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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 74 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: From DnD to Sorcerer  (Read 2329 times)
Charlie Gilb
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Posts: 42


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« on: August 02, 2007, 09:38:11 PM »

Hey everyone,

I just started GMing a DnD game with 2 players I've been with for about 10 years, and a third friend of mine whom I met through another DnD game about a year ago. I had staged the game in a setting of my own devising, and we've gotten off to a relatively good start, completing about 5 sessions (including a chargen and discussion one).

Now the issue is, I just picked up Sorcerer (as well as the first two supplements), and I'd really much rather play that. I've never played in a strictly narrativist game before, but I feel that I have a strong grasp of the concepts and my ability to run one.

I would really like to try this game with my current group, and I think they'd all be pretty open to it. I've talked to them a bit about other indie games I've been looking at (they all seem to be interested in Burning Wheel), and they've seen my Sorcerer books lying around. I am just uncertain on what I should do for a sort of "trial game". I would definitely want to do a Sorcerer & Sword game (though not with all the options and rules to start), both because I feel a strong draw towards that style and I think my players would "get it" a little more.

Any tips for setting up a one-shot trial game for them? Should I devote an entire session to chargen, or do you think pre-gens might be a better idea for a group of players who have spent most of their RPG time (90% or more) playing DnD? Keep in mind, these guys are very much gamist/simulationist in their tendencies, but I honestly think most of that is due to lack of exposure to other kinds of roleplaying games. They are all open-minded (well, two of the three at least) enough where I think they will give it a fair shot, but I won't expect it to be an "instant hit", as many of the concepts will be completely foreign to them (i.e. the different stances, narrative control, one roll for actions).
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Frank Tarcikowski
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« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2007, 04:17:33 AM »

i]can<
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If you come across a post by a guest called Frank T, that was me. My former Forge account was destroyed in the Spam Wars. Collateral damage.
dikaiosunh (Daniel)
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Posts: 32


« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2007, 05:29:42 AM »

I'd agree that Sorcerer isn't really very one-shot friendly (having run a one-shot of it as my first try...).  When I tried it, things didn't go exactly as I'd hoped, but the general approach to characters I settled on (after some advice on this forum) seemed to work pretty well.

What I did was stat out characters completely, to avoid having to spend time with people going over unfamiliar lists of powers, etc., but left all the descriptors and the kickers blank.  I gave the players a general idea of the setting and one of the three "parts" of a kicker, where their characters were and what they were doing before they were "kicked."  I then gave them a list of descriptors to "customize" characters from and left them to come up with the other two elements of their kickers (i.e., what happened to shake things up, and why the character can't ignore it).

To avoid the pitfalls of my game, I'd suggest a) having a brief chat with the players beforehand about tone and theme - not to try to set everything up in advance, but just to get everyone on the same page - and b) emphasize that the kicker should not just get the *character* moving, but should ideally draw in something the *player* cares about, or at least finds interesting.  Oh, and also, don't forget to have them fill out the chart on the back of the character sheet (like I did).

If you have time, though, I'd definitely suggest either running a few-session game.
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Charlie Gilb
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« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2007, 12:45:27 PM »

Here's another question regarding humanity in Sorcerer & Sword:

At 0 Humanity, players get to keep playing their characters? From what I am reading, it looks like humanity is already somewhat defined to the extent of how humanity 0 characters act and feel (pages 43-44 of &Sword). Does this mean that defining humanity in this kind of setting is quite a bit different from regular Sorcerer, insofar as working within some of the constraints of the subject matter? Maybe the I'm just reading too far into what is mentioned on these pages...
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2007, 08:53:28 AM »

Hi Daniel,

I apologize for the delay in replying.

My recommendation is to alter the standard approach to offering a new game to one's fellow players. The standard approach is that you have read the book, and now you will GM the game for them as a kind of agent or representative of the book. So they interact with you, and therefore indirectly with the book.

I suggest instead that you simply pass around the book. Have everyone interact with it directly. Then see what sort of interest in play exists, and what questions arise, and what kinds of inspirations are experienced by everyone else.

Then, when and if you play, the play-experience will not be founded on you interpreting the book to them, but rather on a shared group commitment to play arising from across-the-board interaction with the book. I really think this will make a huge difference.

Hi Charlie! You asked,

Quote
At 0 Humanity, players get to keep playing their characters? From what I am reading, it looks like humanity is already somewhat defined to the extent of how humanity 0 characters act and feel (pages 43-44 of &Sword). Does this mean that defining humanity in this kind of setting is quite a bit different from regular Sorcerer, insofar as working within some of the constraints of the subject matter? Maybe the I'm just reading too far into what is mentioned on these pages...

You're right that the book provides an empirical interpretation of Humanity 0 for sword-and-sorcery, based on what I perceive from the source literature. However, it's not really very different from regular Sorcerer. I see it as a literature-driven subset, or better, application of the core Sorcerer rules.

As far as playing the characters at 0 Humanity is concerned, that's a complex issue. When I wrote these pages in for the print version of Sorcerer & Sword, the sophisticated Humanity rules of The Sorcerer's Soul were available in PDF form. So this part of Sorcerer & Sword needs to be understood in the context of those rules.

The simplest thing to do is to use the regular Sorcerer rules which state that Humanity 0 characters leave the control of the player, and that is the end of that process, period, do not pass Go, do not collect $200. If that's the case, then consider the comments about "playing 0 Humanity characters" to be written for the GM, if they want to keep the character in the story.

However, since there are rules in The Sorcerer's Soul which provide for more options about what to do with 0 Humanity characters, then the recommendation about how such characters think and feel can be applied by whoever is running the character, GM or not.

On a more general level, and just in case what I've written so far is causing confusion, I've often said "Sorcerer does not dictate how player-characters feel or think!" And that is true. However, the definition of 0 Humanity is that the character is no longer a player-character, and so that principle doesn't apply to them.

Best, Ron
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Charlie Gilb
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« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2007, 02:58:04 PM »

Thanks for the replies; everyone. My main concerns have been addressed and clarified. Stay tuned for a setting that I have in the works!
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