All Roads Lead to Amber
Located in the family estate, hidden deep in the depths of the castle and locked safely away, is the grand Pattern of Amber. There are two other true reflections of the Pattern, one in the undersea realm of Rebma and the other in the ghostly moonlight city of Tir-na Nog’th. Walking the Pattern is the greatest trial of your life, and also your greatest triumph. Only those of the Blood of Amber can walk it and survive, and even they are changed forever by its power.
Of all the Powers in the game, Pattern is by far the most useful and powerful. It marks you as a true descendant of Oberon. With it, one has all the power of Shadow at their disposal, if they merely take the time to master it. A true master of Pattern shifts Shadow as subtly as an engineer might adjust the degrees of heating metal to get precisely the result they wish. However, Pattern is not without its drawbacks. For one, it is hardly quick, requiring time and movement to be able to make even the slightest of changes. For another, it is as draining as it is powerful, and even the greatest of wills can be taxed beyond measure by it.
In order to get even the first tier of this power, one must either have Amber Psyche and Endurance, or have outside assistance from an elder Amberite. Walking the Pattern unassisted requires Amber Psyche and Endurance, and if done while exhausted or not at an optimal state, it can and will be fatal.
- Tier 1: Pattern Imprint
At this level of proficiency, you have walked the Pattern itself and have been changed by it. Your blood has been awakened to its Amber ancestry, and with concentration, you are capable of shifting shadow. As such, you can walk from shadow to shadow, editing details as you see fit. However, movement towards a particular shadow can be difficult, as you must remember the details of that shadow precisely, and adjust things accordingly, one by one. You are also capable of following a more experienced shadowwalker as they move without slowing them down, however you must maintain visual contact with them. Finally, your awakened blood allows you to use the most feared power of all, the Blood Curse of Amber. Once, and only once, you may utter your curse. This immediately subtracts at least 10 points of Stuff from your character, and subtracts the same amount of Stuff from the target.
- Tier 2: Pattern Initiate
You have explored the use of Pattern for the more practical and obvious uses. A reasonably experienced shadowwalker, you have begun to learn many mental tricks to allow for greater use of Pattern. You have learned how to travel towards known destinations at a reasonable pace, changing as little as needed to get you to your destination. Known as the Royal Way, you can often pick and choose your method of transportation, maintaining a particular form of transit across several shadows. You have also learned the art of Hell-riding, rapidly shifting Shadow towards a destination. Hell-riding is, however, rather strenuous on the Psyche, as well as any passengers. It also leaves a fairly distinctive wake in Shadow. It makes up for these downsides, however, with the sheer speed at which it allows one to travel across Shadow. Finally, you have learned the trick of affecting probability of Shadow, as well as how to subtly change the details of one’s own apparel and the like. In the infinity of Shadow, nearly anything can be possible. Once it is possible, it can be made probable. And once it is probable, it is just one step from being definite.
- Tier 3: Pattern Adept
You have experimented with the extents of the power of Pattern in Shadow, and have begun to show a greater reflection of that Pattern in yourself. By focusing on a desired place or object, you may seek it within Shadow itself. By this method, shadows and items of Power can be found, as can Shadows where time flows significantly different to the time of Amber, either slower or faster. At this point, there is nearly nothing in Shadow you cannot find, if merely given enough time and effort. Additionally, you have learned how to summon the Sign of the Pattern within your own mind by calling forth the memory of its shape within you. Doing this can have a variety of effects, from giving one a slight boost against the things of Shadow and Chaos, to dispelling weak sorcerous effects upon you.
- Tier 4: Greater Pattern Adept
You have begun to realize the true secret of Pattern, that its mark upon you is a source of power greater than anything else in all of Shadow and beyond. The mark of Pattern itself is immutable, and you can draw upon its strength even when your own proves not to be sufficient. By summoning the Sign of Pattern, and internalizing it within your own Psyche, you can make yourself impervious to any form of mental or magical intrusion. By internalizing it in your body, you can place yourself into a state of near stasis, impervious to outside harm and influence. Doing either, however, requires your utmost attention. Even a slight distraction, if surrendered to, can disrupt this power. Additionally, you can alter even the very destiny of a Shadow, ensuring its place in the path of others or to keep it secret and hidden from the greater world.
- Tier 5: Pattern Mastery
The Pattern and Shadow itself holds little mystery to you. Your knowledge and experience with the Pattern, requiring years of intense research and experimentation has led you to this level of proficiency, unrivaled save for those truly of great power in your elder generation. Further, you have witnessed even deeper mysteries than those with lesser proficiency with Pattern have ever thought of. By summoning the Sign of the Pattern, you can project it forth from you as an invisible lens of Psyche. With this lens, you can scry throughout Shadow, though the speed at which this lens moves relies both upon the power of your Psyche, and the composition of that which it is studying. The greater the Substance, the slower it moves. Additionally, it requires the utmost of attention and focus to maintain a Pattern lens, and your awareness of your immediate surroundings are not as obvious as those seen through the lens. You can mentally sift quickly through Shadow, as all that is not of Substance slips past your mind’s eye like so much smoke. You can easily examine the entirety of a Shadow in a matter of minutes, though Primal Shadows and Shadows of Amber can take more time. Scrying in Amber saves no time, but it can be done remotely. While scrying, all things of Pattern and Chaos are instantly recognizable. Finally, once you have located a place in Shadow, it is merely a matter of forcing one’s being through the lens to reach the location. The character must send their Psyche into their own Sign of the Pattern, walking as they would the Pattern of Amber. When they reach the end, they are teleported directly to the Shadow they are viewing. While this is not as draining as walking the actual Pattern, it is still not recommended unless one is in peak condition. Doing it weaken could fracture the Psyche, or even kill the Amberite.