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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 95 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: My/JL's game("The Abyss Chronicles"?)  (Read 6530 times)
sirogit
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« on: October 03, 2003, 01:26:41 AM »

(Note, I was sort've waiting for JL to do this, as he's more talented at not confusing the hell out of people. So I'd invite him to post about the further exploits of the game.)

(Also note: I Just bought Sorcerer and sorcerer's Soul a few days ago. They are beyond awesome. I noted a startling superficial resemblence of my character to Dan Kazi's character Nancy, as they're teenagers, both have a Lore of 5 defined as madness and a demon way too powerfull for their own longevity, mine was Power 10. I'd like some additionial information on that character and how the session went if available.)

First I'll cover my character and some backstory.

Tyler is a 15 year old until recently inside of a mental instituition. He wears a straight jacket because he wouldn't stop scraping or staining the walls in order to continue his work. Lyson doesn't want him to stop reading or writing the secret messages on the walls. Lyson's his only friend, somewhat inconvient as Tyler is the only one aware of him. Lyson is also a rather sharply toothed demon.

Tyler, being a prodigal sorceror, knows they're most likely beings of pure maloevence, so it's a question why he trusts Lyson. He once thought Lyson was half-angel judging from the copious amounts of wings that Lyson sports, most gnawed away in the middle. But it's probably morever issues of a dysfunctionial relationship with most people and things that leads to his trust in their friendship.  

Tyler is an afficionado of the Abyss Chronicles. He considers the work enlightened, as it speaks of important truth yet finds it pretty poorly written, which is why he assumes the author ("Kelly Grahams"?)is a little girl. In the Abyss Chronicles, monsters are ruining someone's life, he investigates their origins and finds that they are coming from the underground. Down there, amputee angels lead him to the discovery that God is dead.

Now, some other kids have read the Abyss chronicles and reacted to it less than favorably. They read into the book as a manifesto telling them that there was no morality anymore because God is dead, and because of this, violent scandals have erupted on nationial TV. This is unfortunate because the book isn't evil, just a few copies are.

But Tyler sees beyond that. He doesn't think think that morality's existence ever had any connection with God. This isn't to say he has something against God, ever since death God has been mostly a non-entity towards it's own desires so being a subject of them would be an impossible task. Lyson tells him that if they burns God's corpse, than Lyson can have a home, and such benefit to a friend is put above other theological tangents.

The kicker is: At one night's story time, Lyson explained that Tyler will become a target of further demonic assaults unless he acts to intervene, and so Lyson breaks Tyler out of his restraints and they make to escape the instituition.

(Now' I'd acknowledge that this probably went far too long in character exploration, but I'm really rather poor in the area of editing or moderation so I figured I'd post it as is or never.)
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sirogit
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2003, 03:24:35 AM »

The Good: The game is awesome. This can be attribuited to:

The System, besides being absolutely fantastic in general and smartly designed, I would consider it my ideal RPG were not for a few factors(That could concievibly be eliminated in the right customization or mini-supplement.)

The group, I have loads of respect for the GM in general as well as for his talent as an arbiter, another player is a great writer and his influence on the game is novel-quality, the other one plays her character extremely well with a realistic bent, plus she gives out necklaces! I think it's good that the group turned out to be as small as it is(3 players)

The setting, it's very intereasting, and it just sort of came out of a few cooperative character details. To me it invokes a Donnie Darko/Earlier stephen King/Constatainey-fee, I guess that analyzation could of been way off for anyone else.

The instigation that I can make up weird, paranoid shit as a part of having a high Lore. I love that idea so much.

What could use work:

Humanity hasn't really been used that much, nor was it given that much definition from what I recall. I'm not sure if we decided on a single thing that it was. You see, this is kind of a double-edged sword as I'm sort've touchy about the whole acts-that-cost-you-humanity issue. Part of this is my own rather nebolous set of morals that I have a hard time looking past towards what someone else's moral concerns are.

My personal proposal was Humanity as the absence of psychic damage, that otherwise occurs to oneself on the act of killing/traumatizing/sorcery. Not from the hate or selfishness in such acts, but because having a hand in someone's death no matter the circumstances is damaging to one's psyche. It's a definition pretty close to sanity but in my opinion more defining in a few key points.

The only thing is, such a definition could make it somewhat lightweight. Which I don't think could be all that bad. The game is rather heavy as is and I for one could use some time just getting into the feel.

Also, I feel something like my suggestions aren't all that well-receieved possibly because they are not that well-concepted, but none the less, creates something of a de-protaginzation issue with me. Not sure how much of that is based off of concrete events and how much on emotionial tendencies.  

Also, I never come up with these sort of suggestions when my GM, good soul that he is, asks for them openly.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2003, 09:50:25 AM »

Hello,

Fantastic posts, and I'd like to know more about the game: numbers, demons, events, whatever.

I'm a little time-limited at the moment, so will have to focus on the rough stuff.

Quote
Humanity hasn't really been used that much, nor was it given that much definition from what I recall. I'm not sure if we decided on a single thing that it was. You see, this is kind of a double-edged sword as I'm sort've touchy about the whole acts-that-cost-you-humanity issue. Part of this is my own rather nebolous set of morals that I have a hard time looking past towards what someone else's moral concerns are.


I think that one of the major concerns with playing Sorcerer is developing a willingness to enter into a group dynamic about right and wrong. That's not to say "consensus," necessarily, but it does mean "practical, case-by-case agreement." I submit that more than one person cannot collaborate on a story in any shared-power sense unless this is the case.

Quote
My personal proposal was Humanity as the absence of psychic damage, that otherwise occurs to oneself on the act of killing/traumatizing/sorcery. Not from the hate or selfishness in such acts, but because having a hand in someone's death no matter the circumstances is damaging to one's psyche. ...


Defining Humanity as an absence is frankly a dodge. I buy the close-to-sanity interpretation, but work toward a positive definition. If you don't like doing that, that's fine - just work toward it in purely Explorative ("playing my character") terms rather than overtly verbalized ones.

And you are also perfectly OK to let these things work themselves out over several sessions. Sorcerer is often like that, and frankly, I think it makes for better games and better stories in the long run.

Quote
Also, I feel something like my suggestions aren't all that well-receieved possibly because they are not that well-concepted, but none the less, creates something of a de-protaginzation issue with me. ...
Also, I never come up with these sort of suggestions when my GM, good soul that he is, asks for them openly.


Huh. Does that sound a little self-defeating to you? "No one likes my suggestions!" "What do you want?" "Um, I dunno ..."

As I say, great post and great game. Everything you're describing sounds like very functional, very usual gettin'-it-going Sorcerer play.

Best,
Ron
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sirogit
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2003, 01:50:46 PM »

Quote from: Ron Edwards
Hello,

Fantastic posts, and I'd like to know more about the game: numbers, demons, events, whatever.

I'm a little time-limited at the moment, so will have to focus on the rough stuff.


Numbers like statistics? I figured I'd post those on the Sorcerer online forms later.

I'd plan to post about the events after this session

Quote


Defining Humanity as an absence is frankly a dodge. I buy the close-to-sanity interpretation, but work toward a positive definition. If you don't like doing that, that's fine - just work toward it in purely Explorative ("playing my character") terms rather than overtly verbalized ones.

And you are also perfectly OK to let these things work themselves out over several sessions. Sorcerer is often like that, and frankly, I think it makes for better games and better stories in the long run.



As a positive term you could say "Psychic Health", "peace of mind", "Sanity", etc. The GM seems pretty keen on not having many humanity gain rolls so "Psychic health" wouldn't lose on the fact it's hard to think of a concrete gaining source.

I think your advice to work it over several sessions is golden.

Quote

Quote
Also, I feel something like my suggestions aren't all that well-receieved possibly because they are not that well-concepted, but none the less, creates something of a de-protaginzation issue with me. ...

Also, I never come up with these sort of suggestions when my GM, good soul that he is, asks for them openly.


Huh. Does that sound a little self-defeating to you? "No one likes my suggestions!" "What do you want?" "Um, I dunno ..."


I meant suggestion in two different ways, in the first paragraph, as in informal narrative direction of story, and in the latter paragraph, more formal suggestions like "Remind us what humanity is again?"  or "more profanity."
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2003, 05:30:59 PM »

Hello,

If I'm reading you correctly, you're most comfortable offering suggestions during play, and you're not especially comfortable or at least productive when asked about them directly, when not playing. (Let me know if I have that right.)

If so, then here's my idea: make your suggestions through your character's actions. Never mind whether it's "right" or meets approval; Sorcerer as a game places no limits or guides for how your character decides to act. You might be surprised at the response - the GM, given something concrete in the game-world to deal with, now has to react to you, and frankly, that's his job.

How does that sound?

Best,
Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2003, 08:19:26 AM »

Hello,

I re-read the thread and remembered your inquiry about Dan Kazi's character, Nancy. She was based largely on the character of the same name in the movie "The Craft," played by Fairuza Balk. It was my first lesson as a Sorcerer GM that a player-character's demon, if nice & big, outweighs most of my prep in terms of in-game attention. And not only that, but in terms of between-play prep.

It was almost as if another player were present, playing this immense and unavoidable influence or set of priorities, that my prep had to respond to. Most demons, until this game, were pretty much "just NPCs" like characters in my old Champions games. This time, I realized that the big player-character demons were, in emotional terms if not "plot" terms, like my supervillains in those games. The big difference was that I hadn't made them up. I realized that the Kicker was only a "go," and not the entirety of the conflicts that faced a given character.

More concretely, this is the game that produced most of the specific material found in Chapter 7 of Sorcerer and Chapter 1 of Sex & Sorcery. Dan's character was nuts - medication, voices, the works - and her demon was colluding with the Cult of the Dark Lady, using Nancy's whacked insights more or less as a source of Lore. (All of this was pre-Unknown Armies, by the way, and you'll see a lot of parallels between my early play of Sorcerer and UA. I suspect the mutual influences of Over the Edge and Kult are probably the key to that.)

Ultimately, Nancy's demon became the villain of the piece. The other big sorcerous problem was a Parasite and a Possessor in the same host, with all three entities/people hating one another greatly; both demons were Bound to separate sorcerers and neither by the host. I have to admit the plot became a bit of a mess as I wrestled with this kind of GMing.

With a demon like this, they often become big villains. Veniamin in the recent necromancy game is a good example, and it's only Power 8, but with a real wham-bang combination of abilities. The reason is that they're usually very mobile and given their high Lore, able to assess whatever sorcerous hassles are going on one step ahead of the player-characters. By the time the characters meet Guy X or Thing Y, the big demon's probably already cut some sort of deal with it.

Also, as with your character's demon, Nancy's demon was deliberately constructed to be mysterious. This means the player is saying to the GM, "Surprise me, and make it a doozy." It also means, almost certainly, "Make this demon a mistake on my character's part." The remaining question is merely whether the character can extricate himself or herself from the fucked-up relationship before going down the tubes, either physically or Humanity-wise.

Since both your character and Nancy are defined as semi-nuts, this also then becomes a matter of holding onto shreds of sanity. And yet, the in-sanity is a source of knowledge and power, and hence it's a real toss-up. The player needs to recognize that he or she has really set up a potential lose-situation, and be all right with that.

Best,
Ron
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sirogit
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« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2003, 12:54:41 AM »

Thanks very much for the replys Ron. Unfortunately it seems that our game will very soon be breaking up due to some personal issues between the players. In that case I probably won't be posting the history of the game, but it was good while it lasted*

*It's not definate that the game will close, but looks very likely at this point.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2003, 05:10:23 AM »

Hi sirogit,

Rrrrreally ... "personal issues." Like what?

Yes, that is nosy, but it's also important. All around the world, in all kinds of ways, people overcome "personal issues" to achieve fun stuff together. When it doesn't work, why not?

Case #1: You are well off not playing with these people, or better, you are well off not doing anything at all with these people.

Case #2: You and the group could have had a great time together if you'd better understood what it was you were trying to do, and the "personal issues" tag is merely an excuse for not understanding.

These are very different situations. I'm interested to know which one you think applies.

Best,
Ron
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sirogit
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« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2003, 03:04:33 PM »

It'd be the first Case with an asterix(Case #1*). A substantial part of the group which is made of previously friends of mine have told me they would rather not have communications with myself for a reason that in alot of senses is a misunderstanding, but they have expressed the desire at length not to discuss it. While I enjoyed the game and their company I don't believe in gaming/any type of group-creation-project with people who have serious issues against you as it creates alot of dysfunction in my expierince.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2003, 07:50:16 AM »

Jeez! Best out of there, then.

If you'd like, though, feel free to post about any of the game's content (it's not as if you need their approval to do so) and also any rules-issues or questions you might have.

Best,
Ron
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