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GMing Sorcerer - Experiences

Started by Christopher Kubasik, February 02, 2009, 05:21:56 PM

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Christopher Kubasik

We had our fourth session of Traveller Setting / Sorcerer Game last night.

The concoction has turned into a really bracing version of Battlestar Galactica.  Not in terms of the ships or color, but in terms of lots of questions about faith, belief (or not) in better futures, character shouting each other down about whether or not to use a nuke on a city taken by a religious jihad to slow the enemy, and on PC working to slip that same nuke around the back of his commanding officer (another PC) in an effort to stop the enemy he thinks has to be stopped at all costs.

Here's the thing: at the end of the session I felt like I hadn't done enough.  But when I asked the Players as we were wrapping up if everyone was having a good time they got these kind of drunken-grins on their faces and bobbed their heads like happy, adorable puppies.

I didn't press a lot situations that provoked dice rolls.  It seemed like everyone was still feeling out their PCs positions and stakes in the issues.  The confrontations were more between the PCs rather than anything I threw at them.  (At one point I said, "Oh my god, it's the last 15 minutes of a Dogs game!")

But, again, they seem to be having a great time.  (One of my players just sent me an unsolicited email: "Just want to say - rock.  I had a lot of fun last night, and am liking the tension being brought to the front with our characters.  that is all.")

One of the players was already coming up with cool ideas for Banishment rituals that are going to be awe-inspiring once he fires them up.  And I know that at the header of next week's game we're kicking off with Guns, Guns, Guns as the the jihad moves against them.

But still, does this happen in Sorcerer?  That sometimes there are stretches where the Players just take the game and the GM can sit back a bit?  I'm thinking of the passage in Sorcerer where the GM should keep the pressure on the Players.  This was more like, "Oh, my God what the hell is going on?  Or model of reality is completely wrong and what the hell are we going to do about it!  We can't surrender, but you know what, we're going to lose!"

What has the experience of GMing Sorcerer been like for other people?
"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield


I haven't run as much Sorcerer as I'd like, but it seems to me that if the kickers and the beginning situations have enough meat, everybody tucks in quite greedily. You just have to watch their plates and make sure they're full.
AKA Jeff Zahari

Ron Edwards

It's a cycle. Speaking only for myself, Sorcerer delivers on that cycle better than any game I know. When we used to do the Profiling threads, I always included Sorcerer in my "best three games ever" due to that, not for promotion.

The  cycle comes 'round again when you realize that given what's been going on, the demons and your other NPCs are going to be just as fired-up to do stuff and see certain things happen as the player-characters. It's not a matter of waiting for a lull on the players' part; it's more like a cycle of lulls and power-ups on your own characters' parts.

And yeah, it happens all the time in playing the game. It's what the game does. I try to explain it to Tor in the dialogue included in the back of The Sorcerer's Soul, as he's entering it.

Best, Ron


I have had some poor experiences (clumped in earlier attempts), and some really good ones (clumped towards the end).  The more the players have been comfortable taking the reigns, the better the games have been.  As a GM, I have had to work really hard at shifting my energy from generating the experience to making sure everyone was in the same headspace to generate the experience from.  It's a tricky pass to complete.
-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?"