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Pathfinder RPG: Beyond Bloodlines

Sorcerer's Options: Beyond Bloodlines

Sorcerers, as the Introduction points out, are unique amongst spellcasters because their magic comes from within themselves, an innate power. Not something bestowed by a deity, powered through music, drawn from their surroundings or learned from a book. Yet nearly everything written about them either lumps them in with other arcanists or never gets further than talking about bloodlines. So the purpose of this work is to present some different options for a sorcerer - arcane endowments, sorcerer-specific spells and alternative class powers - so that, whilst important, bloodline is not the only defining feature of your sorcerer.

First up, arcane endowments represent additional powers that a sorcerer may develop as he gains in experience. Mechanically, an endowment can be taken any time a level taken as a sorcerer would allow selection of an additional feat, and it replaces that feat. The options are quite interesting, including the ability to absorb temporarily a spell that is cast at you and being able to cast it yourself... provided you do so before you next prepare your mind for the next day's spells. Or perhaps you'd like the ability to occasionally re-roll a saving throw, cast a spell you'd not normally get the opportunity to learn or use spell energy to heal yourself - there are quite a few options here. Most are quite mechanical, and will need some thought to enable you to describe in character what your powers are and how you use them.

Next, the new spells. Normally, sorcerers use the same spell lists as wizards, even if the way that they prepare and cast them are different. The spells presented here are designed around the game mechanics pertaining to sorcerers, or the underlying rationale for how this class works, and so are not suitable for other casters (however curious they might get over what your sorcerer is getting up to in the corner!). For example, you can curse someone so that whenever a spell or power appropriate to your bloodline is used on them - whether by you or someone else - they suffer penalties to saving throws and armour class as they attempt to defend themselves. Other spells revolve around bloodlines as well, enhancing or replacing abilities, even allowing you to loan them temporarily to another creature.

Finally, alternate class powers are based on the archetype concept, allowing you to put a different spin on your character irrespective of the bloodline that he has. The bedreven has studied the powers and abilities available to sorcerers to such an extent that he gains similar powers, making spells a part of himself and casting them by will alone - mechanically, he uses a spell point system to determine what he can cast and so can be even more flexible in choice of spells provided that he has the points left to cast the chosen spell. A scourge is a sorcerer who has honed the combat elemments of his spellcasting abilities, becoming an embodiment of destructive arcane power. He can protect himself with light armour and a shield without suffering any chance of spell failure, but unlike a magus (who combines actual martial skills with magic use) the scourge's concentration is on his spellcasting alone. Last up is the strega, who combines sorcerous abilities with those of a witch.

This is a refreshingly different look at the sorcerer class, and ought to provide a few ideas for anyone looking to run a sorcerer who is that little bit different.

Return to Sorcerer's Options: Beyond Bloodlines page.

Reviewed: 6 October 2011