Once again, my lovely wife and I ventured east to the Great Lakes State to once again savor the roleplaying pleasures to be found at AmberCon!
Once again the wife and I travelled out to beautiful and scenic Livonia, Michigan, for the 23rd annual AmberCon. For those not familiar, this is a small four-day convention dedicated primarily to playing Amber Diceless and (mostly) similar games. No dealer room, no panels. Just four days of roleplaying in scheduled slots of games. It’s held at Embassy Suites Livonia. There have been other Ambercons spawned over the years, and I am most fond of AmberCon Northwest, but this is the convention originally started by Amber Diceless creator Erick Wujcik.
Here are revised versions of my game write-ups, with one more added in. I had a Betancourt game I was going to run, but bagged it last minute. I just couldn’t bring myself to run it.
I need to get game submissions for AmberCon US turned in pretty damn quick, so I figured I’d post them here for people to review and offer feedback.
Title: Rebma Confidential: Undercurrent
Description: It rose up from the oceanic trench, a dark holdover from primordial times: Long needle like teeth, large eyes the size of saucers, an appendage tipped with a bioluminescent nodule dangled in front of its face. Smaller fish trailed in its wake. It didn’t belong in water this shallow, but it also didn’t care.
“Steve,” it growled, its voice tinny underwater.
“F’Kilk,” I said, using only its name as a greeting. “Long time no see.”
“Not long enough. I got your message. I’m here. Start talking before I get hungry.”
“I heard you found one of Caine’s ships at the bottom of one of your trenches, from when Corwin attacked.”
“I might, I might not. What’s it to you?”
“My patron thinks Caine may have left something valuable behind, and is willing to pay handsomely for its retrieval.”
“Keep talking, monkey. You’ve got me curious.”
Setting: Rebma, between the Corwin and Merlin series.
Type: Traditional Amber
Character Instructions: Rebma is a hard realm where death comes easy, especially in the poor parts of town. All types can be found living in the rough parts of the city: criminals, Amber nobles looking for a piece of strange, political refugees, migrant demons from the Courts of Chaos and squamous entities from the pelagic depths. They live and die in perpetual water and darkness, struggling to find their way in a harsh land of predators and prey. This game is a gritty, street level game set in the poor parts of Rebma where the players will get caught up in intrigue, vice and murder. My hope is to have this be a character-driven mystery game. It will use a simple character creation system to build characters. Characters created before the Con will have more perks than those created at the Con. Because I build the game around the characters, your ability to enjoy this game will be severely impacted by not providing a character in advance. Players must have e-mail access.
Title: Land of Ten-Thousand Dragons
Description: For seven hundred years, the Scarlet Empress has ruled over the Blessed Isle. She has kept the forces of darkness at bay, and established over a dozen Great Houses populated by her descendants. But the Scarlet Empress has been missing five years, just as the evils of the past return to Creation. Will her scions keep Creation from descending into chaos and darkness.
Setting: The Blessed Isle of Creation, as described in the Exalted roleplaying game.
Character Instructions: Characters will be Dragon-Blooded members of the Scarlet Empire, representing the different factions. There will be a mystery that the characters will be drawn into that will need to be solved. Characters will be built on a diceless system based off of Amber Diceless but not using the same attributes and powers.
Title: Worlds’ End
Description: You were travelling. You remember that. A storm came up out of nowhere and you were soon lost. As the world fell apart around you, you saw a light ahead and found a rustic inn that provided shelter. But the denizens of the inn, who filled the inn to the rafters, were nothing you found in your own world. Fairies, spacemen, talking dogs, demons, centaurs, sentient colors. To pass the time, each takes turn telling a story.
Setting: The inn called “Worlds’ End” during the reality storm of Patternfall War.
Genre: Other; N/A
Type: Amber with a Twist
Character Instructions: Drawing heavy inspiration from the “Worlds’ End” story from Sandman, player characters will be stranded travelers staying at the Inn and waiting for the storm to stop. The game will use the indie game In a Wicked Age, with each story representing a story told by a player character. That player character will get to sway the structure of the story through his character’s point-of-view, and may also play his character in the story. All stories must be a story that involves some sort of interaction with Amber and/or Chaos. Add the end of the game, Oberon’s funeral procession will pass by and the storm will end.
March 25th through 28th, the special lady friend and I ventured out to beautiful and scenic Livonia, MI, for the 21st annual AmberCon. (This is commonly referred to as AmberCon US or ACUS.) Here’s my recap.
Hey, only took me a couple months.
April 16th-19th, I flew out with the special lady friend for four days of roleplaying at the 20th anniversary AmberCon US in beautiful, scenic Livonia, MI. For those who haven’t attended one, these cons are relatively small (ACNW and ACUS have 80-100 attendees each year) and lack some of the features you see in larger cons. Like a sprawling dealer room and such. Instead, it’s just solid gaming from Thursday night through Sunday night. And by gaming, I mostly mean “roleplaying.” Like serious, immersionist, actor-stance, honest-to-Buddha roleplaying. There’s a bit of indy gaming that goes on. Fringe weirdos like Amber players tends to have some overlap with the indy game crowd. But there’s also some people who staunchly hate indy games. Especially the story game, roll-for-narrative control sorts of games.
The con definitely has a different feel from ACNW, which is the con I spend most of my time at. It was started by Erick Wujcik himself and has about seven years on ACNW. The median age often feels older. It seems like there are more ongoing campaigns than there are at ACNW, some of which may very well have started in the early years of the con. This is, and has been, the major stomping ground of many of the people I got to know through the old Amber Mailing List. When I think “Amber Community,” I think of this place.
Another 4 days of gaming in beautiful and scenic Livonia, with very little sleep and eating very poorly. Comments on the games I played and other aspects of the con behind the cut.