*
*
Home
Help
Login
Register
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
October 22, 2014, 09:15:42 PM

Login with username, password and session length
Forum changes: Editing of posts has been turned off until further notice.
Search:     Advanced search
46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 36 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
Pages: [1]
Print
Author Topic: Sorcerer scenario to wrap under 3 hours?  (Read 2226 times)
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 726


« on: May 23, 2009, 04:19:40 PM »

I volunteered to run a Sorcerer "Dictionary of Mu" scenario at NerdNYC's mini-con, Recess.  And then I remembered that what I hate about con games is that we get 3 hours into a game and have to quit mid-way or even quarter-way through.  So I'd really like to design a little Sorcerer scenario with about 3-4 hours worth of material in it.

I really like the tightness of In Utero, but I'm not sure how to imitate it in "Dictionary of Mu."  Ron, when you ran it, did it last for 3-4 hours or so?

Other people who have run Sorcerer con games: anything to avoid?  Anything that works pretty well?
Logged

--Stack
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 726


« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2009, 04:56:11 AM »

So, after thinking about it a lot, my current idea is to do the following:

1.  Create 2-4 sorcerers with not-easily-reconcilable conflicts of interest.  (Irreconcilable differences are a sub-set of this.)
2.  Place the sorcerers in the same place at the same time.  If the conflicts aren't juicy enough, place something "at stake."
3.  Let the sorcerers grind through their differences a bit.
4.  Add pressure/commentary/ramifications through non-player characters and the setting elements.
Logged

--Stack
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 726


« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2009, 07:33:23 PM »

Some draft kickers to use in a one-shot:

Atlantean Scientist Kicker
You were revived from cryo-sleep by your distant descendants, the people of Atlantis.  For them, you have created wonders undreamt of, using lore they have long since forgotten.  You've created "strategic deterrents," too, but only to defend the Atlanteans from their savage neighbors.  Now, your Project Director has demanded a field test of one of your weapons at the Yuty Crater.  Your survey team reveals that there are innocent tribesmen living in the crater basin who will be genocided by the testing--and the project director has insisted you go ahead with the test anyway...

Bandit Leader Kicker
For years your rebel band has preyed on the decadent swine of Atlantis, liberating the slaves and disrupting the plans of the accursed Science Council.  You are safe from external enemies thanks to the primitive tribesfolk of the Yuty Crater, who have acted as human shields against reprisal, but internal dissent threatens your cause.  The hostage captured in your last raid has been converting your lackeys into pacifist followers of the Damsel Messiah, and she openly challenged you to defend the morality of your armed revolt.  Your lieutenants are uneasy--they want her silenced permanently, but they also want to believe in the justice of your cause...

(a few more to come)
Logged

--Stack
Finarvyn
Member

Posts: 133


WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2009, 01:24:22 PM »

I'll be interested in this thread.

1. As you mentioned, convention games need to wrap up in a short amount of time and the only way to combat this is to have some short scenarios put together.

2. Introducing a player to the game in the first place would probably be a lot easier with an introductory scenario.

I know that neither of the above is mandatory for the growth of the game, but I should think that both would be nice in order to expose more potential gamers to the fun that is Sorcerer! If anyone can come up with suggestions and/or actual sample scenarios I'm sure it would be appreciated.
Logged

Marv (Finarvyn)
Sorcerer * Dresden Files RPG * Amber Diceless
Forge Member since 2004
OD&D Player since 1975
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 2775


WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2009, 01:41:41 PM »

Your strategy seems solid. Reading the kickers, though, I'm not sure if it's a good idea to make empathy an obvious front-line conflict for the Atlantean Scientist from the get-go. If you're going to play with an unfamiliar crew, there's no guarantees that the player won't react to this particular issue with the well-accultured method of not caring a whit for the value of human life; it's the right answer in many games, after all. You can of course prepare with sympathetic tribesmen material and a surprise reversal bang where some Atlanteans start dragging at his lapels and agonizing about his plans to decimate innocent people. Still, in my experience it's tempting fate to make the value of nameless extras a central issue for a randomized gamer population scenario; gamers seem to respond much better to issues of honor, loyalty, personal desires and such.
Logged

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.
jburneko
Member

Posts: 1429


« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2009, 02:30:11 PM »

I want to back up what Eero said.  Some gamers have a habit of reading a character sheet as a directive on what the GM wants them to do.  If you drop a Kicker like you have there on such a player what tends to happen is they push forward with whatever horrible thing you've asked of them because they don't realize it's a choice and think it's an instruction.  Then their Humanity bottoms out fast and they're confused because they were only doing what you told them to do.

That said, I meant to reply to this thread a while ago and completely forgot.  An alternative method is for you to develop a very small scenario (no more than 5 NPCs) with very visible surface level effects.  At the start of the game you go ahead and tell the players about these surface details.  For example, in Gothic fantasy setting I ran a scenario where I told the players this to start:

"The setting is large city.  Think 18th Century in feel.  The nobles of this city enjoy throwing very decadent but they're very hush-hush as they are frowned up and thought of scandalous by the wider population, particularly the church.  Recently, a plague has broken out in the city and the rumor has it that it's only affecting those attend these parties.  It's a plague that marks the sinful."

CK refers to this as my demonic STD scenario. :)

Anyway, after you do this go ahead and make characters from scratch asking the players to write Kickers that tie them into these events.  This works best if you have four hours because it takes about an hour to make characters and leaves you three hours of play time.  It works well, for Sorcerer & Sword because often you'll end up with a player or two who doesn't necessarily want a starting demon.  Finally, for those who do want a demon, don't have them build from the book.  Instead, just ask them what the demon looks like, how it behaves, what they want it to do etc, then build the demon yourself. 

So in my scenario I got:

A noble whose kicker was that he had just received and invitation to THE most exclusive party.
A bishop whose kicker was that he had just received a note blackmailing him over having been spotted at one of the parties.
A swashbuckler whose kicker was that his fair and virtuous lady love had been infected with the plague
A thief whose kicker was that he had just received a hot tip on a valuable item that was going to be showcased at one of the parties.

You then have to take about 5 to 10 minutes to retcon your scenario so that the kickers provided tie in.  In my case, I had to answer the following questions.

Why was the noble invited to this special party?
Who is blackmailing the bishop and why?
How did a girl who never attended the parties get infected?
What is the item of value being shown at the party and who provided the tip?

Hope this is helpful.

Jesse
Logged
Judd
Member

Posts: 1675

Please call me Judd.


WWW
« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2009, 02:41:17 PM »

I'm sorry.  I have been meaning to reply to this thread for a while  now and have not gotten to it.

I've run Mu as a con scenario directly out of the book.  I read several of the pre-made quasi-kickers that the pre-gens in the Dictionary come with and players choose a kicker, rather than choose a character.

I inform the players that I have no idea where the game will end up when it is all said and done and if they want to be in scenes with one another, they should consciously maneuver to do so and when I see them do that, I'll do so too.

But I've had no problem linking kickers together that start all over the face of Marr'd and making a coherent game out of it all.  It just kind of happens.

Hope that helps.

The other thing I have found is that Sorcerer takes one game to warm up and a second to really take hold.  I always walk away from games, even successful and fun games (especially those games) that the second game would have been been even better.
Logged

angelfromanotherpin
Member

Posts: 135


« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2009, 05:58:33 PM »

I have run Dictionary of Mu with no prep (beyond familiarity with the system and setting) and it worked out really well.  The thread is HERE.  We really did full character generation and had some very cool play in only a few hours.

Logged

-My real name is Jules

"Now that we know how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, how do we determine how many angels are dancing, at a given time, on the head of a given pin?"
"What if angels from another pin engaged them in melee combat?"
Finarvyn
Member

Posts: 133


WWW
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2009, 05:29:34 PM »

Sorcerer takes one game to warm up and a second to really take hold.  I always walk away from games, even successful and fun games (especially those games) that the second game would have been been even better.
Sure, but in a convention setting you don't get that luxury. Either the game will grab them or it doesn't. (I'm talking about grabbing them to the point where hopefully they toss some bills on the counter and buy a copy to take home.)

What we need, therefore, is a number of good and short one-shots that could be pulled out to attract new players. (At a con or in a home game. I know that if my gaming group doesn't go for a game after one sitting they usually want to drift off to another game -- sort attention span.)

I'm just hoping that there are folks who are better at Sorcerer than I and are willing to give this a shot....
Logged

Marv (Finarvyn)
Sorcerer * Dresden Files RPG * Amber Diceless
Forge Member since 2004
OD&D Player since 1975
jburneko
Member

Posts: 1429


« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2009, 01:23:08 AM »

What we need, therefore, is a number of good and short one-shots that could be pulled out to attract new players. (At a con or in a home game. I know that if my gaming group doesn't go for a game after one sitting they usually want to drift off to another game -- sort attention span.)

Marv,

If you're interested I can post the details of my "demonic plague" scenario in another thread.

Jesse
Logged
James_Nostack
Member

Posts: 726


« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2009, 04:54:29 PM »

As it turns out, I had to cancel this project due to work pressures, but I'd definitely like to see that scenario, Jesse!
Logged

--Stack
Finarvyn
Member

Posts: 133


WWW
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2009, 10:30:58 AM »

What we need, therefore, is a number of good and short one-shots that could be pulled out to attract new players. (At a con or in a home game. I know that if my gaming group doesn't go for a game after one sitting they usually want to drift off to another game -- sort attention span.)
If you're interested I can post the details of my "demonic plague" scenario in another thread.
Jessie -
Yeah, I'd love to see what you've done with this! "Demonic plague" sounds like a load of fun to play!
Logged

Marv (Finarvyn)
Sorcerer * Dresden Files RPG * Amber Diceless
Forge Member since 2004
OD&D Player since 1975
Pages: [1]
Print
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.16 | SMF © 2011, Simple Machines
Oxygen design by Bloc
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!