in the Shadow of Greatness

 

April 2, 2007

Infinite Amber: playtest variant 17 canon

Brannan.JP : Blog Archive : Pondering Infinite Amber system revisions
Well, timely is JP pondering how he wants the attributes to play out in his Amber game. Good time to write down some thoughts about attributes.

JP asks questions and I'll chime in with thoughts.

It seems like better clarification and granularity is needed around the ideas of mass/size restrictions, using Shaping to enhance Strength, what is required to Shape others, and how shaping might be used to make detailed copies or clones.

Good point, as even the basic rules of Amber DRPG are a bit vague here.

Ranks for Shaping IMC would work like this:
Shaping 1: common, can affect own appearance and size with a few minutes of work but only slight variance in density or mass. Psyche can push speed but not skill. Allows slow closing of wounds.

Shaping 2: good, can affect own appearance and size with a few minutes of work and might double density or mass. Psyche can push speed but not skill. Allows fast closing of wounds.

Shaping 3: superior, can affect own appearance, size with a few minutes of work and might double density or mass. Able to tap environ adapts with good Endurance and may fast close of wounds or healing coma. Psyche can push speed but not skill.

Sorcery can provide for instant changes and fluid shifts that do not endanger the Psyche or critical organs. Many Chaosi Shapers are accomplished with Sorcery. More levels of Shape Shift might establish unique tricks like Blood Beasts.

Binding needs some tweaking as well, particularly in the area of creating items that have magical abilities. Creating extra-tough armor or extra-stabby weapons are areas where I’m clear that the only ability needed is Binding. However, what about creating a ring of invisibility? Should some level of Sorcery be required for such endeavours in addition to Binding?

Binding ties back to Real Impact just as Shaping creates Real Impact.

Binding 1: any craft can be improved to provide the finest example of its kind. Creatures can be coerced to your Psyche.

Binding 2: crafted items can be designed and built to preternatural levels. Preternatural creatures can be coerced and bound to your Psyche. Natural creatures can be taken across shadow boundaries if bound to you.

Binding 3: crafted items can be designed and built to supernatural levels. Supernatural creatures can be coerced and bound to your Psyche. Preturnatural creatures can be taken across shadow boundaries if bound to you.

Binding 4: crafted items can be designed and built to primal levels. Primal creatures can be coerced and bound to your Psyche. Supernatural creatures can be taken across shadow boundaries if bound to you.

Sorcery is limited by shadow environs and generally cannot easily blend with Binding. An invisible ring can be bound in one shadow and fail in another. Binding 4 would allow magical items to travel across shadow environ. Binding 5 would allow primal items to cross shadows hostile to them. Binding 6 might allow such things in Amber.

Generally, items and creatures are a less significant route to power (in first series canon.)

The overlap of Discovery and Secrets is another, less-problematic-but-still-worthy-of-attention situation. Can one use Secrets to penetrate someone else’s Secrets? After all, a master conspirator has certain insights into how an opposing conspiracy might be set up. Similarly, Discovery can also be used to pentrate secrets. My gut says both are possible.

Secrets can be used to identify someone else's protection/defenses of Secrets but does not reveal the Secrets. Set ups are indeed more clear, but the mechanism does not always inform. A good team would be a Secrets master and a Discovery master working in some sort of power sharing arrangement.

You've deduced the hidden castle but what is it there for? You've found the secret passage, but why was it constructed? Who else knows about it? Secrets is much less useful for this. Warfare might help in narrow cases, just as other attributes might help deduce Discoveries.

Discovery is still best for finding ways to get at the 'why' of Secrets. Note that in the unlikely event that there is literally no one who knows the Secret, Discovery is twice as difficult to use. Just as Secrets are easier to defend if you kill everyone who knows them.

However, the power of Inspiration might be of use to aid Discovery in finding out things that no one knows. In Amber, Inspiration is the power represented by the Jewel of Judgment.

In the books, Eric has enough Coup to be able to take the throne mostly by social influence (forcing Corwin and Bleys to resort to disastrous military means.) However, there is a commonly-held belief in the Amber community that Benedict could have ended the squabbling over succession with a word. Does that mean that Benedict is a Coup-monster?

Every GM is going to want to tune this for herself. What is Benedict's authority? Why does Corwin fear him?

My own interpretation is that Benedict can take the throne by force, and that perhaps everyone wants to be on the winning side. So if Benedict said he wanted the throne, many would side with him.

Rebma seems to have a better opinion of Benedict than Corwin. But regardless, IMC Benedict is not a Coup monster. Eric is. Florimel is. Gerard has a good measure.

Coup is also the one attribute that can be upped or decreased by Shadow (where you are, how familiar you are with Shadow there) and events beyond your control (such as Chaos attacking and ruining all your plans to be King.) I believe in the right situation, Coup can be ghost-lent by other Family, as could be argued with Benedict getting support from people in the example above.

Certainly Florimel lends her prestige to things she does not attempt on her own. Just as Benedict delegates his Warfare to officers working on his projects.

Additional playtest is needed on combining attributes in interesting ways.


Filed under : 17 canon attrib, Amber, amber.revised at 02.04.2007
comments
Sol says...

"A good team would be a Secrets master and a Discovery master working in some sort of power sharing arrangement." This is almost the setup of Sarah's _Carnival_, no? :)

Posted April 3, 2007 11:25 AM
Arref says...

I have to read it. I think a number of canon examples do come to mind.

Benedict is a good Secrets master IMC. He seems to be working behind the scenes with Julian and Gerard (perhaps Caine) as his contacts in Amber.

The combination of Warfare with Secrets is a natural.

I see Psyche and Discovery in a similar pairing (but not for canon Fiona.)

Posted April 4, 2007 1:55 PM