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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] Mark  (Read 8546 times)
Lxndr
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« on: June 09, 2003, 10:21:03 AM »

I do believe this is different enough to deserve a separate thread.

What is the point of Mark, the demonic ability?  What (if anything) might tempt me to choose "Hey, I can rub this guy's with a sorcerous highligher that's hard to wash off, but EVERY sorcerer can see it!" instead of, well, any other ability.  What am I missing?  What's the attraction?  It feels like a penny in a jar full of quarters.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2003, 10:59:02 AM »

Hi Alexander,

Check these out:

Taint and Mark?, and more generally, Customization
Charnel Gods - Fell Weapons (see Clinton's comments about his game)

Anyone else played with Mark?

Best,
Ron
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Bankuei
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2003, 11:09:25 AM »

Nifty Mark idea just came to me:

If you're into the big "conspiracy" thing, imagine what would happen if you took some powerful demon with all kinds of Perception and Mark, and all it does is simply make vital facts about you known, perhaps literally written across your face to Sorcerers?

DNA-wise?
Matrix style?
Other?

"Hello Kim.  Don't ask why I know your name, your curiosity will be satisfied, and yet whetted for more shortly.  You are 28, recently unemployed, prone to bouts of depression, mmm, developing a drinking problem, and you fool around with 3 of your exboyfriends.  You've recently discovered that your debt problem is about to put you in bankruptcy, and that's why you're here..."

Imagine a whole society under the rule of one, or a few sorcerers who can just look at you and pull up vital statistics, personality traits, or whatever.  Also imagine what a god-awful demon must be responsible, or the number of demons that must be going about doing this thing...

Yeesh.

Chris
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2003, 11:19:02 AM »

Quote from: Lxndr
It feels like a penny in a jar full of quarters.
Do you throw out pennies? Why not take Mark?

The abilities are in no way "balanced". They aren't meant to be. I take powers like Mark just to boost my demon's power score up sometimes. And because it's cool.

Mike
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Lxndr
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« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2003, 12:32:48 PM »

Nifty idea, Chris.  :)

But that example just highlights my (personal) aversion to Mark (which might be all it is - my tastes and the Mark power diverging).  One of the things written into Mark is "every person with Lore 1+ can see it." (a paraphrase, with the emphasis mine) When I think, "If I were a sorcerer..." (which may not be a good question), I find myself thinking, "why would I want a mark that ANYONE can see, even if it's just other sorcerers?" and my answer is almost invariably, "I wouldn't."  

Now, if I ask a slightly different question, "would a mark that I could see and nobody else could be useful?" that could be answered "yes."  But if that mark could also be seen by others, even if it's just a select few?  Too much natural paranoia, maybe, but I'd turn it down.

I must be honest - in that Charnel Gods topic Ron pointed to, I'm utterly flabbergasted as to how Marking another individual suddenly meant his character gained power over that other individual.  Clinton just sort of tossed that out as if it made perfect sense, and maybe if I read the supplement it would, but right now it just, well, flabbergasts me.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2003, 12:46:19 PM »

Hi there,

H'm, it didn't read to me as if the Mark established power over the NPC, but rather served as an underscore ... but then again, the people we're talking about are also Trollbabe players, so perhaps the Mark was serving as more of a formalized relationship-establisher than I thought.

Anyway, let's try something. Let's take this nascent identity-issue approach to Sorcerer that you've been shaping, sort of, and apply Mark. Let's say that demonic stuff threatens identity, and that sorcerers typically play free and easy - disturbingly free and easy - with the identities of others. Perhaps Mark is a sorcerer-indicator to all others, saying "Hands off, this one gets to be who they are," and a Lore roll permits the observing sorcerer or demon to identify the Marker. Of course, it's basically cashing a check with your mouth, and whether your ass can cash it is a different story. H'm, and now that I'm thinking about it, it makes most sense for the group (and setting) to permit only a person to be the User, not a demon.

I think it would make for a central and very atmospheric plot focus for the game ... using a penn'worth of ability.

Best,
Ron
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Valamir
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« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2003, 01:02:19 PM »

Excellent example, and one that returns once again to the idea that there is no such thing as Mark.  

There is only Mark as it applies to a particular group vision of Sorcerer.  This version is pretty cool.  Basically a way to warn other Sorcerer's...if you mind fuck with this person, you will have to answer to me.  

I saw a biker couple the other day.  The guy was wearing a motorcycle jacket for "The Outlaws".  The girl was wearing one that said "Property of the Outlaws".

Aside from the interesting social commentary of that, Mark in this sense could provide a similar purpose.  "This person is off limits...they belong to me"
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2003, 01:05:52 PM »

Hey, that tips off another free-associative bit, Ralph.

Seems neat that the way a sorcerer designates a person's identity inviolate also tags them as property. So they're still considered a "thing," either way. Brrrr ...

Best,
Ron
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Lxndr
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« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2003, 01:24:57 PM »

So I guess it is just an aesthetic thing, at least on my part.  Some people like the idea of "marking" folks for public consumption (whatever else Mark is in various Sorcerer games, it PROBABLY is still "something that other sorcerers can also see").  I'm not (generally) one of them.

Then again, whatever character I might wind up making could like it.  There's that option too.  And it's an interesting/neat plot device to use as a GM.  Thank you, all who have posted, for opening my eyes.
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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Clinton R. Nixon
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« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2003, 01:46:49 PM »

Quote from: Lxndr

I must be honest - in that Charnel Gods topic Ron pointed to, I'm utterly flabbergasted as to how Marking another individual suddenly meant his character gained power over that other individual.  Clinton just sort of tossed that out as if it made perfect sense, and maybe if I read the supplement it would, but right now it just, well, flabbergasts me.


Side explanation: the "special effect" of my weapon's Mark ability was that it appeared as a searing burn in the shape of my god's glyph. Now, in this case, my character defeated an honorable desert warrior, which established the relationship. The NPC was a sorcerer, so he understood the Mark, and when the character laid it upon his face in victory, marking him permanently, it was a symbol of my character saying, "Now, when anyone of power sees you, they will know who has defeated you, and to whom you belong: the god Faal."

That sounds like a really out-there use of Mark, but in my opinion, it's one of the more obvious uses. Who doesn't want a demon that tells other sorcerers, "Screw with this, and you'll get burnt?"

(Edit: and, of course, if I'd read to the end of the thread, I'd see that everyone else already came to this conclusion."
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Clinton R. Nixon
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Lxndr
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2003, 01:54:09 PM »

Thank you, Clinton.  That's what I was looking for - a context in which to place the Mark.  Your particular comment in that other thread makes a lot more sense now, and agrees with Ron's observation that it underscored the assumption/presumption of power, rather than being the vehicle for it (which is what I was imagining - your character walking up to someone, out of the blue, and marking them).

So, once again, just thanks :)
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Alexander Cherry, Twisted Confessions Game Design
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greyorm
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« Reply #11 on: June 11, 2003, 10:44:23 AM »

Wouldn't a combination of Mark and Cloak work well for the idea of Marking a person only for specific individuals to see (those with Lore greater than 1)?

What about the use of Mark "runes"...a combination of Mark and Daze, frex: the Mark, when seen, causes the effects of the Daze...or how about Command, Confuse, Link (ie: "Someone has invaded my lair!"), Protection, etc.
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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« Reply #12 on: June 11, 2003, 11:07:47 AM »

It seems to me that just because someone is Marked, doesn't mean that all Sorcerers can tell what the Mark means. I mean, someone could have "Kick Me" tattooed on their forehead in Sanskrit, but I'd never get the joke 'cause I can't read Sanskrit. Requiring Lore rolls to decipher a Mark could aid in limiting the spread of the information.

Or is that in there already .... ?
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Valamir
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« Reply #13 on: June 11, 2003, 11:10:36 AM »

That's an interesting spin.
Mark as a way of embedding other powers at remote locations.

Mark Perception, to see through anothers eye's

Mark Cloak, to make a mundane invisible to other sorcerers.

Marks Special Damage.....mmmmmmm
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Mike Holmes
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« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2003, 12:37:39 PM »

Quote
Requiring Lore rolls to decipher a Mark could aid in limiting the spread of the information.


I think it's implied. That is a mark could "look" like anything. All we know for sure is that anyone with a Lore score can see it. Right?

In any case, it's a great plot device to have someone come into a room, Marked in some nasty way (looks like a glowing skull drawn in blood or something), and have the players wonder what's going on. If it were instead some arcane symbol that the viewer saw, then, sure, of course it would be a Lore roll to figure out it's meaning.

Ralph, I'm not getting what you're saying.

Mike
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