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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] Lore 1 non-Naive Descriptors  (Read 3091 times)
angelfromanotherpin
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Posts: 132


« on: January 01, 2007, 11:11:44 PM »

I remember someone quoting Ron as saying that if he had to release the Sorcerer books again, he'd hold back the Naive descriptor for the &Sword book.  If that was the case, what would Lore 1 descriptors look like?  Would they be like other scores of 1, detrimental versions of the normal ones?

Looking at the base book, I can see things like:
Apprentice becomes Minion.  Your master has no interest in teaching you, and you can only learn so much by watching.
Coven Member becomes Sucker.  The other members feed you mostly hokum, and just enough real stuff to do the dirty work.
Mad becomes Deluded.  Your madness is the right kind for Sorcery, but it's pointed in the wrong direction.
Solitary Adept becomes Isolated.  Figuring things out by yourself is hard, and you're not sure how well you're doing.

I kind of like this approach.  Does it seem right, or is there another tack I'm not seeing?
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"Now that we know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine how many angels are dancing, at a given time, on the head of a given pin?"
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Rampage
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Posts: 26

Serial Inquirer


« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2007, 02:27:57 AM »

I like your descriptor twisting. However, I would think of it more like a tweak for a particular descriptor, rather than being "it". For example, being Coven Member allows you to tweak it to Sucker Coven Member, or to Power Hungry Coven Member (where you know you're being used, but accept it knowing you'll be able to improve your knowledge to limits you don't currently know if you play your cards well enough).

Hrm. It would seem that Naive would be the more or less the equivalent of Sucker Coven Member... 

but what do I know, I'm a newbie :)
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2007, 05:30:14 AM »

Hiya,

The first thing is to clarify what I actually say instead of what someone remembers what someone else may or may not have said. People say all manner of wild and bizarre things and lay them at my door.

a) Descriptors' names might do better decoupled from values. A character might be Naive with Lore 4, or an Adept with Lore 1. Note that I'm saying "might," not "should" or "would have." This is what I did for Demon Cops, although in that particular supplement, there isn't any Naive descriptor.

b) I don't think I've ever espoused eliminating the Naive descriptor or not presenting it in the core book. I could be wrong about that (what I said), but would like to see a reference for context. At the moment, the Naive concept seems to me to be a pretty solid part of the whole sorcerer-concept, based on mythology as well as classical literature.

c) Arguably, one might separate "Non-practicing" from "Naive," which is probably a better description of Conan or Tomoe Gozen than "Naive," in terms of Sorcerer & Sword. I didn't use it because at the time of writing, and now as well, it seems to me that "non-practicing" describes a current choice rather than a condition or full description of the character's sorcery.

d) Reading the current descriptor of Naive as a detrimental version of the other descriptors is flatly incorrect. The Naive descriptor offers unique strengths, conflicts, and context for sorcery and has no mechanical downside aside from its typical value. Its only built-in feature is that it will probably change to another descriptor upon the resolution of the current Kicker. With this in mind, I think that your suggestion of creating "starter" versions of the others is thought-provoking, but (i) not anything to do with detriment and (ii) not parallel to Naive.

I fully agree with Rampage that these are best considered character-specific coloring or immediate situation concerning the descriptor, rather than new descriptors of their own.

Best, Ron

P.S. Let's not have talk of newbie-ness in this forum. You have the game, you made the effort to look at the forum, you read stuff and thought hard, and now you're contributing. That's a pretty long way from "new" anything.
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angelfromanotherpin
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Posts: 132


« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2007, 07:01:42 AM »

Rampage,
Yes, of course the examples I gave were just examples.  Just as there are many ways to invert say, Athletic Regime (Couch Potato, Slug, Lard-ass, etc.) so there are many ways to invert the Lore descriptors of most settings.  I actually think the closest to the baseline Naive descriptor of that bunch is Isolated, since Minion and Sucker still tie you to other practicing individuals and Deluded still puts you square in the loony-tunes bunch.  At the same time, the Isolated guy may not know what he's doing, but he's still actively pursuing Sorcery in a way that a Naive character is not (necessarily).

Ron, taking your points in order,
Quote
a) Descriptors' names might do better decoupled from values. A character might be Naive with Lore 4, or an Adept with Lore 1. Note that I'm saying "might," not "should" or "would have." This is what I did for Demon Cops, although in that particular supplement, there isn't any Naive descriptor.

Descriptors' names typically are decoupled from values, except for Lore, and even the Lore descriptor starting values are only suggestions, except for Lore 1, which = Naif/Naive.  I'm looking at this from a perspective of a setting without the Naive descriptor, like Demon Cops, so I'm looking to what the book says about other scores of 1 having 'a negative or wimpy description (perhaps the opposite of one listed below).'

Quote
b) I don't think I've ever espoused eliminating the Naive descriptor or not presenting it in the core book. I could be wrong about that (what I said), but would like to see a reference for context. At the moment, the Naive concept seems to me to be a pretty solid part of the whole sorcerer-concept, based on mythology as well as classical literature.

I found the quote this morning, which I couldn't last night, in your first reply in this thread: http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=20960.0

Quote
c) Arguably, one might separate "Non-practicing" from "Naive," which is probably a better description of Conan or Tomoe Gozen than "Naive," in terms of Sorcerer & Sword. I didn't use it because at the time of writing, and now as well, it seems to me that "non-practicing" describes a current choice rather than a condition or full description of the character's sorcery.

I agree.

Quote
d) Reading the current descriptor of Naive as a detrimental version of the other descriptors is flatly incorrect. The Naive descriptor offers unique strengths, conflicts, and context for sorcery and has no mechanical downside aside from its typical value. Its only built-in feature is that it will probably change to another descriptor upon the resolution of the current Kicker.

I understand and agree.

Quote
With this in mind, I think that your suggestion of creating "starter" versions of the others is thought-provoking, but (i) not anything to do with detriment and (ii) not parallel to Naive.

Well, I'm not sure I see them as 'starter,' since one could have a long career with them, just as one could have a long career with Naive.  They certainly are not Naive parallells, but straight-up replacements with their own strengths, conflicts and context.  Yes, 'detrimental' was an unhelpful word to use, I should have quoted the 'negative or wimpy' bit in the OP.

Now, it looks like your answer to my original 'without Naive, what do Lore 1 descriptors look like?' question is: 'In Demon Cops, where there is no Naive, Lore 1 descriptors are no different than any other Lore descriptors.'  If I've got that wrong, please correct me.  Indeed, having just looked through my mini-supplements, only one of them uses the Naive descriptor.  So I guess my follow-up question, which is for everyone, is:

Given that the setting that I'll be presenting to my players does not include the Naive descriptor, do you think the 'negative or wimpy' Lore descriptor idea is cool and interesting enough to include?
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-My real name is Jules

"Now that we know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine how many angels are dancing, at a given time, on the head of a given pin?"
"What if angels from another pin engaged them in melee combat?"
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2007, 12:30:29 PM »

Hiya,

Well look at that - I did say it! Huh ... funny, today, I don't agree with myself in that thread. I like Naive today, although I can see that saving it for The Sorcerer's Soul would have been a good idea.

I think the discussion is getting diluted by breaking it up into little bitty subset points. I'll lay out exactly what I mean for you and your current needs.

1. I think a Lore value is always "more" compared to the normal state, which is 0. Whereas descriptors for Stamina and Will at a value of 1 are "less," meaning less than the normal human state. So that's why Lore of 1 doesn't seem comparable to me to a Stamina or Will of 1.

2. I can imagine a setting in which everyone has a Lore of 1 or more. It's not particularly canonical, but it's possible ... Demon Cops comes close, in some ways. In such a setting, a Lore of 1 could be imagined to be comparable to a Stamina or Will of 1, with negative/wimpy descriptors being associated with that value.

Therefore, if your setting provides some kind of meaningful framework for such descriptors, of which my #2 above is only an example, then go for it.

It seems to me that this discussion might do better to focus on the importance of a descriptor list for a given Sorcerer setting, more than anything specific about 1's or not 1's. What's the setting like? What sort of descriptors do you have in mind for it, aside from that issue?

Best, Ron
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angelfromanotherpin
Member

Posts: 132


« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2007, 06:12:03 PM »

For what the setting's like, here's some of my pre-one-sheet notes:

Quote
Influences
Batman, the Animated Series: For the excellent aesthetic of a modern world where the fifties never quite ended.
Hellboy: For the many and varied beings that live in the shadows of the world; for the people who interact with them, one way or another; and for the 'bump back' attitude.
Hellblazer: For one man who knows how to get the best of a deal with a demon and for the many men who do not.

In great vaulted caverns beneath the earth, the precursors of man labor on massive machines of malign intent, and plot against their successors.  Beneath ancient trees in secret groves, the Goodly Folk sing eerie songs and dance around stolen children.  In abandoned buildings and ancient tombs, the restless dead walk, sleeplessly devoted to terrible purpose.  In the depths of space, vast ethereal horrors howl with rage at the warm green life of Earth.  In the Inferno, the Enemy and his legions prosecute their campaign against the sons of Adam.

Humans deny these beings, humans ignore them, humans discount and overlook those that dwell in the dark places of the world.  But not all humans.  These men and women can confront the darkness with open eyes, make deals with it, and force their will upon it.  Some humans are not prey. 

The magical traditions of the world are like the science of the ancient world: there is some truth, but many falsehoods.  Those who find the truth, who can frame to comprehend it can make many of the old ways work.  The chanting of ancient words, the use of secret names, the scribing of circles and runes, the principles of contagion and similarity, blood sacrifice.

Descriptors are probably something like:
Stamina
Arcane Regimen
Athletic
Big & Vigorous
Clean Living
Scrapper
Trained to Kill

Will
Belief System
Brush With the Unknown
Cool
Leader
Rage
Manipulator
Zest for Life

Lore
Adept
Apprentice
Changeling
Coven Member
Half-Breed
Mad
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-My real name is Jules

"Now that we know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine how many angels are dancing, at a given time, on the head of a given pin?"
"What if angels from another pin engaged them in melee combat?"
Ron Edwards
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2007, 06:53:33 PM »

Hiya,

That's a great summary. I wanna play now.

OK, now that I get all that a bit better, my answer about the negative/wimpy Lore descriptors must be, "if you want to, go for it!" I think that the concept suits this setting for all the reasons that I listed above without even knowing about the setting yet.

I do think Rampage's point is a good one, that rather than use specific wimpy-ish descriptors, come up with them as needed based on the existing ones and any relevant features of a particular character, and you'll be all set.

Best, Ron
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