Also available in plain text format
Back to Philip's Home Page
Sandy's Sorcery Rules
Extra Sorcerors Rules
Comments on Sandy's Sorcery Rules
Nikk Effingham's Sorcery Rules
Updated 27 May 1998, changed Pagan term to Meldek, and split out non-meldek stuff into separate document.
These rules constitute a set of suggested amendments to Sandy's sorcery rules, with the intention of allowing the various non-malkioni sorcerors of Glorantha, with most PCs still being from Dragon Pass or Pavis, to fit into a compatible framework with the Malkioni. These rules have not been playtested.
Other sorcery material is in a separate document.
Please note that one of the primary reasons for these rules is to cope with existing sorceror characters, which the RQ4 rules and Sandy's rules do not do. They address the problem of sorcerors having too much power available, and if that is what you want, then ignore some of our suggested amendments. However, taking an existing sorceror and preventing him from performing spells which he has relied on and based his entire repertoire on in the past is not going to make any friends. In fact, these rules do not fully address all of these difficulties - there are too many fundamental differences in the system. Yes, these rules may make the sorceror more powerful in some respects than Sandy's, so take care what you let your players do!
Take note, though, that the non-Malkioni sorceror does not have access to Saints, so this tends to level the balance. I reckon 4 points of POW beats 3,000 hours of training any day!
Another problem with converting old characters to the Vows system is that the player suddenly has to come up with a list of stuff that his character could forego without fundamentally changing the character's whole lifestyle. With Journeys, it's not so difficult, you just have to think up some stuff that the character has done (or avoided doing) in the past.
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]
The meldek sorceror is an arrogant beast. He performs magic by bending the stuff of the universe to his will, and owes no allegiance to any deity. He may deal with spirits from time to time, and the existence and sometimes usefullness of deities cannot be denied. But he would never make a timeless vow to any entity - even himself, for even that would rob him of his free will, and thus his power.
He thus embarks on a series of 'journeys of self-knowledge', during which he (typically) denies himself of something, goes out of his way to do something that he would not normally do, or just look at the world in a particular way for a time.
A Journey is, like a vow, normally only worth 1 point of Presence, but may not gain an Art instead. Journeys worth more than 1 Presence are much more unusual than are Vows.
Presence gain from a Journey is invariably at the end of the Journey.
Failure to complete a Journey ends in the loss of a point of Presence, but subsequent completion of the same Journey both counteracts this loss and gives the sorceror the normal Presence for the Journey.
Journeys are normally started in the Sacred Time, and he may only undertake one Journey at this time. However, other magical events may give rise to the opportunity for a Journey, or a Journey could take more than a year, and these could lead to the sorceror being on more than one Journey at a time. Indeed, a sorceror may complete or fail a Journey without even knowing that he had embarked upon it.
The sorceror must not use Ceremony to increase the chance of casting spells. He thus learns that he can do whatever he needs to do at any time, without the props and psychological tricks, if he needs to. They are useful, however, if only to maintain an air of mystique, and he may pretend to use them if the situation warrants a ceremonial display!
For one year, the sorceror must never engage in a confrontation, but must always avoid or resolve disputes by discussion or non-combat magic. He may be beaten up, but must never fight back.
For one year, the sorceror must never cast magical spells or perform magical rituals, and any spells maintained on the sorceror must be cancelled. He must not use items with spells cast on them (inadvertent use may or may not fail the Journey - I'm not sure on this one, it may reduce the value to 1). This Journey is traditionally taken by an Adept just prior to declaring himself to be a Magus. It is worth 2 presence.
Journeymen who have not yet achieved the rank of Adept taking this Journey are frowned upon, and the Journey is only worth 1 presence to them (they have less to lose, therefore less to gain).
This is the first Journey that a budding sorceror makes, after which he is considered a Student. Over the course of this Journey, he gradually accrues his natural Presence, equal to his Magic Bonus, the same as the High Vow, at a rate of 1 point per 5% in his chosen primary Art. The Westerners claim that these cultural strictures must be followed in order to maintain one's Presence, but the meldek knows that this is bull.
As he learns the other two primary Arts, he gains access to his Free INT as Presence, at a rate of 1 point per 10% in either skill. Thus a sorceror with INT and POW of 18 must get all three Arts to 90% in order to utilise his full Presence.
Example : Marco is an Apprentice, he has INT 18, POW 14 and DEX 16, giving a Magic Bonus of +15. He knows 5 spells, so his total potential Presence is 27. He must learn Intensity to 75%, and Range and Multispell to 80% and 70% to gain this Presence. When he manages to free up the 5 INT, by Matrixes, INT Spirits, or a Familiar, then he must increase Range and Multispell by 20% and 30%. If he manages to increase his POW or DEX, then he must again spend time studying the Arts to gain access to the additional Presence.
Example : Kim is an Apprentice, she has INT 17, POW 15 and DEX 16, giving a Magic Bonus of +15. She knows 5 spells, so her total potential Presence is 27. She must learn Intensity, Range and Multispell to 90% each to gain this Presence. When she manages to free up the 5 INT, by Matrixes, INT Spirits, or a Familiar, then she must increase one Art by 10%, and two others by 20% each. If she manages to increase her POW or DEX, then she must again spend time studying the Arts for no other benefit than to gain access to the additional Presence.
The sorceror must not engage in any form of sexual activity until the next Sacred Time.
The sorceror gains 1 Presence when he achieves 90% ability in a skill, but only one per category. Thus a sorceror could benefit for mastering Dodge, Orate, Spirit Combat, and Broadsword Attack, but would gain nothing for subsequently mastering Sing, as he already has a Communications skill. Spells and Arts do not count for this.
The sorceror must devote a year to overindulgence, aesthetics, sex, time-wasting and general excess. During this year his skills will deteriorate as per the RQ rules. At the end of the Journey he must return to normal, and thus learn that he can overcome temptation. If he ever becomes addicted to intoxicating substances, or loses control to any similar uncontrolled urge, he loses 1 Presence and must first of all regain control of himself, and recovers the loss at the next Sacred Time.
This Journey is a great reason for a stiff-necked Malkioni with a Vow of Chastity to hate the meldek sorceror!
The sorceror must strive to see his own place in the greater scheme of the universe, must act with deference toward his fellow creatures lest he disturb some part of the system which he does not understand, until the next Sacred Time then he truly recognises this charade for what it is, and carries on as he did before, but with 2 extra Presence.
This is quite a difficult Journey, and the referee should take every opportunity to tempt the player to break it.
This is the Journey that the sorceror starts when taking on an apprentice, and completes when that apprentice becomes an Adept. During this Journey he must teach the apprentice what he needs to know, and protect his apprentices from harm from other sorcerors. This Journey does not carry a penalty (Optional: unless the sorceror abandons his responsibility to the apprentice without due cause; this penalty is non-recoverable.)
A sorceror may take on this Journey several times simultaneously, once for each current apprentice.
Many Journeys are less general than these examples, for example a sorceror may decide to climb to the precipice on Kero Fin where the Orlanth priests climb and hurl themselves from as a test of faith, and throw himself off relying on his Damage Resistance, Fly and Dominate spells to protect him from the forces at large; thus he learns that they are no better than him.
He may hear the story of Sheng Seleris and decide to get himself enrolled in a torture camp just to see what it is like.
Or he may embark upon a sailing voyage around the ocean.
There are as many Journeys as there are grains of sand on a beach, some are particular to an individual sorceror, others are circumstantial, only applicable under certain circumstances, and it it even possible for a Journey to last less than a combat round. For instance, if you use one of the more interesting spell fumble tables, you may wish to classify certain results on that table as a Journey.
Many Journeys can be considered to be similar to heroquests, in that they have mostly been done before, are relatively well-charted, and have a predictable outcome. There are many other, darker, Journeys which bring greater reward. Journeys can be a great plot device - please send your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
[This is just for clarification, the wording can sometimes be a little confusing]
*** These Rules Are Not Complete And Have Not Been Playtested ***
Back to Philip's Home Page
Also available in plain text format