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There were times that called for the use of ancient and powerful words, the acknowledgment of humans in a crisis everywhere and everywhen since language was first invented. This was one of them. "Shit." Aurora said.
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 Post subject: Amberites as sociopaths
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 2:21 pm 
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Pattern Adept

Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 6:02 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Virginia
The idea that Amberites would resort to violence in a social context, or even to threatening violence, seems deeply wrong to me.

Not because I think them incapable of violence. Far from it. It's just that actually using that ability in a social setting is such a terribly weak position.

I mean, really, who has to threaten somebody with broken bones in order to get their point across? Deeply insecure bullies, that's who. If you're really prepared to brutalize somebody, you don't have to say so. The fact that you know is enough.

For my part, I'm more impressed with an Elder who can have a conversation like this:

Caine: So, you need to leave this place and not tell anyone that you've ever been here.
Random PC: Or what?
Caine: Heh. Heh-heh. Yeah. Okay. You're young.
Random PC: What does that mean? You gonna hurt me?
Caine: Stop it, man. I'm tryin' not to laugh at you here. It would put us off on entirely the wrong foot.
Random PC: You putz! I think you're bluffing!
Caine: BWAHAAAAHAAAAAA! Hee ... >wheeze< .... Oh God. You are one funny guy. Okay. Let's be serious now. You need to leave this place and not tell anyone that you've ever been here. You can do that, right?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:30 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:45 pm
Posts: 504
Location: South Carolina
Hey, don't make me drive up to Virginia.

Seriously? I agree. In the campaign where I played Dana, she got so many threats in turned into a joke with her.

Corwin: "If you ever say Deirdre's name again, I will kill you."

Bleys: "If you start taking your Daddy's path, little girl, I will kill you."

Julian: "Shut up, or I'm going to punch you."
Dana: "Why do I have to shu..." WHACK!!!

Clearly in that campaign, they never heard of freedom of speech.

On the other hand, if threatening someone will serve as a deterrent to violence, then it is a useful tool. Back to Dana.

Dana is tied up in the back of a police cruiser. The sadistic cop butt-strokes her in the head. (I don't recall why. I think from using Quell on another cop, and being without Trumps, Dana figured she'd go quietly to avoid having to kill a bunch of Jamaican cops.) She tells them. "Don't do that again. You won't like the consequences." Butt-stroke number two.
Cop number one says: "Ack. My heart." ((tick mark next to cardiac arrest spell)) The second cop goes to shoot her. (Clearly in Jamaica, police can see invisible spells being cast.) They lock eyes, he goes into a coma.

Hey, she just wanted to get to her jail cell and Shadow walk out. That's all.

In my campaign, one of Bleys's kids was challenged to a duel. He agreed, and then humiliated said duellist, but never talked about threats or death or anything.

Same game, one of Deirdre's kids was challenged and he simply replied; "I don't duel. You cross blades with me, you die. This isn't fun and games." There was no duel.

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"So shines a good deed in a weary world."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:09 am 
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Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 7:28 am
Posts: 1404
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
Well, in canon, Random apparently blows away truck drivers who cut him off in traffic so there is some support for Amberites as sociopaths. :twisted:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 11:36 am 
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Pattern Adept

Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 6:02 pm
Posts: 77
Location: Virginia
Yeah, there's a distinction that I didn't touch upon between people you'll ever have to deal with again (i.e. family) and people you won't (i.e. everyone else). As Random points out, there is no social context for how he deals with people in shadow. I can have moral complaints about his actions, but saying Amberites are amoral isn't exactly news :D

So I should have been more specific: People are gonna be dishing out these threats to the family that they'll have to deal with for the next several millenia? What good do they think will come of that?

I can buy "I want to rule the family through fear," but if they want that then they need a stronger stance, I think.

And I've rarely seen it played consciously (by the GM or player, not the character) as a weak stance. That would be cool ... I could get into playing a young character who dishes out threats to his peers precisely to convince himself that he's not scared out of his mind by his own family. But, again, that's not what I'm talking about.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:13 pm 
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The Anti-Canon
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Joined: Mon May 12, 2008 11:10 pm
Posts: 703
Location: Stockton,ks
Here's something directly applicable to this conversation. :)

http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_wh ... phere.html

I wonder how many people fit into an average Amberite's Monkeysphere...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Jun 24, 2008 12:33 pm 
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Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:45 pm
Posts: 504
Location: South Carolina
I generally wouldn't want to alienate people I would be spending the next several millenia with, as a rule.

I doubt I personally have that much time and out of everyone I know or have met I know one person who merely dislikes me. So yes, Amberites have something of the sociopath in them and we all know who is to blame.

Oberon.

He wanted them fractious so they would never be a threat to him. Oh well, not only did it not work, it probably became his self-fulfilling prophecy.

_________________
"So shines a good deed in a weary world."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Dec 25, 2008 6:02 am 
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Wide-Eyed Newbie

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 4:17 pm
Posts: 2
TonyLB wrote:
Yeah, there's a distinction that I didn't touch upon between people you'll ever have to deal with again (i.e. family) and people you won't (i.e. everyone else).


On the good side, if you follow through and kill them you don't have that problem. So . . . the key is not to make EMPTY threats


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 7:08 pm 
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Castle Guard

Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:41 am
Posts: 21
How is one affected by knowing that one is for all intents and purposes, a god? Some will become vindictive, uncaring jerks, while others will struggle to uphold all that is good and cuddly. But can anyone be unaffected and normal after that? I don't think so.


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:55 am 
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Royal Librarian
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Joined: Fri Mar 06, 2009 8:45 pm
Posts: 1025
Cynwyd wrote:
Clearly in that campaign, they never heard of freedom of speech.

Freedom of speech? What a quaint little concept. I wonder what backwater Shadow came up with an idea like that.



Cynwyd wrote:
(Clearly in Jamaica, police can see invisible spells being cast.)

Ironically enough, I probably would be inclined to say that Jamaican cops would be more likely to believe that someone threatening you followed almost immediately by your partner having a heart attack could be something supernatural at work. Granted, it's not Haiti where the stereotype is of a Voodoo priest on every corner, but it's probably not quite as calcified in its thinking concerning the possibility of the occult.



TonyLB wrote:
I can buy "I want to rule the family through fear," but if they want that then they need a stronger stance, I think.

The worst part is, if you're growing up in a family of sociopaths, and your stance is basically constantly threatening to kill anyone who crosses you, you're eventually going to piss off enough people that they're going to start plotting with each other to remove you. So in that sense, you're not really securing your power-base as much as you're destabilizing it.

It's like, even if someone like Benedict, master warrior and unstoppable killing machine, decided to deliberately intimidate the crap out of everyone, there'd eventually come a time when someone like Caine or Corwin would drop a net on his head, have Fiona use magic to put him to sleep, and then have GĂ©rard bludgeon him to death with a tree. Or something.

He's actually much more effective being crazy efficient, yet being incredibly understated about the fact that he could kill every one of his siblings if he wanted to. Benedict doesn't threaten. He simply exists.

Amberites might like vague, veiled threats, but openly coming out and saying "I'm totally going to kill you" isn't just incredibly gauche, it's also strategically flawed.



battlebooze wrote:
I wonder how many people fit into an average Amberite's Monkeysphere...

On average? Just about one, probably. :P

_________________
"A cynic is a person searching for an honest man with a stolen lantern."


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