Sorcery 102

I’ve shown the most iconic sorcery path, but I haven’t gone into what spells look like or how they work. Here is the current excerpt explaining sorcery spells.

Sorcery is grouped into tiers of like minded spells. A path may consist of spells thought of and elaborated upon by the same sorcerer, or more likely have a similar theme. Some spells are so common that they may be on multiple paths. This does not mean that all of these sorcerers cast this common spell in the same way. The reason sorcery is a series of separate skills is because while magic is similar enough to require the same aptitudes, each school practices it slightly differently.

Even when branching paths exist, (paths that do not start at 1 but rather build off of a common prerequisite path), there is no guarantee that the skills needed for the higher tier spells are the same on each of these branching paths. In practice you rename your sorcery focus, thus if you want to learn another branch you have to find a new master and start another sorcery skill.

This leads to the following trends: sorcerers often either generalize, and learn a little about many paths, or they specialize in one or two paths instead. The former means that they likely have access to a laundry list of lower tier spells, a spell for every occasion if you will, but they will take much longer to reach true power. The latter have access to powerful spells, but they have less flexibility.

Possessing all of the spells in a single path is still less versatile than possessing a smattering of many paths. In a way, it can be seen as a comparison of a scalpel or a sword. Both tools can remove a finger, but the scalpel can do a lot more than just cause damage. However, nobody would want to go into battle armed solely with one.

Spells have the following stat blocks

Fumble Formula, Tier 1
AC: 2 TN: Power
Range: Medium
Duration: Concentration
Resist: Resolve vs TN 1
An afflicted character suffers a loss of successes on a single roll of the caster’s choice during each round through which the spell persists. This number is equal to the spell’s power divided by 2 rounded down.

The caster sets a power for the spell, and rolls their dice. If successful, the spell effect takes place. This particular spell can be mitigated by the strong willed, as their extra successes on the resistance roll subtract from the power of the spell. In this case, let’s say the caster chose Power 2. If the victim rolls 3 successes, they can throw off the effect of the spell. Note, that in this case, the caster never has to directly roll versus the target, nor does he have to beat both his TN and the targets resistance test. He has to choose a high enough power to have the desired effect.

Possible ranges are: Touch, Close, Short, Medium, Long, Unlimited
Possible durations are: Instant, Concentration, Sustained, Indefinite
Concentration means that the character must conduct an AC 1 action once per round to sustain the spell’s continued existence. It also generates a cumulative -1D penalty to all complex actions as it serves as a distraction.
Sustained means that the spell lasts on its own without guidance or control, often for the duration of the scene, but it can be longer.
Indefinite means that the spell lasts until canceled.

TN is often based on Power, such as Power, Power + 1, Power + 2, etc. AC is often based on what the spell does, or its general tier. Most tier 3 or higher spells take time to cast. All spells do just one thing, but their effects are often based on the Power input into them, so they can vary in effect.

Casting Modifications: Sorcerers can by default cast for distance or duration, bumping up duration one category, or distance up to 2. This increases the TN by 1 per bump, but does not increase power.

Backlash: when a sorcerer fails to cast a spell he has not mastered, or fails to successfully modify a spell, something goes wrong. Rather than fizzle the spell backfires. This is called a backlash. Sometimes the character suffers the spell’s Tier times 2 in temporary damage, other times the spell effect manifests but the target is the caster or one of his allies. Individual spell paths give an idea of what happens when that particular group of spells suffers a backlash.


About Byron D. Molix

I am an information technology professional in Missouri. I've been an avid fan of fantasy and science fiction novels, comic books, pen and paper role-playing games, computer games and console video games for the last two decades. My dream would be to one day make a comfortable living while having the time to pursue writing (novels, rpgs, etc.) as a full-time hobby.

Posted on January 15, 2014, in AT, Gaming and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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