Sorcerers are the first non-core focused archetype we're going to look at. They are students of the arcane, learning their art through teachers, tomes, and experimentation. Sorcerers all study one common skill: Science. WHAT?! Yeah. The Mysticism skill was one of those things I had included because I'd been programed to think I needed it by other games, but upon re-examination, it didn't make any sense as a skill, especially with how sorcery is described.
In Krendel, magical energy abounds, and sorcery is the methodical study of that energy in all its flavors. Those flavors, called elements, map out the various paths of exploration. A sorcerer who studies air magic may have the same skills as one who studies shadow magic, but they will have very different power sets.
Today we're going to look at a void sorcerer. Void is the element of sorcery that the character focuses on. It’s about controlling gravity, telekinesis, connections, and the like. If you want to study void magic, you are likely pledged to House Derthin, House Jungar, or House Vassa, all of which are in Ravishan. This sorcerer is designed primarily as a "battlemage", but her skill set isn't wholly limited to kicking ass.
Elective Traits: schooling (house academy), willful (disciplined)
Skills: Academics (Tactics) 2, Acrobatics (Tumbling) 1, Athletics (Endurance) 2, Intuition (Urban) 2, Projectile (Thrown) 1, Reflection (Centering, Meditation) 2, Science (Sorcery) 2
Powers: determined, dimensional spear, dimensional veil, implacable pressure, literacy (Respian), phantom limb, void charm
Equipment: Wand, Lots of Throwing Knives
The first trait is schooling. You may have noticed that this archetype has more skills and powers than others. That’s because of this trait, which gives you 5xp split among those. Since sorcerers are so reliant on their powers and so focused on only one skill & expertise, this is a highly favorable trait for her.
Willful gives an additional Reflection expertise as well as an extra power pool to help fuel all that sorcerous nonsense. The mechanically, the Intelligent trait is more attractive to a sorcerer who is looking to study other types of Science (blood sorcerers especially) or multiple fields of Academics (especially if looking to blend Faith). Similarly, Charismatic would be attractive for a sorcerer looking to take on a leadership role.
Most of the skills we've already looked at in other archetypes, so we’ll only look at a couple.
Academics sets the character up to learn several core powers revolving around tactics. We’ll talk about them later.
Athletics is physical resistance. Sorcerers aren't necessarily weaklings. They have just as much base Health as anyone else, and a focus on Endurance not only sets you up for more but also gives the potential for enhancing armor. Armor’s a questionable endeavor though as armor penalizes all non-core actions as well as all fine motor actions.
Reflection is mental resistance and will eventually help you more efficiently convert your power well (used for sorcerous rituals and recharges after a long rest) into power well (used to fuel sorcerous spells and recharges after a short rest). Anyone can convert power well to power pool, but a Reflection power makes the conversion more efficient. Most of you combat powers will be spells, so having an efficient conversion ratio gives you greater reserves for hanging in the fight.
Science (Sorcery) is what all your sorcery powers run off of and where you will always be throwing XP.
Powers I’ll address a little out of alphabetical order, instead using order of study. I’ll also skip Determined, since it’s been covered before.
Literacy. Unlike core powers, sorcery powers can’t be learned just by practicing something similar. You need to have someone teach you them (teachers cost money or favors), you have to innovate them (a long process of experimentation), or you have to memorize them as you study a grimoire (insert read a book song). This makes literacy almost a must have. Respian happens to be the main language in Ravishan, and that’s where all the houses that teach void magic are from. So that’s what you can read.
Void Charm. The study of every element of sorcery begins with its charm; it’s a requirement to learn any other powers of that element. This is a spell that can produce a lot of different, but very minor effects. It’s kind of a Leatherman of spells. To give an idea, it’s probably easiest to just paste some text here.
“These effects range from the utilitarian, such as flicking an item from one hand to the other, slapping someone, or pushing objects, including all manner of dirt and dust to clean a target or to gather small objects of like type, to frivolous uses such as causing ghostly taps, tweaks, and pinches. You could even expand or shrink the dimensions of an inanimate target enough to make a drawer or stuck (requiring a simple feat of strength action to open) or unstuck or locate one of your keepsakes.”
Implacable Pressure attempts to crush your target. It staggers your foe, but if he is already staggered (say a warrior hit him with jarring blow), then you begin crushing them instead, which causes continual damage. Multiple instances of crushing stack. Implacable Pressure is one of three powers that you can learn after you've mastered Void Charm, and it leads to all your other powers.
Dimensional Spear lets you hurl something nearby at your foe at high speeds, inheriting all their item properties. It has to be a hand held item, like a rock, stool, or sword, so there are limits. This is the void “zap” spell, thus your basic damage dealer. It’s featured in the artwork at the top when boosted with Expansion, a greater void power, albeit somewhat exagerated.
Dimensional Veil gives you or someone else a force field. Attacks, force, and restraint attempts from outside the field are reduced, but if someone does grapple you, then they aren’t penalized. It can also get overloaded and flicker out for a round, leaving you vulnerable. It’s also featured in the artwork at the top.
Phantom Limb is basic telekinesis and may or may not be named after a Venture Brothers villain.
So… that’s really combat oriented. Playing this character is straight forward. Keep your Dimensional Veil up and hurl things at bad guys with Dimensional Spear. If you’re in a party with others, combo with your warriors, letting them deliver a jarring blow to stagger a foe while you follow it up with Implacable Pressure. The conditions you inflict will be physical in nature, which makes them easier for anyone with Athletics to throw off. Phantom Limb gives you some utility as you can use it to shove people around and off cliffs or just to grab your keys off the table on the other side of the room.
Where do you go from there? This simply answer is more void powers. Funny thing, you already have most of the void combat stuff, so learning more powers introduces diversity, making you less of a one trick pony. Here’s a brief rundown of most of them: Drifting Feather (slow falls and increase jumps), Extension (boost the range of any sorcery power), Fettered Token (make a tracer you can plant on someone), Reaching Resonance (extend a sense to some place within line of sight), and Tether (connect two targets with a nearly invisible cord). At the greater tier you can unlock Delving (locate substances like the one you are holding), Expansion (increase area of effect), Folded Journey (overland travel becomes faster), Hollow Pulse (teleport small items), Infinitesimal Curtain (acceleration field over a wall or cage template), Scry (look at far off people or places), and Tangled Journey (help someone get lost).
In addition to void magic, you should also invest in weave, this is a universal element that ties all of them together. It’s the only element without a charm, instead requiring you learn charms from other elements first. The powers most of interest to a void sorcerer there are Empower (boost the effectiveness of spells & rituals), Imbue Item (temporarily enchant an item), Second Nature Charms (could probable use a new name, but hey. This makes all your charms easier and better), Signature Spell (permanently augments one spell of your choice), and eventually Shape Weave (give a volume template to a power so it affects an area, not just one target, great when combined with Expansion).
Where you are set up to learn additional elements of sorcery, what you can learn depends on what’s available. Most houses in Ravishan know two or three elements well. There’s also a limit: You can only learn a number of charms up to your Science (Sorcery) level. More importantly, there are core powers to be had!
Academics let’s you learn Basic Tactics (initiative bonus) and Squad Tactics (attack past someone with your Dimensional Spear without endangering them) right off the bat. Your Athletics opens the door for Armor Training (reduce damage from armor) and Armor Focus (enhance armor effectiveness), if you want to go that route, as well as Fortitude (more Health). Intuition is great for Alertness (extra counter). Reflection mainly gets you Mental Power Font (more Power Well) and Pour Water from the Well (increased Power Well to Power Pool conversion ratio), but there’s also Abiding Soul (more Essence), Sieve the Soul (use Reflection to remove any short term condition on you), and Awaken Steel (trigger item qualities easier, which could be useful with Dimensional Spear). Yup, most of those are based around making you more combat effective. I did warn you this was a battlemage, right?
Despite being a combat oriented sorcerer, you may notice that there isn't a Dimensional Spear II or other “does the same thing as a previous power only better” power. This is by design. All of the powers (there’s literally hundreds of them) are designed to introduce new options and abilities, not to supersede what has come before, so you should always have a reason to use lower level stuff. When effects are similar, such as Dimensional Veil and Infinitesimal Screen, they are still made distinct enough so there are reasons to use one over the other. That’s not to say the a spell will always be the same. That’s where Signature Spell and boosts like Empower, Extension, and Expansion come into play.