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Walking the Pattern

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James McMurray:
Can you die walking the Pattern? I don't have the book here to look it up, but it seems to me that with no die rolls you either give it no requirements or you give it rank/point requirements. Either way it seems no PC would ever risk death while walking the pattern.

Well, I think that the tricky thing here is that technically a character requires about 50 character points in order to gain the pattern, plus additional prerequisites such as having blood of Amber and enough Endurance. This would seem to imply that a player ought to either (1) take Pattern at the onset, or (2) plan on adventuring for a very long time before attempting the Pattern.

My understanding is that the ADRP rules are designed for very slow advancement of characters. Pundit has suggested in another thread that characters be allowed to acquire additional powers along the way (which, I assume could include Pattern) but without a partial powers system I just can't figure out how to make it work.

So ... short answer: Characters can die on the Pattern, which is why Erick suggests that Amber players plan on spending those 50 points at the start.

You can die walking the pattern under two conditions in the normal game:

1. If you try to walk it and do not have at least Amber-level endurance; or you are tired/injured to the point that you are weakened below that level.  In my games, I make it very clear that trying to walk the pattern when you're hurt or tired at all is a very bad idea (one that can end in your fiery death if you have bad stuff or are in very bad shape).

2. If you don't already have the pattern, walk it, and don't have at least 50 points to spend... usually I put a 10 point cap on bad stuff, so if they go beyond that, its death for them.  Even if you don't put caps on bad stuff, it could be a good rule of thumb to say that in the case of walking the pattern for the first time, being at or going lower than -10 stuff means you die.
As fin pointed out, in my latest game this rule didn't apply; instead, players walking the pattern for the first time just had to have at least AMB End, not too much bad stuff, and be in good health. I made it clear, though, that every time you walked the pattern there was a slight risk of death, implying that I as the GM had thought up some kind of system by which people trying to walk the pattern too many times ran a risk of dying.

Finally, obviously, if you don't have the Blood of Amber, you can't walk the pattern.


James McMurray:
So the first one (and your slternate to #2) basically boil down to whether the GM wants to kill you  or not, but the rest are PC choices. Cool.


Erick Wujcik:

--- Quote from: James McMurray ---Can you die walking the Pattern?
--- End quote ---

The quick answer is yes.

Yes, a player character can die walking the Pattern.

--- Quote from: James McMurray seems to me that with no die rolls you either give it no requirements or you give it rank/point requirements.
--- End quote ---

Of course, as others have pointed out, the requirement is mainly having Pattern.

As to other rank/point requirements, I'd say they were much less important that the situation itself, and the why and wherefore of the player character's actions.

After all, unless the player character is some kind of exalted initiate of the Pattern (in which case this isn't really an issue), the Pattern is very much a thing of mystery. Something that requires investigation and the gathering of information, and ultimately the

It is, in just about every circumstance I can now imagine, the job of the Game Master to make it crystal clear the deadliness of the Pattern (Zelazny is our model here; he made the point clear over and over again, and even sacrificed a horse in the interest of clarity).

On the other hand, there can (and probably should) be situations where player characters see the necessity of taking the risk. In some cases where it is the only noble or righteous thing to do.

So, should the Game Master simply nod and let the player character die?


Because the Pattern is something more than just a random pit trap.

It is, for so many entities (the identity of whom vary from one campaign to the next), something of profound importance. Those who can observe the Pattern will do so, or will at least set their agents to do so.

The exalted initiates described above may, very possibly, be so well attuned, that even by-standers who have yet to touch the Pattern, will sent their minds ringing with warning bells.

Plus, the Pattern itself, whether it be sentient, or the embodiment of another character (Oberon? Dworkin? The Unicorn?), or a pre-programmed clockwork, or the intersections of universes (remember how the Pattern was described in the Jewel of Judgement?), or other eldritch thing, surely has its own agenda, its own wants, and its own influences.

For the thinking Game Master, the interaction of a potential victim with the Pattern should raise all manner of questions. Given time (and I'd definitely suggest suspending the session if there is any doubt) there should be a huge array of opportunities.

Have I ever killed a player character on the Pattern.


But only because I had good reasons, and because the episode enriched the campaign.

--- Quote from: James McMurray ---Either way it seems no PC would ever risk death while walking the pattern.
--- End quote ---

A good Game Master should instill the fear, and give every player pause.

Yet, in a really great Amber campaign, I can see where the risk of death-by-Pattern could be one of the greatest of feats.



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