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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: (Al)Chemical Trump Decks
PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 11:32 am 
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Pattern Master

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So, several years after a humiliating and totally pointless defeat, Corwin remembers that he knows how to make explosives work in Amber, and goes for strategy that won't get his eyes burnt out.
Better living through chemistry!

Of course, we use compounds for all sorts of things, and Amberites can end up anywhere. What is needed is a quick and easy way to shortcut years of careful scientific work. So, how about a Trump Deck where every card of an element: the card opens to a location where the pure element is swirling around in a format that allows for easy chemical reactions.

Then, suppose you need a medication: cast the fortunes with Trump. (There are multiple patterns possible, so one would probably be designed specifically for this). Open the cards as they are drawn, to get the proportions correct. You now have the correct elements in the correct proportions required for your medication. That doesn't create your medication, of course: but a decade long stint studying chemistry should ensure you can complete the process.

The real advantage of this is being able to duplicate the mad scientists and geniuses who whip things up at the drop of a hat.


And of course, for magical worlds you could have an Alchemical deck, based on the classic elements forming your potion from the basic components of reality.


Thoughts?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:05 pm 
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Pattern Adept

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i dont see Corwin as being able to pull this off himself, simply because of his pre-industrial worldview. he is a soldier and musician, sure. but he is not a scientist. i can see some of the younger generation doing this sort of thing however, especially now that earth is a better-known location and word of ghostwheel has gotten out. honestly this seems to me the sort of thing Martin would work on with help from his father the king.

firstly, i think your basic idea is okay, but your application needs work- trumps dont work that way. you can step through, or talk to someone, but not steal objects from a room without entering the room. you would be better off with a single trump to a laboratory with scientists loyal to you and a 'mold shadow stuff' artifact sitting in the lab (molecular assembly device). its fast-time, and you just step between there and amber (or pass stuff through trump to your associate in amber, if your too trusting). if you let one player steal items through trump, then it will get out of hand quickly- and chaos being older will probably already know that trick and its countermeasure.

i dont think the laws of Amber allow for simple trial-by-elimination however. more likely Amber works by different rules, where some base elements such as silver and gold have special properties beyond what physics would imply. rules that are unique to the primal patterns proximity.

if i ran a game where players did this, i would totally make one of these componds a wierd kind of kryptonite- maybe it negates trump within x meters per unit while near amber. or maybe one element negates Pattern, and could directly damage the pattern- that sounds like the kind of crazy stuff players could break creation with, so obviously a good story there! (hypnotoad/) you will steal this idea (/hypnotoad)


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 2:53 pm 
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I think it's a stroke of genius!

Since all things exist somewhere in shadow, why not a shadow of hydrogen or helium or uranium or whatever. What a clever way to accumulate materials as needed!

Now, as to whether those materials would combine together to make the right stuff, that's another issue altogether. Gunpowder didn't work in Amber, but not because the components couldn't be found. It didn't work because some property of Amber didn't allow this chemical reaction to react properly. In other words, just because you can put together the right quantities of an explosive (or other chemical) doesn't mean that it works in Amber as it does on Earth. Poison may not be poisonous. Explosives may not combust. Nuclear reactions may not react.

Love the trump deck for resources concept, however.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2013 8:37 am 
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Thank you both!

Dealing with the technical problem: suppose the Trumps are locations where the local raw materials are self-aware? Being sentient, they'd be able to chose to come the Trump.

The Mold Shadow Stuff power is a good idea - since Artifacts work anywhere, a small item that combines the raw materials as needed bypasses the need for actual processing.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 28, 2013 4:04 am 
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whitelaughter wrote:
Dealing with the technical problem: suppose the Trumps are locations where the local raw materials are self-aware? Being sentient, they'd be able to chose to come the Trump.
I'm not sure I'd allow for sentient Hydrogen or other elements. Too strange.

However, if I was to allow such a thing, and if a character was foolish enough to contact said sentient Hydrogen, I'd certainly allow it to flow through the Trump and into the place from which the character was contacting the Hydrogen and the character wouldn't automatically get to control the quantity that flowed through. Character can't breathe Hydrogen ... oops, sorry!

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Finarvyn
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 8:30 am 
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Actually humans can breathe Hydrogen - it's in breathing gas. So long as it doesn't catch fire, and isn't under pressure it won't do you any harm.

While some pure elements are toxic, anyone using this in a position to take insanely good precautions to protect themselves. Even if the character doesn't have access to any other powers, Trumps themselves are indestructible so scribing your clothes appropriately (want a green shirt? Make it a Trump to a Shadow where everything is green!) should have been done long ago.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 29, 2013 1:50 pm 
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whitelaughter wrote:
Actually humans can breathe Hydrogen - it's in breathing gas. So long as it doesn't catch fire, and isn't under pressure it won't do you any harm.
This I know, but I was thinking about a shadow of pure sentient Hydrogen. If allowed to escape the first thing it would probably do is establish a foothold by filling up the room where the Trump was used, and that would make the air nearly pure Hydrogen. I don't think we can breathe that.

Or, suppose you wanted Aluminum. The shadow might be like a planet of Aluminum with air surrounding it, but it could also be molten Aluminum which might flow out of the Trump.

I ran a game like this once with folks who didn't know anything about Amber. They had inherited a castle full of secrets. They opened a magical doorway and some sort of slime started to flow out, and they spent about ten minutes trying to figure out how to close it again. Eventually they ended up having to abandon the room and seal it off. A few sessions later they learned that the slime had worked its way through the cracks and was starting to fill up the next room. A lot of fun as they slowly lost one room and then the next before they finally came up with a way to kill the slime.

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Finarvyn
Kingmaker of Amber
Amber Diceless RPG Player since 1993
Original D&D Player since 1975


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2013 8:24 am 
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Anything is possible, but given Hydrogen is lighter than air, and there's no reason to be in a sealed room, it's more likely the Hydrogen will drift away crying 'free!'

To draw a Trump, you need to have a solid psychic connection to the target. That means that the Artist will need to have visited or at least observed the Shadows in question. Sure, that would be dangerous, but by the time the Trumps are drawn, the vast majority of surprises will have been dealt with - excepting for PCs with lots of Bad Stuff, of course.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 1:07 am 
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Player: So I shadowwalk to a shadow of pure hydrogen.
GM (me): Describe how you envision it.

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One Damned Thing after another.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:04 am 
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RTrimmer wrote:
Player: So I shadowwalk to a shadow of pure hydrogen.
GM (me): Describe how you envision it.


Player: Well, I'm going to need access to every element, so I'll grab an artifact that lets me see Atomic Spectra.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2014 12:12 pm 
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The Anti-Canon
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Not exactly chemistry, but close... Why not just make a trump of an Anti-Matter Universe? Or how about that Trump of a black hole/neutron star? Or A Supernova about to explode?

Maybe I've been watching my StarGate DVD's too much. :)


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 4:57 pm 
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battlebooze wrote:
Why not just make a trump of an Anti-Matter Universe?

Player: I concentrate on the Trump of the anti-matter universe.
GM: You feel a momentary contact then are turned into energy. Game over.

battlebooze wrote:
Or how about that Trump of a black hole/neutron star?

Player: I concentrate on the Trump of the black hole.
GM: You feel a momentary contact then are suddenly sucked in. Game over.

battlebooze wrote:
Or A Supernova about to explode?

Player: I concentrate on the Trump of the supernova.
GM: You feel a momentary contact and can feel the heat of the star. Wait for it ... BOOM. It goes supernova. Game over.

battlebooze wrote:
Maybe I've been watching my StarGate DVD's too much. :)
Maybe, but I like the way you think! 8)

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Finarvyn
Kingmaker of Amber
Amber Diceless RPG Player since 1993
Original D&D Player since 1975


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:26 am 
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The Anti-Canon
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No, you don't draw those and use them yourself.

Those were trumps you hand out to people you don't like.

:twisted:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:05 am 
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Pattern Master

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finarvyn wrote:
GM: You feel a momentary contact then are suddenly sucked in. Game over.

Sure, if you never want to GM ever again.

Which would be just as well, because you've just opened a can of worms by allowing effects to cross the Trump without being pulled by an Amberite. That allows such joys as opening a Trump to a Shadow you own, and having the guards start firing past you.

A nice simple one is a Trump to the base of a cliff, have the guards push rocks over the cliff into the Trump, and simply turn the Trump around so that you've now got heavy artillery that works without tech or magic.


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