Sorcerer, anyone?

RusRus
edited September 2008 in Pitch
After reading Jesse's articles on Story Games, I've been itching to play this game.
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  • edited September 2008
    Sorcerer hasn't been a system I particularly get into - I tend to feel it's more 'functional' than 'interesting' - but I'd probably be willing to play (not run).

    I do like some of the variants better than I like the core game. Like, I played Grimm Therapy once, and that was pretty good. So it really might be a matter of setting and situation than it's disliking the game itself.
  • Oh, but I'm going to be out of town for the next week, so don't be confused if this takes off and you don't hear from me for a while.
  • Hey, just to let you guys know, I'm still here. My schedule has changed a lot (I've moved back to New Zealand) which means I have a lot less time, but I'm still maintaining the forum.
  • I'd be willing to play or run. I've played it several times live (Running it many of those.) And I played in a PBP that lasted 2 years.
  • I'd be interested in playing (followed the link back here from story-games. Been meaning to try some pbp for a while). I've always wanted to play sorceror, but running it seemed too daunting. The one catch is that I am currently separated from my books, and may be for some time.
  • RusRus
    edited September 2008
    Excellent.

    Trevis, I'd like to lean on your running and playing experience (and I'm itching to play a character), so if you're keen on GMing that would be great. Though I know that it is a lot of work and I am ready to run it.

    Yellow, gotcha.

    Ignotus, not having a copy of the books does not seem like a huge hurdle. There is a pretty good Wiki out there that has the nuts and bolts of the mechanic, and I think Jesse's articles are really helpful play aid.

    So, everyone. Let me know if you're in for the long haul-- I would expect it could easily take longer than a year, maybe two. We'll get a final list, then make a Wiki to document everything (participation expectations, setting etc..).
  • Actually I already have a wiki or two we could use all set up. http://wiki.trevismartin.org and/or I can set up a subnet on uniwiki.trevismartin.org, it's just two different wiki engines. The first one is PMWiki, which is the easiest in my experience. The second is TWiki which is feature rich but a little less user freindly.

    Sure, If everyone else is cool with it, I'd be happy to run.
  • Great!
    I guess it is now time to hammer out a one-sheet. I'm open to just about anything-- I've been reading through Sword and Sorcerer, so that's where my mind is right now. [brainstorm]Humanity represents just how cursed you are-- 0 humanity, you're a monster. Dark, mythic European Forests and moss covered depths. Small villages. Maybe an Ars Magica sort of feel....[/brainstorm]
  • I have occasional Internet through wireless+iPod touch, so I can manage some input. Hopefully won't be too terse.

    With fantasy, I prefer larger scope (maybe with this sort of game in general, too). I'd be more into an REH-style setting: lawless cities, petty empires, corrupt priests, demons and Lovecraftian things, haunted ruins, primitive-ruled wilderness, etc. I'd be wanting to crib from Howard, Moorcock, and co.

    I also very much like _The Dictionary of Mu_. Don't own it, but I like the Burroughs look-and-feel plus Sorcerer themes and fantasy elements. I'd play in a Dictionary game, or in a knock-off (use broad ideas, but not the book). The idea that demons are dead things is particularly interesting.

    I need to refresh on rules, before talking mechanics (what Humanity means is an example).

    In my first post, I mentioned Grimm Therapy, with a link. Good sorcerer setting too, but very different. Difficult to get into in few words, so I won't, but it really works. See link.

    I'll mention if something else comes to mind.
  • RusRus
    edited September 2008
    Ok. Ignotus, let us know if you're on board. Give Trevis some ideas on what setting you'd prefer.

    Trevis, I think since you're GM, I'm happy with you having final say in the setting. I'd rather not bog down with negotiations on setting content. With our Kickers we'll have quite a bit of authority to supplement whatever you come up with-- so I think the system actually balances out the content authority nicely.

    I'd be happy picking up a copy of Mu, been tempted in the past, and this would give me a good excused to do it. :)
  • I'm in.

    Setting-wise I'd prefer more historical-feeling stuff over straight fantasy, so I'd be more into rugirsi's medieval dark forest than conan-esque sorceror and sword. I'd also like to tap into creepy real-world folklore or fairy tales. Ultimately I'm game for pretty much anything, though.

    Here are a couple of other thoughts (I am bored at work):
    - Rural Appalachia, probably mid-20th century. Skin-changers, witchcraft, creepy familiars, poverty, family tragedy, lonely old shacks in the woods, the devil. If anyone's reading the current Hellboy story arc, that's the feel I'm thinking of.
    - Roman-controlled Judaea, around the birth of Christ. Rabbis, magi, false messiahs. Demons possess pigs and wild men, and offer wondrous gifts.
  • RusRus
    edited September 2008
    - Rural Appalachia, probably mid-20th century. Skin-changers, witchcraft, creepy familiars, poverty, family tragedy, lonely old shacks in the woods, the devil.
    That sounds so cool. You know what it makes me want to do...write up an IAWA oracle for it...
  • The Appalachia thing sounds like a creepy version of Oh Brother Where Art Thou. Dustbowl and Depression stuff. I kinda like it.

    I like also hardboiled late 40's and 50's LA and surrounding area. Characters are people who, one way or another, live by the gun. McCarthyism and all too. Humanity would be justice.

    I could see doing a Sorcerer and Sword version inspired by the manga Nausicaa and the Valley of Wind. Post apocolyptic, humans live on the fringes of the "Sea of Corruption" an enormous forest of poisnous fungus that covers most of the known world, covering it after the Seven days of fire. Two major powers fighting with smaller principalities trying to figure out what to do. Animals replaced by giant insects (particularly the Ohmu, which are kinda like potato bugs the size of Whales.) Most technology (engines and such, no computers) scavenged from buried forgotten cities. Most metals replaced with ceramics of one kind or another. Muskets and cutlery. Prop planes. Breathing masks. Inhaling the maisma from the fungus infects and kills you. Demons would be ancient technology, possibly insects, things grown from vats.

    I've also occasionally had the perverse desire to do a Sorcerer and Sword game inspired by Soul Caliber.

    I have Dictionary of Mu, and I like it, though I don't think I have a pdf so it might be hard to put it out there for you all to peruse.

    I'd like to hear a few other pitch ideas and thoughts.
  • Here are some more thoughts:

    Teratology - the study of monsters has long been a crucial means to understanding the mechanisms of development and "normal" life. It arguably reached its height in the 18th century, specimens cataloged in jars or displayed in curiosity cabinets. Peter the Great had a standing bounty on monstrous or deformed infants, dead or alive, for his collection (the collection is still on display in St. Petersberg today). The characters would be anatomists or natural historians. Academics, noble, wealthy scholars, probing the mysteries of life by looking at its edges. Demons would be the things they (or their agents) have brought back from the far corner of the world - deformed children, bizarre molluscs leering from jars of formaldehyde, curious plants or beetles - freakish things unknown to science. Their mysteries can grant great power and insight, enough to fulfill the desires of our civilized men, but the things have desires of their own...

    Freak Show - inspired by Carnivale, this game would center around a travelling creepy carnival, probably in depression-era US. Either PCs would be freaks, with their demons as their freakish nature, or PCs would be carneys with relationships to the freaks. Humanity = seeing yourself as a person instead of a monster.

    Asylum - a somewhat dreamlike fantasy setting (drawing on the PC game Sanitarium, if anyone's played, or even One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest). PCs are patients in a vast, gormenghast/kafkaesque asylum filled with colorful characters, maze-like chambers, bizarre rules and surreal therapies. Perhaps they are trying to escape, perhaps they are trying to prove that they are really sane, perhaps they are just trying to make a life for themselves within the walls. Demons are their delusions (or so the orderlies tell them). Humanity = sanity.

    USSR - PCs are sorcerers in Stalinist Russia. Ambition, ideology, bureacracy, atheism, baba yaga, orthodox christianity, the gulag, frozen winters, hell's fire, hungry wolves, firing squads.

    1984 - This is kind of out there, but hear me out: Sorcerer in Orwell's dystopia. I'd want to reread the novel if we were going to do this. A sorcerer probably has too much power and will to live in the little boxes that the Party allows. Will you foment a rebellion? Try to dethrone Big Brother and replace him? Flee the country? Or simply try to carve out a space where you can live unmolested? And who knows where the other sorcerers in this society have managed to insert themselves?
  • I been stopping by this forum on a weekly basis, so I just noticed this sign of life. If there's still room, I'd love to join in as a player as well - I've been dying to try some Sorcerer.

    Sword and Sorcery, ala REH, sounds great to me, as does something Nausicaa-like. Grimm Therapy is fun too, but I might like something more mature (since its hard to do the nasty and scary Sorcerer things with kids). The Appalachia also has some appeal. I'd also be fine with a straight-up modern game of Sorcerer as portrayed in the core book.
  • These are all cool. Its a tough choice.

    Ideas that have resonated with me: 1920's and 30's Appalachia, Carnivale like (liked some of the HBO series, but other parts of it really bugged), study of monsters, and something about Nausicca I like too. Humanity = Community.
  • btw, I also think nausicaa sounds pretty cool (though I'd have to netflix the anime if we were gonna play).
  • Hi Garvey! You're sure welcome to join in!

    Everyone, can I get your first names? It's okay if you'd rather not. I just like calling people by their names. Mine is my handle.

    Ignotus If we do use Nausicaa I'd want it to be Nausicaaish/inspired by Nausicaa, but not be bound to the cannon of the story. The manga is the original form and the new graphic novels by Viz are the best. I don't know if any of the anime's they made were any good, I did see one years and years ago, but I hardly remember it.

    Boy Iggy, you're an idea factory! I haven't seen Carnivale, so that one isn't scratching the itch for me. The Asylum one holds some attraction for me because I can really see it in my head. For both 1984 and USSR, I'm not so sure, but I could see humanity as simply Belonging to a Group (perhaps THE Group) while sorcery means standing outside the group by your actions/rejecting the group/isolating yourself. It also makes me think of V for Vendetta. And I do think I would prefer to fantasize it at least a little. The Teratology one is interesting. Appalachia seems to be popular. I have a couple of threads to point out and a couple of settings I've collected along the way. I particularly like Sin Eaters setting. You can find the setting documents at this folder http://trevismartin.org/Sorcerer

    The threads I'd like to point to are Judd (Paka) Karlman's recent thread about Outer Space Sorcerer http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=26820.0 and this one http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?topic=25499.0 (the "Mad Scientist" post)

    Anyway make some comments if you want then I want you to email me privately with your two top choices at trevis dot martin at gmail dot com. The way I see it we have three maybe four players. That's plenty. We've not heard back from yellowparis yet.
  • edited October 2008
    The Nausicaa movie is perhaps one of the best anime movies ever made; its considered an anime masterpiece. It is quite old though for an anime: 1984; hence the lower quality audio and video. Like the manga its by Hayao Miyazaki, who made My Neighbor Totoro, Mononoke Hime (Princess Mononoke), Laputa: Castle in the Sky, Spirited Away, and Howl's Moving Castle (among others). I highly recommend it. My wife, who isn't a big anime fan (she doesn't enjoy most anime at all) really liked it. I haven't read the manga, but its sounds like they are very similar (its based on the manga). I think the movie would be enough of an intro to that type of setting and it might be easier to find, and cheaper to rent, than the manga. According to Wikipedia, the movie corresponds to the first 2 books of the manga. Anyway, I highly recommend the film.

    There has only been one version of Nausicaa made in Japan, but a really highly, and badly, edited version of the film was released in the US back in the 80's under the name "Warriors of the Wind". The original uncut film was released a few years ago in the states. Fansubs of it have been available in the US for a while though. So if you saw the "Warriors of the Wind" version, you should remove that portion of your brain (ouch!) and watch the original version.

    Trevis, I agree, that if we go with Nausicaa, its important to use it more as general setting, and not worry at all about canon.

    On the another note:

    The Asylum idea sounds cool, but it feels hard to get my hands on it - just in terms of having interesting relationships with normal people. The more I think about it the cooler it seems, but I think a less surreal game might work better. (It sounds like it would make an awesome con game or one-shot though).

    Trevis, do you want to narrow down or explicitly list the possibilities that you view as serious contenders so that we're all 'voting' on the same list? We could also "whisper" our choices here on this thread so that only you can see them.

    And, and you can call me Matt if you want, although Garvey is a functional first name for me as well. :)
  • Nothing new under the sun:

    http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=184229

    That's a long thread from rpg.net about using nausicaa as a sorcerer setting (I just ran across it randomly while procrastinating, oddly enough).

    I haven't had a chance to look thru it all, but I'll bet money there's good stuff there.
  • Dig it, it's on Google video... at least I think it's the right one.

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8704790173215648057
  • Wow. I can't believe that its just available on Google video - I didn't realize that DIsney/Miramax (the US distributors) were so agreeable to online distribution (I'm assuming its a legal distribution since its on Google video).

    Yup, that's the right one (meaning not the bad cut). Its the English dub and has Patrick Stewart as one of the voice actors, so I know its the recent release.
  • Um...sure...I'm surprised too :) How generous of them.

    And Eddie Olmos is in it too (as Mito)

    The rpg.net thread is pretty good.


    Um as far as I see it the top contenders are

    1930's appalachia - I like it but I don't know much about real appalachia, Oh Brother being my big reference (and it's not appalachia but maybe the right flavor in parts.) I had this interesting mental image of someone commanding "Old Man Twister" a tornado (could be the demon or just the manifestation of its powers.)

    Nausicaa/Nausicaaish - using sorcerer and sword too I think.

    The Asylum

    Those are the ones I think have the most legs.
  • I'm still open for other input if people have a different pitch. I have a one sheet I tried to get off the ground once before

    http://wiki.trevismartin.org/pmwiki.php/Undead/OneSheet

    I'm not sure I like the humanity def though, and the descriptors need work.
  • edited October 2008
    I'm back from my trip now.

    Hardboiled/noir would be good - the genre specifically addresses Sorcerer's issue of 'how far are you willing to go to get something', and it's a genre/setting I tend to like. I'd also be happy with the Valley of the Wind setting, and the sci-fi Sorcerer actually looks kind of interesting.
  • It looks like Valley of the Wind-ish is the winner. Cool. The anime link listed above is worth watching but the Graphic novels are different and much more expansive. Peruse the rpg.net thread http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?t=184229. I don't know that I'll use that exactly but it provides some good overview. We can start kicking around character ideas. Do we need a new thread for that? I'll email/whisper all of you the edit password for my wiki at http://wiki.trevismartin.org which we can use for our game.
  • Quiet all of a sudden. I think a new thread for character creation is a good idea. I have a few ideas kicking around in my head, but I haven't figured out yet which is the one I really want to play.

    Perhaps we should make an official one-sheet, or start working towards that (worth it own thread I think).

    Demons are, what? Nature out of control? Ancient Technology, definitely. Bioengineering? (Or is that just another type of ancient technology)?

    Humanity as Community, was that thrown around? Something about balance and respect for nature seems fitting from what I remember of the anime, although that makes insects less likely to be demons.

    These should probably be talked about in its own thread though.
  • Checking in.
    I'm awaiting a one-sheet before I let my brain wander on Character ideas.
    I own a copy of the film. I plan on watching it again in the next few days. I'm excited for the setting.
  • I just watched Nausicaa for the first time. What a beautiful film. I'm going to mull it over for a bit and then read all the way thru the rpg.net thread.
  • BTW, I like humanity = compassion. Resonant with the film, and resonant with me, too.
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