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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] questions about stakes  (Read 6645 times)
Rustin
Member

Posts: 91


« on: March 21, 2006, 09:56:28 PM »

I’m looking for any advice prior to running my first Sorcerer session.

I’m interested in the use of stakes and conflict resolution as much as possible and shy away from task resolution.   

I don’t see specific rules for setting stakes in Sorcerer but somehow they feel implied.  Such as, in combat, stated actions must make sure intended “results are explicit.” Pg 103.

Yet reading through the examples in the core rules I don’t see much focus on setting stakes outside of combat. 

Has anyone had success with setting stakes in Sorcerer? Will I burn through my R-Map too fast if I do this?

I am planning on using a R-map pulled from Veronica Mars- Season 1.  Though I had to add just a touch more complexity to it.   If anyone has any suggestions to this R-map let me know.

Bangs seem necessarily implied by the R-map, and I get this feeling that I know the NPC’s and I know that whomever the PC’s align with other NPC will react, bringing something banglike with them.  But I really don’t have any notion of specific scenes or conflicts, or that I have any “bangs in the bandolier” so to speak.  So in a sense I feel like I’ll be flying blind (which is actually sort of a rush).  Is this normal?

Lastly, I haven’t really defined what Demons are.  I understand that most of that is supposed to be kept away from the players anyhow, but I’ve just got this vague notion that after all the atomic testing and bombs from WW2, something in the universe is not right.  (We are playing 1950’s California).  So, any suggestions on what would make a good definition of demons that would be helpful.
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Eric J-D
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #1 on: March 21, 2006, 10:56:11 PM »

Hi Rustin,

I expect that sometime tomorrow you'll get better advice from some of the other folks here, but in the interim I'll try to be what help I can.

Since you have a number of different concerns/questions embedded in that post, I am going to extract them and take them up in order. Okay?
 

Quote
I don’t see specific rules for setting stakes in Sorcerer but somehow they feel implied.  Such as, in combat, stated actions must make sure intended “results are explicit.” Pg 103.

Yet reading through the examples in the core rules I don’t see much focus on setting stakes outside of combat.

You won't find the language of "setting stakes" in the main rulebook because when Ron wrote the text of Sorcerer (circa late 90s or so) this language had not yet entered the discourse of roleplaying games.  But you are right that it is implied. I think that it is present in some form in the discussion of the "free and clear" stage of combat in which everyone gets to state their actions and freely amend them in light of other declarations until everyone is satisfied with what is intended.  Then you roll dice and listen to what the dice say.

So, I think it is perfectly fine to use the language of "setting stakes" whenever a conflict arises.  Simply get the people at the table to declare what they *hope* the effect of their declared intent will be, and then remind them that the outcome of the dice can very well screw all this up.  They might balk at first, but stress that the game treats everything they declare to be intent and that the dice are there to say what actually happens (i.e. order of actions, success/failure and so forth).  Setting stakes is useful because it gets them to clarify what they hope will be the outcome of their intended action.  Just be sure to keep in mind that declarations can be freely amended until everyone agrees, "Okay, now we roll the dice and see what happens."

 

Quote
Will I burn through my R-Map too fast if I do this?

I don't really see how "setting stakes" will have much impact on your R-map either way.


Quote
Bangs seem necessarily implied by the R-map, and I get this feeling that I know the NPC’s and I know that whomever the PC’s align with other NPC will react, bringing something banglike with them.  But I really don’t have any notion of specific scenes or conflicts, or that I have any “bangs in the bandolier” so to speak.  So in a sense I feel like I’ll be flying blind (which is actually sort of a rush).  Is this normal?



Bangs are a really important part of Sorcerer prep, but I think it is more important to think about them in relation to the players' characters rather than primarily in relation to the characters in the R-map.  So, I suggest that you take a good look at the stuff that the players have already given to you in the form of their characters' Kickers, relational ties, and so on.  Remember that you already have Bangs for each of the characters already in the form of the Kickers.  These are the first Bangs of the evening.  Think about what story interests are expressed in each of these Kickers and try to riff off of these.  Similarly, what have the players given you in the form of other relationships that the characters have that can be tied into the story interests expressed in the Kickers.

Obviously you don't want to neglect the R-map.  You'll want to have an interesting backstory going on among those relationships that the characters can tie their story interests either quite tightly or fairly loosely to.  Ultimately though, the backstory and the R-map are not the point.

I think it would help a lot if I knew a bit about the characters your players have created. Knowing something about the characters and the Kickers the players have created for them would give us a better basis for offering more specific Bang prep advice.


Quote
Lastly, I havien’t really defined what Demons are.  I understand that most of that is supposed to be kept away from the players anyhow, but I’ve just got this vague notion that after all the atomic testing and bombs from WW2, something in the universe is not right.  (We are playing 1950’s California).



This is a big issue that you will want to define pretty soon.  I don't know why you think that you need to keep this away from the players though.  It is perfectly reasonable for the players to know what demons are in the game even if their characters might not.  Although it is pretty traditional in Sorcerer for the GM to define things like what a demon is, I don't see anything wrong with getting them to collaborate on it if you feel comfortable with that.  Ultimately though, the players generally know what demons are because typically the GM presents a one-sheet that contains definitions of demons, sorcerous rituals, humanity and so forth.

So, thinking about your setting, what is the feel you are striving for?  Are there any obvious sources of inspiration you are working with that might help you to define what demons are or might be?  I mean, they could be anything. Defining what demons are might be quite a bit easier if you thought first about what Humanity means in your game.  Since summoning and binding demons present threats to a character's Humanity, try starting with a definition of Humanity first and then move to defining demons.

Hope some of this helps.

Eric
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Eric J-D
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2006, 07:31:23 AM »

Hi again Rustin.  Looking this over in the cold light of morning, I am thinking to myself, "Yeah, that's all fine advice, Eric, but this guy might be better helped by something a bit more concrete."  So although I hate to followup my own post, I am going to do it in the hope that it gives something more substantial to chew on than what I've said already.

I am going to concentrate on your last point (i.e. that you haven't yet defined what Demons are) and try to give you a sketch of a *process* that you might consider using to aid in your prep.  I want to emphasize the *process* part of that sentence--the point here is not, not, not to take the content of what I will write and adopt it as your own but to think about how you might do through a similar process to help you define what Demons are.  The content that follows is just shit that, if we were talking face to face, would just be coming out of my mouth (other orifices too no doubt) on the fly.  You will come up with something much better on your own.  Okay?

So, I am going to imagine it was my game.  Here's what I'd do. 

I've made a sketchy pitch for a Sorcerer game to the players, emphasizing that I'd like us to create some interesting stories set in a sorcerous version of LA in the 50s. I talk to the players about the kind of mood/atmosphere for this setting, suggesting perhaps that this LA is a slightly more surreal and eerie version of its real world counterpart.  As inspiration I suggest a creepier obviously less comic version of Pynchon's parodic treatment of LA's sprawl in The Crying of Lot 49 with lots of huge car lots, drive-ins, and massively long office buildings and factories "whose address numbers were in the 70s and then 80,000's" (TCoL49, 15).  The point here is to create atmosphere, not reproduce LA in historical fidelity.  So, I also suggest that it is a lonelier, emptier place than it probably really was and that something of the haunting quality of its massive urban spaces can be conveyed by Giorgio de Chirico's paintings.

Okay, so now I sit back and get player input.  They offer up plenty of evocative detail, and someone says something about how cool it will be to play out these stories under the shadow of the atomic bomb tests.  I make a mental note of this, recall Oppenheimer's statement "We knew the world could not be the same...I remembered the line 'I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds'" and think to myself, "Yes, something about this LA has definitely been twisted by those events."

So, thinking about the Bomb in relation to my upcoming game of Sorcerer, I start thinking about what human beings did when they exploded that first bomb.  And the more I think about it, the more I conclude that some portion of humanity at that moment lost sight of what it *ought* to do because it was only focused on what it *could* do.  That's perhaps a naive and historically unfair judgment given the complexities of the historical moment, but that is not, not, not the point.  I am thinking only about the game at this moment.  And reflecting on this, I feel like I've found a workable definition of what Humanity means in this game.  Zero Humanity is the state where human beings have become coldly rational, where they have severed themselves emotionally from the human cost of what they do and have forgotten that perhaps we *ought* not do everything we *can* do. 

Okay, so taking this as my definition of Humanity I go back to thinking about Demons.  I decide that when the atom was split in that initial atomic explosion, something within human beings was split as well.  Demons, which previously were somehow integrated with humanity, split off and achieved an Independence from them.  They now represent a kind of cold and unfeeling part of human beings that has become autonomous and corrupted, concerned only with what they *can* do and what they can drive others to do without regard for the troubling moral issues of whether they *ought* to do it.

This really is all just a colorful origin story, and is not the point.  The players ought to know that this is where demons come from in this game from the very beginning.  There ought to be nothing secret about it since the point of play is not to unravel the secrets of demon origins but instead to create compelling stories about people who are constantly tempted to pursue what they *can* do in disregard for whether they *ought* to do so.  The important bit, in other words, is what I have decided about Demons in relation to Humanity, you see?

Now, from there you will want to go through the different types of Demons (possessor, object, and so forth) and think about how to define them in light of the general definition of what a Demon is.  Similarly, you'll want to think about what sorcerous rituals involve.  This should all be highly colored by the big definitions you've given to Humanity and to Demons.

Alright, that's probably enough to chew on for now.  I hope some of that helps.  And remember: the point of this post is to help you think about a *process* you might follow in creating your own definition of Humanity and Demons.

Cheers,

Eric   
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2006, 10:33:35 AM »

Hello,

I knew this day would come.

It happens that I think "Stakes," as currently discussed in a lot of blogs and forums, isn't really as big a deal as a lot of people are making out. In fact, in many cases, I think they are mixing up several distinct things:

1. Resolution of an at-hand conflict of interest in the current situation
2. Mechanical effects of a given outcome of the resolution system (score changes, etc)
3. Larger-scale implications for relationships among other characters, outcomes of other events
4. Consequences for the next significant real-person choices (new scenes, turn changes, etc)

Now, there are a lot of games out there in which a more generalized combination of all of them is fundamental to play. My Life with Master is probably the core system which has influenced many of them, including The Mountain Witch, Primetime Adventures, The Shab al-Hiri Roach, With Great Power ..., and others. If you roll to gain Love in My Life with Master, you know (a) that the minion will or will not successfully appeal to his or her Connection character; (b) that the minion does gain a point of Love, but will or will not gain a point of Self-Loathing as well; (c) that the Master or a hostile minion may well turn his or her nefarious attention to the Connection character; and (d) that the scene is effectively over, because this game typically sees one roll per scene.

However, I think people are confounding combining all of them with conflict resolution by definition, which is, as I see it, a bad case of synecdoche at the Techniques level.

The Sorcerer resolution rules are only concerned with #1 and #2. This is a big deal. You don't have to announce or account for or otherwise deal with anything about #3-4 prior to the roll. So, it's perfectly OK to announce "I cow him with my fierce gaze," or even, "I convince him to stop exploiting the factory workers," as a Sorcerer action, but there's no need to

Furthermore, and this is important for the kinds of actions I just mentioned, there is no final/guaranteed outcome for a given stated Sorcerer action. In the factory-workers example, the targeted character may lose ... and yet continue to exploit the workers, just operating with an inflicted penalty based on the dice-defeat he just suffered. That is just the same as announcing "I kill him!" in a fight scene, but hey, the dice, even on a successful roll, don't kill the guy, so he doesn't die.

See the difference? In a game like Dogs in the Vineyard, if my stated goal is to kill a guy, and we're rolling, and the other player/GM gives ... then he's dead. Because I'd stated that as the goal. Same goes for My Life with Master, with slightly different dice - if I'm going to use Violence to kill some poor Townsfolk schlub, and I succeed in my roll, he's dead - because I'd stated that as the goal. These games use "Stakes" in the broadest, #1-4 sense.

That doesn't happen in Sorcerer. The statement prior to the roll doesn't have that kind of "weight" (which I associate with #3, above).

So yes, do use "stakes thinking" if you want to, but focus on #1-2 as what the resolution system actually does, with #3-4 being the province of post-dice, post-conflict, post-scene decisions. And in fact, I suggest not using the "stakes" terminology, for now - instead, I strongly recommend this phrasing instead:

When fictional characters encounter a conflict of interest, the players/GM must roll dice
When fictional characters are not encountering a conflict of interest, then the players/GM must not roll dice


That's perfect for Sorcerer.

Best,
Ron
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Eero Tuovinen
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2006, 11:37:06 AM »

I remember wrangling about this with Ron at some point, when I called Sorcerer a "task resolution game" because it does, indeed, concern itself with resolving conflicts via character tasks in the fiction. I'll state what he said in other words, just to ensure communication: Sorcerer works through a range of tools directed towards conflict creation; those conflicts are then resolved through a comparatively complex (compared to some Forge games, that is) series of rolls, referencing the fiction, resource manipulation, new conflicts arising and more rolls. What makes the system work as conflict resolution are the currency rules (which ensure that rolls have mechanical bite), the complex conflict rules (which can forcibly remove characters from the conflict in terms of initiative and damage), and the functional task apportioning evident in the system (through the limitations in what to roll and what not); in practice your conflict will get resolved, and resolved fairly, because the task rolls are always between character interests (conflict of interest, as Ron calls it), and the currency rules will make those rolls count. It's an interesting experience to play because it's so transitional from GM-fiat task resolution to explicit-stakes conflict resolution. It precedes many current trains of thought in many ways; we're just now starting to figure out how to resolve conflicts with stakes changing in the middle (TSOY and Polaris, for example) or letting the situation properly constrain the stakes resolution without GM fiat (can't think of published designs yet) and so on. All those are things that a "traditional" conflict-resolution-via-task-rolls does well, and Sorcerer pretty much takes all that stuff and implements it without the traditional problems of GM fiat, missing the conflict and so on.

Also, let's not forget Dust Devils in addition to MLwM! That's what I think of first when I'm asked about games with stakes. A very pure-bred and sleek stakes-handling game even by current measures, and a design that's definitely been a major influence in forming the whole concept of stakes as a means of conflict resolution. The game calls them character goals, but actually you're staking possible story developments in the conflicts.
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Rustin
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Posts: 91


« Reply #5 on: March 22, 2006, 11:42:15 AM »

Eric-

Thanks for the reply.

I have two players.

Player #1 Cop. Kicker is the evidence that went missing from his father’s murder has just been delivered to him.

Player #2  Boxer. Kicker: he is being blackmailed by someone who saw him murder a man.

I recall reading somewhere, now I can’t find, where the real source of demons should be to some degree a mystery to the players, because if you clearly define what a demon is to the player it somehow loses its mystique.  I’ll keep looking for the source. 

Humanity is Empathy.  I toyed with the idea of Injustice, but I did not want to get too abstract my first time out. 

The mood and atmosphere we worked on was it is 1950’s LA and all these soldiers have returned from the war and they are dealing with the horrors they witnessed by delving into the underside of society: gambling, boxing, drugs etc…

The theme is sort of, what will you do to get ahead in this tragic situation—where everyone is scarred by big wartime events.  My one sheet has lots of dark black/white photos from 1950’s noir film.

Your pynchonesque theme is incredible. 

I like the process of thinking of what human beings did before, during and after dropping the bomb.  I’m starting to get this sense of conflict of both guilt and necessity. 

Both players latched onto the idea of parasite demons.  One player liked the idea of sorcery being a form of mathematics.

Just as you would consider demons splitting from humanity, I’m thinking this universal American guilt shame coupled with thousands of people dying gave birth a new environment of demonic potential, the continuing of a positive feedback loop—now I’m thinking of how parasite can work into that.  Plus, I’m reading in the text that I need to focus on what narrative story I want to tell…. 

Thanks for the encouragement and examples.  I think better when I have a big blank sheet of paper and I can doodle, draw arrows and stuff, but this really has helped me realize the narrative purpose of defining demons, and how that definition makes me solidify my notions of humanity and lore.
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Rustin
Member

Posts: 91


« Reply #6 on: March 22, 2006, 11:50:30 AM »

Ron-

That helps immensely.  Particularly when you pointed out how the mechanics takes care of the broader types of stakes, such that “the targeted character may lose “ and then will have to “operate with an inflicted penalty based on the dice-defeat.”

Thank you for the clarification.

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Eric J-D
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #7 on: March 22, 2006, 12:10:06 PM »

Hey Rustin,

Thanks for all the info about the characters.  It sounds to me like you all have done a really good job of nailing some things down for your upcoming game.  I'll try to post some thoughts after I let this percolate in my head for a bit.

Glad to hear that you've got a one-sheet already.  You might think about posting it here so that other folks can offer you their thoughts, express admiration, etc.

Just one kick word before I go (I've got to go pick up my daughter).  What Ron said about "stakes" is really important, so ignore what I said.  When I wrote what I wrote, I had his #1 in mind even though I didn't say that or even think about how "stakes" might be broken down into different categories.  So when I said, let the players set their stakes, I meant that in terms of Ron's #1 and #1 only.  To make this clear, here's an example of what I had in mind.

Let's take a conflict between two people to keep it simple.  Bob's character (Julian) has a will left by the father of Anne's character (Samantha).  The will reveals that Samantha was to be sole beneficiary of the deceased father's vast assets, but Julian concealed this fact from Sam for reasons that aren't important for this example.  Suffice to say that Sam wants the will and Julian doesn't want her to have it. Samantha breaks into Julian's office to find Julian holding the incriminating document (the will), standing in front of his fireplace.  Anne declares that Samantha is going to try to wrest the will out of Julian's hand.  Bob declares that Julian is going to hurl the will into the fireplace.  

Okay, so to use the language of "setting stakes" for this example, as GM I might inform Anne that if she loses the contest the will goes into the fireplace.  That would be a reasonable decision to make about what is at stake should Anne fail in this particular conflict.  So, I might want to make that clear to her at the outset so that she can consider what she wants her declaration of intent to be before we roll the dice.  Once we are all agreed, we roll the dice. The dice will then tell us how this all shakes out.

So that is, I hope, a clearer explanation of what I meant by "setting stakes" in Sorcerer.  Given the stuff Ron said, however, I think he's right that the language of "stake setting" might actually gum up the works more than greasing the gears (to continue with the factory image).

Like I said: I'll try to post some thoughts in light of the details you've provided a bit later.

Cheers,

Eric

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Eric J-D
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2006, 07:32:08 AM »

Rustin,

The brain has finished percolating (for now, at least) and so I thought I would followup what you posted.  I promise that I'll try to keep this on the shorter side.

First, let me reiterate that the details you provided were good and helpful.  I think the setting sounds really good and should offer you lots of interesting scenes.  I'm getting a vision of LA as a a kind of pulsing, sweaty, seamy place--a place populated by lots of pimps and hookers, pushers, bookies, cops on the take, fetishists of all stripes, porn merchants and so on.  Its a place where this very lively underworld exists as a twisted refuge from the traumas of the war, etc.  Is that right?  It sounds really cool. Given that one player's character is a fighter, I had images of both Pulp Fiction and Fight Club, the former because of the Bruce Willis character and the LA setting and the latter for its depiction of the emergence of a brutal sub-culture in the seamy underbelly of Wilmington, Delaware, all of this, of course, as it would look if it was transported to LA in the 50s.

Okay, so on to the other stuff.  I think you are wise to go with a pretty straightforward definition of Humanity for your first time out.  I've found that the empathy angle, simple as it seems, works great and produces very different responses from the players every time you play.  So with that definition of Humanity, you can easily define what Demons are all about.  So taking this straight out of Sorcerer's Soul, if Humanity is Empathy then Demons will "bypass 'decency.'"  It can be that simple.  Feel free to create some strange origin story for where Demons come from, but it really isn't necessary at all.  As I said in my earlier post---all the blather about Demons emerging from a split in humans that coincided with the splitting of the atom was all just window dressing and color.  It might seem like cool color or it might seem lame, but it isn't crucial to the game.  I could have just as easily thrown up my hands and said, "Who knows where Demons come from?  They come from Someplace Else, period."  So don't feel like you have to overwork it.

The Kickers sound promising.  You might want to spike Kicker #2 when it is introduced into play by thinking about how the blackmailing is revealed to the player and how much money he's being asked to cough up.  [Hint: set it higher than his available savings and then the player is faced with some interesting questions about how he is going to scratch up enough to make payment--this opens the door to the player addressing the challenge in a whole host of ways, which is one of the things you want every Bang to do (i.e. give the player lots of options for how to deal with it)].  With Kicker #1 you should feel free to come up with something really cool about who murdered the father and what the crucial evidence is.  Here though the challenge is to make sure that the point does not simply become solving the mystery of the murder but rather, how does the character respond to and resolve the crisis presented by the Kicker.  In other words, it is the player's character's story (what he does, how he deals with what he does and how he decides what it all means) that we're interested in, not the father's story.  I wrote about this in a thread that I will shamelessly point to, but be sure to check out what other people have written about Kickers as well.

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=17415.0 

Two final things:

1) I hope that the players have given you a sense of a) the other relationships that are important to their characters (siblings, parents, other important family members, sexual partners and the like) and b) an explanation for how exactly they came to be sorcerers who have summoned and bound a demon.  This last thing is really important.  Discourage strongly any sorcerous versions of "superhero syndrome."  You know what I mean---the sorcerous equivalent of "I was bitten by a weird spider and discovered that I could cast webs and climb walls."  That kind of passive acquisition of power is anathema to Sorcerer because the game is all about choices that the players' characters make.  They chose to conjure up and bind these Demons.  Why?

2) This sentence concerned me a bit

Quote
Plus, I’m reading in the text that I need to focus on what narrative story I want to tell….

You (Rustin) are not responsible for telling a story.  The stories that emerge in the game emerge as a result of the players' decisions and interests working through the medium of their characters' actions and the meaning they attribute to those actions and their consequences.  Your job is to facilitate this stuff by framing cool scenes and delivering your Bangs.  In the process of actual play, these stories will be created, but it will be done collaboratively and with the bulk of the work being done by the players making decisions through their characters.

I just wanted to make that clear.  Perhaps I misunderstood you though and what you meant was that you need to come up with a backstory about what is happening in the R-map.  If you are using the R-map technique, then you're right that there ought to be a backstory there--but the backstory is not the narrative (story) that gets produced through play and it certainly is not the focus of play.

Okay, so I've broken my word and written a longer response than I intended.  My apologies.  I hope some of it is useful.

Cheers,

Eric

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Rustin
Member

Posts: 91


« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2006, 01:29:39 PM »

Eric-

Wow. Thanks so much.  If you ever find yourself in SLC let me know so I can buy you a beer or something.  Some very helpful feedback.

Stakes
Considering the "Does he throw the Will in the fire" conflict, because they have a conflict of interest we are going to go to the dice.

From what I see the rules allow for various ways to resolve this.
We could do a straight up Sta v. Sta check, or any other associated skills that could be brought in to it.  However, as I read over Ron's comments here is an idea I had.

We do a conflict between characters, sta v. sta or whatever, allow for roleplay etc.. and then any victories or penalties are then applied to Julian's subsequent roll to throw the Will to the fire.

Under the rules, what would be an ordinarily easy task (0 opposition dice) now is modified by penalties. This seems intuitive to me because the simple act of throwing a piece of paper in the fire doesn't deserve a straight up sta v. sta check.  Additionally, if one wanted to try to talk someone out of throwing the paper in it could easily be a Wil v. Wil, with maybe a humanity modifier check in there too, depending on the ethical context of the situation.

Depending on just how critical this conflict was it appears the rules offer various levels of detail. Stakes are never really included, because the result is contained within the economy of the bonus/penalty system.

All this, and the odd thing is, I was studying Wills and Trust and how to properly revoke a Will, just as you originally posted.. bizarre

Because of this discussion I feel 10X more comfortable with the game mechanics.

Setting
Here is what I'm going to go with.  Prior to massive atomic testing and the killing of thousands in Japan, dealing with demons required sophisticated understanding and esoteric insight of mathematics.  Since they dropped the bomb, accessing demons has become easier.  You can still use a mathematical type lore, but now there are newer demon types available which require just a feral, instinctual contacting ritual. 

Demons through math are more sophisticated, more detail oriented.
Demons through a feral connection want to become more sophisticated like demons, yet they continually struggle with their animalistic nature.

Kicker #1 I have integrated into the Veronica Mars R-Map by having the young Kane boy actually being responsible for the murder of the father (or the demon inside him).  The dad, Father Kane, has used his influence and power to make the evidence disappear.  Enter Daddy Mars, who used his contacts to find the evidence and then give it to Player #1 cop he knows is ruthless and effective, hoping that he will lock up or kill young Kane because daddy Mars doesn't want his daughter in love with a boy that is trouble.

Daddy Kane is a sorcerer who placed possessor demons in both his kids.  It was the possessor demon that killed Player  #1's dad.  Why they were together, what the deal was there I haven't really defined yet.  Like I say, it is sort of a rush to have an idea of different motivations, but have enough leeway to do some freeform roleplay.

Kicker #2.  The young punk of the motorcycle gang has incriminating photos of a murder by player #2.  Murder was part of his binding ritual. (yeah I made them be pretty bad to get their demons). Young Punk is in love with Young Daughter Kane.  Actually, the blackmail will become a request to kill Young Actor Son (from R-map, i'm switching this to be the son of a boxing promoter). 

The only bang for this map that I can see will be, the murder of Young Daughter Kane, of course by daddy Actor (who is also a sorcerer).

Hopefully the opportunity to produce the body, and have the dynamic shift of NPC motivations will seem obvious during play.

I misspoke.  I need to focus on the "Theme and tone" I want to invoke.  My brain did a mixup of terms.  With your help I think I've got it.

Thanks again.

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