It actually does seem someone

It actually does seem someone besides the writer is reading this, or checking it.
Meera (see links at left) questioned me about my definition of Primal Powers. She thinks my definition is suspiciously like her idea of a Spikard.
I replied to her that Spikards are (usually) portable. Primal Powers are not and have a fixed Locus.
The obvious question, which she asked, is WHY are they fixed in place?
Good question. I think its a matter of my scientific-oriented mindset. While I have a good depth of knowledge and appreciation for things mythological and mythopoetic, its not my field, per se, or speciality. I leave that to Arref, who has forgotten more of that than I will ever learn.
Its a bit of a tautology, but the Primal Powers have fixed loci simply because it is they which help define the boundaries of the universe. Looking at my cosmology page, at http://www.mindspring.com/~jvstin/strange/sbcosmology.html, might help illustrate what I mean but I’ll explain further.
Before Pattern, and before Logrus, or any Primal Powers anywhere, the universe was not what we exactly called organized. Heck, there really wasn’t much difference BETWEEN universes. The multiverse was not truly differentiated. Shadows were born, died, and born anew without much organization to them.
Primal Powers are those nodes which changed, and continued to change that. Relativity strikes again…they are fixed relative to the shadows which they create, or organize, or influence about them. For all one knows, they may wander the void of the universe, the Amberverse moving like a brane in a fifth dimensional matrix…but relative to the shadows themselves, they are the fixed poles of reality, the Alder Boles, if you will. A Power which can DO this, add this level of organization, is considered Primal. Spikards are mobile powers and do not influence the world about them in this way. Trump, Shapeshifting, Dream Magic, Sorcery…none of them do this, either.
Only things like the Pattern, the Logrus, Portals (from the Omphalos) can do this. This is why the creation of Corwin’s Pattern is a big deal and worried and worries people like Fiona. Mucking about with the creation of Primal Powers has unexpected side effects, not all of them benign.
Funny, but I seem to have thought of yet another game idea from this…

Over at Shadow of Greatness,

Over at Shadow of Greatness, Arref has been thinking lately of what exactly MAKES a Primal Power exactly that.
It’s a good question and one for me to consider here, myself.

Primal Powers


Primal Power

A Primal Power is a locus or node of energies which is powerful enough to permanently affect a section of reality greater than the shadow from
which it springs


Under my definition, The Pattern and the Logrus are two obvious Primal Powers. Under my definition, though, things like Trump are not…since Trump does not
have a physical manifestation like the spiral of the Pattern or the chaotic home of the Logrus.
Primal Powers take some work to create. The Logrus…well I don’t think I have revealed just how it was constructed. The Pattern, in my games, was constructed with the aid of three Spikards bound by Dworkin to the task. Two of these Spikards you have encountered before, in the works of Roger Zelazny–Greyswandir, and Werewindle. Just as Dworkin used the Spikards in the creation of the Pattern, so too did he bind Pattern into their making, changing them from what they were, to the Pattern Swords that they are now.
Why? Perhaps the Spikards have some control over the Pattern, some say, and the Pattern itself (if you consider it sentient) does not desire to have any sort of controls on it. If you eschew the sentient Pattern theory, then Dworkin did it, to keep young scions of Amber, or anyone else, from having “keys” to the Pattern.
Does the Logrus have any such keys? If so, what are they, and what do they look like now?

Hi friends. Since you know

Hi friends.
Since you know I am interested somewhat in dreams, and I had such a long and clear (as far as memory) one last night, I decided to share it with you all.
What this dream strongly reminds me of is the book Silverlock, by John Myers Myers.
Dream.
It began in the cemetery which I used to live right next to (our backyard adjoined this cemetery). In this dreamscape, there was a mountain, though, inside this burial park which was very popular for people to try and ascend. “One day”, I apparently decided to try and climb it, too.
It started off with a minor obstacle, this little bitty ridge which proved to be harder to get over than it looked. Once I got over it and was standing up, a woman said to me that the obstacle was not as easy as it seemed. I brushed myself off and looked at my options. There were roads going up this thing and instead of taking a road that I had a feeling I had taken before (straight up the mountain and ending in a cul de sac), I took a road along the edge and made a more gradual ascent.
The ascent went well, passed through a small town and kept going up and up. There were lots of people trying to go up, too, and some people going down having given up on the thing. I stuck with it.
At some point, reality got bent, and instead of climbing the mountain, I found myself in a victorian house of some sort. Now, I was going up to the attic to where “grandma” was. I didn’t question things at first but it got harder and harder to find the way to keep going up, and when I did reach what seemed to be the attic and grandma, I realized that I had been lured into a false path. Grandma did not look familiar at all, and I had a feeling her attic was a dead end.
So I headed back down a bit to find another way. I was back on the mountain, on one side of a road when there was a scene shift to this dark figure taking orders from an even more nebulous antagonist. This antagonist was upset that a record number, six, people were still doing well on the mountain. He commanded the dark figure to make sure that no one reached the top.
Back to me, this mountain road had busy traffic on it, and crossing it (which I had the feeling I had to do) was tricky, but I managed it, and it was then I saw the dark figure. I avoided him, and then found myself in some sort of palace. Somehow, someway, I was the only one of the six who had gotten past his obstacles and had gotten to its destination. There, once again, was the dark figure, who was somewhat more resigned to the fact that I had succeeded. There was a very weird bit where I had to relieve myself in this giant canal of water (with him there), and I was afraid that the canal would suck me down with my bodily wastes. I managed to get back out and once I was back in a hall, the dark figure explained that now that i had succeded and become published (!) I had to leave the palace. I could either retrace my steps back down the mountain, or else I could steal a blue magic broom from the typeface department and fly down the mountain.
I decided to go for the latter. So I found myself climbing up a spiral staircase which opened up into this 1950’s era office. People, mainly secretarial women (and a couple of men) were typing on ancient typewriters. I asked if this was the typeface office and the senior secretary said yes, but to take a broom, I would have to pay for it. I opened up my jacket and took out my minidisc player and showed it to her for possible payment. As she looked over the device, having obviously never seen one, someone from my real job in real life came into the office. “Tina!” I said, turning to her, and as people were distracted by her entrance, I made my move. I subtly took my minidisc player back, and grabbed the blue broom, and before anyone could stop me, I mounted it and had jumped out the window while riding it. The end of the dream had me soaring down the mountain, back home.

Picked up a couple of

Picked up a couple of gaming goodies the other day…
GURPS Atlantis and GURPS Planet Krishna.
I’m sure the first is making you go. “ahhh.” and probably the second is making you go “huh”.
The second is based on the Viagens Interplantarias novels of L. Sprague de Camp. You should at least recognize the author’s name. If not, I have a remedial course on seminal SF/F writers for you. 😀 The VI stories mainly center around a low tech planet called Krishna, which a Brazilian dominated Earth discovers. Not quite a Prime Directive, Earth forbids anyone going to Krishna to bring advanced technology or knowledge of same to the natives.
Inside that framework, Krishna is very much a reimagined Barsoom. Green skinned Princesses! Scheming potentates! Strange and sundry creatures in the wild! Pulp fun and adventure! It’s one of my favorite settings, and so when I saw this book, I had to have it. It encompasses the setting, the milieu and the mise en scene perfectly.
As far as GURPS Atlantis, that will have to bear even more reading before I can pronounce an informed opinion on it.

I’m not an IT professional,

I’m not an IT professional, but my dear friend Bridgette, who is, knew that I would get a kick out of this
and understand it.
The magnitude of Bernie’s cluelessness is amazing. If his cluelessness was stellar luminosity, it would be Eta Carinae. If it were
a book, it would be War and Peace. If his cluelessness was a lottery jackpot, it would be a big old powerball one. If anything, I might
actually be understating the matter.
Anyway, here is the link:
http://petemoss.com/spamflames/ShifmanIsAMoronSpammer.html
One good thing besides a laugh out of this…learned a new word: Barratry (Threatening to sue someone (but with no intention of doing so) in order to get a result.

First cold of the year

First cold of the year (although not the season) has broken over me like a Noreaster.
Weird dream involving a search through an abandoned building with someone I didn’t know save in the context of the dream itself.
On brighter news, still thinking about a second ACUS game and have a few tentative ideas I need to marinate and select the
most promising of. I don’t want to do one of the more ambitious ideas I’ve had for awhile–Status Quo Ante Bellum, Borders of Eternity, and the like simply on the basis of who will not be at the con. Is that selfish of me, to save ideas like that?

Character Scenes. Saw what Meera

Character Scenes.
Saw what Meera did for her character Damascus, and thought I might do the same for my characters. Of course the irony is, right now I have only one single active character, Marcus, from Egwenna’s Age of Retribution
Marcus at a Rebman Party.
His right eye turns toward “The Troupe.” It would be unpardonably rude to walk away, but its clear that the seven of them should be and are more concerned with their reunion and such than having to deal with him. And Kyrie would not have gotten as nervous as if he was not present.
So, Marcus quietly and subtly slides back, and off to the side. It’s not a sudden motion, and it is very gradual. The Rebmans might take offense, get the wrong idea, or prevent him, if they actually saw him shuffle off. However, its for their own good.
But, as a Trojan asteroid is loosely held in the grip of a planet’s gravity, so too he will be loosely attached to the Troupe, giving them their space.
The reunited friends need and should have time with each other rather than the dubious charms of talking with him. The strong reaction of them to the presence of Ganieda here at the party is clue enough for Marcus. So just as he gave his sister space, so too, the Troupe.
He continues, once he emplaces himself, to watch his sister, Daphney, Serenia and ‘Mirna’. from his more isolated orbital point.
“Here, let me refill that.” The woman’s voice is calm and self-possessed, as familiar seeming with you and her self appointed task as any family member might choose to be. But the delicately boned hand tinted the color of tropical bays is most distinctly not related.
“It wouldn’t do to get caught with an empty glass when the Queen arrives.” Silver rings sparkle from two fingers as Ganieda casually refills the glass Marcus still holds. “And might I add, for future reference, that nothing escapes a man who’s profession is observing people?”
Ganieda’s dark eyes flicker briefly in Arion’s direction, but the bard is preoccupied with straightening the pin in his stole and doesn’t seem to notice.
“Now there� is a mighty fine woman.” Brastias steps forward, his eyes on a tall powerfully built woman in militia regalia. “Pardon me.”
Arion’s brash friend heads her way with a jaunty step that earns smiles from his friends.
“Oh�. Lieutenant Danai�” Gauriel winces, sizing up the impeding scene. “Seven to one he crashes and burns.”
“I’ll take that.” Brehon appears from around a giggling group of old women who don’t seem to have noticed him. “Ganieda?”
“I’m out. Don’t know the woman.” Ganieda shakes her head.
The Troupe dissolves and very neatly reforms without missing a beat. The cast members no more commenting on Marcus’ attempted exit then they did on Kyrie’s nervousness.
And so the moon is recaptured. So much for letting them have their privacy for their own good. Time to bow to the inevitable.
“Remind me to tell you sometime about celestial mechanics.” Marcus says with a grin, mainly to Ganieda but intended for all, his eyes split between the persistent members of the troupe, Brastias’ attempt at gaining the favor of the Lieutenant, and his sister’s continued interaction with Serenia and Daphney.

Some real Amber Content today.

Some real Amber Content today. This is an idea that I’ve floated around a bit for a while, and might use
for my character in Deb Atwood’s Rite of Passage. I’m sure a lot of GMs have thought about it before
but here it is in black and white.
Quantity Multipliers for Shadows
Shadows, like Creatures and Items, can be defined by quantity. The advantages of this are obvious–one can buy multiple shadows at a fraction of the cost of specifying each and every single one. Shadows which are bought under a multiplier are considered continguous areas in the universe. Players are not only encouraged to, but should specify any shadow paths which exist between the shadows of their “family” of worlds. Just like creatures, shadows bought under the multiplier contain all the abilities of the base shadow in terms of barriers and controls. Just like creatures, too, one can highlight and add points to a single shadow of the group, as well, making it more potent than its brethren. Note that this compatible with Arref Mak’s Shadows and Substance.
Multipliers:
*1-Unique. The Default.
*2 Named and Numbered: Up to about a dozen or so shadows. Note thanks to the continuity rule, these shadows will be in the same small region of
shadow and probably will be very much alike.
*3 Horde: A much more substantial area of shadowspace, up to 50 or so. The Empire of the Gleaming Banner in Arref Mak’s universe is a horde sized area of shadow.
*4 Myriad: A significant region of shadowspace has been bought, up to a thousand.
Example of Multipliers in creating Shadows:
The Local Group of Shadows.
Personal Shadow (1)
Limited Access (2)
Named and Numbered Shadows (*2)
Total 6 points.
A group of five shadows, the Local Group is the home and realm of Prince Cadmus of Amber. Created by perhaps his parent, or his quasi-godmother
Aunt Fiona, Cadmus was fostered within it. There are several worlds within the Local Group, but only his home world, Terra, has access
outside the group of shadows themselves, and that access itself is in a limited number of locations. Gates and portals, however, link Terra with the
other worlds of the group, and were designed to provide a way for Cadmus to get around his domain and learn about the variety of worlds without
the need for Pattern. One of the worlds is of Faerie, another is a magic-based realm, another is a space-opera universe, the fourth is a magical kingdom,
and the fifth keystone world is Terra itself, a world much like Earth where history diverged around the 12th century AD, and has a strongly Byzantine dominated culture.