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Author Topic: Rebma?  (Read 8667 times)

RPGPundit

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Rebma?
« on: November 21, 2008, 02:08:26 PM »
We don't have all that much canonical information about Rebma as a place.  What do you guys make of it?
Is Rebma a carbon-copy of Amber only with seashells, or is it more than that?
Aside from Moire, are there any Rebmaite natives? Can full-blooded Rebmaites survive for unlimited times out of water?

Is the whole place very alien and different and nautical themed, or is it just a regular place with an undersea twist?

How important is Rebma really?

And why on Earth did Erick originally want the first non-series-related sourcebook for his game to be Rebma?

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darciesdaddy

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Rebma?
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2008, 10:17:42 PM »
Wow, this is a really old thread, but, since I dealt with this in my game, I thought I'd toss in my thoughts on it.

Rebma is a reflection of the Amber in the water.

Tir-na-nog'th is a reflection of Amber in the clouds. (forgive me if my spelling is wrong, I didn't have my books handy to look it up.)

What nobody knows is that there is another reflection, in flame. Since my players never got around to looking for this one, I never nailed down exactly where it was. I was planning either on the other side of the "planet", reflected through the flaming core, or on the other side of the Sun. Or someplace else, depending on what would be the most interesting in the game. The only thing I was sure of is that it wouldn't be in the first place the players looked.

Now, the big change from what most people expect: Amber is the Primal Pattern reflected through the stone of Mount Kolvir. What most people don't realize is that, if you walk the Pattern of Rebma or Tir, you can transport yourself to a REAL place just as solid as Amber, only under water (Or in the air, or flaming, depending on which Pattern you walk.  This is why Llewella spends so much time in Rebma.  Unbeknownst to her siblings, she rules an undewater realm just as real as Amber on the other side of the Pattern.

In the "real" Rebma, Amber is just a shadow cast on the cliffs, and Tir is much the same in the air. The result is that the Primal Pattern is reflected four times, in Earth, Fire, Water, and Air, with 4 seperate realms.  And in each of these realms, the others exist as reflections.

These realms are separate from each other, eventually 'merging' into the normal shadows somewhere outside their respective "Golden Circles." Anyone who has walked the ' real' Rebma or Tir Patterns could Shadowwalk to their realms, if they realize they exist. If you wanted to walk from Amber to the 'real' Rebma, you would have to travel beyond the Golden Circle, and turn around, attuning yourself to the Rebma pattern on the walk back.

Of course, Oberon would have been aware of this, but kept it from his children, because he knew that the four realms would no doubt the squabbling siblings would soon have them at war with each other.

I know it's not canon (although you can't find anything in the books that definitively disproves it) but it sure tossed a twist at my players they weren't expecting. (Especially when they found Dierdre with an army of Valkyries in Valhalla, behind Tir's Pattern. )

Jason D

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Rebma?
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2008, 04:36:28 PM »
I can shed some light on the matter, as I wrote the Rebma sourcebook for Phage Press.

Quote from: RPGPundit;268407
We don't have all that much canonical information about Rebma as a place.  What do you guys make of it?
Is Rebma a carbon-copy of Amber only with seashells, or is it more than that?
Aside from Moire, are there any Rebmaite natives? Can full-blooded Rebmaites survive for unlimited times out of water?

Is the whole place very alien and different and nautical themed, or is it just a regular place with an undersea twist?

How important is Rebma really?

And why on Earth did Erick originally want the first non-series-related sourcebook for his game to be Rebma?

RPGPundit

The Rebma I designed was much, much more than Amber with seashells. It was the undersea counterpart to Tir-na Nog'th, and as such had a great deal of importance. Moire was apparently powerful enough that she could offer sanctuary to Amberites fleeing Eric's wrath, and that says something about her importance.

Rebma had its own weird sort of magic based on mirrors, its own royal family and twisted history that had nothing to do with Oberon's family.

Since the city of Amber is approachable through two paths - land and sea, it would make sense that Rebma is as important as Arden in considering the defense of the realm.

Your mileage will vary about how important that stuff is.  

It was never, never, ever planned as the first non-series book to be published by Phage Press, and what I pitched was only half the book I wanted to write.

I'd co-established (with Cort Odekirk) a fanzine called Trump Call that was the first such 'zine about the Amber DRPG.

I pitched Erick a book called As Above, So Below that would have been a flip-book covering Tir-na Nog'th and Rebma. Erick wanted to do the Tir book himself, so I did Rebma.

While working on Rebma, I got pulled off when the original manuscript for Shadow Knight proved unpublishable, and I worked on several pieces of it. Other Amber books that were in the works before I'd even heard of the ADRPG were as follows:

  • The Engines of Bright - Erick's "Corwin's Pattern" campaign book
  • The Beyonders - Don Anderson's huge campaign setting
  • Not the City of Brotherly Love - a city of Amber sourcebook
  • The Amber Master's Guide to Trump - written by Michael Kucharski, which was to be the first of many such guides about each power
  • Chaos Rules! - Erick's alternate core book based on the Courts of Chaos
  • Carol Dodd's Golden Circle sourcebook
  • A Castle Amber sourcebook (to wash the stain of the Visual Guide out of people's brains)
  • A sourcebook about the block city of Heerat
  • A collection of adventures
  • A Texorami sourcebook
None of those books (except for maybe Don's and Carol's) were ever completed. There were a few others that came up as well. I was the only author of that whole batch to turn in a publishable manuscript.

On Trump Call, we did six big issues, before Cort published an article about using playing cards in character generation. Even though it was written by a guy who was a part of Erick's gaming circle, Erick called Cort up on the phone to yell at him about publishing it, saying it was a violation of everything that diceless gaming was all about. Cort shut down the zine with the next issue, and refunded all subscription monies.

Once I finished Rebma, Erick changed his mind utterly about what he wanted from the book, despite having approved the manuscript and having seen it come in week after week. (He'd assigned it to a different editor, who was working with him.) Erick told me later he'd even laid it out, then decided that he just wanted something different. There was some other rough stuff going on in his life at the time (the death of a beloved aunt from cancer, if I remember correctly), and he just couldn't work on Phage Press stuff any more. Erick apologized at least a hundred times for never publishing it, but at least he paid me some (about half) of what I was owed.

I've still got a file with all of the art done for Rebma, containing some new Kucharski Trumps, some stuff by Matt Howarth, another author whose name I didn't recognize, and stuff by the Shadow Knight comic strip artist/writer.

I admired Erick greatly, and considered him a friend. He was, and will always be, one of the great RPG designers, and a hell of a great person to be around. I learned a ton from working with him, and in a way he mentored me in the pen-and-paper industry, but in all honestly, he wasn't the easiest editor to work with. He drove me crazy with back-and-forth rewrites, and needing stuff added and rewritten at an insane rate. I was literally FedExing floppy disks of material I'd written for Rebma overnight every other day while it was in final development for a MUST BE OUT THE DOOR BY THE END OF THE MONTH deadline. This was previous to Erick having email (he wouldn't get it), so I was sending these disks full of revisions and new stuff 3-4 times a week for what must have been hundreds of bucks a month in fees (fortunately, I was using his account). I kept saying "Erick, you're a computer guy through and through... why not just get email?" but he didn't want it. So I have sheafs of typed letters from Erick from those days.

When I hear horror stories about bad freelancer experiences at Palladium, I get a curious sense of deja vu.  

I know that's not likely a popular opinion to voice here, but I can only speak to my own experiences.

boulet

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Rebma?
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2008, 10:24:16 PM »
Quote from: jdurall;270551
The Rebma I designed was much, much more than Amber with seashells. It was the undersea counterpart to Tir-na Nog'th, and as such had a great deal of importance. Moire was apparently powerful enough that she could offer sanctuary to Amberites fleeing Eric's wrath, and that says something about her importance.

I completely agree with this line of thought. I wish Rebma and Moire had a little more exposition in Zelazny's books, so it wouldn't feel like "Amber with seashells". An angle I was pondering was how Amber pretty much incarnate a European archetype (I know inside Zelazny's fiction, it's actually Amber hat shaped Europe but bear with me). So it could be interesting to assign other real world cultural aspects to Rebma and Tir Na Nogth.

Quote from: jdurall;270551
Since the city of Amber is approachable through two paths - land and sea, it would make sense that Rebma is as important as Arden in considering the defense of the realm.

Mmmmmh in a way I can see how it makes sense but I can't remember any implication of Rebma in Amber's military affairs. Is my memory failing me ?

Jason D

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Rebma?
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2008, 12:56:21 PM »
Quote from: boulet;270603
So it could be interesting to assign other real world cultural aspects to Rebma and Tir Na Nogth.

I went with a mix of Celtic and Greek influences.

Quote from: boulet;270603
Mmmmmh in a way I can see how it makes sense but I can't remember any implication of Rebma in Amber's military affairs. Is my memory failing me ?

Rebma facts!

- Brand, I believe, spent time in Rebma
- Llewella is from Rebma, and she's Moire's sister (some non-canonical sources state incorrectly that she's Llewella's mother)
- Martin is from Rebma, and technically heir to the throne should Moire die
- Luke/Rinaldo mentioned (though my memory is spotty) spending time there
- Random spent years in Rebma in exile
- Vialle, the Queen of Amber, is Rebman
- Eric contemplated making Moire an offer of marriage
- Moire has immense fondness for Benedict
- The stair down to Rebma is named Faiella-bionin. Eric/Corwin/Dierdre's mother was named Faiella.

There's never been an explicit mention of how Rebma plays into Amber's sea defense, other than Corwin noting how his sea-battle with Eric's navy was sending bodies down that watery way to Rebma.

However, an undersea kingdom parked offshore of a land-based kingdom would naturally be a huge factor in their naval activities.

Dr_BadLogic

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Rebma?
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2008, 02:18:30 PM »
Moire is concerned, when Corwin plans to invade Amber, about the strife that will be reflected within her own realm.  I forget if anything is mentioned about a reverse relationship,but if there were one, there'd be plenty of incentive for both kingdom's to stay on each other's good side.

Seanchai

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Rebma?
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2008, 05:16:24 PM »
Quote from: jdurall;270551
Other Amber books that were in the works before I'd even heard of the ADRPG were as follows:

  • The Engines of Bright - Erick's "Corwin's Pattern" campaign book
  • The Beyonders - Don Anderson's huge campaign setting
  • Not the City of Brotherly Love - a city of Amber sourcebook
  • The Amber Master's Guide to Trump - written by Michael Kucharski, which was to be the first of many such guides about each power
  • Chaos Rules! - Erick's alternate core book based on the Courts of Chaos
  • Carol Dodd's Golden Circle sourcebook
  • A Castle Amber sourcebook (to wash the stain of the Visual Guide out of people's brains)
  • A sourcebook about the block city of Heerat
  • A collection of adventures
  • A Texorami sourcebook


Why? Why would you do this to us?

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Jason D

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Rebma?
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2008, 06:15:19 PM »
Quote from: Seanchai;270761
Why? Why would you do this to us?

Just setting the record straight when folks wonder why Rebma was thought of as the first big expansion, and to clear the air about what was going on behind the scenes at Phage Press.

I cannot tell how many times I've been asked "What the heck was wrong with the book that they couldn't publish it?"

The reality was that after Shadow Knight, Erick's heart wasn't in it any more. I don't think he'd have published Rebma, or any other book, in any state.

It's a pity. I'd love to take another whack at rewriting it with the experience I've got now... but I don't know for certain that anything will happen with the game.

Seanchai

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Rebma?
« Reply #8 on: December 03, 2008, 11:59:09 AM »
Quote from: jdurall;270775
Just setting the record straight when folks wonder why Rebma was thought of as the first big expansion...


Yeah, but me want. Me want!

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Rebma?
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2008, 03:53:56 PM »
That's fascinating, Jason. Thank you for your honest history of the events, and setting the record straight.

I don't think Erick would have particularly wanted us to deify him, and certainly, he must take at least some of the responsibility for the fact that in the over-a-decade period that he was running Phage press, no new sourcebooks were produced.

We can keep dreaming that someday, some version of some of these ideas for what would have been awesome sourcebooks can come to light.

RPGPundit
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finarvyn

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Rebma?
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2008, 12:37:45 AM »
Quote from: jdurall;270551
I'd co-established (with Cort Odekirk) a fanzine called Trump Call that was the first such 'zine about the Amber DRPG.

On Trump Call, we did six big issues, before Cort published an article about using playing cards in character generation. Even though it was written by a guy who was a part of Erick's gaming circle, Erick called Cort up on the phone to yell at him about publishing it, saying it was a violation of everything that diceless gaming was all about. Cort shut down the zine with the next issue, and refunded all subscription monies.

At one point I owned copies of all 6 issues of Trump Call, but my wife threw them out by mistake. (We were very close to violence when this happened. :() Do you know if there is any place one can still obtain copies?
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Jason D

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Rebma?
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2008, 10:07:15 AM »
Quote from: finarvyn;271102
At one point I owned copies of all 6 issues of Trump Call, but my wife threw them out by mistake. (We were very close to violence when this happened. :() Do you know if there is any place one can still obtain copies?

Not a clue.

I've got mine, buried deep in some magazine box in the garage, and when last I saw Cort, some eight years ago, he mentioned he'd given his last copies away to a fan.

Croaker

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« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2008, 10:24:52 AM »
Wow!
Now, that's kind of him o_O
 

boulet

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Rebma?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2008, 10:28:40 AM »
Any chance that this material is made available as pdf for a few bucks ?

Jason D

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Rebma?
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2008, 11:05:16 AM »
Quote from: boulet;271165
Any chance that this material is made available as pdf for a few bucks ?
I'm almost entirely certain the answer is no.

I don't know if Cort has any of the original files from more than a dozen years ago, and if I recall correctly, we only asked for first publishing rights for articles and artwork.

As it's also based on an IP and an RPG which we didn't own, it's a very grey area selling content supporting it. We charged exactly enough to cover printing and postage costs, and I think Cort was actually a bit out of pocket on each issue.

Back then things were much looser. Now, not so much. The concept of unlicensed "for sale" content based on established IPs is, I would argue, a thing of the past.

I've given some thought to posting the stuff I wrote on a personal website, for free, but there's only so much time in the day and I'm barely able to get the things I get paid for done.