Tags: Sorcerer RPG 2006
You're dead, you idiot. How did it happen? It doesn't really matter, the thing is you can't lie down like decent folk. No, not you. You've come back. And you've fucking changed, man. You aren't the person you used to be. The monkey is on you too, in you really, clawing at you, eating your guts out and shitting darkness into your soul and now you can do things you couldn't do before.
So what's your big plan? Do you just walk back into everyone's life? You're dead to these people, man. They grieved. They moved on, or tried to. You should've moved on too. But no, not you. You have something to do. So now you're fucking things up for them again. Wasn't the first time enough?
As if that wasn't enough, you brought it with you when you came back. You may not remember, but you did it man, you made the deal because you're so fucking special. "I'm sorry, I can't be dead, I've got things to do." Fucker.
Here's me bursting your bubble. You aren't the only one. Look out there. There's a few. You can see the monkey in their eyes. They think they're special too. Some of them loose it. The monkey eats them up inside and they go batshit. Sometimes they're themselves, and sometimes the monkey has them, really has them, has their will, controls them like a puppet.
Those aren't the worst though, the hollows are. There's no man left, just that black monkey in a meatsuit. They're almost as dangerous as you are. But it won't happen to you right? It won't eat your soul and turn you. You got control. You can stop when you want. You can even control the others, especially the hollows. Because you're that fucking special.
So what you wanted was this fucking important, Huh? Go for it buddy, my money is on the monkey.
Sometime in the near future in contemporary urban and suburban America. Probably east coast such as New York or Boston. I imagine a visual palette like the Matrix or Unbreakable i.e. heavy on the neutral gray colors with a blue or green cast over everything. Everything should be either very intense in color and action or very quiet and distant.
Sorcery here is centered around death. You had a near death experience. This might have been accidential or intentional. It might have been suicide or murder. You might be completely on your own, being coached by someone else, or in a group of people all attempting this together. You might be using ancient rituals or modern medicine.
3.1 Look and Feel
Contacting, Summoning and Binding are all done while the sorcerer is dead. I envision it as a phantasmagorical dream scape kind of experience. Locations are mash-ups of places the sorcerer has experienced in life. The demons, when the sorcerer meets them take the forms of people he knows, particularly close relationships, living or not.
Contacting could be writing an email, making a phone call, setting a signal fire or whatever embodies communication in the Between.
Summoning would be traveling the Between until you find the demon contacted or meeting it in some specified location.
To Bind a demon should involve some form of consumption, taking the demon into yourself. For example, eating the eyes or heart out of it. Opening your own chest and pulling the demon in. Stuffing the demon into whichever orifice seems appropriate... or inappropriate. The demon might require that you overcome it before consuming it, by fighting or copulation, for example.
Sorcerous powers in the real world are more creepy coincidental than flashy and overtly supernatural. Things jump and happen while you're not looking directly at them. Things move in the hazy edges of vision.
Communicating with demons is purely a special effect. Demons tend to communicate in the real world in a couple of ways. If the demon is a parasite then the sorcerer can hear it as a voice over his/her shoulder, sometimes moving. Some demons also cause audiovisual hallucinations such as causing dead bodies or any person in the sorcerers perception to turn and speak to him in the voice of the demon. When the sorcerer blinks, of course, things are back to normal. However they cannot cause damaging hallucinations without attacking the sorcerer with a combat roll and the appropriate ability. (Think of the movie Fallen, when the demon hops from person to person.) They also might communicate electronically, radios, TV's, cell phones, computers, or videogames.
The experience of going beyond is one of experiencing a nothingness so vast as to make moral codes (and damn near everything else) meaningless. Your humanity degrades because in the face of annihilation, things just don't matter. The opposite side of that coin is to make meaningful empathic connection to human beings and the world. Complete loss of humanity (twice, see below) results in the annihilation of the self.
Humanity loss rolls would be called for:
- neglecting empathic connections to other human beings
- Deliberate cruelty.
- Destroying objects that have emotional meaning for you or someone else (reminders and symbols of connections to other people).
- Emotional abuse.
- Violating trust.
- ignoring or anesthetizing your feelings with anything (drink, drugs, gambling, sex, whatever.)
Humanity gain rolls would be called for:
- nurturing empathic connections to other people.
- helping other people in emotional distress.
- establishing trust.
0 Humanity means that living things are, for you, only a means to an end, having no value except as they pertain to death.
Demons are brought back as hitchhikers.
Some say demons are abstractions, pieces of the abyss that seek definition before they dissolve again. They seek to drive your humanity down so that they can fuse with you permanently and they can maintain an existence in reality. Others contend that they are manifestations of your own psychology, loosened or uncovered by the experience of dying.
The first demon that all sorcerers must have is a parasite. This demon rides back with you or in an appropriate vessel during the resurrection then acts as a conduit for you to summon other demons. This demon is special in several ways. First after you've summoned and bound it, and it has brought you back, the life of its host is tied to its existence. If you or someone else banishes it, the host will die.
Second is that this demon changes with humanity loss. The first time you hit 0 Humanity, you get to renegotiate with the demon. If you choose not to agree with it, (i.e. bind it again) its host (you, probably) will die. Other bindings are canceled as normal. If you do choose to bind it again, you come back for a second time and it digs deeper. Now its a possessor. Normally part of this stage is negotiating when it will be in control of your body. Sorcerers who don't do this risk a constant fight with the demon for control of the body.
The second time you hit 0 humanity, the host and the demon fuse completely and It becomes a Passer. Passing demons (Hollow men) in this game are immanents. They can be contacted, bound, pacted, punished, contained but not summoned or banished. The 'call' for them is something sent out by the demon inside you.
The life cycle of these demons is such that if they are banished, everything that the host knew and experienced becomes part of them. Most demons are huge chaotic amalgams, not only of the core being/non-being but also of all the previous sorcerers that died while attached to them. Talking to them in the beyond is like trying to talk at a packed party where everyone is speaking at once. Only none of the conversations ever complete.
It is possible to put the demons you bring back in people other than you as well. Whether the demon is willing to transfer out of you is part of your negotiations. All demons hosted in a human being are set up for their cycle and it's all tied to the Sorcerer's humanity. If you have a parasite in multiple people then if you hit 0 humanity you have to renegotiate with all of them, either letting their hosts die or upgrading them to possessors.
The visual I have of this is like this. Imagine being in the crazy dreamscape of the near death experience. The environment is constantly flickering and changing between your childhood home and your parent's gravesite. Something that alternately looks like your lover or your mom hands you the knife and bears their chest. You have to cut the heart out and eat it. Then, waking up wherever you decided to summon you go to the body of your spouse who has been in a persistant vegitative state for a year, and spit/kiss/vomit this black ichor into their mouths. (or maybe like the flies that fly from John Coffee's mouth in the Green Mile)
There are no Inconspicuous or Object demons.
All demons have Vitality as a power which is both healing and effective immortality for the Demon's host.
- Rotting - Bad teeth, bad skin, bad breath... ugh, just plain falling apart. However this is not zombie rot, it's still within range of what a normal human might be like
- Violent Death - One or more highly specific features that are evidence of a violent death. It could be obviously fatal or written off as an old injury. It might be able to be concealed by clothing, but if someone sees it you have some explaining to do. Would probably be reflected in price and/or telltale.
- Good looking corpse - You look totally normal. Too normal. You're never sick, no pimples ever, etc.
- Still in the zone: - you are physically okay, but mentally still a bit whacked and in the death-mindset. That translates to hyper-alertness and a certain reactivity. With high Stamina, the result leads to competence in action, but with low Stamina and/or failed rolls, you might be a bit jumpy and clumsy
- Won't Let Go - There is something or someone you just can't leave.
- Existential Dread - You're so afraid of becoming nothing, you just won't go.
- Murdered- Someone killed you, you're gonna do something about it.
- Unfinished Business - You're gonna finish what you started.
- Lust for Immortality - You're gonna live forever, damn it.
- Adept - suggested lore 4
- Apprentice - suggested lore 2 or 3
- I'm not alone - suggested lore 2 or 3
- NDE (Naive) - suggested lore 1 or 2
- Cabal - suggested lore 2 or 3