After my last post regarding going silent for a while, I of course did the mature thing and didn’t post for a while. Good excuse this time! I flew out of my hometown on Thursday evening, arriving in Atlanta that same night — and through a carefully orchestrated escapade of breaking speed limits, stalling a birthday party, and sneaking into a game of Werewolves of Miller’s Hollow I surprised my girlfriend with an unannounced visit meant to alleviate the soulcrushing job she is stuck in this summer. I stayed in town for the weekend and enjoyed some fantastic times including…

  • playing Werewolves with the friends
  • sitting outside of a pub on a warm night and talking game theory as it relates to independent publishing and Children Who Play With Monsters with her and our mutual friends
  • going boating/swimming on Lake Lanier with the friends
  • seeing Georgia Shakespeare’s The Tempest with the friends
  • enjoying some simple Amazon/NetFlix relaxation with the friends
  • playing Crow’s Hoard with the friends
  • playing Kemps with the friends
  • reading Sorcerer while the friends were cooking
  • eating delicious lasagna made by the girlfriend
  • playing L.A. Noire with the friends
  • getting drowned by surprise midnight sprinklers like a true hero
  • discussing with the girlfriend her upcoming staging of Of Dice and Men

Overall, it was a really fantastic and amazing weekend. I had fun! And that is why I have nothing to say about games today.

Okay, No, Not Really
So I was reading Ron Edward’s Sorcerer for a few reasons while I was down there. For one, it could be argued that Edwards’ game of Faustian bargains  is as critical to the entire concept of “independent publishing” as Dungeons & Dragons is to role-playing in general. Obviously, not everyone will agree with this — and that’s fine — but it’s impossible to ignore the fact that Edwards went from an unformatted ASCII file that he would e-mail out to people upon request for free, to receiving $5 bills in the mail for the quality of the game, to now being (arguably) the figurehead/idol of “indie” role-playing games and their designers. So, it would behoove me to have a passing knowledge of the games that some may argue “defined” or at least instigated a generation. The other reason is that after a cursory glance, I saw some elements that could very well help me out in my work on Children Who Play With Monsters! I’m going to continue reading through and seeing what I can glean from it that might patch some holes.

Sorcerer is an RPG that revolves around protagonist who have begun to master the abilities to contact, summon, and bind demons to the physical plane. They may be commanded, directed, chided, persuaded, or whatever method your sorcerer thinks appropriate — all to get them to perform as you desire, to accomplish your aims in this life. As a sorcerer, you are definitively arrogant; self-absorbed to the point that no amount of harm or injury short of death itself can keep you from acting to accomplish your designs. However, you must beware — as every step you take is no doubt beset by the legions on all sides, and they will lie and manipulate with every trick they possess to hold sway over you or abandon you for one greater. And this does not even address the risk posed to your Humanity by tampering with things best left untouched.

It’s like World of Darkness but I feel like I could actually play it without a degree in gothic literature.

Specifically, it’s impossible to ignore the central concept of “person who is bound to a monster” that resonates between Sorcerer and CWPWM. The works are different enough, though — there is always a level of enmity between the protagonists’ and their bound demons in Sorcerer, an element that is intentionally absent overall from CWPWM… also, note the plurality of demons, and the intentional decision for the Child to only have one Monster ever. This isn’t Pokémon. But yeah… the demon and sorcerer are created together, they’re critical to one another, there’s a stat tracking the end game, and the game is system lite. It’s comparable enough that it is good reading to at least see how someone else addressed the parameters.

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