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So because Ginger is breezing through the trump descriptions of the Elders... I polished up something for the dusty shadow journal.


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Nine Scions in Amber

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.
Missed so many friendly faces, even as I got to say "hi" to many. If you didn't get a specific 'hello' from me, I probably thought one at you very hard. My bad.

So glad to know you folks.

Slot 1) Agents of the Argent Rose: “City of the Dead” (gm - arref)
Well, we got through half the blurb but no one had a moment to spare with all the character driven action.
The dramatic tension between the PC's grandparents (Corwin and his Lorelei) wavered about as additional pressures were brought to bear by the Fae Protectors of the Argent Realm. Lorelei was kidnapped when Corwin had his back turned. The PCs made sure it didn't become a certain disaster. A great cast that virtually needs no GM at all----true family feeling. Magnificent!

Slot 2) Five Sides to Every Story (gm - arref)
Never the same game. Quite action-packed this year with the PCs sniffing out trouble faster than ever before. Not an easy game, but the Players had fun. Perhaps the last of "Five Sides", first run at ACN in 1999.

Slot 3) Sealed to Llyr (gm - john lees)
Dark and well-fleshed gaming background for a new system by gm John Lees. Lots of potential, good immersion by the Players.

Slot 4) A Piece of the Pattern (gm - john lees)
Excellent throne war that captured the cinema textures of gangwar in a Noir City. My favorite thronewar I can recall. Also run with a new diceless system by the gm (same as above--cross genre!!) Turned out the social cabal won the day instead of the warfare guys. Some close calls.

Slot 5) Clandestine Chronicles of the Cobalt Charter (gm - arref)
Well... the Cobalt Charter is supposed to keep a low profile, supposed to handle things Chaos and Amber choose to ignore. They are PCs built on shadow scale.
This year they decided they needed to find their missing leader, Julia Barnes-Sawall. And that set a game crossing through the perilous holdings of Chaos in the Black Zone where Lords and Ladies of Chaos stood in their path. The Charter kicked ass and teamed up with Lord Jurt, convincing him to return to the Fount of Four Worlds to gain the powers of madness and Living Trump. Julia was saved from a fate literally worse than death. No casualties this year.

Slot 6) In a Wicked Amber (gm - ben benard)
Ben stepped in to run this when illness took out the GM pair the day before the con. Interesting system yielding very different Amber flavor that had many parallels to Zelazny's own writing style. Worth the trip (even tho' my Fiona got the short end of many dice contests, yes, the game played with a dice mechanic!) Thanks, Ben!

Slot 7) Changing Hands (gm - arref)
This worked very well. PCs made good progress against a full agenda handed them by King Random to clear shadows of Chaosi influences. Many interesting shadow stories, much range of play and good efforts by the cast to also collect resources for the 'strifed and strained' Amber transitioning while the Patternfall Treaty is hammered out in Chaos. Thanks gang.

Slot 8) The Soft Cimmerian: 'Go Ask Alyse' (gm - arref)
Special game exploring a unique undersea realm, the Gallants of the Glass were in good form. A personal request from Queen Moire is satisfied by intense and dangerous quest. A Guisel is thwarted. The Cheshire Puss makes an appearance. Lost lovers are rejoined. No casualties. Awesome.

For those of you now reading that were in the First 'Soft Cimmerian' game, I really missed you. I missed you so much I started playing your PCs in the game (where originally my plan was to omit references to prior PCs by saying you were all 'out of town'. Ha!!)

I would offer the Cimmerian next year if some of you wish----if anyone of the cast so far can make ACUS 2010, please consider. I will probably close the game to new players, as it has become such a jewel that you could never bring new PCs properly up to speed.

I don't know how better to say it, "Amber players are an awesome bunch."
Very splendid weekend.

games, games 2

Feb. 4th, 2009 02:58 pm
arrefmak: (Default)
I have un-retired 'Five Sides to Every Story'

Slot 2
ACUS 2009

games, games

Feb. 2nd, 2009 08:50 pm
arrefmak: (Default)
Yes, started submitting games to ACUS 09

biggest hurdle...digging out returning player names for the form...
across a few years... that isn't info at my fingertips

You players might want to note you are returning to a series game in your selections too.



Jan. 26th, 2009 11:45 am
arrefmak: (unicorn)
2009 thoughts: slots and offerings

No seminar this year. Great fun, but poorly attended. My suspicion is that folks don't want to do such mental work on holiday.

Closing Con with a Rebman game maybe not wise. Was so terrific the first time I wanted to offer followup... and good chance on cast not returning. Always the culture rp to bring up to speed with Rebma. Con organizers advise: "do not make Players do work"

otoh.... Players often do work for my games

web site does not offer GM advantages for game preferences, wondering about that

Argent Rose looks like solid for slot one
Cobalt Charter should not move for slot five

have retired 'Five Sides' as I would think most have had chance to play it (ambercon only gets 100 people a year and I've done that game with at least 10 groups). Yes! Veterans of Five Sides now allowed to chat same.

all else subject to change

* lord, been so long that I've done manual html, I blew the link above
last time we left our heroes


1. Argent Rose: City of Swords (2009: City of the Dead)

2. GMing: first timers seminar

3. played: Who Was That Masked Man?

4. shopped for snacks for Cobalt Charter

5. Cobalt Charter (2009: more hijinxs)

6. played: Volatile!

7. played: The Renegado

8. To wed the Soft Cimmerian (2009: more hijinxs)

Because I'd like to mingle with other folks too, I'm tempted to register games for 1, 5 and 8 and then leave the rest for 'pencil in' at the Con

But since they are desperate for games... doesn't seem good to only provide half what I usually do.


ambercon 2009

Jan. 21st, 2009 02:47 pm
arrefmak: (Default)
Will be at Ambercon 09. Go me.

Now games? Gods. What might that list look like?

So here are the game sparks so far for 2009:

1. The Soft Cimmerian: 'Go Ask Alyse'

A team of the Rebman Aoife (Gallants of the Glass) enter the Afanc Glass to question Alyse, find the resting place of Lir's bones (stolen by the Chaosi several centuries past) and steal back the Vorpal Blade from a cunning guisel. Once in the Labyrinth, the Aoife find the Cheshire Puss in the midst of exploring R'lyeh to wake the Great Ones to destroy the Fomoire, but this waking will undo a balance 1600 years old.

Once more, the clever Aoife act to save the foundations of Rebma!

...she opened the brass lid to tap and mix the sand, and an icy draft swirled around the inside of the craft until she closed the thing again. The draft had a sea scent to it, salty and sharp.

"All mirrors lead to Rebma," she said, as though it were an axiom.

2. Changing Hands

The war is over and Gerard is no longer regent. Random is restoring the Golden Circle. His elder sibs are in Chaos hammering out the Patternfall Treaty.

Your team takes shadow rutters from key family members and explores the shadows Chaos has handed back to Amber after occupation.

How dangerous is that? Find out.

3. Cobalt Charter

Still more daring exploits of the secret charter.

4. Argent Rose: City of the Dead

Still more adventure of the Corwin cousins.

Grandma has fled from Corwin's displeasure to the City of the Dead. This cannot be allowed to stand.

5. Stairway Perilous!

According to the oldest children of Oberon, the Faiella-Bionin was constructed in a single night.

No one knows how this monumental engineering feat was accomplished by Queen Faiella, except that she had secret relationships with strange allies in Shadow. Now the land bridge to Rebma is failing.

Only thirty percent of Rebma's inhabitants are actually able to survive the watery depths because of their Athanor heritage. If the bridge fails, it is expected that almost seventy thousand people could perish.

Evacuation has started. There may be nine hours before tragedy fully strikes. The PCs must discover the secrets of Faiella and her phantom engineers as quickly as possible or join the almost impossible task of saving the strongest allies Amber has.

Mechanics/Restrictions: Pre-gens, system varies from Amber DRPG standard. GM prefers Players select Elders before game start and e-mail request to include 'why' that Elder.

Oberon is King. Lora is Queen. Delwin and Sandmorel are teens. Elders chosen are all those older than Delwin and Sand. Finndo and Osric are dead.

Character Generation: Pregenerated

Please, anyone knows of slots that they are not available, post herein.
Thanks and looking forward to see you.

Sure... like I really have brainpower to decide anything this month,

the slot guesses:

1. Argent Rose: City of Swords

2. GMing: first timers

3. 3-094: In the Shadows of Greatness (AA UC, 2-8 Players) Kunkel2
(like how could I resist this game?)
3-092: Who Was That Masked Man? (SW, 3-4 Players) Linda Duncan
(like the blurb)

4. ...and what the heck happened here. Nothing appeals!

5. Cobalt Charter

6. 6-032: Dashing Blades of Amber (AA SR UC, 2-4 Players) Sol Foster
6-090: Volatile (AA UC, 3-7 Players) Madeline Ferwerda
6-082: Wilderness of Princes (AA, 4-8 Players) Jeremy Zimmerman

...all the riches land in slot 6

7. 7-064: The Renegado: Issue #0 Ashcan Edition (NA UC, 3-6 Players) Rachel Holmberg
(very nice blurb)
7-034: The Roaring Ripples (SW, 3-6 Players) Sol Foster
7-008: Candidate Day (AA UC, 2-6 Players) Kunkel2

8. To wed the Soft Cimmerian

It looks like a blast.
I'll miss some good companions this year, but I'm excited.

ps: someone please take notes in slot three discussion regards Amber Diceless ver 2
January 6, 2008 - Deadline for game submissions

c'mon folks, you know you want to
So thanks to community suggestions...

To Wed the Soft Cimmerian
peek )

ambercon 08

Dec. 27th, 2007 08:26 am
arrefmak: (animate)
disclaimer: i haven't signed up yet for ACUS

So in the very now I need to think of 4 games I could run.
If one was
Cobalt Charter
and one was
Agents of the Argent Rose

what else do you want to see this year?

this question is also open to those over age 18 not going to ACUS, void where prohibited by local law

ten things...

Oct. 9th, 2007 08:35 am
arrefmak: (fey)
Post ten things that recently made you happy, ganked from [profile] mtfierce 

from [profile] princejvstin
Here are five fictional characters that I want on my side when the apocalypse comes.

Benedict, son of Cymnea : because he would be in such a battle and I don't want him on the other side
Clark Savage, Jr. : because there's small chance he would ever quit and he is a dozen masterminds in one
Chris Csejthe : because there hasn't been an apocalypse yet that he hasn't aborted with his tenacity and philosophic courage
the Traveller in Black : because there isn't an arcane problem that will baffle him for long
Telzey Amberdon : because there never has been a more fast-thinking, psi flattening, robust take charge gal in all of SF

Now you.
finally innocence dies on screen

"so what if we have to kill all those people to save them?"

"that means we take charge from a morally corrupt throne"

"oh, the future is a kinder-gentler tyrant, which is us?"

now how cool is that?
ganked from [profile] kit_kindred:

What I learned in slot___

one: a polite Phouka is just as funny as a wild manic one

two: very hard to bring a late arrival into game flow

three: drinking with Julian is fun

four: very unreasonable to do my Chaos culture at con (though with three people it does work)

five: fortune cards generate plot, woot!

six: 17 attribute rewrite of Amber DRPG actually works

seven: Five Sides, too complex to ever predict

eight: not too old yet, lasted until 1am
Texorami: Last set     2007

'Red Hot' Ryerson: "Old man, do you perform marryin'?"
Grandpa (who turned out to be Dworkin): "Oh? Well! Yes, I suppose I have done that."
'Red Hot' Ryerson: ~Nods~ "Yep. I figgered an old geezer religious type like you would be one of those fellas that officiates weddings. It's the end of the world and if we aren't gonna play poker-- I'm fixin' to marry a gal."

What a great finish.
Take off tomorrow about 9am or earlier.

Computers going into shutdown. The RFL decided we should take the laptop in case she needs to hear from her sister.

GM status:
1 player never responded for game info (out of five games and five to seven Players in each, that's amazing!)

Props done. Paris packing, underway. Talking stick, loaded.

Y'know what? I love this stuff.
See ya all soon.


What good will come of seeing her? The steps to this meeting have been
full of warnings and omens. My mind is full of lies. Even now aren't I
lying to myself?

How exciting and ironic to imagine the healing explanation she'll have
for all this pain.

And when she invites me to join her again, how can I not agree? Could
I be that strong? Our gazes will caress each other. We'll touch. The
memory of pain will burn away and I'll fall into her arms. Twining in
her arms, I'll feel everything was worth the journey.


My chest: too small even now to contain the need that is pounding away
behind my ribs. I want her. And I want all this intrigue to go away. I
want someone to say they loved me for myself.
Not for who I was born of.
Not for the sparking spiral in my blood.
Not for politics.

How young and stupid is love.

How to make a young girl biddable? Soothe her. Groom her. Stroke her
heart and ease the chain 'round it while she dozes.

And still I love her. I need love that badly. I disgust myself.


I wonder if Merlin will like her?