September 3, 2006

IMC: The Re-drawing of the Pattern

One of the themes that I've used in some of my one-shots, and only now becoming apparent in SB in the instance of the Moonriders is the consequences of Oberon re-drawing the Pattern at the end of the first five novels.

If Pattern provides as much direction and form to shadows that are already in existence as creating them, then what exactly happened from the time that the Primal Pattern was damaged, until Oberon's repair of the Pattern?

Certainly the Black Road was a consequence of weakening the Pattern, allowing such a strong instance of Chaos to penetrate where it had difficulty otherwise. But it is Oberon's re-drawing of the Pattern that is the real kicker, and what I've made good use of.

Why should the post-redrawn Amber side of the universe be precisely the same as it was pre-damaged Pattern?

--Dworkin drew the Original Pattern, Oberon redrew and repaired it. Its certain that the Pattern would be at least subtly different, in the Post-Patternfall world.

--Oberon died during the process. We're not told where on the Pattern he died
---Did Oberon really finish the process? Perhaps Dworkin finished his son's work, Oberon's repair of the Pattern was enough to provide enough sanity for Dworkin to finish the job. Or, Oberon did finish it, but since the effort killed him, his repair was not as careful as it might have been. Things can be missed.

Think of it this way, changing metaphors. When I got a new computer, after the failure of my hard drive, I lost a good many things that I could not find again on the Internet--fonts, programs, and so forth. In some cases I have gotten substitutes, in some cases I have lost them forever.

And its certain that I've forgotten things. Every so often I will remember a particular program, or document, and only then remember that it was on the old HD and not replaced, gone and forgotten.

So, too, for the Amber side of the Universe. Prisons, major changes to the universe post-Pattern creation, and the like can wind up being lost, or imperfectly placed back.

I've done it in a number of games, Ghosts of the Past, for example. A couple of the Regency games have touched on this theme as well.

And, although it may not be clear just yet, and I don't want to speak more about it for fear of spoilers, I've done it in SB as well. Things re-drawn and remade are not the same as the originals, the Pattern and its influence included, and the differences can lead to all sorts of complications.

Posted by Jvstin at September 3, 2006 10:32 AM

I really like the hard-drive analogy. Most of us have had the experience of recalling things that just aren't there anymore.

Chilling to think of the Pattern in that light.

Posted by: Arref at September 4, 2006 4:26 PM

In one campaign I decided that fixing -- not redrawing -- the Pattern meant that Dworkin had an Oberon patch in his head. From time to time he thought he was Oberon...

They gradually integrated and the somewhat kinder and more paternal Dworkin (yes, Oberon's influence softened him a bit) undid a couple of things he now regretted.

The main problem with the Pattern fix was that some of the Things bound in the early days got loose. Most of them were Bad.

Posted by: Randal Trimmer at September 5, 2006 12:02 AM