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[Sorcerer]Two-Fisted Science!

Started by angelfromanotherpin, November 05, 2004, 07:26:22 PM

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So, I'm working on a sorcerer setting, very 30's pulp in flavor.  I'm a good bit into it, but there's a few details I'd like input on.  Of course, general feedback is also good.

My biggest quandary is the scientific/mystical bisociation going on, where on some level they're the same thing.  I want PCs to be able to be an heir to Rasputin or Fu Manchu as easily as to Doc Savage.  Alas, my prime inspiration presents the western/scientific viewpoint unreservedly, so I have fewer sources for the other half.  

The central conflict is...
Confronted with an irrational world, can you keep faith in the future?

What is Humanity in this setting?
Humanity is Optimism, based on (but not defined by) the bright future of mankind promised by the scientific method, that all things can be understood and solved eventually.  It is also your willingness to bring that future about, through specific and measurable personal effort.

I'd like some suggestions for rewording this to include a more Eastern, possibly Daoist perspective.  Also, I'm having difficulty elucidating good examples of Humanity gain/loss actions.

What does it mean to have 0 Humanity in this setting?
When your character reaches 0 Humanity, they have despaired in the future of mankind.  At this point, you decide if your character Withdraws, deliberately and selfishly removing themselves into sybaritism or contemplation; or if your character engages in an Act of Desperation, a final mad attempt to accomplish something.

The movie Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow is a prime example of an Act of Desperation unfolding.

What is a Sorcerer in this setting?
A Sorcerer is a person who reaches beyond what is known, into the Unreason, and writes into that glorious uncertainty what they will.  In the Western tradition, examples include the rogue scientist who creates impossible devices based on otherwise unworkable theories, and the explorer who visits obscure lands and returns with impossible creatures.  In the Eastern tradition, the mysticism is more explicit, and the results are much more varied, including recognizable spells, artifacts, entities, etc.

Stamina Descriptors
Your body has been honed in competition against others or simply yourself, in simple but practical activities.
Combat Trained: Military or martial arts, you've been taught to kill.
Physical Prodigy: A mass of rawhide and whalebone, with or without speed that belies your size.
Uncanny Regimen: Whether scientific or metaphysical, your odd exercises work wonders.

Will Descriptors
You're just better than most people.
Dedicated: You chose your path, and you'll see it through.
Skeptic: You scrutinize the world, looking for cracks.
Zest for Life: Anything worth doing is worth having fun with.

I could use another descriptor or two for Stamina and Will, if anyone can think of something appropriate.

Lore Descriptors
Your grasp of the Unreason is intuitive and inspired.
Scientist(1-2): You work the Unreason in relief, by extrapolating where Reason ends.
Mad Scientist(3+): Whether or not you realize it, much of your science is created almost from whole cloth by you.
Mystic(2-3): Your direct study of the Unreason has granted you a little knowledge...
Master(4+): The wisdom of the Ancients is yours to bear, if you can.

Thanks in advance for any assistance,

-My real name is Jules

"Now that we know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine how many angels are dancing, at a given time, on the head of a given pin?"
"What if angels from another pin engaged them in melee combat?"

Nev the Deranged

I'm kind of sorry there was no further discussion of this, it looks pretty neat. I especially think the descriptors do a good job of reinforcing the feel.

I'm not sure about the Eastern influence, really. It almost seems like a completely different theme and feel than the 30's "two-fisted science" concept. I'm not saying it's unworkable, just that I personally don't see it.

However, the "swashbuckling scientist" concept is really groovy and I'm interested to know if you've gotten any farther with it.