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Author Topic: [Sorc] How would you implement an Idea demon?  (Read 2792 times)
James_Nostack
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« on: June 01, 2008, 10:07:31 AM »

In this thread we mooted creating a "legend" demon - something manifesting as references, depressing morals, symbolic resonances, and so on.  I'm wondering how to pull this off in Sorcerer: an idea as a demon.  Would this work as a Possessor demon, with some of the various co-habitation theories from Sorcerer's Soul?   In other words, you get exposed to the demonic idea, and it works its way into your head, twisting your own agenda to its needs?  And then slap some Spawn or Hop ability on it to inspire others?

This looks like it could work, but feels like a kludge to me.  Any other possibilities, like perhaps an Inconspicuous demon?

Ron, what's the theory behind demon Types?  Are these classifications meant as a quickie "what the hell is this thing, physically" tool for orientation, or do they serve some important thematic function?  If I wanted to create a new Type (not that I feel it's necessary, or that I would do so in this instance), what are the relevant considerations?
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JamesP
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« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2008, 01:47:05 PM »

 In other words, you get exposed to the demonic idea, and it works its way into your head, twisting your own agenda to its needs?  And then slap some Spawn or Hop ability on it to inspire others?

This looks like it could work, but feels like a kludge to me.  Any other possibilities, like perhaps an Inconspicuous demon?

Oh, like a demonic meme!
Spawn sounds like a good power for it to have.  You could do it as a possessor, but how about an inconspicuous?  Perhaps each mini-demon chooses one person that can see it, and then follows them around trying to persuade them/ form a sorcerous contract.  (like the version of Lore 1 which can suggest that you don't know much more than the fact you've suddenly got a demon).

Other possible powers could be taint (if the idea necessarily is towards the inhuman end of things)
Perception, conferred on another, to show the kinds of things that the demon sees...  (I'm playing loose with the perception power there).
Hint is a little too obvious for my liking - and can only be used so many times.  But could also be an asset.

Finally, I could see 'Boost Lore' for demonic ideas, or 'Daze' as well.

In terms of Desire, I think Corruption or Power could be nice options.  For a Need, I might suggest 'convert others to my way of thinking.'  You might end up with the sorcerous equivalents of Jehovah's Witnesses mind...
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2008, 01:10:03 PM »

I apologize for the delay, James. I'll get to it soon.

Best, Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2008, 08:48:26 AM »

Hi James,
In general, you're getting distracted by special effects which really present no particular difficulty in play, using the rules.
Remember: a demon has a default mechanics presence in play which can always be relied upon. That presence moves like a human, can be perceived like a human (not "as," like), can hit like a human, can be hit like a human, can be communicated with, and so on. All of that applies no matter what else is described, and whatever narrational effects are necessary to make it consistent with the thing being (say) a lucky rock, well, that just means they are necessary.

Quote
Ron, what's the theory behind demon Types? Are these classifications meant as a quickie "what the hell is this thing, physically" tool for orientation, or do they serve some important thematic function? If I wanted to create a new Type (not that I feel it's necessary, or that I would do so in this instance), what are the relevant considerations?
Check out [Sorcerer] Demon types make no sense to me for a start, especially Ben's (Bailywolf) post. (Searching for that thread was a bitch, by the way. That's what's taken me so long to reply aside from massive other obligations lately.)

I can add a little bit to those points here, by talking about issues of intimacy and responsibility.

On the scale of intimacy, it goes like this: Possessor (maximum), Parasite, Inconspicuous, Object, Passer (minimum)

The responsibility scale is more subtle, with Passers and Possessors both on the apparently-minimum end, in different ways, and Objects and Parasites being on the maximum end, in different ways. Inconspicuous, as with the intimacy scale, is a bit of a whatever-else-however-else category in the middle.

I say apparently-minimum, of course, because responsibility is always maximal in Sorcerer, and any claims that "my demon did it! it was him, not me!!" are self-deluding.

All of this is relevant to your basic inquiry, because you are positing a demon with jacked-up intimacy. That's not a problem. It could be designed as a Possessor, a Parasite, Inconspicuous, or (get this) even an Object! It all depends on the rules issues that you think will serve that demon concept best in play.

Possessor: abilities must confer to itself; needs a host; presence endangers host; controls bodily volition unless host makes a conflict out of it

Parasite: abilities must confer to host (except Boost); needs a host; presence does not endanger host; host controls bodily volition unless Parasite makes a conflict out of it

Inconspicuous: abilities may confer either to host or to itself in any individual case; does not need a host; controls only its own volition

Object: abilities may confer either to host or to itself, per ability; does not need a host; is typically moved about by user, but can do so on its own (a bit; more with relevant abilities)

What I'm saying is that it's very easy.

Best, Ron
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James_Nostack
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Posts: 726


« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2008, 10:02:45 AM »

Hi Ron, thanks for that!  I appreciate your time and effort.  I think I asked my initial question clumsily: it looks more like a "what abilities should this sucker have" type of question, when what I was really asking is: "I want to do a demon that exists solely as a thematic presence, a sort of ubiquitous Aura of Bummerhood, like the atmosphere in "House of Usher."  I know that all demons are nothing more than thematic energy, but by the rules they're thematic energy you can punch in the face.  What's the least jarring way to implement that in-fiction?" 

[quote[All of that applies no matter what else is described, and whatever narrational effects are necessary to make it consistent with the thing being (say) a lucky rock, well, that just means they are necessary.[/quote]

This is helpful because it reminds me the demon's stats don't really measure anything, and punching a demon in the face really just means giving it some penalties to its next actions - and this can be narrated in a bunch of different ways.  (For a truly immaterial demon, like a memory, this is probably the Sorcerer doing something related to Will vs. Will, rather than Stamina vs. Stamina.)

I think the immediate consequence for the Mu game is that we might have to nix the really interesting Lich-as-legend idea, simply because it wouldn't be much fun for the player to always have to invent rationales for the mechanical effects.

I'll chew on the Bailypost thread for a bit.  But thanks again.
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