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Sorcerer vs Dabbler

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  • Sorcerer vs Dabbler

    So it has been mentioned on these forums and subtlety elsewhere that there is a difference between a sorcerer and a dabbler, but the difference is not fully clear. To me a dabbler is someone who uses magic purely as a tool to make life a little easier. They have no deep interest in occult or esoterica lore or magic, but it is simply another option in their tool box that makes things easier. So a thief that uses linear magic to help unlock doors or sneak around easily. I tend to see these individuals as ghouls, kinfolk, and hunters who have 1-2 dots in one or more paths. A sorcerer on the other hand is one who sees magic as something that is more than just a tool, but a path to true power and enlightenment. They have the yearning for magical knowledge and thus want to learn as much about linear magic as possible. They also seem to rely more heavily on magic in their mortal life than just a mere dabbler. I tend to see these as the true sorcerer characters that will master one or more paths. What do you all think?

  • #2
    That sounds reasonable.


    It is a time for great deeds!

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    • #3
      I would say yeah when you have another supernatural type, like you have Fera learn Sorcery then they may treat Sorcery as just another bag of limited tricks. But then you can have some who view Sorcery as a resource in and of itself, because you can teach Sorcery to your Kinfolk for instance, or you are just trying to collect all the knowledge you can to be disseminated later, they can be delved deeply enough to be a sorcerer.

      But then capacity also can be taken into account. Maybe someone is too young to have more then a few dots in Sorcerous paths, or they are old but it took them their whole life just to get their first dot of a path so getting a 2nd or third dot might be where they peak. They probably consider themselves sorcerers. But just like with say Doctors and scientists, most people don't have an ability rating of 5, only the best have that, and Sorcery paths are even rarer and more difficult to master then abilities.


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      • #4
        Well I plan on running a discord WOD crossover rp server and will include sorcerers, psychics, ghouls, kinfolk, and hunters in addition to werewolves, vampires, and mages. Without going into how difficult it will be to run such a server, I was thinking of defining per the server rules the difference between a sorcerer pc and a pc who only dabbles. Sorcerer characters can learn all paths up to level 6 with enough time and xp. Other mortals however can only learn paths up to level 1-2. This is to make each pc type unique and to help balance too. Ghouls have access to disciplines and that along side sorcery already makes them strong. I also argue that being made a ghoul causes them to lose the yearning due to the vampire blood within them.

        Kinfolk gain access to some gifts and thus also would have an extra advantage in some ways. Not to mention, werewolves have a huge distrust of magic and would not allow a kinfolk to delve too deeply into magic and most would not have access to books or teachers to help them. Hunters would only learn sorcery just as a tool to help them fight vampires and other night-folk. Only a small few, the more spiritual priest type hunters, would acquire the yearning.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Starcomet View Post
          So it has been mentioned on these forums and subtlety elsewhere that there is a difference between a sorcerer and a dabbler, but the difference is not fully clear. To me a dabbler is someone who uses magic purely as a tool to make life a little easier. They have no deep interest in occult or esoterica lore or magic, but it is simply another option in their tool box that makes things easier. So a thief that uses linear magic to help unlock doors or sneak around easily. I tend to see these individuals as ghouls, kinfolk, and hunters who have 1-2 dots in one or more paths. A sorcerer on the other hand is one who sees magic as something that is more than just a tool, but a path to true power and enlightenment. They have the yearning for magical knowledge and thus want to learn as much about linear magic as possible. They also seem to rely more heavily on magic in their mortal life than just a mere dabbler. I tend to see these as the true sorcerer characters that will master one or more paths. What do you all think?
          The original World of Darkness: Sorcerer had text in it describing how a Sorcerer has a connection to the Otherworld, a term for some source of mystical knowledge that they acquire and secrets that they pursue (if you're familiar with Mage: the Awakening, this business of an Otherworld and a pursuit of mysteries should be very familiar). While there's no mechanics backing this up, that strikes me as a suitable line to draw between Sorcerer and dabbler: the dabbler hasn't been initiated into the Otherworld, but the Sorcerer has.
          Last edited by Dataweaver; 06-20-2019, 11:53 AM.


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          • #6
            That makes sense also!

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            • #7
              I think Malcolm Sheppard explicitly said that dabblers only have 1-2 dots in paths. So it's as close to canon as it gets

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              • #8
                Where were dabblers written up? I don't remember reading about them?

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Saint Michael View Post
                  Where were dabblers written up? I don't remember reading about them?
                  It was a post of his on shadownessence . There is no actual group called dabblers, his point was that these people are so mystically weak that they fall of the radar, so to speak

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                  • #10
                    For me, "dabbler" may sometimes mean they don't necessarily think of themselves as using "magic" at all. Grandma used to sing to her garden, and plant things just so, and her garden grew better than all of the other ones in town. She learned the songs and the planting from her grandma, and I learned from her. A Mage with Life or Prime would probably recognize what I do as magic, but to me, it's just... how you garden.

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                    • #11
                      I like Blackwell's idea but I could see why other people would use it for other things.

                      I'd probably use Dabbler as a term for 'innate sorcerers' (Maybe also innate weak psychics) who do the small things, like 'singing to the plants and they grow better'. That's about as far as it goes, but its still magick.

                      I'd also use Dabbler to refer to people who study and use sorcery but for whatever reason just /can't/ get above like 2 dots.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post

                        The original World of Darkness: Sorcerer had text in it describing how a Sorcerer has a connection to the Otherworld, a term for some source of mystical knowledge that they acquire and secrets that they pursue (if you're familiar with Mage: the Awakening, this business of an Otherworld and a pursuit of mysteries should be very familiar). While there's no mechanics backing this up, that strikes me as a suitable line to draw between Sorcerer and dabbler: the dabbler hasn't been initiated into the Otherworld, but the Sorcerer has.
                        I read the original, non-revised-edition Sorcerer way back in the day, but once the revised version came out, I never looked back. Can you think of anything else in there that I might be missing out on that might not have been covered in Sorcerer revised?


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                        • #13
                          Personally, I prefer the fluff of WoD Sorcerer and the crunch of Sorcerer Revised. That is, the game systems for how Paths work and the Path write-ups found in the latter are superior to their counterparts in the former; but the descriptions of what those Paths represent and how sorcerers fit into the World of Darkness that are found in the former are preferable to the attempt that the latter made to shoehorn them into Mage.

                          (In my head-canon, I pair the fluff from Sorcerer Revised with a system of acolyte magic that's literally a subset of Awakened Magic: that is, when SRev talks about “Linear Magic”, I read that as “magicians who are only able to learn and practice magic through rotes”. Sorcerers, meanwhile, are a separate phenomenon that's described in WoD: Sorcerer but has its game mechanics presented in their most mature form in Sorcerer Revised.)

                          There are two bits of mechanics that WoD Sorcerer has that Sorcerer Revised lacks: the first is the Change of Life systems (what happens when a Sorcerer is Embraced/Awakens/dies/etc.), and the second is the Infernal Pacts — though that's primarily a pointer to Book of Madness and Storyteller's Guide to the Sabbat than an actual section that WoD:S has.
                          Last edited by Dataweaver; 08-11-2019, 01:44 AM.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                            There are two bits of mechanics that WoD Sorcerer has that Sorcerer Revised lacks: the first is the Change of Life systems (what happens when a Sorcerer is Embraced/Awakens/dies/etc.), and the second is the Infernal Pacts — though that's primarily a pointer to Book of Madness and Storyteller's Guide to the Sabbat than an actual section that WoD:S has.
                            I'm aware of the infernal pacts stuff in the Book of Madness (although I think it's a little weak because of how it can lend itself to being gamed moreso than other stuff). I'm definitely gonna go back and take a look at the Change of Life stuff though. Many thanks as always!



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                            • #15
                              Demon: the Fallen has rules for Thralls that many consider to be an evolution of the aforementioned Infernal Pact material.


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