[SotC / Sorcerer] A funny thing happened on the way to pulp...

Started by Roger, March 15, 2008, 06:10:56 PM

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So here's the situation:  I'm sitting around waiting for 4e to drop like an atom-bomb, and I think, hey, I should run a game for my friends instead of neurotically pulling my hair out.  A Spirit of the Century game.  But not in the 1930s.  No -- this will be Spirit of Conan.

So I got some online friends interested and they dove into character generation.

Note 1:  Yes, this is about character generation.  Yes, that might only marginally count as 'Actual Play'.  In my defense, the group nature of character generation in SotC leads me to consider it as part of the Actual Play of the game.

Note 2:  Yes, that was about the extent of the rules customization and the setting definition.  Which is to say, enough to half-fill a thimble.  These folks all are well-experienced (well-indoctrinated?) in RPGs, though, so I trusted we could quickly all arrive on the same page.

So.  Off they go and they come back to me as one with their character concepts.  We have:

* a noble (or ex-noble) guy who finds himself in possession of a Demon-infused sword;

* a Tarzan-like character who is questing to purge the world from all Demons in animal-forms;

* a guy who tried to summon a Demon to make it rain on his drought-stricken village but got a hurricane instead;

* another guy raised by a Snake Cult who has interrupted 2 or 3 Demon-summoning rituals to date;

* a woman who was about to be sacrificed to a Demon but it didn't quite take and now she's got half a demon inside her

* The Last of the <X> Tribe, a guy cursed with immortality

* a kid who was raised in the gutters and is trying to make it big

(Yeah, there's a lot of them.)  What struck me was how much many of the characters looked like they had just fallen out of Sorcerer & Sword.  At least one of the players was at least passingly familiar with it, but I think the rest independently arrived.

So that's been sort of interesting so far.  I also get the sense that they really appreciate that Demons are these alien, horrid things, and not just flimsy excuses for super-powers.  So that's fun.

For myself, I've been re-reading my Conan, with one eye now on Sorcerer and Narrativism and all that sort of good stuff, and I've noticed at least one thing:  Conan stories might start off with a Kicker, but it gets resolved right quick.  A common formula seems to be:

1.  Conan is fleeing from (the city guard / the hostile army / something else lethal.)
2.  Conan escapes by (jumping on a boat / running across the desert / entering the swamp / going somewhere terrible.)
3.  Now that the first three paragraphs of the story are finished, Conan encounters the actual plot.

Which is fine, especially for SotC, but it's still interesting.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing how this continues to play out.



Hey Roger,

A note on the stuff about Conan and Kickers.  WAY back in the day there was some discussion where the conclusion was basically that Kickers are not necessarily the very beginning of the fiction.  In movie terms it came down to that the Kicker for the main character usually comes about 30 minutes in.

So in Queen of the Black Coast, Conan's Kicker is not (necessarily, as mapping fiction to game is generally a bad idea) "Fleeing the City Guards", it's "I've just been captured by the famous pirate queen."


Christopher Kubasik

I'm in the beginning stages of getting prepping a Sorcerer game, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to do a "lead up" through play of the sorcerer's Kickers.

Just a little bit to give the PCs more context and see them in their daily routine before the Kicker kicks in.

This an approach that's different than what's in the books.  It has been discussed on the boards here, and I think it's a good idea.

"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield