GM Storylines

The Road to Amber does not have a set storyline. We do have a cosmology and history which will be gradually revealed over time, but the unrevealed portions of this may change in the background as we adapt to play needs, and the present is entirely fluid. (In other words: We often make things up as we go along, based on the current state of play and what we foresee as near-future play needs.)

The staff and the GMs are primarily interested in facilitating player-run stories. In general, when we have staff-run plotlines or the like, at least one of the following will hold true:

  • One or more people have expressed interest in a particular part of the setting that is not player-controlled, or which has cosmological implications, and the storyline is intended to facilitate exploration and revelation of that.
  • Several people are interested in pursuing a particular Lores or Gifts, and the storyline is intended to reveal a possible path towards doing so.
  • This is an underlying part of the setting, intended to gradually change the play environment, or to present something of ongoing broad interest.
  • This is a side-show, usually involving an NPC villain, intended to create play. (It might or might not be beyond the scope of what we would allow joe average player to run.)

We recognize that players have a broad array of tastes. Not all plots are going to interest your characters, or suit your playstyle, and frankly, we don't expect them to. These are not drop-everything-and-pay-attention stories. These are things that are going on in the background, which you can hook yourself to, or not, as suit your tastes.

It is vitally important to note that we do not intend to spoon-feed you play. Go start your own stories and conflicts! Ask us for help if you need it — we are happy to offer GMing tips, help with plot construction, make packets, create tokens and rewards, etc.

This also means that when you see the kernel of a staff storyline, you are welcome to approach the GMs and ask about broadening the storyline to include a prop you control, hooking your own plots to it, etc. We tend towards loose construction, so we are happy to adapt our plans if someone has a cool proposal.

This should probably also color your thinking when it comes to investigatory play. If you are hoping to find something in particular, you should talk to the GMs about it — i.e., if you hope that exploring in a particular direction will lead to some play opportunities you have in mind, we can try to facilitate that. If you put in a general query, if you need it right away, you will probably get back the reply that you don't encounter anything immediately interesting; if you are willing to wait, you might find something cool when it fits into something broader, or when one of the GMs is hit by an inspiration.

If, through the course of play, you become interested in establishing things about the broader setting, please read our basic truths and our policy on cosmology.

Your primary point of interaction should be other players, and not the GMs. The GMs may choose to run things from time to time, but this is not a place where it's intended to be a mainstay of play, or even a frequent thing. Ditto the existence of packets — packets exist to answer questions in a methodical manner, and there are packets of scene ideas that are intended to help facilitate play, but they are a means to an end (specifically, helping players run things themselves), not an end unto themselves. Please do feel free to delve into the setting, but keep in mind that our intent is for players to pursue their own goals and play.

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