griping about magic

How many of y'all utilize 'house rules' in regards sorcery?

  • yes, all the time, power to the lonely scholar!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • no, never, I think its great as is!

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • considered it, but had not implemented it

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters


Ok so I am reading through the magic section and read about the rule of success for effectively cutting the cost of future magic spells and I see the table where it says that if you kill 1000+ people in the prior ound you get a morale/ magic bonus of +10, or something like that.

How and where and when could you kill athousand people in a round with the current magic system's spells.

Does it count if your fire elemental you summoned kills 20 people in a pictish longhouse?

Don't get me wrong, I love the concept, but I have great difficulty, since I'm not too creative, to figure out the best appplication of this rule.

Besides Raven Blackwell's excellent contributions to Sorcery, would anyof y'all care to elaborate on your system of house rules.
For example I allow my Hypnotist characters are not required to buy ' Ranged Hypnotic Suggestion or Mass Hypnotic Suggestion' if they already have the base spell Hypnotic suggestion. I just require them to meet the pre-reqs and spell points to cast it. Likewise, with Ill Fortune, Warding, and Greater Telekinesis.
You could probably kill 1000+ people with necromancy, I think the name of the spell is Black plague. I think the deaths caused by summoned creatures will count for the rule of success, as they are sort of your weapon.
I second that, the scholar in my game kills stuff with summoned animals all the time and I give him power points and the morale bonus to attacks for it. You're also right about the Black Plague and Greater Black Plague spells, they can very well wipe out entire cities.
But a THOUSAND people in one round? Even with a Black Plague spell? I guess if you have a large enough city you kill some great amount of people.
Padre said:
Nothing wrong with magic in Conan. No need to fix what ain't broken.

EXACTLY! The main problem that some people have, I think, is that they see the Scholar as the Conan version of the Wizard or Sorcerer class, which it is definately NOT.

Scholars suck in combat, yes, their spells are hard to cast and usually require lots of forethought, yes, but they are the ONLY ones who can use magic, which in itself is very powerful in Conan.

My group has a scholar along with a barbarian, and 3 soldiers, one of which has a few levels of thief. For the majority of an adventure, the warriors wade into melee while the scholar hangs back, occasionally Coupe de Grace'in the fallen foes who aren't quite dead yet and sacrificing them to his demonic patron, or to use as power points. Then when they reach the big bad evil sorcerer at the end of the adventure, he whips out two Kothic Demon Fires using Greater Telekinesis and you've got a fried sorcerer stunned for 2 rounds. The group loves him for this kinda thing, but it is a very different role than a wizard or sorcerer would play.

Oh yeah, and he's the king of deciphering runes and symbols when exploring strange ruins.
In fact, I think Conan magic is very similar to Call of Cthulhu's, especially with magic points and Sanity cost.
As in Cthulhu, I think Conan spells are good for PC's if they can use them with great care and to solve specific problems which the DM should include (e.g.: a banishing spell to defeat a demon, or a spell to close a dimensional gate or to protect a location, ...)
jadrax said:
Where is the sorcerers need down-powering option?

One of the biggest gripes people have had with the magic system in Conan RPG is the whole "Defensive Blast" issue (I might regret this post; not again !!!). DF can really be cheesy because as written in the rules, it is open to various interpretations and can be exploited by munchkins.

Vincent had the best solution for DF: it is only to be used for defensive purposes and the GM can ban its use by a player if need be.
urdinaran said:
Vincent had the worst solution for DF: it is only to be used for defensive purposes and the GM can ban its use by a player if need be.
Fixed that for ya 8)

I mean really, there are much better fixes than making the use of a class feature dependent on GM whim. I'd sooner remove the ability from the game altogether than put the player in the position of having to ask "mother may I?" all the time.

Personally, I really don't think that defensive blast is such an issue. Sure, munchkins can exploit it, but people will always find such things.

Last Saturday, in my game, the PC:s were up against a corrupt sorcerer (his wife hired them to protect her against him) and even though he was of high level compared to them (level 10), he didn't stand a chance against the group's Stygian dilettante and the scout from the Border Kingdom. Why? The players were smart enough to use their bows to their advantage. Scholars generally don't walk around with armor, so a couple of good hits from the bows took the Zamoran sorceror out before he had the chance of doing anything. The only thing he managed to do was to take out the Scout for a while by using Torment.

And if NPC sorcerers can be neutralized with clever tactics, nothing stops NPC:s from neutralizing DB:ing PC scholars with clever tactics of their own.
A good example of why sorcerers should work from behind the scenes until the time is just right.

Sorcerers (at least the NPC types) should have several hirelings around to engage the PCs and keep them busy until the sorcerer can strike from cover. At least this is how I play my NPC scholars. :twisted:

PC scholars could also benefit from having a couple of hirelings as well. If they can afford them. :roll:
I think my answer on this subject is already obvious. 8) My changes to the magic system have more or less be designed to make the system easier to comprehend and utilize. Howard had no intention of making a coherent 'magic system' for his world andmade no effort to balance it in any way. Thus as Mongoose's system is devoted to replicating Howard verbatim, the base Sorcery system is unbalanced between cantrip and World Threatening Spells (tm). My efforts are more to make the roleplaying experience better, not to be slavish to Howard's script...

Speaking of which v 1.2 is coming along nicely. I posted a small preview in the "Raven's Rules for Sorcery v 1.1" topic below.... 8)
Well, I've not had much experience with running the game yet, nor have I read all the potential solutions people have devised for the "problems" with Defensive Blast.

IMO (which may or may not be similar to others), the ability is an interesting one and one I would allow in my games. however, given the nature of the ability and what it is suppose to represent, I would just add that by no means can more PP be gained through the killing of opponents by this method.

Especially since it's suppose to represent a last ditch, power-draining attack.
all i changed about sorcery in my game is that defensive blast does subdual damage instead of fire, treating it more of as a bio emp instead of a fire nova. stops sorcerors from being potential walking fire bombs while still giving them a decent defensive option.
Yeah, even that can knock folks down for the count.

I decided to treat it as a Bull Rush, STR equal to the damage rolled, STR bonus figured accordingly. This can do a lot of damage, but also push foes back. Subdual also precludes damage to constructs, and I didnt' want to do that. It's potentially lethal, just not flames.

I was visualizing the wrenching invisible blasts that the evil sorcerer guy unleashed in Fire and Ice.
For v 1.2 I'm just taking it and my Final Strike special ability out. Less headache. I've created enough new ways to hurt people via magic to make up for it's loss though. ;>
My apologies, this was not supposed to turn into another gripefest regarding defensive blasst. I was moroncerned with the issues of spells, # of known spells, power points, and the rules of Sorcery like Success, obsession, master, etc.