Special Knowledge

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Special Knowledge Sources.[edit]

Special Knowledge refers to investments a character makes or can acquire for having done or experienced things both during character creation and during game play. A GM should be cautious handing out these but they are an interesting way to help a player further develop a character's role-playing dimensions.

Special Knowledge Sources

A Source can be anyone or anything developed by the GM for any reason. It can reflect time spent in a shadow. Time spent around an Elder or a person of significant experience. It can be special educations and training. Not every experience or training a character experiences is necessarily going to rise to the level of Special Knowledge but for those that do it may just give them an edge when needed.

A GM should be cautious how many points they allow a player to allocate to Special Knowledge sources. It may depend on the game's style or the background of the character to specifically highlight certain experience by granting them, or allowing them to allocate points to them

An alternate option is to have a separate Auction for Special Knowledge during character creation.

1 Pip Special Knowledge Sources[edit]

Dworkin rambled too much[edit]

In the post-Patternfall realm of Amber, Dworkin is mostly sane, as any talkative and all-knowing grandfather or great grandfather can be, and is delighted to know his progeny. He often is willing to sit and talk about the good ole days. The player who wins this source will be a favorite of Dworkin's who can cozen up to him for tidbits he won't tell others. Players who invest in Amber devotes and allies will not get Dworkin. He has a great interest in the young people coming into Amber and knows a lot about each of them. What he's willing to tell is the trick. He is extremely closed mouth.

    • This option could be exressed for any sufficiently powerful instructor. IE: Suhay rambled too much, Ygg rambled too much, etc.

Julian taught them to ride[edit]

The character was taught to ride by Julian in a particularly extended period, perhaps even served as one of his Rangers.

    • The "Julian Taught Them" option could alo be expressed to any elder or instructor. IE: Gerard Taught them to Wrestle, Caine taught them Archery, Benedict taught them Judo, random taught them to play Poker,

2 Pip Special Knowledge Sources[edit]

Librarian of Amber[edit]

The Library of Amber is massive. Immense, on a shadow spanning scale. The books in the castle are just a start. The player who gains this source has acquired this an ally of the Librarian of Amber, or a senior member of his staff, who will know more random details then google, yahoo, and webcrawler combined.

  • While the Librarian of Amber might be a bit above a PC's paygrade an investment might get an assistant like docents and antiquarians who could still be very useful. These people, while allies, are not the "charge to your rescue" kind of allies and are only useful as sources of information and advice.

Smells Good to Animals[edit]

This source is where animals of a specific type are likely to befriend a character of their own accord. A Horse Whisperer. Speaking Parsletounge. "Cats just love me". "Dogs just seem to like me'. "I'd swear those birds were following me!"

3 Pip Special Knowledge Sources[edit]

Secret Power Source[edit]

Ssshhhh... its a secret. The Player knows of, if not necessarily is attuned to a secret power source of initiation that the others may never have heard of.

On Call[edit]

The PC has access to a weapon or artifact that "might" come to their aid. It should be suitably fearsome but not an item that one can rely on in a pinch. The sword of Gryfindor or Coinspinner are examples; items that come and go on their own whim.

4 Pip Special Knowledge Sources[edit]

Devoted Cult Following[edit]

The Amber Cults are an embarrassment to the royalty and nobility of Chaos as they nurse their wounds over losing the Black Road and Patternfall War. Outlawing them just drove them underground and made them more popular. The player who gains this source will quickly, if not immediately, develop a large Cult following in the Courts of Chaos. If this is a Chaoasian player with roots in Amber it could be a very large force of disaffected Chaosians. Or it could be Chaosians looking to expand into the shadowlands.

  • The Devoted Cult Following option need not be a chaos Cult, but can be any group of similiar followers, worshipors or fans. Perhaps the PC is a celebrity in some world and the Following is their fan club.
  • While a PC can create a loyal cadre of NPCs through character generation and use of points in play, this group is not under their control, nor is it necessarily going to act in a way the PC wishes. Still, a group of suffeciently motivated devoes can come in handy.

5 Pip Special Knowledge Sources[edit]

Paramount Talent[edit]

This source is a natural nearly unparalleled skill. Skills would be agreed on but might include an extraordinary skill at musical performance & Composition. Like Mozart. Cooking; A natural understanding what tastes good together and how to prepare it perfectly. Sculptor or artisan. A person could be an extraordinary painter, though they still have to spend the same amount to create trumps.

  • This is a dangerous thing for a GM to allow but it may fit into to their campaign. If the GM is using a Skill System of some kind they should consider how this Talent fits in that framework.
  • If you are interested in a Skill system for ADRPG find one of mine here >[[1]]

Allocation of Special Knowledge Sources[edit]

At Character Creation[edit]

One idea was to have a separate Auction for these skills. Allow a PC to set aside some amount of pips, say 20, to spend in a potential Special Knowledge Auction. Give them a list of choices and let them bid for each of them. Then award the Knowladge accordingly.

  • Two possible outcomes are that the PCs who do not get the talent in the auction could take the unspent points back to regular character development. Another option would be letting the PC take a lesser outcome. Rather then the Librarian of Amber they get a Assistant Librarian, rather then Julian training them to ride, one of his senior lieutenants did. Etc.

During Game Play[edit]

A GM might decide to allow a PC to gain or add pips for something they experienced in game play. While a PC might spend time on a ship at sea with Gerard, its not the same as Gerard taking special interest and personally training the PC. A PC personally and exhaustively taught something by an elder would enshrine that experience by the allocation of a few pips.

I ran across this idea on rpol and have always liked it.