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(EX3) Sorcery

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  • (EX3) Sorcery

    One topic I haven't seen discussed much (and maybe I have just missed it) is the new take on Sorcery. The new system is probably one of my favorite differences of Exalted 3rd. Not having to bankrupt your actual mote pool for Terrestrial spells, the cool potential of the different forms of initiations and the flavor of your control spells all seem to finally set sorcerers apart both thematically and mechanically from other characters.

    What have your thoughts been on the major changes to sorcery?

    I am also very curious as to people's thoughts on creating evocations for their spells. Has anyone come up with any so far?
    Last edited by Wednesday; 10-30-2015, 09:12 AM.

  • #2
    I think sorcery hasn't been discussed because people have pretty much no complaints about it and there's no confusion as to how its system works.


    "Chicanery-No: If a player uses this Charm in an abusive or exploitative manner, the ST may punch him right in the goddamn face." --TheDementedOne

    "Happiness is very brittle and short-lived in the Exalted community, because ressentiment is our cultural touchstone." --Gayo

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    • #3
      I personally love it. I've for a while now come to view 2nd ed sorcery as more wizardry, with it's strict path to power and the same regime everyone must complete with the trials. I know you can have your own unique take on how to complete the trials but it can feel a bit samey after a while. I feel 3rd ed sorcery has much more of a mystical bent to it with the forging of pacts, the gathering of sorcerous motes rather than your own power etc. I also really love sorcerous works. Gives the sorcery something big and powerful to do.

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      • #4
        Sorcery is seriously just great. The working rules are clear and interesting, the spells are unambiguous, the shaping rituals are cool... It's basically a slam dunk by Vance.

        I was going to say that some of the control spell benefits are unsatisfactory, but honestly? Even the least baller among them are perfectly fine.

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        • #5
          In a thread a couple days before the pdf came, I said that Sorcery was a thing I was at best indifferent and at worst actively trying to excise with in 2e, and it'd have to do a lot to convince me otherwise. In 2e, picking Sorcery for me would have to be justified with a very strong in-character reason, and I'd only pick the one or two spells that was needed for my concept.

          In 3e, I can honestly say I could see myself picking it on most of my characters. Not saying that I will, but given the broadness in initiation and application both, I struggle to think of any particular concept that Sorcery would actively harm.

          The thing I like best about it is how it bridges the gap between the natural and the supernatural. In 2e, Sorcery was brute force. You ripped open reality, peeked at the code and inserted a new line. In 3e, it feels much more holistic. Essence is, after all, what builds the world; it's not inherently magical, or at least not any less magical than the world normally is. It makes so much sense to be able to gather motes from the world, and then shape those motes into something new. Despite the clear fact that you bend it to your will, Sorcery still becomes of the world, not an outside imposition. I love that. It lends so much more thematic depth for Sorcerers.


          Dex Davican wrote: I can say without exaggeration or dishonesty that I am the most creative man ever to have lived

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          • #6
            It's an excellent system. I can't wait to play a Sorcerer with the Eye of Agamotto.

            I do worry that distorting spells is perhaps a little too powerful. Take, for example, Wood Dragon's Claw.

            Intelligence 5, Occult 5, Occult Excellency (casts the spell in one round and) distorts the spell in two rounds.
            If the sorcerer has a reasonable investment in Athletics* (Strength 3, Athletics 3 - easily done with Physical Attributes as secondary and without BP) then it's taking ten rounds to break free. Three rounds if your Sorcerer favours Athletics and has motes to burn.

            That's a net of "lose 9 rounds for trying to cast Wood Dragon Claw" (or lose two rounds if your Sorcerer is particularly Athletic). Even with Strength 5, Athletics 5 and the excellency, you lose one round (net) for casting WDC vs distorting it.

            When the Circle comes up against the Wyld Hunt, realistically we can expect them to be outnumbered. And if one of the Wyld Hunt Sorcerers can take out one of he Circle's... and actually gain on the action economy... it might make sorcery feel like a trap.

            Of course, how often is the Circle going to fight an Intelligence 5, Occult 5, Solar Excellency Sorcerer who knows Wood Dragon's Claw and decides to use their actions distorting spells?

            *I'm assuming the "bookish nerd, Strength 2, Athletics 0" wouldn't be caught dead trying to cast Wood Dragon's Claw in 3E. Though, in 2E I've made such characters who used WDC to get a +8 PDV cheaply.
            Last edited by JohnDoe244; 10-30-2015, 10:14 AM.


            Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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            • #7
              Yeah, basically there's not much to say because it's mostly just awesome.

              I'd have worded some examples in Sorcerous Workings more clearly in terms of a)what you can't do, and b)how powers you give yourself work and are balanced, but that's basically it.

              One of the sorcerers in my game gained power from a pact with a dark and forbidden god of flame, and rides a dragon she made. She shoots fire, grows wings of fire, has spawned a whole bunch more dragons, and shouts prayers to her master when she stabs people. It's slightly more work for the ST than some other things, but it is also super cool.


              "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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              • #8
                I dislike that sorcery is an exemption to the supernal ability. Every other solar concept gets access to the high level powers of (at least) part his specialty - the swordsman in melee, the archer in archerry, the superdetective get his investigation charms, the great orator in performance, the great thief in stealth or larceny ... and so on. But the solar sorcerer with his supernal ability in occult gets access to ..... err.... just terrestial circle sorcery.
                I understand that this shall help the feeling for sorcery, to make it special, and easier to balance, but I think it is just unfair for the sorcerers concepts of the young prodigy who surpasses every else and gets access to powers way before his time (as the swordsman with melee as supernal ability...). I know everyone who wants can houserule it, but I dislike this kind of barrier which do not exist for other ability-based charms.

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                • #9
                  You can still get loads of other Occult power.

                  I can see where you're go​ing, and the player I had whose character was a Solar sorcerer at 300xp in 2e was annoyed when we converted to 3e and the group were 200xp (and thus Essence 4: the essence most of them had had before except him). I can see it.

                  But I think the issue is the setting weight behind it.

                  I kind of also suspect th​at if you could take it as Supernal, 50% of Solars would have Solar sorcery at character generation.


                  "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                  • #10
                    Sorcery is awesome and the sole complaint I have is that they didn't give us enough of one of their cool new mechanics (control spell tells). I wish they'd given us one of those little flavor effects like "when you're emotional gusts of wind blow" for every spell.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by AtG View Post
                      Sorcery is awesome and the sole complaint I have is that they didn't give us enough of one of their cool new mechanics (control spell tells). I wish they'd given us one of those little flavor effects like "when you're emotional gusts of wind blow" for every spell.
                      I have to agree with this particular complaint.


                      Revlid wrote:
                      Yes, hollowing out your humanity to become an utterly utilitarian asura is the exact suggestion I would expect from you, Aiden.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Asheira View Post
                        I dislike that sorcery is an exemption to the supernal ability. Every other solar concept gets access to the high level powers of (at least) part his specialty - the swordsman in melee, the archer in archerry, the superdetective get his investigation charms, the great orator in performance, the great thief in stealth or larceny ... and so on. But the solar sorcerer with his supernal ability in occult gets access to ..... err.... just terrestial circle sorcery.
                        Supernal occult gets you other cool stuff. If it opened up Solar Sorcery then a Supernal Occultist could buy all the Solar Sorcery spells at relatively little investment. This would cause balance issues, to put it mildly.

                        With Solar dice pools behind Terrestrial circle spells, I found that my Twilight sorceress was quite capable of keeping pace with her Supernal Melee and Martial Arts allies right from the start.


                        Currently writing for Heirs to the Shogunate.

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                        • #13
                          Haha, yes that's true.

                          Also, some of the control abilities are much better than others (Skin of Invulnerable Bronze, I'm looking at you), but overall, it's awesome.


                          "Wizard of Oz, you really are a wizard!"

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                          • #14
                            The addition of sorcerous workings is possibly my favourite thing added in 3E, now you (you!) can perform Creation-altering acts of magic like the Salinan Working. Is my sifu god-king planning to gather the mightiest mortal martial artists in the land and bind the power of a second circle demon into each of their bodies to serve as his personal anti-Wyld Hunt deathsquad? Damn skippy!

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                            • #15
                              I think my main beef is with Summon Elemental (and to a lesser extent, Summon Demons). I mean, I think I get why it's creating elementals now and not calling them from somewhere else, but what happens if I summon up a sentient living being? Do I just not care about the fact that they'll dissolve back into nothing in like a month? If I send my summoned garda to talk to some other gardas, are they going to treat it like a real person? I mean, if some alien god-sorcerer summoned up a human homonculus or something to talk to me I'd be pretty weirded out. Which, I guess none of this is dealbreaking or anything, but it's.... not what I was expecting, and it's just that the act of making sentient living beings with a single spell and then letting them die doesn't get any discussion in the text.
                              Also, can I summon Mara/an ifrit and get them to initiate loads of people? Can I, using another initiation, summon Mara/an ifrit and get them to initiate me?


                              But sexually.

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