Forge discussion on Narrative play in Amber. Ron Edwards (of Sorcerer fame) has a lengthy comment in the thread that’s pretty useful.
As a grizzled Amber veteran, I suggest that your group can make the existing rules work well for their purposes (as you’ve described them), by “kicking the tires” a little. By that I mean ramping up your attention to certain rules, interpreting others a bit differently from their text, and ignoring or diminishing yet others – in other words, Drift. You’re probably doing it already anyway. Here are some notions about one way to Drift that particular rules-set.
Also, an excellent comment on the difference between fanboy-Amber and Zelazny-Amber:
Interpret the Shadow rules in terms of impact on Story Now, rather than in terms of simulating some sort of metaphysics. Instead of being a Zelazny fanboy who wants to know “what if Shadow did this,” be a Zelazny-esque author and recognize how he used Shadow-based explanations to set up conflicts and constraints. That “constraint” is especially important; throughout the stories, Shadow’s malleability was far outweighed by the limitations it laid on Corwin rather than on his opportunities. Think of how difficult it was to get the Amber-ready gunpowder, how easy it was for the True Amber to stay hidden, how much fuckin’ running around he had to do after the jewel based on time-flow differences, and how Brand stayed one step ahead of so many other characters for so long.
That really rang true for me, in that I’ve commented on a number of occasions that the reason that things like mental-contact and “locate in Shadow” get abused is because players have their character act in ways that characters in a novel are too… “polite” for.
Anyway. The sort of thing I’m linking to mainly so that other folks might see it and find it useful (y’know… those that run Amber).