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Author Topic: Newbie sorcery related questions  (Read 2470 times)
Rampage
Member

Posts: 26

Serial Inquirer


« on: December 26, 2006, 11:31:08 AM »

I guess a couple of these may be answered by "you decide!".. anyway:


1a. Can you summon a specific demon, for example one that rebelled from you earlier and that having a field day in the library?

1b. What about the bound demon of someone else?

1c. If you can summon a specific demon, and given they always want to be summoned, what stops you from summoning the demon just when you know the demon is currently busy? (for example, in the middle of a battle).

1d. What about contacting someone's demon to distract it? Although I guess you could say that the demon is able to talk to you using a figment of its "demonic spirit" and, thus, can be doing two things at the same time given its only physically in one.

2. In group sorcery, do the helpers have to roll for humanity too?

3. Containing (p. 89) says how well made or not it is is tested through a Basic Success roll. What is a Basic Success roll?

4a. What if a PC doesn't follow through a Pact? What makes him do so? I do understand that, if this is a recurrent behaviour, the PC's demons could warn next "pactees" and "bindees" and nearby demons (of, say, other PCs) and get annoyed, but what if the pact is done so that they don't know?

4b. What is the difference between one act and one service? Is kill Barney an act, or is it unspecified acts with the goal of killing Barney?.

4c. Would kill Barney be of indefinite (until done) duration?

4d. Service in a Pact refers to "you are at my service"?

4e. In a Pact, the sorcerer does only have to satisfy the need in the contract. What if the demon starts resenting the contract? (for example, wide open service for years, with the sorcerer abusing the abilities of the demon to continual exhaustion of it) Does it rebel as in binding?

4f. If all demons want to be summoned, does that mean they can choose to stay after a Pact is over if the contract says nothing about this? Or do they automatically "return home", even if the sorcerer wants to set them lose?

5a. In relation to demons that wander away to satisfy their extra needs and desires, but how would it know where its sorcerer is and when its calling him, without Link?

5b. How do they go back? If they would just have to walk or float to their binded sorcerer, wouldn't dropping them in the north pole be a nice way to get rid of them, given most likely the only thing that they could do would be to eat a couple of penguins or bears?

6. Any recommendation on what how to handle demon desires? That is, should the GM set them? Should the players know them? (I guess so) Should the characters know? Directly, or through a lore roll (along with whatever ritual/process they do of course)

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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2006, 02:32:11 PM »

Hi there,

I like answering questions!

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1a. Can you summon a specific demon, for example one that rebelled from you earlier and that having a field day in the library?

I don't understand this question, especially the second part, but actually the whole thing.

All Summoning is specific to a given demon, it has to be.

Also, rebelling concerns Binding, not Summoning.

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1b. What about the bound demon of someone else?

OK, I'm getting the notion that you may be thinking of Summoning incorrectly. It does not fetch a demon from across the landscape, as in from Paris, France, to Paris, Texas. It brings a demon into existence. If the demon already exists, it can't be Summoned, because it is already here.

To answer the specific question, if a demon is Bound to Janie, and then the demon is Banished, then it may be re-Summoned by anyone and in that case, it will still be Bound to Janie.

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1c. If you can summon a specific demon, and given they always want to be summoned, what stops you from summoning the demon just when you know the demon is currently busy? (for example, in the middle of a battle).

I'm prrrrretty sure that I've managed to dispel this question by clarifying what Summoning is and does. Let me know.

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1d. What about contacting someone's demon to distract it? Although I guess you could say that the demon is able to talk to you using a figment of its "demonic spirit" and, thus, can be doing two things at the same time given its only physically in one.

Contacting works on demons that are not Summoned. You don't use Contact to talk to a demon just because it's somewhere else, like from one of the Parises to the other. You use Contact to talk to a demon that does not exist, i.e., is nowhere else.

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2. In group sorcery, do the helpers have to roll for humanity too?

Yup! No getting out of that one.

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3. Containing (p. 89) says how well made or not it is is tested through a Basic Success roll. What is a Basic Success roll?

Just a normal roll, using the scores listed in the Sorcery table.

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4a. What if a PC doesn't follow through a Pact? What makes him do so? I do understand that, if this is a recurrent behaviour, the PC's demons could warn next "pactees" and "bindees" and nearby demons (of, say, other PCs) and get annoyed, but what if the pact is done so that they don't know?

I'll need a more concrete example to deal with all of your what-ifs. My only general answer is that Pacting is a subset of Binding, and all the rules about breaking Binding also apply to breaking a Pact.

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4b. What is the difference between one act and one service? Is kill Barney an act, or is it unspecified acts with the goal of killing Barney?.

An act means "do this," and if it doesn't work, the Pact is fulfilled regardless.

A service means "do this," and if it doesn't work, the Pact is not yet fulfilled.

Regarding Barney, if it's an act the sorcerer wants done, then the demon can give it a good try and be done with the Pact no matter how it turns out. But if it's a service the sorcerer wants done, then Barney has to be dead before the Pact is over.

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4c. Would kill Barney be of indefinite (until done) duration?

As a service, yes it would. Keep that in mind when you play demons during a Pacting ritual.

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4d. Service in a Pact refers to "you are at my service"?

No. It refers to the ongoing commitment to a given outcome, as described above. "You are at my service" is a relationship, and as such should be handled via full Binding.

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4e. In a Pact, the sorcerer does only have to satisfy the need in the contract. What if the demon starts resenting the contract? (for example, wide open service for years, with the sorcerer abusing the abilities of the demon to continual exhaustion of it) Does it rebel as in binding?

Yup. Although that description of that situation probably couldn't be arrived at through a Pact very easily, but just in case it turned out that way, then yes, the demon rebels against the Pact just as in Binding. Remember, Pact is a form of Binding and thus all the relevant Binding rules apply.

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4f. If all demons want to be summoned, does that mean they can choose to stay after a Pact is over if the contract says nothing about this? Or do they automatically "return home", even if the sorcerer wants to set them lose?

You should separate these two things in your mind:

Bound vs. not Bound (applies to Pacts too)

Here vs. not-Here

Fulfilling a Pact or (for example) rebelling against Binding does not Banish the demon (i.e. un-Summon it). These are separate variables.

All of these are therefore possible
- a demon who is here (Summoned) and not Bound
- a demon who is here (Summoned) and Bound
- a demon who is not here (say, Banished) and not Bound
- a demon who is not here (say, Banished) and Bound

Your question implies that you think fulfilling a Pact means the demon is now conveniently and automatically Banished. This is not the case.

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5a. In relation to demons that wander away to satisfy their extra needs and desires, but how would it know where its sorcerer is and when its calling him, without Link?


It would not. I have a demon. It decides to thumb rides across the U.S.A. I call it, standing on my porch, "Come back little Sheba!" It doesn't hear me.

However, there is a piece of your question that shows me you're missing a key concept. The demon cannot satisfy its Need by itself. That literally cannot happen. The whole point of a Need, by definition, is that the demon must have someone provide it.

Let's say the Need is to eat cats. If the sorcerer lets the demon out to feed on cats, that means he or she has colluded in the action, and so it counts, just as if the sorcerer had baked a cat in a pie.

However, if the demon is annoyed with the sorcerer and runs off to Spain, it can hunt and eat cats all the live-long day, and guess what? Its Need is not being fulfilled.

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5b. How do they go back? If they would just have to walk or float to their binded sorcerer, wouldn't dropping them in the north pole be a nice way to get rid of them, given most likely the only thing that they could do would be to eat a couple of penguins or bears?

I'm a little puzzled by the eating of penguins or bears. But if I'm understanding you correctly, then yes, if one wanted to get rid of a demon and did not or could not Banish it or break the Binding or kill it, then one might try to isolate it somewhere where it cannot get its Need, and leave it to starve to death.

Emphasis on "try." It is hard for me to imagine accomplishing that without the demon getting wind of it and taking steps to prevent it, or to break the Binding and seek an alternative master, or both. I mean, I'm not saying the character can't try it, just that it seems like a minefield of potential conflict rolls and thus not an easy solution out of one's hip pocket.

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6. Any recommendation on what how to handle demon desires? That is, should the GM set them? Should the players know them? (I guess so) Should the characters know? Directly, or through a lore roll (along with whatever ritual/process they do of course)

You're on the right track. For the demons that begin the game bound to the characters, the player makes them up, so the players will know the Desires. However, for demons brought into play later, their Desires are defined by the GM, and the characters can learn about them through Lore rolls. Although if the demon can speak, a little while spent in its presence will make its Desire pretty clear ... they tend not to talk about much else, in the long run.

Best, Ron
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James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 642


« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2006, 06:58:26 PM »


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2. In group sorcery, do the helpers have to roll for humanity too?

Yup! No getting out of that one.

Whoa, hey: request for clarification.  Sorcerer page 90, under Group Sorcery -

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Sorcerous cooperation is very effective. . . . One sorcerer is designated the primary, and he or she will incur any Humanity checks as a result of the action.
 

This text, and the example summons on page 90-91, imply that the helpers do not roll humanity checks. 

Just checkin' to make sure I get this stuff!
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Rampage
Member

Posts: 26

Serial Inquirer


« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2006, 01:35:11 AM »

OK, I'm getting the notion that you may be thinking of Summoning incorrectly. It does not fetch a demon from across the landscape, as in from Paris, France, to Paris, Texas. It brings a demon into existence. If the demon already exists, it can't be Summoned, because it is already here.

Oooh! Lots of light bulbs turning on.

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However, there is a piece of your question that shows me you're missing a key concept. The demon cannot satisfy its Need by itself. That literally cannot happen. The whole point of a Need, by definition, is that the demon must have someone provide it.

Yes. Here's what got me confused:

Pact says the sorcerer has no responsibility to provide the demon's Need except precisely as specified by the terms. As well, that is responsible for a token bestowal of the demon's Need, but is not responsible in general. Then it goes on saying that "[The demon] has to worry about its Need more than it would do otherwise, and it has to pay attention to this one stupid thing instead indulging his Desire. So I concluded that, since the sorcerer isn't providing for the demons needs, the demon would have to take care of it on its own. Now I realize the "one stupid thing" here refers to the act or service the sorcerer wants, not the Need.

I guess the effect of this is that is easy to have grumpy "underfed" demons, when using Pacts.

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Let's say the Need is to eat cats. If the sorcerer lets the demon out to feed on cats, that means he or she has colluded in the action, and so it counts, just as if the sorcerer had baked a cat in a pie.

However, if the demon is annoyed with the sorcerer and runs off to Spain, it can hunt and eat cats all the live-long day, and guess what? Its Need is not being fulfilled.

Got it. So that's why binding always works... there's absolutely no way for a demon to get its Need satisfied other than by the sorcerer. I'm gonna assume Desires work the same; the demon would eat as many cats as it could, but it just wouldn't be fulfilling.

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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: December 28, 2006, 07:09:32 AM »

Hello,

It's like opening chinese boxes ....

Your final sentence opens up another issue, specifically, the nature of a Desire.

Desires are like ideologies. They concern what the particular demon likes to talk about, look at, be around, do, or generally be involved in. They cannot be fulfilled; they are attitudes, not hungers.

Best, Ron
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