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Author Topic: Nan and Lore  (Read 6092 times)
Christopher Kubasik

Posts: 1159

« on: April 10, 2008, 05:05:27 PM »

Okay.  I have a question about NaN...

I just had our character creation session for my new game will start playing next weekend, and I'm excited as all hell.  But I want to try to get something straight...

Ron wrote in a NaN thread: "That's also why types and styles of sorcery, in a given setting, do not reflect setting but rather characters."

But in each setting there is a kind of Demon.  There is a kind of Lore. There's a unity that is sought -- the book is explicit about this. It's not all willy-nilly. There are mentors. There can be covens and so forth, as mentioned in the rules.

So, how does the fact that the setting has a unity of decisions fit in with the idea that the types and styles of sorcery do not reflect setting.

Just so there's context, there' the game I've set up with my three terrific players:

The Brotherood

You’re all Prisoners in state penitentiary located in the middle of nowhere somewhere between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Your character might have been guilty. He might have been innocent. But he ended up in The System.

Your character knew no sorcery before getting into prison. But there are a few teachers there — people who know how to get by by summoning the unnatural powers within the walls of the old prison.

Demons are... tattoos, shivs, razor blades, cocaine, cigarettes, money, shadows, pin-ups, fantasies of the world outside and all things prison.

The Lore of Sorcery are acts of domination and submission between men.

Humanity is standing up for your own moral code.

It’s important to remember that the word “demon” in this game doesn’t mean “things from hell.” Think more of the girl from “The Ring” -- where something has gone WRONG with the fabric of reality. We’re building our own specific and self-contained story, with it’s own specific mythology and world.

The PCs we created last week are:

•  a Lifer in the prison who's demon is a cell block; he doesn't want to leave because he's very comfortable where he is.

•  a man who committed a crime and bound a demon to confront the sorcerous cult leader who rules his nationwide organization from inside the prison. (The cult killed the man's daughter.) His demons are the tattoo of Desert Eagle on his arm that allow him to produce a gun in his hand whenever he wants, and a second demon that is the tattoo of a third eye on his forehead that let's him "astrally" project when he mediates on the cot of his cell and learn more about what's happening many places.

•  a corrupt cop sent to jail for killing a fellow police officer.  He summoned and bound a demon to survive a place where cops are the biggest targets short of child molesters. HIs demon are tattoos that cover his body (he looks just like a criminal now!) that let him to internal damage to people and let him withstand a lot of damage... All while looking like all he did was maybe give you a friendly slap on the shoulder. The tattoos shift and change, showing a collage of all pepole he beat the hell out of.

So, my question is, how does all the setting material fit with the notion that "...types and styles of sorcery, in a given setting, do not reflect setting but rather characters."

I'm sure there's something my brain isn't wrapping it's head around.  Ron, if you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them.

Now my guess is this: That what turns me on about the setting is that we have these men who have been in this crucible of choices where each of the has summoned up something to survive, and even dominate and triumph.  I've made the Lore and Demons specific to an environment, but, as Jesse put it elsewhere, we're not playing "Marvel Mythology" here where the Lore and Demons get spun out on a series of exercises of "Well if this is happening, then that means this in the 'real world.'  Instead, it is as I've stated: These men, in this situation, have, in order to build the kind of life they want, twisted the universe to summon and bind things that have no business being here.  And the other sorcerers in the system have done the same.  Thus, it's about the characters, not the setting.  Yes?



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

Posts: 1429

« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2008, 05:35:35 PM »


I think you're in the crowd of people whose "story sense" is so strong that sometimes they get tripped up on concepts because they already understand intuitively so they think they must be missing something.  Think instead like someone who has never seen Sorcerer or any games like it and instead has dined on a steady diet of Vampire, 7th Sea and other games like it.

You look at your prison and its inmates and their criminal lives as "the setting" because that's the world view of the *characters* you're interested in examining.  But look at what you've done from a more traditional RPG gamer point of view.  What you've done is described "only" ONE place.  Where's the rest of the world?  What do wall street corporate CEOs in your "setting" look like?  What about politicians?  How is Washington DC different given this Sorcerous criminal underworld?  What's the mafia up to?  How about the international scene?  Are children affected by these demons?  Is the average law abiding joe affected?  What about his wife?

Those questions are intuitively nonsensical to you but the mindset that asks them is still out there in gamer and fanish culture.


Christopher Kubasik

Posts: 1159

« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2008, 10:55:26 PM »

Hi Jesse,

That's what I figured.  In fact, I said pretty much the same thing to one of my own players just tonight over dinner.

And if that's it, well, then that's it. Thanks!


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