This is the archived respository of all game logs, player diaries and GM notes for the Amber Diceless RPG campaign entitled "Cry Havoc". Visitors should feel free to browse around, read as they like, leave comments, and generally make themselves feel comfortable.
So are we done at 48 or will there be a final wrap up session? Just curious.
For Noel: the online calendar is at
After this post, this page will ping blogrolling.com as http://cryhavoc.average-bear.com
Just watched KILL BILL.
In the big fight, the Bride's performance is in the Fineas-Dara-Mirelle-Jacob-Martin range* on a good day, though only Dara or Mirelle would consider doing it that way, and then only if no firearms were available.
*Minus the relatively minimalist wire fu. Flora, a trained acrobat, could replicate most of the wire fu, but wouldn't. She likes to stay low in a fight.
The blog has been prepared and reinforced as much as possible for Dara's imminent arrival as a PC. ;)
(Seems like I should put some hellfire in the picture background or something :)
http://cryhavoc.bears-cave.com is now a viable internet address.
We could use a few medals for the princes and the regent to hand out. Unfortunately, the only real ones I can even name are the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Congressional Medal of Honor, Victoria Cross and Croix de Guerre.
Due to technical difficulties, the log hasn't been available on any 'real' computer since I typed it up. That should be rectified today sometimes.
OK, I've got spends for 13 and Diego, though Diego's doesn't mention the Mirrormastery initiation.
I think John told me his over the phone but I didn't have anything handy to write with. Note: The intensive 12 hour session in the Mirrorworld can justify either 1 or 2 points of Mirrorworld Adaptation. 1 point clears up most of the sensory problems and you can fight pretty much normally. The second point lets you navigate somewhat -- without it even retracing your route is very difficult.
I've got an xcel sheet from 4/2/03 for Jacob.
Don't see anything for Tori.
Scrolling down, I suddenly understand why the Cry Havoc page won't pull over to my palm due to size restrictions.
Doyce brought up an idea from Nobilis that might be fun. You guys play some of the NPCs when your PC isn't in the scene. This would be characters like Chango, Kirstin, Heinrik, Pontifex Augustus and so on. Sometimes some of the cousins: Dara, Martin, Rinaldo, Galina, Morwyn. Not parents, rulers, PCs' lovers, uberpowerful types (Zhartra, Dworkin), or, usually, bad guys.
How much a particular NPC becomes your personal secondary is up in the air. Some would be easier to rotate control of than others. Chango and Kirstin are pretty easy to get into. Tanitheel and Sir John would take a little work and prep time. Also, you'd be playing the secondaries only when your primary is not in the scene with them. And, of course, the secondaries are bit players in other peoples' turns.
This could also be expanded to help out when your PC starts a project that should take weeks of time and attention, like Fineas' project in Rema. Playing things like that out in detail requires lots of work from me unless I can steal most of it from somewhere. On the other hand we could periodically hit the highlights and then spend much of your turns on a chosen secondary character, probably one of the cousins or Sir John, etc.
Another, unrelated, possibility for the extended projects scenarios is to let you unconsciously speed up the shadows when it's really important to you and you stay there continuously. Up to, say, 4:1.
Playing secondaries would also let a Corwinesque (dull and difficult to escape) imprisonment scenario be something other than a black hole for a player. Not that I had any such scenarios in mind but it's a big topic on the Amberlist right now, with several strongly held contrasting opinions.
What do you think?
Some Amber-rific fun in the vain of Nine Rednecks in Amber and a very Smurphy Amber…
And a Song for Diego (much better then the one he penned about P. Flora) here.
Via Divis Malkov on live Journal
I've started adding pictures to the NPC notes.
Just an FYI that I missed...
Session 28 was, for all intents and purposes, the one-year anniversary of the game. V. cool.
Now can anyone figure out how much game-time has gone by?
A slightly less eye-jarring color scheme -- should still be reasonably readable.
I figured out why some of my stuff didn't post from last session -- it was saving to 'draft' status instead of 'publish' -- I fixed it earlier today, so Jacob's last diary and my NPC contrib from last time are in the archives.
Due to obscure GM mathematical whimsy the point at which spends will drop by 5 points per will be 250 instead of 240. That's from your starting points of 160, which includes the 'free' 25 pts of Pattern and 10 points of non-power non-Attribute stuff.
Later on it drops again at 325.
This reflects an Amberite/Jewel initiate/Zhartra (4 medium to major powers you know of) base of 125.
The Chaosite/Gheneshan/House of Lir base is 100 -- they normally get 8/spend and drop at 200.
The next rung down is Broken Pattern initiates and other sorts with one medium power: base of 75.
Folk with only minor powers (magic, most shadow power sources, lycanthropy) have a base of 50.
At the other extreme, powerful Elderkin might be built on bases of 150, 175 or 200.
Please tell me/remind me...
1) What sort of gadgets/weapons/defensive amulets/armor your characters normally carry.
2) What sort of security is in place at:
Toriana's mansions in Rebma and Lynxia
Vulnavia Isle, V. Palace
Diego's Dom-daniel school and the hq
Diego's abode in Lynxia
13's temp hqs in Luala Kumpur, Nydsee and Kyoto.
Making Melee STR + WAR and Mental PSY + END was an experiment. It's worked OK but it is a bit off. I think it bugs Doyce the most. We could readjust it to WAR + 1/2STR and PSY + 1/2END. To compensate a bit you could lower your ENDs and STRs by 5 each and add 5 each to PSY and WAR.
The main relative changes: Tori is a little more powerful, Mentally, and weaker in Melee. The top Warfare types are closer to Gerard in Melee; they drop somewhere between 15 to 35 points but he drops 55. (Yes, Gerard can lift 1100 lbs one-handed.)
Otherwise, it's just some number-crunching and changing the multipliers on spread sheets.
As we're doing fine now we'll only change if everybody wants to, or if some want to and others don't care. So please vote YES, NO or DON'T CARE.
I love the scene where half the family gathers around the shallow grave of a liquidated cousin to discuss family affairs and drink enough to take the edge off the terror. No one bats an eye or asks who Fineas was burying. A heartwarming scene of increasing family solidarity. And completely spontaneous.
We're on for Saturday at the usual 4pm at Chez Testerman. Chinese from the usual place sounds good to me.
This spend is as it has been, with diaries actually due in just befor the spend kicks in -- session 21.
But the idea of the diaries is that they give both you and me a snapshot of what caught your/ your characters' attention so that I can use that information. Personally, my own diaries always helped me remember what the hell I was doing last session and to plan for the next. As GM, diaries weeks later are largely useless to me beyond their pure reading value.
So: for the spends after this one each diary will only be worth a point if I get it before or at the beginning of the following session. The first due (for 21) at the beginning of session 22 and the last for that spend at the beginning of session 26, when the points go into effect.
Ditto for Logs.
Maybe even moreso. How do you like this idea? The Log keeper gets 2 points for the log, IF it is posted by, say, Wednsday midnight. 1 point if after that midnight and before the next game. Please vote or suggest a better deadline.
Took off "Most recent entries" and added "most recent comments" on the side bar. The list consists of the names of the 10 most recent commentors, sans duplicates (only the most recent comment for a particular post will be listed).
Example. Stan comments on Post X, then John Comments on Post X and Post Y, then Mike comments on Post Y, and finally Randy comments on Post Y and Post Z.
On the right, you would see:
Stan and Mike do not show up because, while they have made recent comments, none of them are the most recent for any particular post.
Mousing over each link will tell you which post the comment was regarding, and when the comment was made.
Tentatively scheduled for Saturday, 11-16. How does that work for everyone?
I've always intended that the number of points given out in spends should drop at some point. Gerard, Flora and the other elders and bad guys aren't built on huge numbers of points and it wouldn't make sense for your characters to hit their starting levels of power too fast.
So, barring threats of player mutiny, what I'd like to do is cut the free points out after spend # 7. That's when you'll hit about 240 points, 150% of your starting points. (Well, not 150% of Diego's, but you know what I mean.) After that, you'd be getting 6 per spend (diaries and log), or 7 if we're still doing the Fleshing Out Amber bit or something similar. For a comparison, Flora just hit that point this spend.
Hypothetically, the spend points should drop again once you hit 320, which is Gerard's neighborhood, at about Spend # 20, or Session 100. While the game is open ended, I wouldn't expect it to last that long.
Hey, put those pitchforks down, guys!
Rinaldo got one hand moderately frostbitten (and trashed a wand) doing the spell on the tower; that wasn't quite the spell he was trying for either. He'd tuned his spells for Amber, not for there. He asks Toriana for some first aid, very politely and charmingly.
The aetherliner is sufficiently intact to study.
Only 20% of the hundred-odd palace brownies were killed by the Remans.
Lacking officers and orders, the beastmen fight to the end where they are. A few of the bedouin types managed to get away into the city.
Dantay is in really bad shape.
There are light aircraft, both fixed-wing planes and uninflated blimps, in the palace.
Gerard will have Kelamon make wall-panel Trumps. One to a place of your chosing in the palace there and one to a suitable supply place, to start. Also sketches and real Trumps to follow with the usual time lag.
In the Place Formerly Known as Tir-na Nog'th, the huge moon (at least 4x Earth's moon's diameter, and double Amber's) does not move. It sits there at about 20% off directly overhead. It doesn't rotate either -- the system is tidally locked. It is far brighter than Earth's moon, with what are obviously clouds and seas and mountains and lots of green. There's a longish solar and lunar eclipse every day. Days are about 30 hours long. The brownie types are mostly nocturnal. They look something like: this.
Magically, the place is normal and has no obvious barriers to teleporting. It has the same healthy qualities as Amber and Rebma. Air magic seems stronger.
How are you able to do the "more..." feature?
Here's the steps:
1. Click on 'make an entry' on the main page.
2. Start a new entry.
3. Just under the 'main entry' box and the 'preview/save' buttons, there's a link that reads "[Customize the display of this page]." Click on that.
4. Check the checkbox next to words "Extended Entry Box". Don't bother checking or messing with the rest of them... generally not worth it. PLEASE don't check "allow pings", whatever you do, but you might want to check 'save buttons at top of screen' or whatever it says.
5. Click the "save" button.
That will add a standard "Extended entry" window under your "Main entry" window when you do a log entry. Whatever you want to 'hide' behind the 'more', you put in the extended entry box. I had shut it off initially because it simplifies the entry screen, but I have to admit that it is nice for logs and it keeps the front page cleaner. Diego was able to do it because I'd just set him up and I forgot to turn it off for him.
Okay, the categories have been redone and fiddled with. (Randy, god love yah, but mess with the category names on pain of death, I swear :) Pictures have now been associated with the categories.
A word on the categories: most are self explanatory.
Background & History is also for retcons and various bits of 'filler' info Randy doles out.
Notices is basically for announcements of game times, I-can't-play-this-weekend,, or blogmin things like this post.
Powers also includes things like Randy's posts on how far/fast/long we can run/walk/jump/lift, etc. Basically, stuff having to do with the rules of the game goes here.
Finally, a reminder, the little black 'dot' between the time-stamp and "Comments" on your post is a link that takes you right into Edit Mode on the post in question (assuming you have the clearance to mess with that post). Very handy when you spot a typo.
I've added a few features to the front page. The most important one for players and GM alike will probably be "SEARCH THIS SITE" (over on the right of the main page). This will let you look search for any mention of specific words or phrases -- especially useful if you're trying to remember something about a log, but can't seem to find it.
In the 'ego stroking' category, there's now a hit counter down at the bottom of the front page which just started up today. Clicking on the icon will also let you see where hits are coming from and some other geeky info on this and that.
John Barnes GMs Ambre (on hiatus) and has played in Zircon, Onyx, Heart of Darkness and Schist.
Mike Hance is diving into this his first Amber campaign.
Stan Pedzick GM'ed Schist and played in Zircon, Onyx, Heart of Darkness, and Ambre.
Doyce Testerman GM'ed Keys to the Pattern and Things in Heaven and Earth. He's been to ACNW once.
Jackie Testerman played in Keys to the Pattern and Things in Heaven and Earth.
Randal Trimmer GM'ed one short campaign previously and has played in Zircon, Onyx, Heart of Darkness, Ambre, Mask of Chaos, Things in Heaven and Earth and Schist. He's been to ACUS once and ACNW twice.
In Cry Havoc I'm trying for several things within the primary goal of entertainment.
A 'canon' feel with a First Series bias. Armies are important and not something you can get rid of easily. Psyche is not the Uber-Attribute. Strength is useful. Numbers count. Shadow is a deep, dark hole. Chaos is weird and nasty. Artifacts and Creatures are toned way down; Greyswandir didn't zip through armor like it was cheese and neither can your 'pointed' sword.
Breaking as many of the established tropes of my game groups as I can. The Pattern will not take you to people. Trumps of dead people do not go warm -- unless they're broken. There is no Pattern Magic or Logrus Magic or Abyss Magic, there's magic --- and it's a minor though damned useful power.
PCs start out powerful, more powerful than 9 of 10 Lords of Chaos. There aren't a bunch of elders to tell them what to do and how things work. There's Gerard and on a lot of subjects he is clueless.
Rebma is powerful. The Amber nobles are tough, competent and not inclined to lick Princely boots.
The basic setup is one of the classics: At the end of tCoC most of the family goes into the Courts proper. They don't come back. Chaos invades the realm of Order, slowly crunching towards Amber. Gerard gets tired of losing and seeks out the odds and sods of the family, the hidden, imprisoned, lost or discarded descendants of Oberon --- the PCs --- and makes them offers they cannot refuse.