Today I had the pleasure to play Sorcerer with Rich and Ben, two cool fellas from Michigan (Rich is living in HK and Ben was visiting). It was the first time I played RPG in Hong Kong – last time I played was in the beginning of August, in Sweden. You can bet I have missed playing!
This time I was a normal player, not a game master (which I almost always is when playing in Sweden). And in this case, I preferred being a player. Rich provided us with the Sorcerer-books and was the game master. Worth noting – I have never before played Sorcerer or any indie-games. I haven’t even played seriously in English before. So I was a bit nervous about the thing. Me and Ben did our characters while Rich was explaining the basics of the rules and the setting. So let’s just go to the main topic: the play.
Due to the session being a one time event we had a limited setting and scope. The setting was really simple – small town America in modern times. But small towns tend to have serious issues in the community, and issues makes demons. And demons attract sorcerers. And both our sorcerers didn’t have a demon to start with for different reasons. So let’s introduce my alter ego:
Mr Derek Davenport is a traveling salesman. Dressed in a slightly boring grey suit, with a colorful tie (the tie is 50% of the selling, the manual said) and a hat, he doesn’t look like much to the world. He drives a brown Lincoln and in his hand is always a somewhat rugged, slightly too big briefcase.
Mr Davenport is a true loner. He has no family or friends, nowhere to call home. But that doesn’t matter, because he is happy in exploring the unknown lore by his own. And experience has shown him that as a salesman, he always sees issues wherever he goes. He sees the family quarrels, the lies, the bored house wifes and so many dark, hidden secrets. And where there are issues, there are demons. Derek is of course moderately interested in actually selling any of all the refurnishing items that he is promoting through various samples in his briefcase, so he is not a rich man.
Derek don’t care much about other people. He depends on nobody and his choice of business has made him a very cynical man. With this low respect for other people something bad is bound to happen – which also recently did. When trying to bind a demon in Hillsdale, Michigan people got killed. And Derek, who is physically very weak and is suffering from seizures, fled. To Ohio. And he is now wanted in Michigan – and it is only a matter of time until the feds is after him too.
So he went to Wheaton, Ohio, a small town like many small towns. But his senses told him that in this town, there were more issues than normally. In Wheaton he could hide. And he could find the demons to make it possible for him to gain strength and gain a position where the police would’nt be able to touch him.
That’s the background to the story. The main story I will describe slightly more summarized. The other character, played by Ben, was Mr Lee Fillbourne, a high school councelor very recently employed in Wheaton. Derek had just arrived in town when he decided to get to know the community by doing some old-style door knocking. However, when being rejected at the first house he suddenly met Mr Fillbourne. The two men instantly felt that something was odd with the other guy – their senses told them that it could be a fellow sorcerer…
In any case, they wouldn’t have much reason to deal with each other if it wasn’t for the gun shot that was heard. From the house Derek just had visited. Some investigation by Lee made it painfully obvious what had happened – the daughter of the family residing in the house had shot her mother to death. When approached, she ran away. But Derek were more concerned with the apparent presence of a demon, perceived as a cold breeze. And Derek knew that this demon would be able to tell him where to find the source of all the demonical powers in this town – so he bound the demon. Sadly enough, before the demon was able to give any information in the matter, it was banished by Lee, to Derek’s great dismay. This was their first real interaction with eachother, and they more or less decided to at least talk and clear this matter out. When the first police came it happened to be the very father of the girl (Lucy) who had commited the crime and now had run away. For apparent reasons, the policeman was worried with the fact that the two men, Lee and Derek, stood in front of his house and blaming his daughter for it all. However, he accepted their stories and went out to find his daughter.
Lee and Derek had a cup of coffee, talked things over and also met the sheriff. Nothing strange about that, if Derek hadn’t taken a close look at the sheriff’s patrol car – which was clearly demonic. So they went to the high school, for slightly different reasons: Lee wanted to find out more about Lucy and Derek wanted to find Bobby, the son of the sheriff, because Derek sensed that the sheriff’s family was closer to the demonic source. Derek posed as a football talent hunter to get the interest of Bobby. He praised Bobby when he tackled another guy so bad that a leg broke. However, when he got close to him he realized that Bobby himself was a demon, and a powerful one. Derek now had his mission clear – to bind Bobby.
Separately Lee and Derek went to the sheriff’s house. Lee had information about Lucy being at the neighbouring house and Derek had a plan to bind Bobby. He started by doing is work – he knocked the door with his briefcase ready. But Bobby’s mother refused to let Derek in. And it soon became apparent, the mother was a sorcerer herself, with Bobby already bound to her. And she commanded Bobby to finish off Derek.
The situation became critical. Bobby rushed against Derek for a tackle – a tackle that certainly would kill the fragile Derek. But Derek countered with showing a contract to Bobby and by that binding him – in return of complete freedom for Bobby to fulfill his need – which was to kill his father. And practically enough, his father the sheriff just arrived at the scene – with the mother screaming in disappointment of losing her son to Derek. Bobby charged against his father and tackled him – but then Lee entered the scene and turned the events totally when he managed to banish Bobby straight away. Derek now found himself without a demon, and in the same time the mother commanded the demonic patrol car to run Derek over. He had no other chance than to try and banish the car – but without effect. He was smashed and died instantly… Lee however succeded to banish the car and he then wisely left the town in a hurry to never return.
That was it. It was fun, although the time and the scope of the session was very limited. Sorcerer is definately worth playing more times – but I doubt I would like to do some serious campaigning in it. I would however not contribute most of the fun to the game but to us players and the nice setting Rich and Ben had thought out. It was fun and not so difficult that I had expected to play in English – I’d really like to do it more, it’s both educational and entertaining in a different way. I found it really cool to be able to more directly use citations and themes from American movies with my character. I’ll give the experience a 4 out of 5!
Update: Now with some quotes from the session (however they might not be totally accurate due to bad memory…)
I want this town – said by Derek when trying to explain for Lee what he wanted.
This town has serious issues – who said that? Someone probably did.
Oh. You’re that new counselor… – said by most people in that town when meeting Lee, accompanied by a certain lack of respect for that honorable profession
Robert Thomas McLeroy, you are my son, you do as I tell you! – said, or rather shouted by Bobby’s mother, the town’s sorceress. It didn’t really work though.
See the comments for some more quotes.