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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 81 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Getting Started  (Read 31490 times)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #15 on: September 27, 2005, 09:48:56 AM »

Hello,

By the numbers!

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1. For demons, the number of abilities they get is equal to their Lore, correct? I was counting up abilities for the demons in the main book, and sometimes the number of abilities was greater than the demon's lore. Manicus, on p. 60, has 10 abilities -- 4 listed, plus instructions to the GM to choose 6 more -- but his will is 9. On p. 81, Yzor, with a Lore of 9 also has 10. L'il [Name of Master] has a Lore of 4, and either 4 or 5 abilities, depending on whether the two types of Perception count as one or two.

Whoops. All errors. Lore sets the number of abilities of the demon. Yup, it's a rule.

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2. For Summoning, the player of the sorcerer rolls (Will - Humanity) dice. In the unlikely event that this number is 0 or negative, what happens? My assumption would be that the player rolls 1 die.

First, the number can't be negative. All Sorcerer scores drop to 0, never into negatives.

Second, when you roll a score at 0, roll one die and add one to the opposing roll.

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3. Demons get a 5 die bonus when something contradicts one of the three rules. I understand how something contradicts the Rule of Secrecy, but I'm not sure what sorts of things contradict the Rules of Need and Binding. Could I have a couple of examples?

H'mmm ... it depends a bit on the local look & feel for sorcery and demons, but here are some ideas.

Say a sorcerer swears to a Bound demon that never, ever again will he or she feed its Need. The demon might get a fat 5-dice bonus on its rebellion roll. Or maybe a demon starving for its Need could conceivably (again, depending on the local terms for the game) get a bonus to break into a Contain that contains the Need.

For Binding, that's even more dependent on local stuff, and it's practically impossible to come up with examples out of context ... Let's say an un-Bound demon has a golden opportunity to save the life of a sorcerer who might (or is potentially very willing) to Bind it, because this sorcerer is currently about to be shot by a guy with a machine gun. The demon might kick in that five-dice bonus in performing that action.

Best,
Ron
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Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #16 on: September 28, 2005, 04:56:21 AM »

Whoops. All errors. Lore sets the number of abilities of the demon. Yup, it's a rule.

Got it.

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First, the number can't be negative. All Sorcerer scores drop to 0, never into negatives.

Check.

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Second, when you roll a score at 0, roll one die and add one to the opposing roll.

As in, if the opposing roll is 5 dice, you roll 6? Or, as in, if the opposing roll is 5 dice, you roll 5, but add one to the total of the highest die?

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Say a sorcerer swears to a Bound demon that never, ever again will he or she feed its Need. The demon might get a fat 5-dice bonus on its rebellion roll. Or maybe a demon starving for its Need could conceivably (again, depending on the local terms for the game) get a bonus to break into a Contain that contains the Need.

Oh, break into a contain! That's a cool notion.

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For Binding, that's even more dependent on local stuff, and it's practically impossible to come up with examples out of context ... Let's say an un-Bound demon has a golden opportunity to save the life of a sorcerer who might (or is potentially very willing) to Bind it, because this sorcerer is currently about to be shot by a guy with a machine gun. The demon might kick in that five-dice bonus in performing that action.

Hm. In Disney's Aladdin then, the djinni has that bonus when he asks an unconscious Aladdin to order the djinni to save him. Aladdin's body moves so that it sorta looks like he's nodding, and the djinni says, "Good enough." Hm, that doesn't acutally involve a contradiction to the Rule of Binding, though -- but, okay, point is, we should use a combination of common sense and intuition. Got it.

Other questions:

1. Chart question: On the chart of sorcery rituals, there's a column for modifiers. This column doesn't contain stuff like the Binding Strength, which is a modifier for both Banish and Punish. Any reason for this? In other words, if there's a principle behind the chart I'm missing, what is it?

2. Contain question: My character creates a contain. I roll my character's Lore vs Stamina and record the successes as bonuses. These bonuses mean nothing until the Contain is tested, at which point I roll my character's Lore, plus those bonus dice, against the demon's Power. Correct so far?

If my Lore vs Stamina is a failure, do the Stamina successes become penalty dice when the Contain is tested? Or am I inventing penalty dice where nothing like that actually exists in Sorcerer?

3. As usual, I'm confused by combat rules. In this case, if I've read p. 105 correctly, someone who has already acted in a round and who is then attacked gets to use full Stamina as a defense, while someone who has not acted must either abort the planned action to use full Stamina as a defense, or must suck up the damage, using only one die. How come someone who's already acted gets to have it both ways?

4. On page 111, there's a reference to the Blades/Claw Table. Is there such a table?

-Lisa

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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #17 on: September 28, 2005, 06:12:57 AM »

Hi Lisa,

Quick example. Character A is running under enough penalties to negate all the dice for a score he is using. Character B's attack is coming in with four dice.

(note this situation may have evolved during the whole action/abort sequence in the middle of a complex conflict - in fact, that's very likely)

Anyway, what's the roll? A will roll one die and B will roll five.

Note that in many situations, B's four dice have already been rolled and are currently sitting on the table. What then? No problem. Just roll one more die for B and add it into his existing batch. This does not change any order-of-action.

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1. Chart question: On the chart of sorcery rituals, there's a column for modifiers. This column doesn't contain stuff like the Binding Strength, which is a modifier for both Banish and Punish. Any reason for this? In other words, if there's a principle behind the chart I'm missing, what is it?

Binding strength is a potential multiplier for all the rituals, even Binding, conceivably, under some funky competitive-Binding situations. Just figure it in as a blanket modifier for tons and tons of stuff, most or all of the rituals included. I was thinking of highly specific and unique modifiers for the rituals when I made that table.

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2. Contain question: My character creates a contain. I roll my character's Lore vs Stamina and record the successes as bonuses. These bonuses mean nothing until the Contain is tested, at which point I roll my character's Lore, plus those bonus dice, against the demon's Power. Correct so far?

You got it!!

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If my Lore vs Stamina is a failure, do the Stamina successes become penalty dice when the Contain is tested? Or am I inventing penalty dice where nothing like that actually exists in Sorcerer?

More-or-less the latter. In Sorcerer, typically, the "augmenting" roll (to use a HeroQuest term) can give you a bonus if you succeed, but nothing is penalized if you fail. 

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3. As usual, I'm confused by combat rules. In this case, if I've read p. 105 correctly, someone who has already acted in a round and who is then attacked gets to use full Stamina as a defense, while someone who has not acted must either abort the planned action to use full Stamina as a defense, or must suck up the damage, using only one die. How come someone who's already acted gets to have it both ways?

First of all, you got it!

Second, although I'm hesitant to use "in real life" as a justification, this, uh, is the way it is in real life, at least for hand-to-hand combat.

Third, and more appropriate for Sorcerer-as-principles-in-action, combat & conflict scenes in stories rely very heavily on a kind of "dominance" principle - a given character or team of characters tends to exert more offensive/defensive oomph in a given clash or exchange.

The classic wargame table which puts offense down the side and defense across the top, then has a 50% value running diagonally through the table with incremental ups and down filling up the remainder, isn't the model for Sorcerer conflicts. I built the rules to set up "who dominates this time" as a principle overseeing all the choices for everyone, during that exchange.

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4. On page 111, there's a reference to the Blades/Claw Table. Is there such a table?

Same as the edged weapons table, whatever it is I called it.

Best,
Ron
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Lisa Padol
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Posts: 365


« Reply #18 on: September 28, 2005, 08:17:42 AM »

Quick example. Character A is running under enough penalties to negate all the dice for a score he is using. Character B's attack is coming in with four dice.

(note this situation may have evolved during the whole action/abort sequence in the middle of a complex conflict - in fact, that's very likely)

Anyway, what's the roll? A will roll one die and B will roll five.

Thanks. Right, that makes sense -- both sides get a die they're not technically supposed to have, and that balances things well enough.

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Second, although I'm hesitant to use "in real life" as a justification, this, uh, is the way it is in real life, at least for hand-to-hand combat.

This I'll have to take your word on. I'm a poor enough fencer that I can't swear to exactly how timing in an rpg sense works there.

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4. On page 111, there's a reference to the Blades/Claw Table. Is there such a table?

Same as the edged weapons table, whatever it is I called it.

Thanks. Okay, I've got to re-read the Token rules, which are probably simpler than I'm assuming.

-Lisa
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Christopher VandeLinde
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« Reply #19 on: September 28, 2005, 11:39:07 AM »

Hi Lisa and Ron,

I hope you don't mind me butting in here, but I want to make sure I understand what Ron is getting at.

Third, and more appropriate for Sorcerer-as-principles-in-action, combat & conflict scenes in stories rely very heavily on a kind of "dominance" principle - a given character or team of characters tends to exert more offensive/defensive oomph in a given clash or exchange.

The classic wargame table which puts offense down the side and defense across the top, then has a 50% value running diagonally through the table with incremental ups and down filling up the remainder, isn't the model for Sorcerer conflicts. I built the rules to set up "who dominates this time" as a principle overseeing all the choices for everyone, during that exchange.

I'm understanding this to mean that the character with the higher initiative gets to effectively act twice because his higher initiative is seen as giving him the dominance of the action.  And that the importance of this dominance is in it's contribution to the drama of the conflict, instead of worrying about the fairness of the tactical simulation.  Is that basically right?

Thanks,
Christopher
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #20 on: September 28, 2005, 02:20:13 PM »

Hi Christopher,

Yes, more-or-less. I'm not sure I'd call it "acting twice" so much as "acting with more awareness/reactivity." Think of one guy getting the drop on the other as a default feature of any confrontation.

For instance ... you guys do understand, I hope, this point as well: say X is attacked by five guys, and gets the high value. After his action, as their attacks come in, he gets to roll all his defense dice against every one of those attacks, separately. That's a lot more than "one more" action!

In terms of counting dice, the folks who go earlier simply have more dice, total, in which one part of that overall "pool" is dedicated to self-protection.

This is one of the subtle reasons that Sorcerer combat and The Riddle of Steel combat are more similar than most people think.

Best,
Ron
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Christopher VandeLinde
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« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2005, 05:45:56 AM »

Hi Ron,

Thanks, that helps.  I admit I didn't realize that a character could have the number of defense rolls you mentioned; I was thinking more of the swordfight scene in The Princess Bride, where the switching of the sword hand changed the entire flow of the fight.

Thanks again,
Christopher
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #22 on: September 29, 2005, 05:50:53 AM »

Hello,

Ever hear that funny click, or maybe the repeated-phrase effect, that tips you off that the person you're talking to is actually an android? I thought I just did.

Christopher, what you said about The Princess Bride sword-switching effect makes no sense at all to me. That sort of effect is easy and common in Sorcerer; it's called a dice bonus (prior to the roll), or possibly a fun narration (after a Complete Victory for defense, which would then fold into the attack roll next exchange, as a bonus). What in the world are you talking about?

Best,
Ron
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Christopher VandeLinde
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« Reply #23 on: September 29, 2005, 06:12:11 AM »

Hi Ron,

Ever hear that funny click, or maybe the repeated-phrase effect, that tips you off that the person you're talking to is actually an android? I thought I just did.

I get that a lot, especially before I've had my morning caffeine.  Let me try to clarify what I was thinking.

I was looking at the idea of a character having dominance in a fight.  The swordfight example seemed appropriate to me because of the way the flow of the fight progressed.  At first there is an equality between Westly and Inigo, although eventually Westly gets the upper hand.  Then Inigo switches his sword hand.  The flow is now significantly different; Westly is on the defensive and pressed by Inigo's attack.  It seemed to me that this was a clear example of the sort of dominance you were talking about (although perhaps Lisa's comment about fencing sent my mind in that direction), although I can see how, in terms of mechanics, it was properly inappropriate to the issue at hand.

Anyways, I don't want to take over Lisa's thread more than I already have; I do think I understand your point, even if the example I was using was a bit off.

Regards,
Christopher
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Lisa Padol
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Posts: 365


« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2005, 11:28:02 AM »

For instance ... you guys do understand, I hope, this point as well: say X is attacked by five guys, and gets the high value. After his action, as their attacks come in, he gets to roll all his defense dice against every one of those attacks, separately. That's a lot more than "one more" action!

Oh, my! No, I did not realize that. It follows, of course, but it just hadn't occurred to me.

-Lisa
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Lisa Padol
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Posts: 365


« Reply #25 on: September 29, 2005, 11:29:31 AM »

Anyways, I don't want to take over Lisa's thread more than I already have; I do think I understand your point, even if the example I was using was a bit off.

Not a problem -- without your posts, it would not have occurred to me that the defense rule meant someone going first got the full defense against, well, everyone going later.

-Lisa
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Lisa Padol
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Posts: 365


« Reply #26 on: September 29, 2005, 11:52:47 AM »

Okay, Token questions.

To make a Token, one kills a living being. The victim's Humanity becomes the number of bonus dice the Token has. Correct, so far?

Is this automatically successful? That is, my character kidnaps a young girl, slits her throat in full ritual fashion and has her bleed out onto whatever is to be the token, let's say the very dagger he slit her throat with. She has Humanity of 5. Has my character automatically succeeded in creating a Humanity 5 Token?

Animals do not generally have Humanity, correct? So, animal sacrifice is pretty pointless in terms of getting the crunchy toys?

A Token is not a one use thing, correct? That is, my character can use, re-use, and abuse those 5 bonus dice whenever it is appropriate to use the Token?

Let's say my character now kills someone with Humanity 6 with the Token, hoping to make the Token even more powerful. This means I roll 6 dice vs the Token's 5 dice, and any successes are added to the Token's dice. That is, if I roll 2 successes vs the Token, I now have a Token with 7 dice, correct? In other words, Tokens sort of "bottom out" after awhile, since, while, in theory, using a 10 die Token to kill someone with 1 Humanity could result in getting an 11 die Token, that's not the way to bet.

Or am I completely wrong? The above is what I thought was the case, but The Sorcerer's Soul has a scenario that seems to indicate otherwise.

Reading pp. 98-99 of The Sorcerer's Soul, I see that Leopold's sword becomes a Token after Leopold is killed. Leopold's Humanity is 4, so that is the starting value of the Token.

But, 2 is added to that for Grette's Humanity loss. Is this a part of the Token rules I missed in the previous supplement? Is this something specific to the scenario?

Regardless, we have a 6 die Token. Then, Gunther, with Humanity of 5 is killed. I would expect this to mean that 5 dice are rolled against the Token's 6, and only the successes on those 5 dice got added, but the entire 5 dice are automatically added. Did I misunderstand the rules? Is this sort of a fiat, since, after all, there are no PCs present when this takes place, as written, so there's no reason to roll?

Marcus loses 1 Humanity, and I've already asked about that part.

We now have a 12 die Token. I see why Kerl's Humanity would count for double if he were sacrificed. It Just Fits. But again, I'd expect that would mean I'd roll 12 dice against the Token's current value of 12, adding only the successes, rather than adding in all 12 dice without checking.

Is this something I'm thinking too hard about? I could see if it's just a question of streamlining things. Or are the dice supposed to add automatically? That is, can someone create an obscenely powerful Token by going around ritually murdering people? I have no problem with that being the case, but I want to make sure that if I use Tokens, I use the actual rules for Tokens.

-Lisa
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #27 on: September 29, 2005, 12:28:33 PM »

Hello,

Quote
The victim's Humanity becomes the number of bonus dice the Token has. Correct, so far?

Is this automatically successful? That is, my character kidnaps a young girl, slits her throat in full ritual fashion and has her bleed out onto whatever is to be the token, let's say the very dagger he slit her throat with. She has Humanity of 5. Has my character automatically succeeded in creating a Humanity 5 Token?

Animals do not generally have Humanity, correct? So, animal sacrifice is pretty pointless in terms of getting the crunchy toys?

A Token is not a one use thing, correct? That is, my character can use, re-use, and abuse those 5 bonus dice whenever it is appropriate to use the Token?

All correct. About the animals, though, that'll definitely be a local look & feel thing. I can think of lots of animal characters who'd have Humanity in story terms, even non-anthropomorphic ones.

Quote
Let's say my character now kills someone with Humanity 6 with the Token, hoping to make the Token even more powerful. This means I roll 6 dice vs the Token's 5 dice, and any successes are added to the Token's dice. That is, if I roll 2 successes vs the Token, I now have a Token with 7 dice, correct? In other words, Tokens sort of "bottom out" after awhile, since, while, in theory, using a 10 die Token to kill someone with 1 Humanity could result in getting an 11 die Token, that's not the way to bet.

Yup.

As for the scenario in The Sorcerer's Soul, you're seeing some errors. The dice should be rolled and the victories added, not the whole Humanity amounts. The source of the errors is that both supplements existed in PDF form, and when Sorc & Sword got revised for print, the necromany rules were revised extensively. The scenario was written when the older rules applied, and I didn't realize the discrepancy when that supplement went to print form.

Best,
Ron
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Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #28 on: September 29, 2005, 01:58:43 PM »

As for the scenario in The Sorcerer's Soul, you're seeing some errors. The dice should be rolled and the victories added, not the whole Humanity amounts. The source of the errors is that both supplements existed in PDF form, and when Sorc & Sword got revised for print, the necromany rules were revised extensively. The scenario was written when the older rules applied, and I didn't realize the discrepancy when that supplement went to print form.

Okay, got it. Thanks. In the case of the two characters who lost Humanity, which of the following ought to apply:

1. Local variant on the rules. Roll the Humanity loss vs the Token, and any successes add to the Token,
2. Local variant on the rules. Add the Humanity loss to the Token, no need to roll.
3. The Humanity loss has no effect on the Token.

Am currently making my way through Sex & Sorcery, with a lot of "Wow, that dovetails with the book I'm considering stealing the R-map from."

-Lisa
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Lisa Padol
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Posts: 365


« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2005, 06:54:24 PM »

Another question from Sorcerer & Sword. Page 71 says:

===
In face-to-face dueling, at just beyond arm's length, a sword should get a single-die bonus over either a shorter weapon and a longer/heavier one (including a heavier sword).
===

Does this mean that if Character A has a regular sword and Character B has a heavier sword, both characters get a single-die bonus, A for having a sword against a heavier sword, and B for having a sword against a shorter weapon?

I am okay with any answer, so long as I know what the actual rule is.

-Lisa

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