The Scions of Amber
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Trump. The power of poets, artists, musicians, those who can uplift the soul and inspire the mind. Unlike some powers, it does not have a brutal initiation or central power source. The power of Trump springs from within. There is some debate on who is capable of making a Trump. Some say it can only be done by those who are of Substance, and not shadow. Some say it can only be done by those who are initiated into the Pattern or Logrus, making Trump a ‘lesser’ or derivative power.
Little experimentation has been done on these matters, as Trump can be a dangerous power in the hands of the unwise or the unwary, and most Trump artists are loath to teach this ability to someone they don’t trust. Thus Trump is the purview of a small and exclusive club of Amberites and Chaosites.
Trump has many abilities, the most famous and basic is the ability to make Trump Cards, to create a conduit to another person’s mind and bind it into a small bit of paper. At its base, it is a power of communication, symbolism, and interconnections.
Basic Trump – 30 points
When someone first learns Trump, the following abilities are gained. It is this basic set that encompasses what a character learns while awakening to Trump power. From there, the possibilities for exploration into new abilities or creative twists on old ones are quite vast.
Create Trump: This power allows the user to create a Trump, that is, an item, usually a playing card, that connects to the mind of another. It is a torturous and laborious process to make a Trump, as it’s not merely the physical art that must be mastered, but each stroke of the brush or pen must be imbued with the essence of the person to be contacted by the Trump. Nothing less than perfection is demanded when creating a Trump, or it will lose its power over time.
Creating a true Trump takes hours, perhaps 3-5 hours for an inexperienced user or a difficult subject, a strong, experienced mind might cut that time down to 2-3 hours. The subject must be present the entire time the Trump is being created, for constant reference is needed to get every detail and nuance exactly right.
Trumps may be of persons, or places, but not abstract concepts or magical constructs. A trump card is more durable than a regular playing card, but not by much. It can be burned, punctured, or torn, though it is not easy to tear unless one has the strength of a Lord of Amber.
Create Lesser Trump: Sometimes one doesn’t have the time to make every single aspect of a Trump perfect, and it’s not imperative that the Trump last a thousand years. Lesser Trumps are quick, sketched trumps that will lose their power over time, but still hold enough of the essence of a real Trump to do their work for a while. The process is the same as for a true Trump, the subject must be present, but the work takes only twenty minutes to an hour at most. More time can be spent to make the Lesser Trump more robust, though of course if too much time is spent the artist might as well just make a true Trump.
Lesser Trumps lose their power quickly, by Amber standards, which is to say not within minutes. They last between a week and a few months depending on the skill of the artist and the power of his mind. Lesser Trumps have no resistance to damage at all, they are as fragile as whatever medium they were painted on.
Trump Identity: Trump artists can sometimes know who is attempting to reach them without needing to actually open up the contact. This power only functions if the Trump Artist has drawn a true Trump of the person making the contact, and even then it is not foolproof or always exact. Especially crafty minds may be able to conceal their identity, and extremely similar minds may be mistaken for one another. The Trump Artist relies on her skill with Trump, her Cunning, and her Psyche to interpret the caller’s identity successfully.
Sense Trump: This ability is barely there without further development. At the most basic level, it can simply confirm that a mental contact is being initiated via Trump, or that an item being closely examined bears the power of Trump.
With practice, and advancement into Trump Sensitivity, the artist can utilize this power in a much more robust way.
Boost Trump: As a person capable of forging Trumps, the artist knows how best to improve their performance. There are many things that can stand in the way of a Trump, as it depends on aligning the minds on either end. Madness, amnesia, unconsciousness, great difference in location in shadow or time-scale, all of these things can dampen or completely block Trump power. There are even some powers that interfere with Trump, but they are rare, and usually confined to a single Shadow.
A Trump artist gains more leeway when attempting to use a Trump that is not in optimal conditions. His attributes are considered higher, for the purposes of determining how clear the connection is only. Trump artists, at least at the basic level, gain no special advantage in psychic combat over a Trump, except that they might be warned that an enemy is trumping them instead of a friend, if they were able to use their Trump Identity power.
Artisty: As the artist gains in skill, everything becomes easier, until the creation of Trumps may not be effortless, but it seems so to observers. Practice, as they say, makes perfect, and practicing the actual act of creating Trumps results in superior items.
- Cost: 10 points for the first Specialty, 5 points per additional improvement.
- Greater Trump Creation, More durable, more potent Trumps.
- Trumps of Memory, Trumps made without the subject always in sight.
- Trump expertise, trumps made faster, without sacrificing quality.
- Trump Cyphers, trumps that connect to something besides the most obvious subject in the picture.
Sensitivity: An ability of tuning the mind to the slightest strands of Trump energy, and the ability to identify those whisps of power in a useful way. It is said that the truest mark of a great artist is not their ability to craft details but to know what is important and will resonate with others.
- Cost: 10 points for the first specialty, 5 points per additional improvement.
- Advanced Trump Sense, the ability to sense Trump energy or artifacts nearby.
- Trump diagnosis, better ability to determine who is contacting the artist.
- Trump subtlety, the ability to speak only mentally when Trumping.
- Trump observation, tricks and tweaks that allow one to observe trumps in progress without announcing one’s presence.
Connection: The connections between things are of paramount importance when making Trumps, and a true artist learns a great deal about such sympathetic connections. The basic level of Trump is only the beginning of the ways that things might be joined by this power.
- Cost: 10 points for this specialty and the same for further improvements.
- Trump footholds, more robust connections between Trumps, allowing better and faster movement.
- Trump augury, using the connective power of Trump to reveal secrets, and perhaps even the future.
- Trump reliability, less interferance in Trump contacts.
- Trump conduits, using Trump as a medium to pass other types of energies or powers.
Infusion: While it is a less dramatic power than Pattern, Trump still has a particular type or flavor of energy associated with it. Manipulating that energy is an advanced use of Trump but has some interesting applications.
- Cost: 5 points for this specialty and the same for further improvements.
- Trump Artifacts, items that bear the power of Trump but do not function exactly like a standard Trump.
- Trump sigils, runes and signs of power.
- Trump armory, gain some advantage, however slight, in mental battles across Trump.