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Author Topic: Dealing with Possessors and Sorcerers  (Read 1654 times)
greyorm
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« on: April 30, 2009, 03:43:37 AM »

Prepping for my next session on Tuesday, I had an idea that I'm not entirely sure I should run with. One of the features of possessors is that they take over the host and either destroy their consciousness entirely or leave it intact and barely hanging on.

What happens, then, if the sorcerers walk into a contain set up to hold an un-hosted possessor and the possessor tries to take over one of the sorcerers? I don't want to simply destroy a character outright if that situation arises. I ask this because the combat rules deal with the possibility of character death nicely -- making it a function of the thematics of the scene and story -- but this seems to skip the issue and leave the sorcerer outright dead if they are possessed and the rolled successes are more than their Humanity. It's very binary.

Are there any solutions to this in terms of sorcerers dealing with being possessed (for example: some kind of non-physical combat I might implement)? Or am I missing something that the players can use to mitigate the issue?
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2009, 05:54:24 AM »

Hi Raven,

You might brush up on Chapter 2 in The Sorcerer's Soul. It's dedicated to taking that simplistic situation from the core book (which is adequate but as you say, close to binary) and making it far more nuanced and interesting. I'm not sure what to post here except what's actually already in the chapter.

Best, Ron
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greyorm
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2009, 09:23:17 AM »

Yep, I'd read that this morning before I posted, but it wasn't clicking for me, as my main concern is the "Boom, you're dead!" result that comes with rolling victories greater than host's Humanity rather than "what can you do after you're possessed?" So I've gone back and read it again.

If I'm understanding you correctly, you're suggesting I could interpret the possessors rule so that "your consciousness is destroyed" equates to "no control while the demon is in charge", whereas "flickering bit of consciousness" is more akin to "you can wrestle with the demon over some things".
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2009, 09:49:17 AM »

Yeah. That whole section in the supplement is basically giving the player something to do with "just barely hanging on."

I agree that "your consciousness is destroyed" does not immediately translate to "no control when the demon is in charge." I mean, destroyed is destroyed. You pretty much have to abandon the seriousness of that phrasing to get where you want to go.

The options are:

1. Go by the core book. Possession is not only really raw and dangerous but also kind of un-fun for player-characters even if you don't get killed. Always un-fun? Bad design? Not necessarily. There are imaginable approaches to Sorcerer, perfectly good ones, in which possession is a flat negative thing, pretty much the same that if you get possessed, you might as well take a shotgun blast. You might survive (might!), but there's nothing good about it. That's the view I took as the default Sorcerer approach when writing. It does in fact work, but as the first years of the game went by, it became clear that actual play gave lots of scope for more nuance and possibility.

2. Go by the core book but include the supplement stuff. The death-by-takeover is still there as a scary not-fun thing that can happen. But if the demon doesn't get that many victories, then it could be lots of fun with all those nuances.

3. Replace the core book option as you described. And that's not a "generous interpretation," that's a flat-out "ignore this (for me) un-fun rule." I'll cop to that.

Best, Ron
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greyorm
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My name is Raven.


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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2009, 10:02:00 AM »

Ahh. Cool, then. I'm going to mull this over before I decide which way to go about it. I keep thinking I'm going to go with the total rule replacement option this time around given 1) the players are new to Sorcerer and 2) it fits better with what sorcery and demons are in this game.

But then there's so much potential in the "eek, gasp, die" situation, too. I've been considering making the core book rule the rule for anyone without Lore, with the more nuanced or total replacement options the ones applied to sorcerers and PCs respectively. Or/and perhaps dependent on spirit "type"...hrm. I'll hash this out.

Thanks, Ron!
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Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
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John Adams
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2009, 09:28:16 AM »

As a Sorcerer, I would let the demon possess me (which negates the conflict: no roll, no chance of death) then command it to do my bidding.
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