Wednesday, November 25, 2009

[Thundarr Thursday] New Character Race: Sorcerer

Hit Dice: 1d6 per point of CON
Mutations: none (or energy manipulation; see below)

Sorcerers are the magic-wielders of the Thundarr universe. They are able to draw upon mystical forces, bending, shaping, and warping them to their will. They are able to cast spells of an offensive, defensive, healing, and/or destructive nature. Sorcerers are powerful, yet sometimes feared by humans as they can easily be mistaken for an evil Wizard.

Sorcerers appear to be Pure Strain Humans, although they are usually dressed in better finery than the human survivor rabble encountered in the wastelands. Due to their training and study of the magical arts, Sorcerers gain a +2 when rolling for Intelligence and Willpower. Sorcerers do not have any mutations (unless the ML determines that the ability to cast magic itself is a mutation; see below). Sorcerers are always Lawful or Neutral in nature. Chaotic Sorcerers are better knows as the evil Wizards in the Thundarr world.

Sorcerers seem to have a fascination with Ancient culture. Princess Ariel had extensive knowledge of Ancient history and geography, whereas Merlik the Sorcerer reveled in Old Earth youth slang (though he was bad at it). It is assumed that Sorcerers studied the Ancients during their training in the mystical arts. The ML is encouraged to allow a Sorcerer PC to choose one facet of the Ancients that he has studied (technology, history, language, etc.).

Before we can discuss the abilities of Sorcerers, we need to discuss the nature of magic in the world of Thundarr. Magic is common in this shattered world under the broken moon, but how to explain it? I offer two explanations for the consideration of the Mutant Lord:
  • When the runaway planet hurtled between the Earth and the Moon, it unleashed more than cosmic destruction. It also tore open the magical energy stored within the ley lines that crisscross the planet. Magic energies spilled forth throughout the world and those persons attuned to it can harness and channel it. These people eventually became the original Wizards and Sorcerers of the future.
  • Magic isn't "real." Rather, Sorcerers and Wizards are actually mutants with the ability to manipulate energy. This energy could be defined as the lifeforce in all things, residual energy in the atmosphere, etc. Regardless, energy manipulation could be considered a mutation and therefore susceptible to anything that would remove or hamper mutations.
Regardless, a magic system that is compatible with Mutant Future already exists and is available in Labyrinth Lord. It is suggested that Section 3: Spells from the Labyrinth Lord rules be implemented and used. Sorcerers (and by extension, Wizards) are able to cast spells just as if they were of the same level of a Magic-User or Elf in Labyrinth Lord. Cleric spells are unavailable to Sorcerers. When a Sorcerer casts a spell, there are two facets to remember:
  • All Sorcerer spells manifest themselves with colorful beams of energy. For example, if the spell is Hold Person, the energy snakes out from the caster's hands and wraps around the target. Charm Person may manifest as a flashing hypnotic pattern. It is left to the PC or ML as to how the spell appears when cast.
  • One limitation is that a Sorcerer MUST have at least one free hand to cast spells. If a Sorcerer's hands and arms are bound or otherwise immobile, a spell cannot be cast. Wizards are not, however, bound by this limitation.
Sorcerers are level-headed and will not willingly rush into a dangerous situation, preferring to weigh a course of action. They are better educated than most, but they are rarely egotistical. They use their magical abilities sparingly as too much magic use can lead to corruption and eventual downfall into the ways of a Wizard. (See my earlier Wizard-related blog post for information on Wizards.) For each time a PC uses his/her magic in a harmful, destructive, or evil manner, the ML should secretly roll a 5% check versus corruption. This corruption check is cumulative, so future checks are 10%, 15%, 20%, etc. Failure means that the PC has succumbed to the power and has become a Wizard. This new Wizard can become a new NPC villain for the PCs to contend with!

NOTE: This character race is inspired by the classic Ruby Spears post-apocalyptic cartoon “Thundarr the Barbarian.” Stay tuned each week for “Thundarr Thursday”! (Posted early this week due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday....)