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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 83 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Very very very powerful demons (and how to keep them)  (Read 13274 times)
Valamir
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« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2004, 01:35:00 PM »

Quote
b) formally proceeding down the path of rebellion


does this include petulant behavior such as throwing a fit before obeying, or creatively interpreting an order, or failing to hurry to carry it out that results in hardship for the master.

If you're looking for clarity confirmation, I guess I'm not clear what constitutes a "formally proceeding down the path of rebellion" vs. the demon just being a prick.

Where's that line at and I'll be all good.

Or in other words, how much of a prick is the demon allowed to be if the letter of its Need has been met?
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Bill Cook
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« Reply #16 on: August 12, 2004, 01:37:13 PM »

Much clearer. Thx.

(Cross-posted.)
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2004, 03:06:29 PM »

Hi Ralph,

The difference is not immediately apparent just by seeing the demon's behavior in one instance.

"Fragg, go hit that ninja!"

"Ah, fuck you."

"Fragg, dammit!!"

[Fragg clocks ninja]

Let's assume that all of the above is Color, in that Fragg isn't really balking at the action (giving up a combat action, e.g.) - just expressing himself. (As in Office Space: "This is me, expressing myself.")

The event is consistent either with Fragg entering the Brat stage of rebellion due to not getting its Need, or just honking off because its Desire isn't getting met or hasn't been lately.

But the GM ought to know which, even if the player can't tell, and the player should be able to say, if he or she thinks about it, whether the player-character is currently in the red or in the black regarding the Need.

So yeah, the difference is interpretable when you back up and think over the last few instances/opportunities regarding the Need.

Desire-based fractiousness is really mainly a matter of fun Color for role-playing, occasionally relevant to bonus dice on one or another side of an interaction. Much along the same lines as a quip.

Best,
Ron
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DannyK
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« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2004, 05:21:05 PM »

OK, that really clears it up.  That's evil, man.  :)
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2004, 07:10:28 PM »

Ah! Back to the issue of mondo-powerful demons, check out Stat scaling in Sorcerer.

Best,
Ron
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stingray20166
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Posts: 39


« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2004, 09:23:46 AM »

Ron and all -- just wanted to say that there was a lot in this thread that has helped me.  

First Sorcerer game is schedule for Sept 10 -- can't wait.

"Never protect the player-characters in Sorcerer."

This surprised me at first, but I get it.  I think the urge to protect is left over from D&D -- if you don't protect the players from the game system (or at least the combat system) then they die quickly -- game over.  But one of the things I've learned from Sorcerer and in the discussions about Heroquest is that failure in combat does not equal death (necessarily, anyway).  

Coupling that with the comments about Yzor needing a new master --- hmmm, I'm getting some evil ideas here. :-)

Surprisingly, my players have opted for very low power demons.  I didn't mention any of the mechanics when I asked for their demons -- I just said "tell me what your demons can do".  One demon I got back literally said "No combat ability".  Another is just two abilities.

Man -- every time I read one of these threads I get excited about the game again.  We've been trying to play for almost 3 months and Real Life keeps interfering.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #21 on: August 26, 2004, 09:41:10 AM »

Hiya,

Glad to hear this is helping you!

Here's a suggestion: ask the players how willful they envision their demons to be, relative to their player-characters. If someone with a little demon says "oh, he's kind of just a schlubby imp," then leave the demon as is. But if someone says, "actually, pretty hard-core, a real handful," then raise Will and Power (and possibly Stamina), leaving Lore low.

Best,
Ron
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stingray20166
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« Reply #22 on: August 27, 2004, 06:40:22 AM »

Great idea, Ron -- here's my first response:

"I'll have to think about it, but right away I think she
would be sneaky - often disappearing on her own agendas, up to no good."

You should see the big grin on my face as I type this!

Oh, yes, yessss, we putssss the Will up on that one.

(The story behind this demon is that she is a tatoo in red ink of a little hot demoness with horns and pitchfork.   The character is ex-Army, served in Vietnam as a "Thumper God" -- a grenadier.  Character accidentally kills family in hut, father has the tat.  Character passes out upon viewing the carnage he has wrought and when he wakes up the tat has transferred to him.)
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #23 on: August 27, 2004, 07:04:20 AM »

Oh that's beautiful. The demon, the response, and the concept.

But don't forget that Binding the demon must have been voluntary - just because he woke up with the tattoo doesn't mean he Bound it "accidentally." Make sure the player says why the character entered into the Binding.

You may have done this already, but I'm always on the lookout for "whoops, guess I got bonked on the head, guess I have a demon" bad superhero origins for Sorcerer characters.

Best,
Ron
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stingray20166
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« Reply #24 on: August 27, 2004, 08:18:30 AM »

You're right, thanks -- we're still working on the characters via email before the game so I have time to correct this.
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angelfromanotherpin
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« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2004, 07:16:22 AM »

Ron, to your mind, can a voluntary Binding be as simple as not rejecting the Demon?  If the example character had the option of (say) lasering the tattoo off or excising the flesh but chose not to, could that be a kind of acceptance?

Or how about, the guy wakes up, bleary-eyed, sees the little devil crawling off the dead man and onto him, knows he could (with supreme effort) hit it with a rock or yell "piss off" or something, but chooses to just pass out again.  Would that qualify as 'voluntary Binding?'
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-My real name is Jules

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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2004, 07:33:37 AM »

Hiya,

All of those could be part of the character's back-story, as events in the interaction between him and the demon. I'm not saying "Don't do that" in terms of the descriptions.

But the answer to your question is No. Even if it were months or years later (which is OK in the case of this example, being back in 'Nam and all), the character one day had to say "Yes, I will feed you, indefinitely," to the demon. Usually a person would only say such a thing under duress.

The problem with characters like this one is that they were under duress prior to getting the demon, but that we don't have any idea of their duress when they Bound it, and now they're not under any either. Christopher Kubasik put it very nicely one time, that Sorcerer characters have three origins:

the person and his passions
the [person + passions] and his demon(s)
the [person + passions + demons] and the Kicker

If all you provide are the demons and a half-ass Kicker, you're forcing the GM to "make a story" that fills in your character's passions. That is wimpy-ass Sorcerer play and literally hobbles everyone else at the table.

I did not make this clear in the Armand DeVito example in the book, which was a mistake. The problem is that I was thinking in Armand's voice at the time, and the character always hides his commitments although when he makes them he's ruthlessly sincere.

Best,
Ron
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2004, 07:06:37 AM »

The simple fact is that if the sorcerer doesn't have a desire, or need of his own, to have a demon, then he simply banishes it, and ceases to be a sorcerer. Game over. To make play work, the Sorcerer has to have a reason to have the demons he has. Period.

This is what drives play - it's not about the cool powers, but why the sorcerer needs them. This sets up the dysfunctional relationship between the demons and sorcerer, all in relation to the humanity mechanic. Without the sorcerer's need, there's never any choices for him to make relative to humanity, and the game falls down.

Pretty simple, really. Just not what most RPGs require from a character. Not giving a sorcerer a need for demons in sorcerer is like not giving a D&D character a class.

The power of a demon is actually irrelevant in many ways. It's not about "can the demon kill you?" it's about "have you provoked your demon to kill you?" From that POV, demon power just makes the results of the chosen answer more or less variable.

Mike
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