Here is the full blurb and instructions from Ambercon 2014 for the LoGaS game I created and played. ‘The Pendrad’ is the Fae name for the Grand Stair of LoGaS fame.
The Pendrad: Shining Liquid Universe!
In Pretty Amber, there sits a King of All Order.
In Dark Chaos, there hovers a Queen on the Edge of the Tree of Matter.
Amber and Chaos have vexed us since before the Nameless spit out the Logrus. Terrible immortals, they parcel the universe and squabble over mysteries.
Pendrad is found. Lords of Shadow and Gossamer have uncovered that which was so Long Lost we nearly forgot it ourselves.
Once the Glorious Pendrad was the weapon the UnderGods feared. Too long the universe has forgotten who built the Pendrad. We call you of all Bloods, for a Memory has returned. We call you to Dance.
Young Immortals are pretty, but not the prettiest or most wicked. For they are not Fae. Come dance the Escalara….
…and perhaps we shall have Children to join us!
Play the Immortals who existed before the Universe had Shadows. Play the Fae. They are incredibly ancient. They have mad skillz. They breathe Magic. They are nearly extinct… but maybe that can change!
please read ‘Lords of Gossamer and Shadow’ by Jason Durall.
your PCs will be tasked by the Great Khans of the Fae… you may pick your own Khan, based on character design OR contact with the GM by email.
the web page to get flavor background of the Pendrad series is found: http://home.comcast.net/~arrefmak/theeternalcity/before.html
Players: 3-7 Any (Returning Players not given preference)
Character Instructions: PCs must be Fae built for 80 pts. Characters submitted to GM prior to convention can be built for 100 pts. Note special task of ENDURANCE is all of your magic, as PCs are literally held together by magic. Players encouraged to make early contact with GM.
All players get Mastery of the Grand Stair at no cost, please ask questions.
Pre-generated Characters Will Be Provided: No
Players to contact GM(s) before the con?: Yes
I only gave the Players the ‘source page’ describing the Khans of Fae in very brief terms. I also gave them by email a ‘first come, first served’ choice of which Khan to serve.
design vs actual play: I received great PC designs from the new rule set. There was a nice diversity of creative response within the template of the Khans and the ruleset of the Lords of Gossamer and Shadow. A mostly cooperative set of characters, with some political investigation to be done. The Fae are withering, dying under the tyranny of the modern universe and its Order. But perhaps the discovery of the Grand Stair offers some hope for a future.
Per design, I found the premise interesting enough that I was very casual with some rule overlap between Amber Diceless and LoGaS. Also per the premise, I gave away the Very Important powerset of Master of the Grand Stair. In play, the Characters came to realize that their Mastery was broken with the Stair. Pendrad, the Grand Stair that they knew, was strangely different in ways they did not understand. At least not yet.
In the game design sense, they had a powerful affinity with the Stair, but not understanding of how to fully use it per rules. The players/characters seemed to find this an interesting challenge, as intended.
In actual play, the Characters saw that the Khans were unified in their concern to quickly assert some dominion over the Pendrad, but to NOT tip off Amber or Chaos that the Fae were all that interested in the Grand Stair. Once the Characters learned that there were more secrets, and more changes to the Grand Stair than they understood, I think they also saw that the Lords of the Stair were also competitors, or adversaries, for this important information.
This leaves the Fae race in a very weak position, which frankly they are used to. Lords and Masters of the Stair have real connection with it. Amber and Chaos might seek to destroy the Stair outright, as it permits shadowfolk access and powers that run parallel to stuff that only a very few people have been doing for centuries.
I also shared with the Players that Pattern and Logrus had the ability to quickly unmake any Fae in combat.
In effect, if Amber and Chaos look into the future, they may become concerned that the Universe is moving on and the next extinct race will be them. The Fae can appreciate the irony of this. The Fae love irony, especially at Others’ expense.
Another small design change I made, was to promote Endurance as all the magic the Fae can command. This did two things for me that did not really become obvious in play, but I hope will stand in good stead as the game goes forward. Instead of the rather clunky sorcery and power rules of Amber Diceless/LoGaS, the idea that your character channels magic inherent to your structure was a strong theme. A Fae can create effects of magic thru improvisation, or through some practiced routines/shapes that speak of their personality, etc.
Likewise, per the rules, power spent on things does subtract from power available for other aspects/attributes. This is implicit in the ruleset, but even more so for the Fae. In game injuries lessen your magic. Artifacts attached to your legend divide your magic.
Spellwork only takes hold of opponents based on a Psyche check as per rules, however, being able to do many things at once, or in a manner stronger than a sorcerer, is part of your Endurance rank. In this respect, the GM would eye the things possible with sorcery and use that yardstick for Fae Endurance that falls in the same point range. Most of the Players chose high Endurance.
In play, I was happy with how this seemed to work, but we did not have the kind of intense combat scenes that would test the actual play.
The result in summary was a game of travel, spying, politics, and general shadow sneaking about, contrasting how Fae move through the universe with the in-game discovery of the Grand Stair and how much more easily the Stair provides access to the same Universe.
I look forward to chasing these aspects in future rounds of the convention.