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Author Topic: Kubasik's "Play Sorcerer" project  (Read 7398 times)
animadversio
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« on: January 15, 2009, 07:18:15 AM »

Just curious as to what progress has been made on Christopher Kubasik's "Play Sorcerer" book project (original thread here).  There hasn't been any update posted on the PlaySorcerer Wordpress blog, and I'm kinda wondering about the status of my fundable.org investment in the book. 

Anyone know or hear anything about it?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2009, 09:28:36 AM »

I know that Christopher is working hard on it and that there's been no delay or cessation. His plans for its publication are on schedule.

I can't speak for him, but I can provide my views on his possible circumstances.

One thing I've observed over the years is that design journals (blogs, whatever format) tend to reach their peak activity in the early stages of a project, and then one of two things happens. They continue their activity pretty strongly, and the project dies and disappears. Or, the design journal tapers off as the writer buckles down to the work of getting it done.

In other words, after a certain point, the act of publicizing and chatting about a creative project destroys its chances of actually happening, simply on the basis of time and mental energy. I have often suggested that the authors of games and game-related stuff utilized on-line methods of promotion, but also to beware of energy-draining, distracting socializing about the project, especially on-line.

In yet other words, you contributed money to see Christopher's book appear later this year, not to receive chatty updates on his latest notions every week. That's how I see it, anyway.

Best, Ron
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animadversio
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« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2009, 09:51:05 AM »

Gotcha, and thanks.  In response to your analysis, I hear you and see exactly where you're coming from, but I'd also add that if I were working on a project for which I solicited funding from an interested patron (or a bunch of interested patrons, in this case), I'd probably do 'em the basic courtesy of letting them know periodically that progress (whether substantial or incremental) was being made.  Even if it's just a quick "hey, I'm on track with this, no specific details to communicate yet, check back with you later!" note, which was what he ostensibly set the blog up for, as I recall. 

With that said... cool and I'm glad (based on your reports) that everything's proceeding in peachy keen fashion.
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Christopher Kubasik
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2009, 11:13:30 AM »

Good points... I've been really meaning to update.  But, a Ron suggested, I've been writing instead.

I'll go do that right now.
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"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield
Christopher Kubasik
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« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2009, 11:35:10 AM »

Since folks might bump into this thread first, here's what I just posted.

Hello All!

Play Sorcerer is a labor of love that I love — but that also causes great stress.

I love Sorcerer, and want this book to do it justice. So while I’ve written dozens upon dozens of manuscript pages, I’ve torn up most of them as I continue working on the project.

The biggest concern is simply this: How to communicate clearly the procedures of Sorcerer?

All of the pieces of the game are interrelated — to a degree I don’t think I’ve ever seen in another RPG. In many RPGs, you have the magic system, and then you have the combat system, and then you have the point buy system.

But in Sorcerer, as a quick example, the conflict system is tied directly to the core premise of the game: How far will you go to get what you want?

Here’s what I mean by that: In every conflict you have to first choose if there’s going to be a conflict. Sorcerer never presumes that two characters are going to stand there and boff each other every turn. Even if the GM unleashes a big monster on a PC, the PC can still take off down the street. Fleeing — and fleeing successfully is always an option and a possibility!

And why might a PC flee? Because he’s a coward? No. (Though that might be the case.) The more common option might be that the Player decides in this case “This fight isn’t worth it.” In other words, he’s not going to go so far to fight this beastie to get into his enemy’s mansion.

And then, during a conflict, the game offers up one choice again and again as the dice hit the table and the circumstances shift — sometime wildly. The Players need to ask for their characters, “How far am I willing to go to get what I want?” Because it’s one thing to grab that idol off the pedestal when your guy gets to go first. But when an NPC firing an Uzi at you has initiative over you, the question becomes, “Do I go on full defense and reduce the odds of getting torn up by bullets? Or do I drive through with my actions with increased odds of getting torn up?”

Of course, the conflict system connects into other matters as well… How Sorcerer builds off the initial color established by the Players, and how the conflict system does the same thing in miniature, as color details that being the fight are the “stuff” that become the “Yes, and…” and “Yes, but…” material of the conflict. It also ties into Kickers, as the GM makes sure to hit the issues and the Kickers the Players laid out on the Character Sheets whenever possible in a fight — because that’s when the dice rolls will really click!

The problem I’ve worked on, even as I’ve continued to write pages, is how to ORGANIZE the material. I want a book that is a good read, but that also serves as a good reference. I’m actually studying Mouse Guard right now, as I think Luke Crane is the best game writer around. No one makes playing an RPG as clear as Luke.

I’ll update when I can, but I promise you most updates won’t amount to more than, “Still Writing!”

However, my plan for the spring was to start adding more info about sample Sorcerer games to this site. I don’t want blogging about Sorcerer to take the place of writing my book about Sorcerer. But I understand folks are curious. I’ll do what I can!

I can only say that I’m very excited about the project and have a clear vision of holding it in my hand and selling it to happy customers.

Christopher
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"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield
animadversio
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2009, 08:06:35 AM »

Awesome. Thank you.  Sorry to be a pain ... I am both very excited by this project, and was hoping that it did not vanish into the aether (and yeah, I was wondering if I'd wasted my money).

You've allayed all of that AND re-stoked my enthusiasm. Thank you again.
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Christopher Kubasik
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« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2009, 01:47:58 PM »

Hi,

Let me promise: The project will never vanish into the aether.  It might vanish from sight for periods of time -- but I really will try to do my best to avoid that.
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"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield
Finarvyn
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« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2009, 06:15:45 PM »

I'm another person who is really excited by this project. Keep up the good work and expect to get occasional prodding from those of us who are impatient. :-)
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Marv (Finarvyn)
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Nev the Deranged
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Dave. Yeah, that Dave.


« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2009, 06:23:28 PM »

This is the first I've heard of this, but consider me morally supportive even if I missed the chance to chip in monetarily. My Sorcerer books have been sitting on my shelf for a hella long time now... it'd be nice to take them down and use them some day, but honestly, I don't see it ever happening without a resource like the one you suggest. My poor brain is just too tied up in old-school habits... even after collating the quick-reference, I'm still at a loss WRT to actually making the game work.

So, yeah. You go, boy! ^_^
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Finarvyn
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2009, 11:42:49 AM »

My poor brain is just too tied up in old-school habits... even after collating the quick-reference, I'm still at a loss WRT to actually making the game work.
Honestly, I'm the same way. I dust off Sorcerer every few months and thumb through it, and I lurk and post here occasionally, but really I have this feeling that I'm some sort of "Ah ha" moment away from really getting this game to click in my brain.

Of course, once it does click then somehow I have to educate my players.

I sometimes wish that I didn't have so many years experience playing "traditional" RPGs, because I'm sure that those preconcieved notions are messing with my Sorcerer undrstanding.

I'll buy a copy of Play Sorcerer as soon as it gets written!
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Marv (Finarvyn)
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Christopher Kubasik
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2009, 11:55:20 AM »

Working on it.
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"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield
Valamir
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2009, 10:56:11 AM »

Quote
I sometimes wish that I didn't have so many years experience playing "traditional" RPGs, because I'm sure that those preconcieved notions are messing with my Sorcerer undrstanding.

Hmmm, Ron didn't you write an essay about this issue a while back...I can't quite remember because it didn't generate much comment and largely went unnoticed...something about traditional habits causing some kind of damage...

/duck
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SaintandSinner
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« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2009, 04:10:10 AM »

Is this expected to be available for gencon 09?
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #13 on: April 14, 2009, 06:35:20 AM »

Yes.
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Finarvyn
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2009, 08:44:37 PM »

All the more reason for me to go to GenCon '09!!
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Marv (Finarvyn)
Sorcerer * Dresden Files RPG * Amber Diceless
Forge Member since 2004
OD&D Player since 1975
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