Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘kicker’

Third of three character sketches of the player-characters.

Mosun Akao of Lormyr (human)

Human, Lormyrian, late 40s. A sea trader and a secret priest of Law.

As a sea-trader, Mosun visits many Young Kingdoms, ferrying all goods via Imrryr in accordance with imperial decree. This vocation gives him the freedom of movement to search the Bright Empire for his son Tarin, who was kidnapped by slavers ten years ago (at the age of 5). The ex-priest of Law also takes the opportunity to spread the worship of Elgis of Law – secretly so, in Melnibone.

History

Mosun Akao was a Lormyrian priest of Law. His mentor, Rumon, is the high priest of Elgis in Lormyr. When his son was kidnapped, Mosun and Rumon Contacted a demon of Law for help, but it attached many pre-conditions to its aid. Mosun grew impatient with the Law demon’s demands, and secretly Contacted a demon of Chaos instead. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The second of three character sketches of the player-characters.

Lord Hibbukal of Khanjar’a

Exalt-Surgeon.  Younger brother of Duke Sendric.

Hibbukal is a frighteningly brilliant man who tends to arrogance.  He sees the incestuous decadence that afflicts Melnibonéan society and believes that the empire can only be saved by a near-death experience.  Only an ex-sanguination, perhaps brought on by a barbarian invasion, can wake Melniboné from itd deathbed and inspire the renewal it needs.  He believes that his destiny lies in going abroad, advising some human king and fomenting and aiding an uprising.

History

Born with a voracious intellect, Hibbukal studied medicine and surgery as well as sorcery.  In his twenties, he fell under an extended illness.  His body wasted and many expected that he would die.

His father Duke Arandur had been secretly grooming Hibbukal to be the next Duke, but after two years of illness, shifted his favour to Hibbukal’s brother Sendric.  Meanwhile, Hibbukal came to suspect that he was host to a demonic parasite, but needed supernatural aid to heal himself.  The family summoned a Chaos demon (“it had five arms and a face that was almost all mouth and all teeth – opened up to be almost the whole size of its face, like a predatory fish”), but the demon refused to help one so weak.  Thus spurned, Hibbukal secretly researched demons of Law.  He learned that house Jifar’a was the custodian of a forbidden tome of Law sorcery, The Book Of The Inverted Eye.  He entreated his brother Sendric to steal it for him. (more…)

Read Full Post »

House Khanjar’a

House Khanjar’a is Imrryr’s top importer of exotic luxuries from the Western Continent. Shazaar is their only territory, but they are expert at delving the Western wilds to acquire slaves, beasts, delicacies, intoxicants and magical herbs. The memorable success of any party is assured if Khanjar’a can be secured to supply it.

Sendric became Duke when his father, Arandur, was declared insane by the family. Arandur remains locked in the tower’s uppermost floors. Mirzomar (Arandur’s brother-in-law) is now the most powerful sorcerer in the family.

Khanjar’a has recently begun importing a new intoxicant, called Totemflower, The Azure Blossom, which allows its users to partake of each other’s immediate sensations. It is favoured by lovers and sadists alike.

Duke Sendric Khanjar’a

(more…)

Read Full Post »

The excellent game Sorcerer has been central to my gaming experience and tinkerings lately.  A few loosely-related notes:

A Sorcerer Tweak?

We love Sorcerer.  When it landed in the late ’90s, it was revolutionary.  Compared to D&D, it was Completely Different.  It was the first (?) RPG that really put the focus on “Story Now!,” the phenomenon of story creation as a real-time group activity (in contrast, the D&D paradigm is “Story Before”: the GM creates the story alone, and then brings it to the table and runs the players through it).  But…

Sorcerer is now the oldest game in the Story Now! category.  Since Sorcerer landed, there have been 10+ more years of great indie games that have built on what Sorcerer started.  Perhaps Sorcerer could benefit from an upgrade, a renovation, an incorporation of some of the refinements that have emerged from the forge (ahem) of indie games in recent years.

Things We Love About Sorcerer:

  • Humanity – what do you need so badly that you’ll risk your soul to get it?  This score is the heart of the game.
  • Kickers & Bangs – the players initiate the story, the GM puts pressure on things, the story continues to come from the players.
  • Relationship maps – delicious complexity in NPCs without pre-planned “encounters”.
  • Demons – dangerous allies that are NOT your friends.  The rope by which the desperate protagonist hangs himself.

Aspects Of Sorcerer That Could Stand Some Refining:

  • Conflict Resolution (“Combat”) – we still spend a lot of time going “how many dice do i get?”. – there’s a lot to track: next-action damage, lasting damage, victories carried over, damage penalties, etc.  This needs to be simplified.
    • maybe just one kind of damage instead of “next action” and “lasting”.  Reduce the damage table to something simpler.
  • The Statistics of The Dice-Pool Mechanic – do they suit the kind of game we want to play?
    • a big dice-count advantage rarely translates into a large number of victories.

We (my gaming group) want to give Sorcerer a serious think-over.  Can we make the game even better while preserving the best aspects of the original?  No, let me re-phrase: can we make the game more suitable for the kind of experience that we want at the table?

-J

Read Full Post »

Another great session of Sorcerer!  The plots are starting to twist deliciously.  Again, I’ve posted the synopsis on The Forge, here.

The third session was last night, and it was shocking!  Really, jaws hit the table.  I’ll write about it soon-soon.  Cheers,

-J

Read Full Post »

One week left til game time.   Here is the third and final player-character for our impending game of Sorcerer.  Setting: Casablanca 1940. This is pretty much all Ry’s own work.  He also gave me a long list of Serge’s family members, colleagues and acquaintances, as well as an idea for a first in-game scene involving… well, you’ll see!  Thanks Ry!

Serge Denis Molière

Serge is a great big fire marshall, captain of one of the larger fire halls in the city. He has a well-deserved reputation for being a tireless hero and hard worker, putting the safety of children before any other concern.

Several months ago, Serge was trapped in a partially-collapsed building, and despite his prodigious strength was unable to save two young children that he had been leading to safety. Near death from smoke inhalation, Serge spotted a rat running impossibly across a pane of glass and escaping through a tiny hole in the wall. The rat was a part of the demon Tachyorychtes, and the thoughts would eat at Serge’s mind for the following few months, when he struck a bargain with a German doctor by the name of von Braun.

The rat/demon has abilities that help Serge to rescue people from burning buildings: it confers the ability to “see” structural strength, material stresses and weak points. Its Need is to see beautiful things destroyed (in fire or otherwise).

Demon: Tachyorychtes, the Rat.

Wife: Anna Molière (née Godechaux)

Kicker

Serge is Catholic. His wife Anna has converted to Catholicism and attends church with him and takes communion.

A few weeks after binding the rat Tachyorychtes (‘Tack’), Serge was asked by his Jewish in-laws to help them fix something at their bookshop, and to bring his tools. Naturally, Serge agreed, like any good son-in-law, although he puzzled at their insistence that he come alone on a particular Saturday afternoon.

When Serge arrived he found most of the Godechaux men were gathered. Serge was asked to help make sure that nothing was damaged as the family set to clearing out “an old unused back room in the basement.”

Despite the lies, the intent of the enterprise was clear: to open up a new wall in the basement of the Godechaux bookstore. Expanding Jewish businesses was already banned in Casablanca by French decree, and while Serge found the law disturbing he was angry at his father-in-law for drawing him into something illegal.

Nevertheless, Serge carefully inspected the structural integrity of the house, and determined that opening up the new wall was probably safe. Always cautious when working with civilians, he sent the various Godechaux kin out of the house so he could get to work.

Serge used Tack’s conferred materials sight to discern where the weak spot was, and realized one area was particularly vulnerable to being struck. What Serge didn’t realize was that he was aiming straight at the entrance to a prison that had been Containing a powerful demon.

An inky blackness leapt from the hole, and the room grew dark. Serge fell to the ground, disoriented, and tried to get his bearings, looking for the light of the door upstairs. When he looked to that light, he saw something cross his field of vision – something like a large pile of rope suddenly uncoiling as if the other end was tied to a cannonball. When Serge tried to stand, he felt something heavy on his back, and when he tried to look he briefly saw something – again, like a rope but with hooks protruding from it, which faintly glowed red, like embers. Serge then blacked out.

The next thing Serge heard was his brother-in-law, Denis, calling to ask if he was alright. Serge picked himself up and saw that a corridor, several feet long, had yawned behind the spot he struck. The stone walls appeared to be the foundations – or even the first floor – of a much older construction. After this discovery, completing the tunnel to the adjacent building was trivial, and Serge went home scraped and exhausted but also disgusted with himself. Serge resolved to speak to the Doctor von Braun first thing in the morning.

*   *   *

Ry originally gave me a much more explosive kicker, but later decided that we should save the good part for in-game.  Can’t wait 🙂 -Johnny 0.

GM’s Post Script: Animated-Object Demons

The rope demon poses an interesting question: how do you spec an animated-object demon in game terms?  I first browsed the demon abilities for one that would allow a demon to animate an object.  The rulebook explicitly states that the ability Warp can not confer animation, and an Object demon with the Travel ability just relocates when nobody’s looking, the way your car keys seem to do.  Then I found an answer on The Forge:

“I’d go with Inconspicuous [Type,] with the specific limitations about abilities of Passers (i.e. no conferring to others). You, um, do remember that in The Sorcerer’s Soul, I’m pretty clear that the demon Types are customizable and blend-able, right?” -Ron Edwards, Dec.10 2002

Read Full Post »