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Sorcerer to Supers- an unholy transformation

Started by Bailywolf, January 17, 2002, 03:12:07 PM

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No one slap me, please.

I'm going to work some mojo here.

The other night I went a bit nuts until about 2 in the morning.

I was thinking about the inversion of sorcerer- of playing the demon... and then I got to thinking about super heroes... or more particularly, super-humans...

How would the real world react to them?

What if they were only kids?

Answer- it treats them just like Sorcerer's demons.

Organizations, governments, religions, agencies, companies, associations, charities... every outfit with any power is going to scramble to Contact, Summon and Bind the superhumans.

So I came up with this-  (Yet another) Mini-suplement (that I don't have time to finish!).

It works like this:

Sometime in the 80's, something happened to the Earth.  No one knows what, but the children born and concieved after 1983 all carry a certain undetectable dormant factor...just waiting for puberty, and some kind of trigger event.  These children on the verge of becoming adults instead become something entirely new.  Something of a completely different Magnitude.

And there is my title:  Magnitude.

The Scores follow like so:

Stamina:  as normal
Will:  as normal
Magnitude:  Powers and level of power.

Magnitude recieves one of six descriptors based on the general class of powers the character manifests:

Energetic:  external, dynamic powers (TK, fire generation)
Esoteric: wierd, abstract stuff (Time manipulation, probability control)
Physical: Body powers (mega strength, invulnerability, super speed)
Mental:  Mind powers (Telepathy, mind control, hyper-smarts)
Material: matter control (transmutation, creation, control)
Meta: powers which affect the powers of others.

Now here is the suplement's kicker:  Humanity is weakness.

The more human you are, the easier you are to manipulate and sway by human concerns.  Humanity in Magnitude has a descriptor which represents the key to manipulating and controlling a character.  The more powerful a begining character, the more insecure... the more Human.  These are practicaly children suddenly afflicted with godlike powers... their defining traits are their deep flaws:


Background replaces Cover, and serves the same purpose (with more high school friendly descripters:  Jock, outsider, Band Geek, Slut, Slacker, Hoodlum, Nerd etc.)

The Powers system I came up with makes me proud.  I've figured out a way to ballance a character who can blast a few square miles of city to rubble.  Powers are built using a set of 8 generic foci- esentialy diferent possible aplications for the power.  Everything else is handled through the description of the power's effects.  The more extreme the power, the fewier foci it has.  

1 free power.  Max powers = to magnitude.  Each extra power at creation adds one to Humanity.

Characters also have weaknesses.  The severity of which are based on the humanity score.  Almost like the human part of the neohuman teenagers is fighting the changes they undergo...

Loosing humanity is pretty hard too... the more screwed up and out of cotrol their emotions and hormones, the more they are a slave to their base humanity.  Only by resolving personal issues, hangups, and disorders can a character shed his humanity... and evolve into something more profound.

But the world wants a peice of you, and knows how to get it:

Each player may create his own Operator or allow the GM to do it for him.  This is the organization which seeks to manipulate the character, use his powers, and woo him.  This is the Sorcerer to the character's Demon.

Between sessions, other players control the Operator, and explain to the GM what it will be trying to manipulate the character into doing.

I'm still strying to work out how to inflict successful manipulation without screwing PC control... but by warping what a player knows about a situation... it shouldn't be too hard.

If you want a look at the power rules, let me know.  I can send them as a Doc.  They ain't pretty yet, but the spelling is mostly correct.

So, any thoughts?  Am I mad?


Intriguing...makes me think of several anime/manga titles where superpowers are merely a means of political control, as well as Kingdom Come & Earth X.   Also kind of works opposite of Abberant, where the powers make you less human.  Would willpower have any place in this?  I could see someone resisting their humanity if it is getting in the way of what needs to be done...



You got me fired up with your Persona mechanics... so I've been plugging away at some of my pet projects.

One of my more shameful influences is Smallville.  You notice how the mutant-of-the-week always becomes a more extreme version of their typicaly messed up teen age self?

Humanity always gets thrown up as a good thing... but when you think about it, it's pretty sloppy, disorganized, unpleasant, grubby, and misery-inducing.  With this understanding of the human condition (that it is a primitive, limitied state) the Zen master would have freed himself from it's constrints- no desire, no hunger, no need.  But not the sort of bloke you invite to go drinking with you.

Liewise with the neohumans of Magnitude... if they can purge themselves of their humanity, resolving their issues, and breaking connections to the world, they can transcend to a higher state of being... or so some of the cults say.

When you're 16 years old, and strong enough to drop-kick a tank into orbit... it's pretty hard to think about enlightenment when Nike is offering you a twenty million dollar contract, and the girls have finaly noticed you...

But that terminal vulnerability to Copper sure is a pain in the ass... how did that come about anyway?

Generaly both powers and weaknesses reflect a character's past and personal experiences.  One of my sample NPC's grew up on Long Island with his poor single mom.  They lived in a converted garage with crappy insulation, and in the winters it got freezing cold inside every night.  He hates the cold, lothes it, and despite the fact that his powers revolve around generating plasma and heat, he never feels warm, and the cold cac hurt him...

Jared A. Sorensen


Dunno if you've seen it, but feel free to drop $5.95 on Schism at any time. ;) My "superheroes" game is more gloom and doom, but it deals with the same kinda things. Groups trying to control people with inhuman abilities, shedding humanity and achieving "transcendence" of human limitations...all that good kinda thing.

Or not, I mean could always spend your money on the next Adam Sandler flick, who am I to judge? ;)
jared a. sorensen /


Already gotcha Jared,

I've followed Schism ever since it was a proto Unknown Armies suplement.  I never peged it as a supers game, though.  More a psychosurealistic conspiricy/test-to-destruction kinda thingy.

I'm taking some pains not to step on your thematic toes with Magnitude.  I don't fancy the competition.

I don't even have a decent website.

Seriously though, Schism was well worth the six bucks.  

I was more worried about tresspassing into Clinton's territory... I've also scored Urge, and it makes no bones about being a dark superhero game.

I'm going more for coming-of-age/teen trauma/evolution kinda vibe.  The quest for individual identity everyone must undergo taken to a wildly dramatic extreme- to a whole new magnitude.

Neohuman character (if they manage it) don't grow out of childhood... they grow out of an evolutionary childhood, out of humanity itself.  And the 'parents' of the world try and keep them home after dark.

Also, I wanted Magnitude to be less... er... icky.

cheers Gloomy One.

Oh, and what the fuck is wrong with Adam Sandler?  A genius I tell you, a genius!  Such comic timing, such biting insight into the foibles of modern life, such a funny voice!