Wednesday, March 24, 2021

GLOG: Sorcery

This doesn't have triangles. It's also flawed. 


Wizards study magic from dusty old tomes and rune-carved stones. Witches learn their craft from covens and crones. Priests channel miracles from their g_ds. All have to find magic, to practice and train and learn.

Not sorcerers. Not you. Your heart pumps magic like blood, your lungs breathe magic like oxygen, and your nerves crackle with magic like so much electricity. It's a part of you.



You get spells in the same way standard GLOG wizards do: a couple of spells at level 1, +1 for a few levels, and then a legendary around level 4. 

As a sorcerer, you have a brink. This is your physical limits, your ability to control your own magic. Reach your threshold, and you might lose control.

By default, your brink is 6.

If your brink reaches 0, something terrible and wondrous happens to you: your soul detonates in an etheric inferno, or you morph into gibbering star-spawn, or your neurons fray and you lose all sense of self, or maybe you ascend into a crackling g_d of madness. Who knows? Whatever it is, you're gone.

Sorcerers have 1 MD. You don't get more when you level up.

When you cast a spell, you must spend all of available MD:
  • If the results are less than your brink, your dice return to your pool of MD. 
  • If the results are equal to or greater than your brink, your dice are spent.
Pretty familiar so far, yeah? Basically just higher-powered, more reliable wizards. 

Here's where things get fun:

At any time, you can add +1 MD to your pool; when you do so, decrease your brink by 1.

Spent MD (meaning they rolled equal to or higher than your brink) count as doubles for calculating mishaps and dooms.

Each of the following raises your brink by 1, back to a max of 6:
  • You go a week without using any magic, sleeping through the night all seven days.
  • You level up.
  • You get a powerful dose of magical healing (like a remove curse or regenerate or something, not just a basic healing).
  • You eat the heart of something of roughly human intelligence and magic (or something very intelligent and not very magical, or something very magical and not very intelligent).
  • You mutate (roll on your favorite scary mutation table that has a chance of killing you).
  • You carve, brand, or tattoo a magical rune onto your skin, at least a few inches large. This can and will hurt you in the process.
  • You decide to release your juices: the GM rolls 1d20 secretly; that many hours from now, you will detonate in a fiery blast, burning off all of your clothes and dealing [6 - brink]d6 damage to everything but you inside 1d20 × 10 ft. (use the same d20 roll for time—the longer you go without release, the bigger the blast).
There might be other ways to back off the brink. Awakening inanimate objects, maybe, or consuming sickening amounts of food and drink, or rapidly aging living things until they turn to dust. Something spooky and costly and strange.

Use mishaps and dooms as per your standard wizard class. If you get a quadruple, something nasty happens that isn't a doom: you explode into a million pieces and have to reform painfully over a week, you're transformed into a goat, diamonds or insects come tumbling out of your mouth, something bad. 

This sort of enables a "shooting the moon" scenario where it's better to get a quad than a trip, but I think that's okay. Dooms should be reversible anyways.



You can and should change all of these to better fit whichever wizard class you pick. This is loosely based around the orthodox or "standard" wizard.

Starting skills:
  1. Military experiment escapee
  2. Faerie Queens' favorite
  3. Djinni's wish recipient
  4. One who reached enlightenment
  5. the Devil's own investiture
  6. Seventh child of a seventh child

Signs of your approach:
  1. Scents of sulfur & brimstone hang in the air
  2. Grass withers beneath your feet, and does not regrow again
  3. The wind tugs at your hair and clothes, always
  4. Animals and insects follow you around in neat, peaceful lines
  5. Gold you touch turns to lead, but lead turns to gold
  6. The sun shines its rays to alight your path

Physical manifestations:
  1. Your voice reverberates and wavers, as if more than one voice were speaking
  2. Your eyes are heterochromatic, almost iridescently so
  3. You have six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot
  4. Your hair grows an inch every day
  5. You have a swishing, animalistic tail
  6. The lines on your palms form pentacles



It's a gambling class, basically. You can tap into an almost-limitless number of MD, if you need them, but you risk more and more as you burn through more and more MD. 

Critically, you're always the one to control when your brink goes up and down, but you don't decide when your MD will get permanently spent. It means you might suddenly run out of power unexpectedly, but you won't ever be in a situation where you're going to blow up with no way out (or, well, you might, but you'll be the one to get yourself).

This draws a lot of inspiration from Cthulhu Dark's Insight die, which does a similar thing as you investigate and your mind opens to the true horror of reality. This just has magic dice stapled on.

Also, this isn't a complete class. You still need a wizard to go with it. In my head, you play "a Necromantic Sorcerer" or a "Sorcerous Illusionist" or whatever, not just a plain ol' "Sorcerer." I dunno. Maybe that's weird? Maybe "Sorcerer" should be it's own thing? But to me, sorcery is less about literally doing different magic, and more about being a different kind of magician.


  1. As always, this is pretty much entirely unplaytested. Let me know if you get a chance to try it out.

  2. so is increasing brink the only way to get dice back?

    and is it "if a particular dice rolls over brink, its spent" or "if [sum] is higher than brink, its spent"? I think the former, but I'm unsure.

    1. It's by each individual die, not by sum. Just like ordinary dice rolling a 4+.

  3. I think this works perfectly as an alternate chassis compared to the traditional wizard, and a very good way to do it as well. There are so many wizard schools out there in the world, this makes use of them in a very neat fashion.

    Can the 1 MD the sorcerer starts with be lost to rolling over brink? Can I burn all the way down to 1 brink, gaining 6 MD, then heal all the way back up to 6 brink, and then do it again? Might be more of a downtime method, but it would explain all the weird sacrifices and rituals villains are often performing - they are just charging up 20 MD for a lorge spell!

    1. That's the thinking, yeah—provided you have a boatload of ritual stuff available, you can theoretically get an absolute mountain of MD.

      That said, in my head, doubles and triples and quads still count as normal, like a regular wizard, so it's not entirely free of risk.