Started by John S, September 13, 2010, 06:24:03 PM
QuoteThe DiagramYour main tool for playing Sorcerer is the big diagram on your character sheet. Before play begins AND between sessions, everyone should look at the diagram.For a beginning character, there should be at least ten words written into it: the people, places, and things (including demonic characters) associated with the four sections of the sheet. Between sessions, the events of the past session may well remove, add, and rearrange the items on the diagram. Keep note of the things that the character is concerned about or struggling with.If a given item is associated with a single section, then it should be placed toward the edge of the diagram.If a given item is associated with more than one section, then write it near or at the border of those sections. If those sections are next to one another, then the effect is to draw the item sideways; if they are opposite one another, then the effect is to draw it to the center.If it's associated with three or four sections, then it's drawn toward the center.If you spot other connections between items, make those connections visible on the diagram.During play, your job is use this diagram to consider what features of the character's life are currently undergoing the most tension, and bring the tension around those elements into play. My job is to bring those connections to the forefront in scenes with your character.What you write down in the diagram is what you want to come into focus during the game, so make sure that it lists characters, objects and places that you care about-- things that matter to the character, and things that you, as a player, would like to play important roles in your character's story.The other tools you have mostly help you make better use of the diagram, both between sessions and in play.
QuoteSo the question is, what should you write in the diagram, specifically. In order to answer that, you have to get inside your character's head:What are his big ambitions, goals, and motivations?What are the things that matter to him more than anything?What's so important to the character that he has meddled in sorcery to get it?What price has he already paid?The keystone to the sorcerer's mind is arrogance. The rules allow your character to keep going even if his guts are hanging around his ankles. But in order to do so, you have to know what your character needs so badly that he can taste it. A sorcerer without a need just banishes the creatures who give him power and ceases to be a sorcerer.Once you answer the above questions, you can start thinking about the people, places, and things that shape his life and his world. What are his likes and dislikes? Who are his contacts, comrades, followers, and mentors? Who are his enemies, rivals, love interests, and former lovers? What are his duties, debts, and unsettled scores? What are the top three big events of his life, and where did they take place? What other places or things are important to the character?Thats the stuff you write in your diagram. You don't have to plot out your character's entire background, but you should have a sense of who and what your character knows, what adversity he's been through, and what challenges he's still facing.
Quote... be reasonably certain that others are playing Sorcerer with you because they are even more intent upon the game than you are. I can only describe this as taking the phrase "Play my character" in a very different light from the traditional RPG meaning ...
Quote... an extraordinary degree of bullshit had accumulated among me and everyone else I knew in the hobby (a considerable number of people) which literally negated the fundamental notion of "we play our characters." The nearly impenetrable mass of point-counting and so-called realism, the utterly primitive initiative-based or turn-based action sequences, the unbearable weight of Story Before, the recent fetish of thespianism, the recent claim that system didn't matter ... none of it was helping. All of it bogged down the simple and direct insight that if you have your guy do something, and I have my guy respond, then if we stay attentive and utilize various system features as our medium together, a result will appear that will literally be a new universe in which to play the next actions. By "new universe" I'm thinking about the dramatic landscape, audience attention, and creative enthusiasm associated with both making and experiencing a story in successive stages of its plot.There's only one thing that really gets in the way of this, though, and even though all those other bullshit things I listed are problems, this one thing is a total deal-breaker. It kills role-playing dead. It is: when someone has no interest to say their guy does things with any integrity relative to the fictional content. I'll say that again and boldface the important part: when someone has no interest to say their guy does things with any integrity relative to the fictional content. A lot of pain and effort has gone into game design and play-practices to correct issues with the latter, unboldfaced bit. As far as I can tell, almost no one addressed issues concerning the boldfaced bit until the Threefold discussions of the mid-late 1990s. (One of the most important early exceptions was found in the Strike Force supplement for Champions, based on the authors' original games.)So basically, I wrote Sorcerer strictly and only for people who didn't have this issue. I wrote it for people who would make characters that would simply be so present, so utterly in motion, so arrogant, and already so enmeshed in conflict that they simply could not sit still. To be clear, if I were to boldface one word in that previous sentence, it would be "people." There would be no stopping those characters is because the players would, themselves, be unstoppable.
QuotePreparing for unscripted T&T play is so easy, and it can easily be "skinned" with the thematic color and narrative freedom without requiring the characters to be protagonists.
Quote from: Ron Edwards on November 11, 2010, 06:33:00 AMThis is a tough crunch period in my life at the moment, and I don't think it'll let up until after Thanksgiving.