PLAY SORCERER 24: Humanity is a Regulator


What happens if a Player has his Character perform actions or speak words that constantly force Humanity Loss rolls while never committing any deeds or speaking any words that would allow a Humanity Gain roll?

Well, for every Humanity Loss roll there is a fifty-fifty chance that the Humanity will drop one point. (The same odds apply for Humanity Gain rolls, of course.)

So, if the Player keeps making Humanity Loss rolls without ever increasing his Humanity, eventually he’ll lose enough times that his Humanity bottoms out at zero.

According to the rules for Sorcerer, once a Character’s Humanity reaches zero the Game Master takes the Character sheet from the Player. If a Character has no Humanity left, he is no longer worthy of being a main character of a story. In Sorcerer, it’s almost impossible for a Player Character to die from some random bullet wound are fight. There are rules for bleeding out, but there are actually no mechanics for imposing a time of death.

These are our lead Characters, after all. We’re pretty sure we’re going to see them through to the end of the story. But, like in any story, we are uncertain about who the Characters will reveal themselves to be. And that, remember, the revelation of Character is what all the shenanigans of plot, witty lines, actions sequences, surprises and more, is what a story is all about.

Thus, in Sorcerer, death is not the clock we’re worried about for a Character—though death might ultimately cut a Character down. No. What we’re following is that Humanity score. What matters is who they are as people—as human beings. How do they live, how do they die. That’s what matters here.

If the deeds and words of a Character drive their Humanity dangerously low, the Player might decide that it’s time for him to have his Character do words and deeds that might drive the Character’s Humanity back up. In this way, the Sorcerer mechanics enforce a vital principle in a very simple way: If your Character just acts like an utter shit, he’s going to be swept from the tale as a lead Character. So you better keep that in mind.



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