Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sketch Notes for The Sorcerer - MU 1.1.1.

Pictured above is an introductory note on The Sorcerer which I use to explain to a prospective player what kind of Magic User the 1.1.1. might be. It is enough of a sketch to give the player ideas for the creation of some initial spells, which is his responsibility (pleasure?), with further higher level spells expected to be inspired by the pressures of the campaign.

As a DM my attitude is that I don't really need to explicitly develop MU classes for my NPCs before I create them because I tend to think like a writer about characters and imagine what they can do without reference to game rules first and in this way let individuals define the class instance by instance. I suppose this is the reverse of the norm but it means I don't waste time being needlessly exhaustive inventing rules without having a concrete character in mind. On the other hand I must be more explicit for the players not just so they can make informed choices but to inspire them to run with classes making them their own.

The notes may appear cryptic (if you can read them at all). For example, Magical 'Inheritance' refers to the notion that the MU must claim body parts in a specific sequence from dead Sorcerers to advance, beginning at first level with the left hand which must be amputated and replaced, the surgery performed by another Sorcerer at first level but personally afterwards. Each surgery requires a system shock to survive. Magical effects will be inherited from the dead Sorcerer, character traits possibly too. The player may devise a plan for the incorporation of other body parts I have not listed. He may also wish to solve the puzzle of inevitably diminishing numbers of Sorcerers over time.

Where it says "Pure Magic Users have more at-will powers" at the top of left hand page I mean by 'pure' 000 or 111 or eee or iii etc., and the sense is that purity encourages fewer but more potent spells and the more disorganized general practitioner, e.0.1 etc., has not just a wider, shallower capability but is more reliant on spell books for magic effects while the more intense pure Magic Users make sacrifices of the body, spirit or mind for more direct innate immediate sensational effect.

The cropped line at the top of the right hand page reads, "Can run at 12" x lvl for lvl number of rounds." The normal pace for an adventurer with his gear is 120yds per minute, 120yds in 40 secs when running, and so for example at 4th level the Sorcerer can sprint carrying his adventuring gear at the pace of an Olympic sprinter and do so for 4 minutes.  Note too that he can collide at the end of his sprint as if he were one of the beasts named.


The mini-campaign Im building towards will see a player party of Magic Users travel inland from Zanzibar to BRAZZTFORQNAS (see Witchland map) which is the site of a moon fallen from the eon cluster.




  1. Fun stuff. I'll be puzzling over your handwriting for a while- there are some interesting snippets here.

    "Each surgery requires a system shock to survive."

    I enjoy this sort of detail both as a player and as a DM, but it seems like it couldn't possibly have a good effect on the campaign if adhered to honestly.

    More thoughts when I've had some time.

  2. I think raw notes suit the blog better though I will make an effort to clarify obscurities of the script.

    "it seems like it couldn't possibly have a good effect on the campaign if adhered to honestly."

    Think though. It is a different way to suggest that Con is an important stat for this kind of MU. There are only four surgeries to 11th level (my limit for players) and a Con of 12 will survive all four surgeries with a 41% chance and a Con 15 survives all four with a 66% chance.

  3. Thanks for sharing this. I have always been very curious as to how your original magic-using classes function mechanically. I am pleased to see something so robust. I had previously believed that the symbols would be interpreted very broadly, but this is a very strict and literal iteration the concepts 1 represents. I could not make out exactly what was going with the "God of First Light, The Source of All Cosmic Power."

    Re: Surgery, yes, Gary was surprisingly liberal with his system shock percentages. It does make it one of the kinder rolls for a DM to give a player facing death.

  4. Thanks for the feedback. I have said before that I can pull game rules out of my head in a game because of the slow pace they are required, however, players appreciate them more when they see there are some "real" notes in front of them, particularly when they are asked to contribute heavily to rules for their own characters.

    The illegible word is 'communion' so communion with the God requires a material sacrifice. Gods are ineffable, something beyond the Beings Ultramontane, and they have neither stats nor 'powers'. In the system I have devised for Magic Users the term Magic User incorporates the term Priest whose duties are distributed among the classes.


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