rick jones, sorcerer (pt 2)

Building off Part 1.

"Betty, I love you, but you're crazy."

What in God’s name are you babbling about?

  • The Incredible Hulk, vol 1, issues 1-6 (this is the only stuff I know well)
  • Donovan’s Brain
  • It Conquered the World (boy does this sound like a Sorcerer story)
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • The Quartermass Experiment
  • The Iron Giant
  • The Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Basically, any “science-horror” from the 1950’s and 60’s featuring an alienated protagonist with a problematic relationship with an inhuman force.  If you know any good examples, please pipe up in the comments!

misfits of mad science

One of the fun things in Sorcerer is putting together specific types of demons, lore, and so on.  This is where setting acquire a lot of the occult trappings, superhero continuity, and all that stuff that gamers love so dearly.  Here’s a very rough draft of some of that, consistent with the tenets of Kirbytech.

Skrulls from Outer Space

Deliquescent slime-mold entities who have parasitically colonized the Andromeda Galaxy, the Skrulls have set their sights on the conquest of Earth.  Longlived and patient, the Skrulls have opted for a strategy of subversion.  By promising Earthmen scientists the fruits Skrull research, the Skrulls hope to corrupt our greatest minds and take over the world.  In Sorcerer terms, these guys are Passer demons (meaning they walk around independently) with Shapeshift and an appropriate Cover, desiring Power.  Within the Empire there are many competing rivalries, and even a sub-species of renegades, the Dire Wraiths.  (Can inflict Special Lethal Damage with their lightning-like tongues, and the Need to consume cerebro-spinal fluid; telltale is leaving a thin layer of ash behind after feeding.)

Phantoms of Limbo

Visiting Earth from the earliest days of our species, the Phantoms are intelligent patterns of flux in the Higgs Field.  When conditions are right–either in the ionosphere during sunspot activity, or as the result of the magnetic field contortions in a Moebius cyclotron–the Phantoms arrive.  They cannot be seen by the naked eye, but photographs and other reflections reveal weird blurry patterns in the air.  As immaterial beings, the Phantoms hunger for physical sensations, experienced vicariously through the humans they work with: in particular they get high on the operation of various “mood-chemicals” in the human brain related to violence, guilt, sexuality, and transgression.  In game terms: Inconspicuous demons, usually with the Shadow, Psychic Force, and Link abilities, possibly others as well; Desire is typically Sensation.

The Skrulls and the Phantoms are at war: the Skrulls seek to subvert and mind-control the human race, whereas the Phantoms derive sustenance, or some kind narcotic, from human depravity.

Radioactive Monsters

Some “demons” are entirely home-grown, rather than as intruders from beyond.  (Treat as Immanent demons from Sorcerer & Sword:  as creatures from this world they cannot truly be Summoned or Banished.)  As is well-proven in peer reviewed scientific journals, radiation makes ordinary creatures ginormous and incredibly strong.   (High Stamina score, abilities likely include Big or Vitality.) These creatures may be mindless or super-intelligent, but hunger for wanton destruction.  (Desire: Mayhem.)  Without constant gamma-ray bombardment they will lose their potency (Need: radioactivity.)

Radioactive monsters are usually Passer demons, but might be Parasites (radioactive spider-bite) or Possessors (Hulk, Lizard).

Thinking Machines

Computers and robots are invariably created to benefit all mankind through great intelligence (Boost Lore) and invulnerability (Armor).   Equally invariably, having a servant who’s smarter and stronger than you can lead to trouble (Desire: Knowledge, but frequently Mayhem as well).   Pioneering work in this field stems from early Nineteenth Century research conducted at the University of Ingolstadt, techniques which involve grafting human neural tissue to overcome limitations of computer hardware design.  (I’m trying to think of what the Need would be, what the “demon” requires in order to function.  Best practice is to make it something that endangers the “sorcerer’s” humanity, which is to say – personal loyalty, friendship, decency to others.)

put that together for me

Here’s a stab at Rick and his gamma-irradiated friend.

Rick Jones

early on, the Hulk always tries to kill Rick

  • Stamina 2, Scrapper
  • Will 6, Zest for Life + Vow
  • Lore 2, Apprentice
  • Cover 6, Crafty Juvenile Delinquent
  • Humanity 6 (starting)

The Hulk

  • Type: Immanent Possessor (host: Bruce Banner, subconsciously complicit)
  • Telltale: Grey-Green Skin
    • Big: seemingly impervious to harm
    • Special Non-Lethal Damage: titanic strength
    • Travel: leaping
  • Stamina 9
  • Will 10
  • Lore 3
  • Power 10
  • Desire: Mayhem
  • Need: Gamma Ray Bombardment

Bruce Banner would be an NPC “sorcerer” and Rick’s mentor.  The Hulk, in these early issues, is “bound” to Rick rather than to Banner.  Because Sorcerer is more of a horror game than a supers game, this version of the Hulk is “under powered” to comics fans, but should be able to dish out and withstand a great deal of damage, at least on a personal scale.  If you want more protection, I’d add the ability Armor.


9 Responses to “rick jones, sorcerer (pt 2)”

  1. May 20, 2011 at 10:41 am

    If you’re only using the first few issues of “Incredible Hulk” as reference, wouldn’t the Hulk be grey still?

  2. May 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Oh! I actually meant to change that to “Telltale: Grey-Green Skin” and must have forgot while editing. I’ll go back and fix it.

    I’ve heard a lot of different stories about the whole “was he supposed to be green or grey?” thing, but the short version seems to be that the coloration resulted from technical problems with the color separation process. I’ve heard that the goal was for the Hulk to be green, and they couldn’t get it right at first so in the earliest issues he was grey; I’ve also heard that they meant for him to be grey and it turned out that green was easier to achieve and ended up looking better on the newsstand.

  3. 3 Charlatan
    May 22, 2011 at 3:17 am

    Problematic relationship between alienated protagonist and an inhuman force? Warlock and Cypher. Peter Parker and the Black Suit. Ghost Rider, Spawn, and other variants on Jekyll/Hyde. And there was always something creepy to me about Moon Knight and… well, the Moon.

  4. May 22, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Later than the era you mention but the film Willard (both versions), Laserblast–of course, you could always add that subext to Captain Marvel (either version).

  5. May 23, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Wow, I was unaware of Laserblast but mixing that up with Mar-Vell would be pretty crazy. And yeah, Willard probably wouldn’t be too bad either.

    I think you apologized twice tonight for your comment. I demand, like, six more apologies!

    But seriously: yes, viewed in a certain light you could probably do a subset of the Marvel Universe with Sorcerer, especially the early 1970’s “super-horror” guys like Morbius the Living Vampire (parasite demon), Blade (parasite demon), the Man-Thing (passer bound to Citrusville / Richard Rory), Ghost Rider (possessor), Son of Satan (object demon), Brother Voodoo (possessor demon), Werewolf-by-Night (possessor), etc. The super-horror comics aren’t really my bag–they’re kind of an obscure backwater–so I don’t know exactly how you’d define Humanity.

  6. 6 Scott LeMien
    May 23, 2011 at 6:09 am

    Those horror comics would make for an awesome team up, though. Morbius, Ghost Rider, Son of Satan, Man-Thing, Werewolf-by-Night. They could be called ‘Stranger than Strangers.’ If you want to perfect the team, just throw in Belky.

  7. May 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    They could be lead by a reformed Cyrus Black, fresh out of therapy, yet still filled with the desire to compete with Dr. Strange by forming his own team. Oooh.

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