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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] My Struggles with Need  (Read 1043 times)
Roger
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« on: March 08, 2010, 12:47:24 PM »

John's recent AP post about his Casablanca game reminded me of my long uphill battle with trying to figure out what Demonic Need was getting at, and I thought I'd describe my experiences here.  (The specific part of John's game:  When the characters run into an unbound demon just hanging out, who decides to run off and murder some people when no one agrees to bind him.)


So.  Starting with the text:  "Binding gives the sorcerer responsibility to help or allow the demon to meet its Need" (emphasis mine; at the time, this is how I read it.)


Then we get to The Training Run example and meet... well, I suppose I should leave some spoiler space:

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SPOILERS for The Training Run intro scenario from Sorcerer

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...where we meet Yzor, a demon bound to a dead man, who is just hanging out, meeting its own Need, although it does get the help of a mortal to whom it isn't bound.

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(End of Spoilers)

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So based on all that, it sounded pretty feasible to me, at the time, for a sorcerer to tell his bound demon:  Alright, off you go to fill your need; don't let the door hit your pointy tail on the way out.

I eventually came around to what I think is the more mainstream understanding of Need (described well in the Need - how tough? thread) but it took me a while to get there.

Just thought I'd share a few of my challenges in the process.


Cheers,
Roger
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2010, 02:39:48 AM »

Hi Roger,

I took a moment to look over the text to clear about my points.

1. Yzor is not fulfilling its own Need. Yvonne is providing its Need as a temporary tactic in order to escape the situation. She does not want to Bind it. If Yzor eats demons or people without Yvonne or someone else taking a proactive role, then it remains in Need. This circumstance does not apply in the scenario as written because Yvonne has just provided Yzor with several demons to eat. If she were inclined to Bind Yzor, she would have made a very good start by doing this, as a kind of good-faith first-taste gesture.

2. The text "allow" that you quoted should be considered a fairly active verb, in the sense that a person who lets a vicious dog run around in the neighborhood is responsible for the damage it does, specifically through his at-face-value-benign actions of opening the door, shooing the dog out, and not bothering to monitor it.

3. (It's clear you understand this one but I'm including it to round out the whole example.) Yzor is still Bound to Shaw. Killing a sorcerer does not dissolve his or her Bindings. This is why Yzor defends Shaw's skin, because without it, not only will the demon suffer because of missing its Need, but because of being un-Bound. It's true that a demon who kills its master is now under the gun to find a new one, or start feeling the effects of missing its Need, but Yzor is avoiding the double whammy of coping with being un-Bound and jonesing.

I think that might clear up some of your confusions with the Need issue. Let me know.

Best, Ron

P.S. Yeesh, re-reading those few pages gave me the hots for Yvonne all over again, not to mention for Michelle Pfeiffer.
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Roger
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2010, 10:53:50 AM »

Thanks, Ron.  That all makes a lot of sense.  I like that angle on Yzor; that underlying level of hunger and desperation (not the whiny sort, but the angry twitchy sort) helps round out its motivation.

It helps underline how perverse this sort of thing can get, too.  Demons who engage in Need-y behaviours on their own time just because they like it, but that doesn't get their masters off the hook at all (and probably makes it harder on them.)  In the general sense, there's a big box full of GM goodies that's labeled "What you demon does when you're not looking".

There's something suitably sinister in the demon's view that the master is only a means to an end, only defined by his ability to fulfill Need.  Of course, one cannot escape that most masters view their demons in exactly the same light.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2010, 07:44:26 PM »

You know the quote from Sex & Sorcery, right?

Which one's the prostitute and which is the john? The demon is always the prostitute and the sorcerer is always the john.

OK, then which one is the bitch? Ah. To discover that, you play the game.

Best, Ron
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angelfromanotherpin
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« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010, 08:04:33 AM »

Here's a little flash game about Need and dysfunctional relationships: http://www.raitendo.com/games/air-pressure

I found it illuminating.
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