Anyway, more of that at a later date. For now, back to Tim:
5 – Sorcery
Sorcery is a dangerous business. Some notable features:
• Every time a sorcerer casts a spell, he or she must reduce an attribute or quality by one point, permanently. Spell-casting is not done on a whim or for trivial matters.
• Sorcerers will tend to have accumulated a combination of arcane objects and magical servants, and it is with the aid of these that most sorcerers wield magical power.
• Sorcerers can acquire magical servants or items by casting a spell to summon and bind a demon or spirit. (The process is very similar both for magical items and for personal servants.) Success binds the spirit, which can then be compelled to expend its own attributes or qualities to cast spells.
• The risks of summoning are very high. In addition to the sacrifice mentioned above, sorcerers risk having part of their own spirit being captured and bound by the demon if they lose. Perhaps worse yet is the possibility that the demon will be able to prolong the contest into an unholy stalemate.
Finding a spirit
If a suitable spirit is not readily to hand, then one must be located. This is a quick contest of Sensitivity vs. the spirit’s Trickery. If the sorcerer fails, he must wait one minute for each point by which he lost the contest before he may try to find another spirit.
Location is important here. Certain spirits will have certain aptitudes. For example, it will be easier to find an sturdy devil to bind into armour near a great mountain, and a spirit with the gift of illusion magic will best be sought at the end of a rainbow. The referee should assign bonuses accordingly.
Binding a spirit
The rules for binding a spirit are closely analogous to the combat rules. Pride replaces Attack; Pride or Faith replaces Defence. Instead of Toughness, use Sensitivity. (Toughness and Sensitivity may seem to be opposites; but in spiritual combat the sensitive are far more subtle and resilient. The spiritually clumsy will quickly be subdued.)
How long does spiritual combat take?
Spiritual combat moves to a different rhythm than physical combat. In physical combat, each round represented about six seconds. In spiritual combat, the first round lasts six seconds, but each subsequent round lasts twice as long as the previous one. Pure spiritual combat can last for days or even years. It can only be carried out in parallel with physical combat if the contest is extremely uneven. Sorcerers would be ill advised to pick close fights, for the victor of such a combat may emerge, ancient and white-bearded, to find the world has moved on…
What if the sorcerer loses?
Sounds like curtains. The sorcerer becomes a servant, bound into the item in question.
Once a spirit is bound
A spirit will be bound into an item, it can then be compelled to cast all manner of spells.
- Specialised Bindings: to produce magic weapons, etc, and wands.
- Generalised Bindings: to bind a servant into an item so that it can be summoned, genie-like, for general purposes.
Duels of WizardryA wizard can also try the same trick on a human being (perhaps even another wizard, if he is particularly brave or foolish). Again, that human can be enslaved or bound into a weapon, and if the human in question has spell-casting ability it can be commandeered.
We’re playing with different ideas here…
One idea is that every spell cast costs the sorcerer one attribute or skill point permanently: this makes spell-casting a serious business indeed! But most spells are long-lasting (a year and a day), or permanent (enchanting wands, rings and books, or summoning familiars and faltyns), or very powerful. Since Faith and Pride are close substitutes in many instances, there is the nice side-effect that many sorcerers will choose to burn Faith first, and become truly Godless.
Really hard sorcerers can get instant special effects without burning attributes – these will be special abilities (perks of their Myth level), not spells.
We should also consider making sorcerous combat analogous to physical combat, using Pride in place of Attack, and Pride or Faith in place of Defence.
Rules for spell casting:
- Keep track of “Pride Points” / “Faith Points”
- Fight vs the opponent
o May be a person
o May be a spirit (bound into an item)
o May be a faltyn (sandestin)
Bonuses / penalties depending on the effect (and whether it tampers with God’s law).
Different spirits have different powers (depending on the effect that you want to create; an item, how long, etc.)