Yeah, that's right. Not Amber the novels. Amber the DRPG.
"But Jason," you whine petulantly, "Amber is the greatest. I love my Amber character. I feel like she's real!" Well, thank you for proving my point. She probably is real, 'cause you probably spend more time thinking about being her than you think about being you.
But that's just an off-the-cuff observation. Let's get the ducks in a row.
In any normal RPG, the rule book is the shared frame of reference for everyone. I know how to do the things I want my character to do, because there are rules for them. I know whether or not I can cast a spell in the amount of time it takes someone to throw a knife at my throat. Not in DRPGs, though. It's up to the GM, who has to decide on a moment to moment basis what the rules of the game are. Good luck if the GM changes his mind. Or if the GM is pissed at you today.
Immortal player characters suck.
Nobody plays them all that well. You're gonna live forever, right? You'll be spending the rest of your endless existence with these people. For the next thousand years, you'll be periodically confronted with Uncle Bleys' onboxious habit of flirting with your date. So what are you gonna do about it?
Most of you seem to think you're going to care deeply for them and find meaning in your ability to work out these little differences. Sure you will.
Let's look at the books. Sure, Corwin seems to care deeply about his family at the end of the series. Of course, in the first four books, every instance of human concern is considered a faux pas. Of course, these people think arranging for someone to get a spike stuck into their heel is good clean fun- and so is abandoning someone on an island.
Amberites should be the sort of people who's notion of a joke involves what we would consider outrageous cruelty. After all, Amberites will get over it, right? But everyone I've ever played with (including me) plays 'em like people. Just plain folks. WRONG.
None of you write half as well as Zelazny.
Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to get the word "suck" into that heading.
You don't. Admit it. Amber is a triumph of style (which it oozes out of places most series don't even have) over substance (which is kinda wack). Those characters have so much style that we all love to hang out with them. But we can't duplicate that style. And in some sense, the measure of our dissatisfaction with our games is the measure of how close we come- close enough to realize how far we really have to go.
But Jason, you say, that's no reason not to try, right? We're just looking for a good time!
Balls. You're all crippling yourselves by borrowing someone else's vision. You're the gaming equivalent of those lame authors who can only get published by writing Star Trek© novels. You're limiting (or never developing) your own imagination. GET A LIFE.
Make up your own game universe. Or at least make up your own set of NPCs. Learn how to use a game system as a tool, rather than letting it get in your way. And learn how to keep your players confused and mystified with plot, instead of keeping the rules a secret.
It can be done. And, like everything else, it can be done better outside of Amber DRPG.
And don't even get me started on Ambercon. You people are lame. The entire blasted costume contest is a Denis Leary rant waiting to happen.
Now, some of you are thinking, "He doesn't really mean all that. He just wants to get a reaction out of me." Well, you're half right. I do want to get a reaction out of you, but I mean every word. Give me some feedback. Click that bad boy button and flame me! You can hope that your piercing wit or scathing wrath will terrify me into apologizing, and I'll have more fodder for this page. Heh.
Just to give you an idea of the baseline for this little ol' competition, so far the record for feedback eloquence is an exhortation to gargle one reader's sack. Said reader also mentioned that it was too busy thinking about its character to say more, so I think that we can dismiss this as an actual counter to the heinous charges I've levied.