Adept Press thoughts and projects for Sorcerer

Started by Ron Edwards, July 28, 2010, 03:23:17 PM

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Ron Edwards

James, those are good questions and I'm working them out via posting the ideas.

One thing I do know, I'm not trying to expand the audience in conceptual terms. I know perhaps more than any RPG publisher I ever met exactly who the primary audience for Sorcerer is: the role-player who is creatively frustrated without being able to articulate why, and the "why" is raw Narrativist priorities. Basically, the gamer I was in about 1992. I'm not trying to expand beyond that. I'm thinking about ways to bring the game forward to those who are already in the audience zone..

Part of my thinking is also influenced by interacting with a lot of people over the past year who have come into the current design scene at a late stage and don't have much historical perspective on the material. It's weird to say "historical perspective" about something only 15 years old, but then again, I think of 15 years in terms of rock music or comics, and that's significant. Some - not all - of the people in those groups are clearly the same as the audience who've liked it all along, or perhaps, been obsessed with it due to the buttons it finds in them. They'd like the game but can't "get" to it currently in social or internet-buzz terms. I'm working out the many ideas here with this audience in mind as well.

Best, Ron

James_Nostack

The composition on that album cover is pretty sweet.  I like how John Romita's use of a dejected-yet-resolute pose, and the glint of hope-against-hope in Peter Parker's downward gaze, suggests that he is using the mirror to determine if, in fact, he has genitals.

I'll try to have substantive commentary on the specific Adept Press ideas sometime very soon. 
--Stack

Erik Weissengruber

Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 12, 2010, 01:02:42 AM
Um ... but all you weirdos with your electronic Lovecraft are welcome too. Is there some way to hybridize that stuff with "whoa-oh-oh na na?"

Well, isn't that everyone is still wishing for ... ?

Maybe like 70's-era Crimson: Sabbath heavy with dissonant madness weaving in and out.  Or Ted Nugent with synth breaks.

James_Nostack

Awesome, Do Now[/b]
* Annotated core book.  This is your core product.  You've had 10 years of experience troubleshooting usability issues.  (I sometimes shudder at how many years of your life must have been spent answering questions based on too-cryptic assertions in the rules.  A stitch in time saves nine.)

* Annotations to be made available on the website, no charge. 
This cuts your market for the annotated version obviously, but hey.

* A long-overdue update of the non-Adept supplement policy.  This is one of the more interesting aspects of Adept Press as a publishing venture.  I'm unclear why it needs overhauling, but if it gets more people designing that's good.

* Better links page

* Droppin' Famous Names.  Like it or not, part of the selling point of Sorcerer is that it's the Velvet Underground & Nico of the indie RPG set, and that's worth mentioning.  Except that it makes you look like a sell-out cheesy self-promoting doofus. 

You Are Mistaken[/b]
QuoteNor am I inclined to combine [the supplements] with the core book
The seven-point description of the relationship between setting creation and play at the beginning of Sorcerer & Sword, and the relationship between Lore-Humanity-Demons-etc. at the start of Sorcerer's Soul should be included in the core book. 

QuoteSome kind of actual-play emphasis with instant-arrival access on the website.
I don't know what this means.

A Fool and His Money
* T-shirts. Maybe posters.

* That cool coin-as-business-card the guy had at GenCon.

* Little plastic/hard-rubber demon creatures. Dear lord.
--Stack

Paiku

Annotated Core Rulebook
Ron, have you started writing/collecting the annotations*?  I know they're all right here in The Forge... but they're all over The Forge! ;-)  I ask because today I happened to be perusing Organizing A Game > The Ending (pg71-), and remembered our conversation about resolving kickers and "planning" the ending of the game.  It was one discussion I recall in which you said that the rules text is "quite lousy" and that your perspective on the matter has shifted and clarified since you wrote it.  That thread was a big "ah-haah" moment for me, and I'm looking forward to seeing your annotations on this section especially. 

I have an annotated Alice's Adventures In Wonderland (Caroll/Gardner).  In many spots, the annotations are longer than the original text...

Cheers,
-John

* Hmm, the grammarian in me feels that "annotations" may be a false construction, and that simply "notes" should be used.

Ron Edwards

Hi John,

I'm working on them now, along with other things. If you're concerned about my ability to organize and remember all the stuff that's been discussed on the Forge, you shouldn't worry; I think I'm in pretty good shape for that. The "Endings" section is a top candidate, clearly.

One thing, though: I do not plan to stuff the book with every damned little thing ever discussed in this forum or related places. I am staying focused on the purpose of the core book, to explain how to play the game and to inspire its play for maximum enjoyment.

James, one thing that illustrates this point, and is relevant to your post, is that I do not agree that the material in Sorcerer & Sword is suitable for the core book, or if it is, only a little bit. I've come to realize over the years that for many reasons, my own Actual play posting among them, people have conceived of relationship maps (Soul) and certain Stance and scenario prep issues (Sword) as basic Sorcerer technique, and they aren't. Of all the ways to play Sorcerer, what I think of as the best and original-intention way has received the least attention, which is probably my fault.

One way to get to core-book purpose, then, is to bring that way of playing forward as strongly as I can.

Best, Ron

Paiku

Hi Ron,

I'm not concerned, just very interested.

Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 23, 2010, 04:34:30 PM
...people have conceived of relationship maps (Soul) and certain Stance and scenario prep issues (Sword) as basic Sorcerer technique, and they aren't. Of all the ways to play Sorcerer, what I think of as the best and original-intention way has received the least attention, which is probably my fault.

Now that's interesting.  I'm one of those people.  Now I'm trying to imagine what the original-intention way is, given that I've been using R-maps since I started with Sorcerer.  Briefly, what differentiates/what are the hallmarks of the original-intention way of playing?  Stupid question I know, given that the rulebooks are sitting right beside me; but since I read the core text and the first two supplements as one work in three volumes, I can no longer separate them in my mind.

Thanks,
-J

Ron Edwards

I figured that would be the next question, but as I was writing the post, I said, "That should be another thread one day." And since I'm about eight threads behind, and never mind all the work and publishing things I gotta do. So, um, let me get to it when I can.

Best, Ron

Per Fischer

Per
--------
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Paiku

Ya, and as I posted the question I realized it's a bit off-topic for this thread, too.
No hurry.  My present methods are working for me.

Thanks,
-John

The Magus

Quote from: Ron Edwards on July 28, 2010, 03:23:17 PM
1. A new version of the core book which preserves all the original text, but includes extensive annotations from my current perspective. It might have new art and cover too.

At first I read this and thought "SELL OUT" as I'd often been told "It's all in the rulebook" but seriously, as someone who came to the indie scene somewhat late I'd welcome this.  I was wondering though how this would mesh with the whole 'Play Sorcerer' project?  What, Ron, do you foresee as the differences?

I think I would like something in the annotations that shows how the system allows the play to emerge, not just from this project but all RPGs.  I was looking over an old copy of the 1e AD&D DMG.  I was shocked at how little of it actually shows this link (actually you're left to figure it yourself).

I'm someone who doesn't RPG as much as I'd like.  Consequently when I look at one of my many unplayed rulesets I don't automatically see how the mechanics influence actual play.  I'd like to plead for all games designers to take that into account.  My Actual Play experiences are limited and while I appreciate that part of learning anything involves making mistakes I'd like some assistance form the designer to minimize this.

Cheers
Piers

Finarvyn

Quote from: Ron Edwards on August 12, 2010, 09:20:49 AMI'm not trying to expand the audience in conceptual terms. I know perhaps more than any RPG publisher I ever met exactly who the primary audience for Sorcerer is: the role-player who is creatively frustrated without being able to articulate why, and the "why" is raw Narrativist priorities. Basically, the gamer I was in about 1992. I'm not trying to expand beyond that. I'm thinking about ways to bring the game forward to those who are already in the audience zone..
Ron, I know that you have a great sense as to what direction you want Sorcerer to go, but I think you're missing something here. I believe there is also an audience who would appreciate Sorcerer if only it was presented to them in the right way, and I think that expanding the audience would be beneficial to that demographic. I have some players who never felt the creative frustration you mention(or perhaps didn't realize they were experiencing it), but once they were led into Sorcerer they found that it was a great style for them. There must be many similar players without anyone to guide them, and ignoring that potential audience would be unfortunate because it would limit the expansion of the game unnaturally. (Just my opinion.)

Quote from: James_Nostack on August 14, 2010, 03:38:14 AM
A Fool and His Money
* T-shirts. Maybe posters.
* That cool coin-as-business-card the guy had at GenCon.
* Little plastic/hard-rubber demon creatures. Dear lord.
Not so sure about the little demon creatures but I would like to see an expansion of the product line, particularly in the t-shirt area. I don't think you want to "sell out" to commercialism, but t-shirts are a fantastic advertisement for a game and may attract players who have no idea what they are missing.
Marv (Finarvyn)
Sorcerer * Dresden Files RPG * Amber Diceless
Forge Member since 2004
OD&D Player since 1975

jburneko

Quote from: Finarvyn on August 29, 2010, 01:47:05 AMRon, I know that you have a great sense as to what direction you want Sorcerer to go, but I think you're missing something here. I believe there is also an audience who would appreciate Sorcerer if only it was presented to them in the right way, and I think that expanding the audience would be beneficial to that demographic.

For what it's worth, I completely agree with you.  However, I also believe that this is sort of where the work of myself and Christopher Kubasik come in.  Christopher is still working on Play Sorcerer.  I've dumped most of my thoughts for Sorcerer Unbound on my website but I also occasionally open my word files and tinker around with the text as a How To guide rather than the topical essays I dumped on Story Games and my website.

I think reaching those other potential players requires OTHER people presenting the game (at cons, in play, in texts, whatever).  It's taken me about 10 years to accept that.  I think Ron focusing on revitalizing the mini-supplement "program" is really a good idea.  So many people have picked up Dictionary of Mu who aren't Sorcerer enthusiasts.  It's inspired some of them to dive into the game (and a few others to take that same material elsewhere).  But with enough creative critical mass around the game from more people will draw more players in.

Jesse   

Ron Edwards

Hiya,

1. Yes, Christopher and Jesse and whoever else is interested, that's your department, for what Marv is talking about. I can't do it. The annotations I have in mind aren't going in that direction at all. They're more of a reflections-clarification thing, with examples or applications simply taken from my own experiences.

2. The t-shirt thing ... well, bear in mind that I can't draw or paint. (I sketch OK, but in a totally amateurish way which is endearing and useful for explanations, but not saleable).  Plus why should I make any money off someone else's work? So getting t-shirts going is a matter of energizing the artists. Raven and Ed Heil are there already (Sorcerer t-shirt, Trollbabe t-shirt, why don't you own one?) sure, but I'm talking about opening it up to others who might like to do this.

3. The little demon creatures thing ... man, you have no idea. Little cute hard-rubber or sort-of squishy-plastic demons? Gotta do it!

Best, Ron

greyorm

Rev. Ravenscrye Grey Daegmorgan
Wild Hunt Studio