in the Shadow of Greatness

:: Zelazny :: [polish] :: sparks that fly from the ironsmith's hammer ::

::. Friday, July 11 .::

...and prompted by a response to this week's WISH: How does one pronounce "Cthulhu" anyhow?

:: Arref Mak 11.7.03 :: link ::
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Perverse Access Memory:
WISH 55: What's In A Name?:
"How do you choose character names? What makes a good or bad name for a character? What are three examples of really good (or really bad) character names, and why are they so good or bad?"
My sense of whimsy can get me into trouble with this.
A few folks at ACUS thought Sserella was too cute. I thought it was cultural, visual, and offered just a hint of strange. But at least one player, reaching for a laugh, insisted on pronouncing it like a stutter. "S-s-serella"

I just gave him the Rebma stare and smiled. We got along fine, once my little group of friends ruined his coup, smashed his army, and saved King Random from his little group of friends.

I still think it is a good name. I hear the hiss of waves on a beach. I respect consonants that get quirky use in other cultures. And I like playing the underdog.
Do not make fun of girl only wearing thong. Ever.
Droppa Ma Pantz is a bad name. Bad, Roger, bad. Shame on you. Course, it does make me smile. And then again, having played Droppa in the Eternal City, there is a challenge in making a personality out of a joke. I think I enjoyed that challenge very much.
Tatasha, High Mother of the Weir is a good name. Why? It has most of the things I look for in a new Amber addition. Use of simple syllables in a complex, unusual style. Use of evocative words to expose a cultural framework. A name that can be shortened, altered slightly to a "pet name" or given a hard and formal vocal for the most serious scene.
Starting with a good name always seems to put me in my best mode for making great characters. I'm always intrigued by words, and given names are a close second in fascination. In the game of Amber, the name you give your character lasts forever and generates a series of shadow-myths through infinite shadow.

As such, the name should be very strong, but very flexible. It should inspire myth, but not be slave to it.
And it doesn't hurt if you play games with Zelazny's sense of humor while you are at it.

:: Arref Mak 11.7.03 :: link ::
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House of Cards Log: New Player: Arref Mak
with generous terms and an understanding posting sched, I'm joining the infamous HoC game as a young, impressionable Seaward lass named, Celina.

(IE browsers will note the Rebma opacity tricks with images.)

I've done cameo roles in other games, notably "On Her Majesty's Service" and local F2F games in Pittsburgh---but I've seldom gone beyond cameos because of first-line commitments to my other online games, "Strange Bedfellows" and "Age of Retribution".

Having lurked the HoC OOC chatter, then the actual posts for a while, I'm expanding into the Celina role. It will also creatively open that door to Rebma in another campaign venue, as I first did in "Wizard in the Attic" with Sserella.

And for more mischief, there will be a hush-hush game for adults: "A Grand Affair." Viewer discretion advised.

:: Arref Mak 11.7.03 :: link ::
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Roll the Bones: REVIEW: Dreamwalker Diceless
of interest as a backdrop setting that can go anywhere the imagination goes :: and also check out Strange Bedfellows :: DreamWalking

:: Arref Mak 11.7.03 :: link ::
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Shadows of Amber :: The Center of All Things :: Child Prodigy and Other Abominations
What age a Patternwalk? :: More answers to MaBarry's question.

:: Arref Mak 11.7.03 :: link ::
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::. Thursday, July 10 .::

Sci Fi Wire :: Indy holds his own

:: Arref Mak 10.7.03 :: link ::
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::. Wednesday, July 9 .::

In My Campaign
MaBarry asks: "How young will you allow someone IYC to Walk the Pattern? Are there any exceptions? Why or why not?"
There are lots of ways to treat this--Zelazny suggests, but never really outlines the process.

The restriction of mature Endurance per ADRPG rules makes sense as a baseline. PCs have to "grow into" their Attributes. So the GM must determine how puberty and maturity influence this process.

Age of legal adulthood: 15 years
95% range of age of Royal Family members at first pattern walk: 20-50
Youngest known Patternwalker: 13 (Gerard, Brand)
Youngest actual Patternwalker: 0 (in womb)
Age at which members of the Royal Family are considered competent to do anything without someone holding their hands: Approx. 30

Oberon had a policy of using the Chaos conventions of maturity, which IMC is Thirty years. For various reasons, age of maturity in Amber has become Fifteen years, and younger folks in campaign are taking 'advantage' of this. However, Random is uneasy about allowing these walks, and has tested every candidate since he has been King before permitting the first walk.

Random has 'rejected/delayed' a few that he didn't think had the "right stuff."

Campaign History makes something special of the fact that Gerard was goaded into walking the Pattern at Thirteen by an older brother. Gerard crawled the last third (about thirty minutes) on fire. Post recovery, he also started to grow in size and strength. The brother responsible for goading Gerard was punished by Oberon.

Campaign History has not revealed that Brand walked the Pattern just before his Fourteenth birthday in secret. With a smile, he later took his "first walk" at Thirty, when allowed by Oberon.

There have been three women who walked the Pattern while pregnant in their first few weeks. All mothers/children survived. One child was Merlin. One mother was Coral. One mother was a PC.

One death by Patternwalk was of an over-eager twenty-something.

It is also well-known IMC that Florimel has never walked the Pattern since her first time.

She is afraid of it.

GMs ought to make the Pattern a thing not to be taken lightly--while finding dramatic license to bend the rules if you have to for campaign reasons. I think I would stop a game and tell a Player OOC if I was certain they were about to kill themselves by starting a walk when they weren't prepared.

:: Arref Mak 9.7.03 :: link ::
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::. Tuesday, July 8 .::

Weird: holding down excitment of prepping to play two games right now.
In one, I've just done a bit of background as Benedict, and looking back over the slices of material, it really hangs together.
In another, I'm exploring a magic system that is radically different from anything I've tried before, and it really has some potential ease of play, yet true grit. I'm trying to see how it applies to Rebma and mystery.
I'd throw links at you but it's all very hush hush.

:: Arref Mak 8.7.03 :: link ::
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MCroft's Journal :: the whole LiveJournal thing seems to be exploding
who needs MT if all this works over there? mmmm

:: Arref Mak 8.7.03 :: link ::
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::. Monday, July 7 .::

From running thread where you can ask Suhuy questions:
Shadows of Amber :: Comments From the Peanut Gallery :: Ask Master Suhuy:
"As to records of the discovers of various powers that you mention. We have Dworkin to thank for the Pattern, of course. A Helgram bears most of the burden for perfecting the Living Power of Logrus. Conjuration was originally practiced in the First Dynasty, though no records survive into modern times, so the name of such an individual would not even be in Church records. Trump was a fledgling creation of three blind sisters of House VanGrast several millennium before my tenure in this universe. Sorcery is claimed to have been discovered nearly simultaneously (with proof) by over a dozen individuals and yet it is more likely that it was originally used in the Second Dynasty and just lost, since many architectural marvels that survive in fragments suggest sorcerous building techniques.

Newer powers and their laboring mid-wives tend to be more mature and hide their efforts rather than flail about looking for attention."
Hey Jvstin, notice anything interesting in the above?

:: Arref Mak 7.7.03 :: link ::
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Tales of the City
has returned and promises lots of info on the stoic Prince Julian :: All Things Julian

:: Arref Mak 7.7.03 :: link ::
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Potter: book 5 done
It didn't hit me as a tearjerker, though I found the story more magical, and less harsh than the raw events of book 4.

Book 5 shows me Harry under stress in a way I understand, even as I don't approve of how he deals with it. It transforms the horror of book 4 into terms that I and Harry can deal with. There is healing, even as there is more tragedy.

All in all, I found 5 to be the best of the series so far.

:: Arref Mak 7.7.03 :: link ::
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AMBER shadowstorm
new PBeM

:: Arref Mak 7.7.03 :: link ::
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::. Sunday, July 6 .::

Sci Fi Wire :: Spielberg drops? from Indy IV
not a good sign

:: Arref Mak 6.7.03 :: link ::
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Congrats to Cassandra: she's been 'elected' the successor to the High Mother of the Weir, beating out eighteen candidates put forward by the clans. Sable Wolves, you rock!

btw: has anyone read the "annotated Cassandra diary" which is page one linked above? Good thing? Bad thing? Useful?

:: Arref Mak 6.7.03 :: link ::
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