Since Rikibeth talked about coinage,

Since Rikibeth talked about coinage, I decided to share what I do in Strange Bedfellows. Its considerably more streamlined than hers…I went for simplicity and ease of use, rather than realism. I do like her set up, though and if I didn’t have one, I might steal elements of hers.

Coins in Amber

Being a crossroads of shadows and trade, the numbers of types of coin seen in the Eternal City number in the dozens, if not hundreds. While Amber does mint its own coins, of course, it is not adverse to the monies of other lands. In a feudal, medieval sort of society, it is the metal in the coin that is often the determining factor in whether a coin is accepted, rather than who is imprinted on it. Roman coins, for instance, traveled much further than the Empire did.
Copper Coins
Amber’s official copper coin is the Penny, and depicts a sailing ship on one side, and the name of the sovereign on the other.
Other copper coins include the Pence of Kashfa and the As of Asherah.
Silver coins
Amber’s official silver coin is the Cartwheel, and is the largest of the coins in cross sectional area. The cartwheel has the head of the King on the heads side (Random, although there are plenty of Oberons, and even some Erics. Princess Noys, as you might guess, has more than a few of the latter). The tails side depicts Castle Amber.
Other silver coins include the Denarius of Antioch, the Stater of Begma, and the rounded triangle Pyramids of Felis.
Gold coins
Amber’s official gold coin is the crown. It shows the unicorn on one side, and the crown of Amber on the other. While not as wide as the silver coin, it is considerably thicker and as you might expect, heavier.
Gold coins, by their nature, are not as common as lesser metal coinage, but gold coins flow into Amber from pleaces such as Antioch, Begma, and the beautiful Double Griffins of DuMarque. Although that shadow is not a golden circle member, naturally such coins wind up in Amber, too.
Other coins.
A few shadows use unusual coinage, and that too, shows up in Amber now and again. Electrum coins are often used by Menuis , and they are often reckoned as midway between silver and gold coins, in value.. The shadow Arcanus uses small platinum coins called royals, worth anywhere from 5 to 10 gold coins. Brass coins called orichalks are used by Gaiga , and they are midway between coppers and silvers.
There are even more unusual coinages, steel coins, iron coins, and even admantium coins, but they are extremely rare and certainly not seen in the markets in Amber more than once a year, if that.
Generally, given good condition of the coins, 20 copper coins are worth a silver, and 20 silver coins are worth a gold coin.
One last note. Naturally the ability of the Royal Family of Amber to bring in whatever they want from shadow can have quite an impact on the local economy. Dumping large amounts of money on the city, then, is discouraged. Many merchants, restauranteurs and the like will not charge Amberites, knowing that the upswing in business they can get for claiming royal patronage far outweighs what the Amberite herself might have paid. Others, as you might expect, are far more venal.
Caveat Emptor, as always.

I’ll have the side order

I’ll have the side order of humble pie with the crow, please. And extra cayenne pepper on the crow

“..the Patriots, who do not have the capability to keep up in scoring–unless and a big unless, they get interceptions
for touchdowns, blocked punts and field goals, and great kick returns.”
Well, they did. And I cheerfully admit that I was wrong. For three quarters and change, the greatest show on Earth had exactly
three points to its credit, facing an opponent which outmuscled and outplayed it. The end of the 4th quarter, though, shows just how dangerous
the Rams are, and what might have been and what I had thought would happen for more of the game.
Let me put it this way. With the score 17-10 with 2 minutes to go, the Rams scored the tying touchdown in 21 seconds and no time outs. 21 seconds! THAT, my friends, is the offense that everyone thought was going to destroy the Patriots. And that’s why, I think, in the last minute and a half, even with John Madden screaming that the Patriots shouldn’t take any chances and run out the clock for overtime, the Patriots rolled the dice and went down for the winning field goal…the Rams HAD gotten their offense back, and if they had gotten the ball in overtime, it would be curtains for a Patriots team which had, I will admit, outplayed the Rams for most of the game.
It was probably one of the best Super Bowls ever. As I told to Bonnie, “THIS is why I watch football.” My friend Nicole, whom I watched the game with, called it right at the beginning that the Patriots were going to win, and they did. I bow to the wisdom of her prediction, even if she only watches one game a year. 😀
At least I don’t feel completely foolish. There were columnists who bought into the Rams far deeper than I did…claiming scores like Rams 41 N.E. 17 and the like. I at least gave the Patriots a chance if things went their way as my quote indicates. Things went their way, and N.E. played well, with heart.
And now Football Season is at an end (I do not watch the Pro Bowl) and you won’t have to hear me babble about it for months.
New England Patriots 20 St. Louis Rams 17

Time to bore the RPGers

Time to bore the RPGers again, but this IS Blog, Jvstin Style, and tomorrow IS the Super Bowl, so I have to talk football.
After all, come Tuesday, this space will likely not have any real stuff on my favorite sport until the NFL draft, and after that, not until the summer.
So, first things first. I’ve been asked many times by those who just find out about my fondness for the monsters of the midway. Just HOW in the world did I, a guy whom if you saw on the street,would probably never guess I watched the sport?
I’m not sure. I do remember, vividly, the first football game I ever watched. Chargers versus Dolphins, 1981 AFC playoffs. The game happened to be on at my Grandmother’s house, my uncles watching the game avidly. I was just 10 at the time, but it looked interesting, and exciting. (Since then it has been declared one of the best all time games, the Chargers winning in overtime). That was my first taste of the sport. I watched a few more games over the next couple of years, slowly and surely getting a taste for the sport. The first Super Bowl I watched, start to finish, was the New England Patriots (how ironic!) versus the Chicago Bears, in 1985. Although it was a 46-10 extermination of the patsies, I enjoyed the game, and resolved to not only watch it, but understand it and really get into it.
I’ve watched every Super Bowl since. My all time favorite Super Bowls have to be Giants versus Denver, Giants versus Buffalo (Norwood’s folly!), Broncos versus Packers, and the second half of Bengals-49ers in 1988 (The first half of the game was as dull as you could imagine, the second was a gem.) and the second half of Rams-Titans (the first half was a Ram blowout, the second had drama enough for opera, including a tragic 1 yard from tying the game stop at the end).
The Super Bowls I found the WORST were the 49ers-Broncos (55-10!), 49ers-Chargers (49-26, and don’t be fooled…the 49ers scored on the third play of the game and the Chargers didn’t score most of those points until it was far too late) and the Cowboys-Bills Super Bowls (thorough pastings of the Bills, every time).
And now its time for me to make a fool of myself, in joining the annual quest for a Super Bowl Prediction. Predicting the Super Bowl winner is harder than you think, even when there is a clear and uncontested favorite (and the Rams are that!). After all, four years ago, the Packers were a big favorite over the Broncos, and the Broncos gave them a run for the money. In fact, I wrote a poem to commemorate the Broncos unbelieveable and heroic victory. The Giants were underdogs when they shut down the No-huddle Bills. (back before the Bills were a laughingstock of Super Bowl misery).
Anyway, before I make the prediction, let me share with you an elaboration of the secret to team success in the NFL. I think it was Marv Levy (former coach of the Bills) who explained a couple of years ago that, for a team to be truly successful, they have to excel in two of three areas: A. Offense B. Defense C. Special Teams.
For example:
Last Year’s Super Bowl winners were the Baltimore Ravens, a BC team. Their defense is possibly the best ever to take the field in a Super Bowl–they would have shut out the Giants if not for a kick return for a touchdown on the Giants part. Not even the Steelers in the 70’s or the legendary Bears of 1985 allowed only 7 points. The Giants of that year were ALSO a BC team, but the Ravens were a far better one.
AB teams are actually fairly rare, but when they do show up, they can become dynastic. The Cowboys in the mid 90’s were an AB team all the way,as were the 49ers of the 80’s and the Broncos in the late 90’s.
AC teams are far more common than AB. The Rams are an AC team with a big emphasis on the A. It’s their lack of B which kept them from the Super Bowl last year, although its gotten much better this year. They just might be one of those “complete teams.” The Titans of two years ago were a AC team, their C coming to the fore in their last second kick return for a playoff win against the Bills dubbed the “The Music City Miracle”. Their C did not do them very well in the Super Bowl, and so the Rams stopped them just short of tying the game, as mentioned above.
The Patriots, whom they are facing this year, are a BC team…with an emphasis on the C…their special teams being the difference against both the Raiders, and the Steelers. Note that it doesn’t take spectacular kickoff returns, or punt returns, or field goals to make a C team. Playing smart on punts and kickoffs, chewing up field position, pinning your opponent, or keeping yourself from being pinned after a kick, all can make the difference…and the Patriots do all of this. The only problem is, it has a large element of luck in it, and hard to rely upon…on the other hand, neglecting your special teams, no matter how good your offense, is deadly. The Bills playing their Super Bowl against the Giants lost memorably…when their field goal kicker missed.
So…with a team that is AC and maybe even ABC, versus a BC team with a lot of luck and breaks to get here, you have to go with the AC team. And that would be the Rams. The score? I think it will be 31-20 Rams. The Patriots might frustrate the Rams for a while or for stretches of time…but in the end, that offense is going to destroy the Patriots, who do not have the capability to keep up in scoring–unless and a big unless, they get interceptions for touchdowns, blocked punts and field goals, and great kick returns.
We’ll see how things progress on Monday.