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ambercon 2010 :: the aftermath report

"(Martin's) got a bad case of 'God, Benedict is so awesome' and 'Dad, you suck.'" -- Gérard to Avia (from Changing Hands slot 7)

So a very nice Ambercon in Detroit, Michigan. Many thanks to all the GMs and Players who give of themselves so strongly. We win!

the brief reviews...

Agents of the Argent Rose (Arref game)
I note that this has become something of a family romp through a very broad canvas. Yet it satisfies in a way that a canon elder game through an earlier age in Amber might. We have the movers and shakers, the little games between the sibs and their pleasant conflicting motifs.

The asides and snarky wit of the cousins for each other is stronger than any plot.

Suffice, it may be that there is war between China and France coming, for the Imperial Princess returns to China, not chastened by the superior glory of France but inspired by the cousins to break her chains.

Oh, and Grandmama and Grandpere Corwin are speaking again. Separate bedrooms but very much in lust. Perhaps the world will be well, despite the loss of Cousin Max to vile Stigmatists. Farewell, Max, we shall all miss you.

Quotes at twitter #ambercons.


In the Lonesome October (Paul Vlamis game)
Full of win. Lovely reproduction of the original material with full props to Zelazny on charm and etiquette of the archetypes. I found the other Players full of wit and style with their unique sets of Hero/Villains. Smashing game. Yes, the Openers lost, just barely. Darn.

Major Hatreds/Petty Animosities (Madeline game)
Full of win. Random is a punk. Gerard is sly. Eric panics and kills Corwin on earth when the elders settle in to play family politics with Flora's plans in the middle east. Flora is dear. Fiona and Bleys are charmingly ruthless while Brand expounds and explodes in every direction.

Llewella: clueless as she misconstrues all events and tries an alliance with Random.

Oberon squashes Fiona/Bleys...and sets Eric on Brand's trail. Score one for Random and Flora and Gerard...the only ones to really come out well.

House of Midnight and Fire (Arref game)
Eric's plans to keep the throne surface twenty years after he is dead. Six very impressive scions of King Eric meet to discuss taking the throne back from Random. They bring secret weapons and plenty of guts.

But what's this? Instead of invading, they decide to personally scout the Amber situation. So they infiltrate and then charm their way directly to the Eternal City. They get sell-sword jobs and join guilds. They buy buckets. They get fed and get the inside scoop on the war with Chaos. They find out their father is a hero, who died defending the Realm.

They find out no one really understands how Random became king...but Gerard handed him the throne and there seems to be little conflict in peaceful Amber.

They pass through Random's security and at least one walks the Pattern. One gets thrown into the dungeon and quickly escapes. Finally they get an appointment with the King and have a dinner, meet the Queen and discuss current events.

Mordu (PC Paul Vlamis): "Worst throne war EVAR!"

Privately, the scions realize that they have a very very very good chance to kicking Random's ass right outta the country.

Then what? Very nifty game with good roles handled by all.

Clandestine Chronicles of the Cobalt Charter (Arref game)
Three new players came up to speed very well with my experimental premise that has now run some six times. A game completely at the mercy of the Players and their wit...this time around, three plots were handled well until Julia Barnes tripped into a trap of the Chaos Vendetta on her.

But the Players quickly regrouped to save the day. Kudos to those mad bad shadow folk in their defiance of the Poles of Reality. Maybe next year, Amber will have a reaction to Viral Unicorn Sightings?

Dashing Blades (Sol Foster game)
Ever wanted to swashbuckle in good ol' Amber before there was a Corwin? This game was a sweet play for me. Been hoping to see it play for a while. New guy (me) got a trifle enthusiastic and foolish trying to measure up to the Blades and their reputation.

Suffered minor wounds....a lot.

Changing Hands (Arref game)
Over fifty shadows essential to Amber's future well being? How do we know what Chaos might have done to them while Amber was under siege?

Send out the young amberites while the Elders wrangle a treaty. That's how.

Very awesome game with full PC wit on show. Infiltration. Shootouts. Magic. Poison. Cultists. Talking horses. Acres of flaming death. Shadows full of Black Grass. Beheadings. Science. Steam-powered tanks.

Lovely. Thank you for the great roleplay I saw in this game. I also appreciate the quotes listed at the link above.

Soft Cimmerian: Mirror Teeth (Arref game)
Quiet game of intrigue and relationships between 10 people (3 PCs this year).

Really indescribable here. My kudos to the Players. Very very cool.
I can say this: Guisels 3000 Amblerash 5

'Tis a fabulous way to end the convention.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 04:30 pm (UTC)
immlass: (Default)
From: [personal profile] immlass
You are coming closer to convincing me I should try to get us up there next year again if the timing works out.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 05:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arrefmak.livejournal.com
Well, I know not everyone has fun...there is always an unpredictable mix of chemistry, players, gms and potentials.

I have good stuff.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 05:14 pm (UTC)
immlass: (Default)
From: [personal profile] immlass
A couple of years ago when we tried it it seemed like there were no fun games outside your slots and a couple of other GMs we know. This year it looks like things have evened out and there were actually enough fun and interesting games again to make it worth a try.

The big thing is that I know I can't GM and do SXSW, so I'm not going to try that even if I try coming.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tlatoani.livejournal.com
In the Lonesome October (Paul Vlamis game)
Full of win. Lovely reproduction of the original material with full props to Zelazny on charm and etiquette of the archetypes. I found the other Players full of wit and style with their unique sets of Hero/Villains. Smashing game. Yes, the Openers lost, just barely. Darn.


Hey, you can't fight Mr. Rogers. ;-)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 05:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arrefmak.livejournal.com
ah yes... the Player Archetypes were:

Mr Fred Rogers
Miss Lizzie Borden
Mr WildMan Unknown
Queen Mab of the Unseelie Court
Dr Cheng, aka Moon Shadow, courtesan of mythic china

there were a lot of tea discussions

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 08:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] prince-corwin.livejournal.com
If Mr. Rogers was not an Opener, I will be very disappointed.

(I played the classic movie version of The Mummy, when I played. I liked his motivation for being an Opener.)

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 09:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arrefmak.livejournal.com
I was almost sure he would be...meta. But such was not to be, he was exactly on key for Closer.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 10:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tlatoani.livejournal.com
He started as an Opener, became more and more uncertain about the whole thing (and his personal mental health) as various events happened, and then got talked over to the Closer side *very* late in the game. At first, he thought, "well, of course we should welcome guests who want to come to our world, and I'm sure that if met by friendship they'll be friendly too..." It helps that the list I got was actually pretty innocuous, so he wasn't being asked to get someone's freshly-chopped hand or anything.

I didn't want to play Rogers as a secret psychopath, which would be funny but not all that interesting. It was way more interesting to play him basically as he really was, but in a very strange situation. Much more in-depth character stuff than I would have expected for the game, but it was great.

Guisels 3000 Amblerash 5

Date: 2010-04-01 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lintra.livejournal.com
I am so very glad we did not stick about for the gore. Perhaps some Court-end Houses will learn not to steal from and spy on Rebma through this.

Gallants and Prince Bleys: Perhaps a tie. At least he didn't seduce our wife. That we know of...

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] djinnthespazz.livejournal.com
Wait, we lost Max 'to' the Stigmatists?
As in, he turned coat?

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 07:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lintra.livejournal.com
No, they killed him. But it is more complicated than that.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 08:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arrefmak.livejournal.com
As Liz hints, Max fell into a trap...and then when he had some hope of getting out, he was killed and his cousins did not get to him in time to make his death clean. He became an unwilling undead agent of Stigma.

Corwin needs to track him down and finish him off.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-01 09:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tymen.livejournal.com
Playing Brand was fun. Having Oberon have Eric try to hunt me down and kill me, was less so.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-07 02:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cochese.livejournal.com
[Sorry for the delay in replying. I was way behind on LJ.]

See, I just assumed you saw something we didn't and was playing a very subtle game with Llewella that didn't pan out in the time we had. I figured naked time with Random was so that you could easily drown him. ;)

I didn't feel like Bleys and Fiona got squashed by Oberon. We didn't really "win" in the way other characters might have, but we approached Oberon and got what we wanted out of the situation: All apparent blame heaped on Brand's head and us still alive. It was, in some ways, the best victory we could have hoped for.

As an added bonus, Bleys had a delightful time at all those parties and looked quite dashing in the local attire.

(no subject)

Date: 2010-04-08 12:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] arrefmak.livejournal.com
It is true that the game Llewella was playing was for long term and unlikely to net her esteem in the eyes of Random or the Family group.

Part of the pool scene was Llewella attempting to see how wedded Random was to the course he was on and whether the Family's pre-eminent gamester was willing to change the game a bit. Llewella feels playing the game based on Oberon's rules...(which nearly everyone does in the Family)... is a bad bet.

So sad...so moist.

Your read of Oberon may be more correct. My read was that he was furious in a cold storm of anger. He was willing to make Brand the Bad Guy and let the other two redheads off. He wasn't appeased by that, merely holding a line on his options.

Best case? Probably.

And Bleys obviously had nearly the most fun of anyone there.