News:

Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.

Main Menu

D&D Classes to Sorcerer & Sword Characters

Started by Zamiel, May 07, 2003, 01:02:51 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

Zamiel

I know there's been some talk about treating D&D as a magnificent metaphor for Sorcerer characters, with XP being purchased as further demons and various NPCs dealt with via abstracted Sorcerous Rituals.

Well, I said "sod all that lot."

Instead, I decided to try a more purist conversion.  I took six of the core old-school D&D Classes (Fighter, Thief, Cleric, Wizard, Elf, Dwarf) (yes, back when Races were Classes too) and converted them into inspired Sorcerer & Sword characters.  I'm actually relatively proud of the result.

There are some interesting choices I made in Demon construction that might be useful for those considering what sort of things they can do with Demons.  Check the Elf in particular for the merging of the half-Demon and Parasite ideas into a rather neat whole, I think.

You can find the text, day and night, at D&D Classes in Sorcerer.

I'm also working on a much longer piece that translates the Buffy the Vampire Slayer millieu into Sorcerer, leveraging Urge, Schism, and the core system.  It is, perhaps expectedly, rather grim.
Blogger, game analyst, autonomous agent architecture engineer.
Capes: This Present Darkness, Dragonstaff

greyorm

As the originator of the Dungeons & Demons thread disparaged above (heh), I have to say that any single one of these would work just fine in the game I proposed -- they also work well in standard Sorcerer.

However, the reason I chose not to go the route you chose is because, as in the above, there is no definition of Humanity, and no reason why sorcery should diminish it or why demons should be associated with its loss.

This is absolutely essential to a game of Sorcerer.

And where's the halfling, damnit?! Can't have a traditional game of old basic D&D without halflings!
Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio

Bailywolf

take a look at Clinton's badass Keys of Uriel (if you have not):

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=6111

There are also several old threads dealing with buffy-style Sorcerer gaming.  Here is one I used heavily:

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?t=2130


And I see you hail from GA- I'm in Athens myself.  Good to have someone else from the peanut state hereabouts.  You hitting Dragon Con this summer?


-Ben

Zamiel

Quote from: greyormHowever, the reason I chose not to go the route you chose is because, as in the above, there is no definition of Humanity, and no reason why sorcery should diminish it or why demons should be associated with its loss.
Sure there is -- whatever definition of Humanity is endemic to the S&S game being played.  In some, it might be the "standard" issue of "how emotionally connected are you to other people," in which case the reason throwing fireballs and swinging glowing swords makes you less Human is obvious, the powers wielded set you apart from others.  Choosing to go with that state loses you Humanity, fighting against it keeps it up.

In my S&S game, Humanity might be a reflection of the Self to Other; the more you do it, the less Humanity you have until you're just a puppet of some greater force.  In this context, wielding mighty powers is merely the medium -- to some degree you had to submit to external powers to get these powers.  Now the question is, will you continue along that path or will you wield them selfishly (and trade off social damnation for spiritual damnation)?

The central definition of Humanity in Sorcerer is actually orthagonal to many (perhaps even most) questions of character design. In fact, as long as Humanity falls into the broad field of how people relate to each other, the question of what Demons really are is largely moot.

QuoteAnd where's the halfling, damnit?! Can't have a traditional game of old basic D&D without halflings!
Err, the reason there's no halfling is that my original idea was to do the Lord of the Rings characters as Sorcerer charas ... and Frodo's Demon would have been Samwise. He's just temporarily bound to Sauron's Ring, see ...

(The other reason is the thief already very well could be a Halfling -- since they don't have much in the way of natural powers, there's no pressing reason to really make them half-demons with a parasite.)
Blogger, game analyst, autonomous agent architecture engineer.
Capes: This Present Darkness, Dragonstaff

Zamiel

Quote from: BailywolfYou hitting Dragon Con this summer?
Actually, this'll be the first time in over a decade I don't hit D*C.  I'm hitting Trinoc*Con instead in early July, hanging out with a handfull of gaming luminaries and am the Oblioged Bringer of the GameCube.  As such, I must attend.

D*C has started to get just too bloody huge for me to really enjoy, anyway, truth be told.  I hit a few concerts, I spend way too much time and money in the dealer's room, then I go home (after 4 days of paying exhorbitant hotel rates). Maybe I'm getting old, but it just doesn't have the same shine as it used to.
Blogger, game analyst, autonomous agent architecture engineer.
Capes: This Present Darkness, Dragonstaff

greyorm

I have to disagree. Humanity is, in my opinion, central to character design. Remove Humanity and its associated concepts and you aren't playing Sorcerer.

However, it isn't what demons really really are that is necessarily important, but why interacting with them causes Humanity loss. What sorcery is is also important: sorcery is soul-wrenching and wrong on a fundamental level...it destroys Humanity...why? And what is the sorcery in the above?

Can I summon more demons?
How?

Otherwise, you get something Ron's rightly complained about before, "Look, Sorcerer...with NINJAS!"

That's why I bring it up: the above is really just "Look, Sorcerer...with D&D ARCHTYPES!" without any of the actual meat of a Sorcerer game.

One thing I wanted to mention as an interesting tangential note: initially you dismissed the Dungeons & Demons concepts, but now you have restated exactly how things work in Dungeons & Demons as an example of what Humanity might be and how it works conceptually.
Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio

Zamiel

Quote from: greyormHowever, it isn't what demons really really are that is necessarily important, but why interacting with them causes Humanity loss. What sorcery is is also important: sorcery is soul-wrenching and wrong on a fundamental level...it destroys Humanity...why? And what is the sorcery in the above?
Which is, exactly, what I said ... and moreover, its worth noting that interaction with Demons needn't necessarily destroy Humanity so much as transform it (and the character) into something alien and different than they started.  A friend of mine has begun poking at an idea for an SF-based Sorcerer setting in which the Demons are really "daemons," information constructs in the world machine-mind, and exist in various capacities to drive your cyberwear, act as information agents, knowbots, robot agents, etc. Interacting with them lowers Humanity by bringing the point at which your personality into the hive-mind as another integral part that much closer. It doesn't, necessarily, make you less human at all in a personal sense, or even decrease your humanity in the philosophical sense, it means you become subsumed. There's no overarching moral negative to it (though, of course, its ultimately a narrative-negative and thus is avoided by the PCs).

This is what I mean by saying Humanity isn't integral. You can use almost the exact same definition ("dealing with Demons brings you more in line with the world of the Gods and, ultimately, leads to you becoming a part of their overarching plan") without changing the underlying idea of the D&D Conversions I posted. The only things that change are the means by which Humanity drops and climbs, and the ultimate ending. You can plug-and-play and number of Humanity interpretations to the same front end -- and, in many ways, you might want to.  Its a perspective shift on the story, a reinterpretation using the same elements. If it weren't possible, then Sorcerer would be less than complete because it couldn't cover the entire space of potential stories.
QuoteOtherwise, you get something Ron's rightly complained about before, "Look, Sorcerer...with NINJAS!"
And what, pray tell, is wrong with Sorcerer with ninjas? What, it occurs to me to ask, is wrong with playing a Sorcerer game which doesn't center on the eventual loss and usurpation of the character by interaction with Demons?  I realize that's the most common kind of story told using the mechanics, but is it the only kind worth telling, worth being facilitated, and if so -- for any reason greater than arrogant dismissal?
QuoteThat's why I bring it up: the above is really just "Look, Sorcerer...with D&D ARCHTYPES!" without any of the actual meat of a Sorcerer game.
That meat is justly brought by the fusion of the desires of the Host and the Players -- I don't have to bring it. I'm providing the elements and the perspective, why do I also always have to provide the context? Let them pick a central Humanity iconification -- maybe they want their story to be about the subsumption of the one to the many and Humanity represents opportunities passed over for exalting the Self.  Maybe they want to tell a story about descent into madness and pain, and Humanity is a countdown to when their exposure becomes irreversable.  Maybe, possibly, they want a story about characters who are clawing from degredation to the light of Heaven, and Humanity represents their approach to the unity of being (and Demons, by extension, the power that brings them closer to attaining it).

The interpretations and directions are the Players' and Host's. Why should I take that away from them, rather than provide elements to be interpreted?  To puff up pomposity for a bit, see me as a poet, writing lands in the sand for people to interpret as they will, to see in whatever light they find it.
QuoteOne thing I wanted to mention as an interesting tangential note: initially you dismissed the Dungeons & Demons concepts, but now you have restated exactly how things work in Dungeons & Demons as an example of what Humanity might be and how it works conceptually.
I still dismiss it, if you're talking about the seeming obsession with casting everything in the world as a Demon or potentially one, such that the end result gets hopelessly muddled in inverted-head discussion of "what can I actually do with this?", yes.  I'm not suggesting Humanity's not important, just that its not the only important thing, nor even, necessarily, the most important thing, and that a given arrangement of elements can be facilitative.

But, more to the core of your point, "what it might be" is just it. Its one possibility. There are thousands of others, many of which are at least as useful. And its not all about Humanity, its about the narrative, which Humanity, along with all the other elements, exists to facilitate. Concentrating on one element to the exclusion of the others gives you tunnel vision, and eliminates useful options that you can exploit to better the narrative.

That would seem to be to be a greater loss.
Blogger, game analyst, autonomous agent architecture engineer.
Capes: This Present Darkness, Dragonstaff

Ron Edwards

Zamiel & Raven, be nice to one another.

Best,
Ron

Balbinus

Before I coment in more concrete terms, could I ask what the design goal is?  What is the purpose of reinventing DnD in Sorcerer terms?  Why not just play DnD if those tropes are what is desired?

This isn't a criticism, I'm simply struggling slightly with the purpose of this conversion.

Also, isn't part of the point of Sorceror and Sword a return to the sword and sorcery genre as written by Lieber, CAS, Howard and the like?  Whereas DnD is about high fantasy of the Tolkien or Jordan school?  If so, emulating a high fantasy game with a sword and sorcery engine seems to me like a way of creating unnecessary difficulties for oneself.
AKA max

Valamir

QuoteWhat, it occurs to me to ask, is wrong with playing a Sorcerer game which doesn't center on the eventual loss and usurpation of the character by interaction with Demons?

What would be wrong with playing Monopoly without houses and hotels.
What would be wrong with playing Checkers without Kings.
What would be wrong with playing Call of Cthulhu without the Mythos.
What would be wrong with playing Magic:TG without Land.
What would be wrong with playing Chess without a King

What would be wrong with playing a guitar without any strings.

Non Snarky answer:  Because that is what Sorcerer is about.  Take away that and all you have left is a neat die pool mechanic.  Might as well play Fudge.

Ron Edwards

I guess I'm gonna moderate further now.

Zamiel, thanks for the idea, and this is now another thread for people to check out in their D&D/Sorcerer musings.

'Bout time to close the thread. I'm not really very interested in the turn it's taken, and here in the Adept forum (unlike the Forge general forums) that's all I need to say, done.

Best,
Ron