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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 55 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Art-Deco Melodrama  (Read 40791 times)
Tor Erickson
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Posts: 134


« Reply #30 on: October 22, 2001, 09:33:00 PM »

In regards to character connections, I wonder how deep we should go.  On the one hand you can have characters connected on a pretty superficial level (they hang out in the same bars) and on the other end they can be deeply and intimately connected to each other (they are long-lost twins, or his character murdered my character's father).  I suspect that the nature of the connections could have a serious effect on the feel of the game.

With that out of the way, I'm really digging your idea, Jesse.  Perhaps the demons themselves feel the urge to be reunited, or perhaps they fear such an eventuality...  

On the other hand, maybe we have similar demons because we are both members of the same coven.

I also think our characters are similar in that (although this didn't make it directly into the write-up) they both operate in fringe/illegal areas.  Yours is a gambler, mine is a street-hustler.  Do you conceive of your character acting in a legal or illegal capacity?  Are the joints he plays in the back rooms of Italian restaurants or big-time casinos (is he a character in Rounders/Lock-Stock and Two Smoking barrels or The Croupier?)

As for yr character, Paul: what if Richie Silver were supplying Eroch with various illegal/untested drugs for his sister?  Your character has a lot of money, but sometimes you need something other than money to get what you want; you need somebody who knows somebody or is willing to risk jailtime.

-Tor
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Tor Erickson
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Posts: 134


« Reply #31 on: October 22, 2001, 09:35:00 PM »

Quote

On 2001-10-22 23:57, Ron Edwards wrote:
Lore, not useful? Oh, Tor.



heh heh.  I was pretty sure I was missing something, thanks for the info.  I'll be curious to see specifically what sort of uses lore has in this scenario.

-Tor
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Tor Erickson
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« Reply #32 on: October 22, 2001, 09:40:00 PM »

Jesse,
 
  One other thing: Richie calls his demon his shadow, but in appearance it is something else.  Imagine a roiling dark mass that protrudes tendrils and sometimes twists to form geometric forms or screaming faces.
 
  This thing sort of lives in and on Richie most of the time, almost like a parasite.  When he gets angry or really upset or depressed it starts to manifest itself by poking out feelers and wisps of matter from his mouth, ears, eyes, fingertips.  
 
  Also, it's not a parasite it's an inconspicious, so it can come or go as it please: when it attacks somebody it sort of rolls out of Richie like fog and then descends upon the hapless victim.

  -tor
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joshua neff
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« Reply #33 on: October 23, 2001, 05:19:00 AM »

A dark fog rolling out of someone in wisps & tendrils...a swarm of bugs skittering over someone...a shadow reaching out to its master...

Man, what great imagery.
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--josh

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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #34 on: October 23, 2001, 05:43:00 AM »

Hey folks,

I am definitely not looking for connections as intimate as those in Soap (long-lost brothers, e.g.). Nor am I looking for EACH character to have a connection to BOTH other characters. Just a little something, is all.

The physicality of the one "shadow" demon and the incorporeality of the other are complementary, to my way of thinking. It may well be that each sorcerer-character is aware of his demon's incompleteness. If both players agree, I'd like to keep the idea that the two demons are connected in some way, but keep the "two halves" idea as a possibility rather than a given.

Paul, I believe you're the only one who hasn't given a numerical writeup (unless I'm missing something up above in the thread).

Best,
Ron
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #35 on: October 23, 2001, 05:59:00 AM »

Paul, I believe you're the only one who hasn't given a numerical writeup...

I'll put that together tonight. Last night was game night.

Paul
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And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #36 on: October 23, 2001, 08:02:00 AM »

Quote

On 2001-10-23 09:43, Ron Edwards wrote:
If both players agree, I'd like to keep the idea that the two demons are connected in some way, but keep the "two halves" idea as a possibility rather than a given.


Hey, as an observer, I have a request which you may ignore if you like.

Keep in mind Suspension of Disbelief. In general, if you have only a few sorcerers in the world, the only reasons why they would reasonably be together or be related somehow, would be their sorcery. Otherwise it is far too big a stretch of imagination to assume that the characters know each other and just happen to be sorcerers as well.

So any of the suggested stuff works so far. But if one character is supplying the others' sister drugs, the sorcerers first met at a sorcerer convention or something. Chance here would be silly and pointless. If the two players are related through their demons, then something about that fact is what ties the characters together in location. If the demons want to be together, maybe they can vaguely sense each other and are forcing the sorcerers together. If they want to remain separate, then some third party interested in them reuniting may be forcing them together. Or perhaps they both got their demons from the same incantation out of the book held by the Cabal. Whatever. Please just don't say the they happen to work at the same place, and happen to have demons that might be part of each other. Get my drift?

The Cabal idea is pretty straightforward for this, and very tight, but won't be very interesting until someone writes up the history, membership and goals of the group, at least in brief. Almost too easy, really, like the old adventurers guild idea from fantasy games. It could be good if you really develop it,however.

Just some thoughts, and most of it pretty obvious; you've all probably already thought of all of this. Felt like chiming in, tho.

Mike
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contracycle
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« Reply #37 on: October 23, 2001, 08:41:00 AM »

One of my experiences from "hidden world" games like this is that if you among the Hidden, the only people you can really, well, relate to are other members of the Hidden.  Nobody else grokks your problems, man.  Nobody is your equal.  Mundanes cannot provide much of a challenge, intellectual or otherwise.  So there may well be an element here in sorcerers gathering together because, wuite simply, there is nobody else to talk to.
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jburneko
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« Reply #38 on: October 23, 2001, 08:49:00 AM »

Just for clearity I'm officially stating that I'm cool with Tor's shadowy demon being related to my shadowy demon and for the details of that relationship to be left as a plaything of the GM.

Jesse
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #39 on: October 23, 2001, 08:54:00 AM »

Great! That just means that Paul's character should have SOME Lore-based connection to either of the other two. Keep it small and nifty, no horrendous and Kicker-level connections are necessary.

Best,
Ron
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #40 on: October 23, 2001, 09:25:00 AM »

That just means that Paul's character should have SOME Lore-based connection to either of the other two. Keep it small and nifty...

I'm thinking Eroch is a low-Lore sorcerer, perhaps Lore 2, who used hallucinogenic drugs to boost that Lore when he Contacted Pazuzu. How about he got the drugs, and maybe some inspirational literature, from Richie?

Paul
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #41 on: October 23, 2001, 09:56:00 AM »

Well, see, Paul, that's the kind of thing that leads to people writing short stories instead of role-playing ... we have all sorts of questions now, about WHY Richie would do such a thing (does he pass such stuff out at random?) and we'd end up practically playing the characters on paper for days to resolve it, and never getting to play in real terms.

I suggest something far more superficial - they both gain their drugs from the same source, or they know of one another via their studies and demon conversations, but that's it.

Best,
Ron
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #42 on: October 23, 2001, 01:12:00 PM »

we have all sorts of questions now, about WHY Richie would do such a thing

Well...maybe he's a nice guy?

Seriously though, I see your point, and I think this is exactly the kind of thing that you identify easily and manage effectively that prospective GM's struggle with. I think it's the kind of thing that people want to see exposed by this game prep project. The character creation session for my Everway game last winter spiralled out of control on just this issue. The players went around and around on how they knew each other, inventing more and more elaborate solutions. It was like wrapping layers of tinfoil onto an onion. Ultimately I had to step in and refocus them, but it took me a long time to realize that they were just spinning their wheels, not gaining any ground. How do you recognize it earlier? What do you pay attention to? How does a group focus their character creation session on aspects of character that facilitate story developing through play, rather than hitching themselves to a process of over-inventing the characters?

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #43 on: October 23, 2001, 01:38:00 PM »

Hi,

As best as I understand it, what I'm doing is saying "Are these characters ready to start?" If they're not, I say where they need something. If the result (of your responses) isn't putting us closer to starting, then I hit the "erase" button.

The "ready to start" criteria for Sorcerer are very, very explicit. The Cover implies stuff, status, and locale. The Lore implies paraphernalia, associates, a demon, and a very intense effort. The Price and the Binding roll results imply some history. The Will and Stamina descriptor together imply "self" as well as more stuff and status.

What all this is good for, and WHY it's part of "ready to start," is that events during play, beginning with the Kicker, spin off of and continue to develop all of these things. You cannot put any of these BEHIND your character when play begins.

All we're doing right now is putting any aspect of the above a little, teeny bit "closer" between characters. Not a story, not a history, not a justification - just a bit of recognition or setting-based overlap.

I look at any effort spent on character creation and if ANY of it is going off the beam of this outline, whether too little or too much, then I give the donkey a thwack, so to speak.

All good RPG design provides such an outline, in my opinion. Orkworld and Hero Wars sure as hell do. Plenty of RPGs lack this "ready to start" profile aside from figuring out how well you hit things and maybe suggesting some vague-ass back-story.

Best,
Ron

P.S. Give me a PC writeup, including One Tiny Little overlap with ONE other PC. We get that down, then we can start a new thread and talk about MY prep for the first session.
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Paul Czege
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« Reply #44 on: October 23, 2001, 08:45:00 PM »

Okay, here he is, all in one place:

Name: Eroch de Pauvan

Stamina: 3 - clean living
Will: 5 - high self-esteem
Lore: 2 - solitary adept
Humanity: 5
Cover: hereditary nobility
Price: visionary - -1 to perception rolls
Telltale: When he leaves a scene, in this black and white and grey world, there is always a colored insect left behind: a moth fluttering around a lightbulb, june bugs on the windshield of a car or ladybugs on the hood, a butterfly on the umbrella of a cafe table, fireflies in the front yard when he comes inside at night.

Description: Eroch is a young architect, perhaps 27 years old, dark and thin, with a 15 year old sister, Chema de Pauvan. They are heriditary European nobility from some unspecified country, living in exile in the United States. Their parents were killed in a political assassination ten years ago. Chema has not spoken a word since the assassination, and for a number of years was fairly catatonic. She's currently being treated by an incredibly renowned German psychotherapist who Eroch hired and had brought into the country, and her condition has improved dramatically from her prior catatonia, though she still doesn't speak. It has been an expensive treatment proposition, and has depleted the family's heriditary wealth at a remarkable rate, but that's something which isn't a concern to Eroch. The improvement in Chema's condition and the renewed closeness between the two of them is the most important thing to him in the world.

Still, he realized a few years ago that he would need to produce an income that would provide for Chema's treatment after the heriditary wealth was depleted. So he created an architectural firm, funded it with money from investors and loans against de Pauvan heriditary assets, and designed and built a surreal skyscraper, with the idea that it would be the centerpiece of the metropolis and that owning and leasing it would provide the money he'd need for Chema. It's a towering gothic structure, with flying buttresses that have sharp angular protrusions like the detailing of an insect leg, round, multicellular windows of shaped glass, like insect eyes, that break the view of the outside up into abstraction, and long dark corridors with bulbous eerily glowing light fixtures running down the middle of the ceiling, like the luminescent organs of fireflies.

Connection: Gets his drugs from the same source as Richie Silver.

Kicker: His sister has been moody and distant as the opening of the building has approached. Eroch has just discovered that she's pregnant.

The demon: Pazuzu
Type: Passer
Stamina: 6
Lore: 4
Will: 7
Power: 7

Description: Pazuzu is a horde of insects.

Abilities: Perception: Infrared Vision, Psychic Force, Shapeshift: Femme Fatale, Special Damage: Lethal

Telltale: In femme fatale form, she wears hard, shiny reddish-orange shoes with a few black spots on them, like the wings of a ladybug.

Need: To hear a human weeping.

Do you want me to pick a Desire for Pazuzu?
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
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