Astounding Tales: The Sorcerer Class
The Sorcerer is one of the two classes in Astounding Tales of Swords and Sorcery (the other is the Fighter). The Sorcerer class is intended to represent both pure magic-users/priests and mental/scholarly professions that just might know a few spells. All Sorcerers have a background, a general area of expertise representing their pre-adventuring background or training. Some examples would be enchanter, hedge wizard, necromancer, priest, sage, healer, scribe, and exorcist. The enchanter, hedge wizard, necromancer, and priest backgrounds are pure sorcerer backgrounds. The others are examples of mental profession backgrounds. The player and GM need to agree on the basics of what expertise the selected background provides. The GM will take this expertise into account when the character does things within that expertise.
All sorcerers have 6 hit dice. Those with a pure sorcerer background roll D6s. Those with a mental profession background roll D8s. As will be explained when I cover hit dice, hit dice are rolled every day when the character awakens from sleep. Assuming a sorcerer gets a full night’s sleep and hasn’t taken any Long Term Damage Points, he will roll either 2d6+24 or 2d8+32 to determine his hit point total for the day. Some days you wake up with more energy than others. If the character had to stand watch for one-third of the night and had no Long Term Damage Points, he would roll either 3d6+18 or 3d8+24. More details on how hit dice are rolled in a future post.
Pure sorcerers have a base armor class of 9. Those with a mental profession have a base armor class of 8. They can wear any armor, but some physical profession abilities may be less effective in some types of armor (e.g. it is hard to move silently in metal armor). Casting spells is hard in armor and subtracts from the spell success roll.
Sorcerers can use any weapon and but aren’t trained in the most effective way to use weapons to do the most damage so they are much less effective with weapons than a fighter. In a sorcerer’s hands weapons do the following damage:
1d8–Two handed weapons
Casting spells requires both hands to be free, although holding a wand, a staff, or special magical implement does not count.
Sorcerers have good saving throws against magic and fair saving throws against physical things. Sorcerers have a fair chance to hit, a THAC0 of 11. Sorcerers can cast spells and use many magic items.
Pure Sorcerers start knowing minor magic, arcane blast, and six spells (of any level) of their choice. Mental professions start knowing three spells (of any level) of their choice. Priests may get other special abilities instead of minor magic and arcane blast depending on the deity they follow. Initial spell choices may be limited by the GM. Additional spells may be discovered as treasure during the game.
Spells cost energy in the form of hit points to cast, 1 HP per level of the spell if the spell is considered white or gray magic. 2 HP per level if the spell is considered black magic. Black magic can either be any spell used to harm/control others without just cause or it can be a specific list of spells, GM choice. Spells only cost energy id they are successfully cast. Unsuccessful attempts do not cost any energy.
To successfully cast a spell, you have to roll the spell’s level or higher on 1d6. Spending extra time, extra resources and the like add bonuses to this roll. Wearing armor and other disadvantages subtract from the roll. This means spells of 7th level of higher cannot be cast without taking special effort to provide bonuses.