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Author Topic: Suburban Fairy Tale - Grade School Sorcerers  (Read 7310 times)
Judd
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« on: May 23, 2004, 09:00:49 PM »

Suburban Fairy Tale

inspired by a post by Old Scratch over at RPG.net in the thread, Kickers and bangers, how do you use them?
 
An epic adventure can be had during school recess.  The woods behind the school go beyond the sunset if you know the right trails.  Wardrobes hold lions and the basement is haunted.  The Monster Under the Bed can be bound to your will.

Rather than childhood making something of you, you are making something out of your childhood.

Never trust a grown-up, look both ways before crossing the street and don't talk to Strangers.

Demons are imaginary friends, childbook mythological beings and urban myths.  Many Demons allow their Sorcerer to venture into fairy otherwords, bits of nursery rhymes and fantasy novels brought to life.  The crossroads of Oz, Narnia, Hogwarts and the land Beyond the Looking Glass.

Odd Idea:  Grown-ups are Immenents that can be Pacted with but not bound.
 
Humanity is a double axis of the cold iron anchor of the adult's reality and and a child's sense of fairy tale wonder.  When you reach 0 you either become a grown-up and lose touch with the magical world, fading from the fairy world or disappear into the Otherworld never to be seen by the mundane world again.

They player may choose which option makes more sense for their character.  If they become adults, they may have a last temper tantrum, a final bout of righteous anger against the world of fantasy that they will never inhabit again.

If they disappear into fairyland, they may become a magical being of legend and make up a different character with their former character as the Demon.

I'm playing with this idea of a Humanity axis and I'm not sure I've got it straight, any help or ideas are appreciated.
Lore is knowing the in's and out's of the storybook world, knowing the cold iron from moonsilver and knowing Monsters Under the Bed from the Rat King.

Rituals are children's rhymes, bits of occultism whispered on playgrounds and trappings of adulthood twisted to fairy tale ends.  The girl next door is tied to an altar of storybooks with her father's silk ties and her head is shaved to summon a Black Unicorn.  A complicated pattern is drawn with high school chalk on the sidewalk cracks of the neighborhood in order to Contact the Back-Breaker Spirit.  Pan is summoned by referencing your aunt Helen's astrology books, stuffing a pocketwatch into a toy alligator and an empty bottle of wine emptied by your alcholic parent before a drunken beating.

Most of all a Ritual has to have roots in the child's life.  The player get's extra dice for telling the GM where their character got the idea, where they learned this ritual and the child-logic that fuels it.

Help

When do you lose or gain Humanity for each example listed above?
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Judd
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« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2004, 09:05:15 PM »

Another Odd Idea:  You get two Covers, one from the real world and another from the mundane world and one from the other side.  You take your Stamina and your Will, add 'em up and those are the points you get to spread between the two.
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b_bankhead
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« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2004, 11:16:04 PM »

Damn I love sorcerer.  Another use for this tranforming mecha of a game.  Games like sorcerer and MLWM and Paladin are a big influence on my own game in progress "Ship and the Stars".  These are games whose systems are based deep in the marrative structure of the kind of relationship or adventure they are designed to support.  Because that structure is so soundly realised , so many different types of color and setting can be simply plugged into them and still work.

This narrative modeling means you avoid the silliness of trying to quantify things like tricorders because the purpose of a tricorder is to go beep and give out the information to move the plot along....

I think there should be some pdf collecting sorcerer settings like this that aren't extensive enough to merit mini-supplements of their own.  A collectiong of Micro-supplements like this would be a great spur to creaivity and if given away , it would be a great advertisement for what Sorcerer can do.....

I'll soon find out if Trollbabe is as flexible.....
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Judd
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« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2004, 10:15:42 AM »

Stamina Descriptors:

New Sneakers - You're fast, got new sneakers.

Fatty - Scale reads, "Get offa me!"

Skinny - Beanpole!

Captain - You always choose teams.

Cute - Everyone in your grade has a crush on you.  Ew.

Last Picked - Not on my team, ya ain't.


Will Descriptors

ADHD - It means you are a spaz.

Shrinked - How was therapy last week?

Beaten - People who are supposed to love you hit you.

Perfect - Angel.  Honor Roll.  99th Percentile.  Pressure.


Lore

Doolittle - Animals talk to you and taught you magic.

Crayon Pentagrams - You make it up based on stuff you've heard here and there, seen in movies and read in old horror comics.

Satanic Sibling - Big Bro/Big Sis is pure evil and living that close has taught you stuff.

Always Reading - Having a nose always in a book has its advantages.

Overactive Imagination - They tell you magic isn't real and just part of your imagination.  Its easiest to believe them.

I'm not crazy about my Lore descriptors at all but such is life, its just a rough draft at this point.
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Old_Scratch
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Posts: 128


« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2004, 12:26:57 PM »

Paka and I have been bouncing ideas around at rpg.net, so to keep some symmetry I'm also posting my comments here. Here are some additional descriptors to complement Paka's earlier ones.

Stamina:

Big Bully: Yeah, you’re bigger than the other kids, and you’re meaner too!

Red Hair: You’ve got red-hair, freckles, and a bad attitude to match!

Tomboy: You’re as good as those stupid boys. And you’ll kick ‘em in the shins to remind ‘em of that! <kick!>

Sickly: Maybe you’ve got leg braces or asthma, but you dream of being healthy and playing with the other kids. But until then, you’ll just sit and watch them having fun…

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails: …That’s what little boys are made of!

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice… That’s what little girls are made of!

Will:

Little Monster: You always get your way. And if you don’t, you scream until you do!

Cowardly: You may hide it with bluster or be open about it, but you just don’t seem to be able to stand up for yourself when push comes to shove.

Mommy’s Little Angel: You’re sweet, considerate, and well-behaved, the sort of composure and self-discipline that most of your peers lack.

Raisin’ Hell: Things need to be stirred up! If its too quiet, you’ll jump on your bed, run around the neighborhood screaming and waving a toy tomahawk, fly off the roof wearing a cape made out of your bed-spread, and chase every cat, dog, and bird around the neighborhood.

Got Glasses: Of course you’re smart, everyone knows that! You wear glasses!

Lore:

Comic Book Education: Yeah, you know all about monsters! You’ve read all about it in Radioactive Man (or watched all the tv shows!)

Little Man/Woman: Everyone just thinks you’re a kid. As long as you don’t drink or smoke, nobody’s any wiser… The kids of course know, but they’re not telling anybody!

Changeling: You’re one of the fey children, the real child stolen away in the dead of the night and replaced by you. You wonder where your mundane twin has gone…

Fey-Taught: The pixies and nixies and brownies and dryads all take a liking to you. You’ve drank their buttermilk potions and eaten their pixie-sugar-drops and ever since, you’ve experienced things differently. Likewise, their meaningless made up songs, suddenly twist into something that makes sense when you need it, and their little pranks and ploys have given you an irreverence to the grown up world and its stupid rules.

Never Wanna Grow Up: You made a promise to yourself that you weren’t going to get any older! And you haven’t aged a day since… and with all those years, you’ve learned a few things…

Precocious: You see the world differently than everyone else. You hear things that other people ignore. There’s a world of secrets but most people are too busy to pay attention. You hear what people really mean to say when they talk. You hear what they don’t even want to speak of…

Ghostly Friend: Perhaps your grandmother died, or a parent, or a spirit in the house that you live in, but one of them watches out for you, gives you hints, tells you what streets to avoid when, what people to run away from, and lets you know in advance when the ice cream truck is going to come into the neighborhood.

Animal Hermit: You’ve learned the ways of the wilds from an animal, perhaps a talking mouse living in your wall, the old tired dog on the corner that nobody else ever sees move, or that robin that sits outside on the tree, but the animals have a way of knowing that nobody else does. Other people stopped listening to their wisdom, but you haven’t.

Terrorized! You know there are monsters! One of them lurks in your closet, or under the bed, or in the flesh of your mommy or daddy, but you’ve learned the ways to fight them off. You know about the old man under the bridge, about the old lady at the corner house, and the constant fear has made you wiser…

The Last: You are the last child in the Guf, the Hall of Souls. You’ve sat and waited your time as the hall slowly emptied…

Wish: One time you made a wish for things to be different, for you to be different, and now its come true, and you’re not sure if you like it… All these talking houses and grasping trees and watching animals with their knowing eyes…

Fell Down the Well: You fell down that dark well that seemed to draw you in. You were in the hospital for weeks after, but when you woke, you were different and so was the world. Now if only you could remember what had happened…

Abducted by Goblins: They snatched you one day when you were playing under the house and they dragged you off to the underworld, but when you burned them with a silver dollar you were able to escape, but now you know what to look for!

Witch’s Apprentice: You don’t know what your mom was thinking when she sent you off to your Aunt’s. You didn’t like your aunt’s black cat, and you liked your aunt even less! She made you work in the kitchen and collect stinky old herbs, and you got fed up and ran back home!
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Robert Bohl
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« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2004, 12:27:04 PM »

Fantastic stuff, Idea Machine.
Quote
Originally posted by Paka
New Sneakers - You're fast, got new sneakers.

I'm not loving this one.  It seems like it's about "gear" and not the person.
Quote
ADHD - It means you are a spaz.

I think this is great, but it's better to call it "Spaz" and have the description invoke ADHD, or any other number of things (borderline autism, etc.).
Quote
Always Reading - Having a nose always in a book has its advantages.

Nothing useful to say here other than that I love this.
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Nev the Deranged
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Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2004, 06:05:46 PM »

You know that little boy sleeping in other bed isn't really your brother. Ever since that game of hide and seek on your birthday last week, well... he's been different. He got locked in the closet by accident, and by the time Mom got him out, little Joey wasn't little Joey anymore. Sure, the kid snoring softly over there looks like Joey. Your mom can't tell the difference, but... you know. You're not even sure he's a kid at all- 'least not like you. He always eats everything on his plate, and brushes his teeth before bed. He even cleaned up the room first. Mom gave him an extra cookie in his lunch yesterday too. But scariest of all, Spot won't come near him. Spot loves Joey.

So... tonight while the kid-who-isn't-Joey is sleeping, you prick your finger with your mom's sewing needle and squeezed a drop of blood onto that smooth pebble you found down by the river last summer. Then you whisper the rhyme you sometimes hear in your dreams, the ones where you hear something singing to itself under your bed and you're afraid to look.

You're afraid to look now, too... but this is important. Joey may be a brat, but he's your little brother and it's your job to look out for him. That's what Dad said before he died... and that's what you're gonna do.

You finish the rhyme, then sing it a second time, a little louder, just to be sure. Then you creep to the edge of the bed and quickly set the blood-smeared stone down on the floor half a foot away from the bed. And then you wait.

Three seconds pass.... four.... five.... and then.... you hear a sound. Like breathing... no, sniffing. And then a gnarly green hand reaches out from under the bed and snatches the stone. Quick as a wink, you snap your Little Copper handcuffs that you got for your birthday around the knobby wrist and clasp the other end around your own. There is a grunt of surprise, and you hop off the bed and yank as hard as you can. With a squeal, the Monster Under the Bed is pulled out into the open, perhaps for the first time ever. Hideous, bulbous and hairy, with a multitude of grasping hands and the rank smell of sweatsocks, the creature looks up at you with beady, glinting red eyes.

"Well, you got me, kid. Whaddya gonna do now?" The thing's voice sounds like tree branches rubbing together and the creaking of timbers in an old house and the moaning of the wind all at once.

"My little brother Joey got lost in the closet. You're gonna help me get him back!" You try to sound brave, even though you're close to wetting yourself- something you haven't done in two years. The thing glances past you to the childlike form snoring softly in Joey's bed.

"Well, well. So he has, so he has." The monster sniffs tentatively a few times. "Smells like the Boogeyman's work, it does. Do you know about the Boogeyman? Are you sure you want to go against him, kid? Maybe the replacement's not so bad... something to think about, eh?"

"No! I want my brother back!"

"All right, all right, no need to get ornery. To Closet Land it is, then." The creature pauses, then peers up at you. "I don't suppose you have any freshly worn socks, do you?" it mutters.

***

Love the theme. If you haven't read the Little Fears handbook, you might check it out for some great background stuff. I'm not recommending running it, I think Sorcerer is far the better game for the genre, but the flavor stuff in the book is groovy.

I also like the idea of a sort of "idea clearing house" for Sorc premises and the like. I've dropped a few here, but nobody's commented on them so I can't really tell if it's worth even posting them. If there was a place specifically for that, at least I'd know I wasn't cluttering the main list with them.

Rock on, dudes ^_^
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Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2004, 08:46:50 PM »

Actual Play begins:

http://www.indie-rpgs.com/viewtopic.php?p=121131#121131
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Judd
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Please call me Judd.


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« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2004, 10:21:45 PM »

and Sorcery.

Maturity vs. Fantasy

Humanity check type 1: shirking responsibilities, destroying trust, breaking set rules

Humanity gain type 1: doing one's agreed on jobs, telling the truth when it is inconvenient to do so, living within the rules when it is inconvenient to do so

Humanity check type 2: neglecting fantasy life, denying its existence, ignoring its existence

Humanity gain type 2: following a fantasy calling to valiant lengths, proclaiming your fantasy's reality, showing a dreary soul a glimpse of another world
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