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Topics - Jarrod Stanek

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Thralls of Prophecy

Premise
Selene, the oracle of Rebma, received a prophecy that the PCs must work together to avoid three threats to the multiverse.

Timeframe
This campaign begins after book 9 and before book 10. After the first adventure, the rest of the campaign takes place after book 10. (One of my players hadn’t finished the final novel when we began and I didn’t want to spoil anything for her.)

The Characters
Artemis is a Lord of Chaos. He is the Chaos ambassador assigned to Amber. He is equally quick with his blade and his tongue. He knows that everyone in Amber will be distrustful of him, but he is a team player and feels he will win them over.
Kailani is daughter of Llewella. She is a warrior but also practices elemental magic. She was raised in Rebma and knows Maeve from when she spent some time in Rebma. She has a difficult relationship with her mother and is still getting over her Shadow lover’s murder.
Maeve is daughter of Bleys. She is a sorceress and conjurer. She was raised both in Shadow and in Amber. She also spent some time in Rebma where she befriended Kailani. She and her father get along famously, but she is also close to her Aunt Fiona.

New Recurring NPCs
Edmund is the son of Brand and Allette, a servant-girl, and was conceived when Brand was in Rebma trying to get information about Martin. The Sea-Court watches Edmund carefully, hoping he doesn’t turn out like his father.
Gradlon is an enigma to most of the Sea-Court. He has been coming and going for as long as anyone can remember. He is the Rebman equivalent of Dworkin.
Lorelei is enigmatic, even in Rebma. She is rumored to be a sorceress of considerable power, but says little to acknowledge or discourage speculation. Famed for her beauty, many young Rebmans have duels over her and met grisly ends.
Nestor was the son of Queen Moire and was born after Morganthè. He spent his time in personal exploration, and led an expedition to the mysterious Sargasso Sea over a century ago, and never seen again.
Oswald is one of the most competent warriors in Rebma and is the captain of the Queen’s Guard. He is the son of Scylla, making him Moire’s nephew. He is an honest soul, trusting in codes of chivalry and honor.
Scylla is Moire’s younger half-sister and a trusted advisor. Enigmatic and subtle, Scylla is both fickle and friendly, demure and dangerous, seemingly having a distinct and separate personality for each person she encounters.
Selene is a mystic and seer, who can see the future. She has great distaste for the machinations of the Sea-Court, spending much of her time away from it. She serves as a consultant to Moire.
Vaughn made his way to Rebma several centuries ago from the surface world, but who he was before coming to Rebma remains a mystery to this day. He is Rebma’s Admiral of the Fleet, which entails defending Rebman from above.

New Important Locations
The Coral Branch are a series of undersea Shadows that Rebma has regular trade with. They are the Rebman equivalent of the Golden Circle.
The Labyrinth and the Maelstrom is supposedly where the Tritons live. No one really knows for sure since no one from Rebma has ever been there.
The Sargasso Sea is a Shadow that is difficult to pass through due to the Sargasso weed that grows everywhere. The Sargasso Sea lies beyond the Coral Branch and most Rebmans have no reason to travel even that far from home.

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I'm currently running an Amber game but doing the prep work for Lords of Olympus, which I'm going to run after Amber. The overall theme is that Tartarus has become weak enough from housing all its prisoners over the centuries that is has weakened a little bit. Nowhere near enough for anyone to escape, but enough for the trapped Titans to send out a fraction of their power and create avatars. The idea being that these avatars will then go out and wreak havoc against the Olympians for them. So that's kinda the overall campaign theme.

Once the Olympians discover what's going on, one of the adventures the PCs will get to go on is a quest for a McGuffin that will restore the strength of Tartarus and keep the Titans from making any more avatars. Kind of a Golden Fleece type of deal. But I'm getting stuck coming up with a good McGuffin. Does anyone have any suggestions for a cool McGuffin that would work? This is pretty much the only creative roadblock I've hit thus far. Any help is appreciated.

3
Has anyone ever had a Lord of Chaos lose their Logrus Mastery? I'm talking about an NPC of course - I'd never do that to a PC without their permission. I had a cool idea for a story where an NPC ally loses the Logrus but it is later replaced with Ygg powers which work similarly. I was thinking the Chaos Lord on question gets banished and has his Logrus removed by a magic ceremony. I'm sure the Logrus itself could deny any Chaos Lord it felt like.

So I'm just wondering if anyone else has had this happen in their campaign or had other any ideas of how this could happen.

4
So I'm just curious if anyone has ever had a Shadow person with Broken Pattern in their group of Amberites and how they dealt with the power level issue. Here's what I mean. Even characters from the books who have Broken Pattern (Jasra, Julia) are far less powerful than your average Amberite. Which makes a certain kind of sense. But what if it was a PC? Players shouldn't be punished for playing the character they want to play, even if that means they aren't playing an Amberite or Lord of Chaos. Is your Broken Pattern PC just a fluke and abnormally powerful? I'd hate to think that GMs would limit how high a character's Attributes could go because they're not Amberites. Just curious how other GMs have handled this.

5
I just wanted to let everyone know that I am selling my Amberzines on ebay. They're all in like new condition. I have all of them except #1. Starting bids for #2 - #11 is only $25. Starting bid for #12-15 is $50 since it is four times the size of the other ones.

6
So, I'm working on a new LoO campaign, since I've currently got the Diceless Bug (TM pending) and my last campaign didn't really take off.

Elementalism kinda bugs me. Much like Sorcery, it's the only power where you have to memorize spells to use it. So, I want to ditch the "spell memorization" aspect of the power, and make it usable at will, like the rest of the powers. I understand that this makes the power more powerful and useful, so I thought to maybe do something to offset this.

Option 1: Increase the cost from 15 points, to 25 points. This seems the most reasonable to me, not to mention the easiest solution.

Option 2: Keep the cost at fifteen, but limit the element learned to a single element. Thus learning Elementalism: Fire costs 15 points; learning Elementalism: Air costs another 15 points; and etc. So learning all four elements would end up costing a whopping 60 points. Too much? It seems kinda high to me, but maybe not. This also makes it more Avatar: The Last Airbender-ish, which is okay with me. (Excellent cartoon, terrible movie).

Option 3: Keep the costs at 15 points and keep the power as is. Basically, making this a much more powerful power.

I'd love to hear other people's opinions, thoughts, and feedback.

7
My wife and I are about to begin a new Amber campaign. We will take turns GMing, with the GM's character being run as an NPC while they GM and as a PC when they are the player. So, we are thinking of doing something a little different and I was wondering if anybody else had ever done this and had any advice to offer.

We are going to run a "Shadow Person" campaign that takes place in a single Shadow (more or less), during the Black Road War. The characters are both from the same Shadow world and possibly both belong to the same organization/secret society. The world will probably be something similar to 7th Sea, where it's pseudo-historical Europe of the 17th century but with magic and monsters thrown in. The Shadow world gets invaded by the Black Road, similar to what happens to Avalon in Corwin's novels and the focus of the campaign is going to be fighting the forces of Chaos and protecting the Shadow world.

So, I'm just wondering if anybody has ever run a game similar to this and has any advice to offer. Specifically, here's a list of things we are brainstorming.

1. So we don't have to greatly restrict the characters to Human and Chaos level attributes, we are going to implement the "Icon rule," which is simply that this world produces are large number of iconic hero and villain types who are just better than the average Joe. They have access to Amber+ attributes and more powers. I'm kind of taking the idea from Planet Fiction, from Lords of Gossamer & Shadow.

2. We're going to ignore all of the rules presented in Shadow Knight (constructs; demon creation; and 8 & 16 point qualities for artifacts and creatures). They don't feel appropriate for non-Amber/Chaos level characters, plus they're kind of a pain and we don't want to deal with them.

3. Personal Shadows are also off limits because the focus should be on protecting the Shadow world they live on. On the other hand, might it be nice for a spellcaster to have a "mini-realm" safe haven to memorize spells in? Maybe something like Verse Arcanum from Lords of Gossamer & Shadow, where the Personal Shadow rules only applied to the character's own wizard tower? That could potentially lead to multiple "mini-realms" in this single Shadow world, and I'm not sure we want to go there.

4. New powers. Hoo boy, this could be a slippery slope. Obviously Pattern and Logrus are not available, so it might be nice to include some new, minor powers to have more options for characters. Broken Pattern could of course be an option. "Borrowing" from Lords of Olympus and Lords of Gossamer & Shadow, we could include any of the following powers.
•   Aetheric Projection (astral projection)
•   Blessings & Curses (usually part of Pattern but since it's not available…)
•   Elementalism (spells based on the 4 classic elements)
•   Empathy (mental powers)
•   Glamour (illusion magic)
•   Immortality (non-aging; this might be nice for characters that want to have more than 30ish years of experience)
•   Invocation (magic based on True Names)
•   Scrying (magical observation)

5. Sorcery.  We've never been completely happy with the Sorcery rules and I had an idea. Why aren't new spells purchased like Power Words are? For 15 points, you can create and learn an infinite number of spells. This has always seemed unbalanced to me. Yes, sorcery isn't a match for Pattern but well-designed spells can really throw a monkey wrench into your story. I was thinking that for the initial 15 points, you get all of the basic spells from the book, but each new spell you want to learn costs an additional 2 point.

Any thoughts or advice in general, or specifically about any of the above points would be greatly appreciated.

8
So, I'm winding down an Amber campaign that I'm running for my wife, and next is going to be a Lords of Olympus campaign and I started thinking about Circe. She's the sorceress who transforms the Argonauts into pigs and holds Jason captive on her island for a year, delaying him from getting the Golden Fleece. Most entries about Circe say she is skilled in transformation, illusion, and necromancy. Not really sure how I can use her (or another witch like her) in LoO. Illusion is obviously just glamour. Easy enough. But what about transformation? Advanced Metamorphosis could do it but she doesn't seem to have the Metamorphosis power, even at the basic level. And necromancy? No clue.

I guess it would be easy enough to transport Sorcery from Amber (or even Lords of Gossamer & Shadow) but I don't want to open a can of worms, either. Who else would have Sorcery? How does this newly introduced power affect game balance? Etc., etc. I guess Transformation and Necromancy could be written up as new powers but that seems like a lot of work to introduce two very specific powers that very few people would bother learning. So, any ideas or thoughts on the subject?

Jarrod

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