Notes on Sorcerer play (not the game transcript)

Actual Play reports will come this evening when I have more time, but there are a few thoughts I wanted to get down:


1: Sorcerer means smaller groups. There really aren’t any good exceptions. Four players is the absolute outside maximum, provided you have a relationship map with the tensile strength of spring-steel. Three is better. DitV is not notably different in this regard.
1a: I would do something about the above point with the Grimm Therapy game, except I think it’s a short enough arc to muddle through and still be enjoyable.
2: It is infinitely helpful when the players take some of the initiative in organizing play the way they know they want it to be — playing “my guy” is well and good and right, but there’s a point where it makes the game more interesting if you say “It would be better if I found a way for my PC to go to location X instead of being purposely ignorant of the plot point laying there.” This is an authorial choice rather than actor’s choice, and it’s good story-making and game play, if not also good role-playing (which I think it is). We started to do that last night towards the end and it helped. I even talked to Justin about it afterwards as something that was okay to do if it would make more interesting things happen as a result.
I like that people are working to help me weave the elements of the story in tighter to each other…
“Dave, I need your PC’s bully to have the same last name as one of the missing high school girls.”
“Cool.”
It just tightens everything up.
It was good to play again — every time I run this game I feel like I get a little more understanding of how it all goes together.

3 Replies to “Notes on Sorcerer play (not the game transcript)”

  1. I entirely understand and sympathize with all of your Sorcerer thoughts. 4 is the absolutely maximum but the most sucessful games I have run have been with 2-3.
    Can’t wait to read more.

  2. As long as it doesn’t feel railroady (“Dave, instead of going to find a secret hide-out for your robot, you decide to track down the bully and give him what for”) or entail a profound change in the character (“Dave, instead of your demon being a robot action figure, can we make it a toad instead?”) I can’t imagine why a player *wouldn’t* want to “tighten everything up.” Especially in a limited arc.

  3. Right. What I was talking about wasn’t so much the Bully example as I was the Factory example (what factory example? the one I’m about to give!)
    Me: Dave, what are you doing?
    Dave: (who knows that Kermit and Nicky are both heading to the spooky old factory) I… need to find someplace to keep Robot Z away from Mom… I think that old Factory on the edge of town would be GREAT, so I’m going to head there.
    In character? Certainly. At the same time it was very much the player selecting from a list of options the best one to bring his character into a scene with other characters.
    That’s not to be passed off as a simple thing: lots of players will look over that list of options and choose one that takes them off into more solo events “because that’s the ‘most In Character’ thing he would do”, and then feel trapped into never interacting with anyone else in the game… almost as though they CAN’T send him to the factory BECAUSE they know some other PCs will be there and they don’t want to act on that knowledge (or, even better, being mad at the GM because they haven’t figured out a way to “force” them into a scene with someone else).
    Don’t laugh — it happens all the time — I think of it as ouija-board playing, with the PC as the little widget thing on the board and the GM and player trying to pretend no one’s moving the character.
    It’s just refreshing to get away from that and having people thinking “How can I get together with these people? What makes sense and accomplishes this?” and then DOING it.

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