in the Shadow of Greatness


April 22, 2009

Ambercon US 2009, afterwards

I have to admit that I wasn't sure if the energy and passion were still in the gaming community. ACUS 09 proved the energy was there in 'full house' form.

Slot 1) Agents of the Argent Rose: "City of the Dead" (gm - arref)
Well, we got through half the blurb but no one had a moment to spare with all the character driven action. The dramatic tension between the PC's grandparents (Corwin and his Lorelei) wavered about as additional pressures were brought to bear by the Fae Protectors of the Argent Realm. Lorelei was kidnapped when Corwin had his back turned. The PCs made sure it didn't become a certain disaster. A great cast that virtually needs no GM at all----true family feeling. Magnificent!

Slot 2) Five Sides to Every Story (gm - arref)
Never the same game. Quite action-packed this year with the PCs sniffing out trouble faster than ever before. Not an easy game, but the Players had fun. Perhaps the last of "Five Sides", first run at ACN in 1999.

Slot 3) Sealed to Llyr (gm - john lees)
Dark and well-fleshed gaming background for a new system by gm John Lees. Lots of potential, good immersion by the Players.

Slot 4) A Piece of the Pattern (gm - john lees)
Excellent throne war that captured the cinema textures of gangwar in a Noir City. My favorite thronewar I can recall. Also run with a new diceless system by the gm (same as above--cross genre!!) Turned out the social cabal won the day instead of the warfare guys. Some close calls.

Slot 5) Clandestine Chronicles of the Cobalt Charter (gm - arref)
Well... the Cobalt Charter is supposed to keep a low profile, supposed to handle things Chaos and Amber choose to ignore. They are PCs built on shadow scale.
This year they decided they needed to find their missing leader, Julia Barnes-Sawall. And that set a game crossing through the perilous holdings of Chaos in the Black Zone where Lords and Ladies of Chaos stood in their path. The Charter kicked ass and teamed up with Lord Jurt, convincing him to return to the Fount of Four Worlds to gain the powers of madness and Living Trump. Julia was saved from a fate literally worse than death. No casualties this year.

Slot 6) In a Wicked Amber (gm - ben benard)
Ben stepped in to run this when illness took out the GM pair the day before the con. Interesting system yielding very different Amber flavor that had many parallels to Zelazny's own writing style. Worth the trip (even tho' my Fiona got the short end of many dice contests, yes, the game played with a dice mechanic!) Thanks, Ben!

Slot 7) Changing Hands (gm - arref)
This worked very well. PCs made good progress against a full agenda handed them by King Random to clear shadows of Chaosi influences. Many interesting shadow stories, much range of play and good efforts by the cast to also collect resources for the 'strifed and strained' Amber transitioning while the Patternfall Treaty is hammered out in Chaos. Thanks gang.

Slot 8) The Soft Cimmerian: 'Go Ask Alyse' (gm - arref)
Special game exploring a unique undersea realm, the Gallants of the Glass were in good form. A personal request from Queen Moire is satisfied by intense and dangerous quest. A Guisel is thwarted. The Cheshire Puss makes an appearance. Lost lovers are rejoined. No casualties. Awesome stuff.

It is likely I will offer Soft Cimmerian at least once more... and hope that some of the starter PCs will have time to do that in March 2010.

Filed under : Amber, Events at 22.04.2009
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