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Sorcerer: How do we play them?

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I've talked at leangth with several people about the sorcerer. I thought it would be a good idea to have a discussion to get some ideas out so we can improve our RP and better define our characters.

(Please remember this is not a "this-is-how-you-do-it-cause-I-said-so" topic and stay on topic)

First off I believe that sorcerers should and will be somewhat undefined and mysterious.

Now a few questions to think about that should help us RP a sorcerer.

How does their magic differ from wizards?

Do sorceres know spells by name? or just by a sense?

Do they identify spells by seeing the conjuration and hearing the words of power? or do they sense the flow and draw of the weave?

Are they students of magical artifacts and study them? or can the sense the inate magic of an item?

Are they drawn to items of magic? or do they prefer their own natural abilities?

Just something to think on... there are hundreds of other questions.

I will start (all of this is in my humble opinion)

My own personal look at sorcerers is this:

Sorcerers affect magic like we would affect the life span of a fly buzzing around our heads. I want it dead, I swing my arm, I hit fly, fly is dead.

A natural action that falls within their capabilities.

Magic is more personal than for a wizard, its steril to them, something to study and something to be catalouged, a sience. For a sorcerer, it is an art form, an expression of themselves.

Wizards tend to study magic that intrestes them and to some extent their studies reflect something of them. Sorcerers magic should be influenced by who they are and their personality traits.

Sorcerers should be socialy oriented in any variation. From the eloquent speaker, to the ecentric eclectic, to the narsisis, and so on. They should attract people (with in Alignment considerations, no one makes everyone happy)

Sorcerers are fare rarer than Wizards and would be very unique both in personality and magical demonstration.

I will give an example of Weston Pendrot.

He is very social, all ways one to talk and be around people. He is Lawful Good and attracts people of good alignment and lawful alignment very easily, those who get further away would obviously find him more obnoxious, though not without some intrest. Aleister and Weston are different personality types and alignments, both don't get along, yet Aleister finds Weston amusing at the very least, and Weston is very social and is willing to befriend most anyone. True to Lawful Good Weston is not agressive unless warrented and most of his magic reflects this in a defensive manner. He prefers the spot light though and will take to the sword, so most of his meager offensive magic is either flashy or short ranged. In order to demontrate the natural connection to the weave, Weston is very proficent in counterspell and anti magic spells. Being Lawful Good, Weston preferes the sporting chance and has absolutly NO necromantic spells, and NO instant death spells.

While I understand that Sorcerers must choose spells they will USE, it is also important to avoid becoming just another Spell Cannon, unless your character IS the stereotypical angry red headed irishman.

Weston is full of contradictory personality types and I think that's what makes him a bit eccentric at times. He is both flashy and center stage, but dresses himself down to divert enemy attention when he's not conjuring up a Wall of Fire. He is Intelligent (execpt on quests) and a little bit scholarly, yet clearly eclipsed by wizards in knowledge and scope (He was just a tutor, not a professor) and often times at a loss as to what is going on (not that he won't try to look like he does).

Wizards use their vast knowledge of spells to assess and then admistrate to a situation, Sorcerers SHOULD use their people skills to manipulate a situation into one that their magic can handle. Weston often uses taunt in battle and other charisma skills in order to swing the battle in ways that match his skills.

just a bit of my own thoughts... I want to see what others have to say! Never know when you might go AH! Hey! I like that idea! and adapt it to improve game play!

It has always been my personal point of view that wizards gain power through study, logic, reason and practice, thier incantations are precise and exact, wizards practice for years and years to ensure that thier pronunciation, inflection and hand movements are controlled and exactly the same as they were the time before, the same EVERY time, they use a logical patterns to draw specific, desired, effects from the weave.

And sorcerers draw from the weave by force of will, causing the desired effect through sheer strength of chooseing a result then willing it to be so. In my mind the more emotion a sorcerer could put behind a spell the more powerfull it would become.

In a PnP campaign I was DM'ing that was how I did it, and the result was pretty cool, I'd give eachs spell a -/+ modifier, and then based on the circumstances assign a +/- to the roll, when a player cast a spell they rolled 1d4, with a 0 or lower result (possible with modifiers) resulting in a fizzle, or worse, a backfire, and a 5+ roll resulting in added, but sometimes chaotic effects.

An example: Fondir was a level 7 sorcerer in my campaign, he was moody and a bit of a drunk. One night after walking back to the inn after a night of carousing and playing cards he is walking along feeling rather angry for his losses and sorry for himself because he's had too much wine and lost a goodly sum of the money he'd been given to buy suplies for the group, thus he knew they would be vexed with him... and hungry too no doubt. At any rate, he gets mugged, the guy jumps out and threatens him with a knife, Fondir hands over the rest of the cash he has and cowers fearfully. The bandit then punched him in the stomach and turned to run away. Fondir collects himself and angrily hurls a spell after the fleeing mugger, "I'm sending your ass to meet your maker!" he shouted after the man and willed a crushing blow of fire at the man. With a pinkish silver streak of light he hit the cretin, and there was a loud *POP*, then the man turned, and laughingly made a rude gesture as he rounded the corner, unharmed from the spell. Fondir tredged back to his companions, who of course disbelieved the entire story.
Well, about three deays later the mugger finally tracks down Fondir and offers him three times the coin he'd stolen, if only Fondir will bring his 'ass' back, as he hasn't been able to poop since thier encounter, and actually, is incapable of doing so due to lack of the propper orafice. The pain is unbearable and he'll eventually die a grissly death because of it.

Anyway, thats a bit graphic and humorous, but was a very very extreme example of what I considered sorcerers to be like. I guess there was a little magician mixed in with a little 'wild magic' in my ethos.


1)Arcane magic is Arcane magic, it's that Mages have to study to understand the mechanics, while sorcerers have a natural talent for it, like it's intuitive.  It's like meeting someone who just knows how to work with mechanical things with no formal training.  The "knowledge" and "principles" are the same, just the application and talent is different.

2) Sorcerers who are exposed to wizards soon learn they have names and such.  Most often Sorcerers just "know" how to do fire magic, or cold magic, or invisible magic.  there's no real names.  Wizards need names, figures and such to be able to speak the "lingo" which Sorcerer's lack unless they learn it from mages

3) They can identify spells by their movement in the weave and the words.  Sometimes it takes the same words and the sorcerer can understand it.

4 & 5) They absolutely can pursue magical items and such, as they increase their prowess.  As sorcerers are more "primal" of the arcane classes, they even tend to want them more so they can increase thier spell abilities, limited by wizard standard.

Keth's 2 cents

I certainly treat the sorcerer with more of that wild magic sense... especially a young one like Tom, has rather less control over his own magic. A sorcerers magic is inate, such that it comes from within them... and thus when Tom learns his magic, he is rather learning to harness and control what is within him, rather than learning to use a power.

My answers to the questions posed:

1. I dont think a sorcerer has to be any way mysterious or undefined. They are born with the ability to use magic, and this might mean their upbringing will turn them into mysterious people, but it doesn't mean they nesesarily are. It can be anyone, who just happens to have such an ability.

2. A wizards magic is learned through study, and hence the need of spellbooks. It is bred into the sorcerer. Both will be able to feel the weave, but for the wizard it is because they have been trained to see it. A sorcerer that does not know their abilities, might well not realise what they are sensing. Also, a wizard runs out of spells when he uses up what he memorises. The sorcerer runs out of spells when they use up the energy within them. It should therefore be tiring, and effort (especially for the inexperienced) to cast spells. As it comes from within, it is a part of them, and overuse should therefore be a real problem to the sorcerer. Tom who is not used to his magic, will often be unable to control it all as it flows out of him, and this inbalance will leave him tired and drained at best.

3. Sorcerers can know their spells by name, if it is taught. For example, a wizard might tell the sorcerer what it is he just cast. Tom, having not studied at all, and been given relatively little teaching, knows his spells by feel, not name, though he might learn the names. In casting the spell, the name is unimportant.

4. They sense the flow, and the weave within them. Casting magic by copying an incantation is the wizards way... as that is actually learning how to do it, like an apprentice might. A sorcerer will feel it within themselves. They might then see and learn the incantation, which will aid them form or concentrate the spell. In terms of identifying, there would be an element of both.

5. I think a sorcerer will only sense the inate magic in an item, if in-tune with the magic within themselves, such that they then recognise what they feel. I would say a Sorcerer should be very practiced in order to identify items like this. I would say that the majority would study artefacts like wizards in order to identify. My character Tom, is certainly not able to identify items, he has no lore skill. Remember that lore is knowledge, which implies learning and study.

6. A sorcerer would use items over his own magic dependant on taste and situation. Some would rather use their own, some would use the items, in an effort to either bolster their relatively weak inate power (for the sorcerer with limited inate ability), or in other cases to save themselves the effort and energy of casting. It should take effort and energy for a sorcerer to cast, especially if inexperienced. I would say that a sorcerer might sometimes be drawn to particular items that have correlation with their own magic, because posession and use of the item might feel good. Something that goes against their magic, might feel uncomfortable.

thats my input...


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