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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: Getting Started  (Read 31826 times)
jburneko
Member

Posts: 1351


« Reply #45 on: October 04, 2005, 12:26:02 AM »

Hello Again,

I suddenly realized I've partially lied.  I have seen the film based on The Name of the Rose and at one point had read about the first 100 pages of the book but found the author was a little TOO good at mimicing the writing of a 14th Century monk.  I'll give it another go some day.

I can't speak to what you do or don't want to include.  It's your idea pulled from your sources but you do seem to be agonizing over a lot of details.  I'm not *quite* sure what you're still looking for.

As for sexuality issues, you don't have to build them into the Sorcery concept.  You can build them into the setting (such as the issues of women at the university as you've already stated) or into the situation (via your R-Map) or players can build them into their characters and you can choose to emphasize them in your bang choice.  I don't really see a need to include them directly into your one-sheet from the get go.

Another issue I've seen you repeat is the fear of Sorcery being viewed as "good."  I wouldn't worry about that either.  Sorcery isn't necessarily good or bad, it's unnatural.  I used to have a real problem with "likeable" demons.  Occasionally, a demon in one of my games would become "loveable" in that kind of cartoony way and you'd feel bad for the guy when his master Punished him.  Turns out this OKAY.

I think you have more than you think you have.  Hmmm... Just for fun, I'm goind to construct a character from my understanding of your setting.  In the absense of customized descripters I'll just pick things I think are appropriate.

Name: Jonathan Oak
Appearance: Tall, stately gentleman who walks with an oakwood cane.
Telltale: Birds do not take flight when he is near.
Price: Wounded (-1 to physical activities involving his legs)

Stamina 2 Trained-soldier
Will 4 Lover
Lore 4 Adept
Cover 2 Ex-Commisioned Officer
Humanity 4

Kicker: Through the eyes of The Lady Jasmine (see bellow) Jonathan has witnessed his love Viola Hanover give away her "innocense" to his scholarly (and romantic) rival Sebastion Villefort.

The Lady Jasmine
Apperance: A brown and silver hawk
Type: Passer
Telltale: Her cry, sounds distant and echoy no matter where she is or what her surroundings are.

Stamina 3
Will: 4
Lore: 3
Power 4

Desire: Love
Need: To kill on the hunt.

Abilities: Perception (confers to Jonathan, allows him to see through her eyes via Link), Link and Mark

Note that sexuality issues are built into the kicker and (*shudder*) the demon.  Also, I suspect the demon to be highly sympathetic, a valued pet and trusted companion but no less trouble.

Would you consider this character appropriate for you concept?

Jesse
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droog
Member

Posts: 263


« Reply #46 on: October 04, 2005, 05:58:15 AM »

I like. Thank you.
You're welcome. And, look, I don't have any really pertinent advice for you (I was seeking some myself recently), but I'm sure you'll have fun if you follow the book. Relax and enjoy. It's a great game.
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AKA Jeff Zahari
Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #47 on: October 04, 2005, 08:35:53 AM »

I suddenly realized I've partially lied.  I have seen the film based on The Name of the Rose and at one point had read about the first 100 pages of the book but found the author was a little TOO good at mimicing the writing of a 14th Century monk.  I'll give it another go some day.

Hey, most people who don't care for it can't get past page 24. (That's where the page and a half description of the church door is.)

Quote
As for sexuality issues, you don't have to build them into the Sorcery concept.  You can build them into the setting (such as the issues of women at the university as you've already stated) or into the situation (via your R-Map) or players can build them into their characters and you can choose to emphasize them in your bang choice.  I don't really see a need to include them directly into your one-sheet from the get go.

Sounds good. I've generally found that most of the thematic stuff I do works because I haven't actually planned it.

Quote
Another issue I've seen you repeat is the fear of Sorcery being viewed as "good."  I wouldn't worry about that either.  Sorcery isn't necessarily good or bad, it's unnatural.  I used to have a real problem with "likeable" demons.  Occasionally, a demon in one of my games would become "loveable" in that kind of cartoony way and you'd feel bad for the guy when his master Punished him.  Turns out this OKAY.

It should definitely be unnatural, although if I go with the civilized-animal dichotomy, this does set up an interesting question of just what natural is.

Quote
I think you have more than you think you have.  Hmmm... Just for fun, I'm goind to construct a character from my understanding of your setting.  In the absense of customized descripters I'll just pick things I think are appropriate.

<snipping out description>

Would you consider this character appropriate for you concept?

Dead on, more so than you may realize, as in you've done an interesting echo of something from the sources I'm playing with. Thanks.

-Lisa
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James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 642


« Reply #48 on: October 05, 2005, 05:34:39 AM »

Hi Lisa, I'm in the middle of constructing a "pre game procedures" outline for Sorcerer, Sorcerer & Sword, and Sorcerer's Soul -- consolidating most of the GM advice into one place.  I'd be happy to e-mail it to you if you wanna PM me....

best of luck,
James
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avram
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Posts: 13


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« Reply #49 on: October 05, 2005, 10:26:43 AM »

The Inner Animal Thing: (Gaa. I need a better term for that.)

It sounds similar to Pullman's daemon, from an old Greek word for an in-dwelling spirit, so why not use that?

Or you can use the Latin anima (an animating soul or spirit), which has the advantage of sounding like "animal". Your setting predates Jung by centuries, so you don't have to limit yourself to the meaning he invented.
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Nev the Deranged
Member

Posts: 741

Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #50 on: October 05, 2005, 02:10:53 PM »

Lisa, you're a lot sharper than me, heh. I agonized for months over what took you half a thread to suss out.

And the first half of this thread had some really useful bits I'm stealing for yet another revision of my quick-reference, so thank you ^_^
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Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #51 on: October 05, 2005, 06:14:39 PM »

Sorcerer One Sheet, Second Draft, with thanks to Jesse

Demons: Bestial entities. Note that this does not mean stupid entities. Animal Passers and Possessor demons causing their hosts to act more animal-like are the most obvious.

[Do I need to figure out the rest of the types of demons, or can that be left to develop as play proceeds? I still think human Passers should be rare and spooky.]

Rituals: Involve animalistic behavior.

Humanity: Got two possibilities.
The simple one: Humanity is civilized behavior and acting according to the social contract.
The more complicated one: Socialized behavior vs. Freedom. If you act too animalistic, if you ignore the conventions of society, you risk losing humanity. But, if you deny your inner nature and desires, you also risk losing humanity.
Either way, I think 0 Humanity means a kind of insanity. Too animal, and you've got Sir Lancelot running through the woods, cutting himself with thorns. Too much the social beast and, um. This could manifest as suicide, as the Renaissance equivalent of going postal one day, or just the quiet insanity of someone desperately unhappy in his role.

Setting: Renaissance like university. The role of women is in question, and they are just starting to enter the university.

Premise, largely quoting Jesse here: The animal nature of humans does not go away as we become more civilized, but it becomes more complicated. Is civilization an attempt to tame or remove these things? To what degree is that good? Or, if not, what is the drawing room jungle like? The academia jungle?

Inspirational source material includes: The Fall of the Kings, His Dark Materials, An Instance of the Finger Post, The Illusionists, The Name of the Rose, Austen, Wharton, et alia, The Vampire Tapestry and other works by Charnas

Descriptors:

[How many of these should I have? I am finding these the most challenging because this is inventing the more crunchy bits.]

[I'm trying to come up with descriptors that fit either the Renaissance Social / University feel or the animal world.]

Lore:

Folklore / Superstition 1-2
Instinctive 1-3
Scholar (someone who's learning lore via research, on his own) 2-3
Student (someone studying under a Sorcerer) 2-3
In a Study Group (sorta like a coven -- not sure I want to include this one) 1-3
Adept 4+
Mad 4+

Will

Lover
Predator/Hunter
Belief System [Is there a more acadamese way of saying this?
High Self Esteem
Vengeful
Social Lion / Animal Magnetism
User / Manipulator
Zest for Life and Sensation

Stamina

Natural Vigor
Clean Living
Scrapper
Athletic Regime
Swordsman
Military Training

Cover / Past

[Which term makes most sense in the context of the setting?]
[Players are allowed to come up with their own, correct?]

Professor
Student/Scholar

What am I leaving out? What seems to need reworking?

R-map question: I'm starting to diagram the R-map in Fall of the Kings. First is ties of blood and sex. Somewhere in there, IMO, on the second go through, should be mentor-student relationships. Two questions: 1. Am I right about this, or is that something that should -not- be on the R-map? 2. If I am right, any opinions on whether I'm better off having the mentor-student relationships on the same diagram as the blood-sex relationships, whether I should have 2 different diagrams, or whether I should do both, e.g., one with the whole picture, and a couple of simplified ones to look at when I just want to focus on one type of tie?

-Lisa
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Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #52 on: October 05, 2005, 06:15:47 PM »

And the first half of this thread had some really useful bits I'm stealing for yet another revision of my quick-reference, so thank you ^_^

Sure thing -- is your quick-reference available online?

-Lisa
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Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #53 on: October 05, 2005, 06:20:13 PM »

The Inner Animal Thing: (Gaa. I need a better term for that.)

It sounds similar to Pullman's daemon, from an old Greek word for an in-dwelling spirit, so why not use that?

Or you can use the Latin anima (an animating soul or spirit), which has the advantage of sounding like "animal". Your setting predates Jung by centuries, so you don't have to limit yourself to the meaning he invented.

It depends on whether you're talking in-game or out-of-game. At the moment, I like the sound of "anima" for in-game, but I'll see if I still think that way in a week.

-Lisa
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angelfromanotherpin
Member

Posts: 132


« Reply #54 on: October 05, 2005, 09:43:16 PM »

My two cents...

Quote from: Lisa Padol
[Do I need to figure out the rest of the types of demons, or can that be left to develop as play proceeds? I still think human Passers should be rare and spooky.]

It seems that if Demons are bestial, then those capable of passing as humans would be rare, but it strikes me as a matter to hammer out with the group. 

Quote
Rituals: Involve animalistic behavior.

Humanity: Got two possibilities.

Rituals, as an expression of Lore, should directly challenge the Humanity definition.  So if you really like animalistic behavior, stick with 'Civilization' as the definition.  The other definition seems to point at rituals which desocialize or constrain.  Treating oneself and others almost like zoo animals, for instance.

Quote
Descriptors:

[How many of these should I have? I am finding these the most challenging because this is inventing the more crunchy bits.]

As many as you need, neither more nor less.  I tried once to shoehorn an arbitrary and equal number into each, which just frustrated me.  Although, if the setting is a University, I think 'Tenure' would make a very cool Will descriptor.  In fact, given the setting, you may want to consider moving 'Teacher' and 'Student' into Will and take a look from that direction, given how much those roles tend to define people's social interactions. 

Lore descriptors should be informed by the Humanity definition.  Also, I'm not sure the student and study group sort of thing is right.  Consider combining animalism with learning, maybe?  How do animals acquire behaviors?  Instinct, immediate observation, direct experience, but certainly not through the dry civilized methods of people. 

Quote
Cover / Past

[Which term makes most sense in the context of the setting?]

Definitely Cover.  Or possibly Major or Subject, if you don't think that's a bit silly.

Looking good, in any case.  All luck.
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-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?"
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #55 on: October 06, 2005, 05:40:46 AM »

Hi Lisa,

What you need to do now is STOP and let the rest get worked out through the players and yourself in character creation. You'll discover three things there:

1. People who will try to shoehorn whatever you present into familiar territory. This is like the guy who listened patiently to Judd's description of the complex and beautiful Marr'd setting, then made up a wandering samurai to add to "the party."

2. People who seize what you present and run with it, providing shocking and fascinating spins on what you've said.

Good news: this is where all of you (specifically you, during prep after character creation) will develop plenty of material that will individualize your setting far, far away from the inspirational material. You're trying to be "too original" right now, which is trapping you into "like this, but not like it, but like it, but ..."

3. People who kind of get it, but need confirmation or minor suggestions at every step of the way during character creation. Your goal here should be to let most of the input come from dialogue among the #2 folks and these folks, with yourself as an equal participant rather than Queen GM.

It'll work out fine. You're right on track, including the uncertainties. Don't put in more. Take out all the hesitant stuff; for instance, just step up and say "No human-type Passers." If you say, "I think they should be rare," you are guaranteeing that at least two, perhaps all of the players will use them.

Best,
Ron
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Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #56 on: October 06, 2005, 01:41:13 PM »

What you need to do now is STOP and let the rest get worked out through the players and yourself in character creation.

Okay, good. I thought I had to nail down all the descriptors first, until they couldn't twitch anymore.

Quote
You'll discover three things there:

1. People who will try to shoehorn whatever you present into familiar territory. This is like the guy who listened patiently to Judd's description of the complex and beautiful Marr'd setting, then made up a wandering samurai to add to "the party."

With any luck, I'll be the worst offender.

Quote
It'll work out fine. You're right on track, including the uncertainties. Don't put in more. Take out all the hesitant stuff; for instance, just step up and say "No human-type Passers." If you say, "I think they should be rare," you are guaranteeing that at least two, perhaps all of the players will use them.

Right, like all of the other rare stuff in every rpg ever written. Okay, so R-map goes off to the side until there are characters, and then gets revisited, and probably thoroughly rewritten. Either way, I don't have to worry about it now.

-Lisa

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Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #57 on: October 06, 2005, 02:25:38 PM »

Question: Is Sorcerer a games where it's absolutely essential that everyone do character creation at the same time, as is the case with PTA?

For those wondering why one might want to do it any other way: Time is always at a premium, and I don't know how many players I'm likely to get. Could be 2. Could be 4. For more than 2 players, and a very specific 2 players at that, I am looking at a best case scenario of getting people together once a month. Doing one at a time character creation is a way of short circuiting the Murphy factor of getting the entire group together the first time, particularly attractive when I know from the get go that I don't even try to run anything until at least a few days after everyone's got a character. Some games work fine with such a short cut. Some do not. Which category does Sorcerer fall into?

If, as I suspect, it falls into the category of games where it really is essential to have everyone there, at the start, doing character creation, is this a step that could be done asynchronously, via email?

-Lisa
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joshua neff
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Posts: 949


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« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2005, 03:34:36 PM »

Lisa,

I can't think of a single RPG out there that I would run without having all the players make characters together. If you've got time to get together to play, you've got time to get together to make characters. And you know how Ron and the others talked about the players contributing to the setting? That comes from character creation as well as playing those characters. Musically speaking, this is everyone getting together and laying the foundation for the upcoming jam sessions.

Now, I don't want to dismiss creating characters through asynchronous communication like email. My own experiences haven't been very good with that, because not everyone in the play group would check and respond to emails as quickly as others, but if you read the Art Deco Melodrama threads, the character creation there works very well. As long as everyone is getting a voice and feels they can throw out ideas freely, to the GM and to other players, however you create characters should be fine.
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--josh

"You can't ignore a rain of toads!"--Mike Holmes
Lisa Padol
Member

Posts: 365


« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2005, 07:38:21 PM »

I can't think of a single RPG out there that I would run without having all the players make characters together. If you've got time to get together to play, you've got time to get together to make characters. And you know how Ron and the others talked about the players contributing to the setting? That comes from character creation as well as playing those characters. Musically speaking, this is everyone getting together and laying the foundation for the upcoming jam sessions.

Nah, you're right. Oh, I've done it, and it's even worked. Often this is a case of new players joining the game later. But it's worth doing right.

Quote
Now, I don't want to dismiss creating characters through asynchronous communication like email. My own experiences haven't been very good with that, because not everyone in the play group would check and respond to emails as quickly as others, but if you read the Art Deco Melodrama threads, the character creation there works very well. As long as everyone is getting a voice and feels they can throw out ideas freely, to the GM and to other players, however you create characters should be fine.

With email, it depends on who's doing it. Mm, and another very important factor: I think I'm the only one in the potential group who actually has a copy of the Sorcerer rules.

-Lisa
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