I just held session-1 of a Sorcerer game with a small group of old friends. They're all new to Sorcerer and have only played a handful of other indie games. This was the character generation session, and it went so very well! We're all really excited for the game to come.
I'll talk about the first session, give an overview of the 3 PC sorcerers and their kickers, and share some of my ideas about the situation. Ask me any questions about the first session, and do share your thoughts on what you would do with these PCs and kickers!
None of the players had read the rulebook, but I've talked at length about the concept of Sorcerer. In the session I didn't talk about the mechanics much. I mainly focused on helping them develop strong character concepts that will make great Sorcerer PCs. Then filled out the character sheets and made demons, then kickers. At the end of the session, we played a quick scuffle to see how the conflict mechanics work.
Setting is… Present-day Toronto. The shiny downtown and the old character-rich neighbourhoods.
Humanty is… Empathy, social consciousness.
Sorcery is… All the classic Western/Near-Eastern demonic stuff: candles, glyphs & sigils, bloodletting, invoking the true names of ancient demons, reading from famous grimoires in ancient languages.
Demons are… Classic zoomorphic or goblinoid humanoids (horns, fangs, tails), muscular, gaunt or any other shape. Appearance as described by Dante et al, but they are pre-Christian creatures.
Explaining the concept of kickers to new players is always tricky. I had success this time by going straight to examples from popular media: Neo meets Trinity, who tells him that the Matrix is real. Some guy tells Sarah Connor that he has come from the future to protect her from a killer robot. Luke Skywalker encounters an old Jedi, a secret message in a droid, and his parents are murdered. Etc.. They picked up on it pretty quickly.
Now I've got a week to turn the characters and kickers they gave me into a situation or three, and my brain is on fire with ideas. I'm really excited by the possibilities :
Barry, a small guy guy who was bullied in high-school, now a chef with a chip on his shoulder. He roams the streets at night beating up "bullies". His demon makes him hell in a fight, but Barry is worried that he doesn't know where his vigilante justice ends and the demon's Need for bloody violence begins.
Kicker: He hears that another student at his old high school has been badly injured in a bullying incident. He swears to enact vengeance on the school administrators who failed to protect him and are still failing to protect the students.
The player and I were both thinking the same thing: that there will be more than meets the eye about the school administrators. Perhaps they are subtly encouraging the on-campus violence, and deriving some sort of sorcerous juice from the resulting suffering.
Clara is a young finance student and social justice activist with an internship at a big investment bank. Her demon gives her advanced computer hacking powers. She digs up information on wealthy fraudsters and tax cheats to get them arrested. She also siphons away cash from off-shore accounts and donates it to local charities and people in need. Her demon is able to cloak her digital footprints.
Kicker: Some organization or group has recognized her unique skills, and is trying to recruit her to take down a large criminal organization.
The player wanted to leave all the details up to me, and that's fine. It will make it easier for me to mesh this character's situation with those of the other two. Corruption between developers and government is a persistent problem in and around Toronto these days, just as the skyrocketing cost of housing is a big social-justice issue. I think she will be going after real-estate developers with criminal connections.
Lance is a police detective who craves career advancement. His demon provides uncanny insights into cases when Lance brings him crime-scene photos, coroner reports and other evidence. Lance's case closure rate is remarkable. He's currently working on a serial-killer case.
Kicker: A police officer is found murdered. Lance believes this is more of his serial killer's work, but he is told to stay away from the case! A superior is working his own pet theory. It's all office politics.
I'm pretty sure the serial killer is going to end up being a demon on the loose. Sorcerous telltales on all the victims?
My initial thoughts on Situation:
The administrators at Barry's school (Principal, VP, department heads) are a coven, and the school itself is a demon. The student violence which they encourage either feeds the demon or fuels a sorcerous token.
With their sorcery they have youth, wealth and long life, but they are tied to this little school in this run-down suburb. So they will bring the luxuries of the world to themselves. Through their shell companies, they have bought up most of the adjacent city block. They just need one more property — Barry's restaurant — before they can bulldoze the whole neighbourhood and build their luxury mega-condo.
When Clara's predecessor noticed the unusual money transfers, real-estate transactions and bribes to city officials, the coven sent a demon to slay him. The possessor demon, having satisfied its Need for murder, was loathe to return to captivity. Instead it has been possessing one body after another, looking for the perfect host, and killing the rejects. It thought it had found the perfect host in a police officer — who else in this world can get away with murder? — but the officer's will was strong, and the demon had to give it up. It now seeks a more agreeable body in blue to be its permanent new skin.
What do you think? What would you do with these PCs and kickers?
(Image credit: I can't find the original artist, I will post it in a comment when I do!)