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Katanapunk! My first try at a one-sheet

Started by Russell Hoyle, December 10, 2003, 06:00:47 AM

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Russell Hoyle

Hi kids!

I need some feedback about this mismash one sheet - most of it shamelesly stolen from Ron's handout to his players in his contemporary necromancy Sorcerer game.

It relates to the Katanapunk! ideas voiced in the TROS forum.

Here we go: be gentle eh? i'm hungover...

Its very wooly and needs tightening up - I probably need a little guidance from wiser heads. Questionmarks preceding a section indicate doubt I have about that section's relevance.


A Sorcerer  One-sheet

The Premise
If the only perfect action is one that occurs in slavery to prescribed behavior, is such power worth selling your freedom, love and happiness?

A 'sorcerer' wants  perfection in action. The perfect technique. The perfect movement.
This is achieved by denial of all else in life and in the pursuit of arcane demands and bizairre
regimens. The powers acheived in perfection are tricky and dangerous. They can be subtle or extreme.

The spirits of forefathers and grand masters live on in the patterns that must be repeated to strive ever closer to perfection.

This requires great strength of will and is always at great and ongoing cost.

Humanity is individuality, initiative, imagination, art, creativity, exuberance and love for life and all its nuance and joy.
It is love for man and respect for living things, it is community and being part of the 'group', belonging & contributing.

Gaining Humanity:
Gained by making choices that create joy and life, that help the sorcerer
act as part of a community. It is gained by acts that nourish the community
and society. It is gained by caring for other living things.

Losing Humanity:
Whenever choice leads to privation or self-denial of life's 'little joys'.
Whenever choice leads to personal gain over community.
Whenever acts are taken to isolate and separate from the herd.

Effect of Zero Humanity:
You lose your will to act except to train and follow the tenets of your
You find yourself alone, totally separate from others. A non-human who can
longer function in society.

What are Demons?
Mystic techniques to perfction in action, be it war or dance or painting or
writing or poetry or even the occult powers. The techniques require
precision of action and certain behaviours are found to be preferred for the
exponent of these techniques to maintain their abilities and have them ueful

Character Generation:
What would you want in exchange for freedom, love and happiness?

Sorcery means defying God, rejecting his bounty, pursuing dangerous roads & dedicating one's self to achieve perfection in

A sorcerer has mastered the commanding and binding of demons.
This is an appalling, impossible thing to do - why in the world
are you doing it?

What is Sorcery?
The imposition of the sorcerer's will over himself to wrest power from the
'demons' of mystic action to achieve worldly perfection.
This is done by performing complex daily rituals that can utilise a
technique or hinder an enemy's technique.

All sorcerer characters may perform all of the following rituals:

Call up knowledge of ancestral spirits and masters of the hidden techniques
Strive to discipline one's self to adhere to the demands of a technique

Understand the demands of the technique and recognise how it may be used.
Reject the sacred knowledge, refute the technique's powers in the real
world. Render it powerless in reality.

Restrict the technique to function only in a single space.

Cause a demon pain
All about demons
Without sorcerers, Demons  are almost entirely powerless. In this
game, demons gain their abilities and Power scores through the Binding
process - ?brought into existance by the sorcerer.

Demon Desires and Needs

Demon Types


This seems highly cool to me.

One thought - because Sorcerer combat is so gritty, I think I would adopt a genre convention that there are no 'mooks' - protagonists just get to cut their way through anyone who isn't also a 'Katanapunk', or otherwise designated as martially superior in some way (e.g. a screaming horde, someone with a gun, someone with martial arts training, etc.) without rolling.

On the other hand I suppose you could do the same thing by having everyone master techniques involving Special Damage Lethal and some kind of defensive ability.


Or take a cue from 7th Sea: mooks go down after one good hit. Perhaps each success rolled takes out one mook. Simple solution.

However, query: Rusty, why the bit about God in there? Seems totally out of place with the rest of the items the game appears to be building around. I don't see any good, stable connection between the idea of what sorcerers do and want, and rejection of God. It seems to pollute and dilute the base idea, actually.
Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio

Russell Hoyle

Hey Guys, this is great... feedback!

RE: Mook rules - I like both options but I think I prefer the 7th Sea approach, thanks Greyorm (and thanks 7th Sea - a game I have never looked into). I wonder if the risks of combat are lessened by this approach?

I think I remember someone mentioning the Sorcerer mook rules - just going to have a leaf through the book again (I am constantly finding stuff I have missed despite repeated re-readings!).

RE: God - just sloppy writing - consider that line vapour! (just like a mook - its gone!).
What about:
Quote"Sorcery means defying the natural order, rejecting the wonder of life and ones own capacity for self determination, pursuing dangerous roads & dedicating one's self to achieve perfection in action. "
Is this any better or is it better to just zap out that section alltogether?

What do you think of the premise? It feels a little sloppy to me.

Struggling to settle on Humanity
Humanity = Free Will
Humanity = Community.

Can it be both do you think (is there any merit in this even if it is feasible?)

[Edited to add a replacement sentance about God and a questionmark][/quote]


I think the 'social connectedness' definition works better. Mastery of craft vs. connection to friends and community. This is certainly a poignant, wrenching conflict when it arises in real life - for instance, I gain power in my real life career by going farther and farther into various recondite arguments and analyses, which cuts me off more and more from my wife and friends and the people I care about. I think the way your original proposal represents the Katanapunks they have a similar struggle - they are part of communities and have friends, but their craft demands perfection, and obsession, and others don't understand it, so they get torn apart by the conflict.

Ron Edwards

Hi Rusty,

Check out Tim Denee's Sorcerer ponderings if you haven't already.

I like a lot of what you're talking about, and I think that the dual-Humanity concept from Sex & Sorcery would work perfectly - (a) societal obligation, (b) explosive passion. Sorcery as you've defined it could work against either of these, and they obviously can work against one another in the typical samurai-movie sense.