PLAY SORCERER 53: I. The Game Master Brainstorms Brushstrokes of Setting (4)

Sorcerer_Cover

4. What is the setting’s definition of Humanity?

In Sorcerer the definition of Humanity might remain, simply, “Humanity.” It’s elastic and intuitive. Each group, within each arc of play, will find their table’s definition as they go.

On the other hand, Sorcerer’s Soul suggests that Humanity might be customized. If so, the Game Master decides what Humanity means in the game. It might be customized to be “Honor,” “Compassion,” “Connection to Others,” “Maturity,” and so on.

No matter what the definition, Humanity forms the “thematic spine” of the story. Throughout play, characters will do things either in line with Humanity or that work against the definition of Humanity.

Make sure to keep the concept of Humanity (whether in the default definition of “Humanity” or customized definition) loose and elastic.

The idea is not to establish a list of actions that the characters can or cannot do that fall in line with Humanity or against it. The idea is to use the concept of Humanity as a springboard for ideas.

Thus, when you figure out a definition of Humanity, daydream some actions or images of people behaving in a way that illustrates Humanity in action. This not only will show you that the definition in your head is elastic, but you can use the examples to illustrate to your potential Players what you mean by the definition.

What Do You Care About?

When you consider Humanity, think about what matters to you.

Like any endeavor in storytelling, your Sorcerer play will be more compelling if it’s about something that really means something to you. I don’t mean this in an intellectual, Lit 101 write-an-essay kind of way. I mean, what really means something to you. What, for you, really matters about being human?

And by that I mean, what is something that you might not be sure about. Something that gets under your skin when you read the news. Something that you know is good, but that you don’t always do all the time. Something that grabs you emotionally and viscerally. Something that might make you scared because you don’t always measure up.

In short, you’re looking for something juicy that you’d like to explore because it really, really matters to you. Not as a concept, but as part of how you life, your actual life, your ambitions, dreams, disappointments, hopes and fears.

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