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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 73 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
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Author Topic: Inspirations for Sorcerer RPG  (Read 3666 times)

Posts: 7

« on: December 29, 2006, 04:13:21 AM »

Sorcerer RPG Inspirations

The themes: What possesses you? What is your obsession? What would you do to get what you want? Would you summon a demon to bring back the love of your life and relieve you of your debilitating loneliness? Can a demon tempt you with pleasures; little by little, until it's too late and you realize you've gone to far. Like the old analogy of dropping a frog in water and bringing it to a slow boil...death. Power hungry? A demon can lead you to the seat of power, but at what price, and who else is vying for power besides you? Not only that, but are they willing to go further than you?

The following is a short list of inspirations for the Sorcerer RPG; some apparent and some not so apparent, but still relevant, and some that just seemed to capture the mood and ambiance of the game. I hope that these will provide some kickers and bangs and keep your game fresh and... demonic.

Movies, Music & Novels

Little Shop of Horrors – Man-eating plant as demon fueling the flames of desire. “Feed me Seymour...” The plant is an example of a “demon” that needs feeding. Things just get out of control.

Conjuring – By Megadeth:  just seems to get one in the mood for Sorcerer... Many songs by Mr. Mustaine are appropriate to sorcerer. Obsession, regret and the supernatural are themes consistent across his career.

Devil's Child – By Judas Priest: As temptation creeps in you are led to go just a little bit further and do a little bit more–especially in the pursuit of pleasure. Your use of demonic sorcery to pursue that pleasure (sexual) as your demon temps you, and goads you, and drains you as you do. The scale slowly tips as your demon grows stronger and you grow weaker.

Army of Darkness & Evil Dead II - For the big ball of evil as a demon. Not so much how to summon but how to banish a demon with a comic tone. The little Ashes are funny but quite a nuisance. Despite it's comic tone the Evil Dead movies have some neat takes on the genre. What would your character do in Ash's situation? Being stuck back in time and facing a plague of demons? The Sorcerer RPG adds a new element in that one may bind with a demon(s) and pit them against others on a large scale. At what price? What are the stakes? The princess? One's own humanity?

Charmed (the tv series): Three witches, a big arcane tome, demons, other planes, intrigues and power plays. Sorcerer-type characters fit right in.

Metal Church - The song by Metal Church the group. The lyrics fit Sorcerer ideology to a tee. Something in the archetypal cauldron they dipped into and pulled out that very much relates to the themes of ancient, eldritch, and well hidden magics.

The Devil Rides Out - With Christopher Lee; excellent, excellent source material. One of the first influences for demonic and occult movies. Christopher Lee plays a kind of well-traveled James Bond of the occult. Many movies with Christopher Lee or Vincent Price have plot hooks waiting to be mined.

Note: Check out the book if you can find it as it goes into great detail on hermetic magic rituals and summoning.

King Solomon of the bible. A quick google will show he had control of demons by way of a ring(s). Great source material. The hermetic seal comes from Solomon himself as does much lore on actual hermetic magick such as the Lesser and Greater Keys of Solomon.

The Raven – An oldie but good featuring Vincent Price, Boris Karloff and Peter Lorre. Price and Karloff are two old sorcerers dueling. A voluptuous redhead is caught in the middle. Lorre provides comic relief and the whole thing is tongue and cheek but still relevant. A must see.

The Hidden - Aliens, but possession is a theme. Ron has cited this already.

Lord of Light - Demons, demons everywhere in story with a Hindu theme and motif. The main character recruits a small army of shape-changing demons of great power. The visuals and story are top-notch. This will be a movie soon; one could only hope. Punch it up on wiki or amazon and marvel at the imagination that was and is Roger Zelazny (the creator of Nine Princes in Amber.)

Devil's Advocate -  For the dynamics between master/mentor and apprentice. Is the master of your PC actually a demon, is he himself possessed by a even greater demon or does he have devious plans for his apprentice. Is there a dynamic where the apprentice must defeat or overcome the master to prove his skill much as the young king must kill the old king in Graves' White Goddess. In the orginal AD&D player's handbook only one monk at a time could hold a title, i.e.: Master of Flowers, Master of Dragons. Why not for the heirarchy of mages and sorcerers. A recurring theme in much genre fiction is that of master versus apprentice.

Underworld - Intrigue in the world of darkness: includes werewolves, vamps, and possibly other dark and undead types. A perfect environment for sorcerers to make pacts and deals and engage in intrigue.

The Crow – An interesting twist on the Crow is “Would you summon a demon to bring your lost love back?”  To seek revenge? The dark and gothic atmosphere is quite compatible with Sorcerer.

Dr. Strange -  If your sorcerers are dimension-hoppers or travelers of the astral plane then Dr. Strange will provide much in the way of inspiration.

A note on dimension hopping: If your characters have some means of travelling to other worlds there are several sources: GURPS Cabal, GURPS Horror. Both are excellent supplements and additions to flesh out Sorcerer.

“How do the characters access the gates?” is one question: dreams, a gate that only opens once so often, hidden gates, "mergers" that start out in our reality and gradually change as you walk down the hall or head down the road. Cards, objects (like Potter)...oh, umm, how about demons?  Are the gates themselves guarded by demons? What deal might one have to make to pass through?

Dead Man's Chest - Davey Jones sealed his black heart in a chest. One must take a quest to find it. The Egyptians put the organs of pharaohs in coptic jars. Has your NPC villian sorcerer sealed his heart–and the secret to his powers–in a dark, dark place. The PCs must slay him: for power, for revenge, to seek a sacred tome, to set things to right, to release those who are unjustly imprisoned. Would you sail to the ends of the earth and back to bring back Jack and the precious Black Pearl?

Queen of the Demonweb Pits -  Some of you may remember this little gleaming black gem from your AD&D days. This was run as a Rifts RPG scenario with great success and enjoyment by both the players and GM.  This offers near unlimited potential for Sorcerer campaigns where characters have access to other worlds. One plot: they may just start out there and have to find their way out by way of puzle solving and exploration. A quest involves seeking Lolth: to destroy her, to join her, to seduce her...

Nightbane – from Palladium offers some nice templates for demons and a dark world ruled by demonlords that is accessible to our world through mirrors.


Posts: 26

Serial Inquirer

« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2006, 03:28:05 PM »

I'm really surprised I haven't seen any mentions to Friday the 13th (no relation with the movie at all) anywhere. It was a late 80s or early 90s TV show in which a group of guys who owned an antiques shop find that the previous store owner had been selling cursed items, and they then go trying to recover them.

The items usually ended up in exactly the wrong hands, like the the broke compulsive gambler who got the Chinese tattoo needles. These "needles could be used to draw a tattoo on someone and later the tattoo would come to life and kill the person it was drawn on, upon which the owner of the needles would be given great fortune/luck. They wound up in the hands of a compulsive gambler who was in tremendous debt." (from IMDB)

Of course, the owners usually ended up being killed by the item that so much loved. You can read a bit more on Wikipedia, which nicely includes a list of the cursed items.


Pseudonym, Not Persona

Posts: 7

« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2006, 07:11:41 PM »

Yes, good point, it's always after the fact that you think of all the other stuff.

With that being said...

The Demonic Car concept (it's hard to do it better than wikipedia):

    * The Car - a small mountainous city in Utah is terrorized by a mysterious black muscle car, believed to be driven by the Devil himself, that kills people mercilessly - this is a modified 1971 Lincoln Continental Mark III.

    * The Deathmobile - much like The Car, this time a white 1954 Cadillac Eldorado kills people with no mercy.

    * The Hearse - a demon-controlled 1953 Packard hearse kills people during burial ceremonies.

    * Christine - this is the most prevalent to Sorcerer, the most famous "evil car" ever presented in novels and cinema, the mentioned vehicle is a red and white 1958 Plymouth Fury, controlled by an evil force, which seduces geeky dork guy Arnie Cunningham (played by Keith Gordon).

    * Dead End - close to Christmas day, a typical american family drives through a mysterious road and sees themselves being pursued by a demon-possessed black car.

    * Wheels of Terror - an apparently driverless (therefore, demonic) 1971 Dodge Charger which abducts a little girl.

    * Maximum Overdrive - it's a large driverless tank truck with a Green Goblin-alike face mounted on its front.

    * Killdozer - its story revolves around a bulldozer which, after being "possessed" by strange energies emanating from a meteorite, gains a "life" of its own and starts killing construction workers relentlessly.

Also, this concept is aborded in other novels and movies featuring regular vehicles driven by unseen conductors:

    * Duel - humble businessman David Mann (played by Dennis Weaver) is relentlessly pursued by an old tank truck driven by an aggressive, cowardly driver.

    * Black Cadillac - three teenage boys and an aged policeman are chased reasonlessly by a black 1957 Cadillac Fleetwood driven by an insane, mysterious pursuer.

Posts: 7

« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2006, 07:27:33 PM »

I imagine two sorcerers: one in a souped up hearse, the other in a high-tech import. Both rev the engines of their demonic autos. The flag girl drops her arms and they are off. The demonic car culture...

Christine holds much potential for Sorcerer. How about a bike, or chopper rather than a car.

One night crossing the street from the local tavern a big, black sedan sits in the middle of the wet, empty road. As you get to the middle of the road with hands shoved in pockets and shoulders braced from the chill the lights of the sedan kick on, the engine revs. The tires squeal. It's coming after you. Where do you run? Has some rival power-hungry sorcerer sought you out for elimination?

Posts: 15

« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2007, 07:05:22 AM »

I wanted to add the manga Deathnote to the list. It's a fabulously intricate story of one guy trying to use a demon book to create a new utopia, but he spends most of his energy trying to outfox investigators. If you write someone's name in this book, they die.

The art is incredible as well!

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