Been trying to get this game off the ground since before the holidays (see my initial idea post here), but things just kept not working out. It was a huge pain in the butt, but luckily my players and I stuck with it. As discussed in the previous post, I’m trying to run Shin Megami Tensei in Sorcerer, and see how well that works out. I’m also getting back into text-based gaming (by player request) with this, which is neat, as the format has its own pros and cons.
Anyway, the premise we came up with since we got together involves a more post-apocalypse setting than the present apocalypse of the normal Devil Survivor games. Many years after some great disaster, people have spent generations living in Arcologies called “Citadels”, because the world outside of them is toxic. Things aren’t exactly great in the Citadel the PCs live in, LNC-13, commonly called “the Arc”, but are about to be made more complicated by the sudden distribution of a program that can summon demons. COMPs in this world are arm-worn computers, they are useful for interfacing with certain machines, have some poorly-understood medical properties, and of course, can summon demons.
The two PCs we have are:
- Venkata Durga: The son of a high profile, and well connected security officer, Venkata makes his living as a PI. His ex showed back up in his life just in time to disappear again, leaving behind only a heavily encrypted data file containing a very peculiar program. He has had a COMP his whole life thanks to his mother’s connections. His demon is the Beast Jackalope, a funky flying rabbit thing (this is the pic he sent me)
- Caine Laurens: Caine is a farmer who dreams of a better life. He and his friend, a high up technical worker by the name of Christopher Wilson, were attacked when Chris showed up as a favor to Caine to help him out with some technical issues in his greenhouse. Chris was brutally murdered, while Caine was merely left for dead. Caine took his dead friend’s COMP, and discovered the demons summoning program on it that way. The Demon he summoned was the man-eating Jaki Wendigo
Our first session was basically a set up, and as we had already done our initial binding rolls beforehand, we didn’t roll any dice this session. I know some people LOVE sessions like that, and I don’t think this was a BAD session, but it is difficult to judge a systems suitability for a given purpose when you don’t engage the system.
We started off with Venkata, I narrated that he had heard that his ex, Vanessa, had been seen in some sort of argument with Christopher Wilson, and that Wilson had last been seen going down to the greenhouse area. Venkata came across the scene of the attack on Caine and Christopher shortly after Caine fled (taking Chris’ body and comp with him). Venkata, with a little help from his demon, investigated the scene. There’s a huge hole in the wall, blood everywhere, security system is shot and a number of plants seem to have been burned and frozen.
He also notices a symbol has been drawn on the door, one he can identify as cult related, and makes a note of it in his notebook. Finally, Jackalope discovers a dark green piece of cloth that had gotten torn on some equipment, and Venkata leaves to track down the owner of this greenhouse.
Said owner, Caine, had just finished making his contract with his demon, he agrees to feed the Wendigo, and the large mannish creature will help him out. At that exact moment, all the lights dim, a brownout. Caine is wary of the creature, especially in the dim light due to the power loss, but he’s out for revenge and could use the muscle. He and Wendigo both head out, leaving Chris’ body behind in Caine’s house… And run right into Venkata.
Wendigo can hide in the shadows, and so I have him do so. There could maybe have been a roll here, but Venkata’s player didn’t ask for one and I felt the two PCs interacting was the key point here. Since Wendigo was hidden and Jackalope hides in Ven’s pocket, this created a neat bit of dramatic irony where both PCs were feeling confident because THEY had the secret weapon ready.
Caine played the fool for a while, but broke down pretty quickly. Sorcerer social rules are a bit wonky to me still and they both seemed fine with just RPing it. Around the time they show each other their comps, both of them suddenly go off with an email notification. At the same time, metal plates begin to come down and cover the exterior windows of the arc. The message basically seems to be an automated message about the Arc going into lock down for “repeated security violations”, only listed by number. Once all the windows seem to be covered, the lights come back up.
The two men are confused and concerned, but stick to the matter at hand. Caine ends up showing Ven the body, who sees it is in as bad shape as the greenhouse was. The cloth he found earlier does not seem to match either Chris or Caine. Caine tells his story, even showing off Wendigo, and, although Ven does not return the favor with Jackalope, the two do agree to work together to try and figure out what happened.
We called it there, Sorcerer doesn’t have any end of session validation mechanic like Burning Wheel’s Artha, or Blades in the Dark XP, but overall I think things went pretty well. These characters didn’t have much in the way of connection, so I am glad I was able to tie their stories together and it was cool of them to go with it like they did.
Looking forward to seeing where this goes!