*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 13, 2019, 08:32:54 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 139 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Author Topic: Helping Sorcerer Thrive  (Read 8041 times)
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2004, 02:03:14 PM »

Hiya,

Quote
Ron, would you let someone else sell a mini-supplement for Sorcerer that explains how to put it all together, without having to sift through numerous forge posts to get the picture? This supplement would then be geared towards gamerdom alone, as your in-crowd of people who "get it" could simply just not buy it.


Yup. Jesse Burneko proposed this idea a while ago, and I'd sure like to see someone do it.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Old_Scratch
Member

Posts: 128


« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2004, 07:57:09 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
I'm after people who want to role-play Narrativist and who can't see how to do it in the context of gamer culture and existing rules-sets. Most of those folks read the book with no trouble at all; these are the folks who send me enthusiastic emails but never participate here or at RPG.net. Why should they? They're just playing.

Nah. You need someone else. I'm too underground, too rude, and too dope-slap oriented. It still astounds me that the game has any attractive value to anyone who's fairly well-entrenched in gamer culture. Why or how that is, is beyond me. I wouldn't even know what aspects of the current book to preserve and emphasize.


Well thanks for the honest and blunt answer!

I don't think I was entirely your original intended market, yet at the same time, I was definitely moving away from your typical rpg style of play. I pretty much stopped writing adventures, set up backstories, and tried to make player driven stories, but I wasn't conscious of any particular agenda, it just sort of seemed more enjoyable.

Here are the two things that make Sorcerer work for me:

1) While some of the newer narrative games have a conflict and a format, Sorcerer has a relationship at its root: the relationship between the Sorcerer and the Demon AND a conflict: What are you willing to do for Power? Its a compelling question which gives nearly all Sorcerer games something shared thematically.

2) It empowers the players to tell their own stories instead of passively responding to some prescripted scenario. The players have a vested stake in the story.

Now in nearly every Sorcerer write up, the premise is one of the first things stated in every Sorcerer game, and I kind of wished that these two points were highlighted at the beginning, rather than more inferred within the text.

I also would have liked to have seen two or three write ups for slightly more off-beat or non-traditional sorcerer settings in the back as well. One of the things I really enjoyed about Sorcerer & Sword were the three different settings highlighting the potential settings.
Logged
Old_Scratch
Member

Posts: 128


« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2004, 08:04:49 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hiya,

Quote
Ron, would you let someone else sell a mini-supplement for Sorcerer that explains how to put it all together, without having to sift through numerous forge posts to get the picture? This supplement would then be geared towards gamerdom alone, as your in-crowd of people who "get it" could simply just not buy it.


Yup. Jesse Burneko proposed this idea a while ago, and I'd sure like to see someone do it.

Best,
Ron


Sounds like a great idea. And it would be nice to bundle in some of the wierder one-page settings along with it to really suggest what is possible with Sorcerer. Sort of a free online extension of the game. I'd be willing to contribute to it if anyone else would.

--Garett
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2004, 08:08:50 AM »

Hello,

No one listens. No one listens.

Garett,

Quote
1) While some of the newer narrative games have a conflict and a format, Sorcerer has a relationship at its root: the relationship between the Sorcerer and the Demon AND a conflict: What are you willing to do for Power? Its a compelling question which gives nearly all Sorcerer games something shared thematically.

2) It empowers the players to tell their own stories instead of passively responding to some prescripted scenario. The players have a vested stake in the story.


These things spoke to you insofar as you are not a gamer. Insofar as one is a gamer, they mean nothing, or are confusing, or are obviously wrong.

That they did speak to you even though you are/were involved in gamer culture, says to me that these interests of yours are powerful enough to withstand immense social and commercial pressure to put them aside.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Paganini
Member

Posts: 1049


WWW
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2004, 08:38:54 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
These things spoke to you insofar as you are not a gamer. Insofar as one is a gamer, they mean nothing, or are confusing, or are obviously wrong.


What the heck are you talking about, Ron? This exchange is impossible to parse, and if it means what I think it does, it's bollocks to boot. Please clarify; I don't want to rant if I'm misreading you.

Edit: syntax a bit
Logged

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2004, 09:22:07 AM »

Hiya,

Nathan - "gamer" is a pejorative in my book, unless I'm being very polite. It's characterized by a weird and crappy social context in which, sometimes, once in a while, a person with a genuine aesthetic interest in what they're doing (G, N, S) actually manages to get a glimmer of satisfaction. Economically, gamer culture is characterized by people forking over money in order to feel like they belong.

Our hobby currently raises its head above gamer culture, or subculture. When it does, people enjoy themselves.

I'll be very clear: "gamer" is a bad thing; "role-playing" is a fun thing. Very few gamers role-play. The fact that many of them huddle together, make up characters, roll dice, spend hours and hours, etc, etc, does not mean they are role-playing.

Pitching any role-playing activity which is based on an understandable Creative Agenda into gamer culture is like fishing in radioactive muck. You will get a few hardy fellows who managed to have survive so far, many of whom say, "yeah, I got it too." You will get a number of damaged, confused, yet still-determined fellows, all of whom seize your bait because it's actually what they want, but they struggle with it, because it's new, not at all suited to what they're used to doing to survive the muck. You will occasionally find a beautiful and disturbing new creature, too.

But the more you make your bait suitable for the muck, the less you will succeed in finding people who want to do what you're really offering. Since the middle group all sport individual wounds, your bait cannot explain to each one of them what is good about it. They all want individual help, but they cannot get it until they've decided to take the bait.

The analogy breaks down when you consider that the point is for people to enjoy themselves, not to get eaten, but otherwise, I'm OK with it.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Paganini
Member

Posts: 1049


WWW
« Reply #21 on: September 19, 2004, 10:20:50 AM »

Ron, gotcha. My misunderstanding came from not realizing that "gamer" was incorporated into the jargon. :)

(I mean, I call myself a gamer, I have gamer buddies in my orchestra, etc. But, that's another thread.)
Logged

Yokiboy
Member

Posts: 363


WWW
« Reply #22 on: September 20, 2004, 12:27:57 AM »

I'm with Paganini, I refer to myself as a "gamer" as well, yet I also understand where you are coming from Ron, and your personal take on "gamers."

Ron, your "muck" analogy really explains your feelings on the matter, and now I have a clearer picture of why you don't want to edit and release a compilation of earlier work.

Old_Scratch, I would love to contribute to the project of a mini-supplement explaining Sorcerer to the few of us that have survived the muck.  ;)

Your idea of adding several one-sheets would also be a perfect fit, that would illustrate some of the unlimited possibilities of the system, while providing some much needed assistance for first-timers.

TTFN,

Yokiboy
Logged

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #23 on: September 20, 2004, 04:40:14 AM »

Hi guys,

I don't care if anyone calls themselves a "gamer" or not. The issue here is what I'm saying about writing a second edition, and whether it's being understood. Seems like it is, so that's good, but really, whether you use the word "gamer" in a positive way in your own life is up to you - my understanding or approval isn't necessary.

The original topic was how to make Sorcerer thrive. I submit that a second edition as popularly conceived is a terrible idea - it will entrench Sorcerer as exactly what it isn't: a game-store artifact. It will do so mainly through debt on my part. I'm not sure if any of you realize how much money it would take, or how much time it would take from other projects.

And most importantly, it would gut the supplements and render them obsolete. Is that what you guys really want? Sure, I'll mulch every book in the warehouse, right now, and start with a single book, from scratch, which is supposed to help every last little individual gamer concern with why Sorcerer isn't like GURPS. Or D&D. Or Vampire. Or Vampire Mark II. Or the Hero System. Or Rifts. Or the ideal "way to play" which every gamer-culture person is carrying in his head and somehow never manages to see in reality.

Economically impossible. Even if it were the best thing for the game as a learning-device (and I think it would be terrible for that purpose, but OK, let's say if), it isn't something that can be done.

The topic of this thread is "how can I help Sorcerer to thrive?" Hey, Second Edition, special gamer-explanation version, is not going to do it. Can you get over that, please? I'd like to read some suggestions which make sense.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Yokiboy
Member

Posts: 363


WWW
« Reply #24 on: September 20, 2004, 05:15:22 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
The topic of this thread is "how can I help Sorcerer to thrive?" Hey, Second Edition, special gamer-explanation version, is not going to do it. Can you get over that, please? I'd like to read some suggestions which make sense.

Alright, I fully get your point, and even more so with each kick in the ribs. [tap, tap, tap...]  ;)

I'll definitely won't ask for a 2nd edition again, in this thread or any other. I do however think that the mini-supplement that Old_Scratch and I discussed would help Sorcerer thrive, even if it was just a collection of one-sheets.

TTFN,

Yokiboy
Logged

Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #25 on: September 20, 2004, 05:20:26 AM »

Hiya,

Yes, definitely the mini-supplement. Whatever makes it happen is a good thing, but I have some advice about that, which may be freely ignored by whoever steps up to do it (I could be wrong).

I think it needs a single author. He or she may accept others' suggestions, sure, but I'm seeing over and over that a publication does not get completed when you have a bunch of people who (a) all feel like their contributions should be in there and (b) lack a single person who has final decision over it.

Anyway, if someone wants to take point and start a new thread about that idea, please do so. The discussion about it probably ought to turn private eventually, among the author and anyone he or she wants to include, but that's not up to me.

Sorry 'bout the kicks, YB. Consider them directed primarily at the people who've been yelping about this for years.

Any other thriving-notions? Bear in mind that all four books are grossly successful in stores and on-line sales at this time. The Sorcerer's Soul is up for re-printing as of January 1. So we're talking about thriving, not struggling for survival.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Valamir
Member

Posts: 5574


WWW
« Reply #26 on: September 20, 2004, 08:40:17 AM »

Quote
Sorry 'bout the kicks, YB. Consider them directed primarily at the people who've been yelping about this for years.


And that right there is the case study of the benefits of being indie and why being indie is what Ron (and hense this site) is all about.

'cuz there are folks out there yelping.  The kind of folks who make noise on forums and mailing lists and thus come to the attention of line developers and other assorted honchos and poo bahs.  Honchos and poo bahs are the sort of people who are desperate for "outside confirmation" of their marketing decisions for when they make presentations to the higher honchos and grander poo bahs.   They will sieze upon these yelps and base future business decisions on them.

They will then take charge of the issue, tell the author that its "what the fans want" and proceed to release the Second Edition...where the author will learn first hand exactly what "creative control" rights really means.


Being indie means Ron doesn't have to listen to the yelping.  Doesn't have to cave to the pressure and doesn't have to compromise his vision for the game.  

Its not my vision.  I'd love to see a second edition (and will continue to yelp about it from time to time).  I'd love to see all of the supplements disected and reassembled from the ground up into one completely amalgamated whole including stuff from the many productive forum threads for the last many years.  I'd love it.  But since I'm not Ron's "publisher" nor is it my money funding his print runs Ron is free to continue to completely ignore me.  THAT's why being indie is so powerful.
Logged

Finarvyn
Member

Posts: 83


WWW
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2004, 04:51:00 AM »

Quote from: Old_Scratch

Truth of the matter is, is that its hard for many of us to get a handle on what Ron's saying in the book. What Ron is selling is not a new set of mechanics or settings (which is what most books offer) but a relatively new concept of how to role play in relation to the way most of us have been playing.

I bought Sorcerer. Simply put, I didn't *get* it the first time. It wasn't until I read and reread Sorcerer and Sword and someone said "Story First Mother Fucker!" or something to that effect that I finally realized that Ron had been much more ambitious than I thought he was.

In many ways, Sorcerer challenges much of the prevailing paradigms and assumptions of role playing, and for me and others, it could be pitched at helping people make that conceptual leap. I suspect that many readers don't manage it. But that's pure conjecture on my own part based upon my own anecdotal experience.

This is my own experience exactly. I bought Sorcerer years ago and filled in my collection with all of the supplements and PDF supplements on the market. I read it, I think it's cool, I just don't "get it."

It's not that I don't understand RPGs. I've played D&D since 1974 and the old versions of that are still my favorites. What I can't get a handle on is how to make Sorcerer work, and if I can't figure it out I can't run it. If I can't run it my players can't get hooked on it. I ran one game of Sorcerer and it bombed because I couldn't pull it off and the players never got into the game.

A "Sorcerer's Companion" supplement that tells more would be nice!
Logged

Marv (Finarvyn)
Sorcerer * DFRPG * ADRP
I'm mosty responsible for S&W WhiteBox
OD&D Player since 1975
Per Fischer
Member

Posts: 203


WWW
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2004, 10:59:38 AM »

Ron, I really dig what you are saying, though it also scares me a little.

The thing about trying to argue for Sorcerer's qualities, the concept of NAR play and such on a rpg gamers' discussion board is a very tough task indeed. I've been doing it on my "local" board since I bought the books. Some people listen, find it interesting - perhaps on the weird side - fewer go and buy the books. Most find it impossible to understand: "The players contribute to the story? WHAT? The GM doesn't have a pre-made plot with a secret for the PCs to discover? HUH? OOC comments are encouraged during play? Get real. And so on and so forth.

I just never thought about that a gamers' community wasn't the best place to promote it. Now I am turning towards non-playing friends. They, on the other hand, would probably not consider buying the book - or any game book - even after I played with them.

Per
Logged

Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
greyorm
Member

Posts: 2233

My name is Raven.


WWW
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2004, 01:48:11 PM »

You know, I occassionally squeak about a so-called "2nd Edition" in that I would like to see one. Why? The book is damn hard to parse. It needs more, lots more, examples. Big, meaty, in-your-face ones.

That would be my ideal "2nd Edition" -- don't need to change the text at all, except, perhaps, where Ron has noted through the years "I wish I'd mentioned this" or "I wish I'd never said that" regarding demon powers and such or certain word choices.

Something chock full of real, actual play examples screaming, "Lookit what I kin fuckin' do with my bad self! Hah!" Why? Inference is all well and good a method of information distribution for people who are good at it (as Ron seems to be), but it sucks a sweaty leper's balls for those of us who aren't so good at just pulling out all the permutations and so-called "obvious" possibilities and methodologies.

Also why? Sorcerer is one of the cleanest little rulebooks around. It doesn't waste space with anything. Changing text, increasing word count, painstakingly describing how such does not work like such-and-such-over-there-in-that-other-game-you-play would ruin much of that.

Examples of the rules in practice, however, would not. They would instead be incredibly valuable as a sort of secondary rules-reference for those of us who relate information together in that fashion. That is, for those of us who utilize the act of "it" happening as our standard reference of play, rather than utilizing a generalized defintion of "it" in application to play.

For example, though this is a I can read "Rolling a natural 20 on the die means a critical hit" but I won't recall the rule except by a situation wherein that actually occurred. A visual-reference in memory of the rule in practice.

I do this with saving throws: the only way I can recall how the damn things work in 1st and 2nd edition AD&D is to recall examples of them actually being used. I can never remember the rule of how they work and apply it. I have to recall, "OK, Kirk rolled a 15 last time this happened, and got hosed. He had a save of 17 against that stuff. He must have to roll under the number on his sheet."

I think back, examine a recalled situation, deconstruct the situation and derive the rule from the recalled resulting output and the input given that produced it. Examples produce the same effect, because I'm visualizing "in play" events occurring and can later reference them for the rules events they contain.

So, now explained, any chance of an edition like that ever happening, Ron? The book as it now stands but padded out with lots of "examples" -- or rather, scenes of real play that have transpired.

I know that the Actual Play forum here, various threads in this very section of the Forge, and accounts on other websites all serve (to varying degrees in varying areas) this purpose as well, but it would be nice to have in a sit-down, tied-to-the-rules, look-what-it-does format.
Logged

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio
Pages: 1 [2]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!