HD&D: Spell Components

Part of me really likes spell components. I like the flavour. I like the image of the wizard grubbing around in his belt pouch, swallowing a spider and then scurrying up a shear rock-face. It’s evocative and it adds to the story: “Well, I would cast acid arrow at the troll, but I seem to have run out of powdered rhubarb.”

Unfortunately, spell components are also a pain in the backside. If you’re a wizard, they are a nightmare to keep track of. Unless you’re unnaturally excited by penny-pinching exactitude the chances are that you’re not going to want to make a note of the 8 cp you’ve paid for an adder’s stomach. In terms of story, spell components are to be encouraged. In terms of mechanics, they’ve always been discreetly overlooked.

As I come to write up the HD&D spell list, I have realised that they cannot be overlooked anymore. I need a satisfactory way of dealing with components right now. It would be too much work to retrospectively apply a system of component management later on. So what do we do?

Fourth edition uses components as a means to limit the casting of powerful spells (or rituals as they insist on calling them). All rituals have a gold piece value to cast, and you simply spend a like amount of gold’s worth of components in the casting. It is simple, but drains absolutely any flavour from the system. I want to do the complete opposite: I don’t want components to add any mechanical complexity to spellcasting at all. I just want them to be there to make the spellcasters look cool.

So how do we go about it? Here’s some thoughts:

Materials and Foci

Third edition made a distinction between material components and foci. Materials are the components that are consumed in the casting of a spell. Foci are usually slightly more expensive components that can be used again and again. A cleric’s holy symbol is a divine focus. Normally, that’s all he ever needs to cast a spell.

I’m going to introduce two new descriptors into the game: Foci and Materials. Those keywords will appear in the description of every spell, and quickly tell you whether such components are required.

I like the distinction between materials and foci. Once a spellcaster has amassed the requisite foci that he needs for his spell selection he never needs to worry about managing the foci again. Selecting foci is therefore no more hassle than buying equipment. It only needs to be done once, when a wizard or other spellcaster gets hold of a spell. It’s the ephemeral components, the Materials, that are more of a worry.

It’s not just a question of expending resources (gold) to buy Materials. It’s also a matter of keeping track of them when you use spells. If a caster has ten adder’s stomachs then he can cast Melf’s Acid Arrow ten times before he needs more components. That strikes me as a little too complicated. We need to find a way to manage Materials better.

Now, if we were using the proposed Wealth System then this would be less of a problem. Most Materials would be so cheap that they would fall beneath a wizard’s credit rating. So buying them wouldn’t be an issue. However, the consensus was in favour of a Mercantile system of asset management, so we’re going to have to try and make Materials work in those terms. Here are my ideas on the subject:

Buying Materials

All materials used to cast spells can be divivded into Common, Uncommon and Rare categories. Common components have no monetary value. A wizard can pick them up with very little hassle. Arcane outfitters may sell common components for convenience sake, but they’ll be so cheap that we can effectively ignore their cost.

Uncommon components are a little trickier to come by. They have a monetary cost, but it is usually quite small. For simplicity sake the cost of uncommon components is standardised at 1 gp per casting. A successful DC 15 Streetwise or Survival check is enough to mooch up these materials without having to fork out any money at all. One successful check will get you ten castings of spells with Uncommon components.

Rare components have a significant cost. That 500 gp of powdered diamond dust you need to sprinkle on the ground to curl your enemie’s toe nails? That’s a rare component. You buy Rare components in the same way that you buy foci. If you want multiple castings of the spell, you must buy multiple doses of the components. 5000 gp worth of diamond dust for ten castings of the toe-curling spell.

Now don’t fret too much about this. Spells with rare components are few and far between, and they are almost certainly high level spells. I will deliberately excise the sillier monetary costs from the system. You won’t need powdered diamond to cast stoneskin, for example.

Tracking Components

The descriptions of all spells with Materials or Foci will tell you specifically what the components are. That’s far more evocative than simply referring to generic “arcane components” as 4e does. The material component for the Tongues  spell is a small clay ziggurat. The player or the GM can describe the casting of the tongues spell using that component as colour if they want to. Everyone’s happy. However, when it comes to managing how many components you have left the rules become a little more abstract.

All spellcasters are assumed to carry their spell components in a pouch or a belt. Should they ever lose that pouch or belt they can’t cast any spells at all (unless the spells require no components at all, of course). This is important, because it means that it is still possible to neuter a wizard by stealing his spell components. That should be a viable tactic to use against spellcasters in HD&D.

As long as the wizard has his pouch or belt, then he always has enough components to cast Common spells. He simply never runs out. Or more accurately, he does run out but he can easily replenish the components off camera. No worries. No book keeping. Lovely.

The use of Uncommon materials does need to be recorded. However, this will happen in the same manner as managing rituals in 4e. The wizard buys or scavenges a certain gold-piece value worth of Uncommon components. We know that each Uncommon component costs 1 gp, so the recording the casting of such spells becomes easier.

For example, Skachec the Wizard (there’s a name from the past) goes into a magical boutique and buys 200 gp worth of uncommon spell components. They are a mixture of all manner of weird things – as noted in the spell descriptions – but from the point of view of the rules, it’s just a bunch of stuff that costs 200 gp. That 200 gp of uncommon components lets Skachec cast spells 200 spells that use uncommon components before he needs to replenish his resources.

Whenever Skachec casts a spell with Uncommon components he can just make a note of it with simple five-bar gates on his character sheet. When he’s running low, he just goes and buys some more. Or scrounges some more. There’s no more book-keeping involved than a ranger keeping track of his arrows.

Foci and Rare materials need to be noted as separate named items on the wizard’s character sheet. If the spell need a ruby the size of a man’s fist, then the wizard needs to note that he has three such rubies on his character sheet. The casting of spells that require Rare components will be unusual and game-shaking, that the act of deleting the material consumed from your character sheet shouldn’t be too onorous.


Introduced in 4e, residuum is the wildcard spell component that can be used in place of any material component in the game. It can’t be used instead of a focus. Like uncommon components, residuum has a gold piece value. So you can use 1 gp worth of residuum instead of an uncommon material. All rare components also have gold piece values, and you can use a like amount of residuum instead of the named material.

As long as the wizard has some residuum on his person, then he can continue casting spells with common materials indefinitely. Should he lose the residuum, or consume it in the casting of other spells, then the wizard can’t cast common spells either.

Instinctive Casters

For the most part, the use of spell components is only something that casters of acquired magic need to worry about. A sorcerer wouldn’t need that clay ziggurat to cast tongues. A wizard would. However, some of the spells cast by instinctive casters may still require important foci, or rare components. If this is the case, then it will be mentioned in the spell description.


Any thoughts on this? I know that some of you hate spell components with a passion. I want to keep them in the game, but I don’t want to use them as a stick to beat characters with. I think that these rules are a reasonable compromise, and will work in play with a minimum of fuss. Anyone agree with me?


HD&D: Spell Classificiations

As my work on HD&D continues apace, I am now turning my attention to spells and spell descriptions. I have collated the spell descriptions from the 3.5 edition SRD into a single Word document and I’m going through spell-by-spell converting them into HD&D. I’m not entirely sure how many spells there are, but the document is 121 pages long and weighs in at about 108,000 words.

Fortunately, I’m only looking at spells of levels zero, one and two in this pass through the list. Although that’s still more than a hundred of the little bleeders, if I make sure to do a handful every day I should be able to work my way through and still have time to finish playing Mass Effect.

One of the things that has occurred to me as I work through the list, is that the spells have to be classified correctly. Third and fourth edition have an unending  litany of schools, subschools, classes, descriptors, domains and the like that they use to classifiy spells with. I’ve touched on this issue before on the blog, but I’ve changed my mind on a few things and I just wanted to make sure that everyone was aware of my plans for spells.

Tradition and Character Class

The easiest way to categorise spells is by character class. These are Wizard Spells. These are Bard Spells. These are Cleric Spells – and so on, and so forth. Back in first edition AD&D spells were categorised by class, this was simplified in second edition with just two lists: Wizard and Priest. Third edition went nuts on this sort of categorisation, with a single spell appearing on multiple class lists – often as a different level spell. Fourth edition took this a step further, but 4e powers don’t compare very well with spell system in HD&D, so we’ll put that to one side for the moment.

In drawing up the spell list, I have begun to wonder whether we actually need to identify which class can cast which spells. Do we need to know that Detect Magic is a “Bard 0, Cleric 0, Druid 0, Paladin 1, Ranger 1, Sorcerer 0, Wizard 0” as third edition states. Is all we really need to know which magical tradition it’s from?

In HD&D there are five main magical traditions: Arcane (wizards and sorcerers), Primal (druids and rangers), Divine (clerics and paladins), Psionic (psions and wilders) and Sonorant (bards). Is it not simply enough to label a spell by its tradition, then all classes that use that tradition cast the spell at the same level?

For example, rather than calling Stoneskin a “Cleric 6, Druid 5, Sorcerer 4, Wizard 4” spell isn’t it better to label it “Arcane 4, Divine 6, Primal 5”.  It may not seem like much of a difference at this stage, but as HD&D grows and more obscure classes are thrown into the mix then this approach will greatly simplify things.

My thoughts stem from the question: why does a ranger need his own spell list? why doesn’t he just share the Primal spell list with the druid? The ranger would still only be able to cast spells of levels 0 to 4, and he’d get access to those spells later in his career than the druid, and the HD&D rules for spell acquisition mean that he wouldn’t have a heap more spells than he has under third edition. It would just make things easier, don’t you think?

The same rules would apply to paladins. Why have a paladin spell list? Why not get him to share the cleric spell list? Some of you may baulk at the seeming lack of diversity between clerics and paladins, but remember that in HD&D there is no single Cleric spell list as there was in third edition. All the spells are divivded between 47 different Spheres of influence (as in second edition). Each cleric picks a handful of spheres to draw spells from depending on the portfolio of his god. Paladins would do the same. “I’m a paladin, so I have access to the Protection, Healing, Order, War and Strength spheres”, for example.

Within each tradition a spell would have the same level. So if Acid Fog is a seventh level spell for a cleric with access to the Elemental Water sphere, it is also a seventh level spell for a cleric with access to the Weather sphere. It need not be a seventh level spell for Arcane, Psionic, Sonorant or Primal casters (if they can cast it at all).

I think something has to be done to simplify the relationship between class, spell and spell level in HD&D. Third edition got a little bit too complicated for my liking. Classifying spells by tradition instead of character class seems like a good idea to me. Does it seem like a good idea to you?

Schools of Magic

The eight schools of magic still exist in HD&D. All spells are therefore classified as either Abjuration, Conjuration, Divination, Enchantment, Evocation, Illusion, Necromancy and Transmutation. And yes, Wizards will still be able to specialise in these areas.

However, I am excising the subschools as I think they add an unnecessary layer of complication. They also come into play extremely infrequently. The third edition subschools printed in the PHB were Calling, Creation, Healing, Summoning, Scrying, Charm, Compulsion, Figment, Glamour, Phantasm, Shadow.

Also there is no longer a “Universal” school of magic. All spells belong to one (and only one) school of magic. I think the Universal school was only introduced to allow specialist wizards to access fundamental spells like detect magic and read magic. Well, that’s not an issue in HD&D as the rules for specialists will be completely different.

Divine Spheres

As I mentioned above. There is no single cleric list of spells. Instead there are 47 different Spheres, that players use as building blocks to create their own spell list. This will work better than the unique spell lists I tried to come up with in third edition, which were fine in principle but too much hassle to put together in practice. This time there is a Sphere called “All” which mops up fundamental spells that all clerics should have access to. The full list of spheres is as follows:

All, Animal, Celerity, Change, Charm, Community, Creation, Destruction, Elemental Air, Elemental Death, Elemental Earth, Elemental Fire, Elemental Life, Elemental Water, Entropy, Freedom, Frigidity, Healing, Hope, Journeys, Justice, Knowledge, Light, Love, Luck, Madness, Magic, Moon, Oracle, Order, Pestilence, Plant, Protection, Rebirth, Shadow, Strength, Strife, Summoning, Sun, Torment, Trickery, Tyranny, Undeath, Vengeance, War, Weather and Wisdom.

The list is derrived from the many Spheres in the second edition game, and the Domains of third edition. Obviously, it is closely based upon the needs of the Iourn setting. The six “Elemental” spheres marry up with the six Moon Gods. Because there are no alignment rules in HD&D I have done away with Good, Evil, Law and Chaos as specific spheres of deific influence. Although, you will notice others that can be thematically applied to various deities.

I have also gone out of my way to rename any spheres that had the same name as spell Descriptors (which I’m getting to next). That’s why the Spheres are called “Elemental Fire” and “Frigidity”, and not “Fire” and “Cold” respectively.

Just for old-school D&D players, clerics will have Major or Minor access to each sphere. Major access lets them cast spells of any level. Minor access only lets them cast spells of Levels 0 to 4. That will allow us a little more diversity when drawing up spell lists for individual faiths. For example, we can make healing magic more widely available, without handing out resurrection spells.


Descriptors are keywords that unite disparate spells that have similar effects. These are the same keywords that I apply to talents and feats, so if there is a rule that says a Monster is immune to effects of ‘Descriptor X’ then the immunity applies equally to all of a character’s abilities.

Descriptors were introduced in third edition and carried over into 4e. They’re a darn good idea. Although it was sometimes confusing in third edition when a Domain and a Descriptor had the same name. As stated above, this is no longer the case. This is the list of descriptors that I’m starting with:

Acid, Air, Cold, Darkness, Death, Earth, Fear, Fire, Force, Language-Dependent, Light, Lightning, Mind-Affecting, Necrotic, Polymorph, Radiant, Teleportation, Thunder, Water

If there is a mechanical case for their inclusion, I may reinstate Good, Evil, Chaos and Law as descriptors. Evil on Iourn will be handled with a variant of the Taint rules presented in books like Heroes of Horror. Creatures of Aduro (the Light) will be infused with the stuff of tangible ‘goodness’ for want of a better word. While the presence of Taint will be detectable to certain spells, I’m not sure if we need to balance the equation by having Good, Law and Chaos equally detectable. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

Depending on how the work on Psionics goes, I might include the desciptors Psychometabolism, Psychokinesis, Psychoportation, Clairsentience, Metacreativity and Telepathy. Again, we’ll see how that goes.

In Summary

So in HD&D, spells will be classified in the following ways:

  • Their tradition: Arcane, Divine, Primal, Psionic or Sonorant. Divine spells will be further divided into the 47 Spheres.
  • Their level: spells may have different levels in different traditions.
  • Their school: all spells are included in one of the eight schools of magic.
  • Their descriptors: most spells will also be tagged with one or more descriptors.

While not a million miles away from third edition and Pathfinder, this is a somewhat streamlined way of doing things. Have I gone too far? Would you prefer to see each obscure character class keeping its unique spell list? Time to decide.

HD&D: Sorcery

It’s been a while, but now that the retreat is out of the way I feel as though I can devote more time to the blog. The remainder of the Combat section is still pending, but I’ll get around to it in due course. In the meantime, I have been more closely considering Sorcerers in HD&D.

Those of you who have suffered through the last year of blog posts will recall that we have been down this road before. Previous posts on HD&D: Magic, HD&D: Recharge Magic and HD&D: Instinctive Magic all touched upon this area. However, no decision was made over how we were going to handle Sorcerers in HD&D. Until now. But first let me quickly remind you of where we stand at the moment.

Innate vs Acquired Magic

Broadly, magic falls into two different categories: those who are born with the intrinsic skill to cast spells, and those who work and study their whole lives to master the art. Most spell casters fall into the latter group. Wizards, Clerics, Druids, Rangers, Paladins, Bards and Psions have no instinctive understanding of magic. These are the classes that use the Recharge mechanic for spellcasting, as discussed in many previous posts. Sorcerers, Mystics and Wilders are examples of the former group. They were born knowing how to cast spells, and as such the mechanic they use for spellcasting is rather different.

The difference between these two fundamental magical divides is easily summed up. Those that practice acquired magic have no limit on the number of different spells they can know. However, they can’t repeatedly cast the same spell. Once a spell is cast then it becomes unavailable until the acquired caster has rested. For innate casters the situation is reversed. They know a finite number of spells: a fixed total that they can never exceed. However, they can cast the spells they do have access to at will.

And if you think this makes sorcerers too powerful, then read on.

The Magical Traditions

In addition to the way in which they cast magic, all spell-casters can be grouped into specific magical traditions. Their “Power Source” in 4e-speak. The most common traditions would be: Arcane (Wizards, Sorcerers); Divine (Clerics, Mystics, Paladins); Primal (Druid, Healer, Ranger); Psionic (Psion, Psychic Warrior, Wilder); Sonorism (Bard). Spellcasters within each tradition will share certain characteristics, even if they are innate or acquired casters.

So although sorcerers, mystics and wilders will have mechanical similarities as they are all innate casters, the classes are more likely to ressemble others from the same tradition. The Wilder, for example, would have more in common with the Psion than with the Mystic. Or to put it another way, the Sorcerer will feel like an arcane character first, and an innate spellcaster second.

The Arcane, Divine, Primal, Psionic, and Sonorant traditions will all share unique mechanics that set them apart from each other. Primal magic has the whole Darksun preserver/defiler vibe about it. Psionic characters will be able to supercharge their powers at the expense of their mental health in a way that other spellcasters cannot. But the actual rules for casting, retaining and casting spells again, will still depend on whether the class is an acquired or innate caster.

This blog post considers the mechanics for innate spellcasting, and then looks at the Sorcerer in isolation. As a result of this I often use the term “Sorcerer” and “Innate Spellcaster”; and “Wizard” and “Acquired Spellcaster” interchangeably. It all still makes sense though.

How Innate Casting Works

Just like wizards, a sorcerer’s spellcasting powers come from his talents. There are nine Sorcery talents (imaginatively named Sorcery I through to Sorcery IX). Selecting a talent gives the sorcerer access to next level of spells, and also increases the number of spell levels that she knows. For example, a sorcerer who has Sorcery I gains access to two spell levels. That means she can know two first level spells, and only two first level spells. If her charisma score is high enough, then she may get bonus spell levels to add to this total. Each time a sorcerer gains a level she has the power to reallocate a number of spell levels equal to the highest level spell she can cast – effectively ‘forgetting’ some spells in favour of others.

As an aside, cantrips are level zero spells. They don’t count against your spell levels. Access to cantrips is unlocked by the Sorcery I talent. Sorcerers know a number of cantrips equal to 4 + half their level (rounded down). They acquire new cantrips as they gain levels. A twentieth level sorcerer is therefore likely to know 14 cantrips. Which is probably most of the ones available in the game.

When that sorcerer selects Sorcery II as a talent (prerequisite Sorcery I and 3rd level) the number of spell levels increases from 2 to 6. She gains an extra four spell levels. She can divide these up between any levels she likes, as long as she doesn’t know any spells of greater than second level. So the sorcerer who selects Sorcery II could gain two first level spells and one second level spell, two second levels spells, or four first level spells. At the other end of the scale, Sorcery IX gives the sorcerer access to spells of levels one to nine, and a total of 142 spell levels. Which is a lot, but doesn’t come close to the number of spells a wizard of the same level would know.

Obviously, feats and talents will exist that enables the sorcerer to modify his number of available spell levels. That should be taken as read by this stage. I’m merely laying down the bare rules for you. Feats and talents always create exceptions to those rules.

Once the sorcerer knows the spell, she has the power to cast it at-will from that point on. No running out of magic missiles or fireballs if you’re a sorcerer. You should be able to blaze away all day. Well, you should but you can’t. You see, innate spellcasting is extremely tiring to the mind and the body. A sorcerer that keeps casting spell after spell after spell is likely to get plumb tuckered out. My third edition house rules had spells inflict subdual damage on the sorcerer equal to the level of the spell. Easy to keep track of, but not particularly satisfying. In HD&D, we’ll try something a little different.

The Act of Casting a Sorcery Spell

Every time a sorcerer casts a spell (except a cantrip) the sorcerer must make a Will saving throw. The DC of this save is dependent upon the level of the spell being cast. If the saving throw is failed, then the sorcerer’s health moves one step along the Languor Track on his character sheet. This doesn’t have any effect on the character’s hit points, but the more saving throws that are failed the more deleterious conditions are heaped on the sorcerer, until the character reaches a point where further spellcasting is impossible without rest. The Languor Track has five stages that are defined thusly:

Rested: The first stage is the default setting of a rested sorcerer.

Weary: Fail one saving throw and the sorcerer becomes Weary. Being Weary has absolutely no game related effects. It is only important in as far as it is the next step on the way to more significant conditions. If the sorcerer is able to take a short rest (five minutes) then he stops being Weary and resumes the Rested condition.

Fatigued: A Weary character that fails a saving throw becomes Fatigued. For consistency’s sake, this condition is exactly the same as Fatigued as defined in the combat section. A fatigued character can neither run nor charge, and takes a -2 penalty to all defences, saving throws, skill checks and ability checks. Doing anything that would normally cause fatigue, causes the fatigued character to become exhausted (q.v.). After one hour of complete rest, Fatigued characters become Weary.

Exhausted: A Fatigued character that fails a saving throw becomes Exhausted. Again, this is same condition that we have already described in the Combat section. An exhausted character cannot run or charge, and moves at only half speed. He also takes a -5 penalty to all defences, saving throws, skill checks and ability checks. After an extended rest (about eight hours), exhausted characters become Fatigued.

Unconscious: If an Exhausted character fails a saving throw, then they fall unconscious. Unconscious characters fall Prone, cannot take any actions and are Helpless. They may be attacked automatically, and are susceptible to coup de grace or similar attacks. Unless otherwise revived, the sorcerer remains unconscious for about five minutes before awakening. When he awakens he still has the Exhausted condition.

As you can see, the Fatigued and Exhausted conditions apply negative modifiers to the sorcerer’s saving throws. Therefore when the sorcerer starts to succomb to the enervating effects of spellcasting, the process quickly accelerates. So what are the DCs of those Will saving throws? Glad you asked:

Spell Level Will Save DC
First 10
Second 11
Third 12
Fourth 13
Fifth 15
Sixth 16
Seventh 17
Eighth 19
Ninth 20
Tenth 21
Eleventh 23
Twelfth 24
Thirteenth 25
Fourteenth 27
Fifteenth 28

 The DC is set to be Easy for a skilled character. The game assumes a first level sorcerer is likely to have +5 on her Will saving throw, meaning that the save will be made 75% of the time. Characters with higher than average Ability Scores, or who augment their Will defence with the Iron Will feat or other advantages will have an even easier time of making the saving throws. However, a natural 1 is still a failure. The spectre of failure is still hanging over the head of every sorcerer.

And before any one asks: ninth level is still the most powerful spell you can cast. But caster level is dependent upon your character’s overall level in HD&D. A 30th level character with the Sorcery IX talent could cast a spell with an effective level of 15th, by stacking numerous metamagic effects on the same spell.

The Sorcerer’s Heritage

A sorcerer has more tricks up his sleeve than just spellcasting. All sorcerers have their magical power for a reason. Maybe they inherited it from an ancestor, had it gifted to them by a deity, or had it thrust upon them after handling an ancient artefact. The origin of a sorcerer’s power is called his Heritage, and all sorcerers must choose one at first level (or at the point of multiclassing). This Heritage enables the sorcerer to choose certain special talents and feats that are denied to other sorcerers.

The rules for Sorcerer Heritage borrows heavily from the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game. You can have a look at the Pathfinder Open Gaming Licence for how that game handles Sorcerer Heritage, or “Bloodline” as they call it (which is a cool name, but Bloodline means something else in HD&D).

Most sorcerers in HD&D will come from the Dragon Heritage. That is the default position. In the current campaign, Elias Raithbourne’s sorcerer powers undoubtedly come from a Dragon Heritage. Other possible heritages would include Aberrant, Celestial, Demonic, Destined, Diabolic, Elemental, Fey or Undead. The “Arcane” bloodline described in the Pathfinder rules doesn’t sit well with my understanding of how magic works on Iourn. Other heritages (even unique heritages) are certainly possible. For example, Ravenna is the only known example of the Potentate Heritage. The first draft of rules for Potentate sorcerers will be winging their way to Jon shortly.

Each heritage allows gives a character access to about five talents and ten feats that they can choose to take if they so wish. For example, sorcerers of the Aberrant Heritage can choose the talents Aberrant Scion (better at casting Polymorph spells), Aberrant Form (transform into aberration), Alien Resistances (resistant to poison and acid), Bile Strike (shoot stomach acid at foes), Gangling Form (elongate your limbs), Tentacular Attack (grow tentacles) and so on. All this would be in addition to the spells they know. I’m surprising far along in working out the details of Sorcerer Heritages, and I’ll hopefully be posting some meat before too long.

For Discussion

To a degree this approach to sorcery can be seen as a cop out. Back when I made my initial post on Instinctive Magic, I gave you four options of the way that Sorcery could work. I have, perhaps, chosen the least imaginative of the four. However, it is in keeping with what we currently have in third edition. Sorcerers still cast spells from the same spell list as Wizards. It’s comfortable, and it doesn’t rock the boat too much. It’s a system that isn’t a million miles away from either third edition or Pathfinder, and there’s a lot to be said for having a system that works as opposed to one that is simply flavourful.

As for whether it will work… that’s another matter. I’d like to give it a shot. A sorcerer needs to “roll for languor” every time she casts a spell. That does mean more die rolling at the table. That may be a problem. But the sorcerer isn’t the sort of class that makes many multiple attacks per round. Having a sorcerer sitting at the table would be more dice heavy than a wizard, but less dice heavy than having a fighter or a monk. A poor run of saving throws has the potential to cripple a sorcerer in short order. I’m not sure if that’s a problem, or whether if should be considered a feature.

So what do we think? Will this work?