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  • Sorcerer Revised

    Hello mage fans, so I have a question about Sorcerer Revised. I am not entirely sure I understand the path rating, dice pool, and success system for the rules. I tried googling things, no real luck, and I tried searching around here, and also no real luck. I did happen to find the Sorcerer's Companion fan product on DriveThru which I bought and love (too bad there are no pod versions) and while it made me want to play it, it didn't help me so much understand it.

    For the record I would plan on using it with the 20th Anniversary Edition of Mage, though I also own the Mage Revised core. I also own the WOD Sorcerer Hege wizard book, in addition to me owning Sorcerer Revised. (Not sure which is more 'accurate' as far as 2020 rules are concerned but yeah).

    So yeah, any help on how the successes would be divided would be much appreciated.

    PS. I am not sure if this is a general WOD question or a Mage Ascension question, but as Sorcerer Revised is technically a Mage book I am putting this here.

  • #2
    If you are the storyteller and your players don't mind you make your on interpretation of the limits of the paths, then I suggest you read Sorcerer older edition. The rules are much more simplified (which works for me) and also the writting and explanation of what is magic are more charming than revised IMO. Also I personally enjoy the artwork more. Old Sorcerer is a great book. I find that the revised edition tried to make path magic too detailed and complex.

    edit: The big loss, of course, are psychic numina, which are not in the older book. But to be fair, they do look more simple than the updated paths so you might still be able to use it together with the old book.
    Last edited by Rucun; 10-07-2020, 03:13 AM.

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    • #3
      In old WOD sorcerer, the effects are similar to vampire thaumaturgy in that each dot gives you greater power a path and the difficulty is based on the level of power you're trying to invoke. In this system, number of successes just determines how well you perform the effect and a single success is good enough for most things outside of combat. Problems arise in that sorcerers are the only splat that require multiple turns to invoke any effect beyond first level. The logical result of that is players forced to sit around doing nothing for up to six turns while their character does nothing but cast a single spell and still get pasted by anything in WOD, including a vanilla human with a gun.

      Revised sorcerer is broken and not in the OP way. Effects are split between multiple aspects that you have to split successes between and the amount of successes you can spend on each aspect is determined before the roll by declaring what dot level you are casting at. Unfortunately, the dot level also determines the difficulty of the casting despite the fact that larger effects require More successes and casting take as many turns as the dot level you use.

      This means casting hellfire as a 5 dot effect(10 dice) will end with the character taking 5 turns to cast a spell that does 2 dice of lethal damage to 1 target in touch range and maybe 1 extra success to improve one aspect. On the other hand, that same mage casting hellfire as a 3 dot effect will take 3 turns to get 2-3 extra successes that you can spend to enhance that, but casting at hellfire 1 leaves the sorcerer with 6 successes it can't use. The only way around the difficulty is to spend mana, which is a very limited resource unless you spend 2 of you 5 starting dots in mana manipulation, and the time constraints can only be worked around by "hanging" spells(casting them before-hand, but waiting to complete them), but you can only "hang" up to your willpower in spells.

      This isn't playable without ST houserules. My recommendation is to throw out the multi-turn rule completely, select one of the Aspects as something the character automatically gets when they cast at higher dot levels and un-cap the amount of successes a player can spend on other aspects. This way the hellfire sorcerer can cast at dot 5 and get 10 dice of damage even on one success or cast at dot 1 and spend those extra successes to effect multiple target farther away.

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      • #4
        Okay so I was mentally right. I wasn't missing something in how I thought I read it. I did read it right, and what I read made no sense.

        To cast a third dot power with 3 levels in one aspect and two levels in another aspect would need 3 success and three turns. To cast a five dot power that has say 5 in one aspect and 5 in another aspect and maybe 5 in a third aspect would be 12 successes with a difficulty of 9.

        Okay, screw that.

        So yeah, the aspect system goes. What you can do is based on the dots you have in a path.

        If you have Conjuration 3 then you can cast an effect of 3 or fewer dots. Meaning you could control three largish objects from over 100 feet away with some fine control.

        So looking at things the various changes I would make are:

        1 success is needed to activate.
        Difficulty is dot + 3.
        Casting takes 1 turn no matter the dot rating.

        ---

        So basically the end result is use the basic ideas from say World of Darkness Sorcerer the Hedge Wizards Handbook and the psychic stuff form Sorcerer Revised and then make some changes to balance things out a bit.

        ---

        I thank you both for the information though I have to admit I am kind of disappointed in the fact that the book basically fails. Too bad there isn't Sorcerer: The 20th Anniversary Edition because that would be brilliant.

        I love mage but its complex magic requires a particular mindset that while I have sometimes I don't always have (or want to activate) and so I was liking the idea of these Paths. Probably because I really like Vampire Thaumaturgy and looked at the Sorcerer Paths as a sort of mortal version of that.

        So yeah, thanks all.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
          Okay so I was mentally right. I wasn't missing something in how I thought I read it. I did read it right, and what I read made no sense.

          To cast a third dot power with 3 levels in one aspect and two levels in another aspect would need 3 success and three turns. To cast a five dot power that has say 5 in one aspect and 5 in another aspect and maybe 5 in a third aspect would be 12 successes with a difficulty of 9.
          No, To get 3 levels in one aspect and 2 in another would require 4 successes total. The first success counts for every aspect, but all successes afterwards must be counted individually. So to get 5 in 3 aspects would require 13( 1 for the first success and 12 more to add +4 to each aspect)

          Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
          If you have Conjuration 3 then you can cast an effect of 3 or fewer dots. Meaning you could control three largish objects from over 100 feet away with some fine control.

          So looking at things the various changes I would make are:

          1 success is needed to activate.
          Difficulty is dot + 3.
          Casting takes 1 turn no matter the dot rating.
          Might also be good to note that the aspects in Sorcerer Revised are more powerful in many areas than the straight paths in WOD sorcerer. For example: Conjuration 6 is required to move 3 objects of up to human size, but in Revised 3 success does that and 6 successes let's you move 100 related objects or 25 un-related with size as a different aspect. The Biggest problem with Revised(besides the dumb turn rules) is that Getting those successes is impossible.

          My take is merging both WOD and Revised editions of Sorcerer. If you instead have the dot rating be the power "aspect" of the spell(damage dice for hellfire, object size for conjuration, number of people for conveyance, time period for divination, etc, etc) then it'll means 1 less aspect to split dice for and also make more sense as to why the spell is more difficult(because you're doing something hard). I reccomend keeping aspects because scoring more than 1 success in WOD sorcerer rules is meaningless.

          I'd also reccomend changing the dice pool for paths to Attribute + Path rating and for psychic powers to rolling Permanent Willpower. It makes both practices feel different, gives you more dice to work with, and makes using sorcery or psychic powers cheaper on XP(which it should be, these aren't as strong as other supernatural powers so making them cost the same as mage spheres and out-of-clan disciplines is insane).

          Finally I say remove the "no multi-path rituals" rule. I personally enjoy ruling that enchanting/alchemy let's you craft artifacts/potions with an effect from another path you know at equal or lower rating to your enchanting/alchemy. I also like ruling that Mana manipulation let's you change the obscure resource/curse requirement on enchanted/alchemical objects to a mana-cost equal to enchantment level per scene/X number of turns(depending on effect).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
            Okay
            Sorcerer Rev. is a Mage book, so they make it more Mage, especially on disadvantages. For example if you want to invoke a little bigger spells you must spend much time preparing it

            I also like Sorcerer, Mage is great and interesting but complex after all. Sorcerer, however, is much simpler and easier

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            • #7
              Sorcerer Revised is incredibly versatile, and includes within its pages a number of suggestions for how to make hedge magicians more or less powerful than the baseline presented. They discuss everything for changing requisite casting times, to changing base difficulties, I think even the efficacy of individual successes. This is scattered throughout the book, but there at least two places in the book I know for a fact they go into tweaking mechanics to achieve whatever balance or flavor: one is in a box found in the section explaining the mechanics of casting (this section immediately precedes the laundry list of ritual paths/non-psychic stuff); the place they discuss it is towards the end of the book, amidst discussions of sorcerers' and hedge magicians' place in a WoD chronicle (I think the rules for making up new paths is around there too).

              I've definitely commented on these forums in the past, and to others, that with just a handful of tweaks suggested in that book itself, you can basically make hedge magic every bit the equal of vampiric blood magic, and frankly moreso, given the rules about "hanging" spells that basically put a vancian spin on the system, inasmuch as hanging a number of spells for later use is practically the same thing as preparing spells in D&D.


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              • #8
                What do you guys think of the factions in Sorcerer Revised?


                The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                  What do you guys think of the factions in Sorcerer Revised?
                  Completely fascinating, zany fun. You basically get the blueprint for running an entire sorcerer chronicle just from this book, and they have sorcerers doing some world-saving-level stuff no less. I would definitely use this stuff if I were going to run a sorcerer game, and what's more, of all the "lesser"/third-tier supernaturals in the WoD (so, the folks who did not even get a hardcover book,) it really seems like sorcerers are the only ones that, out of the box/by the book, can have their own cool adventures that don't have to do with either being some main gameline supernatural's lackey, or hunting a main gameline supernatural.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Prometheas View Post

                    No, To get 3 levels in one aspect and 2 in another would require 4 successes total. The first success counts for every aspect, but all successes afterwards must be counted individually. So to get 5 in 3 aspects would require 13( 1 for the first success and 12 more to add +4 to each aspect)
                    Oooh, okay. I see. I'm not liking what I see, like at all, but I now see.

                    (So my issue was that I was ignoring the 'starter' successin such a way that I was rolling it into the other needed successes rather than adding it on top.

                    Originally posted by Prometheas View Post
                    Might also be good to note that the aspects in Sorcerer Revised are more powerful in many areas than the straight paths in WOD sorcerer. For example: Conjuration 6 is required to move 3 objects of up to human size, but in Revised 3 success does that and 6 successes let's you move 100 related objects or 25 un-related with size as a different aspect. The Biggest problem with Revised(besides the dumb turn rules) is that Getting those successes is impossible.
                    Yeah, I just noticed this. I mean I read both books but I didn't focus on the numbers per dot and your right, Revised leads to more powerful sorcerers. I do like that aspect though, I think the changes in that make a bit more sense.

                    One thing I definitely would do is remove the 1 dot Conveyance thing about 'maybe your close won't come' bs. Nah. If you have the power, and you don't like botch terribly, your close will naturally come with you.

                    ----

                    My take is merging both WOD and Revised editions of Sorcerer. If you instead have the dot rating be the power "aspect" of the spell(damage dice for hellfire, object size for conjuration, number of people for conveyance, time period for divination, etc, etc) then it'll means 1 less aspect to split dice for and also make more sense as to why the spell is more difficult(because you're doing something hard). I reccomend keeping aspects because scoring more than 1 success in WOD sorcerer rules is meaningless.

                    I'd also reccomend changing the dice pool for paths to Attribute + Path rating and for psychic powers to rolling Permanent Willpower. It makes both practices feel different, gives you more dice to work with, and makes using sorcery or psychic powers cheaper on XP(which it should be, these aren't as strong as other supernatural powers so making them cost the same as mage spheres and out-of-clan disciplines is insane).

                    Finally I say remove the "no multi-path rituals" rule. I personally enjoy ruling that enchanting/alchemy let's you craft artifacts/potions with an effect from another path you know at equal or lower rating to your enchanting/alchemy. I also like ruling that Mana manipulation let's you change the obscure resource/curse requirement on enchanted/alchemical objects to a mana-cost equal to enchantment level per scene/X number of turns(depending on effect).[/QUOTE]

                    I like the idea that the base effect is 'free' based on your Path Rating. I am a Conveyance expert with 5 dots, which means 1 success grants me anywhere from 1 to 5 dots in the basic conveyance aspect, while other successes can boost the other aspects above the initial starting base level.

                    I wonder if maybe having it so that dots above the base effect can give auto successes to other aspects. Example, I have 5 dots in Conveyance but I only want to implement the one dot level of the main conveyance aspect, this gives me four dots I can use as successes to boost that one dot effect a bit higher.

                    On Attribute + Path, yeah, I can see the great benefits of that. It means basically that as your capability in the path increases so does your knowledge of what the Path does.

                    (The amusing thing about making this potentially Willpower roll based is my arguing in the Vampire thread about how I dislike Thaumaturgy being Willpower rather than Attribute + Ability, hehe).

                    Oh yeah, I agree. There is absolutely no reason that a sorcerer shouldn't be allowed to combine effects when they know things. Especially the whole alchemy and enchanting path, which cries out for being combined.

                    Originally posted by Rock113 View Post
                    Sorcerer Rev. is a Mage book, so they make it more Mage, especially on disadvantages. For example if you want to invoke a little bigger spells you must spend much time preparing it

                    I also like Sorcerer, Mage is great and interesting but complex after all. Sorcerer, however, is much simpler and easier

                    Yeah, I get that. I don't like it as if you own Mage then you probably will focus on Mage rules while the whole point of Sorcerer is NOT to be a mage. Is NOT to have crazy (awesome but crazy) vast sphere magic. So yeah, making it Mage just seems out of touch to me.

                    But this was 20 years ago (wow by the way) so shrug.

                    So yeah, like you said, Sorcerer is simpler and easier to both understand and use. And honestly sometimes one wants to have mighty powers but not also have to do vast maths.

                    --------

                    Originally posted by CaptOtter View Post
                    Sorcerer Revised is incredibly versatile, and includes within its pages a number of suggestions for how to make hedge magicians more or less powerful than the baseline presented. They discuss everything for changing requisite casting times, to changing base difficulties, I think even the efficacy of individual successes. This is scattered throughout the book, but there at least two places in the book I know for a fact they go into tweaking mechanics to achieve whatever balance or flavor: one is in a box found in the section explaining the mechanics of casting (this section immediately precedes the laundry list of ritual paths/non-psychic stuff); the place they discuss it is towards the end of the book, amidst discussions of sorcerers' and hedge magicians' place in a WoD chronicle (I think the rules for making up new paths is around there too).

                    I've definitely commented on these forums in the past, and to others, that with just a handful of tweaks suggested in that book itself, you can basically make hedge magic every bit the equal of vampiric blood magic, and frankly moreso, given the rules about "hanging" spells that basically put a vancian spin on the system, inasmuch as hanging a number of spells for later use is practically the same thing as preparing spells in D&D.
                    Oh yeah, I love those modification side bars. The one about making Difficulty 3 + Path Level rather than 4 is great. As is the one about reducing Time so casting is easier. Also interesting is the Willpower change.

                    Buuut, the one thing they don't suggest, is how to make Successes more logical.

                    The book also lacks examples of characters rolling their powers and such in ways that clear up all issues.

                    That all said, yeah, your right, it does understand that some people might want slightly different systems, and that is really cool about it.

                    I like Mage, I really do, but sometimes I want something more Discipline and Thaumaturgy like when it comes to playing - minus the whole being a Vampire thing. Which is why I was like "ooh Sorcerer, that will cover what I want." But it doesn't really. At least not as written. Not entirely anyway.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by CaptOtter View Post
                      Completely fascinating, zany fun. You basically get the blueprint for running an entire sorcerer chronicle just from this book, and they have sorcerers doing some world-saving-level stuff no less. I would definitely use this stuff if I were going to run a sorcerer game, and what's more, of all the "lesser"/third-tier supernaturals in the WoD (so, the folks who did not even get a hardcover book,) it really seems like sorcerers are the only ones that, out of the box/by the book, can have their own cool adventures that don't have to do with either being some main gameline supernatural's lackey, or hunting a main gameline supernatural.
                      Cool! Thanks.


                      The die is cast. - Julius Caesar crossing the Rubicon

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LordHeru View Post
                        ​I like Mage, I really do, but sometimes I want something more Discipline and Thaumaturgy like when it comes to playing - minus the whole being a Vampire thing. Which is why I was like "ooh Sorcerer, that will cover what I want." But it doesn't really. At least not as written. Not entirely anyway.
                        Are you familiar with V20 Hunters Hunted II? They have Hedge Magic rules in there, though they only present three Paths (Curses, Divination, and Healing). You might want to run a comparison between that and WoD:Sorcerer to get a sense of what, if anything, changes in the 20th Anniversary version of Path Magic. Then use that information to decide how other Paths might be adapted.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Dataweaver View Post
                          Are you familiar with V20 Hunters Hunted II? They have Hedge Magic rules in there, though they only present three Paths (Curses, Divination, and Healing). You might want to run a comparison between that and WoD:Sorcerer to get a sense of what, if anything, changes in the 20th Anniversary version of Path Magic. Then use that information to decide how other Paths might be adapted.
                          So I was able to look into it and yeah, the way they did Healing for example is basically spot on how I would have wanted them to do it. hehe

                          Sorcerer Revised Healing is a mess of random charts and confusing options whike WOD Sorcerer Healing is nice but lower powered then what I would have wanted. But V20 Hunters Hunted II took the ideas from WOD Sorcerer and boosted it up a little bit. So yeah, that adaptation to the 20th anniversary was great.

                          Well mostly, I am not a fan of the whole sympathetic pain that one feels by healing another.

                          I do find it sad that they took the Curses path, which had been made into Fortune, and then turned it back to Curses as I liked it giving both the good and the bad.

                          Anyway, thanks for the info, it was something useful to look up.

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                          • #14
                            Charles Siegel one of the most prolific of the Vault Authors is working on Sorcerer 20, which I am glad because we need it! It was originally supposed to be out by now so I am guessing it’s close to done. But you recommend the Sorcerers companion? I’ll check it out.


                            It is a time for great deeds!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                              Charles Siegel one of the most prolific of the Vault Authors is working on Sorcerer 20, which I am glad because we need it! It was originally supposed to be out by now so I am guessing it’s close to done. But you recommend the Sorcerers companion? I’ll check it out.
                              Sorcerer's Companion doesn't houserule or fix any of the success issues that Sorcerer Revised had in it but it does have a lot of really cool rituals and such things. Plus it has a few paths that are fully path based and not aspect based which can be quickly used.

                              That said, didn't know about Charles Siegel and his attempt on Sorcerer 20. Is he using WOD Sorcerer and Sorcerer Revised as his base or is he doing something completely new?

                              Honestly, I hope its using the Paths as a basis from the previous books rather than making his own new system, but then, who knows, said new system could be awesome.

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