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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)
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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] Weird Initial Reactions  (Read 2431 times)

Posts: 642

« on: March 22, 2006, 10:34:22 AM »

In this thread, Ron entioned that some people had weird, off-putting reactions to Sorcerer based on the game's aesthetics, or something.  I was wondering if Ron could elaborate on that, or if other people felt like chiming in about their reactions to Sorcerer.

For whatever it's worth, I was very ambivalent about Sorcerer for several months after purchasing it, in part due to aesthetic reasons.  Now I consider myself a big fan, and can't wait to play more, but at the time it seemed far too Color -less (in the Big Model use of the word "color") to hold my attention.  The implied modern day occult setting totally didn't do it for me, and I couldn't think of any replacement that excited me.  It was only after a long, dull workday filled with traipsing around Wikipedia's occultist links that I finally got inspired enough to work out a setting, and after that I was hooked.

Anybody else out there have a similar experience?

Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 2591

« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2006, 11:51:58 AM »

Oh, yes.

When I first got the game I was also not that impressed by the colorless approach the game took, it simply didn't seem that interesting. The demon rules seemed too mechanics-heavy for my tastes, too; I wasn't, and still am not, that interested in figuring out abstract representations of my demon's powers in mechanical terms, Champions-style. It seemed to rob all the interesting mystery and danger from demons, making them rather limited. What I'd have expected would have been stuff like Heroquest-style magic abilities (this was before Heroquest, of course) and liberally defined powers that would allow all kinds of scary surprises from demons the sorcerers have no hope of understanding in scientific terms. Too much utility, in other words. I liked the sorcery rules, though. I only got properly interested in the game after reading around and figuring out the Humanity and complex conflict rules (which must be my favourite task-based combat system ever). The supplements, of course, are mind-blowing. I've never got to play the game "enough" to properly appreciate the long-term possibilities, but nowadays I really want to. Shame it has such a high barrier to entry, about the only kind of group I can expect to get is the kind that doesn't care what the game is about, especially nowadays when we have all these games that start going in fifteen minutes.

However, I suspect that our reactions are not the aversion Ron is thinking about. We read the game and were left lukewarm; I imagine he's discussing something stronger and weirder than that.

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.

Posts: 1351

« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2006, 05:04:16 PM »

The first time I read Sorcerer I sent Ron this really angry email that I apologized for the very next day.  Oddly enough, I can't remember what the email was about.  I just remember doing it.  I do remember back then that I had a pretty strong internal sense of theme but I didn't think of it as something that got created through play but rather something the GM demonstrated to the players.  My Chill games were centered on questionable human behaviors but were constructed to prove through clever clues and slow reveals the "point" to the players.  Like an interactive morality lesson.

Because of that internal sense of theme, I never really got White Wolf games.  I didn't understand what moral points the GM could demonstrate to the players with the players being Vampires or Werewolves.  So, when I read Sorcerer all I saw was a rules light version of a White Wolf game.  I saw no way for the GM to make a theme (because there isn't any).  But I also failed to see the opportunities for the group to create theme because I had story creation backwards in my head:  First you come up with what you are trying to SAY, and then you construct your fictional elements to make that point.  Basically, an anecdotal perssuasive essay.

The idea that you could construct your fictional elements to ask a question and have play itself produce an answer was both alien and hard for me to grasp.

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