Monday, March 17, 2014

The Sorcerer (An ACKS Class), second draft

ETA March 22: This is not up to my balance standards. I advise not using this version. I'll get a better one made eventually, I'm sure.

After thinking about it today I decided I wanted to try again and see if I couldn't get my Sorcerer to be a little more... street-legal. To that end I'm gonna give staggered custom powers that should put it in under four build points, as Tavis and Alex intended. Sadly, this means Sensing Power had to go back on the proficiency list... for now. This time around I (mostly) borrowed level titles from the excellent Blood and Treasure (Plus one sneaky Acquisitions, Inc. reference), but I still have no intention of employing them myself.

SORCERER
Prime Requisite: CHA
Requirements: None
Hit Dice: 1d4
Maximum Level: 14

Sorcerers are humans born with an instinctive grasp of magic. Many claim descent from wizards, or even from dragons that assumed human form. For a sorcerer, magic is not a skill that must be studied and refined like a mage does, but an instinctive ability as natural and intuitive as breathing. Some societies are fearful of sorcerers, but others hold them in special reverence. Some suggest that the name "sorcerer" was originally applied as a pun, for they are a natural source of magic.

Sorcerers seldom train in the arts of warfare, preferring instead to rely upon their innate gifts to see them through danger. At first level, sorcerers hit an unarmored foe (AC 0) with an attack throw of 10+. They advance in attack throws and saving throws only two points every six levels of experience (i.e., half as fast as fighters). They may only fight with quarterstaffs, clubs, daggers, and darts. They are unable to use shields, fight with two weapons, or wear any kind of armor.

Sorcerers learn and cast arcane spells as mages of two-thirds their class level. The number and levels of spells the sorcerer can use in a single day is summarized on the Sorcerer Spell Progression table. Like a mage, the Sorcerer’s spell selection is limited to the spells in their repertoire. A sorcerer’s repertoire can include a number of spells up to the number and level of spells listed for their level, increased by their Charisma bonus. Unlike other arcane spellcasters, many sorcerers do without a physical spellbook, although changing their repertoire or learning a new spell still incurs similar costs for research and training. A sorcerer can use any magic items usable by mages.

Each sorcerer also has a unique combination of spell-like abilities, chosen (or randomly determined) as they are attained on the Sorcerer Level Progression Table. A first-level sorcerer may use one first-level spell once per hour. At second level, the sorcerer gains a second first-level spell usable once per hour. At fourth level, the sorcerer gains one second-level spell, usable once every 8 hours. At tenth level, the sorcerer gains one third-level spell, usable once per day. At twelfth level, the sorcerer gains one fourth-level spell, usable once per week. Each of these spells takes one round to cast, and otherwise functions like a normal spell cast by a mage of their class level.

At 7th level, the sorcerer may begin to research spells, scribe magical scrolls, and brew potions, as if they were a mage of 5th level. Upon reaching 13th level, the sorcerer gains the ability to create magic items such as weapons, rings, and staffs as a mage of 9th level. They may also cast ritual spells and conduct other magical research as a mage of 11th level.

A sorcerer may also build a sanctum, often a great tower, when he reaches 9th level. They will then attract 1d6 apprentices of 1st-3rd level plus 2d6 normal men seeking to become mages or with the potential to become sorcerers. Their intelligence or charisma scores will be above average, but many will become discouraged from the rigorous mental training and quit after 1d6 months. While in the sorcerer’s service, apprentices must be provided food and lodging, but need not be paid wages. If the sorcerer builds a dungeon beneath or near their tower, monsters will start to arrive to dwell within, followed shortly by adventurers seeking to fight them.

Sorcerer Proficiency List: Alchemy, Battle Magic, Beast Friendship, Black Lore of Zahar, Collegiate Wizardry, Contemplation, Craft, Diplomacy, Elementalism, Elven Bloodline, Engineering, Familiar, Healing, Illusion Resistance, Knowledge, Language, Magical Engineering, Mapping, Mystic Aura, Naturalism, Quiet Magic, Performance, Prestidigitation, Profession, Sensing Power, Transmogrification, Soothsaying, Unflappable Casting


Sorcerer level progression
Sorcerer Spell progression
Experience
Level
Hit Dice
Level Title
Special Abilities
1
2
3
4
5
0
1
1d4
Prodigy
1st level spell 1/hour
1
-
-
-
-
2075
2
2d4
Curiosity
1st level spell 1/hour
1
-
-
-
-
4150
3
3d4
Freak
-
2
-
-
-
-
8300
4
4d4
Spectacle
2nd level spell 1/8 hours
2
1
-
-
-
16,600
5
5d4
Whiz
-
2
1
-
-
-
33,200
6
6d4
Wonder
-
2
2
-
-
-
65,000
7
7d4
Phenomenon
-
2
2
1
-
-
130,000
8
8d4
Witchalok
-
2
2
1
-
-
280,000
9
9d4
Sorcerer
-
2
2
2
-
-
430,000
10
9d4+1
Sorcerer
3rd level spell 1/day
3
2
2
1
-
580,000
11
9d4+2
Sorcerer
-
3
2
2
1
-
730,000
12
9d4+3
Sorcerer
4th level spell 1/week
3
3
2
2
-
880,000
13
9d4+4
Sorcerer
-
3
3
3
2
1
1,030,000
14
9d4+5
Sorcerer
-
3
3
3
2
1

5 comments:

Fred Liner said...

Looks pretty solid, Rachel. I think the intent of the spell-like powers is for the Sorceror to have access to one specific spell for each power. Is that right?

I don't have my books with me but it looks pretty street legal using 3 Arcane and 1 Thievery to swap for powers.

Nice job.

Robert Dunham said...

I've also thought about doing a similar class, as a pyromancer, with only fire-based spell-like abilities.

Rachel Ghoul said...

Fred: That's correct. I could probably clarify that in the next draft (which I'll probably make as a PDF).

RiotInferno said...

Is there a functional difference between 1/8 hours and 1/day?

Rachel Ghoul said...

Riot: In principle, 1/8 hours is 3/day. ACKS's custom class rules suggest that a 2nd level spell once per hours is an acceptable custom class ability.

All the same, I think this may need more working on, it's very strong at low levels and kind of middling at high ones.