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Author Topic: Possible Calamity part 1  (Read 194 times)

Warder

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Possible Calamity part 1
« on: November 03, 2020, 03:06:04 pm »
So, i decided to post the session material of the games i did with three players, the original notes with some shoddy editing(i dont know if its up to snuff but heres hoping). This may be superflous as many people did Amber games just fine but i want to write something here that will help when somebody plans to do a one shot or is interested just. There are also 3 PC sheets for anybody interested.

Introduction
This is my first time doing an Amber session so there may be some snafus, hopefully it will go well.
I want to make this an introduction to the setting, that works a bit like a crash course for people unfamiliar with the books. So, even if the yhave read them only the first five will be used, with the exception of the presence of Rinaldo. So, no Courts of Chaos or Shapeshifting yet. Pattern, Sorcery, Power Words, Conjuring and Trump Artistry and Artifacts are okey. The rest can come later, but these are my personal ramifications, feel free to ignore what you deem fit.
The starting PCs do not know each other, getting to form a cooperative link between them will be one fo the goals at the start.
One PC knows how to speak Thari instinctivly. He acts as the translator, no need to roleplay(unless he wants to). Its probably Serena, who has some experience walking the Shadows already.
Optional
I like to give an easter egg that when found out by the players gives the ma single point of experience. This generates interest in the details in the long run or so I hope.
So, to travel the Shadows if the player characters tend not to be the princes and princesses of amber? Theres always stuff like Luke who has blue stones and Rinaldo might help them with these. If they find him during his visit to Amber or trump call him, he says //Every deal I always make is special, I could use some people looking out for my interest in the future. Who knows, maybe ill invite you to one of my exclusive parties in the future?// Maybe he winks. Maybe not. That’s just one way, the others require owing favors to amber nobles and they tend to collect them like its currency.
Asking the PCs to give information on the characters might be good, flesh them out by questions from the corebook or just these:
What drives you? Whats your biggest fear? How is the relationship with your parents?

The Prologue
-You all start separatly in your own Shadows. Serena and Edward each find a note ’’You are a Prince of Amber, Claim your Birthright and avert the Calamity – A Friend’’ and each an artifact called a Ghost Box (an arcane mechanism) presents when returning from time spent on work/carousing/whatever. The letter is written on local paper but with salt powder as ink. There is a mine in the country where they can find the description of a man who wrote it, he has red hair and used the name Mr. Crane. Following his trail may lead the mto the place where he was staying the last week. His room holds some clues like multiple Ghost boxes in various state of disarry but some are finished. If the y look to his belongings the ywill find a black phoenix buckle there. Anyway, if the players try to find this out they will have to use local currency because the locals love beeing bribed.
After some inspection of the Ghost Box they find out that the device can apparently be switched on by applying arcane energies to fuel the ignition. The result makes them feel existential dread/start in complete awe/fill you with an unexplained longing. It’s a tunnel of cascading Shadowgates, each two meters long that opens up in front of them. The gates are other worlds, that much is obvious. Let the PCs them describe what they see while walking through the multiple gates. The device contains no off switch apparently. The gate tunnel stay open until further notice. The other end of the tunnel is Juniper, feel free to jump to that portio nof the adventure now.
Oleg will be greeted by a man called Gerard who will tell him he has recently learned of his existence when there was a local murder in the town. The victim has Olegs face, could be his twin, this checks out in the local mortuary.
Gerard asks him to join him in traveling to a place where all his questions will be answered, within reason.
When Gerard and Oleg arrive at Amber they will be greeted by wardens of Arden. At the same time, there will be little time to dally because Gereard wil receive a Trump call that will prompt him to move wit hextreme haste, dragging Oleg with him. When they arrive just in front of the Pattern room they will find the guards locked in a fight with armer assailants. The attackers look local, this would be the time to make all PCs meet each other. The stats for the enemies who are called the Broken Horn are as follows:
What is the Broken Horn? Simply put, it’s a revolutionary organisation standing against Amber nobles and especially the royal family. They want to change things and have no qualms against getting their hands bloody. Their stats are:
Amber Stamina [2 points]
Combat Training [1 point]

The man who can fill them in on the internal story if they need more background info? Gerard. He is trying to keep subversive elements under wraps, the Broken Horn from exploiting new amberites who will be used to assasinate the king of amber after they have been officialy named Amber nobles and have walked the Pattern. They are using shadow travel via Ghost boxes(they are powered via amber princes blood traces), they are financed by outside countries(possibly the Golden circle) Pretty simple but complicated by how thing usually go in amber. He inherited this mess from the previous prince in charge of the city.

Amber
After some travel through worlds the PCs start feeling like they are in a place utterly different from all the places ever imagined. The air feels new, all around the anticipation abounds by the minute.
Each GM will probbaly describe how Castle Amber and surroundings looks in their own words so ill skip this part, if necessary use this:
‘’Welcome to the Amber realm, entering from a road near Arden, showing them mount Kolvir and the Amber Castle and the city. The sight overwhelm you, even while you have seen much, this is unprecedented, even while the rational part of your minds says its just a castle on a hill, Its something more, you just cant place it yet. Guided by arden wardens to the gates where the city guard intercepts you. When they hear about all this world walking nonesence they decide to let the nobility handle it.’’
Bill Roth as the PCs guide in amber seems like a good choice. He presents the town but also when the players want to enter the Pattern will say ’’some are possible nobles of amber but some are fooled, have overly inflated egos just are just plain wrong. All unquestionably die.’’ He also carries around painted pictures of his home Shadow called ‘’Earth’’. Bill tells them that Ghost Boxes are rare these days and have been used in the past in the city of Juniper that is available on this world. But they would need help getting there. ‘’Im not gonna be eloquent but accurate.’’
Oleg will meet the blind Queen who will ask him to allow her to touch his face. This enables her to make a perfect recollection of him(and other things for the future).
Time to make accomodations, as guest of the crown they can stay at the guest quarter or on the town.
Amber localities;
The green clothed Timrek is serenading Simm Yggip who is a passionate lady of some renown(or one of the Noble Amber ladies)/yes, this is the easter egg, just read it backwards/. Its probable she is waiting for a wealthier suitor or just stalling for the prestige among the court.
There are bars ‘’Blue Ifrit’’ (high upkeep but good conditions), ‘’Travellers Rest’’ (where as the name says foreigners stay) or ‘’The Broken Drum’’ (rowdy bad place to spend slumming time) to choose if the characters wish to stay outside the castle.

The Pattern
If the characters decide to walk the Patern one of them will get sucked into it, will ‘’die’’ or get severly mauled but manage it after many hours of extreme effort. Take that character out of comission for now. Somebody is watching them from the other end of the room, possibly elders.
Since pictures tell a better story than words, if you lack the skills to replicate the Patterns majesty use this:
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/princeofamber/images/c/cf/The_Pattern.jpg/revision/latest/scale-to-width-down/338?cb=20100806021454

Anyway the night they stay here one of the characters (preferably Oleg, definitly the guy who had one unconcious situation first) will experience another blackout (opposed Psyche vs 30), again with no consequences.
Following the Ghost Boxes trail, the PCs will find out they were once used by a civilisation in the Shadwo that had dealings with early Amber. It was called Juniper, a society of philosophers and scientists that suffered a terrible calamity and ceased to be. They will also find out that the reason Juniper is destroyed is because of the Ghost Boxes that eventually turned out to be artifacts of doom. They caused a cascade of Shadow-bleedthrough which resulted in an extinction event. Other shadow travellers visited it later and confirmed this. So, are the home Shadows of the PCs in danger? If they return they will find that they are indeed in danger. Luckilly using Pattern to ‘’cautherise’’ the Shadow itself from the Ghost Box tunnel will remedy this situation.

Juniper
-To get to Juniper(converly a flower that means protection) they need help from a ship owner, the biggest one and who can expedite the journey on royal orders is Caine. When introduced to him, hes  a man sitting on the side of a ship while all around him people are working on various chores. Hes sarcastic and straight to the point, his question ‘’whats in it for me?’’ comes up. If he agrees to lend the PCs a hand in visiting Juniper each of them owes him a favor.
Another method of getting there is following the Ghost box tunnel that leads directly to Juniper.
After a rather uneventfull voyage by ship they arrive at Juniper, Caine disembarks and says ‘’Well this is it, that’s what were looking for. Hopefully this will amass to something thou, I don’t like to spend my time on fruitless endavors. Its imperative to get in and out as fast as possible, this place is still very dangerous.. ’’
When the PCs disembark they will see a structure that looks like a giant egg. Its beeing guarded by knights in armor that looks quite intimidating. One might expect them to start combat immidiately but no, the suits are empty. Even using arcane power near them does not trigger them. In reality the armor is not decorative, it has a very real use connected to the blue good inside the structure. In Shadow earth they would be called Hazmat suits and are necessary if the PCs touch the blue goo that covers the insides of the structure. If they do so unisolated by the armor they will trigger a reaction of an explosion, obliterating all who are in the vicinity of the egg. There was an explosion like this in the past and the living shredded victims still remain in suspended torment to this day. Helping them may be possible but very risky because the blue goo covers them to the cellular level.
What do they find in Junipers main hub? Describe a big place, with even bigger grand hall, and amphitheaters. It is ravaged by the aftereffects of the weapon used here in the past, its abhorrent nature reverberating and just like the seasons it returns to aflict the terrain it has hurt with exual calamity. That means there is a crater in the middle, and inside it there are remains of a rather large metal box originally the size of a man. The meaning behind this is not important for this adventure, it is connected to future scenarios thou. The Juniperians were trying to facilitate something using the Ghost Boxes here and it backfired spectacularly.
A dead body turns out to be still concious if not alive and is going to negotiate the knowledge it has for something the PCs can do, it saw what happened in the near past, they just have to promise to kill him before they leave. If they do this they will find out that a man resembling the one who left them the Boxes and the letter was here.
When the group returns to the ship, Caine tells them his part in this affair is done. He decides to bring them back, as promised, and yes, he will call in the favor but later.
Anyway, if an evacuation will be necesary the best way would be to use Trumps. If there will be no necessity they will receive a Trump call regardless. Its from Rinaldo. He says his people have captured the leader of the Broken Horn and are interrogating him, he wouldlke them involved since he knows about their part in all this already from Gerard. The man in the room beeing interrogated has red hair and is Mr. Crane. He tells the PCs they need to be expelled from Amber because ‘’they are its captors, Amber is the prisoner of the noble family. They dont care about who the yhurt, they dont believe others are really human, only themselves.’’ He threatens their Shadows with multiple Ghost Boxes and wants his freedom. Will the PCs trust him to keep his word and not have his agents destroy their worlds?
The best method to resolve this would be to use Psyche to hypnotise the man and brake his will. Unfortunately this has been forseen by Rinaldo who created a mental trap in Mr. Cranes mind in the image of a black sky with a red star.
Upon witnessing the star, the PC who had the blackouts will enter berserker mode, bludgoning the prisoner with their bare hands, or snapping his neck. This makes them dispose of the revolutionary leaving the real plot perpetrator in the clear about this whole situation. Of course the remaing players need to deal with one of their own in a berserker rage.

Ultimatly, who is it? Who is responsible for this whole affair? Either the answer will be unconclusive after they root out the whole terrorist cell or one of nobles of the Golden Circle. Who could it be? Rinaldo alias Luke. What did he have to gain from this? As it turns out some of his spies in the Shadows found the PCs separatly but since Rinaldo wanted to wrap up one of his plays he decided to use them. He needed an alibi and also to remove the evidence, in this his own agent who was a high up in the Broken Horn, Mr. Crane (no, he was not the real leader).

‘’After all this, now you can place the feeling you felt while you entered this realm. Its home. Your real one.’’
« Last Edit: November 04, 2020, 08:23:57 am by Warder »

Warder

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Re: Possible Calamity part 1
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2020, 03:20:25 pm »
The file size restrictions hinder me from posting the files so ill only leave the text here. Maybe later ill post them on a dropbox site or similar storage platform.

zircher

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Re: Possible Calamity part 1
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2020, 04:50:14 pm »
Neat, I love how Amber campaigns bring out so much creativity.
You can find my solo Tarot based rules for Amber on my home page.
http://www.tangent-zero.com

Warder

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Re: Possible Calamity part 1
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2020, 05:43:21 pm »
I thought on the name Juniper as a nod to the books by Betancourt(i think it was a name used there?), havent read them and I picture them as a black spot on the brand of amber so i made the place scorched earth:)