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Author Topic: Re: Dogs becoming sorcerers?  (Read 3800 times)
Nathaniel
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Posts: 40


« on: January 09, 2008, 08:06:17 AM »

It also depends on how you are all defining things in play.  Demons and Sorcerers can be just human weakness and jerks, or they can be real supernatural things.  Or it can be undefined.

Do demons even exist?  Is the Faith true?  What is human morality?  Is there a spiritual dimension?  These are things that get explored and defined in play rather than by the GM in setting.  If he's got the right dice, there's nothing stopping a player from going back to the Four Brides and making himself the Chief Prophet and Ancient and redefining the doctrine of the Faith as he sees fit.  If that's what the stakes are and you've got the dice to back it up, that's that.  I would expect though, that there's lots of Ancients with high dice related to religious leadership that would make such an event very difficult.

Players might be playing as if the cosmology of the setting is objectively true, or objectively not true (the view Vincent expressed in his interview with Theory From the Closet #25 re: the remarks about the GM as atheist) but it's not either per se.  But it can be either.  If it is either, the King of Life does not play dice with the universe.  The King of Life isn't going to punish a Dog outside of the regular rules for conflicts.  A group could have a game where the the King of Life is personally punishing a disobedient dog, but it's going to be done through the dice available through the NPCs and the Towns.  There aren't any rules for the King of Life to have a bunch of dice as an NPC.  The game is not about that.  If the game is being played with the Faith being true and the King of Life being objectively real, He is going to act through the regular rules about what's at stake and what fallout occurs as the Dogs interact with the Town.

So yeah, Dogs can be sorcerers.  I also think Eero is right, many RPG players love perversity and drive the game (or at least their character) in that direction regardless of the game.

I don't think I drove things off topic, but I apologize if I do.  What exactly demons and sorcerers are and the objective reality of the Faith are things to consider if a Dog is to become a Sorcerer with a relationship with a Demon.
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zornwil
Member

Posts: 86


« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2008, 08:34:07 AM »

I don't think it's off-topic, thanks. 

I am interested to see nobody reporting actual experiences in doing this - so I kind of wonder if this is something people talk about but don't do (generally speaking of course)?  Anyway, I'd like to hear about how things went for anyone who did play in games where Dogs availed themselves of demonic powers/sorcery.
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Filip Luszczyk
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Posts: 771

roll-player


« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2008, 02:23:28 PM »

I'll go all rules lawyery, just to make sure about some stuff.

What the book says about Relationship with a Demon:

The character who has a Relationship with a Demon can ask it for help and roll Demonic Influence for his or her side.
This makes him or her a Sorcerer.

What the book says about NPC Sorcerers:

A believer in false doctrine who developed a following is a Sorcerer.
You give him a Relationship with Demon at four dice, as a "bonus" Relationship.
He or she can add Demonic Influence to a chosen side of a conflict.
He or she can become possessed at will, gaining the funky powers.
He or she can invite demons to possess her followers.

Clarity check:

1. There's a slight ambiguity as far as PC Sorcerers go. Does the PC need to believe in a false doctrine and have a following to be one? Or is it possible to be a Sorcerer by the sheer non-virtue of having a Relationship with a Demon, and both the doctrine and the followers requirements are just standard qualities of NPC Sorcerers in the game?

2. Does the PC need to have Relationship with a Demon at four dice in order to function as a Sorcerer? Or are these four dice just the standard quality of NPC Sorcerers in the game (i.e. it's just that their freebie Relationship gets four dice), and having the Relationship at all is enough for the PC?

3. Is it legit to add Demonic Influence to any side of a conflict (like NPC rules say) or only to one's own side (as the rules for using Relationships suggest)?

4. Can PC Sorcerer become possessed at will (as per the rules for NPC Sorcerers), or is he or she limited to adding Demonic Influence (as per Relationships entry)?

5. Can PC become possessed and gain funky powers if he happens to have Relationship with a Demon at less than four dice?

6. Can PC Sorcerer make other people possessed, or is this ability limited to NPC Sorcerers?

7. How making other characters possessed works? Is it possible to just "say yes" and establish the Relationship with a Demon for another character, creating the dice from thin air? Does it require devoting one of Proto-NPC's Relationships as per the rules for possessed people? If so, if there's no free Relationship available, does it require an investment of Free Dice from the GM's pool? If so, can the Sorcerer make another character possessed if the GM has already spent all his Free Dice? Or, maybe a conflict is required, and whoever controls the character to be possessed needs to take the Relationship willingly as Fallout? (Hmm, and a loose thought: what if the player of a PC Sorcerer could spend his available Relationship dice to give NPCs Relationship with a Demon?)

(No, I have no other questions to wrap my bricks in. Sorry for the windows.)

I could use clarifications on these matters.
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zornwil
Member

Posts: 86


« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2008, 06:55:16 PM »

My opinions/interpretations:

1. Does the PC need to believe in a false doctrine and have a following to be one?
          I think that's entirely up to the player and how he plays the PC, consistent with how a Dog is always played - a Dog can believe any doctrine and believe it's real, he talks to the Lord.  The character's soul is in the player's hands.

Or is it possible to be a Sorcerer by the sheer non-virtue of having a Relationship with a Demon, and both the doctrine and the followers requirements are just standard qualities of NPC Sorcerers in the game?
          Note the book calls the PC a sorcerer de facto for calling on the demons.   I think that's your answer.

2. Does the PC need to have Relationship with a Demon at four dice in order to function as a Sorcerer?
           I don't see any such reference.  You don' thave to have 4 dice to be a sorcerer even for NPCs.

 Or are these four dice just the standard quality of NPC Sorcerers in the game (i.e. it's just that their freebie Relationship gets four dice), and having the Relationship at all is enough for the PC?
            You saw my answer earlier in the thread, I'm not aware of any 4 dice requirement in the book.

3. Is it legit to add Demonic Influence to any side of a conflict (like NPC rules say) or only to one's own side (as the rules for using Relationships suggest)?
             Not sure I follow you - Demonic Influence is on the side of, well, demonic influence.  I mean that you roll Demonic Influence under specific circumstances in the rules, only.  Other than that, a Relationship is a Relationship.

4. Can PC Sorcerer become possessed at will (as per the rules for NPC Sorcerers), or is he or she limited to adding Demonic Influence (as per Relationships entry)?
              Good question.  I would think so - that would also be incentive to indulge further in the Relationship (to get more Powers).  Come to the dark side.....

5. Can PC become possessed and gain funky powers if he happens to have Relationship with a Demon at less than four dice?
              I don't see why not.  Note the provisions of Powers are that a Possessed simply has as many Powers as Relationship dice to the demon.

6. Can PC Sorcerer make other people possessed, or is this ability limited to NPC Sorcerers?
              I would think this would require just the target saying "yes" or if not then a Conflict to say "I possess this guy."

7. How making other characters possessed works? Is it possible to just "say yes" and establish the Relationship with a Demon for another character, creating the dice from thin air? Does it require devoting one of Proto-NPC's Relationships as per the rules for possessed people? If so, if there's no free Relationship available, does it require an investment of Free Dice from the GM's pool? If so, can the Sorcerer make another character possessed if the GM has already spent all his Free Dice? Or, maybe a conflict is required, and whoever controls the character to be possessed needs to take the Relationship willingly as Fallout? (Hmm, and a loose thought: what if the player of a PC Sorcerer could spend his available Relationship dice to give NPCs Relationship with a Demon?)
                         I'd probably stay simplistic as my above answer and say any nuance issues are up to the playgroup's sense of fairness.
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- Wilson
Filip Luszczyk
Member

Posts: 771

roll-player


« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2008, 01:08:19 PM »

Wilson, your interpretations are interesting.

However, I'm still waiting for official clarifications.

I generally prefer to know which of the nuance issues the group is supposed to work out, and which should be dealt with in a specific way that the text is not absolutely clear about (whether I play by the book once I'm sure is an entirely different matter, of course). Basically, Ben's explanation about 4 dice requirement sparked my doubts - I'm conscious Ben knows the game well, but I've never seen this thing mentioned anywhere before. So, I'd like to know what Vincent has to say about this.

As for Demonic Influence question, the text that explains NPC Sorcerers suggests an option of rolling Demonic Influence dice and giving them to someone else ("your preferred side"). Which one could want to do in some rare, very specific cases.
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Ben Lehman
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« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2008, 01:28:50 PM »

I may well be wrong about the 4 dice thing.

yrs--
--Ben
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jburneko
Member

Posts: 1429


« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2008, 02:47:52 PM »

I am interested to see nobody reporting actual experiences in doing this - so I kind of wonder if this is something people talk about but don't do (generally speaking of course)?  Anyway, I'd like to hear about how things went for anyone who did play in games where Dogs availed themselves of demonic powers/sorcery.

I've done it twice.  I really like the option and enjoy combining it with traits like: "I sin so you don't have to." and "I question my goodness."

I've never played it as believing in any kind of false doctrin.  I just have a relationship with a demon and I know how to call on that relationship for supernatural favors.  I've used it to mark people with weird symbols, set someone on fire, see visions of remote locations, "fight fire with fire" situations where I've used my demon to combat the demons in the town.

Yeah, I love this option.  The Dog I play when I use it is usually a convert from Back East who started out studying demonology and came out west to place he heard "real miracles" were performed.  He then uses his expertise in demonology to fight for the faith.

Jesse
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devonapple
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« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2008, 03:34:38 PM »

usually a convert from Back East who started out studying demonology and came out west to place he heard "real miracles" were performed.  He then uses his expertise in demonology to fight for the faith.

Renaissance fiction contains several examples of Christian religious types using Demonology to power White Magic, binding eveil creatures to do things in the name of Good.  Robert Greene's "Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay" is one such text.
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zornwil
Member

Posts: 86


« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2008, 04:00:15 PM »

I am interested to see nobody reporting actual experiences in doing this - so I kind of wonder if this is something people talk about but don't do (generally speaking of course)?  Anyway, I'd like to hear about how things went for anyone who did play in games where Dogs availed themselves of demonic powers/sorcery.

I've done it twice.  I really like the option and enjoy combining it with traits like: "I sin so you don't have to." and "I question my goodness."

I've never played it as believing in any kind of false doctrin.  I just have a relationship with a demon and I know how to call on that relationship for supernatural favors.  I've used it to mark people with weird symbols, set someone on fire, see visions of remote locations, "fight fire with fire" situations where I've used my demon to combat the demons in the town.

Yeah, I love this option.  The Dog I play when I use it is usually a convert from Back East who started out studying demonology and came out west to place he heard "real miracles" were performed.  He then uses his expertise in demonology to fight for the faith.

Jesse

Thanks!
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- Wilson
lumpley
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« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2008, 07:57:47 AM »

I'll answer this when I have my book at hand. Hang in there, Philip!

-Vincent
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Filip Luszczyk
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Posts: 771

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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2008, 01:22:37 PM »

Hmm, still hanging... ;)
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lumpley
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« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2008, 01:34:12 PM »

Thanks for reminding me.

Um, keep hanging. I'll see if I can answer you tomorrow, but if I can't, it'll be next week. Do remind me again if it gets to be Wednesday and I'm still slacking off.

-Vincent
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lumpley
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2008, 01:19:58 PM »

Well, I can't seem to manage to have both the book and the internet at the same time, so I'll go from memory and your summation, Filip. I hope someone with the book confirms this, not that someone with the book contradicts this and makes me stupid.

1. There's a slight ambiguity as far as PC Sorcerers go. Does the PC need to believe in a false doctrine and have a following to be one? Or is it possible to be a Sorcerer by the sheer non-virtue of having a Relationship with a Demon, and both the doctrine and the followers requirements are just standard qualities of NPC Sorcerers in the game?

During play, a PC Dog having a relationship with a demon and asking it for help constitutes corrupt priesthood, which makes the character a sorcerer.

During town creation, an NPC leading at least two followers in a false doctrine constitutes corrupt priesthood, which makes the character a sorcerer.

Those are the rules to follow. There's some interesting theology underlying them, stuff about how a priest, corrupted, is the same as a corrupt priest, but that's awfully particular. Run your game by the rules, not by the theology.

Quote
2. Does the PC need to have Relationship with a Demon at four dice in order to function as a Sorcerer? Or are these four dice just the standard quality of NPC Sorcerers in the game (i.e. it's just that their freebie Relationship gets four dice), and having the Relationship at all is enough for the PC?

That's instructions for you to follow, as GM. So yes, it's what you do for NPC sorcerers. But it's not a statement about the gameworld, it's not "all sorcerers have 4-die relationships with demons."

That's a pretty stickly answer. Oh well.

Quote
3. Is it legit to add Demonic Influence to any side of a conflict (like NPC rules say) or only to one's own side (as the rules for using Relationships suggest)?

"Your side" just means "your preferred side," so, legit.

Quote
4. Can PC Sorcerer become possessed at will (as per the rules for NPC Sorcerers), or is he or she limited to adding Demonic Influence (as per Relationships entry)?

A PC sorcerer can become possessed at will.

Quote
5. Can PC become possessed and gain funky powers if he happens to have Relationship with a Demon at less than four dice?

You mean a non-sorcerer? No, a non-sorcerer cannot become possessed at will. However, as above, you don't need a 4-die relationship to be a sorcerer.

Quote
Can PC Sorcerer make other people possessed, or is this ability limited to NPC Sorcerers?

Roll dice or say yes.

Quote
7. How making other characters possessed works? Is it possible to just "say yes" and establish the Relationship with a Demon for another character, creating the dice from thin air? Does it require devoting one of Proto-NPC's Relationships as per the rules for possessed people? If so, if there's no free Relationship available, does it require an investment of Free Dice from the GM's pool? If so, can the Sorcerer make another character possessed if the GM has already spent all his Free Dice? Or, maybe a conflict is required, and whoever controls the character to be possessed needs to take the Relationship willingly as Fallout? (Hmm, and a loose thought: what if the player of a PC Sorcerer could spend his available Relationship dice to give NPCs Relationship with a Demon?)

Follow your gut, case by case.

Followup questions welcome, as always.

-Vincent
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Filip Luszczyk
Member

Posts: 771

roll-player


« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2008, 04:50:36 PM »

Heh, I was just about to PM you with a reminder. No follow up questions for now, thanks for the clarifications!

I was mainly confused by the 4 dice thingy, and during our last game it actually created a problem (i.e. we've been considering whether taking a Relationship with Demon at less than 4 dice would be a viable option for the player should she wanted to roll more big dice and stay in the conflict).

So, as for my AP experience with PC Sorcerers, it doesn't come from canonical DitV, but in our current ninja bunnies game one of the players took the equivalent of a Relationship with Demon and, as above, it became a regularly considered option now. The player in question plays somewhat rarely, and being fascinated by DitV mechanics he seems to experiment with rules usage a lot, which sometimes dictates his character's behavior. However, as of now, each time he called on Demonic Influence, his Raises involved slaughtering some more or less innocent NPCs. He actually seems to actively try to spread the sorrow, and since he's doing it with a total disregard for his character's life, but still manages to survive by sheer luck, he has to live with some pretty interesting emo Fallout now. Also, his bunny's corruption fueled one of the most powerful first aid conflicts I've seen so far, with Rises like the dark power speaking through the character's mouth, saying stuff along the lines of "If you save him now, he's going to continue killing people and it will all be your fault!" If it follows like that, It's highly probable that sooner or later the group will join the dark side or decide to stop his character in a permanent, if a bit painful, manner.
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David Artman
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« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2008, 09:33:47 AM »

So, to recap:
1) A PC Relationship with a demon gives dice if and only if that Relationship is at stake or he is in conflict with that demon (whether or not the PC is possessed during such conflicts is moot).

2) A PC with a Relationship with a demon may become possessed by that demon at will, receiving one funky power for each die and manifesting in some manner that's obvious to others (i.e. other Dogs would immediately think, "He's demon-possessed;" but maybe some NPCs wouldn't).

3) A PC that's demon-possessed will also get a d10 for each die in the demon Relationship, regardless of the die type in that relationship (e.g. a 2d4 Rel with a demon generates 2d10 when possessed).

4) Becoming possessed does not grant the PC the Relationship dice for the demon, only Situation 1 above does so.

5a) A PC may or may not believe that the demon is a demon (i.e. a Dog can be delusional about who's at the other end of the Relationship).

5b) (Add-on follow-up) There are no "angels" in The Faith; or, if there are (due to RAW or group declaration during play) they convey no mechanical benefits solely by virtue of being angels (like demons do with Powers), though they could be a Relationship or even Trait for a Dog.

Are all of those above correct? This matters critically in our current game, which meets again next Wednesday--probably last vanilla session, so I suspect one of our player's character is about to Hulk Out. Then, I think we're going for Banthas....
Thanks, as always, Vincent!
David
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