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Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Sorcerer

A forum thread about what the words "sorcerer" and "wizard" mean to you, and a perusal of some old posts I wrote, prompted me to put together a sorcerer class. This class uses some stuff from my "sorcery for swords & sorcery" posts, but assumes that this kind of sorcery exists alongside D&D magic. It also assumes that anyone could potentially use sorcery, whether they are officially sorcerers or not, but that D&D magic (wizardry) is the safer, stodgier approach to magic, while sorcery is the riskier, more innovative, jury-rigged approach to magic.

Concept: Non-traditional magicians dabbling in pure power.

Alignment: Any, but few Lawful sorcerers progress very far.

XP/HD: As Magic-User

Weaponry and Armor: Weapons purchased when character is created or as Magic-User.

Spells: Starts knowing one sorcerer spell, optionally rolled randomly. Can research sorcery spells, spell ingredients, or names of power at one-tenth the cost of other spell research. The sorcery spell list is the merged spell lists of all other spell-caster classes (sorcerer spell level = M-U spell level, for duplicate spells.) To cast a sorcery spell, the player rolls a number of dice based on the ingredients used and pacts made to cast that spell, while the GM rolls 1d6/2 per spell level (don't convert 2d6/2 to 1d6; always roll the number of dice indicated, then halve the total.) If the player's roll is higher, the spell is successful. There is no limit to how many spells a sorcerer can cast per day, as long as the sorcerer can find the power.

Research: Researching a 1st level spell, or ingredient for a 1st level spell, costs 100 coins and 1 week for a 10% chance of success . Double this for each higher level. The rank of a supernatural being is basically the "spell level" of its name, but the level is increased for less-demanding supernatural entities (see Pacts, below.)

The research table below is optimized for a 1d6 research roll. Spend the minimum amount shown and roll 1d6; on a 6, the research was a success. Each additional, equal amount adds +1 to the roll, but if the unmodified roll is 1 or 2, the sorcerer is afflicted with a minor curse for 1 week (boils or minor deformity/behavioral tic causes reaction penalty equal to spell level or being's rank, plus related side effect.)

LevelCost per +1  Example Ingredients  Named Entities
1150Grey Lotus (sleep powder)  none
2300Purple Lotus (illusion)Rank 2
3600Flame Blossom (fire)Rank 3 or Merciful Rank 2
41200Polymorph RootRank 4 or Merciful Rank 3 or Benign Rank 2
52400Chlorine Blossom (cloudkill)  Merciful Rank 4
64800Black Lotus (death)Benign Rank 3

Spell Ingredients: Basically two different ingredients: blood (powers any spell) and rare substance (powers specific spells or kinds of spells.) The sorcerer's blood from cutting one limb provides 1d6/2 points of power; if a sorcerer cuts a body part twice in 1 day, 3 points of power causes 1 point of damage and requires a save to avoid infection. A blood sacrifice provides 1 die of power per hit die. Flowers, roots, and rare substances provide 1d6/2 points per level for a specific spell (and lower-level spells of the same basic function,) but cost 10 to 100 gp per level per dose. Each ingredient must be researched separately, as if it were a spell.

Pacts: Rank of supernatural being pact is with is number of dice to roll. If being's rank is higher than sorcerer's level, subtract the difference from the total rolled. For the being's reaction, ignore any dice results from 2 to 5 and subtract the number of 1s rolled from the number of 6s. More 6s than 1s means a good reaction (no side effect.) Equal number of 6s and 1s means the being inflicts a minor curse for one day.  All 1s means the being will manifest at some point to extract its due.

Supernatural beings expect payment in the form of a service that causes 1d6 damage (or equivalent) per rank to *something*, not necessarily the sorcerer. Each being has its interest. Merciful beings demand less damage (only 1d6 for a Merciful Genius Locii, 2d6 for a Rank 3 demon lord.) They are effectively 1 or more levels higher. Benign beings do not require damage at all, but are content with minor services that cause no harm. These are effectively doubled in rank.

RankEntity TypeSpellsRestriction
1Nameless Spiritsanynone
2Genius Lociianyonly in that location
2Named Varietyone typenone
3Named Individual  most types  two spell types
4Named Individual  most types  one spell type

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