of Cards'.
I think JG will have a good time picking up the trail and sifting the layers.

As an experienced player looking at the material spread out in front of Celina, I see a strong context of sacrifice. Oberon sacrificed to keep the Primal Pattern whole. Adonis sacrificed to keep the Dragon at bay and save his blood. It might be that Moiré believed Celina to be the 'Harvest Queen' and now has confirmation that she's a good candidate.

Then why send her away? Why deny the Tritons Celina's body? Well, it would be important which side sacrificed Celina to make Rebma whole again. The Tritons make the sacrifice and they could bend their ancient pledge back on itself and make servants of the royal line of Rebma. On the other hand, Celina dying for Rebma could allow the compact to continue as it has but vital again.

Is Celina destined to be fertilizer for a next generation of Rebman strengths? Is that her destiny?

Well, I don't really know. But the themes are there. The tritons are ritualistic and looking to fulfill myths that they have cherished for a long time. And Moiré is short a few cards in being able to play out her hand.

More recently, Uncle Huon is a hoot: a badly whipped dog that is wary of the 'invisible fence' being suddenly gone. Certainly there are parallels between Celina and Huon, as her uncle has already pointed out.

Let's see what happens next.

Filed under : Amber at 05.04.2006