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Author Topic: Does Lore a Sorcerer Make?  (Read 3473 times)
Lisa Padol
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« on: December 13, 2005, 05:48:39 AM »

We got in a second and a third session, and I'm hoping to post the write up of the second soon. One question came up about an NPC (or GMC or whatever the current favored term is). This is someone with Lore 2 (she has a Dread Tome). Does this in itself make her a sorcerer? She has never contacted, summoned, bound, punished, banished, or contained a demon. She did try to help one of the PCs out with a contact and summoning, and I blew both her rolls for that. So, is she or is she not a sorcerer? Or is that a GM call?

-Lisa
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2005, 07:19:07 AM »

Lore defines a sorcerer. In Sorcerer and Sword Ron writes explicitly about how there is no mechanical difference between a Lore 1 barbarian and a sorcerer; the difference is in their attitudes only. Of course, those attitudes make a world of difference. Conan doesn't summon or bind demons, but he is a "sorcerer" still, for he has experience and knowledge of demons and their ways. Notice that the main rulebook also states that anybody with even Lore 1 knows all the rituals, unless something else is agreed upon.

Unless, of course, your setting has extra rules. One pretty useful conceit is that a NPC can have Lore without knowing the rituals. A kind of scholar of the unknown, as it were. For example, you could have a shamanistic setting where students are tutored in the theory and practice of trafficking with demons, but only become able to do it themselves after a spirit journey to the other side, awakening their guardian spirit. Then all those students could have Lore scores, but they wouldn't be sorcerers proper before making the journey. Another example would be hard core CoC mythos setting, where investigators of the unknown deliberately never learn the rites, or cannot learn them, without inducting into the cults.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2005, 05:54:10 AM »

Hello,

Eero is right, but I specifically disavow the game-think possibility he raises at the end of the post. By the rules, Lore of 1 or higher does mean "sorcerer," and does mean the ability to do all the rituals. I consider this to be an important feature of the rules and altering it has significant and negative impact on play.

It does not necessarily mean that the character thinks of himself or herself that way, or has done any of the rituals, or plans to. But I strongly recommend retaining the possibility that he or she can do them, using whatever justification or color necessary for the group's particular spin on sorcery.

Best,
Ron
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2005, 06:14:48 AM »

Oh, I misremembered that part, then. I thought I remembered a clause somewhere saying that knowledge of all the rituals is assumed, unless the player decides otherwise. Then again, Ron's last sentence there implies kind of what I wrote: a newbie sorcerer can use all the rituals through whatever justification the players need for their particular sorcery definition, but that also means that the player may opt not to use them, and justify it by their character's inexperience, as long as the sorcery definition goes for that kind of justification. This is, of course, exactly what Ron says when he says that a sorcerer can think of himself as a non-sorcerer.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2005, 06:18:14 AM »

OK, now I am confused. We are not communicating. I don't know what you are saying, and I'm at least 60% sure that you don't know what I am saying. Your points and responses are not mapping to what I'm posting.

Solution: don't even try to fix it. Eero, do me the big favor of stepping off the thread for a while, until Lisa posts again with her understanding, and let me deal with wherever that leads us.

Best,
Ron
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Lisa Padol
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2005, 06:51:04 AM »

Okay, the short answer is: Yes, Lore makes one a sorcerer, period, end of story. Cool.
Beyond that, I think I'm hearing from both of you: A character with Lore may not consider herself a sorcerer or ever actually try a ritual. That's cool, but the character is still a sorcerer.

So, by the book, the NPC in question is a sorcerer. The PC who theoretically would know this is deluding himself by believing that if she hasn't actually summoned up a demon, she isn't really a sorcerer, and is somehow vaguely sheilded from, um, being a sorcerer is deluding himself. As that character's price is Denial, this is not a problem.

-Lisa
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epweissengruber
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2005, 08:50:38 AM »

You seem to be forgetting a mechanical distinction between those who are sorcerers and those who are not.

Remember that only sorcerers are able to use their Will scores to come back from catastrophic damage results.

See THIS thread for a description of what separates a sorcerer from a demon and from all other characters.

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=17736.msg188777#msg188777

What separates sorcerers from others is not their Lore.  It is not even their Will.  Anyone may have a Lore score or a Will score of a level higher than that of a sorcerer.  Being a sorcerer makes one a sorcerer.
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Calithena
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2005, 10:05:50 AM »

epweissengruber....

um, Ron just said that only sorcerers (and demons) have lore scores. so....

...also, I recall Ron recommending in a recent thread that only PC sorcerers be allowed to do the hang-on-with-will thing....

so, um, well, that's all.
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epweissengruber
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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2005, 12:25:57 PM »

Oops, my bad.

Only trying to emphasize that the game is about willful individuals who are bold enough to commit crimes against the laws of nature.  This hubris gives them a game mechanical advantage (Will to overcome wound penalties).

Would you let a high-Lore NPC who knows the rituals but has never actually contacted, summoned, or bound a demon the same death-defying power that a PC sorcerer would?
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angelfromanotherpin
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« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2005, 02:13:31 PM »

Would you let a high-Lore NPC who knows the rituals but has never actually contacted, summoned, or bound a demon the same death-defying power that a PC sorcerer would?

He's got access to that kind of power but has never given in to the temptation to use it?  Man clearly has serious resolve.
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epweissengruber
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« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2005, 06:04:33 AM »

Good point.

You have helped me sort out the relationship between characteristics (having/not having a Lore score), resolution mechanics (Will to overcome wound penalties), and theme.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2005, 04:04:38 PM »

Hello,

I don't think I have ever seen so many people confuse themselves so badly over something this simple.

Guys! All of these things are the same thing.

Lore of 1 or higher = ability to use Will to cancel damage = sorcerer = ability to use rituals

All of these are the case for any non-demon character. I have no idea why you all seem so determined to separate them out into different game effects, and I am equally puzzled why some of you seem to be making a PC/NPC distinction. There isn't any.

Read'em again. All four of those things above are the same thing. It's a package. One thing. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200.

Best,
Ron
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Lisa Padol
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« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2005, 08:03:11 PM »

Ron, for what it's worth, I'm fine. Simple question, simple answer. I'm onto the next question, which I have to answer: Okay, so, she's a sorcerer. What's her telltale?

Unless the transit workers' strike ends really, really soon, I will have three weeks to figure that one out. If not, well, I'll have a session, and I can draft the first player whose PC makes Ysabel as a sorcerer to help me come up with a cool telltale.

-Lisa
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mneme
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« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2005, 11:24:29 AM »

Looks good.  does sorceror also = has a price = has a telltale?  I'd assume so.

FWIW, I don't see a problem in Reply #3 (by Eero) -- he was just hitting the (irrelevant to Lisa's actual question) point that the player running a sorceror may chose to have them not realize they can do some sorceror things (like rituals) as an explaination for why the player choses not to have them do this.  But since the sorceror can, in fact, do these things, the player can change their mind at any point.

FWIW, this has shown up a few times in Lisa's sorceror campaign -- the game started out with some sorcerrors only knowing about Passer demons and some only knowing about Posessor demons, and I -think- there was a bit more from the players of the low-lore characters.
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Lisa Padol
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Posts: 365


« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2005, 02:19:09 PM »

Looks good.  does sorceror also = has a price = has a telltale?  I'd assume so.

My assumption is that a sorcerer has lore, a price, and a telltale, yes.

Quote
FWIW, this has shown up a few times in Lisa's sorceror campaign -- the game started out with some sorcerrors only knowing about Passer demons and some only knowing about Posessor demons, and I -think- there was a bit more from the players of the low-lore characters.

Yah, but not system-relevant. That is, as soon as a sorcerer knows that a Passer or Possessor exists, the sorcerer can do all the appropriate rituals.

-Lisa
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