in the Shadow of Greatness


January 7, 2014

Ambercon 2014: GM narrative about how games play

from some email last year... too valuable not to freshen and use

This info will apply to 'House of Intrigue and Foxes'

Whether you care to cooperate with each other--in character--is up to you. However, respect between Players will be enforced by me.

At the risk of doing info-dump of which all others are shadows.... I have some references you all can look at regards how I usually run the game. Understand you can browse the old blog for all my thoughts on running games but there are hundreds of comments.

I do understand that the above link may not answer every question, so having shared it, I'll also add here 'flavor bits' and things you all seem to want more info about. One thing I feel strongly about is the Speed of Attributes and Opportunity during CONFLICT.

OK, so elders, yes they will be around. Assume the cast is from the end of the ten book series. Caine is Dead. Merlin is somewhere in Chaos. Etc. Random has been on the throne for nearly 100 years. There may be some kids from the other elders.

For PCs, your background should not put you at odds with each other.... as you did not necessarily grow up together. Explain and/or work with another player if you actually did grow up together. What's more, you may have different cultural assumptions about King Random, and Amber. Someone from a Victorian shadow is going to have a very different thought about Amber than someone who grew up in Amber.

Keep in mind there is something to shadow folk that is not 'smoke and mirrors'. You cannot snap your fingers and change them to your liking. You can assault them physically and mentally. You are not mortal, likely not mortal even if you elect to 'sell down' attributes.

Please note with powers, you shall want to suggest in your PC background WHO taught you a power, or where you got it. Or how you talked that person into delivering such POWER into your hands.

Pattern is not Required for your PC, however, no scion who cannot prove they can weather Pattern will be considered to sit the throne. Pattern's use in Amber is debatable. Pattern's use in your own Shadow would have been very handy for many things. A list too long to go into here, but Probability is always important in Shadow.

Magic is very hard to do in Amber. Think twice as hard, or half as effective as what you might have learned in Shadow.

Power Words are SFX that should have something to do with your PCs backstory. In Amber, they work a moment and are gone. They rarely change the outcome of a fight, but might change the outcome of a loss.

Conjuration is slower than Magic but no harder to do in Amber than Magic is. Conjuration pulls Substance together very slowly. The more Spectacular or Orderly the Substance, the slower the result. You want a cigarette to pull from behind your ear? Fine, you plan it, you engage your skill, you deftly pluck a cigarette of mundane quality
from nowhere. Maybe that all took a minute?

Attributes: I'm going to preface this with another link:

After you read that you may have more questions. But again, flavor bits:

Warfare is often considered the most prestigious skill in Amber because it just works well. Notice that no one thinks that King Random is tops in Warfare, maybe not even near the top. Benedict is still the master.

Psyche is often considered a bit mysterious or chancy in Amber because of interrupts and paranoia. Can you trust the powerful minds of the Family? You'll find however that intuition and analysis of the universe are considered pretty important. Fiona is considered tops in Psyche of those living.

Strength is something everyone wants to have in Amber because it is rather dashing and cool and so dependable. People naturally are drawn to folks with Strength. Gerard is considered stronger than anyone living and staying on his good side is wise.

Endurance is impressive when the chips are down and often ignored otherwise. However, when things go wrong, Endurance will give you a second (or a third?) chance to get the hell out of the problem. Corwin is considered the warhorse of Endurance, but he's never around. So the reigning Endurance master is commonly considered the outcast Dalt, who survived being gutted by Benedict.

Enough for now!

Filed under : Amber at 07.01.2014
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