Sorcery is a very dangerous type of magic. The sorcerer, through arcane invocations and unholy rites, asks the intervention of forgotten divinities and powers that man isn’t meant to know. These entities are usually generous toward the sorcerer, but they are also very demanding. Many of those who meddle with dark magic end up with their minds destroyed and their souls eaten by creatures of unimaginable horror.

Evil entities are always eager for nourishment, so a sorcerer can decide to willingly give them a little of his living energy in exchange for extra power. This is done by self inflicting a Wound to gain 2 Power Points or +1 to a Sorcery roll. These wounds represent energy sacrificed to dark powers, cannot be Soaked and can only be healed naturally. The penalty caused by these wounds applies after the Sorcery roll they are inflicted for.

Arcane Skill: Sorcery (Smarts)
Starting Power Points: N/A
Starting Powers: 2

Backlash: A sorcerer who rolls 1 on the Sorcery die regardless of the Wild Die, has somehow displeased the evil entities he works with to gain his powers. He must roll on the Sorcery Critical Failures Table to discover what happens.

Sanity: The price of dealing with the Dark Arts is high indeed! In addition to Backlash, if a sorcerer rolls a 1 OR 2 on the Sorcery die regardless of the Wild Die, he must make an immediate Fear test. On a failure, the sorcerer loses 1 Sanity point. On a failure with a roll of ‘1’…the sorcerer loses 2 Sanity points. (p.22 SW Horror Companion) This is to represent the impact of dark magick on the soul and mind.

Available Powers: armor, barrier, beast friend, blast, boost/lower trait, bolt, confusion, darksight, deflection, disguise, drain power points, draining touch^, detect/ conceal arcana, divination, entangle, fear, havoc, intangibility, invisibility, obscure, puppet, slumber, smite, speak language, stun, summon ally.
^=New Spell see Beasts & Barbarians Core Rules


Trappings: Sorcery powers, usually spells or incantations of some sort, tend to be quite different from one another, depending on the source of the magic. A Tricarnian demon evoker’s bolt, for example, is quite different from the bolt of a Ivory Savannah Tribe dancer witch. For this reason, trappings are very important in defining sorcery spells.
As a rule of thumb, every sorcerer knows a single trapping for each of his spells. Others are learned from secret tomes, like-minded mentors, and ancient libraries.

Trapping examples:

  • Dark Taint: The power is inherently evil and somehow corrupts the recipient. In addition to the normal effects, the target develops temporary Insanity for the duration of the spell.
  • Fearful: Simply seeing the spell in action can make a strong man tremble. The target and all those witnessing the spell suffer –1 to Spirit rolls for the duration of the spell.
  • It is Only a Clever Trick: For primitive cultures, as those of the Dread Sea Dominions, anything unknown is classified as magic. This is why ventriloquism, hypnosis, higher technology and very good sleight of hand are usually considered supernatural powers. A power that is only a clever trick usually has a weak point of some type.
  • Object Required: The power is linked to an object of some type. The object must be quite easy to replace (maximum cost: 10 Moons/Power Rank) and without it the spell cannot be cast. As compensation, spells that require an object have their basic duration increased by one round.
  • Verbal: The magic requires the caster to speak. So, the spell cannot be used if the sorcerer cannot speak or wants to remain inconspicuous.

Examples of Sorcery trappings in game use can be found on p 82 of the Beasts & Barbarians Core Rules

Umberto Pignatelli. (2011). Beasts & Barbarians, pp. 21-22. Studio 2 Publishing. ISBN 978-8393179657


Blood and Thunder kaine1972