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Mirza

My homebrew changes to RQ:G Sorcery.

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After reading the "How to play a pure sorcerer" thread, I decided to modify the rules for Sorcery. This is just an effort to write down what felt like the obvious alternative rules for Sorcery from what was already there, though I did use a couple minor suggestions from people in that thread.

I would gladly hear peoples thoughts and critiques about this modified ruleset, or if you need clarifications feel free to ask.

I didn't really keep track of who suggested what, and I'm not going to trawl through the walls of text in that thread, so if you see one of your ideas in here, then feel free to say something so I can properly attribute you.

Edit: Now with version 1.1 of the rules.

 

Changes to RuneQuest Roleplaying in Glorantha Sorcery by Mirza v1_1.pdf

Edited by Mirza
Updated Rules to v1.1
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Treat the following as musings not necessarily in a particular order, rather than well-organized feedback.

One of the big questions that comes to mind for me is why anyone would sacrifice POW for a 30% Rune/Technique rating? If you can train them as a percentile anyway, I find it hard to imagine any budding sorcerer would sacrifice POW for more Runes or Techniques when there's so many other uses if they have spare POW to sacrifice, even for pure sorcerers (MP matrixes, inscriptions, binding enchants, etc). Now, if it just was a one-time increase to your skill by 30%, I could see that being worth the sacrifice. Jump from 80 to 110, or 100 to 130 totally is worth POW; possibly too good though, there.

Another alternative which comes to mind is that the sorcerer can have any percentage in a Rune/Technique, but it only counts as "mastered" if they sacrificed POW for it. In this idea, the sorcerer could use their full percentage, but would have to pay extra magic points until mastering.

I disagree with getting both a Rune and a Technique for each point of INT above 12. In part because there's only six Techniques, but I also feel like the either/or structure in vanilla sorcery does allow an interesting set of decisions to be made because with inferred Runes/Techniques you can get quite a lot of good stuff, but still be missing out. Although increasing this increases sorcerer flexibility, I'm not sure it creates as many interesting decisions for the player.

(Although it does mean that player sorcerers won't be just running around with Command or Tap and inferring every other Technique for their entire careers... Hrm.)

I like that you're moving away from Free INT. Total INT as the manipulation cap still sits ill with me, if I'm honest, but I like your model better, and I don't really have a suggestion here which both 1) I like better and 2) is as- or less-complex than vanilla.

I like casting using half percentile of an inferred R/T, but I suggest treating it as unmastered for purposes of MP cost. That way there's still an incentive to develop that R/T as a skill on its own. Even with the huge MP batteries I imagine most sorcerers will build up over time, having MP efficiency is still worthwhile.

Speaking of, I like your simplification of the MP costs. Any quantity of unmastered = doubled MP is a nice hotfix IMO, especially since I felt vanilla's wording on MP multiplication got a bit vague at times.

Quote

The total number of spells a character can have memorized for Sorcery is the same mechanically as Spirit Magic ... save that it uses INT instead of CHA.

While I like that spirit magic doesn't interfere with INT of sorcery (it just feels so strange to me in vanilla that a CHA-thing interferes with an INT-thing...) I think this section in "Acquiring New Spells" should be reworded. Sorcery spells don't have points like spirit magic, so just something like "A sorcerer may know as many spells as their INT" is sufficient. One spell, one point. I'd still allow the "dormant spells" rules from vanilla though, to let sorcerers keep back weird or super specific spells they won't need regularly (and in part, because I just think that rule's interesting). Though inscriptions can extend a sorcerer's INT, so it's not too big a deal.

Can personal skill bonuses be added to new R/T's during character creation? Since they're skills now. Letting you get past the four total R/Ts a LM Philosopher starts with.

An idea: to differentiate a bit more between what different R/T's different sorcerers have mastered, perhaps full INT only is usable if the sorcerer has all R/Ts in the spell mastered. If any are unmastered, max intensity equals half INT. Can still be bumped up with inscriptions. Could add a bit of texture to the decision-making and emphasize what spells different schools or cults are good at, and what they're middling at.

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Even if one of the characters Runes or Techniques for the spell is 0%, the lowest skill must be used, so in the case of a spell with 80%, 55%, 35%, 0% for the Runes and Techniques Percentiles, the 0% must be used, but the INT bonus, Sympathetic Magic Bonuses, Meditation or Ritual Preparation Bonus can still be added to the roll.

The Egregious Munchkin in me reads this as implying that a sorcerer using your system can still know and cast a spell even if they know none of the R/Ts involved in a spell (nor any of its inference options). For instance, for some reason a Philosopher took Summon and Death as their Technique and Rune, then learned the spell Dominate Spirit (Command & Spirit) they could cast it on (0+INT+Mods)%.

The distinction here is that really, there shouldn't ever be a case where a sorcerer is casting using a 0% R/T because they're using the half of an inferred R/T instead. (Provided that you do want to require sorcerers to have either mastered or inferred all R/Ts involved in a spell as the core rules do). Presenting an example of casting with an uninferred 0% (and no statement that at least 1 or X R/Ts must be mastered to know a spell) implies to the Munchkin that they can hypothetically have any spell with mediocre chances of casting.

If R/Ts are Magic category skills, shouldn't you add the adventurer's Magic bonus to all casting attempts, too?

Do inscriptions add levels for the sorcerer who made them, per vanilla, or are they more like only spell matrices? I think that section could do with a little expanding to more clearly define how they work in your system.

Finally (and most importantly), thanks so much for sharing! Personally, I always enjoy seeing new rules ideas and game options. Welcome to the board!

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17 hours ago, Crel said:

Treat the following as musings not necessarily in a particular order, rather than well-organized feedback.

Thanks for the feedback, since you addressed my work point by point, I'll try and do the same. To be clear I did read every part of the post, I'm just truncating sections so we don't get double the wall of text.

17 hours ago, Crel said:

One of the big questions that comes to mind for me is why anyone would sacrifice POW for a 30% Rune/Technique rating?...

For sacrificing the POW for a Rune or Technique, this is honestly a holdover from the original rules in RQG for gaining a Rune and Technique, I didn't want to completely throw it out, and while it isn't the best way to spend your POW, it isn't meant to be. I view it as something that honestly only the Malkioni are going to be doing in any significant amount, it functions as a way for a Zzaburi to get a baseline skill in the Rune or Technique, and also doubles as something of an initiation into that specific area of sorcery.

(I added this part in later) Thinking about cost benefit of POW sacrifice from this and my later point about Magic Skill Bonus, and the whole 00% casting example, then I think it's a reasonable rule that the character cannot learn Sorcery R/Ts from 00% without having POW Sacrificed for a Rune or Technique previously. So for instance a LM or a Philosopher can learn a R/T from 00% + Magic Skill bonus%, without needing to go through the whole POW sacrifice deal again, since they've done it already, they understand Sorcery, but a non-Sorcerer has to make that sacrifice of a POW for a Rune or a Technique to be able to do Sorcery.

While technically these rules would mean a LM and a Philosopher must have sacrificed POW to be able to do Sorcery, it's a waived cost (they did it in the past, and just regained the POW somewhere over time, a bit of a handwave but whatever, don't want to discourage this cult/occupation.)

17 hours ago, Crel said:

I disagree with getting both a Rune and a Technique for each point of INT above 12...

For getting a Rune and Technique both at the same time for each point of INT above 12, this is going to be an odd perspective, but we have to think about how in RQG that the normal max INT for a character without rune affinity bonuses to their stats is 18, and INT above that's distinctly a heroic stat. So for there to be a society of Malkioni running around, not all of whom are 60%+ Fire rune affinity characters with max d6 rolls, it makes a certain sense to me that the max non-rune affinity INT can just squeak by and learn all 6 techniques. As for learning Runes, I felt that the current rules are just too restrictive, I imagine that the spells in the future supplements are going to be a whole lot less Truth rune focused, and there will probably be even more spells with multiple runes and such, so this is something of a "Sorcery needs to have a broader base" to me.

17 hours ago, Crel said:

I like that you're moving away from Free INT.

Yeah I don't have a better solution for Free INT without completely rewriting Spell Intensity to a significant degree, and I wanted to keep this as a quick few pages homebrew supplement.

17 hours ago, Crel said:

I like casting using half percentile of an inferred R/T, but I suggest treating it as unmastered for purposes of MP cost.

I debated myself whether half percentiles should be Unmastered for spell costs, that's perhaps the singular part where I wavered the most back and forth. I realize that as written it might be a bit overpowered, but I was attempting to not hobble Sorcery with this homebrew from the start. I thought that the half-percentile chance to cast would itself be enough of a downside for casting a Sorcery spell without a period of Meditation or Ritual Preparations, and thus having some narrative cost/making it unreliable for battle.

17 hours ago, Crel said:

Speaking of, I like your simplification of the MP costs.

Yeah I just think it's a bit too ambiguous about spell costs and Unmastered in the original RQG rules, made sure to nip that in the bud.

17 hours ago, Crel said:

While I like that spirit magic doesn't interfere with INT of sorcery (it just feels so strange to me in vanilla that a CHA-thing interferes with an INT-thing...) I think this section in "Acquiring New Spells" should be reworded.

For memorizing spells with the Spirit Magic rules, there is actually a point cost associated with each Sorcery spell in the RQG rules, the number of points is the same as the number of Runes and Techniques that the spell calls for, so that's what I was referring to/implying as the points. This makes it so that the character doesn't have a frankly  ridiculous amount of memorized spells since even the simplest of sorcery spells are 2 points. There's still a decent amount of spells a Sorcerer can know, but it still becomes a "is this one worth keeping around when I could memorize this instead?" deal.

17 hours ago, Crel said:

Can personal skill bonuses be added to new R/T's during character creation? Since they're skills now. Letting you get past the four total R/Ts a LM Philosopher starts with.

Certainly a LM Philosopher can add in say 10% to a fifth R/T during creation, and then add the Magic Skill bonus%. When it comes to non-LM and non-Philosophers learning a R/T in creation, I'd rule they'd have to do the POW sacrifice, and mark it off their POW to gain the R/T. From there it'd be fine to add points to a new one as a regular old 00% skill with Magic Skill bonus%.

17 hours ago, Crel said:

An idea: to differentiate a bit more between what different R/T's different sorcerers have mastered, perhaps full INT only is usable if the sorcerer has all R/Ts in the spell mastered.

I love your idea of half-INT intensity for Unmastered, and half-percentiles. I feel this is a better way of balancing half-percentiles than them being Unmastered for costs.

17 hours ago, Crel said:

The Egregious Munchkin in me reads this as implying that a sorcerer using your system can still know and cast a spell even if they know none of the R/Ts involved in a spell (nor any of its inference options).

So that example with 4 percentiles was from an older iteration of casting% where it involved an average% of the R/Ts that the spell calls for, that clearly needs a fix and a ruling. I would not allow for a spell to be cast where there is 00% in all the Runes and Techniques involved, it should require at least some kind of percentile (even a half-percentile) in one of the R/Ts that the spell calls for.

17 hours ago, Crel said:

If R/Ts are Magic category skills, shouldn't you add the adventurer's Magic bonus to all casting attempts, too?

I'll admit I was a bit of a dum-dum, and forgot about Magic Skill bonus, but yeah it should probably be added after the 30% base skill is applied to get your actual % for that R/T (so it gets grouped in with the R/T% on the equation). But if your Magic Skill bonus (Impossible for a human but just hedging my bets here) is enough to bring the initial percentile over 30% then POW sacrifice only allows you to know the R/T.

17 hours ago, Crel said:

Do inscriptions add levels for the sorcerer who made them, per vanilla, or are they more like only spell matrices?

My intent that was outside being usable by non-Sorcerers, and the casting percentile ruling, that Inscriptions would be utterly unchanged, the only reason that I included these rules for non-sorcerers using inscriptions is because I had a hilarious thought of a Sorcerer doing a tool rental business on the side or providing inscribed gear to warriors. (Bit of an Openhanded Mostali thought there, imo).

I know that this post will probably be a bit scattershot, I did some rewriting after thinking about later parts, hopefully you can forgive that. (Specifically I wrote everything up to the Magic Skill Bonus section and then started rewrites, oof.)

Thanks again for the input, Crel, you've certainly given me stuff to think on here.

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