I read both the core book for Lords of Gossamer and Shadow and +Rob Donoghue
's quite wonderful Lucian's Guide to the Stair yesterday.
My general feelings:
- Rob's book is essential reading because it brings expository text where the main book lacks. Even at 26 pages, it does a great job of explaining what the Great Stair is and why we care.
- I instantly wanted to convert the game to FATE.
- The setting is missing a little of the core gravity that makes Amber work. Without the family dynamics of Amber the diceless piece is missing its main motivator. Version 1.0 has infinite Shadow without the engine of the core competitiveness that makes the auction and ladder go- - Version 2.0 needs an upgrade to the setting which gives the players better reason to hang together other than "we're hangin' out on the Stairs opening Doors like you do woot."
There were things that I very much liked about the Stair mechanic that was an improvement over the regular Amber Shadow mechanic -- the shortcut to different parts of the Stair and that all worlds are Real were both nice -- but when thinking about it, without some sort of center to draw people to and force them together, Infinite Stair means that theoretically there can be a million Wardens and they never meet
. There is a Big Bad and giant battles on the Stair are hinted at but it's still infinite space. There's a big glaring hole where Amber City used to be.
I liked the game enough that I want to fix it. Another setting book? A center where all Doors eventually meet? I don't know. I was sad because I suspect the setting is broken and lacks an easy to explain motivation for adventurers.
(ie, we're on the Enterprise together! we're looting dungeons together and we need all these classes to succeed! we're sad Vampires in New Orleans and the Prince hates us and we are being oppressed by Hunters. Etc.)