Amber: Rise Up
Attribute tips for Pattern Imprint. Although Psyche is important for manipulating Pattern and Shadow, remember that your Endurance must be at least Amber level in order to actually walk the Pattern. Those with lower Endurance, either Chaos or Human, must get some kind of assistance, or they will die in the attempt. The higher your Endurance, the more damaged or exhausted you can be and still be able to walk the Pattern.
PATTERN IMPRINT 15 : Walking the Pattern for the first time marks you with a Pattern Imprint. Everything else is learning how to properly wield it. The process of walking the Pattern is said to destroy and reconstruct the walker on a spiritual level- this wipes out residual curses, lingering spells, mental trauma, etc. It is also very difficult and very tiring, and one false step can mean your destruction. Once you reach the center, you may command the Pattern to send you anywhere you envision.
A person bearing a Pattern imprint may, at the moment of his death or a similar scale of personal trauma, invoke a Blood Curse. Usually delivered while dying, the curse is an evoking of a character’s personal relationship with the Pattern, a directing of their life energies towards some terrible goal. (It is also, theoretically, possible to perform a “Blessing” instead, such as bestowed by Oberon at the end of the Chronicles of Amber.) Once performed, there is no known way of removing a Blood Curse.
SHADOW WALKING 5 [Requires Pattern Imprint] : The art of traveling through Shadow, allowed by the power of the Pattern. This is done by changing minor things that lay in your path. You, the player, decide that over the next hill will be a patch of blue flowers, around the next corner is a jagged rock face, in the next village is a country fair. By such minor changes you move closer to what you seek in shadow. Manipulating Shadow is harder the closer you get to Amber, until, in Amber itself, it cannot be changed at all. Some places are difficult to get to, barred by monsters, hazards or whatever. Finally, following a traveler through shadow is always easier than taking your own path. So long as an Amberite can move, walking, riding, sailing, swimming, flying, driving, or crawling, it is possible to move through shadow.
Seeking in Shadow (Nearly) anything can be found somewhere in Shadow. What you find depends on what you describe to be your objective. Some examples:
- A Shadow of the player’s description.
- A (generic) object that the player describes. (You can search for diamonds, or a sword, but not the Jewel of Judgement.)
- A situation defined by the player. (For instance, “I want to find a place with a good bar fight, but one where I won’t hurt anyone too badly nor get hurt too badly.” This is a more advanced use of the Pattern and takes a good deal of practice, but is still part of basic Shadow Walking.)
- (Note for those who have the rulebook- it also asserts that you can look for a specific person (ie, Bleys), but the books make it quite clear that you cannot do this.)
Don’t forget that among the characteristics of a shadow is the rate in which time flows relative to Amber. You can go to a fast time shadow to quickly heal, or a slower shadow to let time race ahead in Amber. At this level of shadow walking experience, you cannot set out to seek a faster time shadow, as you have no reference by which to be walking towards something “faster”. But if you know that a Shadow in particular has a useful time rate (such as Shadow Earth’s 2.5 to 1 to Amber), you can and should make use of it.
Infinity There are a nigh infinite number of versions of any one shadow. This can make meeting at the Park View Inn on “Shadow Earth” tricky. Note, however, that the presence of real things makes a shadow more real. Flora and Corwin’s presence on Shadow Earth made it much more real than its counterparts, and the Jewel of Judgement being stashed there for a time made it even more so. All other things being equal, you are more likely to find yourself in the more “real” versions.
Leading Others Through Shadow Someone with the ability to walk through shadow may lead as many others as he wishes. Taking a large number (say, an army) through shadow is a slow endeavor.
MANIPULATE PROBABILITY 5 [Requires Shadow Walking] : Out in Shadow, if there is any reasonable chance at all of something happening, then a character with Pattern can make it happen. The main limitations are time, since using Pattern takes a few moments of concentration, and probability. A character can’t make something unlikely happen, not without going into an adjacent shadow. Examples of this from the books can be found when Flora “decides that it is improbable” that her servant will answer the door.
PATTERN DEFENSE 5 [Requires Manipulate Probability] : Picture the Pattern. Walk it in your mind. When it is complete, concentrate on the image. This takes a few minutes, depending on your Psyche and how well you can concentrate, but it strengthens your mind, and lends strength to your existence. The main use is defensive, so a Character with Pattern to mind is pretty much immune to Logrus and other Chaos-generated forces. Likewise, it’s difficult or impossible to use invasive Magic on a character who has the Pattern brought up like this. On the other hand, keeping Pattern in mind requires real concentration, so the character can’t run or fight effectively. If the character’s concentration is broken, then the Pattern instantly flickers out.
SHADOW RESOURCES 5 [Requires Manipulate Probability] : Perhaps best described by quoting a brief passage from Nine Princes in Amber:
As I sailed into Shadow, a white bird of my desire came and sat upon my right shoulder, and I wrote a note and tied it to its leg and sent it on its way. The note said “I am coming,” and it was signed by me.
A black bird of my desire came and sat on my left shoulder and I wrote a note and tied it to its leg and sent it off into the west.
It said, “Eric – I’ll be back,” and it was signed: “Corwin, Lord of Amber.”
In the passage above, what is Corwin doing?
As he moves through Shadow he is also seeking certain things. In this case he first seeks a white bird that will alight on his shoulder, and that will, after he has tied a note to its leg, travel through Shadow to the place where he is destined to arrive.
Then he seeks another bird, a black one. The black bird will travel through Shadow to Amber and to someone who will take his note to Eric.
Sure enough, later on in the story the white bird landed on his shoulder, a signal that he had found the place he was looking for. Likewise Eric got the message carried by the black bird.
HELLRIDING 5 [Requires Manipulate Probability] : This is the faster but much harder way of traveling through shadow. When Shadow Walking you change one thing at a time. When hellriding you focus on one thing and then let everything else change around you. Requires a certain amount of speed, so a hellride is almost always performed on a horse. (Something mechanical has too much of a chance of ceasing to work as you travel, and you can’t run fast and long enough without help. Some mounts handle this all better than others.)
LOCATE EXTREMELY FAST/SLOW SHADOWS 5 [Requires Shadow Resources and Hellriding] : While there are shadows out there with all kinds of relative time flow as compared to Amber, it takes a lot of work and mental discipline to be able to have a feel for shadow time flows and to be able to imagine such a shadow to be able to travel to it.
HELLRIDE TO CREATURES/ITEMS OF POWER 5 [Requires Shadow Resources and Hellriding] : You need this if you want to be able to use the Pattern to travel to items or creatures that have properties that would normally cost points. You can get items this way, but they aren’t part of the character’s mythos, so you can lose them, have them destroyed, and you can’t just reach into a hole in a tree and pull it out.
PATTERN MINDWALKING 5 [Requires all Basic Pattern abilities] : Almost all of the abilities of Advanced Pattern require that the character imagine walking the Pattern, all the while visualizing the Pattern coming into existence. Then, upon completing the imaginary walk, the character must continue to focus on this vision of the Pattern. As soon as the character’s attention is turned away, the Pattern will go down, and the whole process starts all over again. The effort of holding the Pattern is draining, and how long the character can keep it up depends on the character’s Endurance. Likewise any strenuous activity, such as a Psychic battle, will cause the character to lose the Pattern image.
Sensitivity to Logrus : If the Pattern contacts the Logrus, or Primal Chaos, then it tends to flare up, causing an even greater drain on the character, and shoving the offensive Chaos away. When the Pattern flares up, it’s all the character can do to keep it up in his mind.
Pattern Recognition : Any true initiate into the realms of Advanced Pattern will have a peculiar sensitivity to Pattern. Those of Pattern blood will be apparent by touch, and other Advanced Pattern masters will be obvious across a room, and sometimes even from a considerable distance, say, upon entering a common shadow. The energy of Primal Pattern, Amber Pattern, and the reflections of Amber, are all different, and you can sense which is which by sensing their Pattern energy.
SPELL RACK 5 [Requires Pattern Mindwalking] : You can use the Pattern Sign as a rack for spells, similar to a Logrus user’s ability to use the Logrus for such.
MANIPULATE PROBABILITY WITHOUT MOVING 5 [Requires Pattern Mindwalking] : With an active mental Pattern, you can make the kinds of changes to shadow that ordinarily require small amounts of movement, making things more or less likely.
EDIT/MOLD/ERASE SHADOW 5 [Requires Manipulate Probability without Moving] : With an active mental Pattern, you can rewrite the very Shadows. By focusing the Pattern on a Shadow or a portion of Shadow, you can change the local rules. For instance, in some shadows there is no magic, while in others technology does not work. With a bit of concentration, the Advanced Pattern Initiate can change these shadows, allowing or prohibiting the use of different natural laws.
Affecting someplace real, like Amber, is also possible, though it takes enormous energy. As character can bring the Pattern to mind, focus on a very limited area, say, the size of a gun, and impose the condition that gunpowder would work in that area. In this way, an Advanced Pattern Initiate could get a pistol to work in Castle Amber. Affecting things this close to the Pattern is very difficult. Once the character stops concentrating on the change, things will return to normal.
The image of the Pattern in your mind can also serve as a tool to manipulate whole shadows and the pathways between them. With this method you can alter the structure of a shadow or even erase it altogether. Erasing shadows is not something you would do lightly as it seems to have a detrimental effect on the overall arrangement of Pattern and Shadow. Another possible problem is that elder Amberites and Lords of Chaos will likely notice that kind of large-scale interference in the order of things.
PATTERN LENS 10 [Requires Pattern Mindwalking] : Once the Pattern is summoned to mind, you can use it as a great lens to peer into shadow. Anyone, anything can be observed in this way. And, having found them, you can reach through the Pattern to touch mind to mind, or even physically.
This power also allows you to open shadow to others, putting the changes of the Hellride in the way of those who know nothing of it. Those already in Hellrides can be obstructed and sidetracked as long as you devote your attention to it. Shift the Shadow that lies in their path, and you can make passage smooth or rough, as you see fit.
Finding a particular item, or person, is, however, not as easy as it might be. Frankly, there’s a lot of ground to cover. Just scanning all of Castle Amber could take hours. On the other hand, if your Psyche is sharp, and if the object of your search is not disguised, then things can go much more quickly. Likewise, if Pattern is being disturbed, by a Hellride or by any manipulation of shadow, then the source of the disturbance should be easy to locate.
Limitless, infinite shadow is a terrible obstacle to finding anything. While a character with Advanced Pattern Lend can look at anything anywhere, it’s still only possible to look at one place at a time.
For example, a character, searching for Corwin, might look into his rooms in Castle Amber, in the Library, the Dining Hall, the Practice Yard, and all around the grounds and gardens. After those few seconds of searching, it’s up to the character to figure out where they’d like to look next. A complete and careful search of Castle Amber might take 5 minutes or more.
In another fifteen minutes, the whole City could be searched. Checking Forest Adren’s common trails, camps, and meadows, would take at least another half hour, but checking all of Forest Arden, looking behind every tree and in every glen, could take days.
Traces of Pattern. Searching out in Shadow is usually a lot easier. If the character knew about Corwin’s long time residence on Shadow Earth, and knew how to locate the place, then a search of that entire shadow would take just a couple of minutes. Why so fast? Because the character wouldn’t have to do any kind of place by place searching. Instead the entire Shadow would be observed, and any “real” things, stuff originating from Amber, would show up in contrast to the shadow.
Traces of Chaos. Just as someone with Pattern is obvious in shadow, so things connected with the Logrus seem to radiate a feeling of discomfort. Just a peek through the activated Pattern will reveal any nearby Logrus Master, or any activated Logrus artifact.
Traces of Trump. Searching for Trump with the Pattern Lens is very difficult. The cards seem to have just a bit of Pattern within them (at least, the Amber Trump have Pattern). That means they can be found with careful searching, but they don’t radiate with any particular vigor.
Traces of Shadow. The breaks in Shadow, caused by those who have the Power to move from one Shadow to another, can also be detected through the Pattern Lens. The character looks for tiny disruptions in Shadow, attempting to find their source locations in the Shadow being studied, which other Shadows are involved, and what Power was used in the disruption. How long this takes depends on how old the trail and how major the disruption. If a single Hellrider passed through the Shadow just minutes before, the traces could be detected in just a minute or two. If the passage had taken place the day before, it might take an hour to find the traces. However, if the disturbance was major, as is the case if a vast army was led through, then the traces will be obvious and easy to find even a day later.
MENTAL PATTERN TELEPORT 5 [Requires Edit/Mold/Erase Shadow and Pattern Lens] : Summon the Pattern to your mind. Now imagine walking it, traversing with your mind to its very center. Once you have done this (in a couple of minutes of total concentration, three times as long if you have distractions), you will be able to teleport yourself anywhere, just as if you had actually walked the Pattern. The only drawback is that your mental image of Pattern will be disrupted in the transfer, so Pattern will no longer be active in your mind. It requires a massive effort, and will tire even a ranked Endurance character.
MANIPULATE/EDIT/MOLD/ERASE SHADOW THROUGH A PATTERN LENS 5 [Requires Edit/Mold/Erase Shadow and Pattern Lens] : You can make changes and major edits to a shadow that you are not in, if you are looking at it through a Pattern Lens.