*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
July 03, 2022, 06:26:39 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 87 - most online ever: 565 (October 17, 2020, 02:08:06 PM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Sorcerer & Sword: Character Concepts  (Read 3146 times)
urbwar
Member

Posts: 142


« on: September 10, 2002, 12:45:24 PM »

One of the people I game with owns all the Sorcerer material. After some discussion during our weekend game, we decided to play a game of Sorcerer and Sword down the road. We've been trading emails back and forth, and I came up with two character concepts. The person who will be running the game loves them, but I thought I would get opinions from those who know the game better, and have all ready played using the system. I have no knowlege of the system beyond the Apprentice edition at this point, but will more than likely buy the books when I can spare the cash.

First, I will list what the gm has given us in terms of setting, basic as it is. Then, my character concepts follow. I would like feedback on what you think of the concepts, and whether you feel they would fit into the campaign setting as described. I realize that it is much the players world as the gm's, but I would like an outside opinion of how well they fit with the info given.

Campaign Info:
So I'm envisioning a setting very similar to the Hyperborean Age of Conan.
It is a raw age, a wolf age, a time of glittering civilizations built on
ruins and yet ultimately doomed. There are ancient civilizations, where
drugged swaying decadence is the norm, all is permitted and nothing is
valued. Savage, barbarians rule the hinterlands, places of elemental gusto,
where you can call it like you see it and punch anyone who disagrees.

In the jungles lurk sinister serpent-filled temples, erected by
long-forgotten peoples, and lost cities, filled with caches of fabulous
jewels and terrifying ape-men.

In the forgotten corners of the world, the Old Ones scheme and plot to
return to their former majesty.

In the endless deserts lie long-neglected tombs, where savage horrors, old when the world was young, lie, waiting to ensnare unwary souls to their terror.

This game's heroes are likely to be rogues and adventurers, served by
flashing swords and quicker wits, swaggering through stone cities with
miniarets and towers reaching toward the sky, deadly duels, cunning
swindles, etc.

The text is exactly the same as in my emails to the gm of the proposed game for the character concepts...

The first is Darak, a barbarian from the north. His people are collectively called The Astrogoths. They are modeled after the Germanic tribes of the roman era, not the later Vikings. They tend to wear animal skin and some cured leathers. In combat, they paint their bodies with ritual paint. They prefer the sword, axe and spear. Bows are for hunting. Shields are normally wooden, or cured animal hides over a wicker like substance that grows readily in the north. The people are sturdy and hard, as befits their climate. They worship gods who are fairly uncaring. Darak swears by Tar, god of war and storms (cause we all know that you want a storm to batter your enemy, but to not be around when you're ready to destroy them in combat). Tar's symbol is a Two-headed Axe, thus Darak carries one himself, forgoing the uses of swords. His axe is sturdy, and the haft is of blackened wood. The handgrip is made of metal, and the axe head has Astrogoth runes etched in the metal between the blades. The runes translate as "May Tar guide my Axe to cleave your skull".


The Astrogoths are a superstitious lot, but do not fear the supernatural. The shaman of his people make summon and control elementals, and makes pacts with them. This would explain Daraks's lack of fear towards such things, and his ability to deal with it. Exposure to the elementals of the north has exposed him to the supernatural, and he has some basic understanding of it.


Darak looks like an Astrogoth. He's around 6'3", weighs around 250-275. Burly. His skin is paler, befitting a northern barbarian (though it gets a ruddy red in warmer climes). His hair is golden, like his patron deity. He tends to get into fights, as some of the more decadent southerners (particularly the sometimes effeminate Ionians) like to bugger with other men. Darak finds that an affront, as he was raised to only fornicate with women (well, he was taught to take them by force too, as his culture is a raiding one). Darak tends to wear a loin cloth from a bear he slew on a hunting expedition. His cloak is also made of the bear's skin. He wears a sleeveless shirt of coarse wool, and has leggings to keep him warm in winter. His sturdy boots are made of well worn cow hide, which he took from a slain enemy from an opposing village. He wears a helm with a nose guard. He took that from a southern soldier he killed on a raid into the south (think a Norman helm). His shield is round, made of sturdy wood cured for many months The rim of the shield is covered in hardened bronze, holding the wood together. Animal hide covers the wood, and an image of Tar is etched into the hide, with runes under it. Those runes translate as "The Blood of my enemies shall quench my inner Storm". Besides his axe, Darak carries a long knife (which he took from the same southerner he got the helm from). It's made of good iron. He has a small pouch for whatever few coins he owns, which he keeps under his loincloth (after being cutpursed once, he is more careful). Why is Darak out in the world, instead of remaining in the cold north? Simple. He, and other Astrogoths, were hired to fight in a war south of their homeland. After the fighting was done, most went home with their gold. Darak decided he would wander a few years, and return home a richer man. So for now, he spends his time serving as a wandering axe for hire, fornicating with as many women as possible (he does love tavern wenches!), and collecting money (he tends to spend alot on drink...)

Now, for the second character (and to possibly fit him into the same world concept). Marcus Justinius is an Ionian. Think Roman with Greek decadence (ie the tendency to be bisexual). Ionia is a decadent realm. Once a great empire, it's decadence has caused it's borders to shrink, letting new, younger kingdoms spring up in the lands no longer part of this once great empire. Ionia is on the southern coast of the same continent the Astgrogoths live on, but so far apart that Ionians have no clue who Astrogoths are (unless they meet one). Ionia has gone through many changes in the past 2-300 years. Most notable is the rise of the god Saurus. Saurus appears as a man in Blood red armor and shield, carrying a spear whose tip is also blood red. The same with his sword. Once a small cult, Saurus has become the major god of Ionia's pantheon now. Under Saurus's domination of the pantheon, Ionia longs to once more rule this continent, and prepares itself for war with it's neighbors. Marcus was once a member of the Crimson Phalanx, the name given to the elite temple guards. Members of the Phalanx are recognizable by the red colored armor they wear. Armor is styled on the greek model, with a breast plate, large round shield, a helm with horse plumes, and Saurus's symbol on the shield. A short, thrusting blade is common, as is a long spear and knife. Marcus was not only in the Phalanx, but an officer in the Phoenix cohort, the elite of the elite. This cohort guarded the main temple in the capital city of Ion. Not only did they protect the temple, and serve as bodyguards for the High Priest and his entourage, they also were his personal assassins. Under imperial edict, they would hunt down blasphemers. Some were publicy tried and crucified; others were murdered in their sleep. Marcus was given a special blade by the High Priest. It was bound with a servitor of Saurus. Marcus soon discovered that the blade craved the blood of humans, being vampiric in nature. Saurus was the blood god, and his servants were nothing more than Lamiae, vampires. Realizing that he served an evil god, and had done many evil deeds in this god's service, Marcus tried to warn the Emperor. He was found out, and the cult framed him for the murder of a member of the Emperor's family. Now, Marcus is on the run from the empire, with a blood sword in his possession. The cult of Saurus now hunts him, wanting the blade back, and silencing what he knows about them (in addition to this, the cult could be a front for the serpent men or other inhuman group, working to destabilize the continent). Marcus now seeks for a way to stay alive for now, but one day hopes to break the cult's power, and free Ionia from the madness of the blood god.

Marcus is around 6'. He has Mediterranean features. He is well built, but not overly so. His features, being Ionian, do have a bit of effeminateness to it. Marcus still wears his armor and shield, and still has the blood sword with him. Only members of the Phoenix Cohort have these special blades. The blade is blood red, etched with archaic writing that Marcus doesn't understand. What the blade does can be detailed later. Marcus tries to avoid combat, as those he kills are given over to Saurus through the blade.

So? Any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms?
Logged

Join the Buffy Rpg Mailing list:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/btvsrpg-eden/
Ben Morgan
Member

Posts: 307


WWW
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2002, 02:01:09 PM »

God I wish I was playing in this game.

I need to get a better class of friends.
Logged

-----[Ben Morgan]-----[ad1066@gmail.com]-----
"I cast a spell! I wanna cast... Magic... Missile!"  -- Galstaff, Sorcerer of Light
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2002, 02:10:41 PM »

Hi there,

Nothing makes me happier than a game of Sorcerer & Sword. Unless it's a Sorcerer game of corrupted love and broken American dreams. Or a Sorcerer game with lots of sex ...

Oh! Ahem - did I say that out loud?

Anyway. It strikes me that you might consider the following notion: that a cover illustration is a fine thing, and you've given a pretty good description of cover illustrations, but what I'm not seeing is ... well, Conan as opposed to "a Cimmerian warrior."

Fafhrd isn't a "northern barbarian," he's Fafhrd - exotic, macho, occasionally surprisingly sensitive, and sardonic.

Tomoe Gozen isn't a "woman samurai," she's Tomoe - somehow reconfirmed with every glimpse into the howling dark behind reality and the human soul, despite her efforts to fit into normal categories.

Even the characters with more specific schticks, like Elric or Kane, are especially interesting or cool because of their personal and emotional twists even on their "high concepts." A sword-and-sorcery character is the most personal creation imaginable - and even though it's cool to imagine  what he looks like (or how Frazetta would paint him, for example), what matters is what he'll damn well do.

Ask your friend if you can borrow his copy of Sorcerer & Sword. I lay it out in very raw and uncompromising language there. You'll see what I mean.

Best,
Ron
Logged
urbwar
Member

Posts: 142


« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2002, 02:49:05 PM »

Quote from: Amazing Kreskin
God I wish I was playing in this game.

I need to get a better class of friends.


Funny thing is, we are just discussing playing this. We will, but it will be a bit, cause I am running a BESM mini-series using Demon City Shinjuku (with a lovecraftian influence in the beasties, and the pc's having an asian supernatural twist. Interesting conflict, no?)
Logged

Join the Buffy Rpg Mailing list:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/btvsrpg-eden/
urbwar
Member

Posts: 142


« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2002, 03:45:04 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards

Anyway. It strikes me that you might consider the following notion: that a cover illustration is a fine thing, and you've given a pretty good description of cover illustrations, but what I'm not seeing is ... well, Conan as opposed to "a Cimmerian warrior."

Fafhrd isn't a "northern barbarian," he's Fafhrd - exotic, macho, occasionally surprisingly sensitive, and sardonic.

Tomoe Gozen isn't a "woman samurai," she's Tomoe - somehow reconfirmed with every glimpse into the howling dark behind reality and the human soul, despite her efforts to fit into normal categories.


I think I get what you are saying here. Go beyond the basics (the look, etc), and determine more the personality, the emotional feel of the character?

Quote from: Ron Edwards

Even the characters with more specific schticks, like Elric or Kane, are especially interesting or cool because of their personal and emotional twists even on their "high concepts." A sword-and-sorcery character is the most personal creation imaginable - and even though it's cool to imagine  what he looks like (or how Frazetta would paint him, for example), what matters is what he'll damn well do.


Interestingly enough, I expanded on both characters to the gm in a followup email. Darak's was more general information, but I thought Marcus' background was more emotive. Here, let me post it here, and see what you think. It also includes some info on his enemies, and a possible friend:

The church of Saurus is led by Pontius Aurelius Maximus. He is a sorcerer himself, and totally devoted to his god. He treks with the Lamiae, who are the servitors of his god on this world. Pontius' family is akin to the Borgia family. His son, Quintus Aurelius Maximus, is the commander of the Phoenix Cohort, and a brutal thug of a man. His daughter, Helenus, is sado-masochistic nymphomaniac. At one point, she and Marcus were lovers, until he saw her for the psycho she really is. On top of that, in true Ionian decadence, Quintus lusts after his own sister, and despises Marcus for being her lover.

Marcus was the lover of Delaria, a member of the Aurelius family (the imperial family. As you can see, the Maximus clan is a related family, just insane!). It was she who convinced him to tell the Emperor the truth about the church of Saurus, and to save the empire from ruin. A spy in her entourage warned Pontius, and he had Quintus kidnap her and Marcus. He then killed her with Marcus's own demon blade (with Marcus watching). However, when he tried to kill Marcus, the blade would not strike him down. Instead, it cut his bonds, and Marcus sucker punched Quintus (learing he has a glass jaw in the process!), reclaimed his blade, and fled. Why did the blade defy Quintus? Could it be that the blood, the soul of Delaria's goodness corrupted the blade from it's evil path? No one knows, but Marcus sometimes talks to the sword, and acts as if he hears a voice replying....

Although the Emperor has declared Marcus an outlaw and a traitor, not everyone believes he is guilty. Strangely enough, it is Telemachus Maximus, Delaria's brother, who believes Marcus is innocent. He has his own men looking for Marcus, as he wants to find out the truth. He knows Marcus would die before harming Delaria, and believes (rightly so) that Pontius has a hand in this. He does not trust his distant relative. Being a follower of Aquas, the Ionian god of Justice, makes him diametrically opposed to Saurus and his church, as the two gods have ever been rivals in the legends of the Ionian gods...

Marcus has one companion since fleeing Ionia: Harkesh, a Nymerian. Nymerians are akin to Egyptians in culture and ethnicity. Harkesh is a eunuch, and once served in the guard for Clymenstera, the Nymerian queen. When an assassin almost got her, he was enslaved for failing to prevent the assassin from gazing upon her body (which is sacrilege for any non eunuch male to do. Anyone seeing her nude must be castrated or executed on the spot). Sold to an Ionian slave merchant, Harkesh became a gladiator. It was on the frontiers of the Ionian empire that the two met, when Marcus entered the local games to acquire some quick gold. He fought Harkesh, but spared his life. When he was discovered as an outlaw, Marcus had to fight his way out. Owing him his life, Harkesh aided Marcus, and fled with him out of Ionia. Harkesh is like Morgan Freeman's moor in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, but he is a eunuch, and thus has no sex drive.

Does that help flesh the character out better?

Quote from: Ron Edwards

Ask your friend if you can borrow his copy of Sorcerer & Sword. I lay it out in very raw and uncompromising language there. You'll see what I mean.


Even better, I hope to get my own copy (and the main rules) by the weekend...
Logged

Join the Buffy Rpg Mailing list:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/btvsrpg-eden/
Ron Edwards
Global Moderator
Member
*
Posts: 16490


WWW
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2002, 07:26:46 AM »

Hey,

H'm, let's wait on this discussion until you get the book ... you'll see that even "character background" isn't really where I'm aiming (and might even detract from it). It's more about being prepared to express stuff through the character in action.

But all that is not to say that you're doing something bad so far! As you can see from others' reactions, something very good is happening with your game. Don't worry about my approval.

Best,
Ron
Logged
urbwar
Member

Posts: 142


« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2002, 12:18:56 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hey,

H'm, let's wait on this discussion until you get the book ... you'll see that even "character background" isn't really where I'm aiming (and might even detract from it). It's more about being prepared to express stuff through the character in action.

But all that is not to say that you're doing something bad so far! As you can see from others' reactions, something very good is happening with your game. Don't worry about my approval.

Best,
Ron


Well, I bought Sorcerer, along with Sorcerer & Sword yesterday, and are about half way through both. I see better now what you mean. That and an old thread the gm for this guided us to (one you started as an example of setting up a game in the 40's).

We also all decided we got a bit ahead of ourselves in character creation/concepts, and are going to start over (since we have plenty of time to do so), but not fully removing our previous ideas. Having gotten the books now, I see I would go a bit different in ways for both characters, now that I have a slightly better understanding of descriptors and such.

I do appreciate your input though; I know I don't need your approval, but helpful hints (such as those you all ready gave me) go a long way
Logged

Join the Buffy Rpg Mailing list:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/btvsrpg-eden/
Christopher Kubasik
Member

Posts: 1153


« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2002, 09:35:44 AM »

Since you're looking for input from those who have played:

Background is great, but the Kicker is what makes the story.  It also really defines the character, since it's a moment in the character's life that says, "This is really important."  (Another character might think the same incident a trifle.)

You might want to check out these links, which record my attempts to create my first character for Sorcerer -- and all the feedback I got from other people.

1.  http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2617
 and then
2.  http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2651

You'll find I did a huge backstory for my guy, which sort of disolved (I can't really remember it anymore), once I focused on what my character cared about now.

But, I'll echo Ron and others, it sounds like you're headin on the right track and are going to have a fabulous time.

Take care,
Christopher[/code]
Logged

"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield
urbwar
Member

Posts: 142


« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2002, 10:07:07 AM »

Quote from: Christopher Kubasik
Since you're looking for input from those who have played:

Background is great, but the Kicker is what makes the story.  It also really defines the character, since it's a moment in the character's life that says, "This is really important."  (Another character might think the same incident a trifle.)

You might want to check out these links, which record my attempts to create my first character for Sorcerer -- and all the feedback I got from other people.

1.  http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2617
 and then
2.  http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2651

You'll find I did a huge backstory for my guy, which sort of disolved (I can't really remember it anymore), once I focused on what my character cared about now.

But, I'll echo Ron and others, it sounds like you're headin on the right track and are going to have a fabulous time.

Take care,
Christopher[/code]


Christopher,

Interesting stuff. The gm for this upcoming game pointed me to the threads on the game itself. That was some cool stuff. Not where we seem to be going with the planning of our game, but good inspiration.

After the other player proposed a character that didn't seem to fit well, I suggested we go back and start over, holding onto some cool world ideas we suggested. We now have a more basic idea in mind, keeping the world concept the same, but not as much detail for characters. Still not sure if I am going with Darak or Marcus yet. Both have different appeals to me, so it's a tough choice. The other player is looking more for an Elric type inhuman, and Marcus ties in more conceptually.

Since the game won't be for a bit (I need to finish my run with BESM first. We only play every 2-3 weeks, so this game is still a bit off), we've held of past the intitial discussion. Once my game winds down, it will pick up again in full force.

Thanks to all who gave me suggestions. Now that I got Sorcerer and Sorcerer and Sword, I am more in tune with how things go. Should be fun when it happens!
Logged

Join the Buffy Rpg Mailing list:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/btvsrpg-eden/
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.11 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines LLC
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!