PLAY SORCERER 2: The Game Master Doesn’t Know Where We’re Going

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We don’t know where we’re going when we play Sorcerer. We really don’t. I mean, really, we don’t.

The Game Master doesn’t have a plot. He doesn’t have a climax he’s building toward. He doesn’t know who the final big bad guy will be. If the Game Master does know where we’re going, we’re screwed. The game is already over. It’s a mess. A disaster. There’s no point in playing.

Why? Because then what we care about doesn’t matter.

If I’m a Player and I’ve got a Character racing to save her son’s life, and the Game Master is expecting me to do everything I can to save her son’s life, and he’s building up to the big confrontation between my Character and the kidnapper…

And then, while rushing to feed my Demon’s Need or something my Character ends up getting another woman killed. And I say, on behalf of my Character, “Hold on. This is crazy,” because I really feel it’s inappropriate for the needs of a mother to find her son at the cost of innocent people dying in her wake, I have my Character change course. She goes to the police. She knows this is going to risk exposure of all the other complications in her life, all of her sorcerer secrets. But she just can’t bear this anymore.

Well, now, suddenly the Game Master, if he’s utterly determined to have my Character in a big confrontation with the kidnapper, is going to feel disappointed. Feel like I “broke” the story.

But here’s the thing. We don’t know how it will turn out. After a couple of more hours of play, after some twists and turns, for all we know my Character might end up choking the life out of the bastard who kidnapped her son. But we’ll find out as we play.

What mattered is my Character had this cool moment where all this drive she had got shattered and she had to make a choice about what kind of mother she wanted to be. That’s a great Sorcerer moment, that’s a great story moment. That’s what we’re aching for when we play Sorcerer. And it’s the kind of moment that can only happen if we don’t know where we’re going.

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