Starting Thoughts

Discussion & setup for another shot at an Amber game.

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Wyvern
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Starting Thoughts

Post by Wyvern »

Both previous Amber games have died, for different reasons. The first one's reasons were, I think, adequately addressed here; the second one died due to the GM - and later an assistant GM (read: me) - just ceasing to post in a timely fashion.

I think I've got a solution for that - or at least something to help mitigate the problem. The notion is to use (modified) FATE* rules, and institute a very simple addendum: If the GM could add something to a thread, and doesn't post within 24 hours, all PCs in that thread gain a fate point. That should give me a much stronger impetus to not let things languish.

Similar rules might also help with incentivizing more active play; join (or create) a new thread where you're trying to do something - gain a fate point.

_____
* Likely FAE, actually; approaches seem more suited to Amber than a rigid skill list.
Wyvern
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Re: Starting Thoughts

Post by Wyvern »

For setting, I'm inclined to run with something closer to what the books use:
Amber is well-established, and there are Elder Amberites around - likely parents or grandparents of some of the PCs. I'm not tied to the specific Elder Amberites used in the books, though.

This would also be a much lower power level campaign than the regular Amber rules lead to; one where a group of normal humans using good tactics and in possession of some situational advantages can actually threaten an Amberite - and where even the Elder Amberites can be opposed in their specialty if you're good enough at cheating.

Powers will tend to be much weaker or shadow-specific (or both) - no re-writing realities on a whim, no Advanced Pattern, no Logrus, etc.

That said, I'm willing to revisit or revise any of the above points if other people have other ideas.
Wyvern
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Re: Starting Thoughts

Post by Wyvern »

An alternative setting notion: Instead of reality drawn between Amber and Chaos, there is simply a patchwork of realms and worlds; territories of competing world-walkers each centered around some singular source of Greater Power. In this sort of setting, you would have Amber with its Pattern, and its Golden Circle of allied worlds... and not too far over you might have The Empire of Dawn built around a Font of Flame, and so on and so forth.

This would make a lot of room for having Greater Powers other than Pattern, and offer players options to have characters that have ventured into the area from far enough away that no-one can be quite certain exactly what they can actually do...

(In case it wasn't clear: this thread - and Amber 3.0 forum as a whole - are open for anyone to post with ideas, things they'd like to see, things they'd like to not see, etc.)
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Joshua
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Re: Starting Thoughts

Post by Joshua »

There was a theory that eventually, anyone who wanted to have Trump would need to traverse Ghostwheel. (As the construct gains infinite trump power, it can destroy any non-authorized user of trump.) Plus, you have the font of four worlds and such... So, the setting could be millennia after the books, with other patterns drawn, other powers found and other ideas.

At that point though, you may want to break Amber a little more, and simply have world-spanning powers. So, instead of Pattern, you'd have "world walking" and allow it to be of several flavors. Instead of Trump you'd have "Communication across worlds"... and let people find their own medium for that.

I'm not sure what to suggest. Neither particularly inspires me.
Wyvern
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Re: Starting Thoughts

Post by Wyvern »

Honestly, at this point I'm still tossing ideas out to see what will stick; if there's player interest in running version three of early Amber, I'm happy to do that, too.

That said, I don't want to go all the way to generic worldwalking. If I do a version of the setting with variations, I want each one to be thematically and mechanically distinct - at least, outside of things like Broken Pattern where there's deliberate and intentional overlap.

What would inspire you?
Brian C
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Re: Starting Thoughts

Post by Brian C »

I like the idea of a science versus fantasy setting.
Wyvern
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Re: Starting Thoughts

Post by Wyvern »

Hm... Science-version of Amber... that'd be an interesting twist on things. I definitely don't want to go too far into super-science, though, so a science version would likely be a mix of around modern-to-maybe-shadowrun tech level with some "mystic" things that science does not (yet) understand. Add a dash of Lovecraft mythos, maybe?

Or, alternatively, there's a setting I built up for a character I was considering using in the previous Amber game but never actually put together - she would have been a "demigod" (read: post-singularity cyborg) from a universe that's a mix of Eclipse Phase and Lost Universe. Edit: on second thought, this kinda fails my intention for a lower power setting. Still, could be fun; if I get players who want this idea run, I'd be happy enough to run with it.
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Re: Starting Thoughts

Post by Wyvern »

Josh suggested reworking the Tempus Fidgit setting, which makes a lot of sense - it was originally designed to be a cross between Amber and Girl Genius.

My previous attempts to run that setting have not gone very well, but I think I know the missing ingredient: having PCs with strong ties to the setting; ones whose aspects include places or people they have responsibility for (or responsibility to).

Not that I mind having a carefree wanderer sort of a character around - but that would either need to be one PC out of several, or someone whose game start consists of an exhausted messenger delivering a summons - the old duke has died and she's only heir, or his mother is imprisoned and facing execution for treason, or her hometown in the Golden Fields is besieged by zombie hyenas... whatever works to get that character moving with a definite goal in mind.
Brian C
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Re: Starting Thoughts

Post by Brian C »

Hmm. Sounds Fun. I could go with a merchant running a set of ships through space. It could give various PCs a hook and something for Amberites to aim for.
Wyvern
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Re: Starting Thoughts

Post by Wyvern »

On further thought: I'm not going to use the Tempus Fidgit setting for one very simple reason: it doesn't have enough rules on how things work. Girl Genius is a fun comic, but it runs entirely on narrative convenience; for PCs in an actual game there needs to be enough groundline rules in place for there to be an established understanding of what things the PCs can't do, and how hard any given action is likely to be. Mad science, however, can do anything... except when it can't, and there's no obvious rhyme or reason for where its limits are.
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