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Sandy's Sorcery Rules
Meldek Sorcerors Rules
Comments on Sandy's Sorcery Rules
Nikk Effingham's Sorcery Rules


Jim Pattullo and Philip Hibbs' Extra Sorcery Rules

Version 1.0 27 May 1998

Updated 27 May 1998, created by separating from Meldek material, plus minor updates.

        These rules constitute a set of suggested amendments and additions to Sandy's sorcery rules, which are intended to be compatible with any variants closely based on them, such as meldek sorcerors. These rules have not been thoroughly playtested.
        The male pronoun is used as default, except for when I refer to Trolls, where I use the female. I value my freedom of language over abstract impositions of 'political correctness'.
        I presume that the reader is familiar with Sandy's Rules If not, read them - they're great!.

[Comments like this point out differences and explain pros and cons relative to Sandy's rules]

1. Presence

1.1. Stale Presence

        If a sorceror maintains a spell in his Presence, then that part of him will deteriorate through lack of exercise. He will not lose presence permanently, nor will the spell deteriorate or fail, but when that presence becomes free, it will only be available for reuse at a rate of one point per day, or one point each Godday if the spell was held past Holy Time. He may, however, re-cast the same spell at no penalty.
        This can be considered as the sorceror's Presence becoming moulded to the pattern of the spell, and taking time to 'limber up' again.

[It has been suggested that keeping one's Presence full of spells and just dropping them when about to engage in frantic spell casting (such as for combat) is an abuse of the system. This encourages a sorceror to be careful about the spells he habitually maintains. On the down side, it requires extra bookkeeping.]

2. Sorcery Arts and Manipulation

        Total manipulation should, under normal circumstances, be limited to Skill% / 10. Manipulation of a specific Art, if learned as a skill, is limited to that Art% / 10. If the sorceror manipulates the spell beyond the limit that his spell skill imposes, his chance of casting the spell is reduced by 10 percentiles per point of spell over his normal limit. In addition, if the spell fails, he loses all of the magic points for the spell, as per a normal fumble. If the sorceror actually fumbles, he also loses a number of general hit points equal to the number of points over his normal limit. If using a spell fumble table, it is left solely to the referee's jugement as to when or whether the table should apply, as I cannot judge how severe it is!

[A sorceror can thus learn a new spell and be able to cast it straight away, but at a risk.]


        Alternatively, this option may only be available to Magus level sorcerors.

3. Spells

3.1 Spell Components

        Having spell components 'destroyed' in spellcasting is so D&Dish - and makes this far too expensive for anything better than +5%. Delete this.
        On the other hand, why not just make the bonus a bit more reasonable for the expensive or magical components - I reckon a feather from Vrimak would give a bit more than an extra 5 points of spell! I'd give at least +10 points, and the 'magically drained' feather would act as a 'focus' for the spell, reducing the Presence cost by 10 as well.

3.2 Spell Descriptions

PALSY
        It seemed odd that this one spell should be controllable by just throwing a point of POW at the problem. You can't do this with Disrupt, or Lightning, or Thunderbolt. Spend "extra" Range to modify the d20 HLT die roll by 1 point per extra level. I'd apply this rule to Evoke as well, plus any other random-location spells. Thus you can have an Intensity 6 Range 5 Hold 6 Palsy ready and either fire it at long range with limited accuracy, or at short range with greater control.

[This has since been incorporated into Sandy's rules, first as a general option, then later it became a separate art (Accuracy), only available to Rokari, Hrestoli, and Sedalpists. I still prefer to use Range.]

SHAPECHANGE [species] attack, ranged
        In order to shapechange to a particular species, the caster must have studied the species in question. If he makes an Animal Lore roll, he knows enough about any ordinary species anyway, otherwise he must study for a number of hours equal 100 minus his skill at Animal Lore. Exotic species, such as hags, dragons, merfolk, zephyrs etc. are based on Glorantha Lore instead Animal Lore.

SPELL MATRIX ritual Enchant
        Suggested modification: Points put into the matrix should be manipulated at creation time, as per RQ3.

Example : a farmer who knows no sorcery discovers a Call Light matrix, with 4 POW in it, giving it a +40% skill. The matrix was created to provide Intensity 3, Range 1. His own Magic bonus is +1, so he has a 41% chance to cast Call Light. He can add 1 level of Intensity to this, though he has learned no Arts.

        Another suggested modification: When the matrix is created, the creator may include in the design of the matrix the possibility of future expansion. This, however, costs an extra point of POW per additional Art manipulation that is possible. Thus it is possible to create a very powerful matrix over a period of time, at a cost. When a matrix is extended, this extra POW cost must be paid again for each Art added to it if expansion capability is to be maintained. In addition, the physical space available on an item may run out, but I've no clear idea how much space enchantments take!
        The chance of finding a matrix that can be extended is reduced by the fact that at some point, the owner may not wish to spend the extra POW to allow further expansion, and the chain is broken. It is, however, possible to Warp the enchantment into a configuration that allows extension, but the full POW in the enchantment must be overcome.

Example : Cybex the sorceror creates an Evoke Fire matrix with Intensity 4, and spends two extra points of POW to allow for future expansion of Intensity and Range. Evil Nim steals it, and decides to add 3 points of Range to the matrix. No more Range may be added to this matrix, but its Intensity may still be increased. When he gets a few points of POW, he may add them to the Intensity but, being selfish, will probably not want to 'waste' any extra POW.

        Yet Another Suggested Modification: Where does the Presence come from? An old comment of Sandy's suggests that someone with no Presence should be able to cast and maintain one spell. Thus a group of warriors could pass around a holy sword with a 10 pt Bless matrix on it. They could each cast an 11 point bless and maintain it forever. This would require the "An individual who has taken no Vows [or Journeys] is considered to have a Presence of 1" rule to be lost. Also, it could lead to the unusual situation of an untrained farmer being able to cast spells that a Magus could never dream of. He'd need a Spell Matrix made by Zzabbur, though, and some hefty MP storage!

        YASM: The spell description doesn't impose any upper limit on the size of the matrix. Perhaps this should be limited by (augmented) spell skill. If a theist wants to learn Sorcery, but hasn't got time to spend weeks learning Intensity, he could just learn a spell, learn Spell Matrix, and create a monster matrix.

        YASM: This leads to another question: Can a Spell Matrix be increased in size beyond the caster's limit? I'd say yes, but the caster needs another matrix, and to increase both in tandem, using one to increase his skill, thus allowing him to increase the other. Expensive, and still limited by Presence.

SCRYING DEVICE ritual Enchant
        This spell imbues an object with the ability to act as a focus for the Project [sense] spells.
        The advantage of having a scrying device is twofold: the spell is no longer Active unless the viewpoint is being moved or rotated, and the device can store a number of locations for the Project spell(s) to start from. Sufficient Range must be used in the Project spell to cover the distance from the caster's current location to the desired viewpoint. The caster must be in contact with the device, and is vulnerable to magical attacks through the spell.
        Each point of POW expended allows the device to act as a focus for one of the Project spells, or allows the device to 'store' a location for the spell(s) to start from.
        The more applicable the device is to a particular sense, the easier it is to use. The 'perfect' material for, say, Project Sight is a ball of polished crystal, or a good quality mirror. Less applicable substances carry a penalty on the use of the item, in the form of additional Intensity required for the Project spell to work. These additional points do not add to the speed of the viewpoint.

Example : A small crystal ball or a glass ball would require +1 intensity. A dish filled with quicksilver adds +2. An unworked crystal adds +3. A piece of metal adds +5. A sea-shell would be a good focus for Project Hearing, adding only +1, and a finely-polished hearing horn would be perfect, but they would both make lousy Project Sight devices, needing +10 or more. I'm not too sure what a Troll would use for Project Darksense - maybe she would enchant a leather bag and stick her head in it, or maybe the entire inside surface of a small cave.

        Particularly unusual devices may even add a bonus to the caster's chance of success, for instance, a dragon's eye would add +10% to Project Sight, a Sky Bull's ear would add +10% to Project Hearing, and a face-mask woven from the silk of the giant Silkbats of Wonderhome would add +10% to Project Darksense.
        The crystal ball may be enchanted anywhere; knowledge of this spell allows the user to perform a ritual Ceremony to store the current location of the crystal ball. Old locations can be replaced.
        Additionally, changes to the location that is being scry'd impose an additional intensity requirement on the spell. The more the location differs by, the more Intensity required. Rearranged furniture, cropped grass, or the fallen leaves of Storm Season would add +1; complete refurbishment of a room, a nearby tree chopped down, or a market stall would add +2; a building burned down or a new road built over the site would add +3; filling the building with sand would add +5; building a Temple of the Reaching Moon on the site would add +10, in addition to the Warding spells that would go off even if the spell does not have enough Intensity to work properly.
        If there is not enough Intensity in the spell to overcome these factors, the spell still happens but nothing is seen.

Example : Evil Nim wants to assassinate a merchant, so he takes his crystal ball underneath a window in his enemy's house, stores the location into the crystal ball, and sneaks off to the safety of the next village two miles away. The next day, the merchant has a work crew turn up to add a new door to where the window was. They fence off the area, knock the wall through, and the merchant posts a guard overnight. When Evil Nim tries to use his crystal ball that night, the crystal ball goes cloudy and nothing is seen. He needed to use Ceremony for four hours to raise his chance of success from 52% to 92%, as the distance required 9 points of Range. He is thus understandably peeved. He spends the next 5 hours in Ceremony, raising his chance to 102%, and decides to cast the spell with an extra 3 points of Intensity, which is 1 point more than he can comfortably manage. His chance of success is accordingly reduced to 92%. The spell works, and he can carry on with the night's dastardly deed.

LIGHTNING BOLT Instant
        This spell produces a bolt of lightning from the sorceror's hand, which will cause 1 hp damage per point of Intensity, minus one per three meters of distance to the target. Range does not affect this spell. If there is no target to 'ground' the bolt, the caster takes the full Intensity in damage to his hand. Note that the target does not need to be 'grounded' in the literal (electrical) sense, a bird flying is a valid target. If the sorceror can see a Projected sense, he may safely target this unless the origination of the sense is non-corporeal. No MP resistance roll is necessary, and metal armor will not protect.

4. Additional Vows

For the traditional Malkioni out there, here are some new Vows by Jean Durupt to take:

Fasting one day each week (1 point):
        The wizard swears that he won't eat anything one day of each week in the year.

Fasting one week each season (2 points):
        The wizard swears that he won't eat anything one week of each season in the year.

Fasting one season(3 points):
        The wizard swears that he will be at subsistance level one season of the year. (not eating for 56 days means death)

Never drink alcohol (1 point):
        The wizard swears that he will never again drink alcoholic beverage.

POW gift (1 point):
        The wizard swears that each year, he will sacrifice 1 POW point in a ceremony to the Invisible God. Unavailable to the Vadeli, to the Brithini (they don't worship the Invisible God even if they acknowledge him) and to the independant sorcerors.

5. Additional Saints

For the traditional Malkioni out there, here are some new Saints by Jean Durupt to follow:

The four apostles of Saint Hrestol (one per caste)

Saint Froalar (4 POW) (nobles only)
        When invoked, until next nightfall, the user sees lies spoken as a black cloud that comes from the liar's mouth. Unfortunately heretics believe in what they say, so they don't lie.

Saint Goery (6 POW) (wizards only)
        When invoked, the user is able to engage a spirit in spirit combat. It allows exorcism if the user is victorious.

Saint Mauritius (5 POW) (soldiers only)
        When invoked, until next nightfall, the user double his resistance against emotion affecting magic and spirits. It does not work against mindblast or dominate human, but it works against demoralize, madness or stupefy.

Saint Martin (4 POW) (farmers only)
        When invoked the user has one better level of success than rolled in a craft. A fumble becomes a failure, a failure becomes a simple success, a success becomes a special, a special becomes a critical and if a critical was rolled, some minor magical properties are added to the result.

        A knight in the old Hrestoli heresy (in Castle coast) can sacrifice for the four apostles.

Saint Dormal (6 POW)
        When invoked the user knows exactly where he is on the seas. It's useless to call St Dormal's blessing on land or on a river. It may work on an inland sea like Felster lake or the Sweet Sea.

*** These Rules Are Not Complete And Have Not Been Playtested ***


Glorantha is a trademark of Issaries, Inc. Gloranthan material is copyright 1997 by Philip Hibbs, Jim Pattullo, Sandy Petersen and Greg Stafford. Glorantha is the creation of Greg Stafford, and is used with his permission.

 
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