Changes to Sorcery

Sacrifice and Energy Drain

Sacrifice
Power Points gained from sacrifice are calculated using several factors (see table below), instead of being based on the victim’s number of hit points only. The mechanics of the feats dealing with sacrifice are changed as follows:

Ritual Sacrifice
You multiply the Power Points gained from the sacrifice (see table below) by 2.

Tortured Sacrifice
You multiply the Power Points gained from the sacrifice by 3 (if you spend 15 minutes or more performing the sacrifice), or multiply by 4 (if you spend 1 hour or more performing the sacrifice).

Bleed Dry
You add +2 to the Power Points gained from the sacrifice (before applying any multipliers). Note that Bleed Dry also provides this benefit when combined with Opportunistic Sacrifice.

Opportunistic Sacrifice
This feat works as described main book. In other words, you gain the benefits of Ritual Sacrifice whenever you kill an opponent, regardless of whether that opponent was helpless or not.

If you don’t have any of these feats, you can still gain Power Points by killing a helpless creature by coup de grace and dedicating its death to your gods or your own personal power. In this case, you gain only the base amount of Power Points listed on the table below, without any multipliers from the feats.

The prerequisites of the feats listed above remain unchanged.

Description Power Points

Victim has less than 1 HD No PP gained from sacrifice
Victim has 1-3 HD +2
Victim has 4-6 HD +4
Victim has 7-9 HD +6
Victim has 10-12 HD +8
Victim has 13-15 HD +10
Victim has 16-18 HD +12
Victim has 19+ HD +14
Victim is common animal -1
Victim is rare animal (white bull, etc) +2
Victim is noble +2
Victim is virgin +4
During uncommon event (full moon, etc) +2
During rare event (solar eclipse, falling star, etc) +4
In special location (wizard’s tower, temple, etc) +2
In unique location (sacred mountain, royal pyramid, ancient ruins, etc.) +4
Energy Drain

If you have a sorcerer helpless and under your power, you may place your hand against his skin and drain 1d4 Power Points from him as a full-round action. This is removed from his usual Power Points. Against non-sorcerers, this simply causes 1d4 points of damage to the victim, but you do not gain any Power Points.

Why? With the rules as written, Energy Drain is so much better than the other ways of gaining Power Points that nobody would really bother using anything else. It’s much better to have half a dozen slaves (which you can buy for 3 sp apiece in Turan) chained in your basement and drain them regularly for PP using Energy Drain, than it is to use black lotus powder (300 sp/dose) or engage in Power Rituals (which require several hours and dozens of participants and skill ranks to be as effective). Now, the sorceror has to worry about little things like killing his subject (not that it really bothers many of them, but there is the problem of disposing of the bodies and the inevitable questions).

I can see ritual sacrifice being used once in a while by a sorcerer needing lots of PP for special spells or rituals (and such ritual spells should be designed so that they “scale up” with the number of power points put into them), but I don’t think it needs to be an integral part of “lesser” spell casting. Ritually sacrificing six virgin girls to cast a simple Warrior Trance feels lame more than anything else. In any event, I don’t think PPs gained from ritual sacrifice should be based solely on hit points. The new sacrifice table solves a lot of problems, such as making virgin girls more desirable than cows as sacrifices, which works well with the tone of Conan. It also explains why sorcerers would leave their lairs and travel to certain areas to perform their rituals “when the stars are right”.

The Rule of Impermanence

Any time a sorcerer is reduced below zero hit points, he must make a separate Will saving throw (DC 15) for each of his sorcerous creations. If the saving throw is failed, the creation ceases functioning immediately. Spells end and items crumble to dust.

If a sorcerer is left for dead or killed, he must make a similar saving throw (DC 20) for each of his sorcerous creations. If the saving throw succeeds, the sorcerous creation lasts for another 1d10 rounds. If the duration was Mortal and the save succeeds by 5 or more, the creation lasts for another 1d10 days, or 1d10 months if the save succeeds by 10 or more, and so on for other increments of five. The sorcerer may choose to voluntarily fail any such saving throw.

Why? There may be certain occasions when it would be dramatically appropriate for the sorcerous creations of a scholar to linger on,even after his death, for example if a band of adventurers are exploring the abode of a dead sorcerer.

The Rule of the Sorceror’s Soul

Any sorcerer, magical beast or outsider who can meet the eyes of a sorcerer can sense the latter’s sorcerous nature if he succeeds at a magic attack roll opposed by the target’s Will save.

Unless a player character is actively looking to detect a sorcerer, this roll should be made in secret by the Game Master. If the magic attack roll fails, it cannot be attempted again until another level is gained.

Why? With the rules as written, the detection of sorcerers by other sorcerers or supernatural creatures is automatic. There may be occasions when it would be dramatically appropriate for a sorcerer to be able to hide his sorcerous nature, for example if he were infiltrating the king’s court (or the party!), masquerading as a simple servant.

The Rule of the Master

Power Transfer: The maximum number of Power Points that can be taken or granted from or to a thrall in any 24-hour period is equal to the sorcerer’s Maximum Power Points.

Why? With the rules as written, a master sorcerer with a horde of low-level thralls has an almost unlimited supply of Power Points, even considering any Intelligence damage inflicted upon the thralls.

Atlantean Edition Sorcery Styles

There were some styles listed in the Pirate Isles and other books. These styles are available, but cannot be chosen as an initial style due to the fact that they do not have a defensive spell (a requirement from 2nd edition).

Changes to Sorcery

Shattered Swords of Hyboria Thomssen Thomssen