Fiendish Friday: The Sorcerer

A rough draft (warning there may be typos) of something that will be revealed soon 😉


Grey Sorcerer by D.M.Wright

Grey Sorcerer by D.M.Wright

Sorcerers are characters who use Magic to bend reality to their will. They cast spells, memorised from dusty tomes, to perform such wondrous feats as summoning demons, healing wounds through the words of the kindly ones, fly through the air and throw fireballs from their hands at their foes. Normal people shun and fear them, even if they practice only kindly White Magic, because of their ability to weave magic which is misunderstood and much maligned.

They’ve seen the Other Side, what lies beyond what their mentor calls the Shroud. They’ve seen the unnatural things that would tear into this reality and suck out its life force. They’ve dabbled in the dark arts, summoning these things for your Master’s ‘profit’ and gain. They’ve played the Dark Game either willingly or through force. Finally they escaped their Master’s suffocating influence, and found Freedom. Sorcerers express this freedom by being able to learn a wide variety of spells that fall into three colour categories: White, Black and Grey.

White magic is rare in the world of Zarth. It’s the magic of long forgotten benevolent deities who left Zarth’s sphere of influence when the Others invaded. Healing spells are obvious members of this category. As well as being rare each time a White magic spell is cast there is a chance that it will attract the attention of an Other, attracted by the life giving energies that the spell releases (See Running the Game: Summons of Evil page xx).

Black magic is what people commonly think of as magic. It is harmful, coercive and ultimately corrupting to the Sorcerer who depends upon its evil power. (See Running the Game: Corruption)

Grey magic falls between the two extremes. It’s the power of illusions, spells that have simple utility to enhance other magic or change reality in ways that are not overly malicious or beneficial. It neither corrupts the user nor attracts the attention of evil creatures.

Player character sorcerers may use and learn spells of any of the three colours that they can learn (from a teacher or from finding a scroll).

Most player character sorcerers will have mainly Grey spells that they cast without fear of any consequence, a few rare White magic spells that they cast in private away from the gaze of the Dark Others, and a few Black Magic spells that they cast as an absolute last resort risking their own humanity to do so.

Prime Attribute: Intelligence, 13+ (5% experience)

Hit Dice: 1d6 (Gains 1 HP/level after 9th level).

Armour/Shield Permitted: They typically eschew armour, although they may wear leather armour without interfering with their spell casting, and are not trained in the use of shields.

Weapons Permitted: Any, but does less damage with certain weapons (see below)

Sorcerers may use any weapon, although they receive a -1 to all damage rolls (but always do a minimum of ‘1’ point of damage), unless they are using daggers, darts, quarterstaff s, or slings.

Since sorcerers normally need at least one hand free in order to cast their spells, they rarely will use two-handed weapons (except for quarterstaff s, which are easily held in one hand when necessary). If using any two-handed weapon, except a staff, Sorcerers cannot cast spells.

Sorcerer Class abilities

Spell Casting

Starting spells

First-level sorcerers start with a spell book that contains three first-level spells (player’s choice) and one second level spell (player’s choice). These initial spells may be of any colour.

Learning new spells

If the Sorcerer finds scrolls of spells while adventuring, they can copy them into their spell book. It takes one full day uninterrupted work to carefully copy a spell per spell level. If the spell is Black in colour the copier also gains Corruption

Learning from a mentor from a tutor (usually for a steep fee),

Preparing spells

A Sorcerer owns a book of spells, which does not necessarily include all of the spells on the standard lists.

Reading from the Spellbook, the Sorcerer presses his chosen spell formulae into his mind, “preparing” these spells.

Sorcerers can prepare a number of spells as determined by their level (see the spell chart; as noted earlier, sorcerers with an Intelligence score of 15 or greater may prepare an additional first-level spell).

A sorcerer may change the spells that he/she has prepared with two uninterrupted hours of study (the sorcerer’s spellbook must be available).

Casting spells

Sorcerers cast spells in a great flourish of hand gestures and words spoken in ancient arcane languages. Magical energies glow and engulf the Sorcerer during act.

Therefore to cast a spell the sorcerer must have freedom of speech and motion. It is also obvious to all onlookers that a spell is being cast. However once the target of certain types of spell has fallen under it (such as Sleep and Charm) they suffer forgetfulness of the spell being cast.

Casting starts at the beginning of a combat round and ends upon the character’s initiative. So it is possible to interrupt a spell’s casting before it happens.

Once a prepared spell is cast, it disappears from the Sorcerer’s ability to cast (until it is prepared again). A Sorcerer may Test their Luck to see if they retain the spell. If Lucky (see Playing the Game: Test your Luck page xx)

Creating Scrolls

Sorcerers can write their own scrolls, copying the spells from their spellbooks, at the cost of 200 gold pieces per spell level for supplies (special ink and parchment). It takes one full day per spell level of careful work to copy a scroll (one has to be very careful when dealing with the mystical powers!). Thus writing a scroll of a fourth-level spell would cost 800 gold pieces and take four full days of work. Spells cast from scrolls, whether prepared by the sorcerer or found, still cause the Corruption (if the spell was Black) or have a chance cause the Summons of Evil (for White magic) – just as if the sorcerer had cast the spell normally.

It is possible to prepare a spell multiple times using the available “slots” in the Sorcerer’s memory/capability.

Wizard’s Tower (11th)

At 11th level, a Sorcerer gains the title of “Grand Magi,” and can build a stronghold for himself to house his libraries and laboratories. He will attract a mixed bag of mercenaries, strange servants (some with odd abilities and deformities), and even a few monsters, perhaps. This motley crew will swear fealty to him and serve him with whatever loyalty he can inspire in them.

Sorcerer Class Skills

Read Magic

All sorcerers have the ability to read Arcane languages, with a +3 to the dice roll when Testing their Skill number (see pXX in How to Play). This roll may be further modified at the Crypt Keeper’s discretion for especially hard to read texts, texts that are fragmented and texts that are especially obscure in nature.

Magic Sensitivity

All sorcerers are naturally sensitive to the presence of magic. Unlike normal folk, they are constantly aware of the ebbs and flows of magical energy around them. They may Test their Skill when they suspect that magic is at work in the immediate vicinity (up to thirty foot radius). On a successful roll they can tell that magic is present.

Sorcerer Luck Abilities

Retain Spell. The character may test their Luck immediately after casting a Spell. If they are lucky then the character does not forget the spell.

Lucky Knowledge. Sorcerers are so steeped in learning lore from dusty old books and obscure sources, that on a successful Luck Test they just knows a fact pertinent to the current situation or can speak an unknown language with just enough linguistic phrases to quickly converse with a creature or decode a piece of writing.

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