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Author Topic: Is Amber retro? Yes, yes it is  (Read 363 times)

Warder

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Is Amber retro? Yes, yes it is
« on: August 19, 2020, 12:19:46 PM »
It was written as a New Wave series. It dosent take into account works we have today, ideas in multiple fields that are quite interesting and could enrich the rpg game. Im not talking about the rules, althought i suspect they are also fit for some upgrades, we all envisioned a Second Edition in the past i suspect. I mean the things from various other fantasy and sci genres, either as Shadows or other things one encounteres in Amber rpg.

So my question is this; what have you borrowed/homaged/ripped off from other stories/novels/medias of entertainment that you think could be used or you have used with Amber?

zircher

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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2020, 11:42:53 AM »
Knowing that Zelazny did exactly that with Alice in Wonderland, I would consider it a time honored tradition to integrate (and twist) other forms of media for inclusion in an Amber campaign.  All it takes is one good bender, poisoning, or spell to put an Amberite on the wrong/delusional path.  :-)
You can find my solo Tarot based rules for Amber on my home page.
http://www.tangent-zero.com

LarsonGates

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Is Amber retro? Yes, yes it is
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2020, 07:25:38 AM »
Just about everything and anything, including Rifts, Mechanoids, and Rifts:Mechanoids. The whole universe background I use takes all sorts of cultural referenecs and stands alot of them on their head.. think the Unicorn is a Saint.. think again..

Panjumanju

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Is Amber retro? Yes, yes it is
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2020, 08:39:49 AM »
Amber is an "anything goes" kind of setting, sure, but I'm not sure what you're trying to say. Because there are newer things from other properties that you could pull in Amber, Amber is then "retro"?

//Panjumanju
"What strength!! But don't forget there are many guys like you all over the world."
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Homebrew RPGs based on 80s toy properties I take too seriously:
Masters of the Universe RPG: https://app.box.com/s/bb9fjiuqb27s0vzqti53
The Transformers RPG: https://app.box.com/s/vaq6x35typiz9pltmxk6

Warder

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Is Amber retro? Yes, yes it is
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2020, 02:12:49 AM »
I mean Amber was written from a perspective that is no longer in the current zeitgeist. It did not take into account such stuff like hiveminds, newest scifi ideas nor weaponised technology and such. Maybe im overreaching, it just didnt crop up in the stories back then? I feel like some things could be added to Amber that make it more up to date, and im asking what those things are that you guis and gals consider noteworthy additions.

And isnt the Amber book cycle retro? I recently read a blurb describing it as a ''Hard boiled fantasy'' meaning a noir story. The hayday of noir way way back so the game should emulate that sensibility to some degree.

finarvyn

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Is Amber retro? Yes, yes it is
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2020, 07:35:55 AM »
I'm not entirely sure how to react to this thread. When I look at RPG evolution I think about games like D&D, where combat evolved from a simple chart to a THAC0 calculation to a d20+mods calculation. Or Armor Class starting as a descending number where low is better and then being reworked into 10+armor where high is better. Each step in the evolution was done in order to make the game run smoother. So for me, "Retro D&D" would be going back to combat charts and AC that gets better as numbers get lower.

ADRP was a total paradigm shift away from dice and its base system was about as simple as possible. Any "evolution" for Amber Diceless would appear to be ways to make the system more complex and (in my opinion) less elegant. So, I guess if I wanted "Retro Amber" I would go back to the original rulebook.

Maybe I don't understand this thread.. :(
Marv / Finarvyn
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Warder

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« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2020, 03:07:26 PM »
I have a feeling the original question that i postulated has been swept aside in favor of asking why i consider Amber retro. I hope i answered it by claryfying before, now i didnt mean the rules, i meant the tone;/ ''Smokes pipe imitating Tolkien poorly''

Amber was a paradigm shift yes. But to say the dime stopped rolling there would be kinda underselling the rpg in my mind. Other mechanics could be taken and added to Amber without making is more clunky. Of course you would need otehr rpgs for this but i doubt anybody here limited themselves to just Amber:) For example Unknow Armies scaling of magics could be used to handle Sorcery. As it stands Sorcery has multiple spells that need to be prepared beforehand and not invented on the fly at all to preserve game balance. Why not make the spells graded as Minor, Moderate and Major and assign a number based on ones Psyche number? This would allow to somehow rate the Sorcerers in opposition to each other. Now we just have narrative way of doing that. This is just one quick example, like it or not its an idea where Amber could go. Should we add new things like mechanics to the game? Almost certainly, we got Shadow Knight after all with its Demon creation rules and likewise.

Also anybody thinks im plain wrong just say so, ill just listen to I'm Too Sexy by Right Said Fred and still feel great xD
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 03:11:57 PM by Warder »

zircher

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« Reply #7 on: August 23, 2020, 03:12:26 PM »
I don't think it is about retro mechanics as much as retro themes and story telling.  A second edition for me would be pointless mechanically speaking.  A second edition to embrace the new political correctness would a death's kiss.  What I think would work would be another companion book, something that would bring in new interest without breaking what already works very well.

LOL, looks like I replied while your post was already going up.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 03:17:40 PM by zircher »
You can find my solo Tarot based rules for Amber on my home page.
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finarvyn

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Is Amber retro? Yes, yes it is
« Reply #8 on: August 23, 2020, 05:14:50 PM »
Well, most of Amber was written in the 1970's so that makes it kind of retro anyway. Characters hang out smoking cigarettes, which doesn't happen so much nowadays. The whole "noir" vibe was intentional and that sort of makes some of the tone 1930's or so, which is even more retro.

And I agree with zircher about the mechanics. I think that a sourcebook using the same base mechanics as the original has some value. I suppose I could see a "GM's toolbox" supplement which might pose some optional mechanics or different ways to do things. Maybe alternate attributes or a system of sub-attributes which isn't absurd. Partial powers. Stuff like that. I could go for a second edition that took the two core rulebooks and integrated the ideas together -- maybe player info in one volume and GM info in another.
Marv / Finarvyn
Kingmaker of Amber
I'm pretty much responsible for the S&W WB rules.
Amber Diceless Player since 1993
OD&D Player since 1975

Panjumanju

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« Reply #9 on: August 24, 2020, 07:11:29 AM »
I think the way "retro" is being used here is just as a buzzword for "old" or at best "outdated". That's not really what it means, but, that's fine - the point I'd like to make is: I think we should be careful about drawing a distinction between "Amber has outdated game mechanics" and "Amber as a setting has outdated themes".

As far as I'm concerned the first one is entirely untrue, and where the second is concerned you can say the same about any 70s new wave SF story. Amber's themes have been constantly revisited by other SF authors since. To take Amber out of the time when it was written robs it of its meta-textual relevance,  but, it's a story about an infinite multi-verse...I'd argue it updates itself, even unintentionally. Thematically you can't help but update it as you go.

So I suppose in either event, mechanics or setting (at least on an in-play execution model) I'd say there's nothing retro about Amber at all.

//Panjumanju
« Last Edit: August 24, 2020, 07:22:20 AM by Panjumanju »
"What strength!! But don't forget there are many guys like you all over the world."
--
Homebrew RPGs based on 80s toy properties I take too seriously:
Masters of the Universe RPG: https://app.box.com/s/bb9fjiuqb27s0vzqti53
The Transformers RPG: https://app.box.com/s/vaq6x35typiz9pltmxk6

zircher

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« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2020, 11:06:25 AM »
Excellent observation, with a modern audience you would have to deliberately go retrograde and take away things like the internet and cell phones.  Especially if you're going for that noir or hard-boiled fantasy angle.  Just for fun, it would be a hoot to play a game where some Amberites visit current day shadow Earth and their expectations are stuck in the past.  What happens when science advances faster than magic?  What would they do about Covid-19?  Amberite endurance would protect them from a fatal outcome, but they could in-turn become potent carriers.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2020, 11:07:16 AM by zircher »
You can find my solo Tarot based rules for Amber on my home page.
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LarsonGates

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« Reply #11 on: August 24, 2020, 01:53:07 PM »
Quote from: zircher;1146245
Excellent observation, with a modern audience you would have to deliberately go retrograde and take away things like the internet and cell phones.  Especially if you're going for that noir or hard-boiled fantasy angle.  Just for fun, it would be a hoot to play a game where some Amberites visit current day shadow Earth and their expectations are stuck in the past.  What happens when science advances faster than magic?  What would they do about Covid-19?  Amberite endurance would protect them from a fatal outcome, but they could in-turn become potent carriers.


I would refer the read to part of the first book in the Corwin saga, where Corwins memory loss is cause by exposure to the Black Plague in London in 1665. The family are also familiar with Earth circa 60's and 70's so there is no reason why they would not have continued the relationship.. in my campaigns they do, and to a very large extent.
I also have some interesting mechanics based on real world physics, and the physics alluded to in the books which explains why high tech gear doesn't work in  Amber and taking thing with charged Lithium/Ion batteries anywhere close the to Golden circle is just a really bad idea.

zircher

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« Reply #12 on: August 24, 2020, 03:53:26 PM »
True, but it didn't kill him (i.e. a fatal outcome.)
You can find my solo Tarot based rules for Amber on my home page.
http://www.tangent-zero.com