Dead Blue Clown said:
Familiars are mostly dealt with in Cults of Glorantha, as I recall.
And the Lankhmar book has rules for Black Magic in the appendix. But they're certainly not designed for PCs. It's dangerous and nasty stuff.
Ok, it makes sense: familiars and allied spirits treated together I guess.
Lankhmar: OK, it is coherent with the setting. No one wants to degenerate like Hristomilo the Sorcerer! But, I'd expect a little dabbling in minor magics from the PCs, like the Grey Mouser.
Yeah, pretty much.
Actually, a note on this while I still remember. There's minor hedge magic, which is basically prophecy and fortune-telling on Lankhmar's street corners.
Then there's Black Magic (Sorcery) as practised by the evildoers out there who need their heads cracked. Characters can learn a little bit of this and not get too crazy, but it's clearly Very Bad Juju. Even the Mouser only does it once, when he's a kid, basically. Every other time he does stuff like this, it's on loan from Sheelba.
However, there are artefacts like wands and one-use scrolls that can be used without the caster degenerating. They still have to be made by accomplished (and therefore probably evil or at least morally grey) black magicians, but if Sheelba or Ningauble hand out a 'rune' like the spell the Grey Mouser used to zap the Quarmallian magicians, the character can read the spell, do the zapping, and not worry about his knuckles going all gross and his hair falling out. They're mainly limited-use deals, though.
These 'foci' are pretty rare. Short of Sheelba and Ningauble (or similar patrons with occasional generosity) the characters are unlikely to come across them that much, unless it's the business (and therefore bad) end of such artefacts.
Beyond that, you can dabble in Sorcery. But it's bad news. Getting the atmosphere of magic right was one of the parts I paid most attention to, despite the fact it was a much smaller subject and chapter than most of the others.