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Descriptors (split from Demon Cops)

Started by Bailywolf, May 01, 2002, 07:13:35 PM

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Ron Edwards

Hi Ralph,

With the addition of "Former," I don't see a problem with your suggestion at all. So I think we're in pretty close agreement.

The major constraint on such things, of course, is what the group or GM has come up with as a list of valid descriptions for each score, as discussed earlier in this thread.


Uncle Dark

Hi, all.

I was surprised to realize that I was not aware that the descriptor lists were "closed."  I re-read the chapter, and there it was... I suppose I dismissed the rule so fast it never made it into long-term memory.  I was thinking of Sorcerer stats as being just a little more defined that Over the Edge traits, and I ran right past that rule.

Two questions:

First: What is the operational difference between making up descriptors freestyle (in a character-generation session) and a play group modifying the list of appropriate descriptors?  If one is doing character generation "right," then there's lots of brainstorming and feedback which (with nudges from the GM) keeps things within the style of the rules and the particular game to be played.  Wouldn't this kind of group consensus make the differnce between "freestyle" and "modified for this setting" generate similar results?

Or are you, Ron, thinking of freestyle as something more radical than I am?  I would have considered Petter's group's "use one of these, or make up something more appropriate" freestyling.  I am assuming here that discussion among the play group would tone down the more outrageous descriptor suggestions.

Second: Should NPCs also be limited to whatever list of descriptors the PCs end up using?  I can see a semi-closed list of descriptors as useful for creating protagonists in the desired style, but do we want the antagonists and supporting cast to be cut from the same patterns?

Reality is what you can get away with.

Ron Edwards

Hi Lon,

My take is that functional "freestyle" and my "closed but subject to negotiation" overlap considerably. It just so happens that I think the worst of all possible worlds for the game is "total freestyle," and so the rules make sure to close off that particular possibility.

I also see no reason at all for most NPCs, especially non-sorcerer NPCs, to have descriptors matching those of protagonists. The exception is the true villain or true ally, both of which make most sense if they are couched in the same "game language" as the protagonists.

In Demon Cops, for instance, the list of descriptors is explicitly for player-characters, and in fact, even Humanity is uniquely defined for them.