Saturday, September 10, 2005


I'm pondering running Sorcerer again. I've had a hard time "getting" Sorcerer in the past, but reading this review of Charnel Gods (I don't remember why I was reading it, but I was) awakened my interest again. I thought it might be interesting to run Charnel Gods, or if not Charnel Gods, Sorcerer and Sword, but if I wanted to play Sorcerer and Sword I wanted to try vanilla Sorcerer first.

So I'm reading through it again. I remember why it was so frustrating to read before -- the important game mechanics are all at the end of the book, but the beginning of the book is written as if you already know them. So it's pretty much impossible to understand on first reading.

The Sorcerer Wiki is a good reference.

The most frustrating part has always been trying to understand what the scope of the powers is supposed to be. They're written in ways that sometimes seem highly specific and sometimes hopelessly open-ended. Bopping around on the Forge and reading other people's questions to Ron and other Sorcerer players is helpful. This thread for example, specifically this post, suggests that the answer to the question "can I make this power do that???" should usually depend on answering the question "is that what the game is about?"

For example, in a necromantic game, it might be appropriate to hijack the Boost Stamina or Vitality powers and declare that they can be used to animate corpses. In a different game that might be completely inappropriate. And the players & GM work together to establish those parameters.

Cool. That actually makes sense to me.

And almost nothing the demons can do in Sorcerer just willy nilly makes the world different. Demons are virtually always tools you can use to get what you want, not wish granters which just make things the way you want. Think of demons as a means, not a shortcut to the end, and there you go.

1 comment:

John Harper said...

I had a similar reaction to reading Sorcerer the first few times. And I had serious misgivings about how it worked until I had a chance to play it myself.

All the demon powers and such make a lot of sense if you focus on what the Sorcerer wants. Because what a Sorcerer wants, by the gods, they can get it -- anything! -- if they are willing to sacrifice their humanity. That's the key.

The game is about people who can say, "Listen up, universe! I want this! RIGHT NOW." And the universe pays attention to them.

The "people who want stuff" aspect of the game is the tricky part, in my experience. Fighting and powers and such will take care of themselves if you get the wanting thing nailed down.