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Sorcery spells and items.


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12 minutes ago, Richard S. said:

Sorcery at its core is a magic system for old men in schools and towers who have other people do all the adventuring while they work up huge spells, research obscure arcane lore, and make magic items.

Which will be quite a disappoint to the entirety of Loskalm, who basically are only able to learn sorcery once they have become good candidates for adventuring. 

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Q&A: Actually a little different than I remember. The answer implies that instead of it being restricted to only the inscriber it's actually a looser restriction of "anyone who knows the sp

Just because sorcery is poorly suited to the rigors of a fast paced melee combat doesn't make it a "fail".    It certainly may not be your cup of tea but as a GM I have to be careful of a well played

"At age 13, the novitiate selects three Runes (the Spirit Rune, an Elemental Rune, and either a Power Rune or the Magic Rune)" p.389

20 minutes ago, Godlearner said:

Young sorcerer? There is no such thing. The requirements are prohibitive. For 3 to 5 POW you could cast somewhat similar spells as spirit magic at x2 times the cost and in at least 2 rounds and your chance to cast is equal to the lesser of the spell % or you Read/Write skill which are both likely to be lower than your POW x5.

i expect an old scholar sorcerer as more % than POW x 5 in read write and in spells he dedicated his life, that is for the age

and the major advantage of sorcery is  the opposite of spirit magic :  you are less limited, in duration, range, power.

Spirit magic has it's own advantages but last 2 minutes (and, if shaman, accept to be a weird guy)

Rune magic has it's own advantages but needs POW (and others) sacrifices

Sorcery magic has it's own advantages but needs to be cautious, prepared, skilled and smart (and accept to be a weird guy)

 

of course if we were talking about class and level, and wanted a balance and same effectiveness between, druid, shaman, warrior, sorcerer, priest, ranger, paladin, and others, I agree, there were an issue. But that is not the case.

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2 hours ago, Kloster said:

Aeolians (whose sorcerors worship Orlanthi gods)

I don't think this is actually the case.  More likely it is the Aeolian nobles and/or commoners that worship Orlanthi gods (possibly as Ancestors in the case of nobles), and the sorcerers, like other Malkioni, stick to sorcery.

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1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

i expect an old scholar sorcerer as more % than POW x 5 in read write and in spells he dedicated his life, that is for the age

 

In a practical sense, yes, he is an old man by the time he is literate enough to compare to a Rune Priest (18 POW and 90% in their main Rune Affinity), and he has literally dedicated his life to those spells - any spells that other than the two or three learned during character creation are likely to be far far below his POW x5. So choose widely at character creation, you are probably stuck with them. 

1 hour ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

Rune magic has it's own advantages but needs POW (and others) sacrifices

Sorcery ends up needing a lot of POW in various enchanted items and inscriptions to be effective. 

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The real irony and indignity of sorcery is that to be an effective sorcerer at all, but especially to be one as a PC who might want to have sometime useful to do in a combat situation, having bound spirits is such an advantage that PC sorcerers are likely to spend quite a bit of their time chasing spirits and spirit magic. Any sorcerer, including all those NPCs, is going to find one  hugely useful as a source of magic points, but a spirit that knows spirit magic, so letting sorcerers cast it without a Free INT penalty, gives the best of both worlds. So henotheist sorcerers that have access to allied spirits have quite the advantage. 

Irripi Ontor Sages are basically huge winners for player character type sorcerers in particular - once they have an allied spirit, they can use the spirit magic it knows freely, and unlike Lhankor Mhy philosophers, they automatically have access to combat useful spirit magic (Befuddle) and sorcery spells. And then once they get access to Red Goddess magic (which lets you manipulate spirit magic like sorcery, also based on FREE INT) they are the best magicians in the game, by quite a margin - especially as they may have access to both Enhance INT and the Cyclical Characteristic rune spell (it's in the Red Book of Magic, increases an attribute by 50% at the Full Moon - or inside the Glow Line every day - and works on INT). It would not be at all surprising for them to crank out spells with a Free INT in the mid-20s or higher. 

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i expect an old scholar sorcerer as more % than POW x 5 in read write and in spells he dedicated his life, that is for the age

and the major advantage of sorcery is  the opposite of spirit magic :  you are less limited, in duration, range, power.

 

Exactly, but not the young sorcerer. IMO, a sorcerer adventurer will need as much POW expended and previous experience as an average Priest.  Using Sorcery as Spirit Magic is possible, you would have to cast it before the fight start and pretty much without using Intensity. But, the difficulty there is a limited selection of spells based on the Rune/Technique mastery. Techniques are less of the problem since taking Command gives access to all the others, but Elemental  and other runes make things restrictive.

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1 hour ago, jajagappa said:

I don't think this is actually the case.  More likely it is the Aeolian nobles and/or commoners that worship Orlanthi gods (possibly as Ancestors in the case of nobles), and the sorcerers, like other Malkioni, stick to sorcery.

Perhaps they stick to sorcery, but they still worship gods, in their peculiar way.

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Perhaps they stick to sorcery, but they still worship gods, in their peculiar way.

Sure, they drop a point of POW for all common divine and 1 special spell and have a chance for DI. Makes sense to me.

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9 hours ago, Godlearner said:

I must say, that since its inception it seems that Sorcery was meant to fail as a magic system system for PCs. I hope what Jeff puts out changes my opinion.

Then I think you have a lack of imagination. As well as a mindset that says "magic must be instantly and consistently useful in most situations".

Logician is one of the most powerful spells in the book. Not just because of the 100+% bonus to any Knowledge skill, but because an INTx3 roll will give you a spell that gives you a 100+% bonus to *any* skill!!!  Making you the best warrior in the group.

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Just because sorcery is poorly suited to the rigors of a fast paced melee combat doesn't make it a "fail".    It certainly may not be your cup of tea but as a GM I have to be careful of a well played sorcerer because of how they can dramatically raise the overall power level of a party.  5 Warrior types, add one more  = 6 Warriors.  5 Warriors and add one sorcerer willing to work the rules = the power of 10 warriors.  And that's to start. 

 

Example:  Boon of Kargan Tor Intensity 1 gives +1d3 damage.  A newbie sorcerer with 13 free INT can cast that for a week.  Since a sorcerer can meditate to temporarily "forget" a spell to free up Free INT for situations like this, and can easily work with low skill values through boosted skills and repeated attempts, he is amazing buffer right out of the box.  In a week he can prepare a party of himself and up to six other adventurers for a very solid new party adventuring run.   There also isn't a stacking conflict with spirit magic, so if the newbie party warriors want to, they can boost themselves further with say, Bladesharp 2.  This is party altering.  That extra +1d3 may not sound like much, but it is extremely common to wound something within 2 points of the location being reduced to zero, and this single spell will push the warriors over the edge very consistently.   The sorcerer may be a total novice, but he has done his job, and can now focus on experience checks, pow gain rolls, role playing, not getting murdered hanging out with his crazy fighter type buddies.   And Dampen Damage can turn that Poleaxe wielding Troll berserker into a minimum damage hitting puff ball without even overcoming POW.    That requires intensity 4 by the way, and can be done at range.   There are some extremely good spells even in the core book.  What is lacking are spells that blast the opponent.  Honestly, quite a few Rune Cults lack these too, or they have them, but they are extremely Rune Point intensive.  Ever try to Lighting down a giant?  That takes a LOT of Rune points to pull off.  However we are mostly talking about combat here, and there are definitely sorcery spells that will tremendously swing a combat.

And unlike what a Shaman can bring to the table (which is also immense), the sorcerer can scale with time in grade.

After some adventures our novice sorcerer now has a spirit in a crystal, and a 17 POW.  He has made a 4 point matrix, and can afford to boost his group's primary melee weapon to +1d6 damage, and now for 2 weeks.  Later on, if he focuses magic energy on this, he can go with +1d6 for multiple seasons, or even +1d3 for multiple years.  No other magic type can pull that off, and there is a very reasonable case for a skilled sorcerer of this type being pretty popular with warrior cultures.  There is also the option of a short term +2d6 boost in the case something really nasty comes along.  Nothing like a Great Axe wielding Storm Bull berserk doing 2d6+2+1d6(strength)+2d6(Boon)+4(bladesharp).  This is the sort of thing my experienced group does all the time and it tears through lots of bad situations. 

I envision this sort of warrior buffing being something that Sir Ethilrist's Black horse troop is benefiting from, with the magic points coming out of the wyter, and the sorcerer only having to gain the POW to enchant up his focus item. 

Now in actual combat, a RQ:G core rules sorcerer is clearly pretty "meh" once the fight starts.  The spells likely have to be juggled frequently to keep free INT high enough to cast a meaningful spell at all in fact.   There may be periods where the sorcerer declares that he needs to meditate.....for hours......to pull out some knowledge based spell while in the middle of a vampire infested cavern.  But that might be okay, as what a sorcerer can do with a party of beefy friends is very much something that a GM has to keep in mind, lest it start to seriously snowball.  

Although a lot has changed from RQ3, I expect the same sort of long term, slow burn, strategic play style from a RQ:G sorcerer that is definitely different than a "fireball" type wizard.  Much more of a Gandalf the Grey planner type, who has cast mild boosting spells on the fellowship, and now draws his sword if he must fight.  Outside the mechanical aspects, there are also role playing considerations, and this being Glorantha, it is a good thing that a sorcerer requires a different mindset to play.   And just when the players settle into that -- Heroquest time.  Since I plan to use Heroquests to grant rule breaking boosts or abilities, a sorcerer might be the one who benefits most of all.

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3 hours ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

I m very interested by this but i don't see the "path" to obtain a bonus to any skill with logician ?

Logician is a fairly basic spell, usually chosen early by LM sorcerers.

By using the spell creation rules on p390, you could change Runes and roll INT x 3% as "A spell conceptually related to a spell that the sorcerer already knows". In a similar way, you would do that with Enhance INT moving to Enhance STR, DEX, CHA, etc.

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21 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

By using the spell creation rules on p390, you could change Runes and roll INT x 3% as "A spell conceptually related to a spell that the sorcerer already knows". In a similar way, you would do that with Enhance INT moving to Enhance STR, DEX, CHA, etc.

The spell creation rules seem a bit too generous. When (if?) the full sorcery rules appear I imagine it would be a more rigorous approach, fraught with heroquesting peril. I mean, wasnt it this sort of thing that got the Godlearners *turns to side and spits* into all sorts of trouble?

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21 hours ago, Godlearner said:

Sure, then why not keep the entirety of the Sorcery rules from RQ3. Its basically the same at the core, with out the Arts, but including Mastery of Runes and Techniques.

The RQ3 sorcery rules were written for some form of adepthood that doesn't gel well with Gloranthan runes and which placed immense weight on the construct of a sorcerer's familiar, a concept quite alien to any depiction of Gloranthan sorcery, whether Brithini, Malkioni, or Lhankor Mhy.

The techniques and runes don't quite make a syntax like the Ars Magica rules which may be somewhat related to RQ3 sorcery done more systematically.

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The RQ3 sorcery rules were written for some form of adepthood that doesn't gel well with Gloranthan runes and which placed immense weight on the construct of a sorcerer's familiar, a concept quite alien to any depiction of Gloranthan sorcery, whether Brithini, Malkioni, or Lhankor Mhy.

Yeah, so instead of taking out the familiars, the decision was to redo all the spells?

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14 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Then I think you have a lack of imagination. As well as a mindset that says "magic must be instantly and consistently useful in most situations".

Logician is one of the most powerful spells in the book. Not just because of the 100+% bonus to any Knowledge skill, but because an INTx3 roll will give you a spell that gives you a 100+% bonus to *any* skill!!!  Making you the best warrior in the group.

Gee thanks for the insult. The issue with this that it basically says "YGWV" and do whatever you want and there is no point in discussing any spell because of it.

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3 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Logician is a fairly basic spell, usually chosen early by LM sorcerers.

By using the spell creation rules on p390, you could change Runes and roll INT x 3% as "A spell conceptually related to a spell that the sorcerer already knows". In a similar way, you would do that with Enhance INT moving to Enhance STR, DEX, CHA, etc.

undestood

well, for sure I would allow Enhance XXX  without any issue (except time to search)

but using logician as a "basis" to obtain spells dedicated to other skills categories seems a little bit.... munchkin, doesn't it ? and you have to define the runes to use, not very clear..

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11 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

but using logician as a "basis" to obtain spells dedicated to other skills categories seems a little bit.... munchkin, doesn't it ?

Not more than building Enhance CON based on Darkness starting from enhance INT based on Fire/Sky.

12 minutes ago, French Desperate WindChild said:

and you have to define the runes to use, not very clear..

You would use Air for all sword usage. Bing, +100% with sword.

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21 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Not more than building Enhance CON based on Darkness starting from enhance INT based on Fire/Sky.

You would use Air for all sword usage. Bing, +100% with sword.

not the same to add % for sword with , I agree,that is "bladesharp-like" /"weapon transe" sorcery

i was more thinking about one spell adding % for all combats skill.. but saying that,  that is not logician behaviour

so I was wrong,

thanks

 

 

 

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Here's my take on it, which may overlap with or repeat what others have already said.

Game balance has never been RuneQuest's thing. This is just as true of power levels as it is of the playability of all the different cultural aspects of Glorantha. Orlanthi are more individually powerful than Yelmalions. Humans are more playable than Mostali.

So, there's this thing in Glorantha called "sorcery". By its very nature, in the fictional world that exists in imaginations outside of roleplaying games, it's not the stuff of adventures. It's just not suited to the fast pace of life that murder-hobos and community troubleshooters tend to get into. The same could be said of wizardry in Middle Earth - Gandalf was not written to be a player-character. Attempts to make magic playable in Middle Earth roleplaying games have in my opinion been abject failures.

Does that mean that RuneQuest should not have rules for sorcery?

Well, that might preclude some cool stuff that adventurers might get their hands on, such as items with long term duration sorcery spells on them.

And it would mean that if the referee wanted to have a recurring villain or patron who is a sorcerer would have to just make up the magic, and not all referees have the time or skills set for that.

So we have a magic system that is described in the rules, but it isn't really suited to the adventuring life.

Maybe it should have been saved for the GM book. Maybe it is playable for the scholarly LM type, some here have said that they have made it work successfully.

I say, celebrate diversity and embrace the imbalance. Avoid it if you don't like it. Sometimes the most rewarding experiences are ones that require effort to make them work.

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I took a harder look today at the Sorcery rules in RQ:G.   My idea was to make a hypothetical Ethilristian support sorcerer of the type I had posted about above.   This meant to me Death and Darkness runes to start, with apparently Summon and Dispel techniques. 

VERY quickly I was forced to give the sorcery rules an INCOMPLETE grade.  There are only two Darkness spells in the book, and one of them is actually Cold based.  Given Sir Ethilrist's association with Darkness this just wouldn't do.  I could make a good buffer style character, with some incidental weapon and lore skills that would be a good party member, but certainly not a sorcerer dealing with darkness. 

Ultimately we still haven't seen this editions sorcery rules, is my take.  I do still expect a tremendous thirst for POW, magic points, and Intelligence.  And a definitely Ars Magica style of play.

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5 hours ago, Dissolv said:

I took a harder look today at the Sorcery rules in RQ:G.   My idea was to make a hypothetical Ethilristian support sorcerer of the type I had posted about above.   This meant to me Death and Darkness runes to start, with apparently Summon and Dispel techniques. 

VERY quickly I was forced to give the sorcery rules an INCOMPLETE grade.  There are only two Darkness spells in the book, and one of them is actually Cold based.  Given Sir Ethilrist's association with Darkness this just wouldn't do.  I could make a good buffer style character, with some incidental weapon and lore skills that would be a good party member, but certainly not a sorcerer dealing with darkness. 

Ultimately we still haven't seen this editions sorcery rules, is my take.  I do still expect a tremendous thirst for POW, magic points, and Intelligence.  And a definitely Ars Magica style of play.

Riiiiggghhhhttttt...

But, what if you merely take that spell list to be a small example of what's possible? Swap Runes around and see what associations you end up with. And what combinations can do...

So, the problem wasn't the rules themselves, but in sticking merely with that list only... And given there are rules for creating new spells, I have to presume that was the intention.

Start with "what do I want to achieve?", then look at the Runes and Techniques to make it happen.

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On 3/3/2021 at 11:14 PM, Godlearner said:

I must say, that since its inception it seems that Sorcery was meant to fail as a magic system system for PCs

In order to have a "fail", you must also have a "pass". And to have those, you're required to have some set of criteria against which to measure.

That set of criteria hasn't been outlined or discussed (here).

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10 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

In order to have a "fail", you must also have a "pass". And to have those, you're required to have some set of criteria against which to measure.

That set of criteria hasn't been outlined or discussed (here).

Much of the problem comes from a differing expectations of sorcery, stemming back way back to Cults of Terror  There one could read of the Knights who were mortal enemies of the Wizards, and so reason that they must have access to sorcery that would make them awesome in combat.  From there, it was easy to postulate a low sorcery that every Malkioni used and a pure sorcery that Sorcerers excelled in.  

Impeccable reasoning with one tiny flaw - Greg never thought it was the case.  The evidence was right there when he wrote about the God Learners supporting the cult of Diros or having Wachaza as their war god.  

Likewise with the argument that sorcerers should be adept with spells that would make them the equal of shamans and rune priests in combat.  Again that isn't how Greg thought off them.  Just because Sorcery is one of the main magic systems of glorantha does not make it as versatile as spirit or rune magic.  I always think of Sorcerers as being the equivalent of heart (or brain) surgeons - they are awesome in the operating theatre but kinda crap outside it.  

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