The Historical Importance of Ron Edwards' Sorcerer [+]

pemerton

Legend
Other examples of games that had a much larger impact than the people that played them include games like Ars Magica, Over The Edge and Pendragon.
More Sorcerer quotes (p 9, and the annotations to p 10):

Sorcerer is written in the tradition of the early editions of Traveller, Cyberpunk, RuneQuest, Champions, and (lo these many years gone) The Fantasy Trip. Every one of these games was originally published as a low-budget labor of love and each transformed the experience of roleplaying. This spirit of role-playing design never died, and Sorcerer owes many debts to Over the Edge, Prince Valiant, and Zero. Thanks and even a little love to all of the creators of all these ground-breaking games.

I’d been wanting a sorcerer-only, demon-summoning game for a long time, arguably as far back as 1978 and the game Wizard, from Metagaming. . . Over the Edge opened my eyes. “Oh, so that’s how you do it,” I said, and starting hacking Over the Edge together with Wizard, producing my first handful of rules pages in late 1994, enough to start playtesting.​

You know my love for Prince Valiant. I don't know Zero or Wizard at all - do you, or does anyone else, know anything about them?
 

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Huh. I Owned a game called Zero. It was essentially the Borg play Paranoia. Everyone is a cyborg going about their lives but they don't know they are cyborgs because their implants lie to them, showing a false reality. They eat glop they think is fine food and their beautiful homes are an industrial wasteland. The characters have broken through to....some vaguely defined purpose I no longer recall.

It predated the Matrix, but from just the main book I didn't find it compelling.
 

niklinna

satisfied?
You know my love for Prince Valiant. I don't know Zero or Wizard at all - do you, or does anyone else, know anything about them?
 



This is from the annotations to p 13:

[A] core feature of playing Sorcerer . . . is that pre-play setting is reduced to the barest possible minimum, strictly at the service of making characters enmeshed in crisis. More about the setting is established through specific preparation and play.​
In other words, setting exists at the outset only to supercharge the characters’ immediate hassles, not for the characters to explore.​

Just to give an example of this, here's my setting notes from one of my early games of Sorcerer:

Sorcerer setting said:
London in the late 80s – socialites, yuppies, parties, paparazzi, naked greed. Cash is pouring into the capital and everyone wants it. Docklands offices, Surrey mansions, kiss and tell Sun headlines, cocaine, tennis stars, personal shoppers, minor royalty, Henley Regatta, Royal Ascot.

That's the entirety of the setting. At most it's an impressionistic study of a certain strata of British society, but it gives enough detail to imagine what kind of characters are going to be inhabiting the game.
 

Blue Orange

Gone to Texas
Even popular games like Vampire The Masquerade can have an outsize impact on the hobby beyond those who played them. Games like Vampire, Champions, Legend of the Five Rings et al. helped to popularize stronger connections to the game's setting than had been the norm previously. We see that reflected in more recent takes on game like D&D and Pathfinder.

Other examples of games that had a much larger impact than the people that played them include games like Ars Magica, Over The Edge and Pendragon.

I'll probably cover Vampire in a similar thread soon.
Bit OT, but I noticed the flavor text in D&D showed up in 3rd ed, after Vampire had had its era of popularity.
 

Bit OT, but I noticed the flavor text in D&D showed up in 3rd ed, after Vampire had had its era of popularity.
The flavor text of vampire (1991) appeared after Shadowrun (1989) included in-character timelines, entire chapters written by NPCs, and in-line character annotations.

Which were themselves inspired by early BBS forums and fanfic. Which can be traced back to pre-roman texts with marginalia. Nothing is original but it is all remixed into new flavors (and occasionally old flavors that the re-inventor had never heard of)

(And in an ironic form of deja vu, I believe I made a very similar comment in another thread a while back)
 

Old Fezziwig

What this book presupposes is -- maybe he didn't?
Which were themselves inspired by early BBS forums and fanfic. Which can be traced back to pre-roman texts with marginalia.
Don't mistake me, I'm not disagreeing with you — I mean, there's nothing new under the sun. But I love the elision of ~2700 years of history. Pre-Roman texts, yada yada yada, BBS forums.

(I must have Seinfeld on the brain today, because it's also making me think of "The Raincoats," which has a fun elision in it, too — "And next thing we knew, the war was over!")
 

niklinna

satisfied?
The flavor text of vampire (1991) appeared after Shadowrun (1989) included in-character timelines, entire chapters written by NPCs, and in-line character annotations.

Which were themselves inspired by early BBS forums and fanfic. Which can be traced back to pre-roman texts with marginalia. Nothing is original but it is all remixed into new flavors (and occasionally old flavors that the re-inventor had never heard of)

(And in an ironic form of deja vu, I believe I made a very similar comment in another thread a while back)
 

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