[Sorcerer] Two actions at once

Started by Frank Tarcikowski, June 09, 2008, 11:35:35 AM

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Frank Tarcikowski

Rules question. How do you handle a character trying to do two things at once? Examples:

1) Our sorceress is wielding a demon sword and also has a ranged attack provided by her parasite demon but transferred to her. She wants to hit an opponent with both weapons at the same time.

2) Our demon has a ranged attack that is being described as circular blasts of energy. The player wishes it to affect an area rather than a single target.

How would you handle these? Thanks in advance,

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As always these are "to my knowledge"....

1) You can't.  This kind of goes with the whole "Sorcerer is about choices" thing and that includes these kind of combat choices.

1a) That said, the demon sword gets an action which (depending on the look & feel of demons in your game) includes attacking on its own.  But that attack is decided by the GM based on how he is role-playing the sword.  See all the Elric stories where Elric is trying to attack one target while Stormbringer is clearly trying to attack another.

1b) So the best the Sorcerer can do is attack with the parasite range attack and hope her sword is feeling particularly compliant today.

2) You can go ahead and just say it affects multiple targets.  When that player's action comes up all the targets simply defend against it including the usual abort/defend choice if they're actions haven't occurred yet.  If this seems too easy for you then simply create a new demon ability called Area similar to Range.  That will at least jack the Power level of the demon up by 1 for each ability that you want to have this stipulation.


Ron Edwards

Hi Frank,

Jesse is correct throughout. However, simply because it's useful for more than one person to discuss the issue, here is the way I'd phrase it.

Let's take a closer look at that sword. A lot of people forget that every demon ability must be categorized as to who the proper user is. Demon weapons, in the usual use/concept, have a damage attack usable by someone else, not the demon.

If that is the case here, then the player is shit out of luck by default. The character may attack using the parasite power or with the sword power, and that is all.

If, on the other hand, the sword has another ability which does some kind of damage (perhaps the same kind as the attack described above, perhaps not) for which it is the user, then fine - it can fight on its own, while the sorcerer uses her parasite-based attack.

Now, there is one other thing to consider: the default "fists" attack that every demon has. Technically, even an Object demon can hurt someone this way, usually narrated in some interesting way consistent with its status as an object. However, this usage is of course up to the GM, who is playing the demon, and has nothing to do with the character's choices. This is also subject to major conceptual issues too, including whether, in this particular game, it is or is not lame to define this sort of attack as the sword actually dancing in the air and fighting on its own. However, that conceptual issue does not change the basic fact of the option, which is indeed present.

Regarding area attacks, that is straightforwardly a matter of what the attack is defined to be. A player may well define the attack as such when it is first created, or some kind of circumstance might be appropriate for a single-target attack to hit an area. A billowing cloud of gas might well be considered an area attack in an enclosed space, for instance. In practice, I've found that group consensus operates very quickly and easily to arbitrate these things. One point to keep in mind is that the attack, once established as area-affecting, may be inconvenient to use in later fights, depending on who is in that area.

I have found in general that it was a good idea to make Ranged "cost" a Lore point, but to let the area issue be handled through circumstances. Part of this was from years of playing Champions, or rather, Champions as suited the needs of the kinds of stories that Sorcerer came to be built upon. For some reason, in this context, there is a hard tactical and conceptual line between the useful distinction of near/far, and the less-useful distinctions among the details (area, cone, burst, decreasing effect by radius, et cetera).

Best, Ron

Frank Tarcikowski

Thanks, both of you! That makes a lot of sense.

QuoteOne point to keep in mind is that the attack, once established as area-affecting, may be inconvenient to use in later fights, depending on who is in that area.

Oh, that's neat. I should have thought of that myself. Fine then. (Smiling my most malicious GM smile here.)

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