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Independent Game Forums => Adept Press => Topic started by: Christopher Kubasik on January 29, 2009, 01:35:29 PM

Title: Rituals -- Momentous Game Actions
Post by: Christopher Kubasik on January 29, 2009, 01:35:29 PM
Hi Ron,

On page 93 of Sorcerer you write:

"Contacting and Summoning are momentous game actions.  They may require more thought and preparation, especially for first time Sorcerer players and GMs, than quick and effective play time permits.  You might want to conduct these actions between runs, so that other players don't have to sit around and wait, and the GM has time to consider all the implications carefully."

Now, all the rituals I've run so far have felt momentous in the context of the story -- but they didn't take a lot of extra work, nor did my players and I really get ready for them.  The momentous quality was purely within the context of where the PC was in his life at that moment -- the color, the crisis, the decision.

I was wondering if you could discuss this idea a little more, perhaps providing some examples of the kind of care and results you're talking about.


Title: Re: Rituals -- Momentous Game Actions
Post by: Ron Edwards on January 29, 2009, 08:14:37 PM
Hi Christopher,

I wasn't confident enough in game-play yet, or experienced enough despite five years of playtesting, to understand that an activity carried out by a single character would be reliably fun for everyone involved in play.

You can see the uncertainty about it, though, in the directive verbs. I sort of grasped that every time we'd done it, it had been fun, but couldn't quite believe that whatever made that work would be transitive to others. That shows up with the qualifiers: "may" and "might." I was thinking, gee, this advice is probably right for some conceivable reader, but given what I've experienced, I can't stand by it as a hard and fast instruction.

Today, I'm happy with that prose being present in the book, because my commentary on it is, to remember that "may" and "might" always carry their silent "nots," and to add that if you decide to go with the "not," then it turns out to be consistently more fun than I would have expected back then.

I'm not willing to disavow the prose and say, "Hey, always do it together," either, because the option to spread out play over several nuanced sessions, perhaps one or another with limited participants, doesn't strike me as a terrible thing.

Best, Ron

Title: Re: Rituals -- Momentous Game Actions
Post by: James_Nostack on February 01, 2009, 03:45:12 PM
Actually, we did the Contact-Summoning-Binding business as a very drawn-out process, with the thoughtfulness and description and planning occurring between sessions.  This allowed the player, who was new to the game, a chance to figure out what he really wanted and generate some great descriptive color, and allowed me to run through the rules a few times and make sure I got it.

When we finally did the rituals, it ended up taking up most of a session, and generated a lot of cool material.

This isn't to say it couldn't have worked as a hasty, ad-hoc business, but allowing the player to reflect on what he was doing was pretty helpful.  The player needed the time to review all the mechanics, and then, by deciding to go after every conceivable bonus dice, ended up putting himself in a pretty risky situation, and it was a really cool scene.

Title: Re: Rituals -- Momentous Game Actions
Post by: Christopher Kubasik on February 01, 2009, 11:49:53 PM
Hi James,


Could you lay out some of what the ritual/color was like and what took up the time at the game session?

It'd be really great to hear about this? 

And from anyone else on this matter.