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Sorcerer Characters

Started by Valamir, September 09, 2001, 05:51:00 AM

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I figured I'd post the character's my players came up with.  I think they really figured out the feel of a Sorcerer sorcerer far more quickly than I'd imagined.  This may have had something to do with the 5 page "what you need to know about this game before playing it" write up I provided them a few days before.  I'll be happy to send that to interested parties.

Johnathan Price:
  Price was an up and comeing formula driver with a bright career ahead of him, until Alonzo Shaw came along.  Alonzo presented Price with a "lucky" token (a key ring)which Price was to carry with him when he raced (Shaw being one of his teams sponsors, he casually complied).  Totally unbenownst to Price (Lore of 1), the key ring was an Object demon and Price's first race with it was his Binding ritual.  The demon provided Price with Boosted Stamina and Perception(reaction and reflexes for split second driving timing).  While its Desire for speed matched Price's own, its Need, was for causing or being involved in wrecks...for which it thoughtfully provided Price with Armor to survive those wrecks.  After blistering success in his rookie season (thanks to the boosted abilities), Price wound up banned from the sport after accusations of intentionally causing accidents.  Now reduced to street racing, Price headed to confront Shaw about his double edged gift...he happened to arrive just in time for the demon house party.

Benjamin Smith:
  Smith was a college baseball star who dabbled in the occult as part of his pre-game superstitions.  He met his wife in school(a passer demon who'd broken free of her binding and was seeking a new master).  His occult background gave him the curiousity to accept she was a demon and she led him through the ritual of her binding (which explains why the binding was HEAVILY in her favor).  Using her ability of Telekinesis (an ability I created by merging elements of Range, Transport, and Travel) she "improved" Smith's game from the stands and helped make him a major league star.  However, her Desire was for ambition and power and recognizing that there is only so much power a pro ball player's celebrity carries, she used her Telekinesis to hit him with a career ending injury, thus forcing him onto a new path.  Smith started up his own sporting goods business.  Thanks to his "wife's" Confuse ability (which we stretched to cover non combat situations such as negotiating contracts) and Psychic Force, Smith's business took off and he became an up and coming mover and shaker.  The high point of his life to date was being invited to an exclusive party by the very influencial power broker Alonzo Shaw where he hoped to make the connections necessary to enter the political arena.
 His demon's Need is for sexual conquest and murder, a Need that has been being fulfilled by the couple's participation in various fringe "swinger" groups.

Ron Edwards

Hi Ralph,

Whoa. Nice stuff here, all told. I especially liked the creative use of the complementary demon abilities. "Confuse" is perfectly legitimate out of combat for exactly the reasons and purposes you used.

I do notice a correspondence to some of my earlier Sorcerer games, in which players seemed absolutely determined to play "accidental" sorcerers. Only for later games did something change about the way I presented things (don't know what), to encourage people to make up more Stephanie-types rather than Armand-types, to use the example PCs as reference.

I really liked the racecar driver character.

The "murder" element of the second character was kind of jarring. It seems out of keeping with the guideline that I provided in the rules that a PC should be an acceptable protagonist in a movie or book ... which is admittedly very vague, but does give one player or GM room to negotiate regarding whether a character is appropriate.

I ought to clarify that. Basically, each person can reference movies and books that you'd like the game to emulate, in terms of what a protagonist is, and that provides a foundation for all the people involved to discuss what they will and will not like to see across all the PCs. Thus I might say, "I really don't want to play in a game in which PCs are like the main characters in Man Bites Dog and American Psycho." If one of the other players is dead set on doing exactly that, I think it's reasonable that we simply not play together.

In your other thread, Jim mentioned being grossed out by one character (the sex-murderer I presume) and I agree with him. Speaking as a participant in the role-playing activity - NOT as GM, necessarily - I'm in my rights to say, "Hey, what sort of movie/book are we making, here? Do we really want someone that hard-core as a main character?"

Of course, the discussion can move on from there. The player might say, "Don't worry, this guy is made to go down screaming, if the system/situation has the balls to do it to him." That turns the ick-factor into something interesting, namely the Dickweed issue we discussed so constructively at GO.



Actually the player of Benjamin Smith is somewhat known for pushing the envelope on evil characters.  In our last D&D campaign he played an evil dwarf.  After defeating a band of halfling theives he decided to make an example out of them to deter future attempts at theft.  His violations, inspired by stories of Vietnam VC tactics, went well into the range of depravity.

Its never really bothered me as a player or GM.  Some folks find it rather jarring.  But IMO, thats a good thing.  Challenging accepted mores always makes for interesting situations.  One problem I've always had with Cthulhu is that most of the adventures are presented rather sterile, as a scientific, theological, archaeological investigation gone bad.  Horror needs to be disturbing.  Sorcery should not be for the meek.  

Besides.  That Black Wheel group you came up with hardly sounds like a bunch of boy scouts.  I just don't find vague references to "corruption" to be all that compelling, without fully illustrating the true depths of their depravity (which is why the Sword of Truth series is one of my favorite fantasy series).

Yes, a True Horror game of Little Fears would thoroughly enjoyable to me (enjoyable in the sense of a provacative role playing experience).

At any rate it fit in perfectly with Yvonne's deviant film background.  Early on, Ben and his demon wife Corinthian were trying to set up Yvonne and some of her film friends as their next Need fulfillment.  Pursueing that opportunity in an upstairs room is what got Corinthian fed to the house (I did allow her to be saved because the character combo was too interesting to me to not want to see it played out further).

In fact, a comment by Johnathan's player to the nature of "you're going to try and snuff one of Alonzo's his own the middle of the party...a party where you're attempting to win him as a patron?" provided one of the more deliciously ironic moments of the evening.  AND, I thought, a perfect illustration of what it takes to keep a demon's Need fulfilled.

For reference, my take on Demons was only roughly sketched but basically centered around Humanity as the soul which the demon was attempting to win.  Reaching 0 Humanity damns the sorcerer to eternal servitude in hell to the demon it was bound to.  Hense the demon's Needs leaned towards such damnation.

BTW:  since this wasn't strictly a demo, but an introductionto the game for my usual group, I didn't use any of the demo pack shortcuts, but instead went for full blown character creation.

Tar Markvar

I'd love to see your Quickstart rules, Valamir. I was considering putting together something similar for my players-to-come, but if someone else has done so already, I'd love to see it. :smile:

Ron Edwards


It strikes me that a quick-start handout might be a pretty good thing to have on the website. It also strikes me that its contents would best be determined through all of you, rather than me guessing.

So ...? Suggestions?


Jack Spencer Jr

Well, first of all what would be different from Fast-Play rules and the apprentice version?

Ron Edwards


That's exactly what I'm asking. I can think of a few answers regarding a handout that *I* would give to players, but I'd rather get an idea of what Ralph (or whoever else out there) is giving to players. That would help a lot if I were to come up with something better than the Apprentice - more suited to actual play with the book - to post on the website.


Jack Spencer Jr

OK, let's consider this for a moment.

We're using the term "Fast Play" which AFAIK is taken from TSR's FastPlay version of D&D, Alternity et al.  (Did they do it for other games?)  In such sets they basically had a canned adveture with pre-generated characters and just enough rules to play it.

I don't think this is what you want and it sure as hell wouldn't be a good direction for the Sorcerer line.

What you seem to be talking about is a crib sheet of the rules to hand out to the player to keep then from asking the GM "What die do I roll again?"  and other annoying questions.

But here's the thing.  Unlike, say D&D, Sorcerer isn't about which die you roll.  It's a storytelling game in which the players deal with demons in our world either by doing it or as witch-hunters.

I suggest a colorful crib sheet with a title like Practical Demonkeeping or Demon Summoning and Care for Dummies or a similar title and it is written like a how-to book with a humorous bend.

Now, this is for anyone who's had the pleasure to play an extended game, think about what rules came up the most often and which rules did come up but infrequently and which rules never came up.

This is a decent enough place to start, but that's my idea.


I'll send a copy of what I did to Ron and Tar tonight when I get home.

Basically it was 3 parts.  1) How is this game different from others we've played (it ws sent to my regular gaming group so I knew what analogies to make).  This was basically to try and establish the players approach to the game as requiring a different level of participation than traditional GM controled games.  2) Basic principals of character creation to help them start to fit their character concepts into game terms.  Why each of the 3 traits were important, what Cover is, etc.  Left details like Demon powers and the like for a more interactive setting, but this enabled them to come to the table not only with a concept but with a concept that that focused on Sorcerer mechanics.  3) Discussion of Humanity and the nature of Demons.

About the only real mechanics I touched upon was "roll a bunch of dice, more dice = good, dice come from scores in Traits but that won't ever be enough, bonuses come from roleplaying.

Tar Markvar

Mine was going to include a stripped-down character-building section (mainly allocating points, what each stat does, explaining Cover, giving sample descriptors, etc.), a baseline demon-creation section (giving examples and a thin list of demon powers), and an area describing what sorts of things I expect in order for them to fit into my game (I'd like them all to be involved in the same coven at the start of the game, and they'll all know certain NPCs, etc.) I wasn't going to cover mechanics, except to the extent to which others have (high scores = better, RP bonuses, etc.) Basically, anything I think they'd need to know to build a character, or at least a concept, before the game, so we don't spend an hour doing so when we actually play.

I don't think we need QuickPlay rules or whatever. I just needed a packet I can give my peeps so they'll know how to make a character. :smile:



I sent my write up off to Ron.

Tar, you did not recieve yours because your profile does not contain an email address for you and to my knowledge the Private Messenger does not accept attachments.

Tar Markvar

Not it does. :smile:

I'd be much obliged if you'd fling me off a copy.


I'm planning to run Sorcerer on Sunday. I haven't had much time to prepare a lot yet, so I hope it will go okay.