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April 20, 2015 / jadettman

Amber, session 3

Keyne began this session with a conversation with Brand that tap-danced a bit around the topic of the Redheads’ plan. In the end, Keyne expressed her preference for Tristam to be preserved and Brand agreed to abide by her wishes.

Izaya had dinner with Julian and Gerard, both of who expressed their concerns over various inquiries made by Bleys and Fiona, respectively, regarding the disposition of the defense forces of Amber. There was some talk of Eric’s disappearance and what each had found, but the conversation didn’t go far.

Oku’le found himself in a dank, dive of a bar with Random. Oku’le wanted to go back to Amber but didn’t know how. Random promised to see him safely back the next morning. In the mean time, he dragged Oku’le across a filthy dung-strewn street to his hotel where he proceeded to bribe the hotel manager to evict the people in the room adjoining his for Oku’le’s use.

Izaya visited Llewella in Rebma, bringing wine along with. The talk focused mainly on Eric disappearance.

Oku’le woke the next morning and explored the hotel, learning about room-service and the other modern amenities before Random woke. Then Random talked with Oku’le about how one uses the Pattern and gave him some demonstrations.

Keyne had a brief conversation with her grandmother, Clarissa. Then she returned to Amber where she learned that Oku’le had walked the Pattern and had not returned. Disgruntled, she went into the city for hush-puppies.

Izaya visited his parents, Benedict and Sumire. He discovered that they were packing up their house in the city to retire into Shadow because of Sumire’s declining health.

Oku’le was learning about how to use the Pattern and Trumps from Random when Random started to get a Trump call. When Random answered, he was stabbed in the gut. Oku’le grabbed Random to help and saw a shadowed figure holding Random in the Trump contact while simultaneously hiding its identity, and dripping Random’s blood on an unusual and unfamiliar Pattern. With effort, and because the perpetrator’s attention was split amongst many problems, Oku’le was able to pull Random out of the Trump contact. Oku’le, not knowing what else to do, called Julian who was on hunt in Arden. Julian pulled Oku’le and Random through and then immediately sent them to Flora in the palace. Flora contacted Gerard for help and then picked Random up and sprinted to a sitting room where Random could be treated.

Tristam visited Avalon where he’d grown up with his father, Corwin. There they were preparing for their annual celebration of the overthrow of the Demon King Corwin. Tristam changed persona and went out into the village as Isolde. Isolde discovered that she quite enjoyed the delight and celebration that the locals took in the downfall of Corwin. While she was there, Isolde also looked around for signs of Eric or other recent visitors from Amber but found nothing. She’s taken on the guise of a widow turned bookseller.

In Amber, Keyne and Izaya learned that Random had been stabbed and rushed to the palace. There they were informed that Random had been stabilized, though he’d lost a lot of blood. They both quizzed Oku’le about what had happened. Oku’le and Keyne then went down to the Pattern Room to see if the Pattern had been damaged.

In the mean time, Izaya tried to track down Oberon to make certain he’d heard the news but was unable to find him. Oberon’s secretary informed Izaya that Oberon had disappeared from his study right around the time that Random had been stabbed, or shortly after.

Keyne and Oku’le could find no damage on the Pattern.

In Avalon, Isolde met a mysterious woman who introduced herself as Morgan. Morgan made cryptic noises about the smell of Amber on Isolde. When asked what Amber smelled like, Morgan said either horses or whores. Isolde wasn’t sure which.

January 24, 2013 / jadettman

Mage: the Nostalgia

I remember loving Mage: the Ascension when I was in college. I liked Vampire and Werewolf, too. Wraith and Changeling, not so much. Mage, though, I loved.

I think it was the ambiguity and the god-like power. Mages could change reality just by believing something else. And they weren’t monsters, not like the other WW titles.

I also think Mage really primed me for Amber Diceless. Amber has a lot in common with Mage, in my mind. The vast cosmic power and the myriad possibilities, mostly.

At some point, I decided I wanted to run a Technocracy game, though. A game where the players were the frontline agents of the Technocracy whose job is to keep reality from falling apart and to fight monsters with cutting edge ultra-high technology.

I still want to run that game.

Last weekend, I picked up my Technocracy sourcebook from the shelf and started to read through it. There are still a lot of things that I like about the setting and the idea of a playing the Technocracy. There are a lot of things that are discordant to me, though, and I wonder if that is why this game has never happened.

First, technology is not magic and the Technocracy shouldn’t have all of it’s tech based on the Mage magic system. I have a good idea why it was done that way, of course, this is a Mage sourcebook after all. It just doesn’t ring true to me.

I want a recasting of all of the Mage tropes from an ultra-high tech perspective. Don’t tell me about the Technocracy’s Horizon Realms, tell me about their experiments creating pocket dimensions in hyperspace. I don’t want to hear about what level of the Life Sphere is required for cloning. Cloning is ultra-high tech. It has nothing to do with magic. Sure, it may be experimental and it may not fully have the kinks worked out but that hasn’t nothing to do with Paradox.

I think what I really want is going to require some work. And maybe a different system.

May 4, 2012 / jadettman

Wuxia Cortex

Last Sunday I ran a wuxia game for some friends. I used the new Marvel Heroic Roleplaying rules. It was pretty fun.

There were some ups and downs, of course. I’d never run a Cortex system game before, so I didn’t really have a good idea about how tough opponents should be. Largely, this worked in my favor because the PCs kicked all sorts of butt, as they should

For future reference, more d8s and d10s, fewer d6s.

And, if you’re interested, here is a link to check out the pregens I made for the game:



December 26, 2011 / jadettman

More Amber Ideas

This is an idea I’m noodling around with for a modified Attribute setup for Amber Diceless roleplay.

The basic concept is that PCs have three primary Attributes (Mental Acuity, Physical Prowess, Social Influence) and three derived Attributes (Awareness, Manipulation, and Presence).

Prowess would cover any physical actions, whether they be dueling, wrestling, running, or what have you.

Acuity would cover learned and accumulated knowledge as well as other kinds of mental activity.

Influence would cover political and social connections.

Presence, as the intersection of the social and physical, is intended to cover leadership and animal magnetism. So, how well a character inspires loyalty or other feelings.

Manipulation, the intersection of social and mental, is intended to cover a character’s intrigue capability.

Awareness, as the intersection of physical and mental, is, I feel, the weakest part of this. It is meant to cover a character’s immediate perception of her surroundings but it seems like there should be more to it that that.

This setup is intended to be augmented by another system for differentiating characters a bit more but I don’t have that sorted out just yet, nor have I decided whether it is really necessary or not.

December 22, 2011 / jadettman

This is a RPG for me

I don’t think this is controversial. Just thinking in public.

November 21, 2011 / jadettman

A Long Time Coming

For far too long, years, I’ve been thinking about this game. It is a roleplaying game that I want to design/write. In it, the player characters die. Read more…

August 12, 2011 / jadettman

HotB: Duel Tempo

Here is a quote from the duel section of Houses of the Blooded:

First, a duel is fought in a series of beats. Each beat, one of the duelists is the aggressor and the other is the defender. The duelists trade back and forth… unless a switch in momentum occurs. A Maneuver striking the opponent off guard. We’ll get to that later. First, let’s go through the duel step-by-step.

Having read the Houses book a few times now, the author doesn’t ever get to that later. I’d rather he had, though, because it sounded kind of cool.

Here’s the solution that I’m planning to try in the upcoming game:

At the end of every exchange (what the author calls beats) in which there is both an attacker and a defender, the defender gains two dice for his next exchange and the attacker loses two dice for his next exchange.

The idea is that this will shift the momentum of the duel from exchange to exchange to create that back and forth tempo. We’ll have to see whether it works.