making a sorceror

demongg

Mongoose
I suck at making and playing scholars and sorcerors.
I've never been good at it - in D&D or any other game...

My question for folks is
WHAT are the big things YOU consider with making a proper Scholar/Sorceror for the Conan RPG??

I'm thinking mostly about stats and numbers. I can come up with motivations just fine. Things like...

- What you need to know to build their spells
- What stats are primary
- How many spell points are needed
- What are some cool tactics
- What are the benefits of each culture's scholars


I've read through the Scrolls of Skelos and such - I still just can't get it...
Help?

thanks
-kev-
 
When the class book on nobles, scholars and soldiers comes out, that should help you out. Each of those topics is described in some detail. Not much help for right now, I know.
 

Turim

Mongoose
I assume you're talking about a PC scholar, and that you don't have the time to wait for Vincent's book. This is a potentially huge discussion though, so I'll only touch on the basics now. I won't cover the strength of the styles/feats/skills in this post.

If you have the time and inclination I strongly recommend planning your sorcerer all the way from level 1-20 before the campaign even starts. The reason for this is that the spell system in Conan is quite intricate. There are many prerequisites in the form of skills/feats/spells. If you don't do this you might box yourself in and be forced to take some terribly weak styles and spells. It's also worth noting that a warrior with some sorcerous abilities might be viable in Conan. If this is of interest, let me know and I'll give you a few tips.

I suggest doing things in this order:
- Roll your stats (unless you use point buy) in front of the DM in good time before you're going to play. This way you'll know what you have to work with.
- Build the spell list you want. Depending on the stats available to you, some styles and spells might be more or less attractive. I suggest being an independant scholar. This will allow you to freely choose your spells. In order to pull this off you need Knowledge (arcana) +10 at level 3. That way you can take 10 and avoid random spells. 6 of these pluses you'll get from ranks in Knowledge (arcana). 2 more as a synergy bonus from Decipher Script. That leaves 2 that you need to get from race/Int. If you're desperate you could use a feat to boost your Knowledge (arcana), but I wouldn't recommend it.
- Assign stats, race, feats, and skills as needed for your spell list, and fill the remaining feat/skill slots with good feats and skills. Choose the race that best fits your selections above. Spawn of Dagoth Hill is a strong choice. Child of Jhebbal Sag is weaker, and Salome may not be available to you. If you plan on later becoming a vampire or mummy you can't be an outsider, and you'll have to choose between Hyborian, Khitan, Pelishtim Shemite, and Stygian. Of these I prefer the Khitan for the bonus feat. If you plan on becoming a Sorcerer of the Scarlet Circle you could even be a Himelian, Hyrkanian, or Vendhyan without losing the feats for favoured class.

As for which stats are primary, it depends. Unless you're making some kind of warrior/sorcerer, I'd dump Str. Dex is useful for many things. Con is good for HPs and Fort saves, but if you have designs on undeath you might want to gamble with a low Con, since it will disappear anyway. Make sure you have a high enough Int to get Knowledge (arcana) +10 at level 3, and the skills you need for your spells. Wis is good for PPs and Will saves. Cha is good for Magic Attack Rolls, but this depends a little on the sorcery styles you choose.

How many spell points you need is very dependant on which spells you have, so this is difficult to estimate for me.

Scholar tactics have been discussed by me and many others several times before in other threads. With a little searching you should be able to uncover some threads about this.
 

Korppis

Mongoose
On your early levels, try to avoid spellcasting styles like Necromancery and Summoning, which have only few spells and most of them have high requirements... In your early levels when you have only 2 or 3 sorcery styles available, you might easily run out of available spells.
 
If you want a look at some of the adaptations I have been making to the Conan sorcery system see 'Raven's Rules for Sorcery 1.1'. I rewrote the vasic system a little and have been posting new spells as I create them for my campaign. See if anything tickles your fancy.

As for the base system as Mongoose publishes it, Nature works well at a low levels- the ability to summon a Medium creature like a Wolf can help add a little firepower at low levels and an Animal Ally is a good help. Basic Predigitation can provide a cantrip in a useful situation like triggering a trap ar a disrance and can amuse a crowd if you ever need to busk for a few coins. The Entrance Basic Spell can immobilize a strong low Will warrior at the cost of only immobilzing the sorcerer- his allies are them free to sttack the now helpless warrior.

Raven
 
In addition to some of the above suggestions, one possible approach would be to start backwards at where you think this sorcerer will be able to be played to. For instance, if your DM plans to cap the game out at level 15, start with level 15 and determine what you would like to be able to do at that level.

For example, in creating a sorcerer for 15th level, I thought, "I would like to be able to rip someone's hear out at that level." The requirements for Draw forth the Heart are MAB +7, Raise Corpse, Agonizing Doom, Conjuring, Death Touch, Telekinesis, Ritual Sacrifice, and Opportunistic Sacrifice (I may have missed a prereq or two).

Work to see what the minimum level is to meet all of those prereqs, and plan to meet them at that point. For example, Death Touch requires a MAB +5. You can’t get that until 10th level, so plan on your 10th level Advanced Spell being Death Touch.

From there you can look back to the next earliest level (before 15) where you have an available spell, style or feat and determine what you would like to do at that level. Work backwards to fill prereqs.

That has worked to create very focused sorcerers, but you need to be careful to not create a worthless sorcerer at early levels.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
There's a lot of good suggestions here. I too recommend working through all character levels, 1- whatever cap (or just 20th level). One thing I'd note though: Turim recommended being an Independent scholar, reason being (I assume) is freedom of choice. But note that (don't have access to the book, am at work now), I think there's a chance to fail to learn a new spell as you level up. If you join a group (e.g., The Black Circle), you're bound to learn what they know/decide to give you, but there's no chance to fail learning the spell, you get it. But your GM gives you the new spell as you go up in level. Another thing about joining a sorcerous society: the sharing/taking of power points. The Rule of the Master means that he may take up to 5 PP from you (like if you tick him off- which is what is happening in my campaign), or conversely he can GIVE you up to 5PP if you're doing what they want done.

Just a note to consider. Because my group's scholar decided to betray his pact, the whole campaign has suddenly shifted, and given me a plehtora of choices I wouldn't have pursued before, so it can work various ways.

Or, you can simply be independent and roll well, and avoid plot complications. :twisted:
 
Turim,

You said that it is possible to take 10 on the knowledge (arcana) roll to determine if you can learn a new spell via the independent background. Normally you can't take 10 on knowledge checks. Is there any reson this check may be different?
 

Turim

Mongoose
Hyborian Apeman: I know I can't take 10 or 20 on a Knowledge Is Power check, but I can't find a rule preventing me from taking 10 outside of combat on a Knowledge skill check. If I overlooked something here a page reference would be greatly appreciated.

Bregales: If I'm right about taking 10 on a Knowledge skill, there is no chance of getting a random spell as long as you have Knowledge (arcana) +10. If Hyborian Apeman is right, the independent scholar needs +19 to avoid random spells. BTW, the scholar in your campaign may be royally screwed. Unless he can work this out with his master, kill him, or steal back the magical link, the master can render him almost powerless. His only respite will be when the master is asleep, if he does sleep :).
 
Turim said:
Hyborian Apeman: I know I can't take 10 or 20 on a Knowledge Is Power check, but I can't find a rule preventing me from taking 10 outside of combat on a Knowledge skill check. If I overlooked something here a page reference would be greatly appreciated.

I am not positive about not being able to take 10 on knowledge checks. I definitely don't recall seeing it in Conan, I was more gleaning my memory of 3.0/3.5 and the SRD.

Taking 10 and 20 generally is allowed when you have a lot of time to do it, and/or you can continue trying until you get it right. If one has enough time, they can try and pick a lock until they succeed (aka take 10 or 20).

Depending on how you interpret the necessity of the requirements of the knowledge (arcana) check, would determine whether or not you could take 10 on it.

I would view it as whether or not the scholar has the knowledge to understand the deep mysteries required to learn the spell (he has it or he doesn't) similar to the knowledge is power check. In which case, the answer is no, he cannot take 10.

If you view it more as studying to garner information to learn the spell, then I would concede that taking 10 makes sense, as he could study until he is blue in the face.

I lean a little more to the former, but that may be a 3.0/3.5 kick back, and not a good representation of what Ian was going for when he wrote the rules.
 

Bregales

Mongoose
I didn't think you could take 10 on a Knowledge skill (of course I'm at work so no reference to books). If you can, then there's absolutely no reason not to take an Independent path aside from roleplaying perspective! That possible miss chance is the balance in the Independent's case, as we've already outlined the pros & cons of other systems like joining a group or making a demonic pact.

As for the sorcerer in my group, yes, he sure is screwed. It'll make for an interesting game. Funny thing, he is usually a very tactical player (aka-he doesn't do foolish things), but for some reason in this game he didn't really try to figure out HOW powerful his master is, and he apparently overooked the Rule of the Master. Not like him, but I guess the temptation of learning quick power overcame his caution.
 
Bregales said:
I didn't think you could take 10 on a Knowledge skill (of course I'm at work so no reference to books). If you can, then there's absolutely no reason not to take an Independent path aside from roleplaying perspective! That possible miss chance is the balance in the Independent's case, as we've already outlined the pros & cons of other systems like joining a group or making a demonic pact.

I agree. The age old question whether someone takes a surer but more restrictive path to knowledge or strikes out on their own with less resources applies here. Independants should be penalized for the lower resources they have access to- make them work for the gift of not having to call anyone 'Lord' or 'Master'.....8)

As for the sorcerer in my group, yes, he sure is screwed. It'll make for an interesting game. Funny thing, he is usually a very tactical player (aka-he doesn't do foolish things), but for some reason in this game he didn't really try to figure out HOW powerful his master is, and he apparently overooked the Rule of the Master. Not like him, but I guess the temptation of learning quick power overcame his caution.

"Ah my young apprentice, I see your thirst for knowledge has overturned the vessel from which it once flowed. Ere you pass beyond the ebon gates to the torments that await you think on this- it is wiser to keep one's bargains and settle for a life less than you desire than to have no life at all."

[Force lightning shots from the tips of the dark cloaked figure. There is screaming and the smell of cooking meat....]

Raven
 
As for low level Scholars I forgot the most essential school of magic- Counterspells. Since enemy sorcerers are almost always higher level, Basic Warding only gives a little more protection, but it is like having two saving throws when the dark robed one tries to pull out a necessary organ from afar.....

Raven, whose heart is stay right where it is, thank you....
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Raven Blackwell said:
"Ah my young apprentice, I see your thirst for knowledge has overturned the vessel from which it once flowed. Ere you pass beyond the ebon gates to the torments that await you think on this- it is wiser to keep one's bargains and settle for a life less than you desire than to have no life at all."

[Force lightning shots from the tips of the dark cloaked figure. There is screaming and the smell of cooking meat....]

Raven
LOL, oh I love it! :twisted:
 

Bregales

Mongoose
Raven Blackwell said:
As for low level Scholars I forgot the most essential school of magic- Counterspells. Since enemy sorcerers are almost always higher level, Basic Warding only gives a little more protection, but it is like having two saving throws when the dark robed one tries to pull out a necessary organ from afar.....

Raven, whose heart is stay right where it is, thank you....
Yep, counterspells are rather essential when you're starting out.
 
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