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A sorcerer, sometimes known as a sorceress if female, was a wielder of arcane magic that tapped into the Weave in ways bound only by their own willpower.[10] Unlike most other arcane spellcasters, particularly the wizards they are often compared with, sorcerers had innate magical ability and were noted for their lack of study in obtaining such power.[11]

A sorcerer prefered to unleash their full power, without restraint, blasting their enemies into oblivion. As a result, the magic a sorcerer wielded was intensely powerful though often somewhat unpredictable.[11]

Even to the best wizards, magic comes slowly and with difficulty. Not so to sorcerers. For them, it is a gift, a natural talent that can be improved with time and patience, but a gift nonetheless. Needless to say, all those wizards who must work for their art tend to be suspicious of those who don't.

Culture[]

Sorcerers were arcane artists, casting spells as a poet might write poetry, innately, rather than through regimented study. How they came by this power is not commonly known, though it was speculated that sorcerers' very flesh was, in some way, touched by arcane power. Many sorcerers claimed to be the descendants of dragons, a claim that is neither wholly false nor wholly true.[13] It is evident that many sorcerers did indeed draw upon ancient dragon blood but others appeared to draw their power from other sources, such as wild magic.[14][15] Regardless of the origin in question, most sorcerers viewed their magic through a lens of emotion rather than logic, and they were not prone to specialization in the same way many wizards were.[16]

As a result of their uneasy upbringing, the ease with which power flowed to them, and other factors, most sorcerers were free spirits who flinched against authority and tradition. Most sought out an adventurer's life in order to expand their own power and test its limits. Some did this in order to help others, using their power to protect the weak. Others sought to simply prove themselves, obtaining a place of respect within society. Other sorcerers had more cruel ends in mind, however, intent on using their power as a means to subjugate or instil fear in those whom they considered inferior.[17]

Regardless of the origin of a sorcerer's power, most discovered their power some time during puberty, where it began to manifest in unpredictable and often disturbing manners, such as haunting lights or mysterious sounds. In time, most sorcerers realized they were the source of the disturbance and reacted accordingly, either for good or ill. Fortunate sorcerers might have come under the tutelage of a more experienced arcanist but more often sorcerers were left to fend for themselves, friends and family shying away from them and their uncommon abilities. As a result, few sorcerers felt any brotherhood of any kind, and had little urge to work with one another. Most sorcerers did, however, share a common bond in their worship of gods associated with magic, including any of the Mystras.[17] However, sorcerers were drawn to the worship of many gods, favoring none in particular and a sorcerer was as likely to worship Lathander as Selûne.[18]

Relationships[]

As a result, most sorcerers did not get along very well with wizards and were usually, at best, competitive with the studied mages,[16] with wizards viewing sorcerers as inept bunglers and sorcerers viewing wizards as obstinate and unnecessarily secretive prudes. However, many who were neither failed to see a difference between the two in practice.[18] For similar reasons to their uneasy relationship with wizards, sorcerers did not typically get along with monks or paladins, though they often enjoyed the company of druids or rogues.[16]

Origins[]

Sorcerers were often human or half-elven in origin, in part because of humanity's diversity and adaptability. However, there was nothing particular about humans that made them well-suited for a sorcerer's talents, and individuals of any race could manifest sorcerers. Kobold sorcerers were particularly common, likely due to their draconic origins, of which kobolds were extremely proud.[17] Likewise, because of their draconic heritage, dragonborn sorcerers were also common, and considered by most the iconic example of sorcerers of the draconic heritage.[14]

Arcane spellcasters from other uncivilized races were also more likely to be sorcerers than wizards, since they lacked the proper infrastructure and culture for the intellectual pursuit of arcane power.[17] Gold dwarves, wild elves, and lightfoot halflings often also demonstrated a natural talent for sorcery.[18]

Sorcerers were found throughout all of the world, though some realms had a greater tolerance for their talents than others. For instance, Aglarond, particularly during the rule of the Simbul in the Era of Upheaval, held a great amount of respect for sorcerers. Similarly, many sorcerers could be found later on throughout Calimshan, the Dragon Coast, the Great Dale, the High Forest, the Lake of Steam, Mulhorand, the Nelanther Isles, the Shaar, Silverymoon, Tethyr, and the Western Heartlands,[18] as well in Murghôm and Halruaa following the Spellplague.[10]

Abilities[]

Arcane power flowing through the body of a sorcerer.

Sorcerers often played a supporting role in combat, selectively putting themselves at risk on the battlefield. While some sorcerers wielded spells that inflicted lots of damage on others, others preferred those with more utilitarian focus or that created a variety of different effects. To aid them in casting these spells, sorcerers made use of daggers and staffs as implements, which empowered their spells and made them more potent. And while wizards relied on their ability to learn and memorize for the purpose of spellcasting, sorcerers relied on their willpower and emotional presence to focus and empower their abilities.[11]

Because a sorcerer's power was inherent most of their abilities were dependent on their precise ancestry. Many sorcerers were descended from dragons, at least distantly, and draconic blood, with its arcane infusions, made a potent source of power for many sorcerers, many of whom learned to tap this power in order to make themselves stronger, more resilient, or elementally gifted. Other sorcerers tapped into the power of wild magic, giving them an added versatility in their powers at the cost of predictability. Because this power comes naturally, sorcerers had an opportunity to pick up training in most simplistic weapons, giving them a slight edge over wizards in non-magical combat, though still behind other arcanists. Like wizards, the vast majority of sorcerers lacked training in the use of any armor.[11]

A few sorcerers, though not all, took on familiars or magical companions who could be summoned to service. Like the familiars of wizards, sorcerer familiars could cast spells that their master is capable of using, as well as having the capacity to communicate with them on a very basic level.[19]

Sorcerous Origins[]

Sorcerers came from a variety of backgrounds and their powers originated from numerous fantastic and frightening sources. A sorcerer's abilities and characteristics were largely determined by these origins.

Dragon Magic[]

One archetypical source of sorcery was the power inherent to dragons. Sorcerers that drew upon this wellspring were granted magical power by some innate connection to dragons, either through draconic bloodline,[20][21] blood ties or magical infusion, such as being bathed in dragonblood as an infant. Dragon magic sorcerers were emotionally and quite often physically powerful beings.[11] With the proper training, sorcerers of draconic bloodline could further unleash their heritage by becoming dragonsoul heirs.[22]

Dragon magic sorcerers were awe-inspiring and mighty, capable of channeling their pain into powerful rage and using their physical strength to bolster the power of their spells. They were exceptionally resilient and difficult to kill. Dragon magic sorcerers were blessed with both an affinity for and resilience to one of the elemental energies used by most dragons in their breath weapons, such as acid, cold or fire.[20][11] Those sorcerers of draconic bloodline that expertly honed their abilities could draw upon the frightening presence forebears and even grow a pair of wings, granting them the ability of flight.[23]

Shadow Magic[]

Main article: Shadow magic

Sorcerers that drew upon the evil power[24] of shadow magic called upon the Shadowfell itself, becoming onto themselves a reflection of the dark plane that overlapped the Prime. Once known as shadowcasters,[25] practitioners of shadow magic had their bodies and souls warped by the magic that coursed through their bodies, granting them terrible and mysterious powers unattainable by others.[26]

A tiefling storm sorcerer with her head in the clouds.

Even novice practitioners of shadow magic had their existence set upon the fine line between the living and the dead, making it more difficult for them to be put down. They quickly gained improved eyesight while surrounded by darkness and could call forth shadowy beasts from the Shadowfell. Those sorcerers wholly dedicated their focus upon their dark powers could travel great distances[27] via the Shadowfell and transform their body into that of an ethereal, shadowy form.[26]

Storm Magic[]

Some sorcerers of the Realms gained their abilities from the primordial powers of existence, such as the element of air itself.[28] While others avoid gale winds and lightning blasts for their safety, storm sorcerers felt perfectly at home within, drawn to the fury and unrelenting power.[29] In fact these powerful spellcasters may even have originally gained their power from a terrible storm that impacted their life (such as the Great Rain), either by being born within one or nearly dying from the destruction and havoc one caused.[26] Many of these individuals chose to live at sea, utilizng their powers to help navigate ships and keep aquatic dangers at bay.[28]

Storm sorcerers gained an innate understanding of the primordial language of the cosmos, along with its four dialects including auran. They quickly learned how to summon gusts of wind, and in time gained limited control over weather itself. Over time their bodies became resistent and even immune to the effects of lightning and thunder, and in some instances could conduct and channel bolts of lightning within at will.[28][29] These sorcerers whose souls had been entirely in tune with the winds even gained the ability of flight, and could even lift others alongside them as if by the gale forces of an unrelenting storm.[28]

Wild Magic[]

Main article: Wild mage

An orc wild mage in spellbattle.

The terrible and wondrous forces of otherworldly planes, such as the Far Realm[23] or the Elemental Chaos among others, were potent and often unpredictable sources from which sorcerers could draw power. [11] Sometimes referred to as chaos sorcerers,[30] though more often as wild mages, these spellcasters were capable of impressive feats of arcane ability, occasionally leading to unplanned or even disastrous results. The origins of each wild mage's power varied as much as their capabilities, at times brought on by a blessing or curse as often as randomn chance.[23]

Throughout their history wild mages acted as conduits for extraplanar magic, learning how to shape and control their wild surges and even fate itself to their benefit.[23][22] They also developed means to protect themselves from errant energy discharged from their effects.[14] Those wild mages that were most in tune with their powers could channel their power to devastating effect when casting magic that harmed others.[23]

Notable Sorcerers[]

Appendix[]

Further Reading[]

References[]

  1. Troy Denning (March 2001). The Summoning. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 71. ISBN 978-0-7869-1801-0.
  2. Ed Greenwood (2007). The Annotated Elminster. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 316. ISBN 0-7869-4799-3.
  3. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  4. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 99–104. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  5. Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, Robert J. Schwalb, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, Matt Sernett (November 2017). Xanathar's Guide to Everything. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 48–52. ISBN 978-0-7869-6612-7.
  6. Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 136–137. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
  7. Jeremy Crawford (November 17, 2020). Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 66–69. ISBN 978-0786967025.
  8. Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 136–151. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
  9. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 51–55. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 136. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 136–137. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
  12. Troy Denning (December 2009). “The Summoning”. Return of the Archwizards (Wizards of the Coast), p. 55. ISBN 978-0-7869-5365-3.
  13. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (August 2000). Player's Handbook 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 48–49. ISBN 0-7869-1551-4.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 137. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
  15. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 99. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (August 2000). Player's Handbook 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 49–50. ISBN 0-7869-1551-4.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (August 2000). Player's Handbook 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 49. ISBN 0-7869-1551-4.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 27. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  19. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (August 2000). Player's Handbook 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 50–51. ISBN 0-7869-1551-4.
  20. 20.0 20.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 102. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  21. Larian Studios (October 2020). Designed by Swen Vincke, et al. Baldur's Gate III. Larian Studios.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 151. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 103. ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  24. Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), p. 144. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
  25. Eytan Bernstein (2007-07-25). Shadowcasters. Class Chronicles. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2016-05-21.
  26. 26.0 26.1 26.2 Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, Robert J. Schwalb, Adam Lee, Christopher Perkins, Matt Sernett (November 2017). Xanathar's Guide to Everything. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 50–51. ISBN 978-0-7869-6612-7.
  27. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 277. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  28. 28.0 28.1 28.2 28.3 Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 137. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Logan Bonner, Eytan Bernstein, Bruce R. Cordell, Peter Lee (April 2009). Arcane Power. Edited by Julia Martin. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 26. ISBN 978-0786949571.
  30. Jeremy Crawford, Mike Mearls, James Wyatt (March 2009). Player's Handbook 2. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 138. ISBN 0-7869-5016-4.
  31. Jim Zub (November 2014). “Legends of Baldur's Gate 2”. Legends of Baldur's Gate #2 (IDW Publishing), p. 25.
  32. Mike Mearls, Claudio Pozas, Robert J. Schwalb (April 2011). Player's Option: Heroes of Shadow. Edited by Michelle Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 978-0-7869-5745-3.
  33. Eric L. Boyd, Eytan Bernstein (August 2006). Dragons of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 149. ISBN 0-7869-3923-0.
  34. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 200. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.

Connections[]

Core Classes
ArdentArtificerAvengerBarbarianBardBattlemindBushiClericDivine soulDruidFighterMonkPaladinPsionRangerRogueRunepriestSamuraiSeekerShamanSorcererSpellscarredSwordmageWarlockWarlordWizard
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