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Author Topic: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)  (Read 824 times)

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Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

<Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« on: November 04, 2014, 08:15:54 AM »
For the moment I think we have all the players I can handle. If you are interested in this game, please still post and I will contact you if and when an opening develops.

Yes, Roger Zelazny's Amber.

Ever since reading the Corwin cycle for the umpteenth time some weeks ago I was thinking about maybe using that setting for a roleplay.

So far I have no real plot worked out, as I have no idea if this could ever get enough attention to get off the ground - which is why I am posting an interest check here. If you are interested in the Amber setting, read through the rest of this post and then respond here, please.

Game setting: After the Patternfall War, ignoring the Merlin cycle of novels. Personally I feel Zelazny pulls too many rabbits out of his hat with all the sorcery, the Logrus powers, the Pattern and the Logrus being sentient and has too much happen too quickly in the Merlin novels. Also, all the characters of the "new generation" Amberites introduced there would crowd the field too much. Starting with a clean slate after Oberon's funeral and a period of relative peace between Amber and the Courts of Chaos strikes me as a better idea than taking into account everything that happens in the Merlin novels.

Character backgrounds: The next generation of Amberites after Corwin & Co. I would prefer children of Amberites who are still around after the Patternfall War, as it might be more interesting to have a father or mother still around, but that is negotiable.

Game mechanics: For character creation we would use the Amber RPG mechanics with some modifications and restrictions. If you don't know the Amber D(iceless)RPG I can explain the basics and help you create a character. It's pretty much a point-buy system to define your character, with the resolution of different situations very much based on comparing point values between characters.

Character creation: I would like to focus on Amber, so Logrus powers and Shapeshifting should be rare. When it comes to artifacts I wouldn't want anything of the calibre of Ghostwheel. There will be no attribute auction. You get your points, spend them, hand in your character, and unless there is something really off with your character that requires some GM/Player conversation you get what you want. I am currently thinking about a way for players to acquire Pattern Imprint after the start of the game, but that will require a major writing contribution.

Group size: I was thinking of three players, maybe (just maybe) four players. In an Amber game people can easily trump someplace, walk or hellride through Shadows when they like, and go their own marry way into different shadows/dimensions. Dealing with that in a large group might well turn out to be a nightmare for the GM/Storyteller, so I would rather start small.

Game rating: Extreme. Don't get me wrong here. I don't envision something that includes rape, graphic violence, extreme torture, or something like that (at least not written out in details). I don't think that would be in the spirit of the novels the game would be based on. But Amberites are (usually) strong and well-trained fighters. There might well come a point where some limbs get chopped off in a fight. Even without all the gory details that might best be dealt with in the "Extreme" forum section, just to be on the safe side.

If anyone is interested, just post here. Questions, character concepts, and campaign ideas are all welcome.  :-)
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 07:56:19 AM by Cassandra LeMay »

Offline Ebb

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2014, 10:22:37 AM »
Amber's a great setting and a great game. I had a couple of questions for you, though:

- Given that this is on Elliquiy, what level of erotic content did you expect to have? By definition the player characters are all relatively closely related, so do you expect this to be incestuous, or to have relations largely between PCs and NPCs only, or just figure that the game won't have erotic elements?

- A lot of Amber games tend to be very heavily player-vs-player, with lots of scheming and backstabbing and so forth. Is that what you're envisioning here, or would you prefer more of a "let's all work together to save Amber" feel?

- Do you figure that all of the surviving Elder Amberites will be around and in charge, or will there be some event forcing the younger generation to step up into the spotlight? Advantages and disadvantages either way.

- Any chance of doing the attribute auction, or do you just think it doesn't fit the game you're picturing? I guess with a smaller player group perhaps it doesn't make as much sense. But it seems that without the auction you might end up with very low point expenditures on attributes, assuming that only the relative rankings matter. Plus auctions are fun.

Thanks for the extra info.

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2014, 11:01:47 AM »
Amber's a great setting and a great game. I had a couple of questions for you, though:

- Given that this is on Elliquiy, what level of erotic content did you expect to have? By definition the player characters are all relatively closely related, so do you expect this to be incestuous, or to have relations largely between PCs and NPCs only, or just figure that the game won't have erotic elements?
I must admit that I haven't thought about that too much yet, given that I am not even sure if this will gain enough interest to ever get off the ground. That said I would not want to make too many rules on sexual content and just remind players that it is not exactly the focus of the Amber setting. If people really want to go into details they should be free to do so, working out among themselves how they want things to go. In the novels, sex pretty much boils down to "and then we slept with each other". If someone wants to go beyond that I would say it should be part of the story and tell us something about the characters involved, instead of being gratuitious sex for the sake of sex. If two PCs want to have sex that is their thing and I would be hesitant to make rules against it, but if it happens it should be part of the story.

- A lot of Amber games tend to be very heavily player-vs-player, with lots of scheming and backstabbing and so forth. Is that what you're envisioning here, or would you prefer more of a "let's all work together to save Amber" feel?
That is one of the points I am still working on. For now I am just tossing out the idea of an Amber game and waiting to see if the idea sticks. :D
But ... I think it might end up being a "lets work together for now" thing, as it might be difficult to RP too much backstabbing and PvP scheming in a forum game. I would like to see the majority of the action played out on the forum, with PM action only happening if and when required. There is only so far you can go with keeping player knowledge seperate from character knowledge and I think having something that is at least slightly cooperative would help with that if most of the action happens in posts that are there for everyone to see.

- Do you figure that all of the surviving Elder Amberites will be around and in charge, or will there be some event forcing the younger generation to step up into the spotlight? Advantages and disadvantages either way.
I would imagine something where all the older Amberites are around to show up if and when the story really needs them, but not at the forefront of events. Random rules in Amber, Julian is off in the forest of Arden, Benedict could be off somewhere in shadow, Gerard is out on the open seas, commanding the fleet, and so on. They could all be available, but they all have their own business to attend to. In so far it would be more the younger generation stepping up into the spotlight. I also imagine that it would take quite a few posts to establish the characters and we could figure out a few details as we go along. I would certainly not throw everyone into the thick of things without giving them a chance to establish their characters. For now, let's say we are dealing with a group of "free agents" assembled to deal with a problem while the older Amberites hold the fort closer to home.

- Any chance of doing the attribute auction, or do you just think it doesn't fit the game you're picturing? I guess with a smaller player group perhaps it doesn't make as much sense. But it seems that without the auction you might end up with very low point expenditures on attributes, assuming that only the relative rankings matter. Plus auctions are fun.
The problem I see with doing the auction in a forum game is that it might take an obscene amout of time. Given that not everyone might be online every day (not to mention time zones), just auctioning a single attribute could take weeks of real time before the game ever starts. That could take the energy out of the game way before it even starts. People spending all their points to buy fancy powers might be a real risk, but if the do, they get what they ask for.  If someone really wants to buy their Endurance down to Human level for some extra points I can always hit them over the head and knock them out before they get a chance to activate those superpowers. ;)

EDIT: What has just occured to me as perhaps an adequate example of the tension/backstabbing that I could well see in this game is the X-Men. Think of Jean, Wolverine, and Cyclops. When push comes to shove they work together, but that doesn't mean there isn't any tension there or that Logan and Scott have to like each other very much. When there is a lull in the action they can be at each other's throat and fight their own little fights.

« Last Edit: November 04, 2014, 11:23:27 AM by Cassandra LeMay »

Offline Caehlim

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2014, 07:06:41 PM »
Amber DRPG?! Really?! Awesome.

I have never been able to find a game of this to play in, despite wanting to for a very long time. I am definitely interested since I'm a fan of the game and Roger Zelazny's novels.

As for incest, there was very little hesitation before Corwin slept with who he believes to be Benedict's daughter. I also had the impression that he was interested in Dierdre and that it was only Oberon who had stood opposed to relationships between his children. So I don't think it would be too non-canonical. If we're playing the children of elder Amberites, then unless we have the same parent most characters would be cousins only, made more distant by the way many of the elder Amberites are only half-siblings.

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2014, 01:12:54 AM »
Amber DRPG?! Really?! Awesome.

I have never been able to find a game of this to play in, despite wanting to for a very long time. I am definitely interested since I'm a fan of the game and Roger Zelazny's novels.
Truth be told, I never played the game either. My pen-and-paper buddies are usually only happy when they can roll some dice, so while mayn of them like the Amber novels, the game system never appealed to them enouch to give it a try.

As for incest, there was very little hesitation before Corwin slept with who he believes to be Benedict's daughter. I also had the impression that he was interested in Dierdre and that it was only Oberon who had stood opposed to relationships between his children. So I don't think it would be too non-canonical. If we're playing the children of elder Amberites, then unless we have the same parent most characters would be cousins only, made more distant by the way many of the elder Amberites are only half-siblings.
True that. And some Amberites might find it much easier to fall in love, or at least develop a strong emotional bond, with another Amberite than anyone else. Everyone else in the universe (except for the Courts of Chaos) is just a shadow, not really 'real'. Depending on how an Amberite thinks about shadows, shadow people might not hold much of an appeal. Relationships between familiy members might actually be quite common, if not for two factors: One, Oberon might not have allowed it, and two, getting too close to a family member can be used against you, be it through blackmail, direct attacks against a loved one, or some of the many other avenues open to a rival Amberite.

+ + + + +

To further clarify two of the points Ebb raised:

Intrigue vs. Cooperation: Just that I would like to run something that has the players act as a group most of the time doesn't mean there can't be hidden agendas, even among the player characters that will play a part in the game. It might, at least in part, depend on who the parents of the player characters end up being and how well they get along with each other. It's too early to tell before we start making characters in earnest.

No auction leading to low point buys in attributes: I am not sure if it will really be a problem, as long as we don't talk openly about specific strengths and weaknesses of the characters before character sheets are handed in. You can never be certain if someone else doesn't want the same attribute as their strongest and best that you also want. If you really want to be the best of your generation you better put a good many points in that attribute. Not to mention that having the highest rank in your field only counts when you go against other player characters. If you want to be certain you can beat a strong NPC opponent you shouldn't hold back too much.

Offline Empyrean

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2014, 01:38:35 AM »
Just marking some interest.

Offline Caehlim

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2014, 01:52:33 AM »
Oh, I've lost my rulebook for Amber DRPG somewhere throughout the years. When it comes time to build characters I might need some assistance. Not that it's exactly a rule heavy game or anything and I remember most things.

Quote
No auction leading to low point buys in attributes: I am not sure if it will really be a problem, as long as we don't talk openly about specific strengths and weaknesses of the characters before character sheets are handed in. You can never be certain if someone else doesn't want the same attribute as their strongest and best that you also want.

A blind auction could be good in this way and keep a bit more mystery than the regular auctions do as well. I think that'll work well.

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2014, 02:27:27 AM »
Just marking some interest.
Sweet. :) If Ebb is still interested we might need just one or two more people before we can get the ball (slowly) rolling. While I said I would prefer a small group, if we end up with five people wanting to play that's fine by me. Not everyone who expresses an interest may actually end up playing, and if we really have a group of five player characters I think I can handle that.

I'll go over the rules again for a day or two and we'll just see if someone else expresses an interest in the meantime. For now, as a reminder and some food for thought, here's a list of the Amberites still alive at the end of the Patternfall War:

Benedict
Bleys
Caine
Corwin (as I am ignoring the Merlin books it is entirely possible that Corwin will play an active part in the affairs of Amber, unless he is away to explore his own pattern)
Fiona
Flora
Gerard
Julian
Llewella
Random

All of them could be a parent of a player character. If someone really wants to play the child of one of the dead Amberites I would say that perhaps Eric is the best choice, as we hardly know anything about Deidre, and somehow I picture Brand to be too busy gaining power for himself to care much about children, but that is negotiable and not a decision on my part that's set in stone.

----------------------------


Quote from: Chaelim
Oh, I've lost my rulebook for Amber DRPG somewhere throughout the years. When it comes time to build characters I might need some assistance. Not that it's exactly a rule heavy game or anything and I remember most things.
Yes, as long as you can remember in broad strokes what the individual powers can do it's not all that difficult. Creating an artifact, creature, or personal shadow may require a bit of point juggling but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

Could everyone else please let me know if you have access to the rulebook? I'd like to know how much or little detail about the rules I'll have to provide during character creation.
« Last Edit: November 05, 2014, 10:22:01 AM by Cassandra LeMay »

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2014, 11:36:03 AM »
Okay, as my mind gets into gear and my muse begins to wake up, here is the character sheet I would like to use, together with some basic information on how the point-buy system would / could work, based on the Amber DRPG rulebook:

Code: [Select]
[b]Name:[/b]
[b]Parent(s):[/b]
[b]Apparent Age:[/b]
[b]Chronological Age:[/b] *
[b]Gender:[/b]
[b]Appearance:[/b]
[b]Personality:[/b]
[b]History:[/b]

[b]Attributes:[/b] (Human Rank = -25 points, Chaos rank = -10 points, Amber rank is for free, every point above Amber rank costs... 1 point)
Psyche
Strength
Warfare
Endurance
[b]Pattern Imprint:[/b] Yes (50pts)**, No, Advanced (75pts)
[b]Trump Artistry:[/b] Yes (40pts), No, Advanced (60pts)
[b]Power Words:[/b] Yes (10pts ), No (can buy only once for 5 different power words)
[b]Sorcery:[/b] Yes (15pts), No
[b]Conjuration:[/b] Yes (20pts), No
[b]Personalized Artifact or Creature:[/b] Please describe (pts vary)
[b]Personalized Shadow:[/b] Please describe (pts vary)
[b]Shape Shifting:[/b] Yes (35pts), No, Advanced (65pts)
[b]Logrus Mastery:[/b] (requires Shape Shifting) Yes (45pts), No, Advanced (70pts)
[b]Allies:[/b] Ally in Amber (not an Amberite) (1pt), Family Friend (an Amberite) (2pts), Chaos Court Devotee (4pts), Amber Court Devotee (required if you want to take Pattern Imprint after the game starts) (6pts)
[b]Player Contribution:[/b] (two maximum, one contribution per category and month real time at least, each is worth an extra 10 points) Diary, Trumps/Artwork, Amber Stories, Poetry
[b]Good Stuff / Bad Stuff:[/b] Points left over count as Good Stuff, overspending gives you a corresponding number of Bad Stuff (think of it as good or bad karma for your character)

I think that should cover all the angles, except for two details, one small, one pretty big:

* Chronological Age: The smaller matter. How long your character has really lived might well make a difference to how many skills he/she could reasonably have picked up. At least in part that may depend on your character's background, but as a rule of thumb I would say your character's chronological age, no matter where in Shadow he/she was raised, should be no more than twice your apparent age, or thereabouts. That could still mean someone who looks around 20 could have the equivalent of several PhD's, but lets not go too much overboard for the younger, untested generation of Amberites.

** Gaining Pattern Imprint after the game starts:
You can gain this during the game by walking the Pattern. If you want to have it right at the start of the game you will have to spend the 50 points during character creation.
If you want to acquire Pattern Imprint during the game you will have to do three things: One, spend 6 points on the Amber Court Devotee ally. Two, spend an "advance" of at least 15 points on Pattern Imprint. Three, when you get a chance to walk the Pattern you have to write an account of your experience that has at least 100 words for every point you still need to reach the 50 point threshold. So if you just pay the minimum advance of 15 points you would have to write at least 3,500 words. If you pay an advance of 30 points you'd need to write at least 2,000 words, and so on.

Disadvantages of buying Pattern Imprint later: Even if you like to write long stories, be aware of three potential drawbacks of postponing getting Pattern Imprint. The first is that you can't just choose when to walk the Pattern. The final say over that lies with the Narrator. I will not hold you back unduly, but neither will there be a guarantee you can do it the moment you want to. Second, once you start walking the Pattern you can't stop or go back, i.e. until your story is finished and okay-ed, your character is out of the action. Third, your story should tell us something about your character and his/her personal experience. If it boils down to just a description of events without much personality or if it is too derivative of Zelazny's descriptions I might send you back to the drawing board and require some changes or a complete re-write. Walking the Pattern is an important part in any character's history and development, so it should be well-written.

I think this would allow characters to play out an important part of their character's development, without unbalancing the game too much. Spending 21 points (at the very least) just for the chance to maybe walk the Pattern at some point should probably be okay, but I am happy to adjust this, depending on the feedback of potential players.

Offline Ebb

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2014, 11:30:49 PM »
This is a very interesting game!

Which, unfortunately, makes me even sadder to say that I can't participate. In looking at the number of games that I'm already behind in posting in, I really can't justify taking on another group game right now.

But to those who are seeing this now for the first time since I just bumped it to the top -- please consider joining. Amber is a terrific system game, especially for those who hate system games.

Best of luck to all.

Offline Empyrean

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2014, 01:24:58 AM »
I don't have the Amber DRPG book. I do have a vague notion for a character though.

I'm thinking a kid of Fiona (she was always my favorite in the books). Someone who perhaps is magically talented in some way, but is artistic and dreamy. A person who hardly seems anchored in reality most of the time, kind of spacy and gentle. And that's all I had so far.

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2014, 03:48:14 AM »
This is a very interesting game!

Which, unfortunately, makes me even sadder to say that I can't participate. In looking at the number of games that I'm already behind in posting in, I really can't justify taking on another group game right now.

But to those who are seeing this now for the first time since I just bumped it to the top -- please consider joining. Amber is a terrific system game, especially for those who hate system games.

Best of luck to all.
Thanks for the well wishes, Ebb. While it's sad to see you go, it's not always easy to realize that you have bitten off more than you can chew, so I certainly appreciate that you made up your mind early and told us about it right now.  :-)

I don't have the Amber DRPG book. I do have a vague notion for a character though.

I'm thinking a kid of Fiona (she was always my favorite in the books). Someone who perhaps is magically talented in some way, but is artistic and dreamy. A person who hardly seems anchored in reality most of the time, kind of spacy and gentle. And that's all I had so far.
While this may be more a matter for a character creation thread instead of an interest check I'll run you through a few options, to give you some food for thought, and perhaps help clarify some points for other interested parties in the process. First of all, you get 100 points to buy attributes and abilities.

Magical talent would mean Sorcery. Preparing a spell and maintaining it in your memory takes time (that can mean at least 2 or 3 hours a day). Also, spells usually have to be tailored to a specific situation, so it is common to leave a few aspects out and define them only when you actually cast the spell. That means spellcasting is not instantaneous. It take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or so.
If you are interested in Sorcery, Conjuration would be a good ability to also take. Conjuration would allow you to imbue items and creatures with special abilities. The process takes time, especially if you want something that works outside the shadow where it was created. But combining Sorcery and Conjuration you could get an item that can store up to a dozen prepared spells, saving you from constantly "maintaining" those spells in your memory.

Sorcery plus Conjuration is not bad, but it will require some time, effort, and preparedness to make the most of it. That is why many Amberites may know at least the basics of Sorcery and just don't use it all that much. If you still want go that route it would cost you anything between 15 points (Sorcery alone) and about 38 points (Sorcery + Conjuration + a spell-storing item). Power Words can be usefull to give your spellcasting a boost now and then, but if you take the whole package and add Power Words you would spend almost half your 100 points. I wouldn't recommend that for a starting character.

Relying completely on Sorcery is something I would not recommend. Taking only that would really limit your abilities, compared to someone who has the powers of Pattern Imprint or Trump Artistry. Trying to get both in combination with a full-blown "Sorcery+ package" would cost you pretty much all your points, even if you pay the minimum of 21 points required to pick up Pattern Imprint during the game. Psyche is important for using almost any ability so it should be at least a little above Amber rank, and going below Amber-level Endurance could mean your character is easily winded and can not make the most of his/her powers if he tries to use them for any length of time.

There are a few ways to gain more points. You could buy down the Attributes your character might not think important (Strength and Warfare most likely, in your case) but I would not recommend going down to Human level, even if the extra 25 points may look tempting. Another option would be to provide a campaign contribution (artwork, poetry, etc.) on a regular basis. A third option would be to just overspend and get some Bad Stuff. But the Bad Stuff characters are usually the brooding, unlucky, and sometimes antisocial types. The character you describe strikes me as a character with neither too much Good or Bad Stuff.

My recommendation for this character would be to pick either a Sorcery+Conjuration combo, or Trump Artist. Then spend the 21 points (or a little more) you need to walk the Pattern sometime later. Put a lot of points into Psyche, leave Endurance at Amber rank or add a few points there, and maybe buy down either Strength or Warfare to Chaos level if you need the extra points. (I would go for maybe one of those two attributes if you really want the extra points, but not both of them and neither buying even one of them down to Human level, as it would put you in a serious disadvantage in a fight.)

I hope this clarifies a few things and helps a little. :-)

Offline Caehlim

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2014, 04:09:39 AM »
Name: Robin (believes his last name to be Kolvirson)
Parent(s): Random and Vialle
Apparent Age: 19
Chronological Age: 19
Gender: Male

Appearance: As pictured. Robin is a handsome young man who favours simple clothing. When he has been working artistically he often finds himself with small paint splatters on himself. His preferred colours are black, white and brass which he tends to favour in most of his dress.

Personality: Robin is quietly confident and relaxed. Used to a peaceful life he isn't as flamboyant as some of the other children of amber can be. He isn't antisocial but prefers small groups of close friends to a large party. He is laid-back and easy-going, a lot like his father and rarely takes things too seriously. Like his father though, he can be serious when truly important issues occur and tends to focus on them in a very earnest and dedicated fashion. He hasn't mastered the family arts of lies, deception and paranoia to the true degree of a scion of Amber. Instead he tends to be fairly honest and direct, he can keep a secret though and will rarely say more than he needs to.

History: Robin was raised on a remote shadow that has little about it to attract attention. The technology was equivalent to Shadow Earth around the earliest days of the 20th century but unlike Earth it was not poised on the brink of a major war. It seemed a peaceful place for a Scion of the family of Amber to be raised and Random hoped that he would be able to avoid the vicious in-fighting of their relatives. One unusual trait is that Thari is the native language there, which Random selected it for on purpose so that Robin would grow up speaking the language of Amber.

He was raised in a manor house outside a large farming and trade community, by a staff of tutors and governesses selected by Random and Vialle, but saw relatively little of his family growing up. His dog Puck (see below) was his closest companion growing up with everyone else mostly being staff. He was always excited by the rare visits from his parents, who he believed to be important diplomats in a foreign land but their visits never seemed to be for terribly long.

He was trained in proper "gentlemanly" arts, learning to hunt with a rifle and wield a sword. However his greatest interest was always in the arts. He learned strange styles of music from his father, probably from this foreign land since no one had ever heard of "jazz" before. The stranger thing by far though was the help his blind mother gave him in learning the visual arts of painting and drawing. He had always felt guilty to pursue these artforms which his mother couldn't share in, but she was his greatest encouragement. She taught him to see deeper than his eyes could, to make paintings of the true nature of something. The strange meditative style of drawing both captivated and terrified him, particularly with the strange way those paintings always seemed cold to the touch.

His other great love was for the water, enjoying to swim or row a boat through the lakes that dotted his lands. He started to discover how different he was from some of the other children beneath the water, feeling unusually comfortable submerged and able to easily hold his breath for many minutes at a time. This continued when he went to a grammar school and college within the nearby town and associated more with other children. He discovered that he was far stronger, smarter and more capable than the other children since he was of substance and not shadow. He has a lot of questions about who he is, but relatively few answers. He has made a commitment to himself that when his parents next visit he will question them further to find out more about his nature.

Attributes:
Psyche:        10
Strength:     Amber
Warfare:      Amber
Endurance:  10
Pattern Imprint: Potential (15pts)
Trump Artistry: Yes (40pts)
Power Words: No
Sorcery: No
Conjuration: No
Personalized Artifact or Creature: Puck (See below: 10 points).
Personalized Shadow: No personalized shadow.
Shape Shifting: No
Logrus Mastery: No
Allies: Ally in Rebma (1pt), Amber Court Devotee (6pts)
Player Contribution:
Good Stuff: 8 points


Puck

Runt Hound of Arden.

When Oberon was still alive, as part of a bet Random won one of the puppies from a litter bred by Julian from the legendary beasts who guard the forest of Arden. Julian tricked Random though by never specifying that he'd get his pick of the litter and gave him the runt. Random only wanted it to score a victory over Julian so when that failed Random left the runt with a servant somewhere when he went traveling into Shadow. When Robin was born and hidden in Shadow, Random found the dog again and left him with Robin as an extra element of protection. Although small for a hound of Arden, the dog is still from close to the heart of reality and as part of that legendary bloodline is superior by far to any animal from out in shadow. The dog cannot travel through shadow himself, but can follow an Amberite who is walking the pattern through Shadow.

Double Vitality [2 points]
Double Speed [2 points]
Amber Stamina [2 points]
Combat Training [1 Point]
Double Damage Teeth [2 points]
Shadow Trail [1 Point]

« Last Edit: November 07, 2014, 05:11:39 AM by Caehlim »

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2014, 04:48:11 AM »
Okay, first of all to those who are interested in this game: This is a character concept. Final characters will have to be handed in by PM, once we get enough players. Don't assume this is how Robin will look like when the game starts.

Second, Robin does look like a solid character to me.

Third, I think there are still a few options to change him around a bit.

8 points of Good Stuff is a lot. For a Trump Artist, Psyche is important. Switching a few points from Endurance and/or Good Stuff to bring up his Psyche might work well for him.

Another option might be to lower either his Strength or Warfare to Chaos rank and use the extra points to buy up Psyche or use those extra 10 points to buy Power Words that could give you a little boost in a Psyche duel . It might not provide a long-term boost, but it could give you an edge if someone ever tries to get the better of you during a Trump contact.

All in all he is a good, solid character, but there might be some options for you to explore before you hand in your final character sheet.

Offline Killer Robot

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2014, 09:06:09 PM »
Ooh.  Amber game.  Yes yes, I'll whip something up in the next day or two.   What are the relations between Amber and the Courts at this point?   I'm thinking something of a 4th gen half Amberite/Half Chaosian, grand-daughter of Gerard, or someone suitably less militant,  raised near the courts and working in some mid-level capacity under Julian as a 'favor'.   If having someone with Logrus and ties to the court that close to Amber doesn't work at all I can make her a proper Amberite. 

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2014, 12:29:07 AM »
Ooh.  Amber game.  Yes yes, I'll whip something up in the next day or two.   What are the relations between Amber and the Courts at this point?   I'm thinking something of a 4th gen half Amberite/Half Chaosian, grand-daughter of Gerard, or someone suitably less militant,  raised near the courts and working in some mid-level capacity under Julian as a 'favor'.   If having someone with Logrus and ties to the court that close to Amber doesn't work at all I can make her a proper Amberite.
Welcome aboard, Killer Robot.  :-)

I would say the relationship between Amber and the Courts is relatively stable at the moment, with no open hostility and not much contact, but some diplomatic relations seem possible. I don't have any objections against a character with some Chaos blood, but we would have to think a bit about her background. Right after the war I doubt any Amberite was very keen on sleeping with the enemy, but perhaps an Amberite was tricked into fathering a child before or during the war as part of a "breeding program"?

The problem with Logrus is, that it will cost you a good bit of points. You'll need Shapeshifting too, and if you want to chance to walk the Pattern at some point in the future, Shapeshifting, Logrus, and that will cost you 101 points. Even if you lower one or two of your attributes to Chaos rank you won't have all that many points for the other attributes and other "goodies".

Offline Killer Robot

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2014, 01:11:34 AM »
I am aware of the problems:  and I have no intention on walking the Pattern, too stat draining to even survive.  Perhaps, eventually, sometimes I'd do BP but that would be sometime in the future.  How difficult would navigating the more wild parts of The Forest with Logrus be?

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2014, 02:29:35 AM »
I am aware of the problems:  and I have no intention on walking the Pattern, too stat draining to even survive.  Perhaps, eventually, sometimes I'd do BP but that would be sometime in the future.  How difficult would navigating the more wild parts of The Forest with Logrus be?
Well, the Logrus works just fine in Amber. To travel around using Logrus you would use a "reverse summoning", i.e. you search for an object or person, and instead of pulling them to you, you pull yourself along the Logrus tendril towards them. The biggest danger lies in touching something that contains Pattern while you search around for the object or person you want to travel to - and that includes Amberites who have walked the pattern. In short: You can't touch Julian or one of the other elder Amberites with the Logrus without getting a nasty shock. That would be the major limit to traveling around the Forest of Arden using the Logrus. Also, some Amberite who doesn't know your character might sense it when she uses the Logrus and act first, maybe ask questions later, not realising that you aren't exactly an enemy.

If you don't want to buy Pattern Imprint that's fine by me, but if you want to be of the blood of Amber you will definitely have to spend the 6 points for the Amber Court Devotee advantage. That (or taking Pattern Imprint right from the start) is the only guarantee you will be of the royal bloodline.

By the way, do you have the rulebook, or will I be the only one in this game who has it?

Offline Caehlim

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2014, 02:56:59 AM »
By the way, do you have the rulebook, or will I be the only one in this game who has it?

I actually managed to finally find my copy.

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2014, 03:31:53 AM »
I actually managed to finally find my copy.
Sweet. :-)

You can PM me your final take on Robin whenever you are ready.

Same goes for everyone else. There doesn't have to be any rush - and I am not setting a deadline just yet - but now that we have three players we can start thinking about really setting things in motion. If someone else expresses interest in this game, all the better, but I have an NPC ready to throw into the mix, should the group need some rounding out in one or two departments.

Also, when you PM me your character sheets, could everyone please indicate where you are at the start of the game, i.e. in Amber or of in Shadows somewhere? We can roleplay how you get to Amber where we can then have a little meet-and-greet to get to know the family and socialise a bit before the 'real' action begins.

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #20 on: November 11, 2014, 05:00:33 AM »
Empyrean asked me about this by PM, but I figure it'll be of interest to all players, so I'll address it here:

Can players start with personal Shadows?

Yes, absolutely. The only limit would be spending the points and having a way to get there. If you have Pattern Imprint you can always walk there, if you are a Trump Artist you can paint a Trump of some place in your shadow, if you command Logrus abilities you can always send a Logrus tendril to your shadow and travel along it (but your Shadow should have something very unique in it, least you accidentally end up in a Shadow that is very similar to your own, but not quite it). If you have none of that available you can still reach your Shadow if you follow an established pathway from your Shadow to some other place you can reach. You will have to take that path to reach your Shadow and others may well be able to follow that path too, once they learn where it starts.

As for the points, here is a summary of the rules, which are broken down into three categories:

Nature of the Shadow:
Personal Shadow (1 point) - This allows you complete control over every detail of the Shadow. (When you just walk through shadows to find something you desire you may get the big picture, but may later discover that some small details are perhaps not what you like, simply because you didn't pay attention to them while walking through shadows.)
Shadow of the Realm (2 points) - A Personal Shadow close to Amber. Inhabitants may actually cross over into Amber if they follow an established trade route. Travel time to Amber is much shorter than with other shadows, but Amber will pay close attention to what goes on at its doorstep, and so close to the true reality Shadow Walking will be difficult and take time, if you want to move away from Amber.
Primal Plane (4 points) - A Personal Shadow that contains a trace of "reality". I am actually not quite certain what to make of that, but I would assume it makes manipulating Shadow difficult for anyone but the owner of the Shadow, just as manipulating shadow stuff becomes more difficult, the closer one gets to Amber.

Limited access (costlier options include the cheaper versions):
Communications Barrier (1 point) - Specify one, some, or all of Pattern, Logrus, Trump, Magic, Psyche, and if the barrier works on incoming calls, outgoing calls or both. Barriers work for everyone. They are not selective. You can't exempt certain people (or yourself).
Restricted Access (2 points) - The Shadow can be accessed only at certain points (a mountain pass, a certain forest, through the air, up a certain river, a certain building, etc.) or by performing a certain action (walking backwards, while reciting a certain poem, etc.)
Guarded (4 points) - One or more guardians for the access points to your Shadow. Instructions to them will be left to the owner of the Shadow. Their strengths and weaknesses will be left to the Gamemaster, unless you have a way to imbue them with certain abilities or provide them with special equipment. A primal plane might allow for somewhat stronger guardians, but I am making no promises.

Control of Contents (costlier options include the cheaper versions):
Control of Contents (1 point) - You can pretty much wish for any change you like and it will happen. You can stop firearms or magic from working (or have them suddenly work), change its history, or anything you like, on a whim.
Control of Time Flow (2 points) - You can speed up or slow down the time flow of your Shadow, relative to the time frame of Amber.
Control of Shadow's Destiny (4 points) - The Shadow can put itself into the way of any one person (or class of creatures) that walk in shadows. This would be how Oberon made certain Corwin would definitely arrive in Lorraine and run into Oberon's version of Ganelon. (Please see below)

Restrictions:
I would say controlling a Shadow's destiny would definitely require some control over shadows that can only be gained by walking the Pattern. It strikes me as no small feat to interpose your own personal Shadow between someone who walks through shadows and their goal, so I will allow this option only for players who have already walked the Pattern and gained the Pattern Imprint ability.

Offline Caehlim

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #21 on: November 11, 2014, 06:09:59 AM »
A Personal Shadow that contains a trace of "reality". I am actually not quite certain what to make of that, but I would assume it makes manipulating Shadow difficult for anyone but the owner of the Shadow, just as manipulating shadow stuff becomes more difficult, the closer one gets to Amber.

I'm assuming that's a place like where Yggdrasil grows. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Pattern or Logrus, but is still more significant than shadow because there's something real there. We know that there are other forces at play in the universe that are real (like the unicorn) that aren't necessarily fully explained, so there are probably other things out there that are significant.

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #22 on: November 11, 2014, 06:59:23 AM »
I'm assuming that's a place like where Yggdrasil grows. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with Pattern or Logrus, but is still more significant than shadow because there's something real there. We know that there are other forces at play in the universe that are real (like the unicorn) that aren't necessarily fully explained, so there are probably other things out there that are significant.
Yeah, there are any number of ways to explain what it means, but it gets trickier when it comes to what it actually does in-game. I could probably come up with something that works for the game, but this type of Shadow scratches pretty strongly at the surface of the underlying cosmology of the universe. It's a great opportunity for a Narrator to throw the players a few curve balls and mess with what they think is real or not - which is good. But it may also mean that the players have some expectations when buying a Shadow like this, and while throwing a curve ball now and then, it would be a little unfair if I completely turned their expectations on their head. If you pay the points for it you should get something out of it, and I am not quite certain what could be got from a Shadow like this. In so far I am somewhat hesitant about this kind of Personal Shadow. It's a bit of a balancing act, if you ask me.

Offline Caehlim

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2014, 07:22:41 AM »
Quite fair, I'd say if someone had something particular in mind for their shadow, best to discuss it with you and if that's the best option to cover what they have in mind then you could suggest that one. Otherwise it's probably not something that people should aim for.

While Robin has some personal stake in his shadow and feels close to it, I don't think I would buy it as a personal shadow since he doesn't have any special means of control over it and it's not really an unusual shadow in any particular way.

Online Cassandra LeMayTopic starter

Re: <Interest Check> Amber (DRPG system game, small group)
« Reply #24 on: November 11, 2014, 09:05:48 AM »
Quite fair, I'd say if someone had something particular in mind for their shadow, best to discuss it with you and if that's the best option to cover what they have in mind then you could suggest that one. Otherwise it's probably not something that people should aim for.
That sums up my own thoughts nicely.  :-) Or, as Benedict would say: *nods almost impercetibly*  ;)

While Robin has some personal stake in his shadow and feels close to it, I don't think I would buy it as a personal shadow since he doesn't have any special means of control over it and it's not really an unusual shadow in any particular way.
Well, Robin is of the blood of Amber. Spending almost twenty years in the same shadow could have made "his" shadow something special, just because he was there for quite a while. And as for control... who knows how Trump and Pattern are really connected (if at all?)? If Robin really has an innate talent for Trump artistry, perhaps he could paint scenes that would be perfectly accurate - not because he is such a great painter, but because the shadow tends to adjust itself to whatever he paints there? It would be a slow way to change a Shadow, but he had years to paint different scenes and things.

Worth a thought, if you ask me.