Archive for April 1st, 2008

Usable Bits of Sorcerer

2008 Apr 1

Just read Sorcerer all the way through for the first time. It’s good stuff, but I don’t think it quite does what I want for Sorcémon, unfortunately. So, dammit, now I have yet another hack to work on.

Binding, Punishing, and Banishing demons seem to be the kinds of tasks I can imagine sorcerer’s doing. Contacting and Summoning are pretty much out and Containing seems a bit weird. I like that Banishing is easier and less risky than Binding. That means the crew is likely to Banish most demons and only Bind those that it’s having great success against or really wants to control.

Humanity seems fine. I’ll have to read Sorcerer and Soul to decide what to do with it though, I think.

Combat doesn’t do quite what I need. I was thinking of something more task resolution-y, but this is a bit too much. Also the damage rules are not as straightforward as I would like and the demonic abilities that are useful in combat need to be be more general and unified.

The way previous rolls add on to subsequent rolls seems problematic for my SGBoston play group. Specifically, I can imagine Eric and Richard abusing the hell out of this rule, coming up with ridiculously elaborate plans. I guess there’s always a chance of failing some step along the way, but that doesn’t seem all that fun (failing, I mean, or having everyone else sit back while the elaborate plans roll out).

I think we have better tools for negative traits now, so Price, Desire, and Need could all stand to be reformatted in the style of TSOY Keys or Nobilis Restrictions.

Next up, mining Dogs in the Vineyard, TSOY, Spirit of the Century, and In a Wicked Age for usable bits. Hopefully, between those four I can hack together something like a complete game.

Sorcémon: Gold & Crimson

2008 Apr 1


A few years back, there was a thread on RPGnet about playing Pokémon using Sorcerer. I was just thinking today that I might actually have to run that. Here’s my pitch:

The Rapture has occured, 2/3 of humanity (1/3 blessed, 1/3 not blessed but not deserving of damnation) has been taken away. The earth has been given over to demonkind, who amuse themselves by ruling over and battling for control of small human communities. I’m imagining a situation a lot like Giants or the video game series Black & White, where each community has an evil champion that they try to keep reasonably happy so that they’ll be protected, but it also just eats people and uses humans as sex toys and the like.

The main characters of the game are a group of special people, let’s call them sorcerers, who have discovered a way to bind demons to their will. Using these demons, they fight back to regain human rule over these various communities, by beating the demonic champions and the corrupt rulers who are invested in serving these evil forces. But, of course, working with demons, even to fight demons, has a corrupting influence and the sorcerers must fight to save their own humanity as well.

Sorcerers bind demons, of course, by trapping them in globus cruciger, the “cross-bearing orbs” symbolic of kingly (human) dominion over the earth. And, when battling other demons or sorcerers gone bad, they throw globus containing various demons at each other, shouting things like: “Adramelech, I choose you!”

Plus, the main sorcerer characters include: a young girl whose mother was pregnant during the Rapture, marked on the forehead as one of The Saved, being sinless at that point but not taken away with the rest, who has to wear a headband at all time to hide her sacred nature; a tough former government assassin who was going to be taken away as one of the Undamned, indicating God’s forgiveness of his past deeds, but who still feels unworthy and somehow managed to get himself left behind to be punished; a minor demon who has become a sorcerer in order to fight and best bigger demons; a Persian/Muslim kid who specializes in binding fiery djinn in bottles and rings, based on his own cultural tradition; a mysterious woman with a long history of working her way into the good graces of various demons, such that most major demons the group meets are her ex-boyfriends; etc.

Sounds like an unbelievable amount of fun.

EDIT: More ideas that hit me on the subway. Inspired by Dictionary of Mu and Dogs in the Vineyard.

The Saved girl is clearly named “Lilith.” She’s the Damsel Messiah, feared by all demons, and carries the Devilexicon and thus can look up any demon they encounter and discover its name and weaknesses. Being saved, she’s the only one who can touch it because otherwise it eats your soul.

The jaded government assassin is clearly from the secret Japanese Defense Force unit Special Protection 44 (“Yon-ju Yon” in Japanese), otherwise known as Old 44, Double Death, or SPYY. Its former members known as SPYYders, making the tough-guy character “Goto of the SPYYders.”

The mysterious woman is named “Jezebel Magdalene.” Because of course she is.

The Persian kid clearly has to be “Suleiman.” Maybe “Sully” for short.

Communities are created in the same manner as towns in Dogs in the Vineyard, with escalating complexity and debauchery based on how much influence the demons have over their subjects and how much the people have willingly sided with their demonic overlords. The GM creates a bunch of NPCs before each game starts and then the characters come into town and try to set things right, which generally involves using their demons to fight other demons and the people who serve them.