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Darius West

THE SORCERY RULES YOU NEED TO REMEMBER FOR RQ:RiG !

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(1) I think a lot of people are going to want to spend a point of Free INT to remember this one.  Remember how in RQ3 you needed Free INT to cast sorcery, but you stored your Spirit Magic in your INT stat too?  These days that is no longer true.  Now Spirit Magic is stored in your CHA instead, leaving your precious INT "Free" for all that sorcery goodness.

I refer you to page 254 of RQ:RiG "Limits to Spell Holding.

So, that will certainly serve to take the chains off to some degree.  Tattoo that one into your brains, and correct anyone making that rookie "I'm still playing RQ3" mistake that Spirit Magic fills up your INT.  The rules are different now.  Now off you go sorcerers, and fill up your neglected CHA on all that Spirit Magic happiness.

(2)    LITERACY!  I refer you to page 388- Learning Sorcery.  Sorcery is a literate discipline, and a sorcerer cannot know a spell better than their Read/Write skill.  

I will point out that this is a little ambiguous, as if you learn a spell in a language you have at 25% but you have your own first language skill at 100%, effectively you translate the spell and write it down at 100%.  That means you really only need one language at 100%+ for sorcery, but you REALLY need it.

(3) Memorizing Spells.  Read and re-read this section of the rules on page 390.  What it means is that a sorcerer can use meditation to "forget" spells in their Free INT to free up space for a big spell, and at some later stage, they can choose to remember it again through more meditation.  Yes, your character will spend a lot of time sitting around and wracking their brains.  The crucial thing is... don't forget to forget and don't forget to remember.

Of course there are other rules you need to remember too.

For example, how to master a sorcery spell (page 384), how to use components and days of the week to boost your casting (p387-388), and how to make new spells that will annoy your GM and break the game (p390).  You also really REALLY need to know all about the Enhance INT spell and how you can amp yours up (p395).

Now get out there and get God Learning. Jrustela won't unsubmerge itself.

Edited by Darius West
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36 minutes ago, Darius West said:

(1) I think a lot of people are going to want to spend a point of Free INT to remember this one.  Remember how in RQ3 you needed Free INT to cast sorcery, but you stored your Spirit Magic in your INT stat too?  These days that is no longer true.  Now Spirit Magic is stored in your CHA instead, leaving your precious INT "Free" for all that sorcery goodness.

I refer you to page 254 of RQ:RiG "Limits to Spell Holding.

So, that will certainly serve to take the chains off to some degree.  Tattoo that one into your brains, and correct anyone making that rookie "I'm still playing RQ3" mistake that Spirit Magic fills up your INT.  The rules are different now.  Now off you go sorcerers, and fill up your neglected CHA on all that Spirit Magic happiness.

Referring to the sorcery section of RQG, it says on page 384:

Quote

 

Manipulating Spells

A sorcerer may manipulate spells up to their Free INT, a value equaling their INT minus the number of points of sorcery and spirit magic possessed. A sorcerer cannot cast a spell that requires more Free INT than they possess.

 

Although spirit magic is now a function of CHA, it still affects Free INT as previous rules.

Your other points are certainly valid though.

 

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Well, I stand corrected on that point. 

On the other hand, I also can't see how it makes sense as a rule.  It looks like simply re-nerfing Sorcery so it looks more like RQ3, when the whole foundation for the limit, i.e. the use of INT is gone.  Personally I don't think it is a rule I will enforce, considering the boost Shamanism has received from Shamanic Abilities.  I prefer having Sorcerers who can actually be a threat.

Edited by Darius West
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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

Now get out there and get God Learning. Jrustela won't unsubmerge itself.

Actually, it will - as a part of Somelz, the dwarf square in the southwest.

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3 hours ago, Darius West said:

Well, I stand corrected on that point. 

On the other hand, I also can't see how it makes sense as a rule.  It looks like simply re-nerfing Sorcery so it looks more like RQ3, when the whole foundation for the limit, i.e. the use of INT is gone.  Personally I don't think it is a rule I will enforce, considering the boost Shamanism has received from Shamanic Abilities.  I prefer having Sorcerers who can actually be a threat.

I suspect it has indeed been left in there to squish Sorcerers a bit. But not having your own Spirit Magic doesn't have to be a reason not to be a threat. Magic Points available quickly become your bottleneck, once you start inscribing your 'favourite' spell. Given that you'll need all your MP just to keep your longer duration buffs up, not having any Spirit Magic isn't such a big issue.

Couple of notes on your OP:

Literacy: remember it has nothing to do with Languages. It's all about scripts. You have to have a 'good hand', not a good understanding of language. RAW, at least. I'm probably going to combine the language and script elements, as the divorce between the two, when it comes to writing down knowledge of things, is false: you need to know what the scratchings mean, not just the sounds they might make.

I'm not sure how much difference the odd few percent here and there from sympathetic magic makes compared to the IMO essential Ritual Practices boost. Worth remembering if you're actually tactically casting, maybe, but then you have to remember just how long it will take to get your spell off. I don't get the feeling that Sorcerers are meant to be stood there flinging firebolts in a fight, unless it's a really messy, big fight and they've got lots of cover to hunker down behind while they ramp up their spells.

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5 hours ago, David Scott said:

Referring to the sorcery section of RQG, it says on page 384:

Although spirit magic is now a function of CHA, it still affects Free INT as previous rules.

 

Looks like a bug. I certainly wouldn't enforce it.

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1 hour ago, GianniVacca said:

Looks like a bug. I certainly wouldn't enforce it.

It is definitely not intended to be a bug. Learning spirit magic is supposed to be detrimental to Gloranthan sorcerers in some way, so they kept that part of the INT mechanic. It's simple, familiar, and does the job, so there's really no need to change it. The CHA mechanic was introduced in order to reduce shamanic dependency on INT, as I understand it.

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37 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

 The CHA mechanic was introduced in order to reduce shamanic dependency on INT, as I understand it.

And has the not-inconsiderable side effect (along with Rune Points being capped by CHA) of moving CHA further away from being a 'dump stat'. There's a general shift towards involving CHA "force of personality" in Magic stuff, which makes a bunch of metaphysical sense and also helps with making it a stat that players want to improve.

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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

It is definitely not intended to be a bug. Learning spirit magic is supposed to be detrimental to Gloranthan sorcerers in some way, so they kept that part of the INT mechanic. It's simple, familiar, and does the job, so there's really no need to change it. The CHA mechanic was introduced in order to reduce shamanic dependency on INT, as I understand it.

So the rule exists to amp up the already godlike shamans even more, and yet despite the obvious logical inconsistency it offers nothing of value to sorcerers?  I understand that offering depth and power to Shamans isn't a bad thing, and I really like the new Shaman rules but I disagree that sorcerers need to be penalized for learning spirit magic.  If you are an immortal Brithini, bound by laws of caste that threaten your immortality to break, then learning spirit magic would be a no-no, but not for a Lhankor Mhy. For example, clearly the God Learners were able to do so without issue when they were busily altering theist and shamanic cults from the ground up.  Sorcerers should simply consider spirit magic to be cantrips, i.e. largely unworthy of their attention because they were too limited, but a few might be useful stopgaps in some situations.  What's next?  Penalizing Sorcerers by requiring them to have Free CHA too?  I have been quite excited by the new rules, but this one isn't much good imo.  It seems more like a prejudice than a well reasoned and lore founded piece of game mechanics.

Edited by Darius West

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24 minutes ago, Darius West said:

So the rule exists to amp up the already godlike shamans even more, and yet despite the obvious logical inconsistency it offers nothing of value to sorcerers?

As a starting character, you can't be a shaman, but you can be a sorcerer. Shamans are rune level characters, and have been beefed up to match that, but getting past that threshold to gaining a fetch is a risky and difficult step. On the other hand, it seems to me that you can start as a much more potent sorcerer in RQG than you could in RQ3.

24 minutes ago, Darius West said:

What's next?  Penalizing Sorcerers by requiring them to have Free CHA too?

I don't think anyone has suggested that.

Edited by PhilHibbs
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1 hour ago, PhilHibbs said:

As a starting character, you can't be a shaman, but you can be a sorcerer. Shamans are rune level characters, and have been beefed up to match that, but getting past that threshold to gaining a fetch is a risky and difficult step. On the other hand, it seems to me that you can start as a much more potent sorcerer in RQG than you could in RQ3.

Having played several sorcerors with RQIII (and created one with RQG), I both agree and disagree on this point: Scores are higher, skills are less numerous, but runes and techniques are few at creation and difficult and long to learn. What I feel a disadvantage for sorcery users compared to other characters (at system, not setting level) is that INT is a very important stat because of free INT, but INT does not matter for magic category bonus, contrary to RQIII.

Kloster

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1 hour ago, Darius West said:

So the rule exists to amp up the already godlike shamans even more, and yet despite the obvious logical inconsistency it offers nothing of value to sorcerers?  I understand that offering depth and power to Shamans isn't a bad thing, and I really like the new Shaman rules but I disagree that sorcerers need to be penalized for learning spirit magic.  If you are an immortal Brithini, bound by laws of caste that threaten your immortality to break, then learning spirit magic would be a no-no, but not for a Lhankor Mhy. For example, clearly the God Learners were able to do so without issue when they were busily altering theist and shamanic cults from the ground up.  Sorcerers should simply consider spirit magic to be cantrips, i.e. largely unworthy of their attention because they were too limited, but a few might be useful stopgaps in some situations.  What's next?  Penalizing Sorcerers by requiring them to have Free CHA too?  I have been quite excited by the new rules, but this one isn't much good imo.  It seems more like a prejudice than a well reasoned and lore founded piece of game mechanics.

Spirit magic is intellectually incompatible with the rigorous logic of sorcery. If you want to rock at being a sorcerer, don't rely on petty little spirit charms.

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38 minutes ago, Kloster said:

Having played several sorcerors with RQIII (and created one with RQG), I both agree and disagree on this point: Scores are higher, skills are less numerous, but runes and techniques are few at creation and difficult and long to learn. What I feel a disadvantage for sorcery users compared to other characters (at system, not setting level) is that INT is a very important stat because of free INT, but INT does not matter for magic category bonus, contrary to RQIII.

Kloster

I kind of like the idea of house-ruling that a character can choose the higher of INT or POW to provide the Magic Skills category bonus that POW currently does. Makes INT a little more broadly useful. 

Alternately just adding another row where INT acts like CHA.

Edited by Scott A

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22 minutes ago, Scott A said:

I kind of like the idea of house-ruling that a character can choose the higher of INT or POW to provide the Magic Skills category bonus that POW currently does. Makes INT a little more broadly useful. 

Alternately just adding another row where INT acts like CHA.

RQIII had INT and POW as primary, DEX as secondary. Keeping the same relative values would be having INT on the par with POW, but you're right, it could be toned down to the rank given to CHA (roughly the position previously taken by DEX). On that point, I very much like the new importance of CHA as "force of personality" (as described by womble) to replace DEX that seemed tome a bit out of place.

Kloster

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It does seem a little odd that INT is necessary for remembering the spells, but is not a factor, in any way, in the ability to successfully cast them...

I can see why DEX was secondary for Magic, in RQ3: you have to be able to do the gestures fluidly and accurately... Maybe POW and CHA primary, DEX and INT secondary? 

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To be honest, not only do I ignore the rule about spirit magic reducing Free INT, but I generally remove the whole idea of Free INT. I'm not really sure what it adds to the game any more. Even once you take it away, sorcerers are still quite limited as magicians, generally slow casters, and going through so many magic points, and so on. 

I am not sure I agree with Darius that you can always translate a spell into your best language once you know it. I tend to think that sorcery is a bit more 'intimate' with language than that (like eg kabbala), and might be difficult to easily translate. 

I find Enhance INT quite an oddity. Its existence as written without the rules would imply that Fire sorcerers are notably more capable than other sorcerers. Yet I don't remember a single mention of a Fire sorcerer, or Fire sorcerer, tradition in all Gloranthan writing about sorcerers, which would imply that they aren't particularly remarkable. I'm inclined to say that Enhance INT does not Enhance INT for spell casting purposes, just to avoid the potentially quite unbalancing rules issue. Or at least, not give any of my players the spell. 

 

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3 minutes ago, davecake said:

I find Enhance INT quite an oddity. Its existence as written without the rules would imply that Fire sorcerers are notably more capable than other sorcerers. Yet I don't remember a single mention of a Fire sorcerer, or Fire sorcerer, tradition in all Gloranthan writing about sorcerers, which would imply that they aren't particularly remarkable. I'm inclined to say that Enhance INT does not Enhance INT for spell casting purposes, just to avoid the potentially quite unbalancing rules issue. Or at least, not give any of my players the spell. 

That's very close to what I said on this thread 

Jeff pointed out that, for Lhankor Mhytes at least, there was a mythic reason for their sorcerers to study the Fire/Sky rune - the Mistress of the Light of Knowledge.

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13 hours ago, womble said:

Literacy: remember it has nothing to do with Languages. It's all about scripts. You have to have a 'good hand', not a good understanding of language. RAW, at least. I'm probably going to combine the language and script elements, as the divorce between the two, when it comes to writing down knowledge of things, is false: you need to know what the scratchings mean, not just the sounds they might make.

It is quite possible to be able to read a language you can neither speak nor understand when spoken. This was the point of the Chinese system of writing - it allowed understandable communication across a vast empire even between individuals that shared no spoken language. The meanings of the characters could be taught to anyone, regardless of their spoken language or the sounds of the words, because the characters do not correspond to sounds. 

Even today, you can learn to read and write Latin without having the remotest possibility of understanding a word an actual Roman citizen might have said  

My wife used to work with a guy who can read and write Russian, Hebrew, Greek, and Ancient Greek without being able to speak a lick in any of them. 

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TBH I don't think the current Sorcery chapter is complete enough for me to form a thorough opinion (it notes on p.381 that it's a "bare bones overview" anyway).

That being said, I also find it frustrating that spirit magic counts against a sorcerer's Free INT. I think part of this is that it feels like a contradiction, since no where else does spirit magic interact with INT that I can recall. Further, it seems to me like the current design intention is for sorcerers to be percentage-gaming munchkins--so why wouldn't someone with that attitude toward the world use all the tools at their disposal? I can see many sorcerers having at least Disruption and Heal 1 learned, if only for emergencies. The casting time of RQG sorcery is so slow that it's nearly suicidal not to have quick access to healing. (This assumes that the sorcerer isn't a LM initiate with access to Heal Wound as a common Rune spell.)

I should note that I see RQG sorcerers as percentage-gaming munchkins because of the ritual and sympathetic magic rules. A sorcerer's native skill in any given spell has no direct correlation with how powerfully he can cast the spell. I see this as an inherent flaw of sorcery systems based on Free INT. Consequently, the sorcerer can easily achieve high spell percentages through ritual practices and sympathetic magic, and has little need to actually exercise their spell skills. The design advantage of a Free INT system is its simplicity compared to the systems I prefer. It's quicker to understand and more new-player friendly.

My large reluctance to adopt RQG sorcery entire comes because I feel like it contradicts one of the basic design principles of BRP: as your skill goes up, you get better at doing things, and can do them more consistently. With how the spell skills are structured, there's not a huge difference between 20% and 50% spell skill. The main improvement is your odds to cast in combat--but the long casting times are a disincentive.

I have a player interested in sorcery (but who isn't yet playing a sorcerer), and I'm probably going to continue using a different sorcery system I prefer, based on Petersen's Malkionism rules. However, I have been thinking through how Rune magic, spirit magic, and sorcery interact in my Glorantha. I do agree that sorcerers should have disincentives about using Rune and spirit magic. For what it's worth my current thoughts are that each Rune point and each known point of spirit magic "fill" a sorcerer's Presence, making it unable to support sorcery spells. We're a good distance out from experimenting with this in play.

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8 minutes ago, Crel said:

Further, it seems to me like the current design intention is for sorcerers to be percentage-gaming munchkins--so why wouldn't someone with that attitude toward the world use all the tools at their disposal?

I don't think that's true at all. Sorcery is built around a rigorous religious philosophy, a particular view of how the world works. I think people only think that about sorcerers because RQ3 didn't have a Malkioni framework. If you read Sandy's sorcery rules, you get a much better insight into the cultural background to sorcery. Remember, the RQ3 rules were non-Gloranthan.

Edited by PhilHibbs

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17 minutes ago, PhilHibbs said:

I don't think that's true at all. Sorcery is built around a rigorous religious philosophy, a particular view of how the world works.

I acknowledge that seems to be how in-world sorcerers are presented, based on the Vasana's Saga passage on p.383. And my own take on RQ generally is heavily colored by a RQ3-based, Glorantha-lite home game.

That being said, my perspective comes from trying to think not just about adventurer, but also player behavior. I feel like the sympathetic magic rules create an incentive for players to behave this way. This in turn encourages adventurer behavior. On the subject of Sandy's sorcery I personally never felt they were rigorously tied to a cultural background, but I know there's a couple different versions of his rules. Is there a specific passage or version of those rules you had in mind?

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29 minutes ago, Crel said:

On the subject of Sandy's sorcery I personally never felt they were rigorously tied to a cultural background, but I know there's a couple different versions of his rules. Is there a specific passage or version of those rules you had in mind?

Mostly it's the system of vows, they give a great indication of how the different sects view the world and their ideals of behaviour.

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53 minutes ago, Crel said:

TBH I don't think the current Sorcery chapter is complete enough for me to form a thorough opinion (it notes on p.381 that it's a "bare bones overview" anyway).

That being said, I also find it frustrating that spirit magic counts against a sorcerer's Free INT. I think part of this is that it feels like a contradiction, since no where else does spirit magic interact with INT that I can recall. Further, it seems to me like the current design intention is for sorcerers to be percentage-gaming munchkins--so why wouldn't someone with that attitude toward the world use all the tools at their disposal? I can see many sorcerers having at least Disruption and Heal 1 learned, if only for emergencies. The casting time of RQG sorcery is so slow that it's nearly suicidal not to have quick access to healing. (This assumes that the sorcerer isn't a LM initiate with access to Heal Wound as a common Rune spell.)

I should note that I see RQG sorcerers as percentage-gaming munchkins because of the ritual and sympathetic magic rules. A sorcerer's native skill in any given spell has no direct correlation with how powerfully he can cast the spell. I see this as an inherent flaw of sorcery systems based on Free INT. Consequently, the sorcerer can easily achieve high spell percentages through ritual practices and sympathetic magic, and has little need to actually exercise their spell skills. The design advantage of a Free INT system is its simplicity compared to the systems I prefer. It's quicker to understand and more new-player friendly.

My large reluctance to adopt RQG sorcery entire comes because I feel like it contradicts one of the basic design principles of BRP: as your skill goes up, you get better at doing things, and can do them more consistently. With how the spell skills are structured, there's not a huge difference between 20% and 50% spell skill. The main improvement is your odds to cast in combat--but the long casting times are a disincentive.

I have a player interested in sorcery (but who isn't yet playing a sorcerer), and I'm probably going to continue using a different sorcery system I prefer, based on Petersen's Malkionism rules. However, I have been thinking through how Rune magic, spirit magic, and sorcery interact in my Glorantha. I do agree that sorcerers should have disincentives about using Rune and spirit magic. For what it's worth my current thoughts are that each Rune point and each known point of spirit magic "fill" a sorcerer's Presence, making it unable to support sorcery spells. We're a good distance out from experimenting with this in play.

As your skill goes up, your chance of casting the spell - especially in crisis situations - goes up. However, your raw ability to rationally manipulate magic is based on your INT, nor your skill in any specific spell. Thus with enough time and resources, even a sorcerer who only recently learned a dangerous spell from a translated page of the forbidden Orange Book can do terrible things. 

If you are a *real* sorcerer, residing in an ivory tower and spending your days meditating on the cosmic laws of the universe and reading texts, why on earth are you concerned about access to quick healing? If you are a wandering philosopher of Lhankor Mhy, why on earth are you concerned about having a huge Free INT for your Geomancy spells? Get a few spirit magic spells - sure they reduce your ability to manipulate large spells, but not so much that it is really going to reduce your information-gathering magic.

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One of the regular hiccups I encounter is getting concept of Sorcerer across to players. Some coming from other games want to throw fireballs and fight balrogs and think that you need to be a Wizard class to do so, but with RQ anybody can do that. So I generally say that in RQ a sorcerer is more like a university professor than Gandalf (including Dr. Jones) and that clears up the expectation. That said I'm really looking forward to future supplements that gives us full sorcery schools etc.

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27 minutes ago, Psullie said:

One of the regular hiccups I encounter is getting concept of Sorcerer across to players. Some coming from other games want to throw fireballs and fight balrogs and think that you need to be a Wizard class to do so, but with RQ anybody can do that. So I generally say that in RQ a sorcerer is more like a university professor than Gandalf (including Dr. Jones) and that clears up the expectation. That said I'm really looking forward to future supplements that gives us full sorcery schools etc.

Yes. This is it in a nutshell. 

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