11 June, 2010

Vector Theory #24 (Addendum)

I noticed that there is a disconnect between the title of my last blog entry, and the subject matter of the blog.

The title was written when I started looking through the magic system in Sorcerer, there seemed to be something that didn't quite mesh in the game mechanisms.

As I started reading more heavily into the book I realised that each and every design choice in Sorcerer is very specific and very deliberate. Unlike a lot of products on the market, it's a tight game. There aren't superfluous rules or disconnected mechanisms for handling one off situations, everything carefully links into everything else.

I had initially thought that it seemed odd to have a game purely about magic users who couldn't use magic, and governed by magical game mechanisms that were crude compared to a lot of products on the market (the spells are as formulaic as "super powers" in most games)...that's where I was wondering if this design decision was deliberate or overlooked.

But Magic isn't the point of the game, so it seems pretty clear that Ron Edwards didn't want to distract players from the true psychology and decision making of demon magic. I guess that's the flaw in my beloved "Mage", so many magickal options that the actual belief behind the force starts to take a back seat; the gam becomes more about "look at the cool stuff I can do!!", and less about "why did I do it? what does it mean to me?".

When I look at my Eighth Sea Revision, I'll be keeping a careful eye on Sorcerer as a benchmark. Even though it's getting a bit old, it looks like one of those classic designs that will be used as a measuring stick for a long time yet...
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