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Why do you define sorcery as?

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  • Why do you define sorcery as?

    Ok. Um, I'm trying to work out some guidelines and rules for homebrewing sorcery.

    Um.... what are they? When someone does some thing, whats the difference between charms, martial arts, and sorcery?

    1. Its not suited for direct face to face combat.

    2. Has widescale effects.

  • #2
    1 is violated by at least 4 spells of the Terrestrial circle. General sorcery invokes imagery that does not fit into one splat type—often strange or even inverted ways, but not always—and is external to the user. Unlike martial arts, sorcery does not build upon itself. There are no spells with other spells as requirements. I find it better to label sorcery as “ex miscellania” rather than self coherent on its own.


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    • #3
      Sorcery also tends to be pretty dramatic in its scope when compared to charms or martial arts. A lot of old Terrestrial Circle are basically copies of Old Testament miracles, like parting the seas.

      Even if you look at less miraculous, Death of Obsidian Butterflies is very large in scale when compared to most charms and martial art. If Death of Obsidian Butterflies was a martial charm it would be an oldschool Sidereal Martial Arts charm.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Hark View Post
        Sorcery also tends to be pretty dramatic in its scope when compared to charms or martial arts. A lot of old Terrestrial Circle are basically copies of Old Testament miracles, like parting the seas.

        Even if you look at less miraculous, Death of Obsidian Butterflies is very large in scale when compared to most charms and martial art. If Death of Obsidian Butterflies was a martial charm it would be an oldschool Sidereal Martial Arts charm.
        What about shadow assassin, theft of memory, and droning suggestion?

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        • #5
          Sorcery effects do tend to be very big for their essence requirements. Death of Obsidian Butterflies only requires essence 1. A charm that did the same thing would probably be essence 3 or 4.

          Invulnerable skin of Bronze isn't quite so dramatic, but again, most splats wouldn't be able to make such drastic alterations to their form at essence 1, if ever. Except maybe Lunars.

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          • #6
            I did say "tends" not "strictly is." The smaller scale spells tend to be the kind of thing regularly attributed to sorcery in myth, legend, and literature. It is almost certainly the reason that demon summoning is fairly trivial in Exalted, because that is what sorcerers do in the source material.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Elfive View Post
              Sorcery effects do tend to be very big for their essence requirements. Death of Obsidian Butterflies only requires essence 1. A charm that did the same thing would probably be essence 3 or 4.

              Invulnerable skin of Bronze isn't quite so dramatic, but again, most splats wouldn't be able to make such drastic alterations to their form at essence 1, if ever. Except maybe Lunars.
              They also have a huge drawback. You'll find yourself shived in the back before you finish casting a spell if you do it within the range of an enemy unprotected. The long lasting and devistating effects are offset by time.

              Also, sorcerer workings don't prevent drastic alterations but that's different than spell.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post

                They also have a huge drawback. You'll find yourself shived in the back before you finish casting a spell if you do it within the range of an enemy unprotected. The long lasting and devistating effects are offset by time.

                Also, sorcerer workings don't prevent drastic alterations but that's different than spell.
                Thus. Demons.

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                • #9
                  Ok. Several problems:

                  1. What can sorcery do? What is out of theme for sorcery?
                  2. What is sorcery's (terrestrial) scale? What is the biggest effect, to the smallest?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Accelerator View Post

                    Thus. Demons.
                    Demons can only help somewhat an exalt can usually bypass them and get to you. AOE Charms that do knockback automatically disrupt you. There are a lot of ways to negate spells if you look.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                      They also have a huge drawback. You'll find yourself shived in the back before you finish casting a spell if you do it within the range of an enemy unprotected. The long lasting and devistating effects are offset by time.
                      If your dice pool's high enough and you're willing to dump some motes into it, many of the Terrestrial Circle spells are able to be cast almost instantaneously.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post

                        They also have a huge drawback. You'll find yourself shived in the back before you finish casting a spell if you do it within the range of an enemy unprotected.
                        You can pause in the middle of shape sorcery actions to do things like defend yourself. You'll lose out on some sorcerous motes, but play your cards right and you can still fire the spell off.

                        Hell, if you've got the right shaping rituals, you can make up for the distraction by getting motes reflexively.

                        Originally posted by Epimetheus View Post
                        AOE Charms that do knockback automatically disrupt you.
                        I don't think they do...


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                        • #13
                          I don’t think there’s really a list of things Sorcery can or cannot do. Most spells seem to either summon something, grant the properties of one thing to another, or both, but you could probably argue most effects could be achieved by that process (I summon the Marid who grants wishes!). Sorcery also tends to have an aesthetic of weirdness and a “go big or go home” aspect. You don’t summon a hovel to sleep in, you summon a pleasure palace that sleeps 40 (all in the same bed). You don’t summon a magic rock, you summon a torrent of glass butterflies to cut a small army to ribbons.

                          So, my advice is look at the existing spells and try to make yours equally weird.


                          ....

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                          • #14
                            I am a bit wary of trying to define sorcery in terms of patterns of specific strengths and weakness vs Charms, as this seems tends to drive people towards thinking about 'optimal' patterns of buying sorcery that's specialised into what sorcery 'is good for' and Charms for what they 'are good for'.

                            (Particularly I am also a little wary of trying to balance sorcery by saying that a sorcerous effect should be weaker or less efficient than an equivalent Charm because of fewer prerequisites, that it is a 'jack of all trades, master of none', as that, historically, tended to reduce its glamour and appeal.)

                            Sorcery is the magic of Creation which is not springing forth from the essence of the practitioner, and is tied to ritual and capricious external forces, and which can create and destroy on deep fundamental levels. That's probably not quite right and could be better, but generally I think you are looking for things that *feel* like spells and rituals; it's a holistic approach looking at form and function, not a kind of results focused approach where you can classify sorcery or Charms based on functional results and/or costs. A sorcerer is more like a person who uses a particular style of magic, not someone who is particularly good at achieving a particular kinds of results and goals.

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                            • #15
                              I mean... I would suggest just reading the sorcery section. Most of these questions are answered there.

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