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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 83 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: [Sorcerer/Electric Ghosts] Lester Wachlowski's No Good, Very Bad Day  (Read 12398 times)
dikaiosunh (Daniel)
Member

Posts: 32


« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2007, 07:33:46 AM »

Sorry for not replying to some of this sooner... it's been a busy week.

Per - Honestly, whether Sorcerer helps with my Illusionist habits depends, I think, on how broadly you're defining what "Sorcerer" is.  For the most part, I feel like the biggest benefit of the brute mechanics is that they largely get out of the way.  One thing that always bogged down other systems I've run that claimed to support story, like Vampire, was the amount of time we'd spend doing things like running through 10 combat rounds of trying to take out the ghouls with assault rifles.  While, of course, that is in principle neither here nor there with respect to illusionism, story, etc. I found that in practice getting tied up in that sort of thing both made it harder to change things on the fly, and sapped a lot of energy at the table that could have gone into player character development, rather than on figuring out how many dice to roll.  Does that make sense?

But, more broadly, things that are in Sorcerer, and in the conversations here, that are part of the system in a broader sense, like Kickers, Ron's discussions on humanity definitions in Sorcerer's Soul, discussions of bangs/crosses, and floaty GM style, help a *lot.*  (for me, at least).  Some of it is stuff that I started using in an untutored form in other games I'd run as I started getting disillusioned with illusionism (and, to give due to one of my players, I had no idea that there were folks out there writing all sorts of cool games that broke with many of the mainstream conventions I took for granted until I met Kirt - but it fed into a longstanding and incohate dissatisfaction), and most of it is stuff that I'll continue to use even in other games I run.  So, if you count that stuff as part of Sorcerer (and I guess one probably should, even though it's not "mechanics"), then yes, it helps.  That was probably way too long-winded.

While all my players in this game were, I think, down with everyone contributing, I just think that trying a game with some things built more into the mechanics might help me, at least with getting a feel for the proper rhythm of things.  So, e.g., TSoY's refreshment scenes and Keys basically say, "players, you MUST demand scenes on matters of personal interest to your characters (and, by extension, you)."  We tried to do that in this game just through talking at the table about what kinds of scenes people wanted, and there's no reason in principle that doesn't work (I'm glad that Adam, e.g., felt free to request more scenes with Belladonna, but just chose not to).  What I think would help about having it more regimented would be with me getting a better feel for how open to be with it, give the players a more explicit channel to give me information about desired pacing, etc.  So I don't at all feel that Sorcerer is "missing something" in that respect and didn't mean to imply that - like the bonus dice issue, I just feel that *I* don't yet have a great feel for an appropriate way to handle it always, and Sorcerer gives you fewer explicit guidelines.  Which I could see being a great feature for GMs with more experience in its play style and groups with deeper experience with each other.

Re: humanity rolls.  We didn't have many, but I don't think it's for lack of attention.  We discussed Alistair getting a gain roll when he was thinking of turning himself in.  In general, the consensus ended up being that Humanity rolls were in order only if someone did something pretty serious either way, and most characters ended up staying within the bounds of not being particularly heroic but not really offending against the definition, either.  One thing Humanity-related I think I need to do is really get more into the details of the rituals, as most of them were a little glossed-over in play.  There was no explicit decision to do that, they just seemed to come in the middle of things, and so I ended up not doing them justice, I think.

At the end of the day, I think the plot issue resides in me, not the players.  I was very concerned to find a way to Weave and bring everyone together.  I think for the second iteration, I'm going to try to relax a lot on that and hopefully bring the bass-playing down from Rex Brown to somewhere around Jay Bentley at least.  Actually, I think I may just artificially impose a "no non-player requested weaves until session 2" rule on myself and see how that goes.  A lot of the pace and focus on A-plot was, in retrospect, the result of me trying too hard to bring everyone's kickers together into an A-plot.

Ron, thanks for the clarifications re: Banishment.  I think I may have forgotten to add the Binding Strength, as well, which I won't forget in the future.  Though, in our defense, whatever we may have munged in the mechanics of Vector's Banishment, it was a long process of the relationship going sour before Vector got iced.  If anything, part of what made me question how "easy" it was, was that after spending so much time wrangling with Vector, once the Punishments had beaten him down to Power 0, the roll to get rid of him seemed sort of anticlimactic.  Again, that might go back to me giving too-short shrift to the "color" of the rituals (and may have been partially a social contract issue - the session was almost over, and I wasn't yet sure if we were just going to wrap up the game, so I didn't want to leave it until a next session that might not happen).

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Per Fischer
Member

Posts: 203


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« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2007, 02:07:08 PM »


Per - Honestly, whether Sorcerer helps with my Illusionist habits depends, I think, on how broadly you're defining what "Sorcerer" is.  For the most part, I feel like the biggest benefit of the brute mechanics is that they largely get out of the way.  One thing that always bogged down other systems I've run that claimed to support story, like Vampire, was the amount of time we'd spend doing things like running through 10 combat rounds of trying to take out the ghouls with assault rifles.  While, of course, that is in principle neither here nor there with respect to illusionism, story, etc. I found that in practice getting tied up in that sort of thing both made it harder to change things on the fly, and sapped a lot of energy at the table that could have gone into player character development, rather than on figuring out how many dice to roll.  Does that make sense?

Totally, yes Smiley I guess I already knew by reading your AP, but I just wanted to make sure. I have had very similiar experiences, and for me it was Sorcerer (+its supplements, plethora of threads, wikis etc) that helped me understand why my roleplaying was unsatisfactory and, even more importantly, how to do something about it.

I'm glad to say that my own Illusionist habits were only that: habits. I haven't looked back since I threw them away Smiley

Per
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Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
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