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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 251 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Sorcerer: Warlocks, Witches, Priests, Nuns, Demons, Angels, Satan and God  (Read 7918 times)
Judd
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« on: May 01, 2007, 05:05:36 PM »

"Our job as Devils is not to damn our appointee's soul to hell as quickly as possible.  Ideally, we want a cycle of damnation and coldness and then a sliver of redemption, just enough to keep their feet on the soil and their souls in their bodies."

- The Imping Textbook, written by Satan

Witches and Warlocks and their holy counterparts, Priests and Nuns are both summoners, or Sorcerers, if you will.  The differences between their summoned familiars, the Angels and the Devils, is a matter of scholarly debate.  Certainly, Devilsand Angels are embroiled in different hierarchies, just as their Sorcerous countereparts climb different ladders.

Humanity is empathy for other human beings' suffering.

Demons are Angels and Devils, direct from heaven and hell.  Rules-wise, there is no difference other than the folks they answer to and they gain power with their hierarchies through different standards.


There are only 13 Witches and Warlocks at any one time.   At the top of the pyramid is the Grand Warlock or Grand Witch, whose primary familiar is Satan, Lord of Darkness, himself.  Below them are the Arch Witches and Arch Warlocks, of which there are 2.  Below them are the 3 Masters and below them are the 4Journeymen and Journeywomen.

At the lowest rung are the 3 apprentices, doled out like gifts to the most gifted (5 Lore or higher) Witches and Warlocks.  There are only ever 13 at a given time.

Players play both Sorcerers and Demons.  They must play in pairs.  There is no other choice.  The GM plays the NPC Sorcerers and their Demons

+1 to a Contact roll if you know the Demon's Sorcerer's name.

+1 to a Summoning roll if you know in which city the Demon is currently residing.

+1 to a Binding roll if you know the Demon's need.


Priests and Nuns are even rarer, only 7 may exist.  At the top is His Holiness, the Supreme Bishop or Her Holiness, the Matron Mother.  Serving the His or Her Holiness are the 5 Cardinals.  Answering only to the Supreme Bishop or Matron Mother, yet having no say in the Cardinal's decisions is the Inquisitioner.

When a Sorcerer hits 0 Humanity they become a Demon of either type (Player's Choice) and the Demon's Player drops his Demon, who is unceremoniously re-assigned and makes up a new Sorcerer of corresponding type.

"Some doubt the effectiveness of holiness over the unholy.  Any who wish to see the might of the power we can summon need only look upon the charred ruins of Sodom and Gamorra."
- Letter from a loyal Inquisitor to his Matron Mother


Place names:
  • Hellsponte
  • Abyssin
  • Styx Bay
  • Mephistophuzon
  • Belialopolis
  • New Gamorra
  • Goat Run
  • Job Valley
  • Gidea
  • Seven Hills
  • White Gates
  • Holy Seat
  • Lost Angels
  • Grace

There will be Sorcerer Descriptors and Demon Descriptors

There will be hard and fast rules on Sorcerers climbing their hierarchies and Devils and Angels climbing there's.


There are only 5 items that appear in both Satan's Book of Lies and the Good Book and the context of these items is vastly different:

[LIST=1]
  • Humanity was kicked out of Eden due to the Serpent and the eating of the Apple.
  • There was a great flood brought about by a Leviathan.
  • Soddom and Gamora were destroyed by an arch-angel.
  • Job was sorely tested due to a bet between Satan and God.
  • The End Times are coming.

This is coming together in my head.  I scrawled it down on a notebook page this afternoon and wanted to get it down while it made sense and show it to someone else who digs Sorcerer. 

I've got rules for Devils climbing their hierarchical ladder and some ideas about Witches and Warlocks but the holy side is kind of too fresh in my noggin.  Thoughts are welcomed.
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James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2007, 06:53:33 PM »

Wikipedia has a ton of stuff on Goetic demons, including some neat 16th Century German woodcuts and images from alchemical texts.  I also get a definite Dark Crystal vibe from this. 

If you're going to make a fuss about rankings and hierarchy, I think you should make each side's sorcery mechanically distinct.  Like, maybe for the Holy side, you can roll Cover vs. Lore to gain bonus dice to Banish, representing the triumph of your connection to the everyday world over all this mystical bullshit--things like that, maybe 2-3 for each side, so their magic "feels" different.  The exact nature of these rollovers would depend on the theology.

The notion of formal titles for male and female practitioners indicates that sexuality might be involved here too; perhaps some of the Azk'arn Sex & Sorcery stuff applies?  (In fact, how the churches treat gender and sex might make a great source for those mechanical differences.)

As a general note, which may not apply to your idea, I kind of like Ron's scheme for the "demonic lifecycle" in Sorcerer's Soul, where a demon gains Power for each soul it drags to 0 Humanity, gradually moving from an inconspicuous little half-notional delusion into a full-blown passer, perhaps becoming--in time--mechanically Human.  And if it saves someone on the brink of 0 Humanity, it becomes an angel?  Or is that drawing too big of a distinction, when you said you wanted them mechanically the same?  But the notion of spiritual evolution among demons is kinda interesting.  Maybe angels de-volve, becoming more notional until they're reunited with the godhead in Eternity?
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Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2007, 09:21:53 AM »

Thanks, James, you've given me some fun toys to chew on.  This came from reading through some parts of Sorcerer's Soul again last night when a friend asked if his demon could be redeemed.

I like the idea of players playing the demons and the Sorcerers dealing with a hierarchy while the demons deal with one of their own and theocratic nation-states in a kind of cold war religious conflict, kept cold due to the very real fear from both sides of what happened to Soddom and Gamorra.

I'm still wrestling with this whole thing but thanks for the input, you've given me more to think on.
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Arturo G.
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Posts: 333


« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2007, 09:39:12 AM »

I remember there was a kind of summary demonic categorization in "The Paradise Lost" (Milton). When Satan arises in Hell after its fall, and rallies the demonic hosts. I would say this categorization is representative of the standards found in catholic iconography for centuries. I think there is a similar thing about angels spread in some parts of the poem.

Arturo
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James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2007, 11:22:11 AM »

Judd: one thing to think about is what justifies the different terminology: the words you've chosen are very loaded ones, and presumably aren't assigned arbitrarily.  Maybe the "bad" side Summons using sacrifices as described in the core rules, and the "good" side gets rollover dice for Summoning for some other thing?  (Good works?  I dunno.)  Summoning is always a bottleneck, and players ought to be pushing for bonus dice--what they do for those dice, ought to be interesting and thematically relevant.
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Judd
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« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2007, 12:49:21 PM »

Arturo and James,

Thanks, those are good things to look at and think on.

Appreciated.
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James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2007, 04:32:48 PM »

On the Biblical theme: Abraham sacrificed Isaac in order to summon God.

The Tower of Babel was a flawed ritual.

There is a race analogous to the ancient Egyptians, who oppressed the People--and are now vermin to be slain on sight.

I don't know much of the original material after that. 
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Judd
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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2007, 05:25:11 PM »

Nice, James.  Summoning God totally needs to be possible.

And Descriptors:

Stamina Descriptors

Demon-touched:  Someone in your ancestry was touched by hell itself and it has left your body a brutal weapon.

Scarred:  The world is a mess and proof can be found all over you.

Hell-trained:  You are the epitome of Witchery Physical and Martial Training, a fine specimen of what Hell teaches mortals to be: Strong.

Church-reared:  You were brought up in the bosom of the Church and its chores have made you strong.

Angel-wrestler: Heaven itself has taken extra care to see that your upbringing included the ability to take care of yourself with your hands.


Will Descriptors

Betrayed: The world has its share of betrayal and pain, both have left their mark on you.

Loved: The world has its share of love and loyalty, their strength is under your feet.

Cold: You turned cold and distant as a way to deal with what has happened to you.

Lore Descriptors

Witch-Schooled:  You were taught be the finest Witches and Warlocks to manipulate Hell's powers.

Hell-called:  You felt the call of Hell from the streets and needed not schooling, only a master to show you what the call meant.

Faking it: You cheated in order to get your status as a Warlock and Witch and now every call to Hell is raw talent and faking it.

Prophet: God talks to you from time to time; its a pretty big deal.

Holy Spirit: You are filled with the Holy Spirit and have used it to call Angels and Banish Devils...

The Book: The Good Book guides your sorcerous undertakings.

I toyed with descriptors for Demons but I just don't think they are necessary, even with Demons as PC's.
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Judd
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Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2007, 07:37:05 PM »

Where the hell is this shit coming from, Judd?

I think my primary influences are Klarion the Witch-boy, especially the awesome Witch-World that Morrison envisioned and Frazer Irving drew in the most recent comic incarnation.

Klarion on Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klarion_the_witch-boy

Frazer Irving's Klarion comic covers:
http://www.frazerirving.com/home/comics.html
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Judd
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Posts: 1641

Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2007, 03:27:49 PM »

Choose a continent and divvy it up between the Holy States of God and the Hell Republic.

Write the place names on the map along with the train lines.  Feel free to take Biblical place names or names from Dante's Inferno or Milton or particularly Satanic heavy metal albums.  The charred ruins of Sodom and Gamorra should be on the map as should a border city that long ago was called Eden but was renamed Limbo. 

This is the map.  Talk about the different cities, the architecture, where your Sorcerers grew up or were trained or did their first summoning and binding.

(Or should I forego this collaborative crap and just draw up a map and write blurby descriptions of the different cities?  Hm, I do love me some blurby writing and it would be a good way to define this hazy Biblical fantasy I have rattling around in my head.)

I realize that re-reading Perdido Street Station is probably feeding into this.
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Valamir
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« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2007, 07:06:31 AM »

You can do both.  Write all the blurby stuff you want, but some vague geography in the blurb "border city", "port", "in the mountains" then just let foks come up with their own maps...or draw an empty continent and let them place them.
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James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2007, 07:36:06 AM »

I'd just supply a bunch of the Biblical names, and include a freely translated meaning of the name: Babylon - "Confusion" (or, perhaps more evocatively, "City of Madness")
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