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Nordic Noir + Anatolian Antiquity

"Demon pets," I told them, and "Ancient cities." After this meeting, we're starting up with one sorcerer maximizing the first and the other maximizing the second, and with a fine mix of the components in this post's title.

This is Sorcerer, with me, Pedro, and Aybars. There is an almost physical impression of commitment among us.

I'm interested in what you see in the video. To me, the point is that it's not "guess what the GM is thinking," it's the GM discovering what he needs to know. See how we stay with the statements, or vary from them in reflective ways, and how the diagrams are emerging. See how the linking concept of police procedural was obvious almost from the start of the discussion, yet did not find full voice until the end.

Actual Play


HijosDelRol's picture

Hi Ron. After reading the post and watching the video I have an few questions. I've noticed that for this game you've used a "two statements" sort-of-premise to guide character creation ("Demon pets" and "Ancient cities"), the same way you've been doing for the Champions Now games. So about it:

- is this something new for your Sorcerer games or is this something you've done and/or talked about before in relation to Sorcerer?

- does each statement follow a category the same way as the Champions ones? If I remember correctly for Champions it is "something about the powers and something about the type of story"

- would you recommend this pre-campaign technique for other games? Is there any particular kind of games or play-style that you see them fitting better?

- If the answer to the previous question is yes, do you have any advice for deciding the best categories to use for the questions in a given game? Or does that not matter that much?

I've been following the discussions about Intuitive Continuity vs Emergent Plot closely with the intention of honing my prep practices with the latter in mind, so I'm definitely looking at ways to include this technique in my future games.


- Angel

Ron Edwards's picture

"Go not to the elves for counsel, for they will say both yes and no." I am very sorry but I am forced to wear this elf hat in order to reply.

The pedigree for the two-statements technique is reversed: I introduced it in the annotations for Sorcerer in the 2013 publication, that is, the only version currently available for sale. I'd found it to be extremely helpful in playing the game for years, far better than the minor novella that often served for customized preparation when I started.

You're probably familiar with the one-sheets that I wrote about at the Forge and demonstrated in one of the Kickstarter projects; upon looking all of those over, I discovered that they really came down to those two statements, and all else showed up in the characters built from them, turning out to be compatible even when built independently. I ran a ton of mini-Sorcerer games for years at conventions to field-test it, with shockingly good results.

When I started working on Champions Now, I decided to adopt it. So the easy answer is to say to you, "yes, but in reverse from your chronology." However, here comes the "and no" - because the mechanical roots for Sorcerer are easily found in The Fantasy Trip and Over the Edge, but its aesthetic and more generally systemic roots are flat-out undeniable first-generation Champions. The very notion of the customizable but not generic system comes from there, as does the arc from Kicker through Kicker resolution into altered character design - those latter are names given to the reliable process of playing that/those versions of Champions with a certain playing-on-purpose in action. And the demon abilities follow exactly the same logic as the powers from that/those versions too, which leads me into a speech about how that logic disappeared from the hobby in 1989, which I will spare you.

So there's an older causal influence going on in which Sorcerer may be seen as a highly specific form of Champions (counting only first-generation and Champions Now), and during which the two-statement method evolved from practice to text.


I love the ancient cities in Anatolia element! Catal Huyuk has fascinated me since I learned about the early excavations in the 80s. I particularly liked Ron's suggestion that a sorcerer might have access to secret parts of a ruin that no one else can get to. This strikes me as a possible use of the "other world" rules from Sorcerer and Sword.

I also found the example of how to use the four part diagram very helpful. Before this, it had not come alive for me.

Ron Edwards's picture

I'm glad you like it! I feel the same way.

If you haven't seen it, I provide a pretty intensive lesson in the Sorcerer diagram in this post: Sorcerer Musik - harmony and dissonance.

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