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How to play a pure sorcerer

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1 hour ago, Shiningbrow said:

am seriously wondering precisely which cult your theist belongs to such that they have the type ability to respond to each of those situations equally.... 

The seduction is the only one that strictly requires magic that isn’t common divine, but all of them are within the range of magic known by an Orlanthi (Charisma spell from Eurmal covers seduction). 

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49 minutes ago, davecake said:

The seduction is the only one that strictly requires magic that isn’t common divine, but all of them are within the range of magic known by an Orlanthi (Charisma spell from Eurmal covers seduction). 

So... is your entire argument based solely around Orlanthi?

" I need to travel across a barrier, I need to defend against spirits, i need to camp in enemy territory and not get captured, I need to catch a thief, I need to enhance my ability to seduce someone, etc, "

I'm guessing you're referring to either Leap or Flight to get over the barrier... Spirit is obvious... being in enemy territory is probably Warding (and it's not going to stop you getting captured, although it does help a little)...maybe Leap to catch the thief (that is, of course, if you know the the thief is and where s/he is...)... enhance abilities to seduce - as you said, not common, and needs to be specifically chosen, and cast using a different Rune (Fertility, Illusion or Beast..)

Can sorcery have responses to all those situations? It can... Yes, you will have to prepare in advance for it (spell selection). Some may be common (Protective Circle will probably be a no-brainer -so  there's Warding covered).  Some less common - Barrier issues? Fly or Summon/Bind Air Elemental... Thief? Geomancy... you can run, but you can't hide! Dominate Human (who needs to just seduce??)

 

As I've said (5 times now??), sorcery has options that Rune magic will never have.... from the above calculations on casting percentages, yes, they can even be cast reliably at starting level... and if not - do it again a few minutes later!

You're arguing that Divine Magic is much better than Sorcery, because sorcery is a waste of time, so why bother with it? I'm arguing that sorcery is powerful and useful. I'm not arguing that Divine magic isn't powerful or useful...

Basically - you're over-emphasising the negatives of sorcery, while over- emphasising the positives of theism...

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9 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

As I've said (5 times now??), sorcery has options that Rune magic will never have.... from the above calculations on casting percentages, yes, they can even be cast reliably at starting level... and if not - do it again a few minutes later!

You're arguing that Divine Magic is much better than Sorcery, because sorcery is a waste of time, so why bother with it? I'm arguing that sorcery is powerful and useful. I'm not arguing that Divine magic isn't powerful or useful...

Basically - you're over-emphasising the negatives of sorcery, while over- emphasising the positives of theism...

Comparing a sorcerer's repertoire to that of a Wind Lord is apples and oranges. Of course a Wind Lord will do Orlanth stuff better than any sorcerer - he is Orlanth after all.

But only a sorcerer is going to come up with a spell that combines Fire and Water or otherwise forces the elements to do something they didn't do in the God Time. *Individual* sorcerers might not be able to easily match *individual* Rune masters, but sorcery is largely found in civilised lands where sorcerers are able to teach one another, train, have resources allocated to them, etc. We should all be fortunate that the Malkioni have rejected their God Learner ways, and have retreated back to less dangerous Rokarism and New Hrestolism.

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4 minutes ago, Jeff said:

We should all be fortunate that the Malkioni have rejected their God Learner ways, and have retreated back to less dangerous Rokarism and New Hrestolism.

Pooey!

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9 hours ago, Jeff said:

We should all be fortunate that the Malkioni have rejected their God Learner ways, and have retreated back to less dangerous Rokarism and New Hrestolism.

In that sense, 'adventuring' sorcerers are as aberrant - and as weird, to those who understand the context - as broken mostali and rootless aldryami.

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Its far overdue that Loskalm be made a campaign setting IMO.  Any ballpark figure on when that might happen?

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On 8/25/2019 at 2:52 PM, Shiningbrow said:

So... is your entire argument based solely around Orlanthi?

Your argument is so obtuse, it’s pointless continuing. I was explicit that my argument was based around common divine magic, from the divine side - but any major deity with a good selection of associated deities makes it far stronger, Orlanth is just literally the closest you get to a generic Rune magic user, the same point could be made with Ernalda, Yelm, a lot of the Lightbringers (and boy, haven’t even talked about Issaries), the Seven Mothers. That point being that the advantage in flexibility of effect that a Rune magic user has over a sorcerer is so large as to be almost unmatchable by a sorcerer - and add the range of magic provided by a developed major deity at the centre of a pantheon, and its pretty much huge.

now, that isn’t to say that sorcery doesn’t have its own potential, but it’s very different. Flexibility of potential, perhaps

On 8/25/2019 at 2:52 PM, Shiningbrow said:

As I've said (5 times now??), sorcery has options that Rune magic will never have....

Of course it does. But your argument is not a counter argument to mine, it’s essentially an orthogonal claim that isn’t under dispute. 

I’m saying an individual sorcerer can never be as flexible as most Rune magic users, at least not without a huge amount of time and resources. You are saying sorcery, as an entire collective magic system, given enough time, can do things Rune magic can’t. Both are true, but they are obviously not contradictory statements, and you seem to think they are. 

And this point has been made enough times clearly, that if you don’t understand it by now I don’t know why, and am disinclined to spend more time trying. 

On 8/25/2019 at 2:52 PM, Shiningbrow said:

You're arguing that Divine Magic is much better than Sorcery,

No. 

I mean, I kind of think it’s true for RQG, but not because of this philosophical difference between them, but rather because there are design decisions made in creating not just sorcery, but some other rules, that exaggerate the way this is expressed in the rules to a high degree. I personally think someone who has devoted a big chunk of their career to Water sorcery should be able to competently cast, say, a dozen Water sorcery spells not just 3-4. But that’s not really addressing the issue (a Water sorcerer isn’t going to be able to use Water magic to ward off ghosts), just making it more fun and interesting to play a sorcerer. I don’t think it would be a problem if, for example, your individual Lhankor Mhy sorcerer was able to competently cast most of the spells in Torvalds Fragments, instead of a small subset. But I think the idea that individual sorcerers at least start off as much less flexible than Rune magic users is pretty intrinsic to Gloranthan sorcery. 

But sorcery still has advantages that Divine Magic doesn’t have either. It can combine types of magic that Divine magicians can not practically do at all. It can, given a few years, create a new spell that deals well with a specific problem. You can use sorcery to aid others more effectively that you can with Divine magic, thanks to long lasting Duration. It can create very powerful individual spells, should a sorcerer focus on it. It rewards cooperation as a group.

Ideally, I think sorcery and Rune magic should be about as effective as each other, but still very different. At the moment, sorcery is generally much weaker, BUT we are missing large parts of the sorcery rules as they would be used by pure sorcerers. 

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I think what's really needed for Sorcerers is an expanded list of things they could do each season.  How do they use their spells to benefit themselves, their community and so on? 

It's probably unquantifiable to work out how much magics a sorcerer's bodyguards have in terms of Ward Against Weapons, Boon of Kargan Tor etc yet we need some guidelines for doing so (ie a Sorcerer capable of obtaining A magic points per day with a Free INT of B can give 1 warrior X points in protective magic or 10 warriors Y points - such will cost him Z days work).

Magical Attack Spells - Moonfire, Conflagration - can possibly treated by having them as waiting spells to activate within their duration if certain conditions are met (such as if the local clan warriors cross my lands once more time, then a conflagration appears at place X).

Then there would have to be guidelines for what enchantments one can expect from a Malkioni city's sorcerers working together sharing their magic.  My guess is that rather than having sorcery spells go off the charts (ie every warrior in the city has Boon of Kargan Tor 8 ), the sorcerers would spend less time on casting so they would have more time on their own personal researches.

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1 hour ago, metcalph said:

Then there would have to be guidelines for what enchantments one can expect from a Malkioni city's sorcerers working together sharing their magic.  My guess is that rather than having sorcery spells go off the charts (ie every warrior in the city has Boon of Kargan Tor 8 ), the sorcerers would spend less time on casting so they would have more time on their own personal researches.

Well, we know they tend to have weekly ceremonies (RQ:G 389), these are likely the same as the regular ceremonies where the High Watcher "[maintains] the great and complex spells that protect and bless the community" (GtG 53)

It's likely the lesser wizards do similar things, likely for the same weekly duration, accounting for 11 points of intensity. We know the Rokari require their prospective wizards to have at least 16 INT. Which would leave them with 5 points of Free INT to be occupied by the spells themselves, or any other increase of intensity. The real problem is that, at the moment, every spell needs to be cast individually. There's no rule that I can find for increasing the number of targets.

Thus, it's likely that the main spell used would be Protective Circle, and assuming they put 3 points (-1 for knowing the Protective Circle spell, -1 for knowing another spell to add to it) this just results in a five meter area.

Given that we know that nobles heading to war may travel with a wizard for magical support (408), and the limited usefulness of Protective Circles in battle, it's unlikely the rank and file soldiers will be assisted by sorcery, with the wizard instead ensorcelling the noble or a champion of his choice.

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3 minutes ago, Tindalos said:

Thus, it's likely that the main spell used would be Protective Circle, and assuming they put 3 points (-1 for knowing the Protective Circle spell, -1 for knowing another spell to add to it) this just results in a five meter area.

I'm inclined to adapt the worship Invisible God skill.  First the Wizard says "This is our Lord".  Casts spells on the presiding noble.  "These are my colleagues"  Casts spells on fellow wizards.  "These are my defenders".  Casts spells on present soldiers.  "These are my servants"  Casts spells on present workers.  "This is my Land".  Casts spells on Land.  There's probably a ritual to cast if the wizard has no noble but it doesn't work as well.

 

 

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7 hours ago, metcalph said:

I think what's really needed for Sorcerers is an expanded list of things they could do each season.  How do they use their spells to benefit themselves, their community and so on? 

It's sort of why an entire SOURCEBOOK is really needed to approach a whole different approach to magic.  What we have in RQG is, unfortunately, this weird little stunted sort-of-rules shoehorned into Dragon Pass where (IMO) it simply doesn't fit any more than would draconic or eastern magic.

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15 minutes ago, styopa said:

It's sort of why an entire SOURCEBOOK is really needed to approach a whole different approach to magic.  What we have in RQG is, unfortunately, this weird little stunted sort-of-rules shoehorned into Dragon Pass where (IMO) it simply doesn't fit any more than would draconic or eastern magic.

It is needed for Lhankor Mhy - who Greg and I concluded makes much more sense using using sorcery, than using a handful of spirit magic spells. It also is useful for when things expand a little further a field to the Holy Country and to the Lunar Empire. There are cults there that we can easily pick up and use the existing sorcery rules with.

More is needed for the main Malkioni sects - to begin with, there is needed a decent treatment of the Invisible God, far more spells, far more cultural context, etc. You actually *could* do it with what is provided in RQG - except that there is no good description of the Invisible God, and the treatments of the Rokari and Hrestoli for RQ3 would be very misleading. 

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On 8/24/2019 at 9:05 AM, Jeff said:

So basically David's complaint is that Gloranthan sorcerers make lousy adventurers. 

Pure sorcerers - by that I assume you mean Rokari or Loskalmi wizard - aren't intended to be adventurers (especially given that the Invisible God is not even detailed at this point). Its RuneQuest, so yes, you can play them (just like you can play a malfunctioning dwarf or a rootless elf) but you are swimming upriver. That's not that the RQG sorcery rules are problematic, but that you seem to have a different view of what sorcerers are than the writers of the setting and the game.  

I think a campaign or adventure focusing on sorcerers could be very interesting. But it would have to be designed as such from the start. Something closer to an Ars Magica game than your "classic" RQ game. Given that what we have now is Dragon Pass, it should revolve around LM sages investigating ancient secrets.   

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On 8/24/2019 at 11:35 AM, soltakss said:

It's always fun to watch three people with differing views banging heads until one of them is knocked unconscious

I dunno, I find it irritating.

I will admit it to have certain morbid fascination, but at least this one seems to be winding down after only 2 or 3 pages unlike the 4 page Magnus opus  "war of wills" that one of the participants engaged in earlier this year.

I do not think I will end with cheers today.

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I'm going to move on from that tedious argument, but I want to address Jeffs comments.

On 8/24/2019 at 3:05 PM, Jeff said:

So basically David's complaint is that Gloranthan sorcerers make lousy adventurers. I agree for the most part.

Well, my complaint is more that they make lousy adventurers because the rules make them ineffective and dull to play - and I think its relatively fixable while still retaining the core feel of Gloranthan sorcery. It wouldn't be hard at all to make sorcerers much more fun to play while still being more learning focussed and less broadly flexible than other forms of magic as appropriate (and, indeed, this is what I think the HQG rules do - and for that matter the Mythras rules, and some other variants). The combination of 1 skill per spell, very slow starting levels, and very few options to increase, is what really constricts sorcerers - and the 1 skill per spell rule seems to me to be both not terribly fitting with the idea of sorcery as a systematic body of knowledge, and a deliberate design choice to *make* sorcerers lousy adventurers, one that could easily be changed. 

On 8/24/2019 at 3:05 PM, Jeff said:

Same thing with Irrippi Ontor sorcerers - they are largely using it to enhance their core abilities (and that Discern Lightfore spell can be surprisingly useful). But these cults aren't pure sorcerers - they are just replacing their (rather lame) spirit magic with sorcery.

Good old Irripi Ontor already has access to practically the best offensive Rune spells in the game (Mindblast and Madness). And I think the idea that Irripi Ontor is supposed to be a cult of quiet scholars who aren't adventurers sits very poorly with the mythology and history - his powerful combat casting at Four Arrows of Light, for example, and the whole active magical conspiracy of the Seven Mothers. But then, IO does have offensive sorcery as well. Eminently suited to be adventurers. 

(even if the conception of IO seems to be moving away from the gloriously duplicitous version of HQG towards something far more staid and constrained). 

On 8/24/2019 at 3:05 PM, Jeff said:

But these cults aren't pure sorcerers - they are just replacing their (rather lame) spirit magic with sorcery.

LM certainly has rather lame spirit magic - IO at least gets Befuddle. Adventuring members of either can generally do fine because they aren't sticking to the free/cheap spells, and can learn from other cults etc. Sure, they are outliers from standard cult practice, but so are most PCs. In practice, spirit magic for adventurers is seldom a real issue. 

On 8/24/2019 at 3:05 PM, Jeff said:

Pure sorcerers - by that I assume you mean Rokari or Loskalmi wizard - aren't intended to be adventurers (especially given that the Invisible God is not even detailed at this point).

Well, the whole thread has been about pure sorcerers from a rules point of view - that is characters who only use sorcery, no other magic, and I think the consensus is that they don't really work.

But the rules also seem to say that there are intended to be other rules that expand on the sorcery rules for Malkioni of all stripes. I think there is a big difference between 'we haven't written the rules for adventurers from those cultures yet' (which is obviously the case, and I support) and 'the authors don't think those cultures will ever be good adventurers even when the rules are written''. I certainly hope that once the Invisible God has been detailed (and more importantly, some of the major sects) that Loskalmi sorcerers, in particular, will be playable adventurers, because without it the Loskalm vs Kingdom of War conflict is drifting dead in the water. I understand that that point will be years away, but it is still an issue is important to consider. 

On 8/23/2019 at 10:39 PM, Jeff said:

In the societies that sorcery predominates, a tiny minority of the population are sorcerers, protected and supported by the rest of the population. In some societies, the sorcerers are a literal Ivory Tower, removed completely from the experience and problems of the rest of society, so that they might better focus on what really matters - rigorous logic and abstract reasoning!

Certainly, but that shouldn't preclude them being player characters. Its kind of a description of many Ars Magica sorcerers - who still manage to be fun PCs. Some constraints on sorcery make sorcerers poor *solo* PCs, and that is totally fine. But RQG sorcerers have additional constraints that make them pretty boring compared to not just Ars Magica magi, but almost all magic users in RQ or any other game, effectively restricting them to a tiny handful of spells that they can use effectively, and that seems excessive. 

On 8/23/2019 at 10:39 PM, Jeff said:

In others, to become a sorcerer requires experiencing the suffering of the rest of society, so that you might better understand existence.

The Loskalmi Men of All seem to be both characters that are within the realistic range of the sort of character that would make a good PC, and almost encouraged to attempt heroic deeds. They should be great PCs. If the rules end up saying 'of course, your magic will suck until we've had several decades of game play'. that would be a disappointing outcome. 

On 8/23/2019 at 10:39 PM, Jeff said:

The most powerful human sorcerers mentioned in the Guide are of great age - Theoblanc is over 150 years old and those great sorcerer-warriors of Loskalm all did their studies during the Ban (when everything functioned perfectly - including training and experience gains).

And it is totally fine that your hero level cultural leaders are ancient. There should be a big gulf between those guys and being competitive with other PCs, enough that playing a PC from a sorcerous cult/culture doesn't feel like you are assuming a handicap. 

 

On 8/23/2019 at 10:39 PM, Jeff said:

The God Learners accomplished their wonders through heroquesting as much as through sorcery - but their techniques are fortunately mostly lost.

I agree that sorcerous heroquesting should be an important thing -  I disagree that it disappeared with the God Learners though. Of course the Arkati are heroquesters, the Lunars are heroquesters, and I'm increasingly coming to the conclusion that the Ascended Masters teach, among other things, heroquest paths that their adherents are encouraged to pursue. And the Loskalmi are explicitly flagged as unearthing God Learner magic as well. 

 

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On 8/24/2019 at 6:33 PM, Jeff said:

At this point, we don't even have a proper write-up of the Invisible God (I have the contours of it, but a full write-up will await its own book). We don't have anything that details Western characters for RQG.

I hope at least we hope for writeups of the sects (I think I'd find separate writeup for the Rokari and the New Hrestoli more useful than trying to combine both). 

I currently feel that the RQG rules go too far in constraining the abilities of individual sorcerers (though I agree with the general direction) and worry that the promised Western rules will have to significantly change how sorcerery works in practice to be make it work well for those cultures (and probably won't change it enough). Of course, I could be pleasantly surprised.

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29 minutes ago, davecake said:

I hope at least we hope for writeups of the sects (I think I'd find separate writeup for the Rokari and the New Hrestoli more useful than trying to combine both). 

I currently feel that the RQG rules go too far in constraining the abilities of individual sorcerers (though I agree with the general direction) and worry that the promised Western rules will have to significantly change how sorcerery works in practice to be make it work well for those cultures (and probably won't change it enough). Of course, I could be pleasantly surprised.

So far it doesn't. It won't make individual sorcerers play on par with Rune Lords or Rune Priests - if you want to dazzle folk with your amazing in combat displays of magic, join a cult. If you want to research spells that you cast as parts of long and convoluted rituals on specific days, send terrible curses upon your neighbours, or weave sorcery around your chosen champion, then sorcery may be for you.

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I understand where Davecake and Jeff are both coming from and I wonder if either realize that sorcery as it is right now is still so broken when you reach a certain level and sorcerors have several levels of power.  

I think a Western supplement can go a long way in presenting the sorcerors approach to providing magic to his community.  He too can summon spirits and enchant things and cast blessings...or curses.

I think sorcery for Loskalmi can make for great adventurers if the culture and how it applies its magic is presented correctly.  It just will be a lot different than shamanism and theism.  Plus, they will collect magic items with spirit magic spells enchanted on them.

I've long thought about doing a Loskalmi campaign.

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5 hours ago, Jeff said:

So far it doesn't. It won't make individual sorcerers play on par with Rune Lords or Rune Priests - if you want to dazzle folk with your amazing in combat displays of magic, join a cult. If you want to research spells that you cast as parts of long and convoluted rituals on specific days, send terrible curses upon your neighbours, or weave sorcery around your chosen champion, then sorcery may be for you.

I think I'm coming to wrap my head around "how sorcery is envisaged in RQG": they're really more like magical equivalents to alchemists or sages.

While I believe I'm understanding it better, it's nevertheless disappointing.  Not because I believe RQ sorcerers should play like D&D sorcerers tossing fireballs and eldritch blasts per se; I simply think that:

a) lorewise, sorcery is presented as a MAJOR pillar of magic; for (non-)God's sake, it's the foundational magical metaconcept to half of Genertela (or even possibly the majority, if you're talking population), Fonrit, and the Mostali, even Wyrms.  ....to say nothing of what the God Learners did with it..  While I can see a persuasive argument that as-is, the organized and intellectualist approach to magic very well could empower Malkioni societies as entities enough to 'resist' theistic-powered cultural competition, but down at the player-character level?  It's so evanescent as to be almost irrelevant to PCs.  Maybe that's absolutely canonical, I can't argue that since you define canon.  

b) metawise: it's just damned dull.  There's a reason pretty much nobody plays alchemist player characters or sage player characters.  We all know sorcery wasn't in RQ2 - that's the basis, btw, upon which I claim that sorcery fundamentally doesn't belong in Dragon Pass or rules meant to be focused/set there - but RQ3 definitely presented it as something literal.  Despite all its well-recognized warts, some players/GMs found it interesting and liked it.  There were certainly plenty of efforts made to make it work.  Why miss the opportunity in a new rule set (where there was wide creative freedom) to really make something cool?  

I'm certainly not going to change anyone's mind here.  The model more or less seems to be set at this point.  I think this 6 page thread shows that people want sorcery to be a part of gameplay, not a gnostic machina backdrop whose only impact on the world are some long-duration buffs.   I ultimately find what we're uncovering here just seems like a missed opportunity ... so far. 

I hope the Western cultural setting publication, when it comes, exploits the opportunity to make something as rich, comprehensive, and interesting for players as it seems like it could be.

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13 minutes ago, styopa said:

I think I'm coming to wrap my head around "how sorcery is envisaged in RQG": they're really more like magical equivalents to alchemists or sages.

While I believe I'm understanding it better, it's nevertheless disappointing.  Not because I believe RQ sorcerers should play like D&D sorcerers tossing fireballs and eldritch blasts per se; I simply think that:

a) lorewise, sorcery is presented as a MAJOR pillar of magic; for (non-)God's sake, it's the foundational magical metaconcept to half of Genertela (or even possibly the majority, if you're talking population), Fonrit, and the Mostali, even Wyrms.  ....to say nothing of what the God Learners did with it..  While I can see a persuasive argument that as-is, the organized and intellectualist approach to magic very well could empower Malkioni societies as entities enough to 'resist' theistic-powered cultural competition, but down at the player-character level?  It's so evanescent as to be almost irrelevant to PCs.  Maybe that's absolutely canonical, I can't argue that since you define canon.  

b) metawise: it's just damned dull.  There's a reason pretty much nobody plays alchemist player characters or sage player characters.  We all know sorcery wasn't in RQ2 - that's the basis, btw, upon which I claim that sorcery fundamentally doesn't belong in Dragon Pass or rules meant to be focused/set there - but RQ3 definitely presented it as something literal.  Despite all its well-recognized warts, some players/GMs found it interesting and liked it.  There were certainly plenty of efforts made to make it work.  Why miss the opportunity in a new rule set (where there was wide creative freedom) to really make something cool?  

I'm certainly not going to change anyone's mind here.  The model more or less seems to be set at this point.  I think this 6 page thread shows that people want sorcery to be a part of gameplay, not a gnostic machina backdrop whose only impact on the world are some long-duration buffs.   I ultimately find what we're uncovering here just seems like a missed opportunity ... so far. 

I hope the Western cultural setting publication, when it comes, exploits the opportunity to make something as rich, comprehensive, and interesting for players as it seems like it could be.

Sorcery is a major pillar of magic. Geez, look at the things you can do with sorcery - you can effectively reproduce the effects of all but the mightiest Rune spells WITHOUT a cult. WITHOUT cult restrictions. WITHOUT even needing the Runes. Heck, you can obviously create balls of fire or whatever else you want. But you do this through meticulous and lengthy study. Learn your INT worth of Runes and Techniques and you have a lot of potential combinations. An 18 INT sorcery has 7 Runes and Techniques they can learn. So pick Fire, Earth, Movement, Fertility, Combine, Summon, and Command. That gets you Death, Stasis, Separate, Dispel, and Tap (albeit at double cost). So almost any spell dealing with Fire and Earth could be learned. Learn a bunch of them at 3% plus your Magic bonus of +5% or 8%.

OK casting is going to require a few tricks - use the right Day modifier (+10%), get a Minor Rune association for the location (+10%), and carry around a mundane object for each spell (10%). That gives you 38% in each spell. Meditate for 10 minutes before casting the spell - that gets you up to 63% which is pretty decent actually. Now you might have a dozen or spells that cover a wide range of possibilities. Now you need to cast them before you need them but that's ok. If you want to be able to cast a spell in combat, pick your "combat spell" and train it. And unlike Rune Points, you can keep doing this as long as you have magic points, which recover far faster.

Magic points you say? Yeah, that's your actual Achilles Heel. Best solution - have a community that you can flock to your magical circle and get them to offer magic points to the Invisible God, and take a percentage of them for your purpose. Got a village of 150 adults? Awesome! What a magical pool for you to work with! Of course it is hard to take all those Dronars out on adventures, but you have more important stuff to be doing anyways - then again, that group of barbarian adventurers say they know where there is a treasure trove of lost Jrusteli knowledge. Imagine what you could do with that - what lost spells you might be able to learn! And what if you could reclaim some of the lost tricks of the God Learners that let them cast their spells directly on the gods! Worth the risk. Especially if the barbarians do most of the work.

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That aligns pretty well with how I view sorcery, yeah. As mentioned before, it's basically the Ars Magica fantasy of "wizards as alchemists", who spend most of their time indoors, in their mysterious tower at the edge of the village, only occasionally coming out to provide a few services to the farmers and merchants in exchange for some mana or other resource.

To that degree, I think the critically important innovation that Ars Magica brought to the table is popularizing the "troupe play" as a way around the fact that, indeed, such wizards don't make great adventurers -- they don't do much "in the heat of the moment" because it's all about preparation, work, research, etc. When they do cast something on the spot, the only reason they have such amazing spells is because they spent the past entire year pre-casting those spells with the right rituals, on the right days, using the right ingredients, etc. And that's why you only play your wizard once every 4 adventures or so in Ars Magica (the rest of the time you play their servants/bodyguards/messengers going out on missions for them).

I'm really hoping for a future RQG sourcebook on sorcerers, and I'm really hoping it takes Ars Magica's angle and carries it forward some more. But as they stand, in my opinion, the RQG RAW on sorcery only need a few tweaks, some extra elements/bonuses/MP rules/etc., and a whole bunch of cultural/RP flavour to achieve that fantasy (but that's a whole different game than RQG is right now, so that's probably why Jeff is hand-waving it a bit from the current Dragon Pass-centered editorial line)

Edited by lordabdul
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Dunno...  I think I can see the viable "adventuring sorceror" here...

A couple of long-term "Buff" spells, cast before setting out.

1-2 "hurt the other guy" spells, needing a round or two to cast (so the party has to protect the sorceror)

2-3 utility/control spells, often cast out of battle to solve non-combat issues (but if utilized in combat, the party again needs to screen/protect the sorceror).

I don't see anything that makes this style of adventurer "unplayable."  If you want to play a scream-and-leap kzinti, you have Gloranthan options; the studious academic isn't one of them, and that's OK.

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5 hours ago, styopa said:

b) metawise: it's just damned dull.  There's a reason pretty much nobody plays alchemist player characters or sage player characters.  We all know sorcery wasn't in RQ2 - that's the basis, btw, upon which I claim that sorcery fundamentally doesn't belong in Dragon Pass or rules meant to be focused/set there - but RQ3 definitely presented it as something literal.  Despite all its well-recognized warts, some players/GMs found it interesting and liked it.  There were certainly plenty of efforts made to make it work.  Why miss the opportunity in a new rule set (where there was wide creative freedom) to really make something cool?  

As an aside, you'd be surprised how popular Lhankor Mhy is. I've seen far more LM characters over the years than Humakt or Storm Bull.

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7 minutes ago, Jeff said:

I've seen far more LM characters over the years than Humakt or Storm Bull.

Certainly true for my campaigns, present or past. At least one if not two sages. Always a merchant. Often an entertainer. Usually some type of priest. But I've never had anyone play Storm Bull, and only maybe one or two Humakti in the past and briefly one in current campaign. 

(I did though have a pair of Carmanian sorcerers in my old campaign. Have to see if the old character sheets are still around somewhere - I remember a lot of time spent coming up with possible spells for them.)

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

Certainly true for my campaigns, present or past. At least one if not two sages. Always a merchant. Often an entertainer. Usually some type of priest. But I've never had anyone play Storm Bull, and only maybe one or two Humakti in the past and briefly one in current campaign. 

(I did though have a pair of Carmanian sorcerers in my old campaign. Have to see if the old character sheets are still around somewhere - I remember a lot of time spent coming up with possible spells for them.)

I was about to type the same thing.  In all the uncountable Runequest campaigns I've run, not one person rolled up a Storm Bull.  But quite a few LM sages.  And they've always been fun.  There comes a point where they become capable of casting long term, decent spells upon the entire party and the whole party "levels up".  Then they reach another stage later one where they begin to have even greater powers.  It all depends on how you build their enchantments and what spells they learn.

One thing I've learned DMing is that if a player comes from a D&D background and tells you he likes sorcerors, then don't give him a RQ sorceror.  He won't like it.  What he really is looking for is a RQ shaman.  RQ sorcerors are a bit boring to play.  Can't cast things well at first.  Then, when they get useful, they tend to cast things during the adventures off time, not during play.  A magic user who seldom casts spells during play and does all his spell casting between adventures is generally kinda boring.  It's those times when he's desperately trying to get off his 3 rds to cast mega spell while the party holds off the boss that are entertaining.

Edited by Pentallion

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