Archive for October, 2003
Given the name of the blog, I think I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a link to Monkey Lander, a Flash/Shockwave-based game good for a few minutes of distraction.
Well, it seems the conversation I mentioned here has spawned both a lot of comments attached to JP’s original post and a new thread of comments over on Arref’s in the Shadow of Greatness. Most of these are focused on Sol’s suggestion of creating a version of Amber with a shared backstory for use in Ambercon games.
I think the basic idea is certainly an appealing one, as it would solve the problem of players often needing to play cardboard cutouts of PCs in a shared world they aren’t a part of, while at the same time avoiding the pitfalls of campaign games. It would also lead to players being able to play the same character in different con games run by different GMs, and still maintain the web of relationships that makes the character come alive.
I do have some questions about how all of this would end up working in practice though. Obviously there would need to be coordination between several GMs during the creation of the world, and then some mechanism for deciding how to keep the plots of the various games from running afoul of one another. It would likely also require some GMs who are used to cutting things close getting their game ideas fleshed out further in advance of the con.
Overall the idea has a lot of appeal, if you can get a group of GMs to operate as an ad-hoc (a term from Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom) and get it all done. I’d probably be willing to chip in myself, even with my limited Ambercon GMing experience, but don’t think I’m going to be the one who motivates the whole thing into existence.
At ACN while lamenting the scarcity of “regular” or “classic” Amber games (i.e. games in which players portray younger princes and princesses of Amber) I was reminded that this was no accident. The idea was put forward that there are no new games to be run in a classic Amber setting, and everything must have some twist or gimmick.
I’m stilling clinging desperately to the idea that this is not true.
and my comment:
I believe the actual comment was more along the lines that, in the case of scenarios at Ambercons (which is what was being talked about), most, or at least many, of the more standard Amber ideas had already been run. This is why so many GMs at those cons now end up running games that may not fit some people’s idea of a “classic” Amber game. They don’t want to run something that they or others might be perceived as stale (like the old “Brand is back!” scenario).
This isn’t the same thing as saying that there are *no* “classic” Amber games to be run, only that at this point in the life-cycle of Ambercons, they are more likely to be the exception than the rule.
Frankly, in a non-campaign con setting, I prefer to play games that stray from the “classic” ideas. I think the children of Elders thing works much better in campaign settings than it does in one shots.