Pattern and Broken Pattern
Table of Contents
Horatio looks a tad ill. "The Pattern? The Pattern is... dangerous. I've been here for centuries, and I haven't walked it."
Trucido blinks. "Dangerous?"
"Well, if you succeed, you get powers," Horatio says. "If you fail, you explode in a shower of blue sparks."
Gideon calls over, "Do not tell him lies. The sparks are sometimes red too."
- The White Rose, Act One
The Pattern, a big squiggly spiral carved into rock under Castle Amber, is at the very heart of the power of Amber. It is their ability to walk the Pattern and gain power to travel through Shadow which has enabled the Royal Family, and thus Amber, to become a mighty trading center and dominate its neighbors, rising in wealth and strength. That same tie makes them virtually immortal, able to live for centuries or millenia. It is, perhaps, the greatest power in the universe, though certainly Chaos, the Logrus, and the Serpent would dispute that.
This page examines the powers granted by Pattern, and by the Broken Patterns, in some detail.
Walking the Pattern
Some royal families cannot be certain who is really bears royal blood and who does not. In Amber, that question is easy to answer. If you can survive walking the Pattern, you bear the blood of Oberon (or whoever the head of the family is in the game). If you die the first time you try it, clearly you don't. Only those who bear Oberon's blood can walk the Pattern, at least so far as is known. All others perish in the attempt.
The Pattern must be walked without stopping until you reach the center. It puts up an ever-increasing resistance as you do so, throwing up sparks. Especially difficult are the three so called 'veils'. In game terms, you need a minimum of Amber Endurance to make it to the end of the Walk unaided, although someone with less Endurance might make it with help from another Amberite. You should never try to walk the Pattern when not fairly well rested, as it seriously exhausts you, and collapsing on your way to the middle is fatal.
The first time you walk the Pattern is your Initiation into its power. The Pattern burns itself into your very being, creating a permanent link that enables you to call upon its power even when you're nowhere near it. Each and every time you walk the Pattern, several things happen:
Once you reach the center, you can tell the Pattern to send you anywhere in Shadow that you desire to go to. If this was your first time, you can now learn how to shift Shadow yourself and all the powers of the Pattern are open to you. You may wish to first sit down and rest for a while, though.
You also gain the ability to deliver a Blood Curse, should you so desire. The rarest used, yet most feared, of all the powers of those of the Blood of Amber is their ability to deliver a Blood Curse. Usually delivered when 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.
In game terms a character is trading away ten points (or more) of "Stuff".
If, after the curse, the character's life continues, this
means they will have lost as many Stuff points, and gained as many Bad Stuff points, as is needed to make up the ten points of
the curse. Of course, if the character actually dies, well... Then it's not a problem that concerns the character anymore. The
character issuing the curse may use up to 10% of their points in the curse (with a minimum of 10 points. Those below a 100 points simply deliver a 10 point curse).
The subject of the curse, whether person, place, or thing, is then invested
with the Bad Stuff, all of which will be directed
toward fulfilling the curse. It is also, theoretically, possible to perform a "Blessing", such as that bestowed by Oberon at the end
of the Chronicles of Amber.
Once performed, there is NO KNOWN WAY of removing a Blood Curse. Even the person who delivered it can't retract it. So don't use it casually.
Typically, the first thing an Amberite learns to do with the Pattern is how to shift Shadow in order to travel through it. This seems a simple enough proposition. You walk along, and as you move, you concentrate on altering small details of the environment around you.
Thus, as you ride out of Arden, you might decide that there will be a stump alongside the road, and then another one, and then another, and soon, you're moving through a region of clear cut forest. Then you edit in a small village over the next hill, home to loggers, where boats stop. You stop and get onto a barge there, paying the bargekeeper with gold, and as you ride down the river, you start adding slightly higher technology houses along the river. You add the occassional sound of gunfire. The river widens more and more, and finally, you're moving down the Mississipi river, circa 1850. You stop at a town, leaving the confused and now stranded bargeman to start a new life in a new shadow and go looking for Tom Sawyer because ever since you read the book, you wanted to beat him up for reminding you of your brother. And so it goes.
Normal movement through Shadow is slow. You can't shift shadow at all until you pass the borders of the lands where Amber's King holds sway, movement through the Golden Circle is slow, and even once you get past those, it's not safe to go too quickly.
If you are impatient, you can try Hellriding, but it's dangerous. Where normal shadow shifting changes a single detail, hellriding keeps one detail and changes everything else. It will get you places faster, but you also risk riding into some sort of situation that's highly dangerous. It's mostly useful to simply get away from somewhere you don't want to be, or if you're in a desperate hurry. Hellrides are usually done on horseback, because other methods of transportation will generally fail you at some point in the trip.
If you have plenty of time and want to relax and enjoy yourself, you can 'Ride the Royal Way'. This method is about eight times slower than normal Shadow Travel, but enables you to control every aspect of your trip down to the weather. Cheering crowds hail you everywhere, the weather is perfect, you can control the technology level so you can keep your snazzy car everywhere you go (Unless your endpoint prevents tech working), and you get just the meals you like. It's not like you're in a hurry, anyway, right? You're immortal, take some time, relax and enjoy yourself.
Scales of Travel:
You can go the same distance in:
Three weeks normal shadow travel will take you to Yig, beyond which shadow travel seems to become easier, but also more unpredictable.
Leading people through Shadow
Anyone who can see you can try to follow you through Shadow. If you want them to follow you, they can follow you anywhere. If you want to lose them, you have to edit them out, which is generally fairly easy, unless they have an independent way to follow you through Shadow.
Armies can be lead through Shadow, keeping in mind you'll have to ride at the head, and anyone who loses visual contact with the rest of your army will be left behind. It's best, if sometimes dangerous, to keep fairly close ranks while doing this so as to NOT lose them.
Seeking in Shadow and Shadows of Desire
Everything you can imagine exists out there in Shadow somewhere. With time and experience, you can learn to ride through Shadow to find those things. Finding items is easy; it takes about one day for every point of value the item has, unless it has eight point or higher properties. Finding such items tends to turn into a minor quest which may drag on longer than you planned.
Shadows of Desire are more impressive; this enables you to travel to something intangible or to a specific kind of Shadow. You could, for example, seek to find a specific person in Shadow, even if you know them only as a vague idea, such as 'the man who killed my father' (Inigo Montoya would have benefited from that power). You can seek a shadow where 'I can get into a really good non-fatal bar brawl'. You can seek a Shadow of Amber where you're the rightful king. Many Amberites spend a period of time jaunting about Shadow fulfilling their desires in this way.
The Pattern is, unfortunately, not omniscient about everything within its domain. It cannot read minds, and thus cannot send you to 'The shadow where what Caine is planning to do to me is written on the wall'. That shadow IS out there, but the Pattern really has no idea which of the twenty billion shadows with Caine-related scribblings is actually accurate. While it does store the memories of those who walk it, the part of it which is in charge of finding things can't access those memories (The Pattern's creator didn't want anyone using it to know HIS thoughts). Characters CAN use Pattern to find shadows which depict their own memories and their own personal experiences, even if they can't remember such things at the moment, so long as what they're seeking got recorded by the time of their last Patternwalk. The Pattern extremely doesn't know what anyone connected to another Primal Power is thinking or planning, although it can find such people as long as they aren't in a Pattern-barred shadow.
Pattern can read the minds of Shadow beings who lack reality, since they're generated by the Pattern. Thus, if you want to know what Rimmer is planning, you can seek the shadow of Rimmer's plans, if you so desire. Unless Rimmer's secretly been initiated into Broken Pattern anyway...
There is no easy way to compute how long seeking a Shadow of Desire will take, since it varies by starting point and by whether the target sits still or moves themself. (For example, you decide to Seek Touga in Shadow, so he can be told his exile is over. He is a one week ride away at the start of your trip, but on the sixth day, he Trumps to Rebma. DOH!)
You have gained greater precision over your shadow-travelling capabilities. You can now shadow travel close to any of the Patterns. This has four major benefits. Firstly, you can begin shadow-walking right out of your bedroom in Castle Amber or even right out of the Pattern Chamber if you so desire. Secondly, you now possess sufficient skills to shadow-walk to the Primal Pattern, or into the Flawed Ambers. Thirdly, any shadow possessions you carry adapt themselves as you shadow walk, changing to fit in. This does not, unfortunately, apply to point items. But your horse will become a motorcycle, your suit of armor will turn into kevlar, and so on, as you travel. Finally, you become more adept at avoiding being followed through Shadow.
In addition, by calling the Pattern to mind as you hellride, you can
part shadow like a hot knife through butter. You can now travel so
fast that you can move at the speed of a hellride but with the safety level
of normal shadow travel. You can also Move at hellride speeds on
a Shadow Highway/Unicorn Track/Etc. This is pretty damn exhausting,
though, so I hope you have lots of Endurance.
Your mastery of the Pattern has advanced to the point that you can walk
the Pattern in your mind and teleport as if you had walked the real Pattern.
This is not an easy proposition, as it takes as long and is as draining
as a real Patternwalk. You may well kill yourself if you are so hurt
or tired that you would not survive the real thing. Still, it can
be done anywhere, and doesn't require any real movement, making it an ideal
tool for escapes, as well as the normal uses.
Forge Shadow Highway
You now have enough skill that as you shadow walk, you can burn a trail in shadow that anyone can follow, even complete shadow bozos. This slows you down to the speed of a normal speed shadow walk. Once the trail is burned, anyone can follow it at normal shadow travel speeds.
Highways burned near Amber will stay around until somehow destroyed. Out of the Golden Circle, they will deteriorate and become unusable at a rate dependant of the Pattern Master's Psychic Power and the distance from Amber.
Your mastery of shadow travel is so complete that you can cruise right through shadow storms without even noticing. You can safely walk a Black Road too.
You now possess a degree of mastery that lets you begin reshaping the very geography of shadow as you travel. You can enter a shadow and 'drive' it around shadow, moving it to a new location. Be warned that this only works with non-primal shadows. This tends to set off shadow storms and make a big mess. You can also bend the shadows around a shadow, restricting access to a shadow to some route or method of your choice.
Alternately, you can warp shadow around someone travelling, so that
they become lost and travel to a point of your own choice.
Or you can act to prevent them getting to some specific point. You
can even force someone out of the shadow you're in, though this works best
against beings who can't just shadow walk back in.
Shadow molding is fairly slow, unless one has really ludicrous Psyche,
and is thus best done outside combat situations, although you can get away
with Manipulate Minor Probabilities in mid-battle. It requires movement
Manipulate Minor Probabilities
You have gained the ability to play with the laws of chance using the Pattern. You can control small-scale random events, such as the roll of a die, the toss of a coin, the drawing of cards, the finding of change under the couch, a person stumbling, or decisions by shadow dwellers which don't go against their motivations strongly. (Ie, you could make a bored guard fall asleep, or cause a bank teller to make an error and give you too much money, but you couldn't make the guard leave his post or the teller suddenly decide to rob the bank.)
You can now play with probabilities on a larger
scale. Shadow dwellers can be made to do impulsive things which go
out of character (like a guard suddenly shooting his partner). Weather
can rapidly shift within the limits of the plausible (ie, no blizzards
in July, but you can make clouds rapidly gather and pour down rain).
In a tense town, you could trigger rioting. People may discover their
gun has run out of ammo, their car is out of gas or something crucial has
broken, and so on. Relatively common resources may be found somewhere
Universal Resources of Desire:
The Pattern Master has progressed to the point where he can dimly percieve the whole of the Pattern's reflection, not just the spot he is in - and order it to his liking.
This power allows the character to do low probability manipulation and things of desire from halfway across the universe. It is limited by the amount of information the character has on the current state of his target.
For example, Rimmer wishes to bear a message to his friend Gherman. Rimmer is in Amber, and Gherman is somewhere in Shadow. Rimmer has a bird of his desire bear a message to Gherman... only instead of calling the bird to him, Rimmer has a bird _near_ Gherman deliver the message.
Another example: Jacqui discovers that her daughter Random has gone off into Shadow without her lunch. Jacqui manipulates probability so that Random will come across a neatly packed lunch, with the sandwiches in it made just the way Jacqui makes them.
There are limits to this. If Gherman is currently slogging through the Elemental Plane of Water, there isn't going to be any birds for Rimmer to summon. If Jacqui is in Dinosaur World, the inhabitants are highly unlikely to have left a packed lunch lying around. And the Pattern Master has no way of knowing if they succeeded or not.
It's possible to use this tactic to harass
an enemy, but in general anyone worth harassing won't be very inconvienienced
by the sort of manipulation this power can achieve. While you can call
Armed Homicidal Maniacs of Desire, they are likely to be pathetic human-stat
things that most Amberites can defeat in their sleep.
Mold Shadow Contents
You can now manipulate probabilities to the point of being able to substantially reshape shadows. You can mold the loyalties and beliefs of the inhabitants of shadows. You can cause upheavals which will reshape the landscape. You can cause alien fleets to invade and blow up the White House. Anything that can work within the laws of nature of the shadow can be brought into existence or wiped out, given enough time to work. Large scale changes can take quite a while.
Mold World Laws
You can now tamper with the very laws of nature of a shadow. This lets you turn powers on and off, reset the amount of technology which works, alter the time flow, and so on. One cannot use this power by itself to bar a shadow to Pattern, though Flawed and Broken Patterns can be barred; this requires the use of Blind the Pattern's Eye.
This is a difficult and unreliable, though potentially powerful use of Pattern. The Pattern Master determines an event likely to come to pass, and attempts to manipulate probability around it _before_it_happens_. For example, Brand thinks that in an hour he is going to meet Corwin. He sets into motion the probability that as he makes his dramatic threat, thunder will rumble ominously in the distance.
The main advantage is that the manipulation can be done prior to the event, in another Shadow, in the safety of your quarters, etc, thus saving you the hassle (and potential for being exposed) of having to do it on the spot.
The disadvantage is that if events don't wind up as you predicted,
things could get messy. If Brand doesn't meet Corwin, he might find thunder
for a time crackling every time he thinks of Corwin, or sees a man who
looks like Corwin. Or maybe the universe will break the paradox by causing
a Shadow of Corwin to show up and be thundered at. The more powerful and
implausible the Probability Manipulation, the greater the backlash from
having it not come to pass.
Moving past the mere ordering of future events performed in Probability Chess, the Pattern Master starts to journey into the murky and uncertain realm of predicting and influencing the future.
This power has two main forms: Speaking Prophecy and Initiating Loops.
Speaking Prophecy involves confronting a person and uttering a prophecy, dire or otherwise. This is an uncertain thing to do, as the Master does _not_ have full control over what he says - basically, he is attempting to use the Pattern's superior prediction to see the destiny written for a person, and then using his ability to manipulate probability to coax that destiny along a certain path. The main problems is that most prophecies can be filled in a number of ways, and no man's fate is fixed in stone.
Example: Fiona confronts her brother Caine, and speaks prophecy. She wants to inflict an unpleasant surprise on him for playing a joke on her. To her mild horror, she intones "Ere this year is gone, your corpse shall lie upon the grass, and the dead shall bear you to the castle of the fallen, and the sky shall run red above you." Fiona is less than happy, as she wasn't expecting _that_ horrid a fate.
As it turns out, the whole sequence winds out to refer to Caine faking his death, getting the fake body carried home by supposedly dead Corwin to a castle formerly belonging to really dead Eric. What about the sky running red? Well, no prophecy is perfect.
Initiating Loops is sort of like playing chicken with the future, and tends to make people's heads hurt. It involves sending an item or action 'back in time,' although Pattern Masters understand this is not really what happens. Rather, it is the use of the Pattern to foresee the Order of the universe and advance it.
A loop begins when in a situation in which the benefits of the loop are desired. The benefits will occur. Later, however, the Pattern Master must go through the act of 'sending' those benefits back to the situation. As a result, attempts to gain benefits that the Pattern Master is unlikely to have in the future tend to fail.
For example, Rimmer needs a trump deck for some reason, but he can't leave to go get one and he isn't a trump artist. He initiates a loop, and in a few seconds a St. Bernard gambols up to him. Around it's neck is a trump deck.
Later, after his mission is done, Rimmer goes to the library and gets one of the trump decks. Summoning a St. Bernard of his desire, he sends it back to his past self bearing the deck. He puts the deck he had received in the library in its place.
In another example, Makoto the Mad is cornered by angry Chaosians. Makoto giggles scornfully, and initiates a loop to bring Greyswandir to him to fight them off with. Nothing happens - because it is highly unlikely Makoto will be able to lay hands on Greyswandir in the near future.
The most dangerous situation is when the loop goes through, but the Pattern Master then finds himself unable to fulfill one end of it. Paradox begins to build up in him for the longer the loop remains open, expressed in the form of Bad Stuff. While this Bad Stuff vanishes upon the closure of the loop, it still raises the frightening specter of unclosable loops: something almost certain to be the death of the Pattern Master.
For many reasons, sending information back through the loop can be unreliable. The following examples show what is and isn't possible:
Bubba is defusing a bomb, one unlikely to be fatal to him but deadly to his weaker companions. Bubba would like to know which wire to cut, and initiates a loop. A sparrow flies down with a note saying 'green'. Bubba cuts the green wire, the bomb fails to explode, and he sends back a note. Had the bomb been powerful enough to potentially kill Bubba, his loop would not have worked, as it would be likely that he would be killed and thus unable to fufill the loop. But since it is not powerful enough to kill him, he can send back a message either way, success or failure.
Dwayne is confronted with a door that is locked via a coded keypad. He tries to loop back the password to himself. He fails, because Dwayne is unlikely to find out the password in the near future.
After a number of alarming events, Tim tries to loop back the name of the perpetrator. He does indeed get a name. However, the person later turns out to be innocent - the future Tim had been wrong.
The safest and most reliable use of Loops is to replicate probability
manipulation or finding resources in places where Pattern use is not possible,
or with things that can't be found in Shadow (like trumps). Ancient, experienced
Masters can use this power to do things like the Benedict's Silver Arm
trick, but they are more practiced and canny than players will ever be.
On a small scale, it is possible to create personal "Pocket Shadows" which can be used for various purposes. A Shadow Pocket would then be an artificial Shadow, with just a sliver of Amber's image, brought into existence by a character's minute warping of the Sign of the Pattern brought to mind. The power to do so is gained by Mindwalking the Sign; to attempt such reality manipulation without that power would be so taxing as to be deadly to even medium ranked individuals.
Shadow Pockets can be fixed to a particular location or can be moved around by their creator. The environment inside the Shadow Pocket is also entirely up to it's creator. One drawback to Shadow Pockets is their fragility. As artificial constructs they are easily destroyed by others with the strong touch of either the Pattern or Logrus. There are three main uses of Shadow Pockets; the Hidey Hole, the Portable Hole, and the Personal Retreat.
When used as a Hidey Hole, the character creates an immobile Shadow
Pocket in some area, and then stores something there to prevent it's discovery.
While immobile, the Shadow Pocket is difficult to locate with the Pattern
Lens or with Logrus, and impossible to detect by other means. It is also
more stable, and can withstand all but direct confrontation with such Powers.
The second usage of the Shadow Pocket as a Portable Hole is similar to the Hidey Hole except it is mobile and travels with the character. He/she need not concentrate on this movement, and the Pocket will travel with him/her even through Shadow. It can be used to store things too large to conveniently carry, or to store things temporarily. Since it is mobile, it is more noticeable to those with sensitivity to Pattern or Logrus, but can be more easily reinforced and protected since it's travelling with it's creator.
The third common usage of the Shadow Pocket is the personal retreat.
Since the character can design and alter the Shadow Pocket at will, using
the Pattern, it is a perfect area to quickly get away to as a personal
sanctuary. While being within such a construct isn't inherently dangerous,
if the construct were attacked from outside and was destroyed, that which
is contained within would suffer varying consequences. Those things
which are real, such as the Pocket's creator, would merely be thrust into
an adjacent Shadow, or perhaps thrown several Shadows distant (depending
on the Power which destroyed the Pocket), those things which are of Shadow
would likely be destroyed, though highly magical items and creatures have
a small chance of survival.
Wifty Sign of the Pattern Tricks
Once you're ready to do more with the Pattern than just cruise around
Shadow, you have to learn how to summon the image of the Pattern into your
mind, then use it to do neat things which will impress your friends, if
you haven't alienated them all with Bad Stuff, anyway.
Picture the Pattern. Concentrate on this image, and move it into your body. This takes a few moments at best, 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 Defense on is pretty much immune to the Logrus, and other Chaos generated forces. Likewise, it's difficult or impossible to use invasive Magic on a character who has Pattern brought up like this. On the other hand, keeping the Pattern internalized requires real concentration, so the character can't run or fight effectively. (People with seventy five or more points of Warfare can still fight with some degree of skill, but not anywhere even close to peak capacity). If the character's attention is broken, then the Pattern instantly flickers out.
You can now extend your Pattern Defense to anyone you touch, or anyone you are in Psychic Contact with (for example, you can reach through a trump and extend Pattern Defense into them. If they consent. (Well, you could try to force it in psychic combat, but...)
Sign of the Pattern:
The character has sufficiently mastered the ability of calling Pattern to Mind that he can now summon the Pattern before him as a shield against the use of powers. The sign is about the size of the caster (possibly less if his Psyche really is weak, or more if he's got a huge brain). The sign requires a few seconds to call up, and uses up some of the concentration of the Pattern Initiate, but not as much as Pattern Defense. (ie, you suffer some drop in your ability to defend yourself against attack, but not so much as with Pattern defense). The sign can also be used to disrupt the use of other powers by hitting the manifestation of such powers with it. (For example, using it to hack a hole in a ward). The distance you can project the sign varies with Psyche, but is never very huge.
The Sign will not do anything to living creatures (This requires the use of Pattern Focus), and solid objects pass right through it.
The use of this power is very obvious to anyone who isn't blind.
Static Pattern Defence:
The character calls up the sign of the Pattern underneath them, and concentrates as per normal Pattern defence. People in contact with the Sign (up to the same size as the real Pattern, depending on Psychic Strength) are also protected by the Pattern defence. They need not concentrate on the defense themself. Depending on the finesse of the Pattern Initiate, he may be able to exclude Depending on the Psyche of the character and the flimsiness of the shadow, you may be able to extend the Sign of the Pattern over a larger area. However, the Sign is immobile, and if the character maintaining it attempts to leave it it winks out.
AKA, "I AM REAL!" A penultimate form of Pattern Defence, in which the Pattern is not just brought to mind, but embraced into the self. The character becomes Very Real, almost as real as the Pattern. They stand out so sharply against the fabric of Shadow that it's almost painful to look at them. Shadowdwellers will stare and gape, and people of Reality will instantly notice them first. Things of Shadow become hazy and impotent against the character, incapable of hurting or helping. Magic will fail. So will their Shapeshifting, if they have any. Attempts to mentally influence or change them will face an uphill battle unless backed by the power of Order or Chaos.
Like Pattern Defence, this requires a lot of concentration and
is more draining. Unlike Pattern Defence, it is very, very unsubtle. It
also has a tendancy to make you the locus of combat, as your foes notice
you a lot more vividly than everyone else.
Might of the Pattern:
Sometimes, you just want to break things into tiny bits. This is a variation of Pattern Assertion, which draws in the power of the Pattern, massively boosting the Strength and Endurance of the Pattern Initiate while it lasts (The more Psyche you have, the more oomph you get from this and the longer it lasts). Unlike Pattern Defense, it only slightly hampers your concentration. However, it burns your own innate energy reserves like there is no tomorrow. If you aren't careful, you may well smash all your foes, then pass out or drop dead as soon as you let go of it.
Also importantly, you're full of Pattern energy, which means contact
with Logrus stuff is likely to have very icky consequences.
Assume Mantle of Order:
By the time this step has been reached, the Pattern Master has come to cast in his lot with the side of Order, in a symbolic but very real sense. This makes him a being of Order, holding tightly leashed power only to be unbound under certain situations.
When facing the strongest servants of powers opposed to the Pattern, the Pattern Master can reveal themselves as a Servant of Order, a living extension of the Pattern. This gives them power and strength they would not otherwise have, allowing them to go toe-to-toe - however temporarily - with the other side.
The main disadvantage is that the Pattern Master has entered the system, and is now part of the cosmology. There are things he is forbidden to do or interfere in, and those measures effective against beings of Pattern constrain him as well.
Revealing oneself as a Lord of Order is not something done lightly,
and most Pattern Masters will only consider doing so if disaster on a massive
scale is threatened (A GOO is breaking through, a Logrus Master is about
to attack the Pattern, an Abyss Demon of terrifying power threatens to
destroy much of reality. Those who overuse their authority are said to
find said authority withdrawn.
While the Blood Of Amber of a Pattern Initiate is a substance that's very obvious to anyone with Pattern Sight, non-activated blood is only visible to those with more advanced abilities. Just as someone with Pattern is obvious in Shadow, things connected with the Logrus seem to radiate a jarring aura. Just a peek through the Sign of the Pattern will reveal any nearby Logrus Master, or any activated Logrus artifact. The breaks and distortions in Shadow, caused by those who have the Power to move from one Shadow to another, can also be detected through the use of Pattern Sight. 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 days later.
Patternsight allows the character to use the Pattern as a lens. This technique takes that a step further, allowing the character to infuse Pattern energy into the focus of the lens. Targets with Pattern Imprint will feel a brief surge of wellness, similar in effect to the Lifeforce power word. Targets of Shadow will briefly become Real, although this condition will not last for longer than a few hours. Shapeshifters will find their ability to shift hampered, as the Order imposed on them makes it difficult to change forms. Targets with Logrus imprint will find the experience highly uncomfortable, and targets actually using the Logrus will find themselves at the center of a nasty Pattern/Logrus shock. This shock will disrupt the lens, and the character using it will have a hard time calling the Pattern back to mind that day. This can be used to snuff the primal flames caused by primal weapons.
The amount of energy and degree of focus, and recovery time if
a shock occurs, is largely dependant on the Psyche of the user. Most useful
for things like providing a Shadow ally with protection prior to a throwdown,
or treating someone hit by Primal logrus wounds without burning your hands.
Blind the Pattern's Eye:
The Pattern Initiate now learns how to defend himself against the use of Pattern. Those of inferior Psyche can no longer locate him by trying to shadow walk to him or his location using the Pattern. He can confuse the Pattern Sight of those of lesser Psyche, making it show what he wants it to show. This enables him to mask his own Pattern Imprint if he so desires, or to pass as a Broken Pattern User, or even to make himself show up as having Logrus Imprint. He can hide magical energies from other people's Pattern Sight, and hide someone's Logrus Imprint or Blood of Chaos. He can feed false information to a Scrying Lens as well.
This power provides some limited defense against Logrus in similar fashion, however the Pattern Initiate needs a substantial Psyche advantage.
It can be combined with Mold World Laws to turn off Pattern in a shadow to anyone with less Psyche than the user.
This discipline allows the character to hide the distortions normally
caused by Pattern use. How successful they are largely depends on
their psyche, the psyche of the watcher, how slow and careful they are,
and the magnitude of the use. For example, slowly changing a dollar
bill to a fiver is nearly impossible to spot, but rapidly deciding that
electricity will cease to function across the Shadow is a pretty hard stunt
to pull without being noticed.
Once you have mastered the art of Pattern Sight, you can now amplify the power of your Pattern Lens to allow you to extend your vision across the shadow in which you dwell beyond your entire visual range. Close to Amber, this is slow because the entire shadow radiates huge amounts of Reality which prevents you using any of the several available short-cuts to speed up a search. Similar problems tend to hamper the use of the Lens in any sort of shadow which contains some amount of Primal Reality, forcing you to spend hours searching, although the Lens is still faster than searching the mundane way.
Out in Shadow, you can:
If one possesses shadow short cut, one can then hop across the shadow to the scried location in an instant.
The Pattern Lens cannot be extended across shadow boundaries; you can only scan a shadow you are in. The main exception is that it can also be used from 'one shadow over', in order to analyze a shadow which possesses some degree of defenses to entry, to determine what those defenses are.
The other exception to this is that the Pattern Lens can be extended through an active trump contact, using a location trump, or a person trump with the consent and cooperation of the person on the other end.
The Pattern Master can choose to extend his consciousness through a swathe of shadow whose size is dependent on his own Psyche. Within that swathe of shadow, he is aware of all manipulations of shadow which take place and of anything which stands out from the background of Shadow (Trump, Logrus, Pattern, etc). He can then apply this knowledge however he desires.
The Pattern Master is also aware of any use of Pattern which is directed at him (people seeking him in shadow, etc) anywhere in Shadow. If he possesses Blind the Pattern's Eye, he can choose either to allow it to work, to blind it using BTPE, or to try to redirect the use of Pattern to suit his own purposes.
This includes a 'Pattern Danger Sense' as well; any attempt to shut off Pattern or anything shadow walking to his current location will set off enough of a feeling of danger to even wake him from deep sleep.
Just as Amber is reflected in Shadow, so is the Pattern. These reflections become bent and twisted, deformed versions of the real thing, usually dwelling in the basement of some warped version of Castle Amber inhabited by warped versions of the Royal Family.
Members of this flawed family can and do walk their reflected Pattern, and gain power over Shadow similar to that of a true Amberite. However, it has important limitations. First of all, it cannot compete with the real Pattern in direct contest. Second of all, it only has a limited range; it cannot be used to travel to the Real Amber without the possession of a great deal of skill, and even the normal Shadows that can be traversed are limited. Finally, the Flawed Patterns often have invidivual quirks to them that vary from Pattern to Pattern, like reversing the gender of whoever walks them or inspiring a vast phobia of water.
Initiates of the real Pattern cannot ride to a Flawed Amber until they develop Advanced Shadow Travel; this is due to the unique difficulties involved in compensating for the distorting interplay between the Real and the Flawed.
Flawed Pattern can be used to do about anything real Pattern can, albeit in weaker form. It is somewhat cheaper. As it is basically NPC only, no tree is provided.
Just as Amber is reflected in Shadow, so is the Pattern. These reflections gradually become bent and twisted, and eventually, ones appear with holes in them, holes which allow someone crazy enough to walk through the hole, then move to the center between the lines. While this requires a strong will (Chaos or better Psyche), anyone can try to walk a Broken Pattern and gain power over Shadow. Most of those who try belong to various societies of sorcerors who pass on the knowledge and the opportunity of initiation to their disciples over the years.
There are, however, some problems with walking a Broken Pattern. For one thing, you end up with a defective power. That hole you walked through to get into it keeps cropping up in everything you do with it, introducing a flaw.
For example, if you try to walk through Shadow, you end up in all the least pleasant parts of the shadows you go through. Bandits frequently show up, broken glass litters the road, you frequently ride into war zones and nuclear test sites, it alternates between sandstorms, 120 degree heat, snow, hail, and torrential downpours.
This flaw shows up in some way in just about everything you do with the Pattern. Basically, you get fifteen points of Bad Stuff that only applies to using the Broken Pattern. This tends to make your experience using the power fairly lousy. It also takes about twice as much movement to perform any power that requires movement as the real Pattern does. (Thus, normal shadow travel is at half the speed)
Finally, while Broken Pattern is more powerful on the cosmic food chain than Magic, it is infinitely weaker than the real Primal Powers. Any initiate of the Pattern or Logrus will basically walk all over you if you try to pit your Broken Pattern against them, regardless of your Psychic Power or Finesse. Even Trump will tend to stomp on it, although the ways in which Trump can actually contest Broken Pattern are far more limited in scope.
Most of the powers of a Broken Pattern initiate are just like those of regular Pattern, except flawed. A few cases of either new or heavily affected powers are discussed below.
Broken Pattern adepts are able to utter a blood curse, just like those
with the blood of Amber. However, the Broken Pattern adepts curse
is more draining than that of an Amberite, costing the Broken Pattern adept
her life in all cases. However, this curse is weaker than that of
an Amberite, because no matter what the curse, the Break in the Pattern
manifests itself in the curse as well, providing some way for the target
of the curse to break the curse. There will always be some action
which the target of the curse can perform to break the curse. How the target
of the curse can find out what action is required is up to the GM, who
probably will have a pretty good idea for a quest before the curse is even
Hellriding and Shadows of Desire:
Broken Pattern initiates tend to hit the worst of Hellriding routes.
The Break in the Pattern also prevents initiates of the Broken Pattern
from ever being able to find the exact Shadow they want unless they have
been to the Shadow before, or they follow someone to the Shadow. They can
seek whatever Shadow they desire, but the Break will manifest itself as
an imperfection in the Shadow they finally arrive in, where the Shadow
does not live up to their desires in some way. All Hellriding to
intangibles are affected this way, so seeking someone in Shadow also doesn't
work, instead leading to some flawed shadow of the subject.
Broken Pattern Tendrils:
Non-physical tendrils may be manifested. though they cannot manipulate physical objects they may be used to direct magical effects, or a conduit for a psychic contact. With effort the tendrils can be used to reach into adjacent shadows.
The initiate can now extend a Broken Pattern Tendril through shadow to spy into other shadows. It's a slow and clumsy process, especially since you tend to end up passing it through the worst parts of Shadow. The further you extend the tendril, the greater the chance the Break manifests and snaps the tendril.
Broken Pattern Web:
One can now do either of two tricks (You need a LOT of psyche to do both at once). First, you can call up the sign of the Broken Pattern and infuse it into shadow around you. The shadow becomes somewhat resistant to molding via the Primal Powers and very resistant to things like Shadow-molding item properities (though as always, BP ultimately will get beaten down with Logrus and Pattern proper). This also grants you a high degree of awareness of what is going on in the area, as you remain linked into the 'web'. You can also choose to make the area either more or less amenable to sorcery.
Alternately, you can call up the Broken Pattern as a glowing shield
against Sorcery, Logrus Tendrils, etc. Unlike BP Defense, this will
shield everything you can fit behind it; the more Psyche you have, the
bigger it gets. Unfortunately, people may be able to exploit the
Broken Pattern Defense: This works much like Pattern Defense for someone with Pattern Imprint, except that the Pattern has a Break in it, making the initiate vulnerable to those who can sense the Break. Anyone who studies the initiate with Logrus Sight or Pattern Lens can see the Break, and attack through the Broken Pattern Defense with no resistance.
Broken Pattern Sight:
The Break in the Pattern manifests itself in a blind spot in the adepts
Sight. Certain things will simply not be visible to the Broken Pattern
adept through the Broken Pattern. There is usually no rhyme or reason
to what is left out, but the blind spot will sometimes manifest to miss
things which the adept subconsciously does not wish to see (such as things
which would be frightening or which would conflict with the adept's beliefs).
Even worse, Broken Pattern Sight will occasionally show things which are
not true, such as showing a card to be a Trump, when it is really just
a regular playing card. The Broken Pattern also usually takes longer
to employ than the true Pattern, as the adept has to look at things for
a few moments before the lens comes fully into focus.
Impose the Break:
Calling the Broken Pattern to mind, you force its image, complete with Breaks, into something of shadow, trying to use the Break to weaken or destroy the thing being imposed upon. The smaller, more fragile, or less real the thing, the more effective this is. Imposing the Break on the San Andreas Fault would cause a minor Earthquake. Imposing the Break on a toolshed would make it collapse at a touch. Imposing it on a weapon could well shatter it. Beings with Pattern or Logrus Defense will generally laugh this off if they call it up.
This can also be used more subtly, but less controllably to 'ruin' a region of a shadow, turning into the sort of hellhole that BP travel tends to land in. With enough Psyche, time, and a small enough shadow, you can trash the whole shadow that way.
Dodge the Break:
Through practice and familiarity with the Break in their Imprint, the adept has learned a bit about how and where it manifests. Shadow travel can now be done at near-normal speeds, and the danger of Hellrides is greatly reduced. The blurriness and inaccuracy of Sight and Scrying is mostly cleared up, though not entirely.
Mend the Break:
The adept has even more control over the Break, and is learning how
to compensate for it. The cost is  points for every point of Bad
Stuff manifested by the Break the adept is able to avoid. The Break
can never be completely avoided (minimum 1 Bad stuff).
An improved form of Impose the Break. With a little effort, the
break in your Broken Pattern can be used to smite your environment, which
tends to cause Earthquake like damage, as the ground cracks open, crucial
wall supports shatter or evaporate, and so on. Even solid, strong
things will come apart. Be careful in its use, though, or you may
well fall into your own chasm or have your head smashed by collapsing ceilings.
This power can be used fairly quickly; not before a sword hits you, but
if you have a few seconds, that's enough.
Broken Pattern Highway:
You can move through shadow, breaking holes as you go, so as to create
a pathway anyone can follow, like Shadow Highway for Pattern. However,
this tends to create a rather wretched travel route unless you have learned
a lot of Mending the Break...
POWER [stat requirements]
* Prerequisites for this power [cost, Total cost if an advanced power]
[cost] Subsequently available skills.
Basic Pattern: 20
Pattern Imprint: 50
Advanced Pattern: 80
Pattern Master: 125 (Not available during character generation, but can be picked up during play)
Exalted Pattern: 125+ (NPC only, and you don't need to know about them.)
PATTERN IMPRINT [Amber Psyche,
* Blood of Amber (5/Free at Character Creation)
[5+] Double normal speed Shadow Manipulation, Mindwalking, etc. Can be bought more than once to increase speed; each purchase increases speed by one interation (5 points is double, 10 is triple, 15 is quadruple, etc). You must have bought all of the Advanced Powers before you buy this.
BROKEN PATTERN IMPRINT [Chaos Psyche]
Basic Broken Pattern: 4
Broken Pattern Imprint: 10
Broken Pattern Adept: 25
Broken Pattern Master: 50+ (Not available during character generation, but can be picked up during play)
Last Update April 11th, 2006