Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Thinkin' Sorcerer (Mystic Blood II: Demon Blood of the Sorcerer!)

I feel kinda silly being into hippie games and never playing the grandaddy, Sorcerer. I've wanted to run it for a while but to run it you have to make it your own first, and I haven't every done that in a way I like.

I really want to run or play Sorcerer and Sword -- but it feels wrong to me to try and run the heavily modded supplement without having run or played the pristine item. Joe thinks this is silly and I should just run Sword, but there you go.

So I've come up with something that's kind of hooked me into it a bit. I was thinking of trying to do something kinda like NightLife, Vampire, or NightSpawnBane, some "contemporary horror but the players are the monsters" game, but with Sorcerer.

In such a game, you do not become a vampire by getting bitten and just waking up vampy. You become a vampire by allowing the vampire blood -- a parasite demon -- into your body and bonding with it, agreeing to feed its need (for you to drink human blood). Likewise, with a werewolf -- but with wolf blood. I can also see there being "vampire rings" or whatever, an object demon which gives you the powers of dark blood, if a player preferred that. A "monster" is a character who is possessed, or in the case of player characters, voluntarily inhabited, by a particular kind of demon.

I don't think you even need to tweak the base rules to do that. Vampires would have (conferred by their blood demon) Special Damage (fangs), Boost Stamina, Cloak, probably Vitality... Add-ons could be Travel (flight) perhaps conditioned on a Shapeshift to bat form, Perception (night vision), Boost Will, Armor, Command (bats, rats?), Daze or Confuse, Fast... All of the above would be a bad-ass, Drac-level vamp, and the demon would be a force to be reckoned with on a global scale. Maybe if you wanted to go really nuts you could add in some kind of Spawn/Possessor deal which spawns possessors, to reflect the ability to create slave vampires, who knows. A "starter" vamp could just have the first few powers from the list.

A werewolf demon would have Boost (stamina), Special Damage (lethal -- fangs and claws), Perception (animal senses), Vitality, and Fast, some or all of which would be conditional on a Shapeshift to wolf form. Need would be to kill a living thing while in animal form.

I'm thinking maybe an Immortal demon -- something which made its user ageless, like the Highlander or the Comte de Saint-Germain. Such characters were part of a game Joe and I worked on on and off for years, called Mystic Blood, which was kind of a spinoff from the old Magus game that Jim Z began back in, what, the summer of 1988 I think.

For the base immortality you'd have Vitality, then... I don't know. If the demon itself carried ancient wisdom, maybe an abstruse Cover or three and a Boost Lore? I guess such a demon's powers could be tailored according to the players' whim. I don't know what its Need would be. Perhaps competition (if you make it martial competition you're starting to move into Highlander territory) or domination (Illuminati-type scheming)? The trouble with this kind of character though is if I remember correctly (I'll have to check), you're supposed to start off having newly bound your first demon, and that doesn't work well with centuries-old characters. Dunno. We'll see about that one.

Oh yeah... and Mystic Blood also followed Monsters! Monsters! by Ken St Andre in ripping off Roger Zelazny's Jack of Shadows to create the "Shadowjack" as a race. A Shadowjack demon might have Perception (hear anything said in a shadow while you're in a connecting shadow), Cloak (disappear into the shadows), Vitality, and such stuff. It'd be fun to include those as an option as well, in this "Mystic Blood II: Demon Blood of Sorcerer" idea.

Anyway, I'm writing this stuff down mostly to throw it open to the folks who are kind enough to read my blog and who might have played or run sorcerer, for advice on what else I need to figure out before I'm ready to run with this, and how workable the stuff I've got so far sounds.