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Author Topic: [Sorcerer] More Ordinary Tragedies  (Read 1089 times)
Tim Alexander
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Posts: 304


« on: December 31, 2004, 09:12:48 AM »

Hey Folks,

Last night we finished up the fourth session of the Ordinary Tragedies game. You can see the prep session here and the first play session here. I never got it together to do a writeup of our second installment, so this will cover some of that ground as well. Let me begin by saying that both Vic and Gordy are currently at humanity 1. We've had a lot of Sorcery in this game, with everybody spending some time in the dry lands at least once. Sorcery has been a brutally quick ticket to low humanity in our game. It doesn't help that both Vic and Gordy have been pretty ugly people so far. Darlene's player by contrast has been both lucky in the few humanity checks she's taken and while has had her ugly moments, has been less driving Darlene down the path to hopelessness. I've been trying diligently to up the pressure on her, and it seems to be working. The highlite reel includes:

-Gordy spends a sobering night in jail when the dogs won't come to his aid (too much travel, not enough ear scratching) and in failing to contact the dogs in the drylands runs into Fix. This scene established that when you come out of the drylands you're stone sober, no matter the method you used to enter.
-Vic gets a visit from the police inquiring about a woman he's never met in relation to the disappearance of his partner. He ends up at the woman's house and attempts to blackmail her, saying the night watchman is implicating her in the murder.
-Darlene is convinced in helping summon something that can get the buried money out of the desert, but pulls the plug when she realizes Daddy has setup the group sorcery as a sex act. Lots of group ewww in this scene. We haven't specifically talked lines and viels, and we probably should, but I was monitoring this one closely to see how comfortable/uncomfortable folks were.
-Vic gets a visit from the watchman who's pissed that the woman seems to have gone to the police and he's now involved. This turns modestly violent and Vic takes a punch in the face before turning over the contents of the bonus that Jack gave him after a show that's went especially well before some bigwig clients.
-Gordy ends up picking a fight at school with Billy while high on the boost from Fix. Billy's been spreading rumor that Gordy's mom was fired because she's a whore. Billy comes out bloodying Gordy up, but the dogs arrive to run him down and Gordy calls them off before they do any permanent damage.
-Darlene runs into her friend at work, who's been fired by Christy for messing up with some important Japanese investors. She agrees to intervene on the friend's behalf, and after a show that Christy and the businessmen attend she's asked by Christy to hang out with the men. She broached the idea of getting the friend her job back but tabled it after some resistence by Christy. This was neat, we decided up front that the businessmen had a good time, but when she goes to discuss the friend again with Christy we'll roll to see just how well things went, and she'll get the extra dice then and there as leverage in the Christy scene. Currency is king.
-Gordy goes looking for the John, in hopes of pressuring him into recanting so his mom can get her job back. He finds him at the casino and witnesses him being pulled into the wall. Thomas has successfully used his final taint and so will be regurgitating him as a spawn. Thomas doesn't yet realize that Gordy is the kid he's looking for with Fix, Gordy hasn't realized that the whole casino is a demon but the players all know. I'm not sure the players have matched the casino demon and Thomas yet.
-Chip tries to talk Vic into just killing the watchman and pinning it on the woman the partner was having an affair with. Vic won't bite, but does let himself be talked into summoning something to help pin the murder on the watchman. He fails the contact roll and so ends up in the drylands but runs into Thomas, who's looking for Fix and has some idea that he's with a kid, but doesn't know the specifics. They shake on a deal that Vic will find the kid and bring the syringe to the casino.
-Darlene is approached by Richard who apologizes for the earlier scene. He wants her help and they don't have to involve her father if she doesn't want to. After some debate she agrees to head up the ritual sorcerery to summon something to get the money, but anything over the payment of his debt to the mob goes to her. Rich agrees.
-Vic tries again to contact his initial demon while still in the drylands, succeeds, and winds up cutting a deal with a demon that appears to him as a strung out version of his daughter. There was a lot of good resonance in that, and so I think bringing the daughter into the story soon is something on the must do list.

Those are the highlites. It's been a pretty fun game so far, and even this last session which had a bumpy start ended up catching stride. We'd been on hiatus long enough (holidays, etc.) that it took a little bit to get the ball rolling again. I also hadn't had the same amount of time to prepare as I had for the previous sessions, so things took a little longer to gel than if I'd been more on the ball. We talked after the game that we need to find some situations for Gordy and Vic that they can come out on the plus side of some humanity, they're really teetering on the edge. Admittedly, Gordy hasn't succeeded in a single humanity roll, and Vic lost the majority of his through Sorcery on relatively powerful demons. I think they feel like they haven't had a whole lot of opportunity to get humanity gains, and I'll admit the pressure has been pretty relentless. Now that things are running at a nice boil I plan on leaving Gordy and Vic to figure some ways out, and maybe highlite some of their more sympathetic avenues. Darlene's just getting herself in deep with the Sorcery, and I'll keep the pressure on until she's sweating some.

Sorcerer is a blast.

-Tim
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2004, 10:19:39 AM »

Hello,

Don't forget to remind the players that there is no such thing as a "no way to gain Humanity" situation. The primary responsibility is on them, to announce their characters' actions and interactions in such a way that you, the GM, award a Humanity gain roll. It is not on the GM to provide scenes that are pre-constructed so that they "can" make such rolls. They can always role-play in such a way that they do, no matter what the scene.

Your responsibility as a GM is to remain sensitive to this, so that when you, personally (and socially), say "Hey! that's a good thing," then don't fail to award the gain roll.

Quantity is the key - the more they try, the more the successful rolls will occur.

Best,
Ron
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Tim Alexander
Member

Posts: 304


« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2004, 11:22:21 AM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Don't forget to remind the players that there is no such thing as a "no way to gain Humanity" situation. The primary responsibility is on them, to announce their characters' actions and interactions in such a way that you, the GM, award a Humanity gain roll. It is not on the GM to provide scenes that are pre-constructed so that they "can" make such rolls. They can always role-play in such a way that they do, no matter what the scene.


This is what I wanted to get across to them but I had a bad time articulating it on the spot. I may do some discussion with them of what other interpretations of previous scenes might have been, and I think that may help to highlite that they've got maybe more outlets than their seeing. I mostly want to make sure that I'm not somehow limiting their choice in a way I'm missing. I don't think that's what's happening though, given how successfully Darlene's player has been rolling with the punches.

Quote
Your responsibility as a GM is to remain sensitive to this, so that when you, personally (and socially), say "Hey! that's a good thing," then don't fail to award the gain roll.


Yeah, so far there has been very little, "Hey! That's a good thing," in this game. The repurcussions of that have been very present though so I'm hoping to see the players look for ways to sort it out.

-Tim
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