in the Shadow of Greatness


September 4, 2007

Amber :: the clone wars II

Originally Posted by NM
Here's a side question for raising amberites: would those children raised in Shadow be less powerful than say those raised in Amber, or the Courts of Chaos? I'm not talking about education (yet) or their lineage, but about the proximity to Real Planes of existence... Substance, if you will.

Would you, the GM, take that into consideration?

Would you even go so far as saying that amberite children raised in fast-time shadows would end up being weaker than those raised in shadows with similar time differential, for game-balance reasons?

These are really good questions. Your campaign could change directions based on the answers.

What I try to keep in mind, answering questions like these, is that science isn't as important as metaphysics. That also seems to be part of your presumption in the question.

I think there are two important issues (that earth logic would say are linked but Amber logic might say are not), first is matter/substance and the question of the poles of Reality. The first issue concerns things like fast-time shadows , environ reality support and challenges that might make the young of Amber grow strong.

In this, you can see possible flaws in raising Amberites in shadow. If there are no local challenges, do the kids grow up weak and lazy? If fast-time shadows are inherently unstable, do the kids grow up more subject to Logrus, chaos forces and magic? If shadow energies are quite low compared to Amber, does the air, food, nutrients and support of the home-shadow cripple the blossoming teen years of a growing amberite?

You have to consider the 'flesh' and substance might be weakened by all these factors. You might find that young amberites are not crippled, but instead take much longer to mature properly.

Second is the Blood, and by this I mean only power and substance and Pattern. The Blood of Amber is a mystic thing not subject to weak forces or the flesh. Even near death, the Blood of Amber can spin devastating curses or destroy shadows. Even reproducing with shadow blood does not trivialize Amber Blood.

Just this week, IMC, a Player was probing into the differences between kids raised near Ygg, or near Chaos, or near Amber. Those differences showed up in the flesh, but not in the Blood.

I think that's a good Zelazny-esque answer.

Taking this one step further, you need to look at the Attributes and figure out for your campaign whether they are all tied to flesh or are really tied to Blood. Does shadow affect the potential Attribute? Or again, is it only a matter of growth and maturing properly?

It might be that Psyche and Endurance are intangible powers of the Blood, while Warfare and Strength are greatly influenced by the challenges and tests of flesh and substance. This means Corwin can learn things from shadow people about grappling, fencing or fighting wars. But Merlin can trivialize shadow-bred sorcerers and wizards as all flawed.

OTOH, be careful about assuming Strength and Warfare are not linked to the mystic side of Amber.


Filed under : Amber at 04.09.2007
Eric Martindale says...

Clever post! Some of my users (over on the role playing game site I run) have been talking about Amber a bunch, I'll forward them to this article, too. I have a good list, now. :)

Posted September 4, 2007 9:28 PM
Arref says...

Ah. Well, a search of your site produces no 'Amber discussions'. I wish you well with your startup.

Posted September 5, 2007 8:41 AM