[Sorc] Is it a good kicker if the player has already planned how to react?

Started by Arturo G., July 03, 2008, 06:14:45 AM

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Arturo G.

Finally, I'm going to have the opportunity to try Sorcerer.

Yesterday we were creating the characters and demons. For our first try we are doing things quite simple and easy. The setting is similar to our city, but with much bigger immigrant and multi-cultural communities. We have decide that Humanity is related to looking for the common good (no matter the means to achieve it). Loss of humanity is getting more egocentric and disconnected from the needs of the community. I think it is well connected to the kind of problems I have in the back-story.

One of the players has a character that is a catholic bishop (with a demon with the desire of Power). When we arrived at the kicker, he thought in a scene where the archbishop of the city called him apart (to his private rooms or whatever) and said to him that they know he was a sorcerer and was treating with demos. I needed to stop him there, because he started to narrate actions. He was killing the Archbishop to take his place and...

This confused me. I think that the first part could be a good kicker. But he perfectly knows what is he going to do in his first scene. He has already thought that he is going to command his possessor demon to possess the archbishop and if the demon fails he will try to kill him directly. At least we don't know what are the things going to evolve from that. He has introduced very happily that the Archbishop was saying "we know", to be sure someone more is in the secret and he is getting into troubles anyway.

Is this a good kicker?

Frank Tarcikowski

I tend to think that a kickers goodness is to be judged by long-term potentional (as in: the story), and not short-term potential (as in: the scene). So, yes, I think it's a good kicker. Plus, I think it's pretty common that the player has a plan before he enters play. Let's see how that plan survives contact with the GM.

- Frank
BARBAREN! - The Ultimate Macho Role Playing Game - finally available in English


Right off the bat, I'd advise getting at least a look at Sorcerer's Soul, with the notes on Angels... Just saying the Archbishop may not be a supernatural pushover without being a sorcerer...
Pete Darby

Ron Edwards

Hi there,

It's a good Kicker. You were also right to stop the player from launching into narration of actions and, God help us, outcomes.

The important thing to remember is this: play will start in the middle of, or at the last moments, of the Kicker. Typically, that means that before he starts talking, you will be talking. You'll say where they are, who else might be there, what the basic context is, and what the Archbishop does and says. A Kicker is not playing; it is not "story." It's written by the player, but in use, it's your material for running that scene.

Therefore, all of his intentions and predictions about what he'll do are provisional until that actually happens. He can talk up a whole novel before then and it won't matter; it will not be play. When play begins and all that stuff does happen as played by you, then you'll see what he has his player do, and not before.

Best, Ron

Arturo G.

Frank, you are right. Indeed I saw the long-term potential of the kicker. I knew that the player was really thinking on opening the door for conflicts and an interesting story. But he got so enthusiastic about it and, as Ron says, he tried to start to play on himself. It made me suspect that perhaps something was not going right.

Pete. Good idea. But in this case I explicitly said I was not going to introduce stuff from the supplements and when we discussed humanity, we agreed to avoid that theme. For the first try I want to use only the simplest rules and ideas. And I also think that the Archbishop is not important for the back-story. I prefer to let the player do sorcerer stuff and choose if he really wants to do that kind of things to protect himself (I can see a humanity roll coming). The hard conflicts will arrive anyway.

Ron, perfectly clear. We will see what comes from it when we play.

Thank you all for your answers.