*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
August 12, 2022, 06:41:58 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 76 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: [Sorcerer] Our first try  (Read 5162 times)
cmnash
Member

Posts: 22


« on: March 02, 2006, 12:42:51 AM »

Hi there.  I have just got Sorcerer and am eager to try it out.

On Tuesday night, I presented it to our gaming group as part of a discussion about gaming styles and what game we were going to try next and one of the players came up with a character and demon from a burst of inspirational creativity.

I want to ask the collective here for their feedback on how I have interpreted the Demon within the Sorcerer rules to see if I have understood them correctly.

So the character first as this gives good information on the Demon - this is a bare bones outline to be fleshed out.

Quote
The character runs her own business that copys books/documents into an electronic format. Unfortunately, her business had been in trouble for some time and she was desperately seeking a way to reverse that trend and find a way out of the slump ...

As she is scanning some books from a library of a customer (customer to be decided on, thinking of a university at present) she came across instructions on how to summon a demon. Desperate enough to try anything, she studied the book in depth and gave it a try.

She conducted the ritual on a computer, reciting the ritual allowed - previously trying without that - and it worked - the pentacle she had on screen faded to show a pair of glowing red eyes ...

Now she has used this demon to get one up on her competitors and give her the advantage that she needed as on the road to success.

On to the Demon itself.

Quote
The player wants the Demon to be able to travel between electronic equipment - mainly, but not limited to computers - and manipulate data within them to the character's advantage.

So I looked at the list of abilities and came up with this first try:
  • Type: Possessor (as possesses electronic equipment)
  • Abilities: Hop with Range (to move between things it possesses); Special Damage (can arc non-lethal electricity from what it it possessing to someone); Link (so character can see the data it can and can recall it at need)
  • Need: Knowledge (elaborated as wanting to know as much as possible, so needs new data as often as possible)
  • Desire: Destruction (elaborated as consuming information; once it has 'eaten' the info it's gone ...)
  • Telltale: When a piece of equipment it has been in is turned off, a pair of glowing red eyes appear on the screen for a few seconds

But then I thought about it and have some questions:
  • as Possessor Demons are described as possessing people and animals, I thought that maybe an Inconspicuous Demon with Travel might be better (Inconspicuous as it inhabits the same space as the equipment and Travel to move between equipment). What do people think?
  • are the Desire/Need to closely aligned?  I suspect that they maybe and would value some alternative suggestions
  • should it have some kind of Cover - maybe as a computer program - to allow for anyhting that the character might order it to do inside a piece of equipment?


Thanks, Colin
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2006, 06:44:17 AM »

Hi Colin,

Wow - you're a natural Sorcerer demon-guy GM.

Your reflections on the demon design are 100% on target. This isn't and cannot be a Possessor. Your revision is exactly what I'd suggest.

As an Inconspicuous demon, it already has the Cloak ability (for free) and that's what it would use to avoid detection on others' computers. However, Cloak only works when the demon isn't doing anything. Therefore, adding Cover would make it able to read or eat or manipulate files and seem as if it's "just a program." So that's a good idea.

I think that the Desire and Need are different enough to be interesting. You also might consider that Desires are very general, and therefore this one applies to all kinds of knowledge and information sources. Whereas Needs are very specific, and furthermore, the binding sorcerer is obligated to provide it.

So that allows for some interesting conflicts.

1. Given a neat source of information and given that the demon may at this moment really need its Need ... will it eat it (Need), or read it (Desire)? That'll be fun role-playing for you, because if the information is important in some way, that decision is highly consequential - a ready-made Bang for the player-character.

2. What does the demon do with the knowledge that it gains? Nothing? Hell no.

For example, say the sorcerer sends the demon to manipulate a given program or file in a particular way. Let's say he wants the information to get destroyed or suppressed. The demon rebels successfully (let's say it has reason to), and therefore does suppress the file as ordered ... but reads it first and then spreads it all over the place, pr threatens to, on its own.

Best,
Ron
Logged
cmnash
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2006, 08:27:47 AM »

Wow - you're a natural Sorcerer demon-guy GM.

I hope so Ron.  I really, really like the game, but am somewhat nervous regarding my ability to GM it ...  our group has been migrating towards what I have now learnt are 'narrativistic' game styles.  I am not sure that Sorcerer is the game for all of my group, but I am sure it's the right game for me and at least one of the players - not the one who created the character and demon above surprisingly ...

1. Given a neat source of information and given that the demon may at this moment really need its Need ... will it eat it (Need), or read it (Desire)? That'll be fun role-playing for you, because if the information is important in some way, that decision is highly consequential - a ready-made Bang for the player-character.

2. What does the demon do with the knowledge that it gains? Nothing? Hell no.

For example, say the sorcerer sends the demon to manipulate a given program or file in a particular way. Let's say he wants the information to get destroyed or suppressed. The demon rebels successfully (let's say it has reason to), and therefore does suppress the file as ordered ... but reads it first and then spreads it all over the place, or threatens to, on its own.

Oh yes, the potential for fun here is quite ... 'fun'!

Thanks for the encouragement Ron, I'll probably seek your advice for the other character/demon combos when I get them

Cheers,
Colin
Logged
Eric J-D
Member

Posts: 187


« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2006, 04:51:44 PM »

Colin,

This sounds really cool.  I love this guy's computer-hopping demon. Your discussion of the initial contact the player had with the demon is great and gives new meaning to the concept that work is hell.  <grin>

Any chance that you might have a one-sheet to post about the setting: its color and feel, sources of inspiration, anything really?...this really has whet my appetite to hear more about what sounds like the beginning of an awesome game.

Cheers,

Eric
Logged
cmnash
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2006, 12:16:11 AM »

Hi Eric,  Re: the Demon, I wish I could claim credit for it, but it was all initially created by the player and refined with input by me and the other players

The game itself is still in the creation process, so there is no one sheet yet, but having read Ron's Art Deco melodrama and Modern Necromancy threads, I certainly intend to create one!

I did a poll of the players, and the most positively received setting was 'modern' - other options suggested included WW2 spec ops, Shadowrun-ish, Ancient Greek/Roman, Three Musketeers and a couple of others - I really want the players to buy into this game, so I gave them some options for the setting to make sure I got one that they were interested in playing.

To clarify modern, I have sent out this initial 'taster' for the setting:

Quote
Some more details on the Sorcerer setting that I think we should use.
 
It will be in the near future, in a grimy run down city. Computer contolled automation has increased - it is usual for people to access the fridge in their home from work to see what is in it via the internet and maybe print out a shopping list, or use the internet to turn on their oven/heating/whatever.  Automated cars - as per I, Robot - are commonplace.
 
The main 'arena' will be a University. On the campus walkways are clean and graffiti is rapidly removed - the opposite of the city ...
 
It's a very drab town, most people wear browns or grays - people wearing bright colours stand out (think of the Red dress scene in the Matrix)
 
And it nearly always seems to be raining ...

The raining thing was prompted by my memory of the movie Seven, in which IIRC it always rained except for the final scene.

As it progresses, I'll keep this thread updated and thanks for the interest Eric

I have a couple of questions though - for anyone who wants to contribute:
  • What do you think of the Demon's telltale? the player suggested the eyes at 'turn-off' but I think that might be too easily missed; should they appear when the Demon leaves the equipment instead, or is that too obvious?
  • And am I worrying about it too much? are telltales supposed to be very obvious or subtle?

Cheers,
Colin
Logged
cmnash
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2006, 06:14:29 AM »

Well I got my first reply to the email I sent out (quoted in the last post) and the pertinent bits went like this:

Quote
1. Someone close to her - probably a younger sister or a close friend dies under mysterious circumstances while at the University. Probably put down as a mental breakdown followed by suicide
 
2. She doesn't believe this is the case but is fairly impotent to do anything about it until she finds some clue - I was thinking a diary amongst her friend's/sister's personal effects where parts were written in a cipher that they used to hide messages between one another as kids (e.g. one of those ones where to anyone reading it normally it appears to be mundane but if you take the first letter of the first, third and fifth word on each line it reads differently)
 
3. The clues in the diary set her on a path that leads to the discovery of the means to summon a certain type of demon (possibly to an old book or some such) - as her friend/sister had done. She has her doubts about doing this but it's the only way to find out what happened to her friend/sister so in the end she tries it.
 
4. For this voyage of discovery I'm starting to think something along the lines of Mothman Prophecies if you've seen it. Richard Gere kinda gets pulled deeper and deeper into the mystery behind his wife's death. And is somehow compelled to take the next step becasue he has to know what happened. Anyway, if you've seen it you'll kind of get the idea and if you haven't you won't
 
5. For the demon I'm into the idea of it being draconic. I don't necessarily mean big scaly wings and breathes fire. I'm talking more dragon spirit, some remnant of something that might have been a dragon once. Perhaps the Dragon/Demon's need would be something to do with hoarding - I like the idea of it hoarding secrets though that does overlap a little with Tim's Demon's information desire. And in some legends Dragon's are known for their cunning and like riddles etc. As for abilities I'm not sure yet
 
6. Where to go from here I'm also not sure about... there are a few major gaps. Why did my friend/sister summon the dragon/demon in the first place for example?
 
7. I also liked the idea of her having got a job at the University library so that she can be on campus while investigating what happened - and maintaining the University link.
 
7. Obviously the character is still trying to find out what happened to her friend/sister and my kicker would most likely be some clue to pursue or a threat to the character or another.
 
9. Ultimately I envisage some other sorcerous, demonic or supernatural organisation as the opposition, some group that disposed of her friend/sister because she found something out (a secret?) A group with nefarious objectives that will threaten my character and her friends
 
 Anyway, that's what I've got so far. Hope it sounds interesting. Any thoughts/comments are welcome. It's still just a jumble of ideas really, so I'm pretty flexible at the moment


I had a think about this ... I thought it was a bit of a cop out really as I said to the player in my reply:

Quote
hmmm .... I may well answer this differently if I had seen the Mothman film, but I haven't
 
At first glance it seems to be a cop-out from the 'Why have YOU summoned a demon?' question. Your PC hasn't done it off their own back - they are just copying their significant other's actions ...
 
Perhaps if your PC had called the demon and used its powers and liked it and needed further use of them - beginning to get hooked - it would be better.
 
So how about this:
 
Your PC has been trying to track down the other - perhaps they are twins seperated at birth and found their childhood home. It had a basement like your house did and your pc found a notebook in the same (relatively) place that the pc had hidden things in their house. The code was the same and the PC deciphered and found a diary. It mentioned abuse at hands of adopted parents and writer had found a book called [Insert Demon bok name here] which could solve problems.
 
You track down book and find it is demon summoning, follow instructions and Demon appears. It then helps you to find that 'other' had come to uni after childhood.
 
Demon then enables your PC to get the leverage (blackmail goods) to gain position at Uni (fr ex. research position that pays average wage, but low input required from you)

The difference here is that although you came to sorcery indirectly you have become a willing user and are reaping the benefits of your demon.
 
What do you think so far? do you disagree with my initial assessment?

I thought my idea about the seperated twins was a bit cheesy but might help generate ideas

So can you guys help me with
  • Am I worrying about nothing? would you be happy with the character as (roughly) outlined above?
:

The player had replied to this, but I wanted to see if I was on the right tracks ...
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2006, 06:21:32 AM »

H'mmmm ...

I suggest a middle path.

Have the player add just a touch more responsibility to the character's use of the demon since she summoned it. Doesn't have to be a big thing. Otherwise, keep everything exactly as the player proposed.

Although I agree with you about the responsibility issue, I also think that you brought in too much content with the separated-twins thing.

Do ask for a Kicker, but do not be too exacting or picky about what the player delivers. If the Kicker seems a little mild to you, I do not recommend sending it back for revision. Instead, interpret that as a request to make it emphatically more relevant through your own prep.

Best,
Ron
Logged
cmnash
Member

Posts: 22


« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2006, 07:00:24 AM »

Thanks for that Ron.  I did have a gut feeling that the seperated twins idea was over-the-top ...

So what you're saying - let me rephrase that ... what I think you are saying is that I was right in the essence of what I thought - that the PC needed more personal responsiblity for the demon summoning, but I went over the top with what I suggested to the player

So I should have ended my reply before So how about this.

Thanks for that - I shall try not to repeat that mistook with the other players.
Logged
bruce
Registree

Posts: 3


WWW
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2006, 03:17:17 PM »

Seeing as it's my rather loose character concept being discussed here I was feeling a bit left out and thought I'd pitch in.

Thanks Ron by the way for taking the time to offer input/advice to us Sorcerer rookies. Much appreciated.

So given what's been said I feel that I've failed to convey where I was coming from with the character and was hoping that if I elaborate a little you can tell me whether what I have in mind is appropriate or whether I'm simply missing the point.

Firstly I saw my character as having an intense need to know the truth of what happened to her significant other. My impression being that it is not uncommon for people to struggle to come to terms with the loss of someone close to them, particularly when there are unanswered questions about what happened.

I envisaged that the character had pursued this as far as she could whereupon she had been presented with a choice 'follow in her significant other's footsteps and summon a demon' or never find out what really happened. Perhaps initially she said "jeez, you're kidding, there's no way I'm going to summon a demon" but it would gnaw at her. Could she really spend the rest of her life wondering? And doesn't she owe it to her significant other to find out? Perhaps the ritual was called Spell of Dragon Summoning rather than Spell of Demon Summoning, that doesn't sound so bad does it?
 
Then, when she actually summoned the demon/dragon, it played her (naturally). It's old and cunning. It found out her need and knew that answering her questions would remove all its leverage. Perhaps it didn't have all the answers. Either way it gave her just enough. Just enough to hook her. Just enough to find the next clue but not enough that she could do without it.

Personally I think there is a lot of mileage for roleplay here and I don't see the character as lacking in responsibility for summoning the demon. It was her choice to make a pact with it to get what she wanted.

My impression is that the main concern is "why won't the character simply banish the demon as soon as she has found out what happened to her significant other?" but to me this is an opportunity rather than a problem. It's going to be a difficult choice but could you just go back to a normal life after learning that you could summon a demon? I see potential for a scene where my character decides that it's time to stop (and hang up her guns as it were) but you know what, something is always going to come along to make her change her mind. Now she has stepped into that world there's no turning back.

So I've still got some thinking to do about certain details; fleshing out the demon, my kicker and why my significant other got involved in the first place etc. but as far as my vision for the character is concerned am I off base with what Sorcerer is about?

Cheers

Bruce
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2006, 06:38:50 PM »

Hi Bruce!

You are totally on base, and I strongly suggest that neither you nor anyone else try to strengthen or change anything before starting play.

Well, you'll have to write a Kicker, but keep it brief and interesting, and pleasing to your self. That's all that's required.

Remember, everyone, Sorcerer is a game that's built to be played, not discussed endlessly before play. Once you are assured of good will among everyone, and once everyone has fulfilled the basic requirements of pre-play preparation, then it's time to start.

Oh! And don't forget - one of those crucial steps of pre-play preparation is to fill out that diagram on the back of each character sheet. You'll thank me for that later.

Best,
Ron

Logged
bruce
Registree

Posts: 3


WWW
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2006, 02:15:15 AM »

Cheers Ron,

Nice to know I'm on the right track with this concept. I think the character will be interesting to portray and I'm looking forward to exploring what happens to her during the course of Colin's game. Which I guess is the whole idea.

One further question or at least point of clarification (apologies if I'm being a little slow on the uptake : )) Am I correct in understanding your reply to mean that I shouldn't be particulatly concerned about filling in gaps like "why my significant other was dabbling with sorcery" prior to the start of play? Presumably in order that these areas are left open for me to explore and flesh out in game? (In case you can't tell, I'm a bit new to this style of play : ))

Thanks again

Bruce
Logged
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2006, 08:47:48 AM »

Hello,

Wellll ... I'm really reluctant to reply to that question. Why? Because it really depends on your own background and certain cues and interactions during the conversation that are impossible on-line.

The best general answer is this:

- if all the listed steps have been carried out for character creation (beginning ch. 2) and for demon creation (beginning ch. 3), including writing stuff on the diagrams

- if the GM is inspired by the players' Kickers and prepares lots of potential Bangs for the first session

... then everything is all right. You can let the details of each individual component ("why my brother summoned a demon") be either very solid/detailed, or very sketchy. I suggest detailing the ones you'd like to be detailed, and not struggling to detail others.

However! I very strongly recommend not writing up an extensive story that's already happened to your character and various NPCs associated with him or her. When I say "detail" above, a sentence will do.

Best,
Ron
Logged
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!