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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Schism - questions & answers  (Read 2452 times)
Jared A. Sorensen
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« on: May 19, 2001, 08:27:00 AM »

On my email list, one poster had some questions about Schism.  I figure it would be good to answer them here as well!

How about giving us a quick overview of the game?  What's the setting? What are the characters?  What do they do?  System-wise, what is the game's interpretation of Humanity and demons from the Sorcerer rules set?

The setting is "an unnamed North American city."  It could be New York, San Francisco, Toronto...doesn't really matter.  In fact, I specifically ask that the city *not* be revealed to the players.  It's just The City.  I want to avoid giving the location a personality (like SF or New York, each having specific "feels" about them) -- kind of an homage to Cronenberg's films (which for the most part -- M Butterfly being the sole exception) had settings with no real identity of their own.  There is a pervasive atmosphere to the setting though -- the city is anonymous, empty, ambivalent.  Underpopulated rather than overpopulated, boring and withdrawn rather than bursting with energy -- as if the city-machine was simply grinding on, oblivious.  Despite being science-fiction (I guess), this is not a futuristic city, ala Blade Runner's LA or Akira's Neo-Tokyo.
 
The characters are "Psychogens," people who have been afflicted with a parasitic organ/energy called "Psychogenesis."  This thing inside them allows them to perform Telepathic, Psychokinetic or Clairvoyant disciplines (depending on the "type" of Psychogenesis that affects them).  Because of their freak nature, they are kept (or stay) on the fringes of society.  Most are being used in some way by a stronger force (people called Controllers).  There are sample characters (Psychogens and Controllers) listed in the book, as well as groups they belong to (Cabals).  Cabals are defined by their goal (an Agenda).
 
The game is about the characters Initiation into the Cabal and the circumstances that lead to their death (which is pre-defined during character creation -- I'm guessing I'll catch some heat for that one!).  Psychogens are the human equivalent of guns -- they are considered tools to be used.  But what happens when a gun turns on its user?  This question, and the events between Initiation and Death are at the heart of the game.
 
Interpretation of the rules in Sorcerer (and to a lesser extent, Sorcerer's Soul) is key.  Humanity decreases as the power of Psychogenesis increases -- at 0, the power is all-consuming and the character will die (though not necessarily from the stress of containing their power).  Demons are (naturally), the character's Psychogenic disciplines.  Your attributes are Stamina, Will and Origin (how you acquired Psychogenesis).  The mechanics are simple: roll your Power (something that aids your abilities).  If any successes are scored, your Control is rolled against those successes, failure leading to loss of Humanity and loss of control (each type of Psychogen uses a different Control score -- Will, Stamina or Humanity).  The greater your power, the greater your chances of losing control.  There are numerous permutations as well -- Spontaneous Manifestation, Transcendence, Foci, Telltales and Psiblindness.

- J
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
james_west
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« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2001, 08:32:00 AM »

Nicely perverse. People complain about -my- dark urban dystopia's but they've got nothin' on -yours-.
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hardcoremoose
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2001, 10:24:00 AM »

Only the City setting is an homage to Cronenberg?  Your whole damn game is a nod to the body-on-revolt themes apparent in nearly all of his films (it's particularly reminescent of Scanners, Shivers, Existenz, and even Rabid).  Beautiful...absolutely beautiful.

I love Dave's flicks, and have been personally trying to find a way to interpret Videodrome (my favorite)into an rpg setting.

Long live the new flesh!

Moose

P.S.  ward 13 looks awesome!

[ This Message was edited by: hardcoremoose on 2001-05-19 14:48 ]
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2001, 02:08:00 PM »

Well, yes...the entire game is a big old wet kiss for DC and his amazing films. :smile:  But one thing I specifically tried to grab from his films is the sense that his characters are the only creatures within their setting (ala a terrarium or aquarium) -- like in The Fly (which could almost be a stage play ) -- or the Skyliner Towers in Shivers.

Hopefully, people are intrigued, disturbed and discomforted. :smile:
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Jared A. Sorensen
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Posts: 1463

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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2001, 02:18:00 PM »

To those people interested in Schism (due out in less than a week!)...

What would you like to see as far as website support?

More Cabals, Psychogens and Controllers (and the opportunity to submit your own)?
Fiction?

Of course, this hinges on anyone caring :wink: but the more I know, the more I can do to facilitate a "Schism" community (scary, I know).

Long live the...aw, you know.

- J
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2001, 11:59:00 AM »

Jared--

Rules question for ya:

When creating a character's psychogenic disciplines, you say: "Characters receive a Power score in one discipline equal to their Origin score. During character creation, additional disciplines may be chosen at a cost of one Humanity point per discipline but no character may have more disciplines than his or her Origin score."

As this reads, each discipline is set at your Origin score. For example, I'm playing a psyker with an Origin of 4 and the Discipline Morph (at 4). If I spend two Humanity to get Slam and Burn, is their score equal to my Origin of 4 as well, or are they equal to something else? (Your examples in the game seem to have it based on something else.)
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Clinton R. Nixon
CRN Games
Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2001, 01:11:00 PM »

Quote
As this reads, each discipline is set at your Origin score. For example, I'm playing a psyker with an Origin of 4 and the Discipline Morph (at 4). If I spend two Humanity to get Slam and Burn, is their score equal to my Origin of 4 as well, or are they equal to something else? (Your examples in the game seem to have it based on something else.)


Origin of 4 means you have four empty "slots" -- you get one discipline for free as a starting character and you choose Morph.  Every discipline you add starts at your Origin level.

Then you spend 2 Humanity to gain Slam and Burn. These would both be Power 4 (your Origin score) and you'd still have one free slot.  

Remember that as long as you have a free slot, you can access any discipline within your Type, albeit at Power 1 (and using that vestigal discipline might add it to your array of disciplines).  

Disciplines will increase in Power through use of a Power Focus (temporary +1 bonus) or after Transcending (+1 Power PERMANENTLY to that discipline).


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jared a. sorensen / http://www.memento-mori.com
indie game design from beyond the grave

[ This Message was edited by: Jared A. Sorensen on 2001-06-12 17:12 ]
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2001, 11:26:00 PM »

Schism site is waaaay updated (and much prettier!).  Special thanks to Clinton for sending me a scary, scary Psychogen character and his Cabal.  Brrr.

http://www.memento-mori.com/schism
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
gizem
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« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2001, 08:09:00 AM »

Hi Jared,

Let's think for a moment that I wish to buy Schism. Do I pay with my credit card? Is there any other way? (I live in Germany) And how big is the .pdf file? I am experiencing e-mail problems nowadays, so what happens if something goes wrong?

Thank you,

Gizem Forta
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Jared A. Sorensen
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« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2001, 10:00:00 AM »

I take credit cards through PayPal or money orders through the post.

The PDF is approximately 1.4 MB.  I can burn it onto a CD-ROM for you or print it out down at the local copy place (printing is like, a buck extra).
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jared a. sorensen / www.memento-mori.com
gizem
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« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2001, 08:55:00 AM »

After trying to buy S c h i s m from Pay Pal, I discovered that it is not so easy to use when one lives in Germany, and impossible if one is in Turkey.

As to mail orders I do not have 6 dollars, only German Marks. It is not easy to get small change. And I have occasional e-mail and credit card problems, so I do not trust them too much either. Tough luck.

But I want the game desperately... :smile:

Then I thought of this close friend of mine, who is Turkish, but studies in Texas. He is a non-gamer. (Once he asked me 'hey, these RPG's you are talking about, are they Russian-made Rocket Powered Grenades?' He was joking of course but you get the point.)  

If you agree with the procedure he can buy it from Pay Pal and pass it to me, acting as a fence.

Otherwise, in case you accept German Marks please write me an address that I can snail mail them to.

Down with capitalism! Help the third world please!

Thanks in advance,

Gizem Forta

PS: And I don't know how I can buy Sorcerer either.
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