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PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 11:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 4:37 pm
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Previous discussion

I will take the opportunity to update mine.

Oberon: Jenna's in Project X. He was a right bastard when he had his King hat on. But there was Oberon, the King, and then there was Oberon, Antonia's grandfather. Fortunately, he died before he could start plotting uses for Antonia beyond her stint in the Rowan Vert.

Finndo: Never really interacted with a Finndo. Still. But Al's guest appearance as Angry!Finndo in a previous incarnation of Blackmoor was awesome.

Osric: Alan Mulroy's. Eye of Harmony. I still haven't seen a better one.

Benedict: Shannon's in the long dead Too Long in Exile, Rich's in Endless Struggle, and Brian's PC in Exodus. Rich's characterization of Benedict was the most psychologically complex portrayal I had ever seen until Brian started playing the mentally damaged Benedict in my game. Shannon's managed to both be intriguing and infuriating at the same time and drove my character nuts. Arref's in Grand Affair is universally applauded as the man you knew you should stay away from, and yet couldn't seem to stay away.

Eric: Rich Ditullio's. The Endless Struggle. Brian's in All Our Yesterdays. Fabien's in The Fire's of Greymoor.

Corwin: Larry's in Winds of Change. He was everything I expect from Corwin; a lying, arrogant, swaggering man with delusions of godhood and an inflated sense of entitlement. Lord, but Janelle disliked her father.

Deirdre: I don't really interact often with Deirdre, oddly enough. But Jenna's in PX was inspiring for my character for none of the usual reasons. Paul's in Strange Bedfellows is interesting, though I've only had the one scene with her so far.

Caine: Dana Bayer's. Best Intentions. Sneaky bastard. Jenna's was also a lot of fun to play with in Project X, and Rochelle knows there is no one better to get up to no good with in Ray's Portraits of the Past then Uncle Caine.

Gerard: Frankly, I've never really seen a badly played Gerard. But I have to say Dana's in BI fits in with my idea of Gerard pretty well. Project X's Gerard was pretty neat too. He was an excellent Uncle/Brother in Law.

Julian: Jenna's and Juli Halbur-Herrera's in King of May are still the best. Though Brian's interpretation of him as a PC in Tears from the Sun is just wonderful.

Fiona: Fi's tough. Alan in Eye of Harmony and Shannon in TLiE both did a great job on her. But Jenna's was one sly little bitch in Project X. I never interacted with her, but I got to see other people do so, and heard the behind-the-scenes workings of her mind from the GM.

Bleys: David Miessler-Kubanek's in SW. I could take him home to meet mother, but he'd probably hit on her. Mel's in Time Under Chaos is worth noting as well.

Brand: Juli Halbur-Herrera's in Time Heals All Wounds and Alan's in EoH and Age of Reason.

Llewella: Dana's in BI, and Shannon's in TLiE remain the gold standard for me.

Flora: David Miessler-Kubanek's in Shadow Wars. Yorlum's in Successors. She was brilliantly funny as Portia's mother. Polemarch's in A Divergent Path is both the perfect foil for *Portia's ire, and a sly little player.

Random: Patrick Sander's in Unholy Alliances. Logrustendril's in Two Thrones.

Mandor: Mel, Mel, Mel! Time Under Chaos. The very best Mandor I have had the pleasure of watching and playing with, and being turned into a cat by.

Merlin. Actually, I have to say Time Under Chaos' Merlin is working well for me. Assuming that is Merlin....

Swayville. Yorlum's in Age of Reason. He takes that Exalted Shapeshifting thing to a whole new level.

The Unicorn. Rach's in Light from Shadows.

To my non Zelazny list:

George: Rich's from ES

Torcal. Dana's from Best Intentions. He makes my skin crawl. Then there's Jolyon the forest ape, the horses of Kiara, Juliette and Julian, and of course, Juliette...and Fleur. OK, I really like all of Kiara's circle of NPCs. Don't let it go to your head, Dana ;)

Castle Guards: Jvstin. Strange Bedfellows. I like that all the ones I've come into contact with had separate and distinct personalities. Also, Poul. He's an awesome Page.

Kovikin & Kal'El. Shannon's from TLiE (though I have swiped Kovikin and gave him a completely different personality for Exodus)

Megan. Yorlum. EoH, Successors. She's a part of Age of Reason, but I haven't seen her. Al's also really good at officious clerks. You just want to reach out and strangle them all with their pocket watch chains.

Kieran, Robert, Persephone, Tytus. Craig's Tears from the Sun. Persephone and Tytus are exactly typical teenagers. Granted, they're teenagers with sorcery, but still. Kieran is a charming and gallant fellow.

Shadow Stepper, Tornado & Fiach: Jenna, Project X. No one writes horses as well as Jenna. She knows the subject matter very well, and it shows. But the personalities she gave these magically enhanced horses were absolutely perfect.

*I will play Portia in a game that goes through completion one day, darn it!

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it. ~Voltaire

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 18, 2008 5:14 am 
Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 11:29 pm
Posts: 2622
Location: SF / Bay Area
That's a toughie for me - I haven't been in many games, and my recall is pretty bad, outside of general, so I'm going to have to go with my favourites as a GM.

Probably my favourite is Gerard. So much potential there. Play him straight, or twisted, he's just generally fun to run.

Flora and Llewella are next, as they have so much possibility.

I'm not a big fan of Benedict.

I like Corwin. Yes, he's a liar, arrogant and swaggering. He's ruthless, cold, often vicious, and more than a little self-serving. He makes few bones of the fact that he'll readily betray his brothers and sisters if he chooses, and often says this to their faces. Even at the end of his chronicles, he's essentially unapologetic. He's a bastard, but he's a magnificent bastard.

Eric - I see Eric an awful lot like Corwin. The biggest difference I see between them is that Eric was actually willing to let his feelings for his siblings influence his actions. So he came off as the nicer guy, and basically was. But he could also be ruthless, vicious and arrogant.

Julian, like Benedict, isn't one of my favourites. I rarely know where I want to go with him.

Same for Fiona. Basically, I tend to find myself using them as Deus Ex Machinas. I try to mitigate that, so don't count on it if you're in Axioms. :)

Random. I like the fun-loving Random, and like to make sure he still gets a word in edgewise while he's stuck being king.

Caine, I like if I don't have Corwin around. I think every game needs a Magnificent Bastard.

PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 8:08 pm 
Shadow Walker

Joined: Wed May 14, 2008 9:26 am
Posts: 147
Location: Circle Pines, MN
Benedict--Arref, in GA. For the reasons Theresa mentioned above

Bleys--I like the Hivemind's version in GA. "None of us are perfect. Except Bleys".

Corwin--Kris Kunkel's Parisian Corwin is the one I like the best. A Corwin who has to learn to be a king.

Mandor--Mel's in TUC is made of awesome.

Random--I like the way Deb does it, mainly because of her musical soul. She captures that in her own Random. And she does the body language thing really well, too, in FTF.

Dara--Deb in GA. Both of them. ;)

Sand and Delwin--I might have interesting ones, but they can't hold a candle to Arref's. Denzel Washington as Delwin for the win!

Atlantis--Atlantis is full of interesting characters and Theresa knows how to bring them to life, from sexy researchers to Aura herself.

Eric--Jim did a decent Eric , and other elders, too, in Chains of Assumptions. His switchup in Julian "changing sides" took Diomedes (and me) completely by surprise.

This is a partial list, at best.

 Post subject: Favorite NPCs
PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:53 pm 
Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:45 pm
Posts: 504
Location: South Carolina
Edit: My muse must have been out to lunch when I wrote this crap. Let me expound. I do like all of the characters to varying degrees. Not all of it caused by the books, but by the games I've run and played in, and the potential I see in some of the characters.

Just as characters go, since I mentioned my favorites as they were played below:

Brand is my favorite. He's the bad guy, of a complex sort. I see him and think of Kevin Spacey in Superman returns, of Gary Oldman in the Professional, for example. He's nice, he's evil, he's bringing you a drink, he's plotting your demise.

Bleys is fun. And you know he knows so much more than he lets on. I love to question Corwin's recollections (because its fun and starts good discussions) and you have to wonder...if Bleys was such a good military commander and even Corwin knew they were going to get creamed attacking Eric, why did Bleys insist on doing so? Probably to get Corwin out of the picture and make Eric out to look like the bad guy. After his "escape" Oberon probably called him and told him to back off and prepare an army for the last battle at the Abyss.

Caine is very interesting in that he does right, but is willing to throw out the baby with the bathwater. He would agree with Hicks and Ripley. "Let's take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure."

Random is too much fun. I would like to go drinking with Random if we were related. I wouldn't drink too much though, because he's the jerk that takes a picture of you when you're passed out on the toilet and spreads it throughout the internet.

Eric, I think gets the short end because he died so early and because Corwin did nothing but tell us what a hated bastard he was. Of course, if Corwin was telling the truth and Eric goes and badmouths Julian, Gerard and Caine to his worst enemy, he's a total asshole.

Flora, very underestimated and I usually see her played as a dumb blond, which I imagine is far from the truth. Corwin did her more injustice with "No, she was stupid." than any other line regarding her. In my campaign, her highlight was her contribution to the second war between Amber and Chaos was to kill her lover Mandor, while in the act. She then tossed his lifeless body into the Abyss. Eventually, with all the other Elders dead, she made a deal with Death to become its avatar, to maintain her beauty and existence for all time.

Deirdre was way too underused. I think she would have been interesting. Why was she so beloved in Amber? Did Corwin have a thing with her in the past? Too many questions. But enough to make them, and her, interesting.

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

Last edited by Cynwyd on Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 1:43 am 
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 12:11 am
Posts: 94
Location: Michigan, U.S.A.
Time to put in my .02.

As a player, I have a surprisingly limited exposure, but here are the top five;

Random - This particular version is keeping it real. What you see is what you get.

Gerard - Humble. But yet the moral center of this particular Amberverse.

Caine - I have a love for all things piratey!

Flora - Beautiful, yes. But deadly intelligent.

Droppa Mapantz - Com'on! Who doesn't like the court jester?

As a GM, I love all my NPC's! But here are my top five;

Dworkin - My all time favorite, hands down winner! He is so much fun! Obviously when he's in one of his moods, but I enjoy playing Dworkin just as much when he is lucid, too.

Caine - For the same reasons as above

Corwin - I have been told that I can do a pretty good Rat Bastard. Some of my players have said so too. :lol:

Fiona - Mainly because she's a challenge.

Llewella - She is fun to play because so many PC's tend to underestimate her.[/i]


 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 1:48 pm 
Alpha Male

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 1:43 pm
Posts: 625
Interesting inputs, but let me go back to Arden's original resurrection of the post and ask whose portrayals of the various NPC's do you give shout-outs to?

It can be helpful to see/read some examples of quality npc work, the better to make my own...

 Post subject: Ahh
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 2:19 pm 
Innocent of All But Malice

Joined: Mon May 19, 2008 1:45 pm
Posts: 504
Location: South Carolina
Jim Kenney played the best Dworkin. He ran a ftf game that lasted through two GenCons, with AmberCon 9 in between. He ran the perfect balance of creepy and crazy, with a large helping of genius.

Ken Alves runs a good Brand. Some of his other NPCs kind of blend together but when he starts talking like Brand, its like he's channeling. He sounds more dangerous and his every word can easily have a second meaning.

Those two were by far the best I have witnessed. I will give an honorable mention, however, to:

Me. I was at GenCon either before or after ACUS 9 and one of the three friends of mine I was with signed all four of us up for an Alternity tournament. (Still mad about that.) I wanted to play in an Amber game were the Elders were starting to die for no apparent reason. But thanks to Alternity, I couldn't play in it. So, I asked the GM if I could help for a little while and she let me play a senile Benedict. I wandered around for the next forty-five minutes talking to ghosts, threatening tapestries and the like, but when I killed someone who I thought was an enemy from the past, people were a bit shocked. When I had a rare lucid moment (actually Benedict had the rare lucid moment. You can tell from my posting that I am usually lucid.) and realized what I had done, I was talking to my daughter (pretty brunette wearing a cape) and she finally burst into tears. It was the first time I ever brought someone to tears in what was then almost twenty years of roleplaying. I still regret having to leave that to play Alternity.

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

 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:43 pm 
Tech Goddess

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 1:54 pm
Posts: 1911
Location: Texas
Bleys - Al's in Age of Reason. He's a great blend of what I'd expect of Bleys (who is one of my favorite NPCs to run) and things I didn't, things that make me laugh while Cordelia seriously contemplates shouting at him again until he does what she wants. :)

Flora - I admit it, I really dislike Flora as a character. That said, a portrayal of Flora I saw fairly recently - and I think it was Mel's in TUC - really made me sit up and go, "Oh, that's what she should have been like all along..."

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