|Wednesday, September 11th, 2002|
12:12p - FAST REVIEW: SORCEROR (not white wolf)
So I went to the Sorcerer website (forgive me i know not of this html), and when I read about it whoa! oh so beast what a brilliantly cool idea!
for a fast gist of the game.
You as a sorcerer aren't some mamby pamby new age wizened guy who can cast magic. No, you dont't have a spell book, and No you definitely have no innate powers. 'Sorcerer' takes the historical approach.
You must Summon and Bind demons in order to gain powers. Attach a demon to your arm, and it slowly twists and deforms it, yet grants you superhuman power. Attach it to your dog, and it becomes a wizened familiar who can bestow upon you great abilities, yet also will slowly eat away at your conscience/soul/humanity/self-actualization.. whatever.
I don't know about anyone else, but that left me excited with the possibilities. Think about it, you could slowly destroy the characters and yet make them believe they are fine and dandy. have them fight against not only themselves but the church, other citizens, the authorities, etc. ... all the while falling more into desperation until they Summon again, and Bind another Being Who Should Not Be to themselves, ever quickening their descent into damnation...
to me, the possibilities left me cackling with cruel Story Telling machinations.
okay here is where i change tones.
i have NEVER EVER seen a dice system so bad and strange... that it actually left me unable to play the game.. actually it left me disgusted with the game as it's dice system was ridiculous.
my r�sum�? I have played Whitewolf, all things Palladium, Recently Nobilis, d20, AEG Lo5R, Little Fears (a d6 system), Starchildren (a playing card based Fortune/Karmic system, really quite interesting), etc. I know ALOT of systems. and too complicated isn't a problem, too straight forward ain't a problem (take Little Fears , i mean how much more simple can you get?) But Sorcerer, while the premise makes me giggle with glee, the dice system has literally crippled the game. for me at least...
Let's start at the beginning, the dice. the set standard dice is non existent, it says "any dice will do."
so you take these any dice and you, you guessed it, roll them. Okay the number of dice you roll? according to your stat. of which there are only three.. Sta Wil and Lor,
Sta - all things physical, Wil - all things mental, Lor - all things sorcerous...
so lets say your character who has a very high 5 in stamina. Therefore he is stupidly fast, strong and hardy. Now while this alone doesn't really bother me it doesn't help it.
Next is the actual resolution of the roll, and statistic modifiers that make me utterly and strongly opposed to this system. It seems as though the game can't decide whether situational modifiers or roleplaying modifiers are more important. For example in Exalted, you can get that Stunt bonus dice, which really motivates your players. In Sorceror, the only way to gain bonus dice is through roleplaying, or maybe through situational modifiers. Never really makes that clear... and as for damage, why just subtract dice... what happens if you run out of dice? well, golly, keep on roleplaying or have your char collapse, he will be better in a day or so... and how much damage do things do? well is it a Fist or is it something Deadly? cuz a bat can be both? So your Stamina is your dexterity to hit, your dexterity to dodge, your stamina to absorb damage, your strength to deliver damage, your soak roll, and your health. all in one! Great! and skills? Well choose a job! and decide, do you use your brains/intelligence/perception/wits/willpower/deceitfulness/etc.? Or do you use your Strength/hands/dexterity/combat-prowess/sexual prowess/good looks/physical-endurance. okay that is your Cover, your real-life occupation, and all skills you think you shoudl have you have, and you roll Cover (which is =Will or =Sta)
You see? you see where it begins to fall apart?
Okay as for the rolling, i am getting to that.
so you roll "Blank" dice using whichever stat most closely resembles your attempt, and you find the highest number you rolled. and you compare that to the highest number your opponent rolled... if they match go down the to the next pair. until one of you dominates. ALL rolls must be opposed... and what if they are doing something unopposed. Well you as the GM decide whether their action is tough or easy for them.. with no real reference to their level of ability, and if it's tough you roll their number of dice +1, if it's easy you roll their number -1, the mods can go up or down depending on the difficulty depending on the char.
so here look example Fred is juggling he has STA 3 which is his dexterity, conveniently *sarcasm anger* it's difficult for him, so you guess... so you roll 4d* vs his 3d*, let's say Nikolai is also juggling yet he describes it as "i juggle with the pristine and confident ability of a french mime" since he role-played it you grudgingly give him an extra dice. now his STA is 2.. and you think this damn thing is tougher for him so you also vs him with 4d*, yet now he has 3d* and somehow, against the odds he is just as good as Fred, now if yer playing d6's..
yet how difficult is 4d? is it hitting someone with a natural higher athletic ability? or driving a car? it just remains too vague...
so. with the non existant health system, the unbased probability system, the utterly whim filled rolling system with the do-as-you-please bonus dice.. and penalty dice.. they really give no system which is still OK but then when you wanna use the powers they give. you really have no reference to how strong or weak they are, or even feel how useful they will be...
glug.. in the end you decide to convert the entire goddamn mess to white wolf and thank the guy for his efforts.
(14 comments |comment on this)