Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Burdens of Sorcery

Yes, I ought to be commenting on Part II of James' rules, but I'm not there yet.  No rush either, since he is also pretty distracted these days. Instead, a quick update on a problem I expressed in an earlier post, namely that having non-sorcerers who also possess sorcery might make the sorcerer a bit redundant.  I mentioned some possible draw-backs to Slayers and Scavengers with sorcery as a potential balance.

Well, as you mythical but well-informed readers readers no doubt already remembered, Eldritch Wizardry actually has a balance mechanism in place.  Unfortunately I don't like it.  The EW system has it that Fighting-Men with psionics lose 1 of their followers for each psionic power.  I presume that this refers to the high-level followers he gets and not the maximum number of henchmen, although the text is typically obscure on that.  In addition, he loses 1 point from Strength for every 4 psionic abilities.  Thieves suffer the same penalty and also 1 point of Dexterity for every four abilities .  Which seems a bit harsh on the sneaky buggers and I wonder if that wasn't supposed to be Dexterity instead of Strength.  The penalties for Magic-Users and Clerics are not relevant for Hypernotus.

Assuming that I understand the followers-bit correctly, I do not much care for this.  It means that the Fighting-Man and Thief can stomp all over the MU role for 9 levels or so and then lose some followers.  That doesn't cut it.  The attribute loss, however, is something I can work with. Now James may well address this when he does Part III of the rules, so I'm holding off of any real decisions until then.  But my inchoate thought at this point is that Slayers will suffer a penalty to attacks and Scavengers will suffer a penalty to their sneaking, hiding, etc.  That is, the more they act like sorcerers, the less they can act as killers and thieves.

I like the idea, anyway.


  1. I overcame the psionics issues about 30 years ago. I decided not to use them.

    There was such a low chance to be psionic anyway, and it just seemed another way to unbalance the game (and I had my own ways to do that). Or maybe I was just too dim as a kid to figure it out.

  2. I played with Psionics in 1st ed for awhile as a "cool toy". I quickly discarded them. I'd never use them in a straight-fantasy game with magic. But i do think it's a neat idea as a replacement magic.

    Of course, it looks like James' has gotten a bit distracted, as have I.