log in or register to remove this ad

 

Anyone picked up True Sorcery?


log in or register to remove this ad

JBowtie

First Post
I'm waiting for it to hit RPGNow - hopefully that will be a week or less. I suspect others may be doing the same for their favorite online retailer.
 

Skywalker

Explorer
I note that it is True Sorcery and True 20 Bestiary. True Sorcery is not a strictly True 20 product. It provides an alternate magic system (from Black Company) for use with True 20, Iron Heroes and Thieves World. A lot of people seemed to have it confused despite it lacking the True 20 trade dress and clear synopsis on the website.
 

bento

Explorer
I didn't realize it wasn't a True20 endorsed book until a day or two ago. If you go to the T20 Board, when people have questions or concerns about magic, you hear the common refrain "when True Sorcery comes out that should be fixed." I don't believe any GR personnel made the clarification about the book's intension prior to its release.

I'm a bit disappointed because I was looking for better path definition for the adept - like Blue Rose has in its core rules. The other T20 book that came out last week (that coverts over most of the SRD classes) really flew under the radar, and perhaps it might be a better book (at least from a character-creation stand point). But for those of us who are grappling with how to create a Shugenja or Necromancer as an NPC, we're still sifting through the two different systems.
 

Pramas

Explorer
This is the info we released about the book months ago and it's pretty clear about what the book is. If people didn't choose to read it, there's not much we can do about that.

True Sorcery
A Magic Sourcebook for OGL Gaming
Author: Robert J. Schwalb
Cover Artist: Matt Cavotta
Format: 128 pages, softback
MSRP: Print $23.95, PDF $12.00
Product Code: GRR1707
ISBN: 1-932442-71-5

True Sorcery introduces a flexible, dynamic, and innovative magic system that puts eldritch mastery into your hands. Forget slots and spells per day; True Sorcery gives you the power to build spells of your own design, letting you decide how fast, how far, and how potent your spells will be. With these rules, you become the true master of magic. Revised and expanded from the ENnie Award-winning The Black Company Campaign Setting, this system provides new spells, a slew of sample spell effects, feats, and an all-new magic item creation system. The book also includes conversion guides so you can use True Sorcery with Malhavoc Press’s Iron Heroes, d20 Modern, Thieves’ World, and the hit True20 Adventure Roleplaying game. No matter what OGL game you favor, True Sorcery opens the door to a new world of magical possibilities.
 

bento

Explorer
Chris,

Thanks for your reply. While I can't deny that you didn't put the information out there, I have two problems.

1) Posters all over the True20 Boards were wet with anticipation on how this book would impact their True 20 game. I didn't see either you or anyone else trying to quell their comments on the board by saying that this book was really for D20 rules and would not be the definitive T20 magical guide.

2) The book's title "True Sorcery" added to everyone's confusion. Why not name it something else? So far everything for the True20 series had "True" in the title. Tagging non-T20 specific books with the "True" moniker confuses your customer base and potentially make them feel like they've been misled.

So far I've picked up several books from your company in the past couple of months and have been very satisfied. I know I'm going to be buying more as I convert my homebrew OA campaing from D&D3.5 to T20. Anything I have to support this - like the other two T20 books that came out this past week, will keep me a happy customer.

I look forward to more great books from Green Ronin and other publishers supporting T20.
 

JohnSnow

Adventurer
I have it. Bought it to use in my Iron Heroes games, since I didn't like the default Arcanist at all.

My first impression was "WOW! It's perfect!" On further reading, I'm a bit...confused.

The default magic system is basically the same as it was in the Black Company Campaign Setting, with new powers and some other things designed specifically to make it more D&D-ish. The default system is...comprehensible, if not totally comprehensive. There's a new advanced class called the "Spellcaster" and a Spellcaster advanced class for use with d20 Modern. The powers are great...although there's still a few missing.

The editing is spotty. I've noticed more than a few instances of missing words, missing phrases, bad punctuation, poor math (NOT good when they're giving an example), and incomplete explanations of mechanics.

Just a few examples...

The Iron Heroes-specific section is an appendix. It's 5 pages and contains a new class. That new class uses a totally different method of magic balance. It's unclear how its mechanics interact with the default mechanics from the basic system. For instance, it introduces a "Fifth Magnitude" with no explanation of how it works except for one table. It says the Arcanist counts as a Dabbler, but from the tables, it seems that the Arcanist is only considered a "Dabbler" for purposes of Talent access. Mathematically speaking, the bonuses are the "Student of Wizardry" ones.

Also, as I read it, the True Sorcery Arcanist gets "Mana Tokens" which work "sort of, but not exactly like" spell energy in the default system. They provide the same DR against Drain, which makes sense but can also be used to boost his spellcraft check. These tokens grant a casting bonus from +2 at Dabbler and doubling every magnitude to +64 (per token!) at 5th Magnitude. You can use 1 token +1/magnitude you have per spell!

Now while at low levels, these things are more valuable as DR against drain (as the sidebar says), by mid-level, I'd be more than happy to take extra nonlethal damage in exchange for a +48 to my casting checks! However, I can't tell whether the Spellcraft bonuses from Token use count as "Spellcraft bonus" for the purpose of determining how long a spell takes to cast. Or is the casting time done away with? The system is unclear.

I have to ask...did anybody playtest the Iron Heroes Arcanist in some adventures? The default system was fine. Why mess with the token thing? How was it intended to work? How did it work?

But all that is Iron Heroes specific.

There's muddy math all over. For example, the sample spell under flight doesn't add in the +30 to DC needed (according to the spell description) to actually switch from levitation to "Flight." So the Spellcraft DC is reported at 44, instead of 74. (ouch!) Also, the sample on how to add up DCs to determine DC is...umm...wrong. The table was cut and pasted from Black Company but the rest...I dunno where it comes from...

Secondly, the rules inexplicably reintroduce D&D components which weren't used in the BCCS rules. Which just makes me wonder why, for the love of god, WHY??

Some of the DC adjustments were changed from the BCCS. In most cases, they were done to make spellcasting easier (which makes sense), but there's a few where the DC was RAISED compared to the BCCS (adding damage dice and increasing burst radius come to mind).

And then there's THIS quote...

You can apply the following augmentations to Figment: Area/Target, Components, Duration, Range.

For an illusion including audible, olfactory, tactile, taste, and/or thermal aspects, increase the Spellcraft DC by +5 per extra aspect. Even realistic tactile and thermal illusions cannot deal damage, however.

For each additional image created, increase the Spellcraft DC by +2.

You can use Figment to create duplicates of yourself that

For an illusion following a script you determine, increase the Spellcraft DC by +18. The figment follows the script without you having to concentrate on it. The illusion can include
intelligible speech if desired.

For an illusion that makes any area appear to be something other than it is, increase the Spellcraft DC by +24. Additional components, such as sounds, can be added as noted above.

There's more...but you'll notice that there's an incomplete phrase...

Umm...Chris...anyone? Duplicates that WHAT?

Finally...would it have been so difficult to throw something into Shapeshift to allow for baleful transforms...the archetypal "witch turning someone into a toad?"

So, call me happy...but bemused. Obviously, this system needs some work before I can use it in my games. I expected it would take some...but this...

Sorry for ranting...but I was real happy until I started reading more closely.
 
Last edited:

jaerdaph

#BlackLivesMatter
bento said:
2) The book's title "True Sorcery" added to everyone's confusion. Why not name it something else? So far everything for the True20 series had "True" in the title. Tagging non-T20 specific books with the "True" moniker confuses your customer base and potentially make them feel like they've been misled.

Calling True20 T20 confuses the hell out of Traveller fans too I would imagine...

:D
 

bento

Explorer
I don't expect too many Traveller players to be trolling this board for posts about True 20 to be confused by me calling it T20.

Just to be perfectly clear, the next time I refer to True20, I'll call it GURPS, ok? ;)
 

Nebulous

Legend
JohnSnow said:
So, call me happy...but bemused. Obviously, this system needs some work before I can use it in my games. I expected it would take some...but this...

Sorry for ranting...but I was real happy until I started reading more closely.

i'm in the midst of reading it now. I...like it...conceptually anyway, but there is some confusing stuff. One issue in particular i've come across so far:

For example, Stacee plays Fetch, a Second Magnitude spellcaster
with a Concentration +18 and Spellcraft +28. She begins casting
a powerful Create Fire effect with a Spellcraft DC of 56 (she’ll
be spending some spell energy to make this happen). Looking
at Table 2–3: Casting Times, she sees it’ll take 6 standard
actions to cast the spell effect (56 – 28 = 28 which requires 6
actions). As she’s Second Magnitude, she can skip a total of 2
actions during the casting of the effect. She spends all of round 1
casting as a full-round action leaving 4 actions to go. The guards
spill into the room, so she moves (1 action), and resumes casting
(leaving 3 to go). A guard charges her, swings and misses. Fetch
lashes out with her kukri and hits, but can’t spend the round
casting, so she opts to take a 5-foot step instead and has now
skipped a total of 3 actions casting. To keep casting the spell
effect, Stacee needs to succeed on a DC 15 Concentration check;
with Concentration +18 she can’t fail this first check, but if she
skips more actions this will start to get tricky.

Table 2–3: Casting Times
Spellcraft DC minus
Spellcraft modifier Casting Time
0 or less 1 swift action*
1–5 1 standard action
6–10 2 standard actions
11–15 3 standard actions
16–20 5 standard actions
21–30 10 standard actions

31–40 1 minute

41–50 2 minutes
51–60 3 minutes
61–70 5 minutes
71–80 10 minutes
81–90 20 minutes
91–100 1 hour
+10 +1 hour

Not only is this example somewhat confusing, it doesn't mesh with what is listed in Table 2-3. The numbers seem totally skewed. It doesn't help when trying to decipher completely new game mechanics.

I think the system will ultimately be workable, but an errated, updated .pdf would be useful at some point. I will say this, even if the rules were IMPECCABLE and flawless, this is a system for people who really want different magic, not newcomers to D&D. If you like the fire and forget, leave this alone. If you liked Ars Magica or Elements of Magic (or Black Company) then you would enjoy tinkering with this.
 
Last edited:

Garnfellow

First Post
JohnSnow said:
I have it. Bought it to use in my Iron Heroes games, since I didn't like the default Arcanist at all.

My first impression was "WOW! It's perfect!" On further reading, I'm a bit...confused.

Wow. That sounds extremely disappointing. I had planned on buying this PDF tonight, but now I'll hold off a bit.

One of my biggest beefs with Iron Heroes is the half-baked nature of the final product . . . lots and lots of great and promising ideas, but with seriously spotty implementation. This first report on True Sorcery sounds all too familiar.

Perhaps there is some epic level curse on the whole arcanist class?
 


JohnSnow

Adventurer
Wow. That sounds extremely disappointing. I had planned on buying this PDF tonight, but now I'll hold off a bit.

One of my biggest beefs with Iron Heroes is the half-baked nature of the final product . . . lots and lots of great and promising ideas, but with seriously spotty implementation. This first report on True Sorcery sounds all too familiar.

Perhaps there is some epic level curse on the whole arcanist class?

:lol:

Now that WOULD explain a few things...

I should caveat with a couple statements. Fire-and-Forget Vancian magic is the elephant in the living room in my enjoyment of D&D. I've NEVER liked it. Yes, it's a sacred cow...but I've said before, D&D magic lets you play one type of fantasy well - D&D fantasy. Since I got into D&D to do Sword & Sorcery, High Fantasy, etc., that's never sat well with me. Secondly, the 3e reliance on magic items to achieve game balance...well...I hated it. The problem is that I always thought the fighter types were the cool ones in the fantasy stories. Almost EVERY D&D game designer (from Gygax to Cook) is not shy that the "best" character to play is the wizard (or if you must, the Cleric - a Wizard with armor). If you don't want to play a primary spellcaster, they're not designing the game for you.

With Iron Heroes, Mike Mearls actually TRIED to design a game to let non-spellcasters have the fun. And, for the most part, he succeeded. IH works great. Tokens work great. But the system doesn't work with D&D magic. It NEEDS a magic system, because it's fantasy, but it needs a magic system that supplements the combat/skill classes, rather than overshadowing them. That's a TALL order. One that needs a designer with the skill to make the powerful wizard types...and the desire to restrain themselves so that the class doesn't overwhelm it's neighbors.

Not counting the magic system, I think Iron Heores is VERY well done. Not everyone's cup of tea...but VERY well done. Magic should just have been removed from the final product and done RIGHT. I mean...I suppose NO magic system is another Elephant in the Living Room for a "fantasy" roleplaying game...but considering what Mearls goals were, he nailed 90% of them.

Just my opinion. But as far as magic goes, I agree. This is another system that's Iron Heroes-compatible, and yet still flawed. I dunno. Maybe what we want just can't be done. Our group efforts on the IH boards haven't produced a good, properly balanced system EITHER.

The BCCS system is SO close. So was Elements of Magic - Mythic Earth. So is True Sorcery. They're spitting around the perfect magic system for Iron Heroes. But they still haven't hit it.
 

rjs

First Post
Curses!

Well, we've caught the big errors now, and we should have a revised PDF posted soon. I apologize for the fumbles.

Iron Heroes fans, I've also addressed the issue about Mana Tokens, which will be reflected in the updated PDF. The Spellcraft bonus granted by Magnitude is fixed and applies to all Spellcraft rolls and figures into casting time. Mana tokens grant a fixed +10 per token spent.

Thanks for the keen eyes!
 

JohnSnow

Adventurer
Nebulous said:
Not only is this example somewhat confusing, it doesn't mesh with what is listed in Table 2-3. The numbers seem totally skewed. It doesn't help when trying to decipher completely new game mechanics.

This actually was the math error I was referring to. Conceptually, I understand what they're saying. Let me reprint the quote, with my comments where the errors crop up:

For example, Stacee plays Fetch, a Second Magnitude spellcaster with a Concentration +18 and Spellcraft +28. She begins casting a powerful Create Fire effect with a Spellcraft DC of 56 (she’ll be spending some spell energy to make this happen). Looking at Table 2–3: Casting Times, she sees it’ll take 6 standard actions to cast the spell effect (56 – 28 = 28 which requires 6 actions).

Actually, no. In the BCCS, this took 6 actions. True Sorcery changed the table so that rather than reading like this:

Table 2–3: Casting Times
Spellcraft DC minus
Spellcraft modifier Casting Time
0 or less 1 swift action*
1–5 1 standard action
6–10 2 standard actions
11–15 3 standard actions
16–20 4 standard actions
21–30 6 standard actions
31–40 8 actions
41–50 1 minute
51–60 2 minutes
61–70 3 minutes
71–80 5 minutes
81–90 10 minutes
91–100 1 hour
+10 +1 hour

it instead reads like the one you printed. So, using the Table 2-3 as printed, that should be a 10 action spell, not a 6 action one. Probably, the errata should be to just go back to the BCCS table. Moving on...

As she’s Second Magnitude, she can skip a total of 2 actions during the casting of the effect. She spends all of round 1 casting as a full-round action leaving 4 actions to go. The guards spill into the room, so she moves (1 action), and resumes casting (leaving 3 to go). A guard charges her, swings and misses. Fetch lashes out with her kukri and hits, but can’t spend the round casting, so she opts to take a 5-foot step instead and has now skipped a total of 3 actions casting.

You can't attack and cast in the same round, since casting is a standard action. You can't spend JUST a move action casting, so you have to skip 2 actions, rather than just one. 1 action in the previous round, +2 here = 3 actions skipped. Which is one more than a 2nd-Magnitude caster is "allowed" to skip without making a check.

To keep casting the spell effect, Stacee needs to succeed on a DC 15 Concentration check; with Concentration +18 she can’t fail this first check, but if she skips more actions this will start to get tricky.

And if she's got to get to 10 actions rather than 6, it gets trickier still.
 

JohnSnow

Adventurer
Hey Rob...want a list? I've got all the ones noted that I saw...

Happy to help if you're working to make a better product.

Thanks!
 

rjs

First Post
Exactly so. If you take a standard action in a round, you can only take a move action, and therefore, Stacee (my lovely wife) can't cast this round.

Essentially, if you take 1 full-round action spent casting counts as two standard actions.
You could spend one standard action and move.
Or you could do something else (as standard action), but not cast.
 

Garnfellow

First Post
rjs said:
Curses!

Well, we've caught the big errors now, and we should have a revised PDF posted soon. I apologize for the fumbles.

Iron Heroes fans, I've also addressed the issue about Mana Tokens, which will be reflected in the updated PDF. The Spellcraft bonus granted by Magnitude is fixed and applies to all Spellcraft rolls and figures into casting time. Mana tokens grant a fixed +10 per token spent.

Thanks for the keen eyes!

This is why Green Ronin is one of my favorite game companies. I feel bad to have doubted ye.
 

rjs

First Post
JohnSnow said:
Hey Rob...want a list? I've got all the ones noted that I saw...

Happy to help if you're working to make a better product.

Thanks!

Sure!

Email me at evilronin "at" greenronin "dot" com
 

rjs

First Post
Garnfellow said:
This is why Green Ronin is one of my favorite game companies. I feel bad to have doubted ye.

Aw shucks...

Now I feel bad about burning myself with a cigarette as punishment (Kidding of course, it was a cigar :))
 

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top