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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4283 Members Latest Member: - otto Most online today: 62 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Sorcerer just arrived in the mail | Thoughts and questions thereon  (Read 2235 times)
Eric Bennett
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« on: October 05, 2007, 04:36:11 PM »

Hey there! I'm a little shocked I remembered my password for here.

So, I finally got around to ordering Sorcerer last week from IPR for a big honking Gaming Night my gal and I are planning. We also picked up the Roach, which I loved playing when it was still in shifty PDF form, and It Was A Mutual Decision, which looks like great fun.

Having read Sorcerer this afternoon and given it a little while to digest, I have some thoughts in no particular order.

  • Having read what was in here, and seeing where it fits into the line of RPG genetics that includes Everway, Over The Edge, and Unknown Armies, I totally get the passion of the indie gaming crowd. This is a wonderfully inspirational, concise text.
  • I've read many times about Ron Edwards' prose being hard to parse. Only section that seemed a little eyebrow raising to me was in the combat section, but that worked itself out pretty quick.
  • I should have ordered this book a long time ago. The Faustian bargain and Lovecraftian quest for knowledge (with its attendant gribblies) have been my favorite story types for longer than I can remember.
  • The art that was used at the head of the Rules for Everything Else section is...perfect.
  • I am going to be slicing apart and making new monkeys out of this system for a long while. I've been doing so with Inspectres for a long while now, but I like these even better.
  • Speaking of monkeys, the illustration of the demon ape clinging to the subway/train car had me spinning off at least three setting ideas. Which is to say, very good art selections. Smiley

The new book squeeing over, I have some questions on the game itself, mostly because my search-fu is failing me.

- I've read a lot about R-maps. Is that a topic covered in one of the supplements? The idea sounds interesting, and I'd like to read more about it, though from what I've read I'm pretty sure the material from Unknown Armies has that covered.

- I'm going to be purloining some GM-less mechanics bits from Roach and Panty Explosion and trying to run Sorcerer in GMless mode. Given how my playerfolk are, I have no doubt the game will get much sicker and more twisted than it ever would be under just my guidance. And hey, I'll get to actually play! To make this a question, has anyone else done GMless Sorcerer? Any advice?

- I've read the When Reason Sleeps supplement, and thought some of the coolest stuff in there was the sections about what the Old Ones/Pagan Things/etc. were in those settings. Is that material up anywhere, or is that also in one of the supplements?

And now to hunt down my posts here from a year (or was it two? God, time flies) and burn them in shame...

- J. E. Bennett
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James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2007, 05:04:22 PM »

Hi Eric,

R-maps are in Sorcerer's Soul.  The gist is that you find a suitably existential detective novel, remove the detective, and begin by mapping out how the characters are related to each other (using ties of sex and kinship first, because they're both more visceral and unalterable, and then maybe going on to friendship/employment/obligation etc).  Look over the players' background material from the Big X on the back of the character sheet, and weave that into the pattern, adjusting threads as necessary.

GM-less Sorcerer seems really dodgy to me, but it's an intriguing idea.  I had a ton of fun this summer with a "Dictionary of Mu" game, giving the players very broad authority to narrate new things into the setting and role-playing prominent NPC's in various scenes. 
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2007, 06:51:01 PM »

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the kind words! I especially appreciate the comments about the art. The artists and I worked hard to achieve specific effects with a specific style. All of the designs are mine, but their real punch comes from the artists' skill and commitment.

I don't recommend playing Sorcerer without a single person who takes responsibility for the back-story, for scene-framing, for playing the demons, and for stating when Humanity rolls (either type) are made. That's a deliberate design decision, not merely habit out of familiarity. Of course, you can try and perhaps it will be fun, but Sorcerer is notorious for revealing its "moving parts" only through play. I recommend playing it out of the box first.

Best, Ron
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Eric Bennett
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2007, 07:41:47 PM »

Hi Eric,

Thanks for the kind words! I especially appreciate the comments about the art. The artists and I worked hard to achieve specific effects with a specific style. All of the designs are mine, but their real punch comes from the artists' skill and commitment.

No problem. I don't usually oogle the art in my game books...partially because of lot of my "game books" are playtest drafts in PDF form...but something about the art really jived with the text, and it was definitely a big part of my reading experience.

Quote
I don't recommend playing Sorcerer without a single person who takes responsibility for the back-story, for scene-framing, for playing the demons, and for stating when Humanity rolls (either type) are made. That's a deliberate design decision, not merely habit out of familiarity. Of course, you can try and perhaps it will be fun, but Sorcerer is notorious for revealing its "moving parts" only through play. I recommend playing it out of the box first.

Best, Ron

I don't intend to play all my Sorcerer sessions GMless. This particular one, though, I think that'll be the best option. Altogether there'll be three maybe four of us. I think a GMless route with either PC vs PC antagonism - something that has worked to great effect in other games I've run - or just two parallel stories will give us room to flex. It'll be dependent on the situation of the story, I'm sure, but we'll work that out over the next week before the game. Or perhaps GMing in shifts.

I'll definitely be posting an Actual Play here, and angling for more Sorcerer gaming elsewhen. If something explodes, I'll put out the fire and comb through the ashes for afterwards.

Speaking of playing Sorcerer, are there any good places online to go for a game?

- J. E. B.
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Trevis Martin
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Posts: 499


« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2007, 08:47:34 PM »

You can try the indie netgaming yahoo group.  They arrange games there in several formats including Skype, Internet Relay Chat,  MUSH, Play by Email and Play by Post

Here is the address

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/indie-netgaming/
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Eric Bennett
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Posts: 43


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« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2007, 04:35:27 AM »

You can try the indie netgaming yahoo group.  They arrange games there in several formats including Skype, Internet Relay Chat,  MUSH, Play by Email and Play by Post

Here is the address

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/indie-netgaming/

Thank you very much, Trevis. Smiley
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James_Nostack
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Posts: 642


« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2007, 08:28:59 AM »

Eric, my schedule is a little tight, but I'd be happy to play (or run) the game on-line sometime.  Feel free to PM me. 
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