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Sorcery Power

Index | Time Under Chaos? | Creating a Character | Sorcery Power

Every Shadow, from Amber to Chaos, is based upon certain fundamental laws that define its essence, its ‘reality.’ To the normal and unenlightened Shadow-dweller, these laws are predetermined and immutable. However, there are those who can perceive and comprehend this complex interrelation of laws. They are referred to by many names, such as thaumaturges, spell-casters, witches, will-workers, or sorcerers. In effect, these lucky few can see Reality and mentally reduce its complex elements down into formulaic equations; much like a physicist would explain the fundamental forces of nature on Shadow Earth.

Through force of will (Psyche), these practitioners can then alter and influence Reality's laws to produce a specific result or phenomena. Even though the results of these manipulations of Reality may appear paranormal in nature, they are actually based upon a complex science. This is the true essence of Magick. Although there are hundreds of ways to describe this process, for simplicity’s sake it shall be referred to as Sorcery, which comes from sortiarius—“one who influences Fate”. The formulaic equations utilized to perform sorcery are known as Spells, and the act of constructing a spell is simply known as spellcasting. For the purpose of this article, the term Sorcerer will be used to define spell-casters.

Most Immortals understand that the control over Shadow and, therefore, Reality is the fundamental force behind the use of Pattern and Logrus. With these Powers, Shadow becomes the plaything of Amberites and Chaosians. However, these major powers are potent and blatant, while Sorcery is more about finesse and subtlety. It is like comparing a sword (Pattern) to a scalpel (Sorcery). You can get the same result, but with one the effect will be much messier. Indeed, through Sorcery, a practitioner can create godlike miracles, twisting Reality to their will, but on a much smaller scale. And because of its relative simplicity, even Shadow-dwellers can develop and learn to use this power over time. All that is required is insight and patience (and a little training).

However, while Sorcery can produce dramatic results and offers incredible versatility, this power is wholly limited in its scope. Sorcery allows the manipulation of laws in a specific Shadow. The manipulation of one Reality will differ from another, so what works in one Shadow will be totally ineffectual in another. Furthermore, spells are highly susceptible to the influences of Pattern and Logrus—the very essence of Reality. The simple touch of a Logrus tendril can dispel them, for example. Finally, they are highly complex and take time to learn, prepare, and maintain. A lot of time.

A careful, well-prepared sorcerer could have a dozen or so spells on hand at any given time. That means they would be spending about twenty hours a week on nit-picky maintenance. How would you feel about spending twenty hours on the same chores, week after week? How would you feel a year later? A century later? More important, what kind of person would spend centuries on this kind of busy work? A lot of elder Amberites have full knowledge and power of Sorcery. Most of them rarely use it. Spells have to be studied, pre-prepared, maintained, refreshed, and constantly studied. All in all, a lot of trouble. Frankly, it's just too much bother.

But as the saying goes, there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

See more about the Limits of Sorcery here.

Attribute Tips for Sorcery

Perhaps the most important attribute for a Sorcerer is Psyche; even though Human-ranked Sorcerers do exist. Skill in this attribute allows the Sorcerer to rack more spells in their mind and process complex spell structures. Additionally, and perhaps more importantly, Psyche allows the Sorcerer overcome the psychic defenses of their target when using Invasive spells. If the Sorcerer cannot overcome their target in a Psychic Contest, the Invasive spell simply fails and all that time and investment is lost. Furthermore, their Psyche literally fuels their spells as they are being cast. Not only does this make for more powerful results, but also helps compensate for the lack of Magical presence in certain Shadows.

Although Psyche is crucial for powering Spells, don't neglect the Attribute of Endurance. Casting spells is both time consuming and physically draining. A less-than-Amber Endurance will limit the number of spells you can create before dropping from fatigue. Ritual spells can drain even those of Amber-rank and higher. Finally, Endurance is the fuel that powers spontaneous sorcery (see below). Casting spontaneous magic without a superior Endurance could drain a Sorcerer to the point of unconsciousness, if not even death.

Finally, the Attribute of Warfare should be considered for Sorcerers wishing to use directed spells, such as fireballs and lightning bolts. These spells require proper focus and control to hit their targets. Targets with superior Warfare have a solid chance of dodging or otherwise avoiding damage. Of course, this can be compensated for by using area-effect spells and simply make them impossible to avoid.

Spell Building

Aside from the "Basic" spells listed below, you can create and name your own spells. Any spells that you overhear, you may also attempt to memorize and imitate, though this can be dangerous.

In addition, each character brings their own unique signature to spell-casting. On one hand this means that Sorcerers can come to recognize distinctive spells and discover spells created by Sorcerers they know well. Also, the lingering effects of spells will resonate with the unique psychic pattern of their creator, much like a magical fingerprint.

The other aspect of personal style is that characters can create their own arcane special effects, also known as the Arcane Marking or Sigil. This can be built into spells, or used as another lynchpin, defining the character's trademark. Sparks, smoke, lights, glitter, radiance, or glow can be complemented by a unique color, scent, or sound. Each Sorcerer should pick a unique mark, such as a green flame, and stick with it. Personal special effects are harmless, but can serve as a good warning to others. Indeed, some spells created by a specific Sorcerer will feature some of the elements built into it, so you’ll know if you’re casting Lazarus’ Ice Bolt.

Mind links and Magic spells

If the Sorcerer has established a mind to mind Psyche link, either through the willing or unwilling-but-helpless cooperation of another, it's possible to release any of the spells through the linked mind. The spell can be cast on the subject of the link, or, using that person's mind as a conduit, as if the Sorcerer were present on the scene. While a simple matter, most Amberites are highly suspicious of having spells cast through their own Psyche, first because the spell could turn out to be a direct attack, against which they'd have no defense. Secondly, because magic can be rather unpredictable in the hands of inexperienced users.

Sorcery and the Pattern or the Logrus

Through Sorcery, a Sorcerer can be twist and shape Reality itself to their will. However, for those few highly skilled at Pattern or Logrus, Reality is already their plaything. So, when a Sorcerer combines the two talents together, they become a primal force not unlike that of a God. The rules governing Reality no longer apply to them. They, after all, can now write the rules as they desire. Shadow and everything within it can be altered and destroyed at their whim. Of course, it isn’t a simple as snapping you fingers. Finesse and control still need to be maintained. Otherwise, the very fabric of existence could come unraveled… and the Sorcerer along with it.

See more about Sorcery and the Pattern or the Logrus here.

Familiars

Sorcery can be a very lonely and tiresome vocation. Sorcery, like most sciences, is also a field of ideas and inspiration. So, many Sorcerers seek a trustworthy and long-lasting companion with which to share their thoughts and ideas. Although they deal regularly with peers and apprentices, Sorcerers are also a guarded lot. They rarely wish to share all their secrets and formulas with their peers, much as professors and scientists can be a cagey and paranoid lot; only competition between Sorcerers tends to conclude with someone’s skeleton being liquefied rather than tenure and an office space being stolen. So what to do?

Easy. You create your companion: a Familiar.

Familiars are regular Shadow-creatures that have been infused with part of the Sorcerer’s essence. Effectively, the creature becomes a part of them, just as the Sorcerer becomes part of the creature. This bond will be one of the most intimate the Sorcerer will probably experience. Both benefit from this connection for a variety of reasons.

A note about levels

The levels for sorcery are perhaps easier than other powers. The reason for this is simple; you have to buy your spells, and to build up a really good spellbook, you will have to invest in them. At each level, you will get a few 'free' spells, though - i.e. you can buy two spells for the price of one. Otherwise, spells cost 5 points each.

For how many extra points you can spend at each level use the table below
Sorcery Powers Points that can be spent
1 5
2 15
3 20
4 25
5 30
6 35
7 40
8 45
9 50
10 whatever
Abilities available with 1 or better Sorcery: Spells take normal Base Cast Time
Cost Name Note Required
5 Basic spells You know three basic spells. You can only keep one in your mind at a time. Nothing
5 Extra Basic spells You can buy two extra basic spells Basic spells
Abilities available with 2 or better Sorcery: Spells take Normal Base Cast
Cost Name Note Required
5 Level 2: Basic spells You know three more basic spells. Basic spells, Extra Basic Spells
5 Basic spell rack You can hold two spells in your mind through a simple spell rack Basic spells
Abilities available with 3 or better Sorcery: Spells take Normal Base Cast Time minus 10 minutes
Cost Name Note Required
5 Level 3: Basic spells You know three more basic spells. Level 2: Basic spells
5 Advanced Lynchpin You can now use an lynchpin to add greater complexity to your spells Basic spells
Abilities available with 4 or better Sorcery: Spells take Normal Base Cast Time minus 15 minutes
Cost Name Note Required
5 Level 4: Basic spells You know three more basic spells. Level 3: Basic spells
Abilities available with 5 or better Sorcery: Spells take Normal Base Cast Time minus 25 minutes
Cost Name Note Required
5 Level 5: Basic spells You know three more basic spells. Level 4: Basic spells
5 Advanced Spells Power You know one Advanced Spell. (NB until you have this, you cannot buy any additional advanced spells) Level 5: Basic spells
5 Advanced spell rack You can now possess a rack for storing five spells (basic or advanced) Advanced Spells Power
Abilities available with 6 or better Sorcery: Spells take Normal Base Cast Time minus 30 minutes
Cost Name Note Required
5 Level 6: Advanced Spells You know two more advanced spells.. Advanced Spells Power
5 Familiars You may now own a Familiar: See note Level 5: Advanced Spells
Abilities available with 7 or better Sorcery: Spells take Normal Base Cast Time minus 35 minutes
Cost Name Note Required
5 Level 7: Advanced Spells You know two more advanced spells.. Level 6: Advanced Spells
5 Higher spell rack You have a spell rack of considerable power that can rack 10 spells. Level 7: Advanced Spells, Advanced spell rack
5 Customised Spells You can create your own spells (you get the first one free; others will cost you 5 points, unless you rise a level and double-buy) Level 7: Advanced Spells
Abilities available with 8 or better Sorcery: Spells take Normal Base Cast Time minus 40 minutes
Cost Name Note Required
5 Level 8: Advanced Spells You know two more advanced spells.. Level 7: Advanced Spells
5 Level 8: Customised Spells You can create two more of your own spells Level 7: Customised Spells
Abilities available with 9 or better Sorcery: Spells take Normal Base Cast Time minus 50 minutes
Cost Name Note Required
5 Level 9: Advanced Spells You know two more advanced spells.. Level 8: Advanced Spells
5 Level 9: Customised Spells You can create two more of your own spells Level 8: Customised Spells
5 Spikard You can have a spikard to rack unlimited spells Higher spell rack PLUS Level 9: Advanced Spells or Level 9: Customised Spells
5 Pattern or Logrus Sorcery See note Level 9: Advanced Spells or Level 9: Customised Spells
Abilities available with 10 or better Sorcery: Spells Normal Base Cast Time minus 60 minutes
Cost Name Note Required
5 Level 10: Advanced Spells You know two more advanced spells.. Level 9: Advanced Spells
5 Level 10: Customised Spells You can create two more of your own spells Level 9: Customised Spells
Page last modified on November 13, 2006, at 07:24 AM