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Resources: Playing it out

Started by Mackie, August 01, 2009, 05:33:49 PM

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Ok, Just  run my first game of Sorcerer as GM! Woohoo!

I played with just one PC (Wanting to ease myself into GMing slowly). Prior to the  game, I had posted about a possible new game mechanic we were using called "Resources"- link >

I wont go into detail about the long (5 hour) session we had. Bullet points: Setting was America in depression on a fictitious island (St. Barbossa) with sorcery being summoning the dead. Flavour was a mixture of Voodoo and film Nior.

The character was Leonard "Sly", a blues guitarist with an inconspicious shadow demon whose need was fine wines, cigars and food. The kicker was finding "Blind Boy" Williams, the legendary guitarist, in the gutter after a gig with his skinning knife in the back.

I had constructed a large "meta relationship" of various gangs and their affiliates, including sorcerers. Sly went on the trail of the killer, dismantelling one gang as a favour  to another, summoning up Blind Boy into a guitar (another demon) to find  the killer and leaving a trail of intimidated, bruised and in some cases dead people, all the while with two cops on his back. It culminated in a big dust off with a powerful, mad, decedant sorcerer in his zombie infested, drug addled hare ( to save his no-good sponging sister). It nearly went very badly for Sly, until I cut a bit of slack with the "villain" monologuing. Perhaps he was to clear cut villianous, but hey ho (The last dust off I think was the weakest part of the game, Bar sly screaming at the antagonist that he was  going fucking gouge his eyes out!)

So, how did the resources ability work? Very well. I ascribed a value  of 4 (Slys cover) to begin with. Twice during the session (spanning about two weeks), I asked for a Cover vs Resources to check, both failed, lowering resources. He gained a bit of humanity by donating the orphanage he grew up in and his no-good sisters starving kids (as once offs, they will come back for more later!) lost a bit from  bribery, and had Detective Winters have a casual snoop and conversation at his house, raiding it for all the good liquor and food he had whilst Sly stood there fuming (that was a great scene, with Sly watching his last food go into the gob of the arrogant detective).

Sly had to feed himself, at one point going down to zero resources, and with a hungry demon asking for wine etc, he ended up stealing a deli van in the cartoon segment of the session, loosing humanity for doing so. Sly also  ended up pleading for wine, steaks and cigars at every oppurtunity (from chefs, waiters, gang bosses), and ended up stealing the silverware and wallets from a few  of the goons he offed. He even ended up selling drugs on the dockyard to feed himself. In addition, he made a pact with an imminent demon to gain the "music of the devil" and gain tips - not  that he always mastered it, but the price is yet to be exacted.

Overall, we found "Resources" very helpful, given the setting. It was great having a demon that consumed resources, and the "once a week make  this check or loose  resurces" gave a flavour of the effect of the insidious nature of the economic depression. At zero resources, with a gnawing stomach and a hungry demon, he was driven to crime. At every venture he was looking for ways to make a buck and feed his demon.

We played it fast and loose, with no particular binding rules to it. I think terming it a "para-ability" sums it up. It functioned halfway between humanity as a score and a narrative shorthand. There were a few things I would have done differently (for instance, looting the  house may have been a 3 dice vs current resources - in other words, the less you have the easier it is to gain), but overall it worked very well.

For this campaign, in the depression, it really drove the game and added the flavour. Would it have worked for a richer character or a different campaign? Maybe. I would recommend any other players / GMs out there consider it - for the appropriate setting.

As an aside, despite Humanity crawling up to 5 and down to 2, and Resources crawling up to 6 and down to zero, binding another demon, contacting one other, and getting into at least three big fights, Sly ended up with exactly the same humanity, the same resources, and the same demon he had when he started! Just with some new enemies and new allies for the next kicker!