"Kidbits" — children or grandchildren of the "Elder Amberites", descendants of Oberon — are characters who have the Blood of Oberon.
Not all descendants of Oberon are considered to have the Blood of Oberon (the gift BLD-OB) in game-mechanics terms; if the royal blood is sufficiently distant, it is too diluted to have sufficient power, i.e., such descendants cannot successfully walk the Pattern. If you want distant relation to the royal line for story purposes, you can have it without needing to be a "kidbit" per se.
Everyone is Awesome
Our core philosophy on this game is, "Everyone is awesome." Kidbits are no more and no less awesome than anyone else. We have an "open kidbit" policy — anyone can create a kidbit, and the requirements for background and ties are exactly the same as any other character.
That said, if you're coming to this game with expectations based on previous AmberMUSHes, you may want to keep a couple of things in mind before you decide that you want to create a kidbit character.
First, kidbits here are neither rare (in terms of PC population) nor special (in terms of power level). You will not find yourself automatically getting play or attention simply because you are one. Moreover, because many of the Elders don't have close relationships with their children, if what you seek is play with the Features, you may be better off getting a direct hook with one of them rather than pursuing a kidbit route.
Second, both shadow travel and cross-shadow communication are extremely commonplace on this game. While other shadow travel powers lack the full flexibility of Pattern, and other cross-shadow communication methods are slightly more limited, Pattern and Trump are also more expensive, RPG points-wise. If you are thinking that you want to be a kidbit specifically because you want to be able to travel in shadow or communicate across shadow, you probably want to rethink — there are dozens of other alternatives available.
If you do want to be a "kidbit", you will need to determine specific descent prior to submitting a background. (This is no different than joining one of the noble houses, for instance, where you'd work with that House to figure out where you fit in their family tree.)
You have four options:
- You can take a pre-existing background for a child of one of the Elders. (Each of the played elder Features has one or more open "slots" that they've loosely pre-defined.) In this case, talk to the Feature to find out what's available.
- You can take a pre-existing hook as the grandchild of one of the Elders. (Each of the played elder Features has defined an NPC child, who can be used as the parent for grandchildren.) In this case, you will want to work with the Feature to shape your background accordingly.
- You can make up your own background, discuss it with one of the Features, and have them agree to having you as their child or grandchild.
- You can make up your own background, discuss it with a PC kidbit, and have them agree to having you as their child.
Even if you are taking a pre-existing background or hook, you should still begin with some idea of what you'd like to play, and the type of play that you'd like to do.
Choosing an Elder
All played elder Features are available as parents or grandparents. This means that the following parentages are excluded:
- Oberon directly. (We don't allow non-Feature descendants of Oberon.)
- Finndo or Osric. (There are IC reasons for this, which can be discovered in play.)
- Delwin or Sand.
The first decision you'll need to make is whether or not you'd like a lot of interaction with your parent on-game. Some of the Elders tend to neglect their children IC, and thus are not great choices for people hoping for a lot of interaction. Broadly, if you are making a kidbit because you want to interact a lot with a particular Elder, you might want to consider asking them for some kind of other hook — most will have plenty of suggestions to offer.
If you are looking for a lot of interaction, you'll want to find an Elder whose play hours significantly overlap your own. (This is not just a time zone issue, since some people are more active during the day and others at night, people on during the day can often only slow-scene, etc. So asking "when are you usually available for roleplay?" is a useful question.)
Then, you'll want to think about what you really want out of your connection to a given Elder, play-wise. If the answer is "powers", discard that thought — the game is primarily oriented toward self-discovery rather than training, and towards unique advancement paths. Moreover, you do not need to be a descendant of someone in particular to have received deeper initiation into the mysteries of the Pattern, of Trump, etc. So "what can I learn" should be discarded entirely as a consideration.
In most cases, what you will probably be seeking is hooks into that Elder's play — the circle of things that they are involved with and that you also want to be involved with — or the specific background hooks offered by a particular heritage and its associated backstory. Note that parentage, though, should certainly not stop you from seeking hooks with the other Elders, particularly for "contrarian" concepts like a bookish weakling child of Gerard, etc.
Once you've figured out who you probably want for an Elder, it's time to make contact.
Getting the Thumbs Up from an Elder
You should make contact with each Elder that you're considering for parentage. (Please do not generically blast all the Features. This is unlikely to get you responses.) Let them know:
- Your general concept
- How much flexibility you have with changing your concept
- Why you want them for a parent or grandparent
- When you're usually available to roleplay
You can page or +mail people, but if you page, you probably want to open by asking if they're available to discuss a kidbit concept — people may be partially work-idle, wrestling with children, in the middle of a scene, etc.
If you have difficultly obtaining responses or are finding that your concept doesn't readily suit the Elders' available background hooks, please talk to the staff or GMs for assistance.
Once an Elder (or PC kidbit) has agreed to accept you, you can write and submit your background for staff approval.
Hooks to Play
The staff subjects kidbit backgrounds to the same scrutiny that we do backgrounds for all other characters on the game. Backgrounds that are tied to places outside Amber and the Golden Circle, like other shadow-based backgrounds, tend to meet with particularly close scrutiny for adequate hooks. You will need to establish hooks to more than just your Elder. You will want to find ways to get tied into what's going on. This is especially true if your parent is likely to be ICly neglectful. In general, the deeper your Amber-based history and ties, the better off you'll be.
Doing Your Sheet
The first thing you'll want to buy, when you set up your sheet, is BLD-OB (Blood of Oberon).
Next, you will probably want to buy the blood of your specific parent's mother — the blood of one of Oberon's Queens, if it's available. This is not available for all heritages. The ones that are available are:
- BLD-FA - Blood of Faiella (Eric, Corwin, Deirdre)
- BLD-PA - Blood of Pathi (Clarissa's children: Fiona, Bleys, Brand)
- BLD-RE - Blood of Rebma (Llewella)
- BLD-ST - Blood of Storms (Rilga's children: Caine, Gerard, Julian)
- BLD-DY - Blood of Dybele (Flora)
- BLD-PT - Blood of Paulette (Random)
If for some reason you need a third bloodline (to represent your parent's mate, typically), you will also need to buy BLD-HQ (Heritage of Queens), which is required in order to have three Bloods.
If you have walked the Pattern, you will want to buy all your stats up to 2, and then buy enough additional stats to reach a total of at least 12 (i.e., if you add all your stats together, they must total 12 or more). Then, you can buy PAT-WA (Pattern Walker).
We do allow people to start with "advanced" Pattern abilities, if they have a specific idea in mind — these abilities should be pitched to the staff, just like any other gift. Similarly, we allow people to start with Trump, and "advanced" Trump abilities, again pitched like any other gift.
Note that a very high percentage of the kidbits on this game, to date, have concepts oriented around exploring Pattern, Trump, and the nature of the universe. Given the canonical grounding of both abilities, this is not particularly surprising, but we will note that you'll want more than this to your concept if you want to differentiate yourself from the crowd.