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Author Topic: How did I miss this?  (Read 5294 times)
Zaidaco
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Posts: 21


« on: September 25, 2004, 07:55:53 PM »

I've only just recently started playing Sorcerer again. Time and other concerns made any role-playing prohibitive. But that's besides the point.

I was under the assumption that when the ability Armor is used, it would protect the user against a single attack. But after reading through the forum a but now I read that Armor, as well as abilities like Cloak, and Protection, last throught the entire scene.

I thought to myself, that this couldn't be right. You can only "use" Armor to defend against a single attack! So I read the book again, and again, and again... what the hell am I missing here?

So, tell me if I've got this right, Abilities such as; Armor, Big, Cloak, Cover, Perception, and Protection only need to be activated once, at the begining of the combat/scene, and will last throughout?

If this is true, I've got an entirely new perspective of ability combinations to think about when it's time to summon a new demon!
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-Merrick
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2004, 07:00:35 AM »

Hello,

Yup! You have it correct now.

Best,
Ron
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Zaidaco
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Posts: 21


« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2004, 06:34:13 AM »

Okay, question #2: Special Damage

For example, Special Damage Fire. Is the Special Damage activated at the start of the conflict with each successful attack doing fire damage, or does each attack count as a seperate "use" of the Special Damage ability?
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-Merrick
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2004, 06:51:15 AM »

Hello,

I count each "zap" as a use of Special Damage. Pretty tiring stuff.

If you think in terms of Elric and Stormbringer, and consider that its Need is for Love, then when Elric uses its Special Damage a ton of times, it works best when the fight excludes relationships with other people, or even better, damages those relationships. Open assassination of a friend or lover is clearly the best possible, so a fight which looks like it might get there is worth Stormbringer's time. So is a fight which isolates Elric from any sort of community.

But if it's a plain old fight, then the sword gets fractious - sometimes it just stops working ("I'm full!") and sometimes worse. And if Elric is prioritizing another person over it, then boy, look out - it has all sorts of things to do then.

Whoops, got sidetracked - the point is that if you want a demon to provide a ton of Special Damage in your favor, throughout a fight, then I sure hope you can keep beefing its Need throughout the fight itself, to keep its Fatigue from overwhelming it.

Best,
Ron
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Alan
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« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2004, 07:11:18 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
- the point is that if you want a demon to provide a ton of Special Damage in your favor, throughout a fight, then I sure hope you can keep beefing its Need throughout the fight itself, to keep its Fatigue from overwhelming it.


What relationship does filling Need have to Fatigue?  Nothing's mentioned in the rule text.
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- Alan

A Writer's Blog: http://www.alanbarclay.com
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2004, 07:39:09 AM »

Really?

Fulfilling Need cures Fatigue. This may be a sorcery/demon customizing thing.

Best,
Ron
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greyorm
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« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2004, 08:56:29 AM »

I think what Ron may mean by "Really?" is that a demon isn't "your big, hungry friend." In fact, it's not your friend, it isn't doing stuff for you because it likes you...it's doing stuff for you because you give it what it wants. It's more like a hostile employee: you give it money, it works.

You overwork it and it doesn't get "enough" money (from its own perspective) for the job, and it will either stop working, work half-assed (probably to your detriment), or screw-you-over-big-time to get you back for abusing it, you underpaying bastard (definitely to your detriment). For example, if your demon worked for you in a bar, it would masturbate in the drinks, and piss on the glasses. If it knew the health inspector was coming, it would make sure to let a rat loose and offer him a drink with a cockroach in it.

That's the contract with a demon, and that's what you avoid by fulfilling Need. The demon is the worst hostile employee you can think of, and you have to keep giving it more money because you hired it for your own reasons, motherfucker. And you think it is worth it.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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Zaidaco
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Posts: 21


« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2004, 09:21:53 AM »

Okay, that clears up almost every question I had.

So, last question:This one concerns Armor and or Protection vs. Special Damage.

Armor is effective against any sort of Special Damage that involves physical attacks.
Example: Special Damage: Claws/Fangs, Needles, Quills, Spikes, Flay, etc…

Protection is effective against any sort of Special Damage that involves non-physical attacks
Example: Special Damage: Fire, Electricity, Poison, Rot, Convulsion, etc…

Am I right about this? Or is Protection the ONLY defense against ALL forms of  Special Damage?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2004, 10:17:41 AM »

Hello,

Good question - my reasoning at the time was that Armor protects against all impact, clawing, kinetic attacks; and that Protection protects against all fire, chemical, radiation, and pyschic attacks. Any other attack concept should be farmed into one of these categories, or perhaps a category that both abilities will protect against. I didn't want to have any conceivable attack that was not protected against by at least one of these abilities.

Any Champions veteran will see the influence there, although Protection combines Ego Defense with Energy Defense.

Today, I wonder whether I should have just had the one ability "Protection" and then permitted customization. Although it seems to me that that construction would have led to far more reader-confusion than the current one does.

Best,
Ron
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Zaidaco
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Posts: 21


« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2004, 11:37:38 AM »

Hey Ron, thanks a lot. I think that answers all of my questions. Although I may think of some new ones in the future.

I like that Armor and Protection are seperate abilities and are exactly what the system requires. A steel breastplate (Armor) may provide defense against a knife or bullet, but it won't do much good against a flame-thrower. Just as an asbestos suit will protect you against fire, but a bullet or knife will cut right through it.
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-Merrick
Zaidaco
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Posts: 21


« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2004, 06:42:00 AM »

Okay, after talking over all of the recent revelations concerning timing and duration of abilities with my GM, we realized that there is one more thing to clear up. It concerns the ability Travel.

Now the question is about one form of travel in particular, namely teleportation, but it can apply to many different forms.

If the demon has the ability Travel (Teleport) and has Power 6, that means the maximum distance the demon could travel is six times normal human movement for up to six hours. Say humans have an average speed of four miles per hour, then the demon could teleport a maximum of 144 miles, and it takes six hours to accomplish. But say the demon doesn’t want to go that far. Say instead that the demon wants to teleport to a spot just behind goon number one, where it can proceed to …what ever. Goon number one doesn’t last long, and the demon sees it’s next victim across the room. Here’s the dilemma, if the demon were just flying it could have flown over to goon one and had it’s way with him then flown over to goon two and done the same, for up to six hours, or until running out of goons. But if the demon teleports to the next goon, is it considered another “use” of the power, or can the demon make many short jaunts for the duration of the Travel limit of six hours or 144 miles?
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-Merrick
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2004, 07:34:11 AM »

Oh Christ.

You guys have to do one thing for me before I answer this question. It is: forget all concerns about energy, distance, and effects.

The demon-ability rules in Sorcerer are completely unconcerned with this. All mention of meters and similar things are, in retrospect, very badly misleading to folks who are used to thinking in terms of internal game physics (although occasionally useful logistically).

If X costs "1 use," then doesn't half of X cost "half a use?" That's the logic you're using, and it needs to vanish. All of it. Just lose it entirely.

Uses of demon abilities are better understood as instances of commitment. Either the demon is committed to someone else (perhaps its master, perhaps not), or to itself (e.g. when protecting itself, or indulging its Desire).

When the demon teleports in the fight scene you mentioned, is it committed to something? Sure. It's fighting. There - an instance of commitment, specifically to the person it's protecting, or toward itself perhaps. Oh, here comes another chance to teleport during the fight. If the demon is again committed, then it will do it. These are two separate actions, two instances of "what the demon wants" at the respective moments.

Two days later, it teleports across a city block, far more distance than it did for all the teleports during the fight combined. It's still just one instance of commitment.

See? Two uses during the fight, one use two days later.

Best,
Ron
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Old_Scratch
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Posts: 128


« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2004, 10:04:01 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Oh Christ.

You guys have to do one thing for me before I answer this question. It is: forget all concerns about energy, distance, and effects.


You'll be a lot happier if you do! Basically, take the concept of the ability and determine what level you want your play at? Do these demons twist time and space, or is it merely a little more than sleight of hand?

Case in point: A PC in a Charnel Gods game in a town square, with her demon sword, confronting an Inquisitor whipping her buddy. The Inquisitor condemns her, pointing at her, and demands the crowd seize her. The character realizes she is surrounded and lashes out with her demon blade only to realize there is no way she can cut her way through this crowd, so she calls upon her demon sword to save her, commanding it to Command forth the birds above to swoop down on the crowd. Now this was a tough demon, Power 10. That means it would have summoned, like, 20 pigeons. Whoop de. But I thought it was a cool concept. Suddenly, hundreds, perhaps thousands of birds are suddenly swooping on the crowed, a large number of them vultures, since it just seemed right.

The player had a cool concept, I just sort of tweaked the rules.

Of course, later, the sword was feeling very neglected and ignored. The Player went into hiding in an old school house. The sword kept commanding the birds. All over the schoolhouse were thousands of birds. Again, beyond the ability as described in the book, but it made for a cool scene and suddenly the player noted that their demon was feeling pretty ornery.

The ability system for demons is actually pretty cool and free-form. I've found players coming up with some great concepts and tying them together for some interesting synergies. So take the system loosely. If they turn out to be too powerful in execution, than either talk with the players about reducing the power, or better yet, crank up the demands and price of using that particular power.

Case in point: a demon can teleport its user anywhere where people are at in the world - very powerful. Problem is that the Sorcerer's body dies, and the character's mind and soul arrives in another person's body. Over the next twelve hours a painful metamorphisis happens, as the new body reverts to the old. Furthermore, the teleport has essentially required a human sacrifice.

--Garett
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Zaidaco
Member

Posts: 21


« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2004, 05:01:16 AM »

I realize now that we were becoming bogged down into Simulationist play, and that it was mostly my fault. I’ve found lately that I’ve had to keep reminding myself not to spend too much time on the details. How many feet away is my opponent, how many times can I attack this round, how many time have I used Psychic Force, details, details, details.

It might also have to do with the fact that I’m subconsciously trying to min-max a combat powerhouse. I had this image of a demon that would constantly teleport around the fight tearing apart the opposition. But looking at the previous post about demons reducing fatigue though having their needs met, well, I might just be able to have that nasty unstoppable combat powerhouse after all. Of course I would expect my GM to come up with the interesting set of problems being Bound with that demon would lead to.

Thanks for you help with my questions everyone!
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-Merrick
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2004, 05:06:36 AM »

Hello,

Zaidaco, you do realize that teleporting around the fight really wouldn't convey any special advantage to that demon in combat? It would permit it to attack opponents at various ranges, sure. But that's all.

The rolls would still be plain old combat rolls, with occasional bonuses perhaps. Just like everyone else.

Best,
Ron
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