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Should every DB be a sorcerer?

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  • Should every DB be a sorcerer?

    After reading the DB 3e book, I have come to the conclusion that every beginning DB should probably think about becoming a sorcerer for three reasons. First, a beginning DB sorcerer gains a lot of additional functionality (the ability to use shaping rituals, the ability to use sorcerous workings, access to a control spell, and access to proprietary merits) for the low price of 1 Charm and 3 Ability dots. Second, while beginning DBs have less powerful Charms than beginning Solars, their beginning spells are just as powerful, so Sorcery ends up helping to balance the scales, especially since their extra dot of Essence improves the spells. Third, the rule of cool, as there is nothing cooler than being a spell-slinger equipped with powered combat armor while dual-wielding flame pistols.

    What do you think? Should every beginning DB be a dabbler in Sorcery? Would it be wrong to have every DB dabbling in Sorcery?

  • #2
    Actually, the buy-in cost for DBs is higher than it is for Solars or Lunars: DBs must first buy four Occult Charms (Excellency included) before they are allowed to take their Terrestrial Circle Sorcery Charm. This isn't a huge hurdle, but it does mean that unlike Solars, they can't really "dip" Sorcery and have to actually invest a good deal in occult expertise. It doesn't make Sorcery a bad option at all, it just makes it less able to be a "oh and also I do Sorcery" like Solars can.

    Lunars have a lesser barrier to entry in that they just have to take four Mental Attribute Charms (Excellencies not included), which is a far looser requirement.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by The Fool of Creation View Post
      After reading the DB 3e book, I have come to the conclusion that every beginning DB should probably think about becoming a sorcerer for three reasons. First, a beginning DB sorcerer gains a lot of additional functionality (the ability to use shaping rituals, the ability to use sorcerous workings, access to a control spell, and access to proprietary merits) for the low price of 1 Charm and 3 Ability dots. Second, while beginning DBs have less powerful Charms than beginning Solars, their beginning spells are just as powerful, so Sorcery ends up helping to balance the scales, especially since their extra dot of Essence improves the spells. Third, the rule of cool, as there is nothing cooler than being a spell-slinger equipped with powered combat armor while dual-wielding flame pistols.

      What do you think? Should every beginning DB be a dabbler in Sorcery? Would it be wrong to have every DB dabbling in Sorcery?

      It would be terrible for the setting if that's what you mean. But thankfully in-setting characters don't make decisions based on how accessible an option is for a player (if it was, every person in Creation would be Exalted). The forms of Initiation means Sorcery isn't just something an in-setting character can just opt to dabble in.

      But if you want your characters to always be lucky enough to have gained access to Sorcery, sure no problem.


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      • #4
        Evocations on jade artifacts also level the playing field and are far more accessible.

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        • #5
          Nobody dabbles in sorcery. Your initiations and/or control spell exert an effect on you that hangs around.


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          • #6
            Are they actually more accessible for Exalted? What are the restrictions around developing sorcery as an Exalted? Of course, I have a witch for every market village, so mortal sorcerers are uncommon rather than rare, so I may be more liberal concerning sorcery than the majority of the community.

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            • #7
              Well, I mean percentage wise there are most likely more sorcerers per exalt than per mortal, but it's not something everyone can do.

              If a Player decides their character is going to become a sorcerer then they are one of the ones who can learn it, of course. I suppose the assumption is that a decent chunk of the ones who don't couldn't manage in-universe if they tried. That's true for most things on the character sheet really. Your character is bad at whatever abilities you choose not to take.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by The Fool of Creation View Post
                Are they actually more accessible for Exalted? What are the restrictions around developing sorcery as an Exalted? Of course, I have a witch for every market village, so mortal sorcerers are uncommon rather than rare, so I may be more liberal concerning sorcery than the majority of the community.
                The village witch is why thaumaturgy exists in the game. Now if you’re altering the setting that’s fine, but it is an alternate setting then.

                Sorcery requires an initiation in-setting. It’s not just an in character decision to learn a Charm - that’s just how it’s mechanized for players. Being one of the few students who attends the Heptagram (or equivalent institution) is a suitable initiation - but failing that a DB would need to go out and seek Mara, an Ifrit, drug themselves with alchemy for years, etc etc.


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                • #9
                  It's worth noting that, in-character, the aptitude for sorcery not being universal is a thing that applies even to at least the Terrestrial Exalted. It is stated in What Fire Has Wrought that not everybody who graduates from the Heptagram comes away with initiation into sorcery; even if their talents and inclinations are sufficient to be accepted to that institute, some Exalted just lack the correct qualities to break through into that access to power.

                  That's just a matter of characterizing the setting, though. Really, what arguments there are against sorcery for every character in a play group are somewhat loose; there are opportunity costs sure, but I'd say none so high that one might feel a significant strain for including at least a starting package for sorcery. I know of at least one person who reports that their whole Dragon Blooded play group had the characters as sorcerers.

                  So it really does come down to a question of whether or not one views their character concept as a sorcerer in particular. If it doesn't, I think that's liable to take priority over the utilitarian advantages.


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                  • #10
                    This isn't the question to be asking. The question to be asking is how cool it is for the PCs or the villains to show up as an elite force of ivory tower wizards that can incinerate buildings and call forth storms.

                    More seriously though, on balance it's extremely effective for everyone of any type of exalt to just be a sorcerer, but it isn't so great that you need to do it. Also there's so many things that offer stuff like that, like should every DB have an heirloom weapon like out of the book? Probably. They give really good bonuses to the bloodline. It's not so crazy that anyone should be sacrificing their character concept to do it though. Not to mention I find most Exalts of any description to be more than up to the challenges they face either way.

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                    • #11
                      Any character can be a sorcerer. But you can’t just BE a sorcerer.

                      And that’s not just a matter of The Price Of Sorcery. Every initiation has fringe benefits and unique connections to play off. Kinda the whole point of imitation merits and control spells is so that having sorcery is enough to give any character a pretty complete flavour/aesthetic/concept.

                      None of those concepts are “Dragon blooded who dipped into the sorcery shop because why not, eh?”


                      Or... I mean I guess A couple of them are a bit like that but with better words and unique elements.

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                      • #12
                        I'm quite fond of some of those early Exalted 1e depictions of the First Age where it was stated that it tended to be the case that every Exalt knew some degree of sorcery, and sorcery as accepted as the birthright of the Exalted. I'm not so up on the idea that some Exalts have it in them to be sorcerers and others do not (for mortals that's fine, but not Exalts). So I'm not averse to the idea that the Dragonblooded could form such a culture like that. That said, it would probably clash with the Realm as currently intended for that to be the case, however, so not really suitable for the default setting.

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                        • #13
                          An all sorcerer dragon blooded game is actually pretty easy to justify while preserving the "sorcery is rare" setting conceit.

                          "We met at the heptagram"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ghosthead View Post
                            -snip-
                            Cooking food is the birthright of humanity. There are still people who are terrible at it.

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                            • #15
                              I had intended to make about the same point; not all Exalted will have the aptitude to develop just about any other skill. Why should sorcery be any different?

                              I also find the Heptagram in particular enriched both by the idea that not every graduate leaves with sorcery and that the education is of value regardless.

                              I might have gotten those points in first were it not for the fact that my goddamn browser has stopped being able to post things here again!!!


                              I have approximate knowledge of many things.
                              Watch me play Dark Souls III (completed)
                              https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDtbr08HW8RW4jOHN881YA3yRZBV4lpYw Watch me play Breath of the Wild (updated 12/03)

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