Wizardry vs Sorcery

Being a pair of dubiously-balanced spellcasting types created with the Axioms rules, and a pair of likewise dubiously-balanced classes using them. Ultimately my aim is to replace both Cleric and Mage.


Really interesting classes, particularly the sorcerer. The patron is like a backwards familiar. I wonder hi it plays long term. If you have players that take it on please tell me how it goes! 

These are absolutely splendid classes. What a delight to read.

I don't think they are unbalanced at all. I'd permit either one in my campaigns.


Welp, doesn’t get much better than that. Thanks Alex!

My one thought is; to differentiate sorcerers a little more, maybe have their patron alter their spell list?

Thought: Pick one spell per level and declare it the patron slot. Sorcerers with no patron get the spell that’s already there. Sorcerers with a patron might get that spell or a different spell, depending on the patron.

(That way patrons can make the spell list different without just using Apostasy and straight adding to it.)

I do think that these are fantastic with or without that change though!

I agree that patrons are an opportunity for really cool things! I'd love to see a write-up of some potential patrons. Or, if the Great Demons take me, I might produce some myself. 

Yeah, I was kind of thinking about something like that yesterday, because eg Fly might not be appropriate for some patrons. I don’t really like leaving an empty patron slot per level, though, because 1) finding an appropriate spell at each level for a given patron might not be viable, and 2) it kind of gives unaligned sorcerers the shaft (I want Patron to be something that PCs have to seriously think about, not something basically-mandatory, and 20% loss in known spells is pretty rough). I think I’m willing to have patrons make slight alterations to the spell list where it makes sense (ie, “upon swearing fealty to the Great Old One, the sorcerer loses Fly and gains Water Breathing, and loses Conjure Elemental but gains Confusion” or suchlike), and then have Apostasy add patron-unique spells, maybe.

I’m planning to spend tonight and tomorrow out in the woods, but I hopefully I’ll get to one on Sunday.

Oh sorry, I wasn’t clear enough!

What I meant was pick a spell at each level, and then that’s the default spell. Sorcerers with no patron get the spell that’s already listed there. Sorcerers with a patron might get that spell or a different spell, depending on their patron.

Same basic deal as what you’re talking about here, just with a unified architecture for it, to make the “UI”, as it were, look better.

I love the Sorcerer! Especially the "Shadowed Soul", i.e. deal with the Devil ability. Also, I do like the rapid advancement in levels; Black Magic should lead to POWER quicker than White Magic.

Also, IIRC there are rules for Corruption in Axioms. Maybe add them for even more special powers and abilities for the Sorcerer? I.e. POWERFUL magics but at a price...

Mm, maybe. I don’t think I’ve ever had a player choose to use potentially-corrupting magic except in WHFRP / Dark Heresy games; I’d be kind of surprised if it ever saw use (and WHFRP/DH’s casting/corruption systems both benefit from the “it won’t happen to me” fallacy, because Perils of the Warp are almost never guaranteed from any particular casting; I forget if the Axioms corruption rules were probabilistic or not). On the other hand, having sorcerous henchmen changes the viability of corruption mechanics, because you can play a non-corrupt PC and have a henchman walk the dark road into degeneracy without “losing all of your progress” when your corrupt sorcerer inevitably becomes unplayable. So, maybe.

Or the inverse, re: henchmen and corrupt sorcerers.There's so much to -do- in ACKS that I'm starting to come around to requiring everybody have multiple main characters, just so it can all be experienced, if one doesn't have a large enough party to cover all the fun.


I think if you've got enough corruptive effects that don't interfere with (or can be overcome via) magical research, a character that's corrupted enough that they shouldn't be seen in daylight (because they'll get the pitchforks/torches treatment and/or because they'll spontaneously combust) is still usable, if only occasionally adventurable.

Magical research and possible domain income is at least some incoming XP, and depending on the state of the sorcerer they may be coaxed out for special occasions. Adventurer, Conqueror, King and/or "brain-in-a-jar that comes out for important stuff because he still maintains his mobile frame".

Something like a Ningauble/Sheelba > Fafhrd/Grey Mouser relationship, even, in a bit of a perversion of "multiple tier play" where the now inhuman sorcerer PCs utilize their still-viable compatriots in schemes versus other sorcerors or worse....hm. A dark mirror of domain play; some sort of parallel plane thing where wizards compete on a more fundamental level for arcane power utilizing the same rules. 

Hm. anyone else ever play Master of Magic? Microprose, late 90s?



There’s so much to -do- in ACKS that I’m starting to come around to requiring everybody have multiple main characters, just so it can all be experienced, if one doesn’t have a large enough party to cover all the fun.

Oh man, my players would riot if I tried that, because more characters means slower advancement. These are the same bastards who killed (not just let die) a henchman in the field to reduce the number of shares for the expedition.

… I should find new players.

Popping back in to say that thanks to these classes I finally came up with a way to do Foundation magic in my setting that I like!

The tricks with prayerful magic and advanced spell progression combined to create a powerful but inflexible class solved one of my problems, and the idea it gave me of hacking the UI to make it look more similar than it actually is solved another problem.

So what I’m saying is, I like your classes and I’m stealing some ideas from you :stuck_out_tongue:

I am glad of it!

The group I game with are creating a custom setting for our next campaign, and we've decided to use Wizardry and Sorcery as our base magic types, so thanks very much for sharing them.

Incidentally, the Rules Cyclopedia contains many interesting high-level spells to fill out the Wizard Level 6 spell list.

Awesome! Let me know how it goes; I’m still a little concerned about the balance. Playtest reports welcome.

Interesting. That is not a volume I have ever perused; may have to look into it.

It's very, very good, and is sometimes considered the best single-volume of D&D. It also includes monsters, mass battles, and a campaign-world outline (the Known World). It does have it's limitations, though. The art is not well-loved, and it is ultimately a compilation of BECMI, with all the failings of that version of the game (e.g., too many levels, poor Thief progression, demihuman weirdness, etc.). Funny enough, a lot of those problems are things that ACKS does way better, as they are problems that were introduced in the transition between B/X and BECMI.

RC is actually my first reference if I can’t find something in an Autarch product. Great for the bookshelf.