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Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture
Sorcery Costs

There was a discussion about Sorcery being inexpensive compared with Dueling Schools. One of the arguments (The main one) is that Sorcery mastery requires spending multiple 2-pt Advantages on Sorcery. I wanted to see how many points it would require to master each Sorcery for comparison:

Hexenwerk (14 points - 7 Advantages)

- Each Advantage gives 1 Major / 2 Minor Unguents (There are 7 Major and 13 Minor)

Dar Matushka (8 Points - 4 Advantages)

- Each Advantage gives 2 Gifts (There are 8 Gifts)

- There is discussion around whether Command / See / Transform require picking 1 animal when taking the Advantage. In this case, it would cost 50 Points - 25 Advantages to gain full mastery of all animals)

Knights of Avalon (10 Points - 5 Advantages) - This gets you 5 Major and 5 Minor (Plus 5 Minor rank advancements)

- Each Advantage gives 1 Major / 2 Minor Glamour (Or increase Rank of 1 Major / 2 Minor)

- To fully max each Glamour at Rank 5 requires a total of 50 Points / 25 Advantages - though that's wasted Minors. Exchanging 2 Minors for a Major would reduce this)

Porte (2 Points - 1 Advantage)

- The first Advantage gives you Mark, Pull, and Walk and maintain 1 Major and 2 Minor marks. That's basically a full sorcerer with other Advantages just letting you mark additional items. 

Sanderis (12 Points - 6 Advantages)

- Each Advantage gives 1 Deal including 2 Minor Favors chosen from any existing Deal

- I'm not sure if you can take an Advantage, gain no further Deals but still get 2 more Minor Favors

Sorte (8 Points -  4 Advantages)

- Each Advantage gives Read + Minor / Major Weaves (Fixed progression)



Overall the Sorceries seem quite varied (From Porte at 6 Points to Avalon at potentially 50 Points). If anyone has any thoughts feel free to add them...


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Mars University
Mars University's picture

Good analysis, just had a couple of points that I wasn't sure on or that might need official clarification:

Dar Matushka

The wording had me assume that each of the animal-based Gifts was tied to a specific Animal Form. As there are other options beyond the brief list the rulebook provides, there theoretically isn't an upper cap to the number of Gifts one could gain. Have we had any official explanations as to how these should work? Sorry if this has already been discussed extensively elsewhere, not trying to hijack the thread, honestly.

If you can take the animal Gifts more than once each, the real limit should be the Restrictions (of which there are 5, so you could only take Sorcery five times for Dar Matushka). Then again, these are described as examples, so you could potentially house rule up some more to keep going with Sorcery progression if you wanted.


Do you have a source on how the Sorcery Advantage works here? From my reading, it looked as though each Sorcery Advantage only gave the sorcier du Porte the ability to maintain one Major and two Minor Marks (in addition to the default "free" Major Mark to any one-step blood relative). The three abilities Mark, Pull, and Walk seemed to just be part of a sorcier's training and skills anyone with the Advantage just had to me. Just want to be sure I'm following this right.


There are actually seven Deals given in the Core book: Darkness, Fire, Cold, Storm, Sea, Knowledge, and Love. Per the "Destroying Your Demon" sidebar on pg. 223, no one in the setting knows what happens if you make that seventh Deal, but the rules appear to allow it, along with any potentially horrific story complications as a result. I'm pretty sure a lot of players playing losejas will be looking to hit that big red danger button in a long-running campaign at some point.


Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

Porte: You're correct. I hadn't even seen that part, so it looks like Porte has no 'upper limit' just how many Marks you want to be able to maintain. So really Porte's expenditure is really 2 points - 1 Advantage to be a full sorcerer. You're just limited on how many you can place. I may houserule it that you get the following:

1st Advantage: Mark ability, 1 Major, 1 Minor

2nd Advantage: Pull ability, 1 Major, 1 Minor

3rd Advantage: Walk ability, 1 Major, 1 Minor

4th+ Advantage 1 Major, 2 Minor


Dar Matushka: If it's 1 Gift = 1 Animal, then it's way too expensive in my mind. If it's 1 Gift = All Animals, that's too cheap. I'll likely houserule something in the middle (Choose 3 Animals each time you pick the Gift)


Mars University
Mars University's picture

That wouldn't be an unreasonable addendum to Porte. I think they wanted to front-load Porte's powers to compensate for the lower versality of it as a Sorcery choice, but the few abilities sorciers do get are basically "entirely override GM plot control in certain situations." I mean, being all but unable to be unarmed or held in captivity or lost/stranded with no way home is pretty powerful, even if they don't get a lot of options.

As it stands, though, a min-maxing player would probably do better taking the Sorcery advantage for Porte once, rather than taking the sorcier background. I think I'd rule that not taking the background for sorcier du Porte would put you on the "black carriage list" as a noble bastard that randomly inherited Porte, and I allocating one Background and two of your starting Advantage points (giving you Sorcery three times) to get all three abilites is pretty fair for what you gain.

Dar Matushka has some of the same balancing concerns for its animal powers that pyeryem had in 1e. Getting access to only a single animal isn't all that great, but getting access to all of them borders on overpowered. Its even more complex that some animals are much more versatile than others. Getting 3 animals with each Gift isn't a bad option. Alternatively, maybe get a single animal the first time you take that Gift, but you get them all if you take the same Gift a second time? I'd have to think on it, and I might even switch how I handle it from character to character. As written, Dar Matushka seems like it needs player-GM cooperation to create a narrative for it to decide what Matushka is teaching you and why the Gifts the Hero gets are relevant.

Harliquinn Whit...
Harliquinn Whiteshadow's picture

I am thinking of categorizing the animals in some way and doing the Choose based upon that. I've added a few also to round out the lists. My two options are:

Option 1: Group by Purpose - With this, I would likely give the Sorcerer a choice of 1 from each list each time the Advantage was taken

Group 1 (Companions): Cat, Fox, Rabbit, Seal, Snake, Turtle

Group 2 (Scouts): Bat, Fish, Mouse, Owl, Raven

Group 3 (Mounts): Antelope, Elk, Goat, Horse, Reindeer

Group 4 (Aggressors): Bear, Boar, Lynx, Tiger, Wolf

Option 2: Group by Terrain (With Overlap) - With this, I would likely give the sorcerer a choice of 1 Terrain each time the Advantage is taken

Group 1 (Shores): Fish, Goat, Seal, Snake, Turtle

Group 2 (Forest/Taiga): Elk, Fox, Lynx, Rabbit, Wolf

Group 3 (Steppe): Antelope, Boar, Horse, Lynx, Mouse

Group 4 (Mountain): Bat, Bear, Elk, Goat, Tiger

Group 5 (Tundra): Bear, Fox, Lynx, Reindeer, Seal

Group 6 (Urban): Boar, Cat, Horse, Mouse, Snake

Any thoughts?

Rossbert's picture

I'd like to add in a bit of the story component of a couple of the sorceries (this is on top of the in-built mechanical retrictions some have).


Porte, Sorte and Sanderis come with heavy social restrictions in the form of the other sorcerers for the first and last and all of Vodacce society for Sorte.  This is less so for Porte sorceries of an established noble line.

Sanderis has the weird position of defaulting to a character goal of getting rid of it.  Since all practitioners are stated to have the purpose of maxing out their abilities and then doing away with the demon that powers them.

Dar Matushka is in my mind, the hardest to justify powering up outside Ussura given the idea of the guardian of Ussura is supposed to show up and hand it out personally.


Now obviously these matter differently to each game, but are worth thinking about.


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