Amber through a lens of a different color

The 20′ By 20′ Room: Same Game World, Different Takes
links to a Doyce game exercise
comments by many

It is a fact, however, that most of the Players I’ve ever dealt with don’t want to be empowered with the story.
It breaks their belief in what they are doing as characters. It crosses the streams. Short circuit.
In Amber, it could work, but even so, what about the Players who can’t be that pro-active without getting their heads stuck in meta-game?


One comment

  1. Nothing wrong with that — two different styles of play.
    The original and still primary motivation for lots of players is what folks over on the Forge call Simulation — don’t confuse this with combat simulation or wargaming — they are playing the game to experience what it’s like to *be* an Amberite. Well and good.
    What I’m positing is that some folks are playing at Amber games because it gets them closer to a game style they want that they may not even know they want — the ability to really control their character. I think you’ve said before (or someone did) that the reason that some folks keep coming back to the same character in d20 or Amber or whatever is because they never really felt like they’ve really gotten to ‘finish’ that character’s story — that’s not the only reason for character-regurge, but it’s one.
    If that’s a probelm that a player’s trying to overcome, this might be the answer for them — they really get to set some of the scenes that they want their character in, contribute to the ‘small scenes’ of the character’s life and, (I think) most importantly, control the character’s failure.
    What’s that about? Well, the way that d20 deprotagonizes the character is though those lovely instances where you’ve got this great character who blows stuff he’s supposed to be good at. Eventually, that’s the character they become, and they aren’t the guy you wanted to play anymore.
    Can you fail in Trollbabe? Sure, but you control how that happens and looks and feels.
    Giving an example from a recent game, one of my players wanted to stop a village thug from backhanding and old seer. She rolls her ‘fight’ skill and misses the roll. Failure. (In trollbabe, there are different levels of failure, depending on what you risked, so in this case, it’s the basic “you’re discommoded” failure.)
    Success falls to the GM to narrate. Failure falls to the Player — this ensures that the player can have the character fail in a way that fits their image of the character.
    Maybe one player will be happy with ‘just missing’ (boring). Some other player decides “I’m really drunk and slipped on a pool of beer and fell on my ass.” Somone else doesn’t want folks laughing at them, so, as they move forward to intervene, a bunch of allies of the village thug stand up and grab the character, keeping her from intervening. All failures (in the game, all failures can you can try to recover from), but all things that work within each player’s mind.
    Again, it’s not going to be what every player wants, but I think that it’s something some folks may find interesting and playable and maybe even exciting, and one of those player-types that might be found more prevalently within the Amber gaming community.

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