- Sorcerer (role-playing game)
"Sorcerer" is an indie,
fantasy role-playing gamewritten by Ron Edwards and published through Adept Press. The game focuses on sorcerers who summon, bind, and interact with demons, which are powerful non-human entities who work with and against the sorcerer.
Demons are defined by the group, which can range from the classical demons to high powered AI robots to sentient artifacts of power.
They are divided into five basic typesSee Sorcerer: ISBN 0-9709176-0-0.] :
# Inconspicuous demons are hard to perceive, either from being small or from utilizing some kind of invisibility. They cannot remain hidden if they take actions against someone.
# Object demons are physical artifacts of power, for example a sword or a computer. They are sentient with a will of their own that doesn't always correspond to the sorcerer's.
# Parasite demons inhabit the body of the sorcerer, another human or an animal and most of their powers are conferred to the host.
# Passing demons look like ordinary humans or animals. Examples are doppelgangers, cyborgs or clones. Their powers are always conferred to themselves.
# Possessor demons completely take over the body of a host instead of the symbiotic relationship of parasitic demons. Their powers are conferred to themselves alone.
Demons in a specific game can push a unified agenda or can be driven by some personal goal, but they are always hard on the sorcerer's Humanity as they usually embrace concepts that are counter to the ruling Humanity definition.
Play focuses on a particular theme defined by each group as Humanity. Players make conscious decisions throughout play to commit their characters towards actions that support or negate Humanity, often risking it in the process of acquiring or utilizing the power of demons. Through doing so, players are making strong thematic statements about the issue defined by Humanity.
A bang is a situation that requires a choice from the player as how the character will respond to the situation.See [http://www.indie-rpgs.com/_articles/glossary.html the Forge glossary] .] The choice will often be thematically relevant, based on the Humanity definition and earlier events in the game. For a bang to be effective, the game master shouldn't force a specific choice, and the player doing nothing should also have consequences.
The game master should prepare a number of bangs for each session in what Edwards calls a bandolier of bangs, but be prepared to alter them on-the-fly or discard them if necessary. A bang doesn't have to be initiated by the game master, another player or even the player himself could identify a bang situation that requires a choice.
The term was introduced by Edwards in the Sorcerer book.
A kicker is a player-authored "first bang", a situation that turns the player's character's world upside down. It's supposed to be the start of the story of the character, and the upcoming events will eventually reach the conclusion of the kicker. The player will then update the character according to rules found in the Sorcerer rules and write a new kicker for the character. The game master should use the event in the kicker and add pressure on the character, to enable the group to make a thematic statement through the resolution of the kicker.
Sorcerer was first self-published on-line as a free text document. It gradually built up an audience, made a profit at every stage of its growth, and is currently published as a hard-cover book with three soft-cover supplements. Sorcerer has received numerous reviews on various web forums, such as
RPGnet, and in print magazines, such as Realms of Fantasy. It played a substantial part in Ron Edwards' receipt of the prestigious " Diana Jones Award" in 2002.The Diana Jones Award [http://www.dianajonesaward.org/02winner.html website] (accessed: 2007-09-08).]
Sorcerer is not a game for everyone. It was written with adherence to the tenets of
GNS Theory, specifically for a Narrativist audience. As a result it may be less enjoyable for groups that adopt a different Creative Agenda or who reject The Big Modelentirely.
; Sorcerer : The core rulebook. (Hardcover) ISBN 0-9709176-0-0; Sorcerer and Sword : Explores pulp fantasy in Sorcerer. (Paperback) ISBN 0-9709176-1-9; The Sorcerer's Soul : Re-examines Humanity and demons and introduces
angels. (Paperback) ISBN 0-9709176-2-7; Sex and Sorcerer : A new look at player interactions and story creation in the game. (Paperback) ISBN 0-9709176-3-5
Edwards employs a system for smaller official and fan-written supplements where the author keeps all earnings as long as Edwards has editorial control and the mini-supplement is sold in
; Charnel Gods, by Scott Knipe: The characters wield demon-infested weapons at the end of the world. ; Demon Cops, by Ron Edwards: An urban anime police-setting. ; Electric Ghosts, by Ravenscrye Daegmorgan: Demons infest technology, and communicates through electric humming. ; Hellbound, by Dav Harnish: Humanity is the Sorcerer's immortal soul, something that can be sold or traded.; Schism, by Jared A. Sorensen: A Cronenberg-inspired setting where Sorcerers are telepaths and clairvoyants.; Urge, by
Clinton R. Nixon: Sorcerers are people infested with an animal spirit, and has to fight the animal urges to remain human. The [http://www.anvilwerks.com/src/urge/urge.html full text] is available online under a Creative Commons license.
* [http://www.sorcerer-rpg.com The Sorcerer RPG website]
* [http://www.indie-rpgs.com/forum/index.php?board=7.0 The Adept Press forum] on The Forge website with discussions on Sorcerer, moderated by Ron Edwards
* [http://www.rpg.net/reviews/archive/9/9606.phtml RPGnet - Lisa Padol]
* [http://www.rpg.net/news+reviews/reviews/rev_6596.html RPGnet - Eric Brennan]
* [http://www.sorcerer-rpg.com/apprent.pdf A somewhat out-of-date preview version]
* [http://random.average-bear.com/Sorcerer/ A "Sorcerer" wiki]
* [http://scottrpg.com/rpg/DavesSorcQR.pdf A "Sorcerer" “Quick Reference”]
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