The following is the description given to us by “Stormy” (Scott Whitman) who organized the “Great Game” campaign.
High Adventure in the Amber Steam Age. You had been stationed at a key position in our supply lines during the invasion of Chaos. Too young and inexperienced to be used at the front you cooled your heels taking care of an important but unsatisfying task. After the storm that ripped through reality after Patternfall many things were well, different. Imagine an Amber where technology is powered by steam engines, where people are civilized to one another, where dragons, magick and faerie races coexist with technological marvels, where dasdardly villains and criminal masterminds plot to take over the one true world, and where the decent folk of the family thwart their every move. You are knee deep in this place from the moment you arrive. What has happened to the backstabbing, conniving people you knew and loved?
This game is set in a Victorian “Steam Punk” era of Amber. As its basic premise, the game imagines that the best fantasy and speculative fiction of the Victorian Age – the world visions of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, the brothers Grimm, Robert Louis Stevenson, Bram Stoker and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, for example – are at their heart a reflection of the One True World.
The streets are lit by gas and most machinery is still powered by water or gas, but efficient, low-cost steam and clockwork are set to transform Amber into a renaissance of science and invention. Steam trains journey between the major cities of Amber, travelling at speeds up to 75mph, Brand’s computational device can be programmed to calculate mathematical formulae and store information, ironclads and dreadnaughts patrol the seas, and the royal and noble venture out onto the streets of Amber in steam automotives. Images are preserved for posterity on daguerrotype photographs. And where technology is combined with magick, the most wonderful things happen….
Sorcery is a reality in the world of Amber; but this is not the hermetic sorcery of most fantasy literature. Magick works, and magicians are debonair members of the Royal Court with arcane plans. True power is gained by working with others of a like mind toward a common goal. Those with a gift for magick are trained both in the use of their talent and the responsibilities that go with such power. Of course, not all teachers are altruistic in their objectives….
In a world where sorcery is real, so too are the creatures from myth and legend. The Wild Hunt of Faerie rides after darkness has fallen, and Faerie lords and ladies waltz gracefully at royal balls. Dragons occasionally walk the streets as urbane gentlemen and discerning collectors of art. Dwarfs are skilled engineers and inventors who bring to life the fantastic machines of the age – always on the lookout for a wealthy and influential patron to help them bring their ideas to fruition!
But all is not brightness and gaiety. Julian, the Black Duke of Arden, seeks to bring all the independent shadow kingdoms under his iron fist. In the dark corners of Amber’s capital city, crazed criminal masterminds build fearsome, infernal devices with which to take over the world, or perhaps exact their revenge on those who laughed at their insane genius. Some have rumored that the great genius Brand angry at the family’s petty infighting has left the royal family. Fiona Queen of the South laughs at Ambers vaunted military might while reveling in her sensual court. And in smoke-filled back rooms, wild-eyed Anarchists plot to overthrow the established order.
Nonetheless, social graces, a quick wit, a dazzling coiffure or a smart uniform can frequently accomplish more in Society than a spell or a gadget. In this game, your appointment book can be as powerful as your spell book, and your rapier wit can do more damage than your blade!