PLAY SORCERER 41: The Give and Take of Sorcerer Play


When we play Sorcerer, someone speaks, and then another person speaks.

Effectively, we are much like a team of writers in a writer’s room on a television show. Everyone is adding ideas, bouncing ideas, and working out a story for an episode of content.

Of course, there are a great man differences than a television writer’s room. Notably, rather than getting to move back and forth while building a plot, as a group of television writers do, a group playing Sorcerer keeps moving forward, fictional detail by fictional detail. Someone speaks, and then the next person adds to that detail or moves the story forward temporally or switches locations. But in all cases, the tale is being told as it’s being a built.

But how does this talking work? I mean, if the Player says, “My Character turns and runs from the cops. He’s running for the bathroom door,” what then, does the Game Master do?

Well, he does exactly what the Player does when confronted by a Kicker or a Bang or any other decision point. The Game Master, too, simply responds as he thinks the cops would responds. Those are his character at the moment. That’s how he interacts within the fiction with the Players—not with “the world” or “the background” or “his notes.” First and foremost the Game Master simply reacts on impulse as he thinks his characters would react.

The Players react through what their character would do next. And then the Game Master reacts via one or more of his characters to that. And so on.

So, you see, we’re really just reacting one time after another. Not anticipating, but reacting. We’re just tossing up ideas, and then letting someone else react with their own idea, and then that idea becomes the impetus for the next idea.

There’s no “right” idea, or the “best” idea, or the idea “that will move the story forward.” There’s just the idea. Yes, there’s an element of pressure (you have to come up with something), but don’t trust the fear or the pressure. React to the circumstances of the fiction; use the fiction that has already been created; build on the fiction that has already been created.



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