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  • Making Sorcery More Accessible

    So, I absolutely love the idea of Sorcerers being absolute multidisciplinary geniuses, but that does tend to make it out of the reach of most starting characters and tends to restrict the development of characters planning to head in that direction. I took a quick stab at rewriting the Sorcerer microtemplate, but I'm having trouble thinking of Merits that scaffold off of Ritual Sorcerer like, say, the microtemplates in Hurt Locker have. I'm also thinking of converting some of the rituals from the Greek Magical Papyri, Kemetic magical texts, and the Picatrix into Closed Rites. (I'm also toying with the idea of converting Werewolf Rites into Closed Rites)

    Sorcerers: They are occult physicists, masters of the laws of resonance and symbology, sacred storytellers capable of persuading the world into changing, arcane mathematicians who use the vault of the heavens as their computation engine. A sorcerer doesn’t alter their soul, or attain enlightenment; they simply have more knowledge than most.Sorcerers are specialists in the unfathomable. They believe in secret energies that can be harnessed through study, ritual, and the practice of techniques not requiring innate supernatural power. Sorcery is the art of knowledge, ritual, and psychodrama. It is a shallow chthonic art, one made easier by access to those with mastery over the occult underpinnings of reality. Anyone could be a Sorcerer, if sufficiently motivated.

    New Merits

    Ritual Sorcerer (•••)
    Prerequisite: Intelligence or Wits •••, Resolve •••, Occult ••, Academics or Science ••
    Effect: The character is now a Sorcerer, capable of safely learning a number of Rites equal to Resolve. These “slots” can be filled with Open or Closed Rites, but once a slot have been filled, the Rites that fill them cannot be exchanged or replaced. They can learn additional Rites beyond the limitations of their Resolve by reducing their maximum Integrity at the rate of one per Rite.
    Drawback: The minds of a Sorcerer are burdened with occult knowledge, unable to reach peace, exposed to too much of the mystery and horror of the Chronicles of Darkness. Sorcerers suffer from the Madness Condition.

    Sorcerous Knowledge (•+)
    Prerequisite: Ritual Sorcerer, Occult at dot rating or greater
    Effect: Your character may learn (or create) a new Open or Closed Rite beyond the limits of the Ritual Sorcerer Merit. Such slots are already filled, as they represent specific studies or the development of a new ritual.

    Open Rites: An Open Rite refers to a number of miscellaneous practices than anyone can attempt whether or not they possess the Ritual Sorcerer Merit. There are many such rituals, which might use wildly different systems. Many of them are also extremely dangerous. A malefic spirit listens to anyone attempting to summon it, but might tear apart mortals who mispronounce their names or skip an obscure honorific. Treat any action that a normal person without a supernatural template can perform that has a supernatural effect as an Open Rite, unless, as Storyteller, you decide it somehow doesn’t qualify. Example Open Rites include:
    · Contacting, Summoning, Exorcising, Abjuring, Warding, and Binding Ephemeral Beings. Each is considered a separate Open Rite.
    · Creating an Amkhat. Each being is considered a separate Open Rite.
    · Creating sacred architecture. Each project is a separate Open Rite.
    · Unveiling Omens
    · Seeking Relics (including Seba)
    · Creating minor occult trinkets using Equipment Building

    Sorcerers do not distinguish themselves by being able to perform these Rites, but by being particularly skilled with them. Just being a Sorcerer tends to result in superior dice pools for Open Rites, but if you choose to fill a slot with Open Rite Mastery, you gain the following benefits while performing the Rite:
    · The Sorcerer gains two Attribute dots either directly contributing to the Open Rite’s dice pool or to an Attribute thematically related to the Open Rite, such as boosting Presence to cow a demon once it’s been summoned. This can raise the Attribute above its normal maximum, and the Sorcerer may benefit from this boost for as long as a scene without focusing on their Rite.
    · If a supernatural being contributes power to the Rite, add another two Attribute dots to the pool to spread around.

    Note- Supernatural Support: By default, it is Sekhem, the stuff of life and memory and the soul, that can facilitate reliable, easy sorcery. However, with Storyteller discretion, any supernatural being may contribute to a Rite, empowering it and simplifying it. Contributing supernatural beings must have at least a dot of Occult, and must understand the basic gist of the Rite- its ultimate goal, theory, and symbolism -in order to contribute. Bear in mind that this means that supernatural beings practicing sorcery are more than capable of empowering their own Rites, while mortal sorcerers seek out patronage.

    Note- Closed Rites & The Rule of Three: All Closed Rites must adhere to the Rule of Three, and demand at least three separate elements working in synchronicity to achieve the desired aim. There’s more to a ritual than the stars being in alignment or a dozen freshly removed hearts. Closed Rites require multiple components of different origins, symbolically related to the effect being sought, the creator’s culture, and elements of unique inspiration.


    My Homebrew Hub

  • #2
    What new is being added here? I don't have DEC handy, but this looks similar.


    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
      What new is being added here? I don't have DEC handy, but this looks similar.
      I hammered this out in about twenty minutes, so mostly it's just tweaking the prerequisites for the Merit. But I'm currently in the process of writing some new Closed Rites. I'm currently blanking on Merits that scaffold off of Ritual Sorcerer but that's something I'm interested in.

      EDIT: Alright, now that I've had a chance to take a stab at this, here's my first Closed Rite. Criticism is welcomed.

      Calling the Daimon: Born out of a melting pot of cultures in Late Roman Egypt, the rite has elements of Coptic Christianity, Roman polytheism, and even Iremite Egyptian. The sorcerer must kill a falcon and bathe it with frankincense, interring it in a chest of juniper wood. Mix the falcon’s blood with wine, milk, and honey to serve as offering and potion. The sorcerer spends the night exalting the falcon as Heru, and then at dawn calls upon Azar to raise again his son. A Goetic tagged with the Familiar Condition will then follow you. It Attributes are determined as per your Dream Form and whose Rank, Influences, and Numina are determined from them. It resembles the character’s ideal self, but falcon-headed and winged. By spending a point of Ba, the falcon doesn’t need to die in the process, and the resulting daimon instead Claims it as a vessel.

      EDIT 2: I've got a few more, still coming from the Greek Magical Papyri. "Engraving the Mind" feels kind of... bland... but it also does what it is intended to do pretty efficiently.


      Blinding of Re: Taking the eye of a corpse that has died a violent death; the sorcerer crushes it in a mortar and pestle, mixing it with a scarab, unripe olive oil, and a rose. The sorcerer prepares the mixture at night, and at dawn spits out a ritualized threat to Re, demanding that the god turn his gaze away. Smearing the mixture on themselves, the sorcerer gains a +2 bonus to Stealth from dawn to dusk. Spending a point of Ab, the sorcerer removes the need for the eye and adds +2 to Presence, making any threats they make all the more convincing.

      Engraving the Mind: Taking a papyrus perfumed with myrrh, the sorcerer writes down seven barbarous titles of the Nameless Ibis in Iremite and Greek, using ink made from the ashes of ibis feathers, wormwood, and figs. When the inscription is complete, the ink is washed off the papyrus with water taken from a natural spring, which is then collected and drank. The sorcerer gains the benefit of the Eidetic Memory Merit until the next full moon. By spending a point of Ren, the sorcerer may use any kind of water and gains the benefit of the Advanced Eidetic Memory Merit.
      Last edited by Arcanist; 05-30-2018, 11:03 PM.


      My Homebrew Hub

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      • #4
        A Merit that allows a sorcerer to burn some other resources to replicate the superntural support?


        MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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        • #5
          I feel like the extremely open and loose nature of Rites actually makes it harder to come up with improvements. Hmm. Maybe something to let them use some of the Madness Condition to their advantage for Rite use? Codifying a "Book of Spells" as an item merit, like Mage does with Enhanced/Imbued items?

          There is a thread for Homebrew Rites already, by-the-way. http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...-sorcery-rites

          Maybe some thematic structures? Like a group of very similar Rites, possibly with the option to have the whole group use only a single slot?


          Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
          Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
            I feel like the extremely open and loose nature of Rites actually makes it harder to come up with improvements. Hmm. Maybe something to let them use some of the Madness Condition to their advantage for Rite use? Codifying a "Book of Spells" as an item merit, like Mage does with Enhanced/Imbued items?

            There is a thread for Homebrew Rites already, by-the-way. http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...-sorcery-rites

            Maybe some thematic structures? Like a group of very similar Rites, possibly with the option to have the whole group use only a single slot?
            Ah, thank-you for that! Hmm... such as using the Madness Condition to substitute the use of a ritual component of a Rite? Would the "Book of Spells" do something similar? Serving as a replacement ritual component for pre-selected Rites (to the tune of, say, one per Merit dot)? When you're talking about a group of similar Rites, are you thinking of a "magical tradition" type of collection? There is certainly a ton of inspiration for stuff like that in folklore. Though that might be better suited as a set of thematically related Rites than counting as a single Rite.


            My Homebrew Hub

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Arcanist View Post
              Ah, thank-you for that!
              No problem.

              Originally posted by Arcanist View Post
              Hmm... such as using the Madness Condition to substitute the use of a ritual component of a Rite?
              Maybe? Or they can use bonus dice (like how the Madness Condition give the ST penalty dice), but only on Rites? Might have an additional drawback of increasing the Madness Dice the ST has, or lets them be used more often.

              Originally posted by Arcanist View Post
              Would the "Book of Spells" do something similar? Serving as a replacement ritual component for pre-selected Rites (to the tune of, say, one per Merit dot)?
              I was thinking it alleviates the Slot problem - The Rites are in the Book, so they don't take up Resolve+Integrity Slots. But, you lose the book, you lose the Rites, obviously.

              Originally posted by Arcanist View Post
              When you're talking about a group of similar Rites, are you thinking of a "magical tradition" type of collection? There is certainly a ton of inspiration for stuff like that in folklore. Though that might be better suited as a set of thematically related Rites than counting as a single Rite.
              I was thinking of something like (IDK) "Breath of the Five Gods", where the Rites are the same, baring one element, and they all have similar effects (just flavored or with one part different). Since they are so similar, it seems a waste if they took up 5 Slots.

              Basing this upon a Tradition could work. Or maybe certain Traditions have "favored" Rites? Such that 2 Favored Rites could "fit" in the same slot?


              Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
              Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

              Comment


              • #8
                Vent0 your suggestions about Traditions certainly work for me. Kind of reminds me of Exalted's style of Sorcery with its initiations and inherent rituals and such. I'll have to take a look at some folk magic here and there, see what turns up.

                Here's a first take on a "spellbook" merit.

                Black Book (to •••)
                Prerequisite:
                Ritual Sorcerer
                Effect: For each dot in this Merit the Sorcerer may learn one Rite, the knowledge of which is contained within the book's pages in the form of sigils and diagrams, incantations and blasphemous names. These Rites do not count against the "slots" provided by Ritual Sorcerer.
                Drawback: The Rites may only be performed if you are in possession of the book and consult it during the performance of the Rite. Having the Black Book stolen from your possession imposes the Obsession Condition related to getting it back.
                Last edited by Arcanist; 05-31-2018, 03:25 PM.


                My Homebrew Hub

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
                  What new is being added here? I don't have DEC handy, but this looks similar.
                  What is “DEC”?


                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dark Eras Companion


                    Bloodline: The Stygians
                    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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