Day 16: Describe your plans for your next game
I had to think back to Astrid’s Amber campaign a few times in recent weeks. It sadly went defunct, but it was soooo good — not only because of the players or the GM, but also because the setup achieved such a good balance. I decided I want to try to get an Amber DRPG campaign going with the same premise. This is the pitch I sent to prospective players:
Crossposted from my blog. Comment here or at the original post.
The game is set some decades after the Patternfall War. Random has risen to the challenge and has turned into a wise and just king, respected by his siblings and subjects. After Queen Vialle died of an illness, Random became brooding but kept up his duties, supported by his brothers and sisters who stepped up to fill that void. And then Random suddenly dies under mysterious circumstances.
This sets off a full-blown civil war, with all the Elders vying for the throne of Amber. Alliances are formed and broken, large-scale battles are fought, assassinations are attempted — Amber and the Golden Circle fall apart during this fight. This doesn’t go unnoticed in the Courts of Chaos, and they seize this opportunity to once again march through Shadow towards Amber.
Now, the forces of Chaos are at the borders of the Golden Circle, preparing for their final offensive. The Elders, realising that they need a united front if they want to keep Amber out of the hands of Chaos, declare a cease-fire. They commit themselves to keeping Chaos out of the Golden Circle and formed the Amber Council. The truce is uneasy, with none of the Elders wanting to show their cards to the others.
You’d play as an Amberite, child of one of the Elders. You have gotten caught up in the civil war: perhaps you have supported your parent’s claim, or perhaps you have defied them and supported someone else. But now, the Amber Council has ordered everyone to cooperate in the defence of Amber and the Golden Circle. You have been ‘volunteered’ into a Task Force under the direct command of the Amber Council, and you are expected to achieve any mission objective they hand to you — in any way you see fit.
The premise is brilliant because it gives the characters a compelling reason to work together (instead of going off to do their own thing), while still fostering some rivalry. Because there are clear objectives, there is immediately something to work towards too, so it’s also suited for the beginning Amber player.