I find it intertesting that people are reporting that Sorcery, one of the least understoond and least liked parts of RQ3, has made it into MQ mostly intact.

These are early reports, so you have to take them with a grain of salt. While I was hoping for a essentially a new Sorcery system, it's possible that the RQ3 system could be salvaged.

I was re-reading Tales of the Reaching Moon 13* last night I came across a short artcle titled "Fourth Edition RuneQuest Sorcery" (RQ4 was developed but never published).

It starts off with the example of the all-powerful sorceror with extended spells taking out an entire warband as an example of how the RQ3 sorcery rules break down.

It follows with what the authors consider to be 5 major problems of RQ3 Sorcery:
- FreeINT
- Extreme Range (allowing attacks from miles away)
- Limited role of skill
- Blandness of sorcerors (they all wind up with identical abilities)
- Too complex

To this, RQ4 makes the following changes:
- No more FreeINT
- Skill om Sorcery and Manipulations(skill/10) limit how far spells can be manipulated
- problematic spells fixed
- new spells
- basic range and duration are linear
- limit on how much total Intesity can be Maintained

The article also mentions that great magics can still be worked, but it requires the sacrifice of permanent POW.

Anyone know how this compares to MQ Socery?

*This issue focuses on the West, and has lots of good information to help set the background for even a Second Age campaign.
V. quick overview, as I was relieved at the changes to sorcery from RQ3...

-- Range is limited - at 200% the range is POW * 20
-- Maximum targets are 20/20M radius (overall Manipulation(x) is linear bar Pi, etc)
-- Maximum spells known are = INT
-- Various Manipulation() skills controls spells, each additional Manipulation() adding 1 MP (with no MP to cast a basic spell).

I think it's been simplified and toned down, and the whole 20-year issue has been pushed into Enchantments, which need permanent POW. I can still see sorcerers with every kind of MP storing device going, but I'm not sure they are one man world-destroyers any more. They may still be tough at high skill levels, but I'm not sure how it will go.
I remember a very comprehensive revision of Sorcery by Sandy Peterson (Western Sorcery) a few years ago which fixed stuff (Ah - now I remember how I know Philip Hibbs - he did the Eastern Sorcery modifications to it!) Has it been used as the basis for the revision, or is it something completely unrelated?
They're still up:
Sorcery, one of the least understoond and least liked parts of RQ3

Well, sort of. Most of what I've ever heard about RQIII sorcery was that while there was an extremely cool magic system there, it was just buried under so much poor implementation as to make it nigh unusable without serious reworking.

If MRQ managed to correct those implementation problems and leave the core intact (as opposed to gutting and rewriting it completely as a new system), they might have something there.
After ignoring RQ3 sorcery fro a while, my play groups at the time eventualy started experimentign with it and came up with some very cool, but definitely weird characters.

Back then Ducks could be very small, as low as SIZ 2 or 3 even I think. My brother had a Duck sorcerer with agoraphobia that lived in his backpack. He was carried around by his Familiar, which was a Dolphin shapechanged into human form so the Familiar was the one most people interacted with.

Another one was a Morocanth sorcerer with a Herd Man familiar. Sorcerers could be interesting, but also sometimes frustrating to play because they became so heavily specialised, much more so than most other heavy-magic characters in RQ.

Simon Hibbs