Character A-Z (Chaska)

Chaska, answering an altogether arbitrary abecedarian account.

(In background, Chaska was an Amberite character, born in the Tir.  Her height changed slowly over the month with the phases of the moon, she started as (if I remember right) a 120 point character with a 100 Psyche, and she didn’t wholly understand day to day things, like causality.  Over the years, she took over a magical tower in Thelbane and has grown to be, in *our* Amber universe, probably the foremost seer – in many ways more of a plot element than a character now.)

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Secrets of a Power Player [1]

[MaBNote: I’ve enlisted the LintKing to discuss some things from the player’s perspective. His first assignment is on names.]

[MaBNote: I’ve enlisted the LintKing to discuss some things from the player’s perspective. His first assignment is on, “Why do you have so many problems coming up with a name?”]

On The Difficulties of Names

Lots of characters know that Names have Power. In my favorite system, Earthdawn, the distinction between intelligent peoples like Humans, Elves, and Orks, versus animals and monsters, is that of being “Name Givers“. It’s the idea that while animals need, say, food, or shelter from the sun, people need to know that that’s Rabbit, and over there is Tree. People Name things, and in so doing, define them, shape them, and *master* them.

As a player, I have a difficulty with names. It’s not easy to Name a character. When I do find the right name, it’s often the final hook that gives me, well, the character. Differentiates *this* power-hungry Princess of Amber from the last five power-hungry Princesses of Amber I’ve played. And until I find the name, somehow, the character isn’t there. Sometimes I start filling in little details without a name, but it’s generally irrelevant – once I have the name, they all change anyway.

Names have…history. Personal histories: I’ve known a solid handful of Daves in my life, and only really liked one of them. Cultural histories: Adolph still isn’t an acceptable name for a boy. Heck, you still can’t use Judas and not expect people to wonder. Sub-cultural histories, too: our cat Corwin has connotations that most of my friends would get, and most of my family wouldn’t.

Names have…shapes. Everybody’s met someone and thought, `Funny; he doesn’t *look* like an Alexander.’ Tiffy comes with different expectations than Montclaire. These shapes can be played with. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was an inherent contradiction. Ebenezer just isn’t a Fighter’s name – unless you’re doing it on purpose. Even completely made up names have these kinds of shapes, built into their length, and their vowel:consonant ratios, their first and last letters.

Names have Power. I strongly suspect that names shape real people. Not directly, really, but if nothing else, people will have expectations, and those must reflect or refract. But characters are far more malleable – the shape of the name *will* shape the character. Maybe I put too much into it, but for me, it’s always been the final piece.

Spells for Random (Our Brother Unforgiven, ACNW 2003)

Ace In The Hole – Random’s take on an invisibility spell.

…At least for an idea what I see his magic being like, here are some ideas for some of his `personal’ spells – e.g. ones that he’s developed and used periodically, and the kinds of things he tends to actually keep `ready’ rather than just building as needed…

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Lepidoptera (The King is Dead, ACNW 2003)

Anyway, that’s probably enough background on a world that’s not going to come up in the game, I suppose…

Name: Lepidoptera

Psyche – 5

Warfare – 70

Strength – 20

Endurance – 5

Items:

Glitterings (Transfer Movement 7, Damage Resistance 4) 11

Crystallite (Damage4, Shapeshift 4) 8

Good Stuff: 6

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Anomaly (Still Waters, ACNW 2003)

Oh, as to her wanting to go to Rebma…she’s wanted to go to Rebma ever since it happened. She just wants to see it, and, well…to learn Moire’s secrets.

Name: Anomaly, Daughter of Fiona

Psyche – 25

Warfare – 20

Strength – 15

Endurance – 50

Powers – None, but she has very high Theory

Items – Black Hair Dye (Transfer Psychic Neutral) 7 points

SecretStealer – Sword (Damage4, Combat Skill2, Psyche2, Psychic Resist1, Shapeshift1) 10 points

2 points of Bad Stuff (That’s on purpose, actually…I don’t like it very often, but this seemed like an interesting game for it…<gryn>)

Character Instructions: 125 points, no advanced powers, no shadows, items must be less than 10 points total, no sentient pets, choice of parentage limited to Elders living after the Patternfall war, must have some reason to want to go to Rebma.

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Your Gamer RDA

WISH 36: What do you think about supplements to game systems? LintKing: Supplements can be wonderful. They can also, of course, be a complete waste of money – the little pamphlets White Wolf wanted something like a dollar a page for for a while spring to mind…

WISH 36 asks … What do you think about supplements to game systems?

LintKing: Supplements can be wonderful. They can also, of course, be a complete waste of money – the little pamphlets White Wolf wanted something like a dollar a page for for a while spring to mind…

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Spank Me!

The Spanking Throne War. Whoever can sit on the throne in the end, wins.

[recreated]

Out of the blue, Meera mentioned, “I am the King. The Spanking.”

“That sounds like an Amber game. The Spanking Throne War. Whoever can sit on the throne in the end, wins.”

She thought about it for a moment. “Wouldn’t it be mostly Endurance?”

“Well, you’d have Strength for speed, power, and recovery of the spankings, Warfare to get the right balance between stingy and thuddy, and Psyche, of course, to look into peoples’ eyes and say, `He has a much cuter rear than mine, shouldn’t you go after it?'”