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General Forge Forums => Actual Play => Topic started by: Dav on April 05, 2004, 11:30:23 PM

Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: Dav on April 05, 2004, 11:30:23 PM
So... I ran a game of Sorcerer last night.  I had a group, willing and able, all experienced, and all ready to try something different.  Now, those who have played in my games, or those who have read other posts in which I run a game, understand taht my GMing involves a lot of me flying off the cuff.  In fact, aside from general concepts, that's all I do.  If I may say so, I do it well.

I wanted to try to push Sorcerer, as a premise and associated mechanic, until it snapped in half and broke into little pieces... then, for lack of feeling like creating a better analogy, I wanted to sift through the pieces and see what I had.

Thus, my new campaign: Annoint the Wicked.

The idea is this: all of the characters (there are three, by the way), have been running one of those Evil (note: captial "E"), twisted, and utterly powerful secret cabals in which they summon demons to do their bidding.  They have been placing these demons into the bodies of sacrifices that have been brought to them by their faithful worshippers.  Eventually, they controlled a small town.  They were known as the Great Trinity, and they each had two primary demons that  served them, and a host of demonlings (for lack of better term... I used the Hellbound principle of Humanity vs. Power to make near-humans).  The characters had a Cover of "Hellish Master", in addition to a secondary cover of whatever they did previous to becoming evil incarnate.  They also had Lore of lots.

Their bindings were in their favor by a wide margin, and everything was just peachy.  Oh, and lest we forget, the characters live in jerkwater Louisiana, nowheresville.  Population of their thorp: 44.  Population of the county: 762 (estimated).  Population dropped in the late 60's when the levies crumbled and most of the land was swamped on a permanent basis.

The first game was a three day preparation for the annual convocation of the cult.  Everyone (yeah, all county) would gather and do this odd Contact ritual where 66 people would play host to an entity from beyond.  (the 66 form the boundaries of a Contain). One of the three holds the entity in a wave state, somewhere between Contacted and Summoned, and relies on the minds of the 66 to keep it in this state.  Another of the three masters impresses his will on the entity, keeping that Punish handy.  The last does a Pacting to gain access to the entity's awesome powers of foresight.  The whole thing lasts one night.

We ended just as the convocation began.

At the start of next game, the characters find that they are now in a Binding where everything is in the demon's favor... big time... to the point that the demon slowly saps their will, humanity, and flesh.  And, in Hellbound style, there is the contract, sitting next to them, their signatures clear as day.  The sorcerers have lost all bindings of previous demons, and may only attempt, with great peril, to draw on the powers of this new binding.  Worst of all, this demon will destroy them through the link of the binding unless they somehow banish it, or at least dissolve the binding, before the next full moon.  The problem arises in the fact that they no longer know where the demon is, and the whole county seems to be deserted.  Nobody's still around.

And there begins the game.

I wanted to give the binding process a bit more give'n'take between the binder and bound this time around.  The entity will attempt to warp all sorcerous actions of the group, sometimes in unexpected ways.  I plan to make this one of those "no one gets out unscathed" games.


Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: Mike Holmes on April 08, 2004, 11:26:48 AM
Do you have kickers? Is the play set up the result of them?


Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: Dav on April 08, 2004, 02:23:41 PM
The first Kicker for all the players has been developed by the first session of play.  At the start of the second session, I ask for Kickers.  This is one of the first times I ever ran a game without completely and mercilessly using the player developments of their characters as the basis for play.  I figured I do that all the time... so fuck 'em.  This time, I wanted to run a "prelude" game, and have that be the background for the players developing their mostly-formed characters and Kickers.

I anticipate most Kickers being along the lines of "oh shit, stop the bad thing".


Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: Mike Holmes on April 08, 2004, 02:45:44 PM
Ah, cool, I get it.

Playing soon?


Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: ethan_greer on April 09, 2004, 04:57:24 AM
If I'm reading this right, it looks like a GM-created kicker that applies to all characters, followed by standard Sorcerer-style player authorship. In other words, sort of a mix between old-school illusionism for the setup and then standard Sorcerer. Assuming the players are all on board with the setup, I could see this approach being a fantastic way for a GM to introduce old-school Sim/Gam players to Nar play.

Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: Dav on April 09, 2004, 03:39:02 PM
I suppose you could look at it that way.  However, after playing session #1, here are the Kickers I am staring at:

1: "The conclusion of the convocation left me pregnant.  I will find the responsible party and demand they share the expense, pain, and hardship of child-rearing."

2: "I awoke to find that my skin had been flayed from my body!  I am, to my own dismay, still alive.  Something stole my skin!"

3: "My brother has been arrested on suspicion of being a major drug trafficker.  News of this reached me just today as I awoke."

Yeah... I teach my groups well.


Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: ethan_greer on April 09, 2004, 06:18:47 PM
But...But...What about the super-nasty demon binding thing?

Although that missing skin thing is just cool as hell.

Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: Mike Holmes on April 10, 2004, 02:14:17 PM
Oh, I'm betting that Dav is still driving the big nasty demon thing, meaning that everyone's kickers are just that much more complicated by it. Do I have that right, Dav? I've often considered for advanced players the idea of introducing completely unrelated (or nearly so) kickers mid game such that the two directing forces can combine ane permutate in the production of the resulting plot. Should be interesting to see the result.

Anyhow, I hate waking up without my skin. What kind of penalty is that? Talk about your costs...


Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: Bob McNamee on April 10, 2004, 03:49:45 PM
Hmmm..time to summon a demon to replace my skin...

Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: Dav on April 10, 2004, 03:54:48 PM
You could summon a demon to replace the skin... in fact, I hope that does happen.

Ethan:  All of my games work as such: you tell me what you want your characters to do in an overarching sense (meaning, my character lives this type of life and here's how it fucks up (aka: kicker)).  I throw a big mcNasty your way to toss it to a curve ball, and manage to tie everything together in this serendipitous menagerie of creative wit (or so I tell myself).  It will all come together.  

Of course something stole Arcole's skin... it needed to, because when it was summoned, it completely warped the minds of those it used as a focus for the contain, but was left without form.  

And, as any good biologist will tell you, reproduction figures high on the motives list for most species... therefore: of course someone woke up pregnant.  

Granted, these are the most obvious answers, so they may or may not end up happening (I'll figure it out when I get there).

But that is what a kicker SHOULD do.  It shouldn't be something that restates the plotline I've established, it should augment the facts as they already stand.


Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: ethan_greer on April 11, 2004, 07:41:05 AM
Hella cool.

Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: J B Bell on April 11, 2004, 05:26:55 PM
A bag of skin inflated by pure demonic demony demonness, literally hollow eyes . . .

Creepiest. Passer demon. EVER.


Title: Sorcerer... ish
Post by: Ron Edwards on April 11, 2004, 05:37:13 PM
Hi Dav,

Here's what I want to know ....

What relationships with normal humans or institutions are precious to the three player-characters?

That's key. Remember how important his daughter was to your character Arturo?