I do intend to write more about the athanor. Right now that writing is going to most likely take the form of short stories, but I do not have any immediate plans to do any more novels. Part of this is due to publishing constraints, part due to my own current committments. Be assured that whenever the athanor reappear, in whatever form, the information will be posted on this site -- and thanks for your continued interest.
Blueheron Comments If the consequences of not saving the world are obviously bad either for the character or someone or something the character cares about, then that's sufficient reason for my character to save the world. Alternately, I could be happy with a somewhat episodic SF game much like Firefly where the focus is making an interesting living out on the fringes. I've play in several travel games where the PCs only began revisiting the worlds they visited more than halfway through the game. The PCs got involved with various plots because people we knew (or occasionally strangers one of us took a liking to or who had something interesting to offer) asked for our help. Alternately, sometimes the PCs saw something that bugged them and decided to fix it. In a number of cases, these solutions were obvious very different from what the GM had imagined would happen, but that's what makes a good game.
The fine points of enjoying feedback from the style of a roleplaying game. Narrative quirks, cultural backgrounds, and companionable players all have impact.
And since I didn't expect to get Dworkin, I'll take a moment to explain how I structured the quiz.
I tried to build affinities into the questions that didn't immediately call on things from the books, or elements of "Elder Typecasting". I felt this would make responses less "directed" and more reflective of the whims of the person responding to the quiz.
Some questions are more successful than others... and I might revisit the design over the holidays, looking to add more Q&A on the theory that many of the questions address less than half of the possible Elder results.
Obviously, my own bias of how the various Elders might treat or correspond to children is inherent in this. Also, it was a case of how "easily" could I make a distinction between Elder 'affinities' without being blatant about it. That was easier with some results than others. Each answer has at least one "keyword" that relates specifically to an Elder.
The eleven questions have 86 'answers'.
Oberon is the most likely result, since he figures in the most answers and he was also 'easiest' to draw distinctions about. While Delwin is the least likely result because there are only three answers that refer to him, and you would have to scatter your other eight answers among the Elders in order to not exceed the three Delwin responses. Delwin should be the least, since we know the least about him.
All in all, it was an interesting amusement. I'm intrigued at some of the feedback.
And as to the surprises...
I assume that I managed to surprise myself because trying to match my childhood against the questions was an entirely different experience from conjuring the affinities of the Elders and how they might react to children. Basically, if the keywords are true, and my answers are true to me, I got the result that is most like the way my own childhood worked. IMHO, I expected to get Llewella... but perhaps I learned something.
Exclusive expose: the entire list of answers here.
Sci Fi Wire Potter Parody Is OK
but not as funny as watching Hollywood actually try to cash-in
Sci Fi Wire Ford Signs On Indy IV
Sci Fi Wire Indy Girls To Reunite
misleading title, as Karen Allen gets a 'sound bite' and Kate Capshaw may not appear at all
The Amber stories emphasize the actions of folks enough like ourselves to be good protagonists, but living in the privileged world of a cosmopolitan 17th century. There are creatures of strange aspect, and events that are paranormal, but the energies of magic and science are rarely tossed about where folks can see it.
Now I've always equated sorcery (the extension of psyche tools) with technology (the extension of warfare tools) in an "equal or" situation. And to make things simple, I use the Wuj theory that the more complex something is, the more factors must be right in the shadow worlds for those things to function as they were designed. Specific exploitation of empowerment factors leads to quick breakdown to simpler means as environ alters.
In other words, there are two sliding scales of usable tools in the universe, one compliments warfare attribute, by making tools that more and more effectively empower the physical tool user. Computers are tools for the analytical extension of gamesmanship, if you will. So are missile launchers, or battle tanks, or poison gas, to stretch a point.
The other "sliding scale" compliments psyche attribute, by making tools that more and more effectively empower the mental tool user.
There can be shadows where this is balanced, or not, or shadows were both scales are so small that there is no empowerment and an individual is stuck with their own resources (which are always available, ie, strength and endurance, although YMMV).
So our amberite folk do not have powerful magic, nor do they have powerful technology, and in truth, why should they because their own resources are more powerful and potent if these things are not a factor.
Any mortal fool of some education can toss a firestorm at a castle or push a button to start a nuclear weapon countdown. A royal of Amber deals up close and personal because that is where the odds are most likely in their favor.
This leads amberites to carefully avoid high-tech shadows, or those of high-magic because getting your head blown off from thirty miles away is a crying shame.
Turn of a Friendly Die WISH 25: New PCs, Existing Party
How do you introduce a new PC to an existing group? Is it best if the GM takes special measures of some kind to integrate the new and existing characters, or should the GM just allow them to meet and let the players put it all together? Does it matter whether the game is oriented towards character cooperation or character competition?
I've done the bad thing, enthusiasm for the game blinding me to the fact that the better a game is, the harder it might be to slide a new Player into the mix.
First, there is the 'bonding' of the existing Party which can act as a barrier to a new PC. With no rationale for blending the new PC within the game, it is a mistake to think that everyone will use meta-game rationale to cover the introduction. It might work, or it might fall flat. So take a lesson from how well your existing Party is working together and see what elements might be crafted specifically for the new PC. Discuss the game or those possibilities with the group. They may not have much to add, or they may have a few ideas that will give you a startup point.
Juggling between giving the new Player full latitude with the creation of their PC, and allowing existing "niche" parts to existing PC Party members is a significant opportunity to solve. You want the new person to play something comfortable, not something tailored to the game first. Don't add a paladin because the party doesn't have one. Add a character that the new Player really wants to play.
There are too many cultural and other elements that make "games" competitive, even if they aren't designed that way. Don't start out by having a new person "stepping on the toes" of an existing PC that they don't even have the measure of . . . it will be rocky unless the chemistry just "clicks". You don't want to count on luck with the future health of a good game.
It should make less of a difference if the game is oriented to character cooperation . . . but gamers are still people. If there is no overt competition, the Players may still compete for "contacts" or "npc friends" or "cool moves" and the new person might feel like they are not contributing. Worse still, if the new PC tries to move in and make friends with an important npc, they might find sudden "friction" with an existing character and have no idea why.
The easiest answer is not so easy. Start the game over with everyone getting new characters. Or switch games to an alternate campaign for the new mix of players. Not too good a solution, considering the effort everyone can put into their favorite ongoing game-- but I have done it.