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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: Help me with my Sorcerer Idea or I'll Shoot This Dog!  (Read 9896 times)
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2002, 10:14:04 AM »

Well, Andy, it sounds like it's time to get writing that mini-supplement.

I strongly suggest not using the canonical, actual setting, but one very much like it. I have many reasons for suggesting this, not the least of which is that anime fans have a very pronounced tendency to repeat the source material to one another as a form of enjoying their fandom. That tendency transforms game text into fan/enjoyment text quickly; BESM suffers very badly from this problem.

Definitely come up with a set of descriptors for each score, and I think Mike's suggestion of Tribe or Place is perfect for Cover. If you haven't seen Demon Cops yet, I recommend it - it represents my take on how anime (of the Wicked City, Biohunter variety) translates into Sorcerer, or vice versa.

Best,
Ron
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Andy Kitkowski
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2002, 02:50:36 PM »

It's really helping me clarify my ideas in my mind- Saying to myself, "Yeah, that's like it, but it's more like XXX" or "No, that's not it at all, it's actually YYY" has really helped me "bag" the game into the Sorcerer ruleset.

Since it seems that some folks are showing a bit of interest, I might as well drop a little more info about the game.

It's called "Kyuseisha" (pronounced "Q-SEI-sha"). Here's a blurb I originally wrote of for the proposed Fudge version, way back when:

"The Kyuseisha are the Saviors, the Releasers, and the Handmaidens that brought the world out of the stagnation of a world ruined by famine and war into a new and enlightened age.  The word "Kyuseisha" is a derivative of the Japanese/Chinese-based word "Kyuseishu" which means "Savior", or "Messiah".  The Kyuseisha were a group of people, not just one, who fought for an idea- the reclamation and revival of the wasted earth."

A little more:

"This game is about the future- People of an enlightened age looking back on the history of a savage past ruined by a world war fought over dwindling  resources.  While the game itself takes place in the world after the throes of war and horrible environmental disaster, there is a definite sense of hope for a better future.  The players take on the role of Kyuseishu, the people who looked after the broken Earth and ushered humans into a new chapter of human history- a bright, hopeful future."

"This game will feature a power called "The Release*", which humans can draw on to use four powers: The Weapon (martial arts), The Word (suggestion and mind control), The Mover (a kind of telekinesis) and The Hidden (stealth).  The Weapon is the power that is most focused on in this game."

*- I've come to think that this is a dumb name. Even more recently, it doesn't fit with the new concepts I'm exploring, with the humanity struggles and all.

So, what does this mean? In no particular order:

1) One of the things about Ron's S&S that really got into me was the section on "Destiny".  I'm definitely using this in my game, and also making provisions for the GM to have the game jump chronologically (A-C-B, etc). See, the way I'm writing this game (I say this now, having only written a little bit of it. If the writing style becomes too distracting, though, I'll drop it) it actually is written as if in the /FUTURE/ looking back on the /PAST/ of approx 700-1000 years previous, the past being the post-holocaust world of Kyuseisha. In other words, things get better. In some cases, things get better because of the actions of the PCs. So some of the PCs are destined to become "saviors". Others are destined to betray the others or lose their humanity/self. The players can choose this in chargen, because hey, it would be interesting to play a Judas or Darth Vader...

1b) Interestingly enough, the tendencies of style, form etc that I was planning on bringing out in my game were DEAD ON with the "pulp" genre as presented in S&S. Funny thing is, I've never really read or been exposed to any pulp fiction, save the Elric Saga. So while I'm setting up a lot of the "conditions", "things to potentially encounter" and "vague environment/timeline" of the setting, I'm leaving the geography and details, as well as huge areas of the timeline and the major events within that timeline, either extremely vague or just untouched. It was interesting to, about a year after writing this style down in a notebook to use later, see in print (here in S&S) exactly the angle/structure that I was going for.

2) There will be only one reference to "Demon" in the game that I'm thinking of. It'll be on Page 1, and will go something like, "There are no 'Demons' in this game. Instead, what are normally considered Demons in the Sorcerer game are actually XXX, and they behave like this: YYY". So in this game, I'll have to define the vocabulary of Demon (with Humanity, Lore, etc) for the setting of the game, and use that definition throughout the rest of the game.

3) I'm thinking here that Lore would be renamed "Potential", "Release", "Amp", or just directly called whatever particular martial art or field of study (ie subvocalization, stealth) that the player engaged in.  After all, it is this skill that is used to "summon the demon", which in this case would be "summoning self potential, directed by that field of study". Ex: Low stamina, high lore, with lore being martial arts = The analogue of the legendary aspects of Bruce Lee that we are infatuated with.

Comments (again, thanks all):

From Mike:
>>>
Sorcery in this case would be getting new powers through life changing events.
>>>
Interesting idea.  But for my game, there's no "trigger" which brings on these powers. Just like Lore in the classic Sorcerer, the skills come from practice, or developed natural talent. A tragic event would fuel the kicker maybe and give the characters a reason to use those powers, or make them want to train those powers to fulfill those goals, but for the most part the martial artists, ninjas, "mindreaders" (not quite, but the explanation is too long for here) and "telekinetics" all gained their powers through hard training.

To continue, the hard training raises the Lore (this proably all occurs in the character's background, or in a jumping chronology game, as I'm not focusing on chracter power/ability advancement in this game). The Lore is then used to...

...well, the next part I just came up with. It seems to work for now, but it'll probably change at least a little...

..."summon" the character's potential.  To describe this in rules, and compare it to the Classic Sorcerer:

The PCs would start out with one "demon", the demon being the actualization of their "potential" (in other words, when they use more than 12% of their human potential). The "demons" are all "possessors" in this game. The "possessors" grant their abilities to the PC, mostly a larger dice pool with which the PCs do what they normally do, only Much Much Better.  If a character has a chance to, say, reflect upon her powers, meditate, train more, etc, and is ready to "Use Lore to Summon/Bind a New, more powerful Demon", this Demon is just a more powerful aspect of that character's potential, offering more dice, claiming a more specific but heightened Need, etc. The old demon ("potential form" or whatever) isn't retired... Instead, it would be like the difference when the aforementioned Kenshiro "Wigs Out" (when he sees an innocent get killed, and uses his heightened powers to add to his martial prowess) and "TOTALLY Wigs Out" (when he sees an innocent child, or better yet friend/loved one get killed, and uses his powers to do insanely powerful stuff... usually involving blowing folks up).

Does that make sense? Still working on it, and haven't developed a good vocabulary to express "potential", etc in the above.

>>>
(lore represents control of ones mutations and the emotions related to them)
>>>
Oh, one thing I forgot to mention is that there's not really a lot, if any, mutations in this game (I know, it's a rarity of post-h games... like SciFi without lasers, right?). Any that exist would be like the Very Minor kind (gills ala Waterworld), or the "quite real, deforming, and 'you're a freak and going to die young and in pain'" kind.

From Ron:
>>>
Ah, I'm seeing this nicely. Kind of a mix between Urge and The Clicking Sands ...
>>>
Yeah, that's almost exactly it. The Demons of Urge (as far as I've read in Clinton's doc, that is) with the Setting/Play Style of TCS.

>>>
I strongly recommend not including martial arts, as that would be a given for any protagonist character.
>>>
yeah, I'm still working this out.  Lore will probably be martial arts/mind games/obfuscation/etc. Oh, another thing that I forgot to mention, but ties into the discussion of the Pulp of the setting, is that I'm going to vaguely outline a few sample martial arts (just to give the PCs a starting point), but i want the players to describle their own martial arts, and how they work ("A style that's soft, and encompasses a lot of knowledge of internal medicine/"chi" control"... "A hard style that focuses on speed over strength, and uses a lot of 'reaction' combos ala Wing Chun"... etc). In other words, what the Pulp style of Sorcerer play is to Story background, history, geography and the like (ie vague so that the GM/players create as they play), the same will go for martial arts ("I use my hitherto unused/untested 'spiralling death wave' attack").

Blake said:
>>>
For an additional pinch of variety, you might also drop in a Mononoke take, wherein the possessor demon is like a disease.
>>>
Interesting idea, but it doesn't fit my conception of the game.  Cool idea, though, and it would fit into a unique Sorcerer campaign (Magic is Viral. I like it!)

Back to Mike:
>>>
In fact dying soliloquy's should be mandatory under almost all circumstances (rationalized as the demon's strength keeping the character alive if necessary) so that the player with the dying character can try his best to pass his demon on to his slayer.
>>>
Heh. Interesting idea. Fits the pulp setting well. Minus the last part, perhaps, as again it doesn't fit my conception of the game at this point.

And back to Ron:
>>>
I strongly suggest not using the canonical, actual setting, but one very much like it.
>>>
Oh, of course.  As you can see by the start of this post here, my original setting is off in very different directions. While the anime is the "thematic Godfather" of the concepts in this game, the setting itself will be different, present different challenges (the key to differentiation here), and hopefully be more entertaining than Fist (which again has beautiful concepts and themes buried under a foot of crappy, repetitive storyline).

-Andy
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #17 on: April 19, 2002, 07:46:51 AM »

Quote from: Andy Kitkowski
Interesting idea.  But for my game, there's no "trigger" which brings on these powers.

...

The PCs would start out with one "demon", the demon being the actualization of their "potential" (in other words, when they use more than 12% of their human potential). The "demons" are all "possessors" in this game. The "possessors" grant their abilities to the PC, mostly a larger dice pool with which the PCs do what they normally do, only Much Much Better.  If a character has a chance to, say, reflect upon her powers, meditate, train more, etc, and is ready to "Use Lore to Summon/Bind a New, more powerful Demon", this Demon is just a more powerful aspect of that character's potential, offering more dice, claiming a more specific but heightened Need, etc.


OK, I get it, but this may be problematic. One of the features of Sorcerer is that as you gain powers through sorcery, the demons simultaneously become more of an annoyance. This is because they bring a new relationship to the table. What you have makes it so that there is only ever one relationship. It just jacks the intensity up (though not requiring the sorcerer to respond). Also, this says nothing of the demon's desire, which can be different from it's need. Essentially the only downside is the normal potential for humanity loss, which is not enough to prevent players from grabbing new powers whenever they have enough available humaniity.

Normally after the first demon these things are determined by the GM. In your version the GM (and player) could never after CharGen have the ability to make new and interesting relationships between the PC and his powers. This might be what you want, but I think you could improve on it. Perhaps the nature of the relationship must change when new powers are gained or something.

This also leaves the question of what Punishment and Banishment mean in this context. Not only what does it mean for the character's own demons, but for those of others which he uses these abilities on. Perhaps the Sorcerer talks the other sorcerer down from his high horse, causing him to see the light and renounce his demon's need, essentially? Bonuses for good RPing the discussion?

It was in the light of these questions that I made my suggestions. Remember the general premise of Sorcerer, what would you do for power. The more you make powers convenient and ignorable relationship-wise, the more you damage that premise.

Just some thoughts,
Mike
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Andy Kitkowski
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« Reply #18 on: April 19, 2002, 07:56:53 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
It was in the light of these questions that I made my suggestions. Remember the general premise of Sorcerer, what would you do for power. The more you make powers convenient and ignorable relationship-wise, the more you damage that premise.


Very good points.  I'm not sure how I will reconcile that at this point (and I'm sure I'll have to ignore/collapse/change some of the "classic Sorcerer" mechanics to fit the premise of this game while perhaps adding new ones). Still, though, if I keep /all/ of the themes and conventions of Sorcerer in my game... well... I'd just be playing classic Sorcerer again (Set in a Post-H world, of course).

One of the things that I haven't had time to do since my initial post is read again carefully through the core book (it's been a bit since I read through it last, having spent most of my recent time going through S&S and S's Soul) and methodologically check off the aspects of the game that will come into play in this mini-sup, find the ones that don't, and change the rest to a new vocabulary. And add more, if needed.

Thanks for your comments again, Mike- I stepped up scheduling my rereading of the core rules from this weekend to tonight so that I can address these remarks, either here on this board or just in my own writings.

-Andy
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epweissengruber
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« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2002, 10:11:08 AM »

You might want to slide in some sort of Highlander meets Dragonball Z motif.

Defeating an enemy fighter releases 1 or more of that guy's "Inner Demons" your choice could be to let that power disapate or try to bind it.

The binding would be automatic, but it would have consequences. No Humanity gain now. Plus you roll Stamina against the Power of the incoming demon, or get some sort of Confusion effect.
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