Amber and relationships and romance stories

From the HOC Hivemind:
RPing romances have two main stressors: external factors and internal factors.

1. If there is significant internal resistance and external reasons not to have the relationship work, they break.
2. If there are external forces pushing for the relationship but internal resistance, then there is a story of falling in love.
3. If there are external impediments but strong desire to make it work, then there is the star-crossed lover story.
4. If external forces are pushing for a relationship that is desired by both parties, then the relationship is not material for a story, although it can be backdrop for a story.

By genre, Amber is not a romance plot, however a considerable amount of ‘relationship plot’ is in the canon and plenty of RPing examples include romance within the family. It’s a standard trope to realize that immortals romantically draw to each other.
My campaign, Eternal City, has had several romance plots. And then too there are the back stories which highlight romances that affected “how things are now” and the history of Oberon’s queens, the failed or successful Elder romances and the modern events of the Youngers generation now moving into Generation Next.
In my personal experience as Player and GM, I’ve played through all four romances above. My experience suggests most “screen time” is spent on Romance 3: ‘star crossed’.
Given immortal time scale and some rule unwritten that you don’t want to ‘stress the same story’ over and over, when are you peaking and when are you done with ‘star-crossed’ romance?
When does a ‘romance story’ “jump the shark”?
How do Players and GMs transform Romance 3 into Romance 1 or 4?
Does it help if we further define Romance 3?
Let’s see:

External stressor, neither character leverage, romance crumbs
Two folks in love; held apart by strong externals, social or authority with little chance to realize the relationship. Easy example: teen romance between ‘good kids’ who obey parents.
External stressor, limited character leverage, romance bi-polar
Two folks in love; held apart by externals but with chance to realize the relationship through danger, chance or sneaking about. The famous example is Romeo and Juliet.
External stressor, multi-character leverage, romance comedy/drama/triangles
Two or more folks in love; bent, pushed or rushed apart by externals but with several chances to realize the relationship through disguise, lies, danger or tenacity. The famous example is Midsummer Night’s Dream.
External stressor, unequal character leverage, romance shadowed
Two folks in love; striving to overcome externals but one of the pair has great ability to showcase while the other will suffer or defend by wits until ‘freed’ or ‘found’ or ‘spell is broken’. The famous example is Odysseus.
External stressor, chosen karma character, romance destiny
Two folks in love; striving to overcome externals but one of the pair follows a destiny while the other recognizes the destiny is greater than the relationship and so the relationship must run passive lest the greater karma suffer. The famous example is Lois and Clark.

So now we can see the transformations that change these romances into Romance 1 (will break) or Romance 4 (success).

Romance Crumbs, will struggle until the authority relents or the pair mature into their own authority.
Romance Bi-polar, will struggle until the authority is overcome or the couple succumb to danger and/or chance.
Romance Triangles, will struggle until the only a pair remains (down from three or more), or the unusual externals exhaust themselves trying to prevent the romance.
Romance Shadowed, will struggle until the showcase validation of the pair as each overcomes their separate challenges.
Romance Destiny, will struggle until the destiny is complete or the sacrifice of love is total.

So immortal time scale can use Romance 3 repeatedly by:
Avoiding Romance Crumbs more than once,
Avoiding Romance Shadowed more than once,
Avoiding undercut of Authority over characters,
Providing new Romance Triangles,
Providing revealed Romance Destiny.
And when looked at in this way, you see that the Amber genre is ripe with factors that will allow several types and manifestations of Romance 3.
Hmmm. Some nice quotes at Shadows of Amber.

Advertisements