PLAY SORCERER 63: III. The Game Master Pitches the Brushstrokes of Setting to Players (4)


4. Sending the brushstrokes of setting out

I usually write up the setting and send it out by email. Sometimes I’ll create a word doc, pasting in images I’ve found from around the Internet. Sometimes it is just words.

Here is the email I sent to some friends for a setting I created:

The Brotherood

  • You’re all Prisoners in state penitentiary located in the middle of nowhere somewhere between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
  • Your character might have been guilty. He might have been innocent. But he ended up in The System.
  • Your character knew no sorcery before getting into prison. But there are a few teachers there — people who know how to get by by summoning the unnatural powers within the walls of the old prison.
  • Demons are tattoos, shivs, razor blades, cocaine, cigarettes, money, shadows, pin-ups, fantasies of the world outside and all things prison.
  • The Lore of sorcery are acts of domination and submission between men.
  • Humanity is standing up for your own moral code.
  • It’s important to remember that the word “demon” in this game doesn’t mean “things from hell.” Think more of the girl from “The Ring”—where something has gone WRONG with the fabric of reality. We’re building our own specific and self-contained story, with it’s own specific mythology and world

That was enough to get us going.

In retrospect, this was very specific. These days I wouldn’t put any limits on what kind of “history” they had. At all. Nor when and how they learned sorcery. That said, the game was incredibly successful. So there’s some  teasing out to do about how far you’d want to push it. In general, error on the side of too little: as Annotated Sorcerer suggests, just the setting (described briefly and tersely) and what Demons are/look like.



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