Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

[Sorcerer] Curse of the Python God!

Started by James_Nostack, April 13, 2006, 01:06:38 AM

Previous topic - Next topic


In addition to an on-line Sorcerer & Sword game, I've started a face-to-face S&S game, set in the same world of crumbling Atlantean empires and resentful barbarian tribes.  This is my first time GM'ing a face-to-face game since like 1992.

Participants - Me (GM), Jon ("Darius the Exile"), and Eric ("Hamilcar Tetramnestus").  All three of us are active on the Forge, to a greater or lesser degree.

Gamin' - I was in Jon's Primetime Adventures game and a Trollbabe game.  No prior gaming experience with Eric.

Socializin' - Right now this is three dudes who seem to have a good time gaming together.

Preparation & Characters - We met once at an Ethiopian restaurant to chat about the setting, genre, and expectations; we met once at my old apartment to put together sorcerers and demons, complete with Conan the Barbarian playing in the background, various classical and modern works on the subject for inspiration, etc. 

Jon, in creating Darius, seems to have been motivated by imagery and coolness--he said Darius is one of those "heavy metal sorcerer types," and he's absolutely right.  Eric, meanwhile, wanted to do a partiarch who wants to dominate his screwed-up family--and Hamilcar fits that bill very well.

Darius the Exile - Unnatural Means (serpent ichor), Vow: leave Heliopolis in ruins (er, I think!), Apprentice.  Summarizing - Darius is a bastard child of a senator, with a grudge against the whole establishment.  He left town, received sorcerous training from a barbarian tribe--and then bound the tribe's god.  He then returned to the city to  pull down the whole house of cards.

Kagara the Great Ruler (Darius's demon) - a primeval python, revered as a god by the tribe of Apep-Set.  Kagara is revered as symbol of death and fertility.  Desire: to be Worshipped.  Need: Orgies.  Note - Darius completely botched the binding, and Kagara gets a whopping 5 dice in its favor to bully Darius around.

Senator Hamilcar Trimnestrus - Trained Soldier, Leader of Men + Angry, Naive.  A cash-strapped aristocrat of Heliopolis with a severely dysfunctional family.  He divorced his first wife (mother of his three children), and then married a coldblooded Atlantean beauty named Merope, who could not care less about him.

The Wedding Band (Hamilcar's demon) - an orichalcum wedding ring received upon marriage to Merope.  Desire: Marital Harmony.  Need: To Bind Others into Slavery.

MY Prep - This was hard.  The on-line Sorcerer game fit together very well.  This thing is still all fidgety in my mind.  I really enjoy that feeling of the story "gelling" together, and I'm not quite there, but from what I gather the first session is usually a little rocky.

Scene 1 - Noon
The outdoor temple of Baal-Horus--an enormous sun dial--at the grand wedding of Hamilcar's daughter to his chief financier.  As Hamilcar's father, Tolmos, officiates as high priest.  Whereupon an enormous sphinx screeches from the sky, bellows, "This fate awaits all those who blaspheme against Kagara the Great Ruler!", and snatches the daughter up and carries her off!

Amid the general panic, Hamilcar begins shouting to put together a military expedition to follow the beast.  Despite getting chastised by his ex-wife and her new husband the Governor, Hamilcar manages to wheedle more money from the financier/groom.  People are wondering what on earth Hamilcar must have done, that the gods would visit this punishment upon his daughter.

(This was an excellent kicker but I totally botched it.  Eric was all gung-ho about chasing this thing, but I didn't introduce any conflicts of note.  I really wanted to fire both barrels at him, but in fact failed to give this part much thought.  My bad!)

Scene 2 - Dusk
Darius has spent the last several weeks collaborating with the local gangsters to create a false Serpent Cult of Kagara.  As the orgiastic rites get underway, a masked follower named Kyros brings him an offering, that he may be initiated into the cult's mysteries: the girl Darius has always longed for, Cybele the Vestal Virgin.  As the long-separated couple are about to speak--the City Watch raids the place on orders of the Governor and High Priest Tolmos!

Cybele gets lost in the crowd, Kyros slinks away, and Darius is cornered by the Captain of the Watch--his half-brother, Tryphon.  When Tryphon accuses the cult (wrongly) of performing infanticide, Darius tries to joke about it, but it turns out that Tryphon's infant daughter has been kidnapped, and he nearly kills Darius before he can be calmed down.  Tryphon ends up agreeing to let Darius go... if he disbands the cult and leaves town.  Yeah right.

(This was a good scene, by and large.)

Scene 3 - Night
Preparations for the expedition made, Hamilcar sends his headstrong son Gyges to chase after the long-departed sphinx, and interrogates his Atlantean wife about sorcery and demons.  She's practically emotionless about the loss of his daughter, and tries to put him in his (subordinate) place. 

Hamilcar manages to justify his existence (gained a point of Honor!) and his place in her plans for the city.  She agrees to loan him the one magical trinket in her possession--a domino mask--but it has been stolen...

(Botched Eric's kicker; also botched this scene.  Eric wanted to chase after the sphinx--and I'm all like, "Whoa!  Duh... um... Really?" because it simply hadn't occurred to me.  I think Eric sensed my "gotta think! gotta think!" look as slight resistance, and opted to stay in town instead.  Also, the demon should have shown up.)

Scene 4 - Dead of Night
Darius and his criminal buddies have gone to ground, and now meet up to discuss strategy.  One of the gangsters, Boustros, comments that there's a reward out for the leader of the Snake Cult--maybe the gang could give them Darius, and split the reward... There's a big argument, as Darius asserts that he is the prophet of the Great Kagara, who's wrath is unfathomable.

Or, the wrath would be unfathomable, if Kagara cared enough to obey Darius's command.  The criminals all begin to laugh at Darius as a fraud and a fool.  Sebet the Queen of Thieves (and Darius's latest bedmate) tries to offer him an out, by asking him to explain what else he can offer the enterprise--but Darius, humiliated, bows out to salvage what's left of his dignity.  (Loss of Honor.)

(This scene was cool--but also contentious.  When I called for a Honor loss check, Jon was blindsided.  To me, Darius had lost face in front of the gang, and couldn't back up his grandiose words with deeds.  Jon argued that if he'd known Honor was at stake, he wouldn't have been so boastful... and in any case, after Kagara failed to show, he felt like there were no Honorable ways out.  We're working it out on e-mail.)

Scene 5 - Dawn
Hamilcar has been summoned to the Senate, both to give an account of himself, and also to plan a civic response to the threat of sphinxes and snake-cults.  He's approached by a plebian named Boustros, who offers him the leader of the cult in exchange for a reward; Hamilcar pumps Boustros for information, then leaves.  He pays a visit to his son Zinnridi the debauched scholar... and finds Z passed out amid children of either sex after an unspeakable revel.  Nearby is Merope's mask.  (Z was the masked epicure "Kyros" in Scene 2.)

On the way to the Senate, Hamilcar stops to talk with Tryphon, captain of the watch and son of Hamilcar's chief rival.  As both of their daughters have been kidnapped by the Snake Cult, Hamilcar proposes an alliance.

(Hamilcar is a cool character!  He's such a bastard!  But so far his scenes haven't involved really aggressive challenges, which is pity.  But now I have an idea...)

Scene 6 - Mid-Morning
Slumming with the most humble and poverty-stricken of his followers, Darius engages in a pathetic orgy to curry favor with Kagara.  Shortly thereafter, he receives a message from Cybele, asking him to meet her at the Baths.  There, she's both overjoyed to see him again, and despondent that she has been defiled--for, though she is a vestal virgin, she has been raped by the high priest of Baal-Horus (Hamilcar's father, Tolmos).

Darius tries to comfort her.  And when Kagara demands that Darius assault her virtue as well, Darius refuses and punishes the demon.

And we ended there.  I had a good time, and the others seemed to as well.  Looking ahead, I need to be more aggressive with conflicts, particularly with Eric's sorcerer Hamilcar.  If anyone has thoughts on that, feel free.  Eric is certainly pulling his weight, but he can pull more.

We also need to work out some kinks with our Humanity definition.  Originally defined as Honor, that might be open to confusion.  I was thinking along the lines of achievement, skill, glory, self-respect, prowess, keeping your word, loyalty, and respect among your in-group. 

A different definition for Humanity might be, "Don't be a bastard," though there may be a better word for that.  Thoughts?

Ron Edwards

Honor sure is a tricky word. I tend to see it as a choice of identity one arrives at, in the context of three conflicting things:

a) face (respect from others)
b) duty (obligations to others)
c) passion (drives of your own)

This gives rise to three problems.

a) A person who cannot establish a personal pattern (identity) among these gets yanked to and fro, even if he or she tries to fulfill them. Effectively, they end up with "no honor" despite their efforts.

b) A person who rejects one or two of them entirely, to concentrate fiercely on the remaining ones. Effectively, he or she becomes inhuman in intensity, willing to destroy whatever doesn't fit with the obsession.

c) A person who simply doesn't care about any of that stuff from the start.

So it seems to me as if you could monitor how the characters act in terms of coping with the demands among the three things. When it seems as if (a) or (b) apply [(c) is irrelevant to PCs in this case), then that's a Humanity check.

How's that sound?

Best, Ron

P.S. Darius the Exile is my kinda guy.


We met for the second session of play.  First time gaming in the new apartment.  We briefly thought New York might be under terrorist attack due to some really loud explosions coming from Jersey.  Also, I discovered that there are no good pizza places around me.  Damn!

Scene 5A
A continuation of the conversation between Senator Hamilcar and Tryphon, Chief of Police and son of Hamilcar's chief political rival.  Though Tryphon's own child has been kidnapped by criminals, he can't do anything about it yet, because he's under orders to rescue Hamilcar's kid instead, and bust up the snake cult.  Tryphon will have to bring in this suspicious "Lady Kyros" in for questioning, and knows "Kyros" is associated with Hamilcar's household.  If Hamilcar hands "Kyros" over to the police, Tryphon will hand over his own brother Darius, leader of the snake cult, so that Hamilcar can exact what vengeance seems best. 

Reaction - Hamilcar considers the offer, but doesn't make any commitment at this time.  Hamilcar knows that "Kyros" is his debauched son Zinnridi.  So each of these guys is contemplating selling out his kin to the other.

Scene 7 (yes, this is out of order for readability's sake)
Hamilcar and Tryphon arrive at the Senate, where they are shocked to find Gyges returned from his expedition to track down the Sphinx.  Though the expedition ended in disaster, Gyges seems pretty happy about everything--swapping gossipy stories about his parents' divorce.  But once Prokopius enters (leader of the Senate, father of Tryphon and Darius the Exile), Gyges gives the report that the shaman Xerives is coming, and will make war on the city: the Sphinx stole the blasphemer's kin, and there will be more curses until the blasphemer is driven out.  Prokopius, then, makes a motion to strip Hamilcar of rank, and for his past military honors to be revoked.  Hamilcar's ally, Mazaius, rises to give a speech in Hamilcar's defense, but instead spreads scurrilous stories about his corruption.

Reaction - The player knew that a demon was on the loose, but the character couldn't figure it out.  Hamilcar barely survived the censorious motion with his rank intact.  (Dodged an Honor loss.)

Scene 9
Leaving the Senate, Hamilcar is accosted by his Atlantean wife, Merope.  She wants a divorce: he is no longer a figure of influence in the city's politics, and she's leaving him for Prokopius.  This sends Hamilcar's demonic wedding ring into a panic of denial: it Dazes her, mucking up her brain momentarily--in front of the Governor and Hamilcar's ex-wife.  Gyges shows up, ashamed of telling stories about his mother, and tries to pick a fight with his father--but Hamilcar is far superior, and maneuvers the young hothead into punching his mother's lights out.  Hamilcar begins making preparations to go to war against the shaman's tribe.

Scene 6A
A continuation of the earlier scene in the Baths, with Darius the Exile and his torch Cybele the Vestal Virgin.  She confesses that she has been raped by Tolmos, High Priest of Baal-Horus (also, Hamilcar's father).  Also, she's worried that Tolmos's psychotic grandson Gyges has been following her lately; "Kyros" said Gyges intends to kill her and hush up the rape.

Then, Liegia shows up (Cybele's sister, Tryphon's wife).  She's been sheltering Cybele the last few days in Villa Prokopius.  "Oh, Darius, you have to help us!  We just received this ransom note for our infant child.  At first we thought the snake cult was involved, but Tryphon assured me it wasn't.  I thought with your strange mystical powers you could help us--if word gets out that we paid the ransom, it would ruin Tryphon's career and Prokopius's."  (Which is what Darius wants, ultimately.)

Reaction - Darius agreed to help: he knows it's Sebet and Boustros who are behind these more mundane kidnappings.  This resulted in an Honor gain, because he's paying Tryphon back for not running him in last night.

Scene 8
Darius and Cybele at Villa Prokopius.  Cybele is worried that she's pregnant: the senate is all up in arms about blasphemy, and she's an expecting Virgin.  As Darius takes her in his arms to console her, in walks Liegia with Lillana, Darius's tribal girlfriend.  Lillana is pregnant too, and is all like, "Oh Zargar, come back to us, and be with me always, like you promised!  Father was so upset when the Sphinx carried off your sister!  (Gasp!  Darius's mother is Hamilcar's ex-wife!)  But if I bring you back with Kagara, I'm sure he'll forgive you and end this stupid war before anyone gets hurt!"  And Liegia is all gossipy and eager to spread scandalous stories about Darius's entanglements.

Reaction - Darius kicks Lillana to the curb, almost literally.  And burns an Honor point for being especially cruel.  (Though Jon had an awesome line: Lillana sez, "You swore you'd always be with me, and in time take my father's place."  Darius sez, "I told the truth about taking your father's place.")  But he managed to lay the whole truth on Cybele, when he could have lied just as easily, and regained that lost point of Honor.

Scene 10
Later in the evening, Prokopius and Tryphon return to the villa.  Prokopius is all happy about becoming senate leader and marrying Merope soon; Tryphon is trying to tell him about the kidnappings.  Then Prokopius sees Darius, and the two get into a screaming argument about politics, parenthood, and so on.  He's especially angry to see Cybele consorting with him again: she can't stay here any longer.

Reaction - As the argument escalates, Tryphon gets angry: "I told you to leave town!" and then Liegia pipes up, "He propositioned me!" and Tryphon basically decides, screw this, I'm taking you in.  And a fight breaks out.  After two rounds, Darius is unconscious---presumably on his way to Hamilcar's dungeon.

This session was a little more "crisp" than the first session, though I thought that went reasonably well too.  I had more time to prepare, and tried to increase the pressure on Hamilcar this time.  Jon and Eric had some awesome lines, and we seem to be on the same page about Humanity = Honor now.

I think there's one more session left in this thing, so we'll see how it goes!



Real World Stuff - I had a final that morning, so I was too fried to do any hard GM'ing work.  Which, it turns out, was perfectly okay since all the characters have plenty of momentum, and I could just sit back and watch.  We ordered some strange yet delicious pizza, sat back, and framed scenes together. 

It helped enormously that we were all committed to finishing the story that night.  We couldn't quite get there!  But the energy was there, and we had a really good time.

Scene 11
Hamilcar captures Boustros, the gangster who was screwing his daughter, and hands him over to Tryphon, Captain of the Watch.  Tryphon then hands over his own brother, Darius, leader of the snake cult, who may know of the daughter's whereabouts.  Tryphon expects to leave with Hamilcar's wife, Merope, for questioning: he believes that Merope is the mysterious "Lady Kyros," a participant in the orgiastic snake cult.

Hamilcar runs off to question Merope about this.  Merope had been talking about leaving him (Scene 9), so Hamilcar's demonic wedding ring has basically been zapping her with brain damage to keep her docile.  She convinces Hamilcar that she had nothing to do with the cult; Tryphon must be mistaken.

When Hamilcar returns, he finds Tryphon trying to strangle Darius with his chains.  (Darius, knowing that Tryphon had sworn not to hurt him, couldn't resist goading him a bit.)  Hamilcar explains that "Lady Kyros" is in fact his debauched son Zinnridi, and hands the kid over for questioning.  Tryphon leaves.

Scene 12
Hamilcar and Darius meet for the first time, and size each other up.  Darius explains that he's the only one in the city who knows how to fight Xerives, the tribal shaman who kidnapped Hamilcar's daughter.  Also, Hamilcar's political rival Prokopius is Darius's father, and the two hate each other.  So there's a natural, if temporary, alliance between them.  Hamilcar sets Darius free.  (Darius still intends to murder Hamilcar's father, the high priest Tolmos.)

Scene 13
Hamilcar heads off to discipline his hot-headed, arrogant son Gyges.  The two get into an argument--and when Gyges realizes Hamilcar is serious about disinheriting him, he draws steel and tries to kill his old man.  We have a  combat here between Hamilcar, Gyges, and some house guards with divided loyalties.  Gyges gets brain-damaged by the ring, but manages to escape.

Scene 14
Darius, at the end of Scene 10, realized that one of his in-laws had been possessed by a demon named Mosquito.  Mosquito is one of Xerives's servants who thrives on gossip and slander.  Darius tracks Mosquito down to a local dive, where the demon is tending bar.  (There's news that Tryphon, after interrogating Boustros, is busy busting up the local gangs: he's learned that they're the ones who kidnapped his own child.)

Darius attempts to befriend Mosquito, but it doesn't work--and then tries to banish him.  This is described as the sorcerer and demon exchanging scandalous stories about each other in front of a packed crowd, with Darius hoping to literally embarrass Mosquito out of existence.  This didn't work.  So Kagara, Darius's enormous snake-demon, descends from the rafters, wraps its coils around Mosquito, and crushes the demon to death in front of an awe-struck crowd.  Some of the gang members who mocked Darius & Kagara in Scene 4 turn to Kagara worshipfully. 

Scene 15
During Scene 12, Hamilcar learned that some of Prokopius's fortune was hidden at the Temple of Baal-Horus.  Hamilcar wears the Mask of Merope (Scene 5) to detect it.  Instead, his father Tolmos sexually accosts him, believing him to be the vestal virgin Cybele.  Turns out the mask makes you appear to be whoever the viewer desires most.

Hamilcar eventually figures this out--and then pretends to be an avatar of Baal-Horus, using the body of this defiled "girl" to send a message of warning and punishment to the high priest.  For defaming the virginity of Cybele, Tolmos must march at the head of the armies in the war against Xerives's tribe.

Scene 16
At dawn Darius finds Cybele, who has taken refuge in the Hanging Gardens of Heliopolis.  Gyges, ordered by Tolmos to slay the girl, shows up, and there's a fight between Gyges, Cybele, Darius, and Kagara.  Gyges manages to hold his own for like 5-6 rounds--the dice were very kind to him.  During this, Darius had to make several Will rolls to stay on his feet, which was kind of cool. 

I was actually beginning to get tired of the combat, and finally suggested, "Look, Gyges is only relevant so long as he doesn't kill Cybele--and she escaped last round.  And then, maybe he could lead Darius close to Tolmos, to assassinate him."  A Will roll later, and that was that.

Scene 17
We didn't get to this one!  But everyone is now at the Temple of Baal-Horus, persuing their own agendas, and then Xerives, the Sphinx, and Hamilcar's stolen daughter show up again.....

We're still feeling our way thorugh this.  It was pretty action-packed, but nothing really prompted a Humanity roll this time around. 

I think we were a little frustrated by the "swingy-ness" of the Sorcerer dice.  Don't get me wrong: the procedures for handling the dice are brilliant.  Rollovers, quips, order/performance, aborting an action--these are all very, very good.  But the dice themselves don't seem to do it for me.  The margin of victory is usually so slight, and the victor is so unpredictable, that some of the zing! gets lost.  (This might simply be personal preference or me still getting a feel for the system.)

Jon Hastings

I'm enjoying these sessions a lot, but it has taken some work: I've had to adjust my expectations throughout the game and I've had some rough spots during play.  After playing Dogs, Burning Wheel, Trollbabe, and PTA, it is a little jarring to play in a game without some variation on "say yes or roll dice".

In general though, I like the way the constraints in the system lead to tough choices and harsh results (even if some of the harsh results are a little hard to take at the time).

This session, I loved the way the "theme music rule" worked during the combat with Gyges.

Darius is fast moving to the top of my all-time favorite characters list and I've thoroughly enjoyed the ins-and-outs of Hamilcar's story.


Quote from: Jon Hastings on May 05, 2006, 07:29:11 PM
I'm enjoying these sessions a lot, but it has taken some work: I've had to adjust my expectations throughout the game and I've had some rough spots during play.  After playing Dogs, Burning Wheel, Trollbabe, and PTA, it is a little jarring to play in a game without some variation on "say yes or roll dice".

Could you describe this a bit more, perhaps with an example from the table?

Because I am wondering if I don't now "say yes or roll the dice" with every game I play on instinct and I wonder if this is a good thing or a bad.

Jon Hastings

Hi Judd,

An example from this last session:

In Scene 14, I wanted Darius to try to get Mosquito to go after Tolmos: that was my goal and I went about it first by having Darius try to trick and cajole him and then by having Darius threaten him.  However, James decided that there was no way that Mosquito would help Darius, i.e., he said "no".  (In the Sorcerer rules, I believe this is phrased as "the GM tells the players their efforts have come to naught").

This placed Darius in a really sticky situation Humanity-wise: he could accept the humiliation of failing to deal with Mosquito,showing that his threats were empty, or he could act on his threats and do something to punish/destroy him.  I went with punish/destroy option.

From my pov, the benefit of this technique is that it forces these harsh choices on the players.  The drawback (for me) is that I'm reluctant to invest a lot of roleplaying energy in pursuing a goal that has much of a chance of "coming to naught".  However, this reluctance is partly because I am used to doing things the Dogs/PTA/BW way.



Quote from: Jon Hastings on May 05, 2006, 08:10:06 PMIn Scene 14, I wanted Darius to try to get Mosquito to go after Tolmos: that was my goal and I went about it first by having Darius try to trick and cajole him and then by having Darius threaten him.  However, James decided that there was no way that Mosquito would help Darius, i.e., he said "no".  (In the Sorcerer rules, I believe this is phrased as "the GM tells the players their efforts have come to naught").

No opposed Will roll for either the cajoling or the intimidation?

Jon Hastings

Quote from: Paka on May 05, 2006, 08:12:00 PM
No opposed Will roll for either the cajoling or the intimidation?


Jon Hastings

Sorry - hit the post button too soon.  I meant: "Yes, there were no opposed Will rolls."


Jon, understood.

Quote from: Jon Hastings on May 05, 2006, 08:15:35 PM
Quote from: Paka on May 05, 2006, 08:12:00 PM
No opposed Will roll for either the cajoling or the intimidation?


I must have somehow missed this comes to naught rule and will have to look it up tonight when I get home.  Thanks.


I may have confused Jon's statement of particulars as an in-character line of attack, rather than a general intention. 

If you've got a demon (Mosquito) who knows for damn sure that you betrayed its master by running off with the tribal god, pretending to be an innocent bystander isn't going to work.  I can't remember precisely what line Jon used, but in my estimation it simply wasn't going to fly.

Now, on the other hand, that was me interpreting the particular line of argument that Jon had delivered IC as a statement of intent.  But a more general intent--"I'll get Mosquito to switch sides"--wouldn't have seemed so daunting.  There were probably some other ways to dominate Mosquito's will: "I've taken Xerives's daughter captive.  You'll serve me now, or Xerives will punish you," or "I know you love scandalous stories--here's one that perhaps you haven't heard," etc.

This is one of those situations where I'm never sure how broadly to understand the scope of a die roll in Sorcerer.  It's clearly not meant to do an entire scene at one roll, at least in most situations, so a degree of specificity is involved.  On the other hand, there's the risk that the tactic that gets proposed is inapplicable to the situation.

Probably we should have stopped, re-thought the stakes, discussed what might have had the desired effect, and gone from there. 


Ah, okay, this is my memory: Darius has stolen the tribal god, and retreated to the city.  Xerives sends out his minion Mosquito to find out where Darius is at, and generally make his life difficult.  The power structure of the city is only relevant to Xerives & Mosquito to the extent that they shelter Darius and therefore prevent the rightful return of the god.

Jon, meanwhile, wanted to turn Mosquito onto his side to strike at Tolmos, one of the city aristocrats.  And the line in question was a variation upon, "Listen, I haven't done anything wrong, the real enemy of the tribe is Tolmos."  This is pretty much a flat-out contradiction to the entire reason Mosquito was summoned and bound to this mission.  I could see a variation of this working--"I'm on a secret mission from Kagara to wipe out Tolmos, join me," or "Kagara is too powerful for me to control, I'd return him to Xerives gladly.  Help me kill Tolmos, and you can return with the god and earn Xerives's praise," etc.  But the part that stood out in my mind was the "Why are you blaming me?" aspect.

Perhaps this is reading things too narrowly.  I'm happy to discuss it if so.

Jon Hastings

Hi James,

The two lines I played out were: (1) Darius trying to convince Mosquito that Tolmos is the greater enemy to Xerives and, when that didn't work, (2) Darius threatening Mosquito with punishment/destruction in order to get him to help.  In neither of these scenarios did Darius pretend to be an innocent bystander or pretend to be a friend of Xerives. 

I'm not sure why you're now suggesting we should have stopped and re-framed stuff: I was  explicit about what I wanted out of the scene from the beginning.  When I asked for the scene, I said that I wanted a chance to use Mosquito as a pawn against Tolmos.  (In fact, that was the only reason I wanted that scene at all.)

Wrt the discussion of not using "say yes or roll the dice" it doesn't matter that you, the GM, can come up with a number of tactics that you would have accepted.  What matters is that you did not allow the conflict (does Darius convince Mosquito to go up against Tolmos?) to go to the dice.  I don't think you made a bad decision (what you did is supported by the rules and I think thematically what happened was very cool), but it is different from the kind of play I am used to from Dogs/PTA/BW/Trollbabe/etc.


QuoteI'm not sure why you're now suggesting we should have stopped and re-framed stuff: I was  explicit about what I wanted out of the scene from the beginning.  When I asked for the scene, I said that I wanted a chance to use Mosquito as a pawn against Tolmos.  (In fact, that was the only reason I wanted that scene at all.)

That's true.  And what I'm sayin' is that my focus was--totally incorrectly--elsewhere.  I ended up thinking too much about your tactics rather than the actual goal at stake, and my "that's not going to work" was meant to refer to that particular line, rather than the goal itself.  But let's talk about this real quick before next session - I think we're more or less on the same page--I made a mistake in focus and miscommunicated.

In other words: I don't think your understanding of Sorcerer is wrong at all, I think I got sidetracked in the middle of things.